Monday, 29 October 2012

Chart the week

On the back of recent chart discussion in a couple of comments sections, a panorama of charts contemporaneous to the week we've just seen, starting with that week's album chart. Note, by the way, that when Stewpot said David Essex's album was at 29 he was actually referring to the chart for the following week, officially published week commencing that Sunday. Can't keep a secret, Ed.

1 Diana Ross And The Supremes - 20 Golden Greats
Third of seven weeks at number one for a pointedly credited UK-only compilation of eighteen hits and two mid-60s songs that hadn't been released as singles here. 40 Golden Motown Greats, released in 1998, has exactly the same cover but that couldn't fool an audience.

2 Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene
This was as high as it got, though it did stay there for five weeks.

3 Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
His final studio album hadn't even charted on release in July but a posthumous surge sent it this high. In fact the surge was more catalogue-based, nine Elvis albums appearing in this week's top 40.

4 A Star Is Born Original Soundtrack

5 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Very much a slow burner, charting at the end of February but not peaking until the start of September at number three and making it to number one in January 1978. Oddly this didn't apply to the singles, Dreams having just peaked at 24. This was one of its 31 (non-consecutive) weeks at Billboard number one.

6 Joan Armatrading - Show Some Emotion
New entry, her second highest peaking record.

7 Frankie Laine - The Very Best Of Frankie Laine

8 Yes - Going For The One
Coming back from two weeks at number one. So much for punk's year zero. Referred to as a return to shorter songs, though given it features five tracks, one comfortably clearing fifteen minutes, all things are relative.

9 Connie Francis - 20 All Time Greats

10 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
A year in the chart, never got above number 8.

11 Space - Magic Fly
Is there a correlation between Star Wars' release in May 1977 and the rise of 'space disco' shortly afterwards, do you think? See also the Rah Band and more directly the US chart underneath.

12 David Soul - Playing To An Audience Of One
A singles hitmaker of consistency that year he may have been, but this was already on its way down from a #8 peak.

13 The Eagles - Hotel California
Its last week inside the top 20 but it had had a very decent run, entering at the top for Christmas week 1976 and returning for a five week stay at number two when the title track was released as a single.

14 Elvis Presley - Welcome To My World
A filler compilation released in March, so after a slow start as the most available ostensibly greatest hits compilation it flew off the shelves, gold in the US by the end of September.

15 Linda Ronstadt - Simple Dreams
Her biggest album in the UK, peaking at this entry position, but five weeks on top of the Billboard chart, selling more than three and a half million copies within a year in the States.

16 Donna Summer - I Remember Yesterday
As mentioned in the comments for the last show this was essentially a concept album, the first side disco reinterpretations of previous decades, closing with the sound of the future in I Feel Love.

17 Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest

18 The Boomtown Rats - The Boomtown Rats
And that's where it peaked.

19 Elkie Brooks - Two Days Away

20 Various Artists - New Wave
Giving the lie to the modern idea everyone called all this stuff punk at the time, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, the Damned, the Boomtown Rats, the Saints, Dead Boys, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Stanley Frank and Little Bob Story. Philips' rights department might have been running a little slow by the end.

21 Rod Stewart - The Best Of Rod Stewart
Not only was there a volume two but a second compilation by this name twelve years later. Oddly this one only spent two weeks in the top 20.

22 Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation
Straight up to number four the following week.

23 Johnny Mathis - The Johnny Mathis Collection

24 The Stranglers - Stranglers Iv (Rattus Norvegicus)
On its way out after nearly five months in the top 12.

25 ABBA - Arrival
...which is nothing compared to this, as it fell out of the top 20 for the first time since release the previous November.

26 Elvis Costello And The Attractions - My Aim Is True
How come Elvis was on TOTP when Red Shoes came nowhere near the chart? Because this was riding perhaps surprisingly high at the time, peaking at 14.

27 Leo Sayer - Endless Flight

28 Iggy Pop - Lust For Life
New entry and peak, it's said it would have done better but for RCA focusing on shovelling Elvis product out. Bowie co-produced in the Hansa studio Low and the forthcoming Heroes were made in and clearly the lure was rubbing off, as he's never charted higher with any form of album. The rhythm section later reappeared in Tin Machine.

29 Camel - Rain Dances

30 Barclay James Harvest - Gone To Earth


Meanwhile, what was happening in America? You'd think there'd be a proper Billboard chart archive available to all somewhere but as it is all that can be found online is the singles top ten, and for the uninitiated that's not the original at number one and the number ten had been a big chart topper, the most played track on US radio that year:

1 Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band
2 KC And The Sunshine Band - Keep It Comin' Love
3 Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
4 The Emotions - Best Of My Love
5 The Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23
6 Carly Simon - Nobody Does It Better
7 Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line
8 Shaun Cassidy - That's Rock 'N' Roll
9 Foreigner - Cold As Ice
10 Andy Gibb - I Just Want To Be Your Everything


Elsewhere, France's chart topper was the genuinely legendary chansonnier Mireille Mathieu's Mille Colombes, replaced during the week by Santa Esmeralda's cover of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, which we'll get before the year is out. Germany were in the midst of Baccaramania with Sorry I'm A Lady, Australians had four chart-topping weeks to ask each other exactly what Carol's subject does with bread, while Sweden's number one was Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. For twenty weeks. TWENTY WEEKS OF YES SIR I CAN BOOGIE AT NUMBER ONE. Unsurprisingly, a record for their chart. No wonder it's reckoned to be the seventh biggest selling record worldwide ever. It was eventually replaced come January (!) by our friend Danny Mirror, who was knocked off for a four week run by... the Tom Robinson Band! Clearly record buyers there had a highly developed sense of fashion.

41 comments:

daf said...

I'm rather disappointed Meco doesn't seem to have been featured on Top of the Pops around this time with his Disco Star Wars - wasn't it a massive hit in Britain?

Imagine The Legs all done up as Princess Leia (possibly with home-made Light sabres!)

Dr E Vibenstein said...

Very interesting! BTW there is a searchable Billboard chart archive available, I stumbled across it a few weeks ago. Here's the full hot 100 for that week:

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/chart-search-results/singles/14034577

Interesting to see "I've Never Been To Me" by Charlene hanging around the bottom of the Hot 100, it went to number 1 here of course... five years later.

John Rivers said...

Star Wars wasn't released in the UK until December 1977, this explains why Meco was top of the charts in the US, but nowhere in the UK, not until October '77 anyway. The success of Magic Fly seems to have been fortunate timing.

John G said...

A few weeks later Debby (daughter of Pat) Boone would begin a 10-week run at the top of the Billboard chart with You Light Up My Life, a record-breaking stranglehold on the No. 1 slot at the time. I don't know if it will crop up on TOTP - apparently it only got to 48 here...

Arthur Nibble said...

A real old pick'n'mix in the UK albums chart there. Frankie Laine??? Connie Francis probably showing those Showaddywaddy whippersnappers up as a load of crepe. Camel and Barclays James Harvest in the anchor positions? How to pacify Whispering Bob.

No Debbie Boone on TOTP, sorry if you were looking forward to that. I think I'd actually prefer 20 weeks of Baccara at the top to the months of Wet Wet Wet or Bryan Adams we endured

Arthur 'Hank' Nibble said...

Looks like two Elvis cash-ins...er, tributes in that US top 100, plus Smokie and Paul Nicholas (they get everywhere), and look at the off-the-cliff drop The Floaters made. Anyone know (or care) if that sort of drop from the top 3 is rare in the States?

daf said...

According to wikipedia, Meco got to number 7 with Star Wars in October 1977 in the UK -

I'd have thought it'd fit right in with Oxygene and Magic Fly (considering they played that five or six times!)

Maybe they thought it was advertising the film - so broke some BBC rules.

The Man said...

Funny to see that in the singles chart at least, Magic Fly was the bigger hit, but Oxygene was the bigger album and thus better remembered.

14 Elvis Presley - Welcome To My World

The same function was fulfilled 32 years later by 'The Essential Michael Jackson' when the latter died...

Simon said...

Re Meco, undue prominence to the film doesn't stop them with Grease in 1978. Presumably he/they didn't come over to promote it and Flick didn't much fancy it. I'd like to see the rundown photo regardless, and we may even get it this week, though the single cover steers clear of Force-related imagery.

Arthur Nibble said...

I hope Meco's rundown pic isn't a picture of the contraption Stewpot was holding last week!

wilberforce said...

kc's "keep it comin love" may have been massive in the states but it was at best a minor hit here... which was why i picked it up cheap from some bargain bin! not their best perhaps but still worth 25p or thereabouts...

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

"Keep It Coming Love" peaked agonisingly one place outside the Giorgio's and was the first of four consecutive KC minor hits which made the top 50 but didn't crack arnlod the 30.

Technical hitch Nibble said...

That 'arnlod' thing in my last post was meant to be my password for the previous comment. Bloody technology!

Rob M said...

Some info about the New Wave compilation, courtesy of Julian Cope's "Repossessed" autobiography. It was put together by Cally Calloman who knew that getting the Patti Smith "Piss factory" tracks was enough incentive to get people to buy anything, hence the odd track listing. He also designed the cover to look as obnoxious and / or stupid as possible, hence the photo on the front has some gob on it and Cally himself in the pic looking daft with a dreadful moustache, which Cope's punky friends in 77 took as justification to grow moustaches. Cally is now manager of Bryter Music - Nick Drake's estate - having worked for Warners and Island, and having designed sleeves for countless reissues over the years.

Noax said...

I love that Meco tune, shame we're not going to get much of it on TOTP by the sound of it.

That Brothers Johnson song I know very well, in my radio days it turned up a lot on my overnight show playlist. Can't say I was that keen on it!

I can't bring myself to actually listen to the Shaun Cassidy song but looking at him I'm guessing he's David Cassidy's brother?

20 weeks of any song at Number One in any chart is pretty odd. It brings to mind the Smashie and Nicey chart sketch where they fix it so that Bachman Turner Overdrive is Number 1. Not that there was anyhing of that sort going on though I expect, judging by the fact that Danny Mirror wasn't a chart topper until January it sounds more like the chart compilers went on strike for a few weeks and didn't clear the backlog!

John G said...

Arthur - thanks for the Debby Boone info. I can't say I'm sorry that the fragrant Debby did not appear on TOTP. I've heard the song a handful of times on the radio, and it's pleasant enough but a bit on the dreary side. Can't really understand why the Yanks loved it so much - it would take the impact of Saturday Night Fever to eventually wean them off it!

Fuller said...

Surprised Queen's News of the World is not in that album chart - it is the only LP I recall buying in Autumn 1977.

Fuller said...

Spoke (typed) too soon - News of the World was released on 28/10/77. I did get Going for the One for Xmas, and bought Rumours early 1978, still got the last two in my humongous collection of vinyl LP's. Must of flogged NotW.

Simon said...

I should say thanks for the full Billboard chart - I scanned and scanned that site and couldn't find anything like it. It's as fascinating as I'd hoped, not least for the revelation I Feel Love and Paul Nicholas' Heaven On The 7th Floor peaked at the same position. Elvis stalling at 18, one behind The Leo Sayer Quartet's peak... Peter Frampton covering Signed Sealed Delivered, Jimmy Buffett having a single entitled Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes... heady days.

Arthur Nibble said...

The US chart also features Stephen Bishop's "On And On", the very definition of a turntable hit over here. Played to death on the breakfast and ten-to-midday shows on Radio 1 and did absolutely nothing.

wilberforce said...

the brothers johnson track was a cover of a shuggie otis song, their version being pretty similar but with added quincy jones sheen. the only bit about it i liked when i heard it back then was the guitar break, and felt exactly the same way when i heard the original in much more recent times - both artists have produced much better in my opinion...

THX said...

Shaun Cassidy is David's half brother, but I knew him over here for starring in The Nancy Boys and Hardy Drew Mysteries (as it had to be called). He went on to create interesting one season flop TV shows like American Gothic and Invasion.

As for Debby Boone trilling You Light Up My Life, it is a drippy song (there was also a film, which sounds like torture) but the story of its writer Joe Brooks is a sordid one. He committed suicide last year after being accused of raping young women in return for getting them their break in showbiz. Bizarrely he killed himself with helium.

On a lighter note, Meco's compilation CD of his albums of disco soundtracks is now a staple of second hand record shops. Yes, I do own a copy, it's 70s cheese at its finest.

daf said...

I love Meco - His 'Wizard of Oz' album is a work of disco genius!

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Frankie Laine made some cracking tunes over the tears '3.10 To Yuma'
and 'Cool Water' being two of the very best of a pretty good catalogue. The geezer could really sing and always gave his heart and soul.

As a young kid back then I thought Meco's record was the actual theme from 'Star Wars' not a disco remake - I think I continued to think this for years afterwards!

I've got Yes 'Going For The One' one of the few rock type albums in my collection. Got some nice tracks and we've still not got 'Wondrous Stories' on TOTP.

Arthur Nibble said...

It was good news for Camel at the end of the week. After two weeks peaking at 20, "Rain Dances" had dropped to 29, so when Stewpot leaked David Essex as the new number 29 you could have feared the worst for Camel but, instead, their album rose to 22. No need for them to get the hump (cue the sound of tumbleweed).

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

The lower end of the US chart features Alan O'Day, who wrote "Angie Baby" and who'd made number 1 in the States with the catchy "Undercover Angel", a turntable hit over here which only made 43. Alan's Wikipedia photo shows him in what must surely be a syrup - if so, it knocks Hank's into a cocked hat.

Fuller said...

Good album that by Camel, taped my mates copy when it came out, together with Oxygene.
Happy days as a typical 6th former back then.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

The album charts are an entirely different beast to the singles chart with titles hanging around the top 10 for months and others moving up and down at at alarming rate. Plus 'the kids' often moaned about the variety of acts that were on TOTP based on the singles chart but imagine how vexed you would be to see a show featuring such a mixed bag as Elivis, The Supremes, Elvis Costello, Johnny Mathis, The Boomtown Rats, Connie Francis, Iggy Pop, Frankie Laine, Camel and Barclay James Harvest.

And talking of charts I lived in the London area and used to avidly listen to Capital Radio. Apart from Kenny Everett I also regularly listened to Roger Scott every weekday and he did the listeners Top 10 every day between 5 and 6pm playing the ten current songs that received the most votes of listeners phoning in. I discovered a lot of different artists that way (ones who didn't make the national chart) and it meant album tracks as well as singles eg Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. Did other local independent radio stations do the same thing?

Having given up doing my own Top 30 every week (I couldn't afford to buy all the single as I lost my job in the market) this encouraged me to make up my own Top Ten instead including literally anything I liked and I not only wrote it down in a file but also played it on my radio station everyday between 7 and 8. Oh to be 14 again.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Bamaboogie - you're talking about the Capital Hitline -I used to hear it every weekday night coming out of my on my dad's radiogram - it really takes me back to autumn/winter evenings when I was about 10 or 11 - Dave Cash used to do it when I used to hear it and in those days it was on from around 5- 6.30. As well as "Isn't She Lovely" another anomaly was that as only being voted for by those in the London area only you'd get reggae tracks in it sometimes which didn't even make the Top 50 - I remember a version of "Guava Jelly" by a female reggae singer being in it for a quite a time (remember this because I didn't know what the hell Guava Jelly was!). Happy days.

Arthur Nibble said...

"Guava Jelly"? must be this track from 1976, sung by a woman barely dressed in this record sleeve.

http://images.45cat.com/abigail-browne-guava-jelly-private-stock-3.jpg

Steve Morgan said...

Ironically, in the weeks that Diana Ross/Supremes reigned the album charts her new album Baby It's Me went largely un noticed by the great record buying public. Exactly the same happened two years later when EMITV released Diana Ross 20 Golden Greats, her then new album The Boss suffered a similar fate the Baby It's Me. Shame really as both albums are bouncy disco albums with a couple of buried gems on them. But, give the public a hits compilation, especially around Christmas time and it's guaranteed a good chart placing.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Arthur - yes that's the one and it would have been 1976 too.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Bloody hell and she's white too!I'd have never guessed that!

wilberforce said...

so does the abigail browne version of "guava jelly" fall into the "cod reggae" category? (apparently it's a bob marley song that was also covered by johnny nash)

80sblokeinthe70s said...

From what I remember (but bearing in mind I was too young to know what reggae was)it sounded pretty "black" hence my surprise at her being white and I should imagine that a lot of its votes each night came from London's Afro-Caribbean population - unlike any other part of the country obviously large enough to make a difference to a chart that was just Londonwide. I remember a few other reggae things getting into it which I since know weren't big hits nationally.

TBH Capital was always just a hundred times "cooler" than Radio 1 back around that time - better,more clued-in, 'normal' DJs (in retrospect I now realise "not the weird dodgy people you got at Radio 1), better music - a mixture of black music and decent quality other stuff - Steely Dan were always played a lot).

wilberforce said...

any radio station that plays a lot of steely dan can't be all bad!

talking of which: donald fagen (one of my all-time musical heroes) has just released another solo album: i wasn't that impressed with the last one (or the last dan one), feeling that a lot of things were being regurgitated, and that the well had finally run dry after an incredible 30-year run of creativity that most could only dream of... so should i check out his latest in a hope of a return to form, or just let it go and choose to remember him as the omniscient being i used to worship before his powers started to wane?

Arthur Nibble said...

As The Real Thing once sang, you'll never know what you're missing. It could be terrible, it could be fantastic, but you'll only find out if you try it. Go on, Wilberforce, dip your toe in!

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

I wouldn't say Abigial Browne's cod reggae as her version's more pop orientated. Thought it was terrible when I first heard it last Thursday, but now I think it was far more deserving of a TOTP place than some we endured. Love her " Oooh yeah, that's lovely" ad-lib. For anyone who wants to be taken back to a record deck 36 years ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5LDJq3IIHQ

Arthur Nibble I and I dub said...

On the other hand, if you take the instrumental backing to a reggae classic - in this case, "River Niger" - and add some stell pedal guitar and an old Scottish bloke singing over the top, in my opinion you get an absoluter belter. Hear me now!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgXjuiCGHAs

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Listened to the tune properly now its sort of pop-reggae isnt it but just the right side of the line to by the reggae audience. Bit like China Black were in Rodigan's chart for weeks with 'Searchin'.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Re Wilberforce - I'm a great admirer of the Dan too - and the first couple of Donald Fagen albums and the first Walter Becker is pretty good too - you can tell from the lyrics that he had a pretty big influence on Steely Dan's words too.
Steely Dan were about the only white rock(-ish) group that were played on the London jazz-funk pirates you'd get the occasional one or two off tracks ('Georgy Porgy' by Toto, Player 'Baby Come Back' etc) but not just about everything as in the case of Steely Dan - I think you said you were into the funk scene 70s/early 80s so you'll remember how big Fagen's 'The Nightfly was in 1982.