Radio Luxembourg. Breaking The Rules.

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Not long after this I was listening to the Radio Station Radio Luxembourg. What’s that?

Back in the early 70’s, the British Government believed that the only suitable outlet for that newfangled outrageous racket that young people wasted their time listening to was it’s own government-appointed Radio One. So they closed down all the pirate radio stations out at sea on ships, and commercial radio stations were few and far between, and largely rubbish. If you didn’t live in London, you had no choice. Radio One or nothing. Or….

Weaving in and out of medium wave transistor radios in bed, quite literally broadcasting from Luxembourg and away from government rules, UK teenagers like me spent their evenings listening to Radio Luxembourg, British DJ’s (and some American) spinning the best pop hits of the day, including many that Radio One didn’t play. There was no pop in the evenings on British Radio, just music for grown-ups. Prog Rock, that sort of thing. Radio Luxembourg, Tony Prince, the vital evening Tuesdays, chart rundown day of the hottest 30 records. Actually they were largely the British singles chart, some advance sales rumours, and a bit of guessing, and a lot of omitting of the stuff in the charts your parents were buying. FUN!

I loved sales charts. Still do. Did my own charts of favourites and lists. I wrote stuff down in notepads. Radio Luxembourg went the way of all things and passed on eventually, and it turns out no-one kept a record of their charts. Some fans did though, and posted them online, but with some years missing, including 1971 1972 and parts of 1973. I have quite a few, though I didnt write them all down, so here they are, internet exclusive Radio Luxembourg charts wot I copied out back then as they announced them. Hope it’s fun!:)

For complete charts of years 1973 to 1979 Andreas on the website Popscene

Some of my charts are featured here:

 

http://z6.invisionfree.com/popscene/index.php?act=ST&f=101&t=13368&view=getnewpost

21st Dec 1971

1. (27) I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing – New Seekers
2. (1) Shaft – Isaac Hayes
3. (4) Something Tells Me – Cilla Black
4. (2) Ernie – Benny Hill
5. (5) Softly Whispering I Love You – Congregation
6. (3) No Matter How I Try – Gilbert O’Sullivan
7. (14) Soley Soley – Middle Of The Road
8. (8) It Must Be Love – Labi Siffre
9. (6) Tokoloshe Man – John Kongos
10. (9) Jeepster – T.Rex

11. (19) Morning – Val Doonican
12. (17) I Just Can’t Help Believin’ – Elvis Presley
13. (10) Gypsies Tramps & Thieves – Cher
14. (11) Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie
15. (7) Sing A Song Of Freedom – Cliff Richard
16. (21) Kara Kara – New World
17. (13) Fireball – Deep Purple
18. (12) Banks Of The Ohio – Olivia Newton John
19. (15) Coz I Luv You – Slade
20. (18) Hooked On A Feeling – Jonathan King

21. (16) Till – Tom Jones
22. (22) You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart – Supremes & Four Tops
23. (–) Brand New Key – Melanie
24. (25) When You Get Right Down To It – Ronnie Dyson
25. (28) Stay With Me – Faces
26. (20) Johnny Reggae – Piglets
27. (26) Back On The Road – Marmalade
28. (23) I Will Return – Springwater
29. (–) Save The Children – marvin gaye
30. (–) Family Affair – Sly & The Family Stone

dropping out: Run Baby Run – Newbeats (24), Surrender – Diana Ross (29), Let’s See Action – Who (30)

It was my 14th birthday the following week, so I’m biased, I like every single one of these records, it was a vividly important time for music charts for me and my reel to reel tape recorder. I LOVE so many of these records to this day, all-time classics like Isaac Hayes, Cher, Sly & The Family Stone, and personal classics like Middle Of The Road, Jonathan King, Congregation, T.Rex, Springwater, Slade.

A few pop trivia thoughts:
I loved the New Seekers at the time, less so these days, but pleasant enough. Shaft is as vibrant as the day it was created. I Will Return is a rock instrumental utterly forgotten these days, yet it’s brilliant, while Ernie & Amarillo are famous…no justice! Jonathan King’s cover of BJ Thomas song was SO catchy, (and was stolen in 74 for a huge American Number One, rather appropriately as he was always borrowing others songs and arrangements) as was his Piglets record. JK has of course, been retroactively wiped from existence…

Run Baby Run is a 60’s poptastic classic, and Surrender a forgotten Ross gem. Slade made a lot of great records but COz I Luv You is their best. Deep Purple’s best track? Not the obvious ones, it’s Fireball, trust me! Tom gave Till his all, Faces and Melanie were great, and the obscure South African John Kongos had two utterly brilliant hits, one better know in it’s cheesy cheerful Happy Mondays version. His version Of He’s Gonna Step On You Again has menace! Way better. Talking of cover versions, much as love Madness to bits, and their version, all laddy happy singalong, it doesnt beat the gooooorgeous-sweet, touching original. Labi Siffre is still under-rated.

phew! never short on opinions me:)

Next Up 1972:
I don’t know the exact date, but this was probably 10th June 1972

1. (1) Metal Guru – T.Rex
2. (3) Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
3. (5) Vincent – Don McLean
4. (–) Take Me Bak ‘Ome – Slade
5. (2) Come What May – Vicky Leandros
6. (6) Rocket Man – Elton John
7. (7) Lady Eleanore – Lindisfarne
8. (4) Could It Be Forever – David Cassidy
9. (10) At The Club – Drifters
10. (21) California Man – Move

11. (11) A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
12. (13) Sister Jane – New World
13. (9) Tumbling Dice – Rolling Stones
14. (14) Open Up – Mungo Jerry
15. (19?) Isn’t Life Strange – Moody Blues
16. (16) Doobe Doodn Doobe etc – Diana Ross
17. (8) A Thing Called Love – Johnny Cash
18. (20) Take A Look Around – Temptations
19. (26) Rockin Robin – Michael Jackson
20. (29) First Time Ever I saw Your Face – Roberta Flack

21. (19) Beautiful Sunday – Daniel Boone
22. (–) Jungle Fever – Chakachas
23. (24) What’s Your Name – Chicory Tip
24. (25) Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond
25. (–) Little Bit Of Love – Free
26. (28) Mary Had A Little Lamb – Wings
27. (22) Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert
28. ((30) Supersonic Rocketship – Kinks
29. (27) Don’t Let Him Touch You – Angelettes
30. (–) Oh Girl – Chi-Lites

I think quite afew of these werent in the BBC chart (and I LOVED the Angelettes record aka Jonathan King production). To be perfectly honest every single one of these records made my Top 20 except the Angelettes (as it failed to go Top 30 it was disallowed by my ridiculous chart rules of the time. It would otherwise have taken a couple of Metal Guru’s weeks at No. 1 in my chart.)

I often never managed to get to the end of the Luxembourg charts (went to sleep) so here are some bits & bobs – the interesting positions were the ones that werent in the BBC chart anyway….

dates unknown….! But shading on tracks NOT in the chart (26-30, 24) suggests this was the equivalent of the BBC’s Top 30 with Vincent at No. 1 for the second week

30 (?) Ooh Wacka Do wacka Dey – Gilbert O’Sullivan
29 (–) Circles – The New Seekers
28 (21) Jungle Fever – Chakachas
27 (30) I’ve Been Lonely For So Long – Frederic Knight
26 (25) Third Finger Left Hand – The Pearls
25 (27) Nut Rocker – B. Bumble & The Stingers
24 (24) I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
23 (–) American Trilogy – Elvis Presley
22 (–) Little Willy – The Sweet
21 (22) Oh Girl – The Chi-Lites
20 (?) Come What May – Vicky Leandros

love all of these except the dire Elvis record…

and also the week before the above verified by the last week chart positions above:

30 (–) I’ve Been Lonely For So Long – Frederic Knight
29 (13) Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones
28 (–) Coconut – Nilsson
27 (–) Nut Rocker – B. Bumble & The Stingers
26 (–) Rock & Roll Part 2 – Gary Glitter (tho having never heard of him, I misheard it as Rock & Roll Mark II by Gary Cliff!)
25 (–) Third Finger Left Hand – The Pearls
24 (–) I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
23 (25) Little Bit Of Love – Free
22 (30) Oh Girl – The Chi-Lites
21 (22) Jungle Fever – Chakachas

the last weeks positions show this to be the chart AFTER the full run-down I ran earlier (or Vincent’s first week at No.1 for this batch, and Metal Guru’s last week at 1 for the full top 30)

I presume the next 2 or 3 weeks or so later, and these few chart positions

28 I’ve Been Lonely For So Long – Frederic Knight
27 Join Together – The Who
26 Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
25 Doobe Doodn’Doobe Doobe Doodn’Doobe Doobe Doodn’Do – Diana Ross

and if the fab Diana Ross song isnt the silliest song title on a serious pop record ever, I dont know what is…

Some more full charts next time from 1972, if anyone’s still interested….

 

Next up: the equivalent chart for the BBC’s Top 30 of 13th May 1972, Luxembourg won the Eurovision Song Contest – might explain the number one! I didnt lable this one as Luxembourg’s Top 30 at the time but shaded out nos. 24, 25, 27, 28, 29 which meant they weren’t in the BBC Top 30, and that week they were all hovering just outside it…

1. Come What May – Vicky Leandros (Eurovision winner)

2. Metal Guru – T.Rex

3. Amazing Grace – Pipes & Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoons Guard Band

4. Could It Be Forever – David Cassidy

5. Tumbling Dice – Rolling Stones

6. A Thing Called Love – Johnny Cash

7. Radancer –  Marmalade

8. Rocket Man – Elton John

9. Run Run Run – Jo Jo Gunne

10. Back Off Boogaloo – Ringo Starr

11. Stir It Up – Johnny Nash (Bob marley song)

12. Open Up – Mungo Jerry

13. Beautiful Sunday – daniel Boone

14. Debora – Tyrannosaurus Rex (aka T.Rex)

15. Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith

16. Take A Look Around – Temptations

17. Sweet Talking Guy – The Chiffons

18. The Young New Mexican Puppeteer – Tom Jones

19. Until It’s Time For You To Go – Elvis Presley

20. At The Club – The Drifters

21. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Paul Simon

22. Runnin’ Away – Sly & The Family Stone

23. A Whiter Shade Of pale – Procol Harum

24. Chantilly Lace – Jerry Lee Lewis

25. Sister Jane – new World

26. Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert

27. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Dave Newman

28. Everything I Own – Bread

29. Vincent – Don McLean

30. Lady Eleanor – Lindisfarne

 

Cash, Presly, Lewis 50’s revival going on here along with some actual 60’s reissued hits that were fab. The actual current stuff had some great ones too, much maligned Ringo with a corker, T.Rex always brilliant, Sly, Tempts, Paul Simon, Elton too during this period. To be honest the few I don’t like are the MOR covers from Tom Jones, Elvis and very little else.

 

1

another partial Luxy chart before another full one:

30. I’m Gonna Be A Country Girl Again – Buffy Sainte-Marie (she was and is fab, great songwriter, native “american” Canadian I think)
29. Bernadette – Four Tops (saw the classic line-up live, the Tops had an awesome run of Motown hits, Levi Stubbs one of the greatest vocalists)
28. Have You Seen Her – Chi- Lites (Eugene Record a fabulous songwriter, even their non-Uk-hits are as good as this. fab fab fab)
27. Jesus – Cliff Richard (the much-maligned cliff doing one of his religious releases. In support of Cliff, he’s a great, versatile singer, one of the key figures in British music, and from 1976 to 1982 he had an awesome run of great pop singles to add to his already substantial back catalogue. I can forgive him the Millenium Prayer – as long as I dont have to listen to it)
26. Telegram Sam – T.Rex (Bolan was an early idol. Egotistical, but his records sounded like no-one else, except perhaps a sort of rock Donovan, and those riffs were just sooooo sexy. For 3 years he was king)

and now without comments:

1. Come What May – Vicky Leandros
2. Amazing Grace – Royal Scots Dragoons etc
3. Could It Be Forever – David Cassidy
4. Run Run Run – Jo Jo Gunne
5. Back Off Boogaloo – Ringo Starr
6. Rocket Man – Elton John
7. A Thing Called Love – Johnny Cash
8. Radancer – Marmalade
9. Debora – Tyrannosaurus Rex
10. Sweet Talking Guy – Chiffons

11. Tumbling Dice – Rolling Stones
12. Young New Mexican Puppeteer – Tom Jones
13. Runnin Away – Sly & The Family Stone
14. Until It’s Time For You To Go – Elvis Presley
15. Open Up – Mungo Jerry
16. Beautiful sunday – Daniel Boone
17. Take A Look Around – Temptations
18. Stir It Up – Johnny Nash
19. At The Club – Drifters
20. Without You – Nilsson

21. Crying laughing Loving Lying – Labi Siffre
22. Me & Julio Down By The School Yard – Paul Simon
23. Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
24. Wade In The water – Ramsey Lewis
25. Isn’t Life Strange – <oody Blues
26. Everything I Own – Bread
27. Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert
28. I Am What I Am – Greyhound
29. Heart Of Gold – Neil Young
30. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Dave Newman

no date, but the non-top-30-bbc-chart tracks were 30, 27, 26, 25, 24 so I make that the week of 6th May 1972

another Luxy chart:

13th May BBC chart equivalent, I reckon:

1. Metal Guru – T.Rex
2. Come What May – Vicky Leandros
3. Rocket Man – Elton John
4. Could It Be Forever – David Cassidy
5. Tumbling Dice – Rolling Stones
6. Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
7. A Thing Called Love – Johnny Cash
8. Amazing Grace – Royal Scots Dragoons Guards Band
9. At The Club – Drifters
10. Take A Look Around – Temptations

11. Open Up – Mungo Jerry
12. Radancer – Marmalade
13. Beautiful Sunday – Daniel Boone
14. Run Run Run – Jo Jo Gunne
15. Lady Eleanore – Lindisfarne
16. Back Off Boogaloo – Ringo Starr
17. Debora – Tyrannosaurus Rex
18. Stir It Up – Johnny Nash
19. A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
20. Runnin’ Away – Sly & The Family Stone

21. Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert
22. Chantilly Lace – Jerry Lee Lewis
23. Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Paul Simon
24. Sister Jane – New World
25. Vincent – Don McLean
26. Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson
27. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Dave Newman
28. Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond
29. Don’t Let Him Touch You – Angelettes
30. Doobe Doodn Doobe etc – Diana Ross

nos. 24-30 and 22 were indicated as not being in the BBC Top 30, so the date is pretty accurate (in other words they were both announced on the same Tuesday for the BBC chart dated week ending 13th May)

next chart from 1972 up, no date again but it’s the equivalent of BBC chart dated 3rd June 1972, so whatever the Tuesday was earlier that week.

30. Supersonic Rocket Ship – Kinks
29. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
28. Mary Had A Little Lamb – Wings
27. Don’t Let Him Touch You – Angelettes
26. Rockin’ Robin – Michael jackson
25. Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond
24. What’s Your Name – Chicory Tip
23. Run Run Run – Jo Jo Gunne
22. Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert
21. California Man – Move

20. Take A Look Around – Temptations
19. Beautiful Sunday – Daniel Boone (at this point I got bored with artists and just list titles)
18. Isn’t Life Strange
17. Radancer
16. Doobe Doodn’doobe
15. Me & Julio
14. Open Up
13. Sister Jane
12. Amazing Grace
11. Whiter Shade Of Pale

10. At The Club
9. Tumblin’ Dice
8. A Thing Called Love
7. Lady Eleanore
6. Rocket Man
5. Vincent
4. Could It Be Forever
3. Oh Babe What Would You Say
2. Come What May
1. Metal Guru

some of these positions were worked out from the last week figures of an earlier posted chart….(by me at the time, not by me now)

…and so the final one: very little info, and it tails off into just artists as it got late (I’m guessing) but i’m thinking its the BBC chart with Ramsey Lewis, Hurricane Smith, Paul Simon just outside the top 30.

30 Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
29. It’s One Of Those Nights – Partridge Family
28. Hold Your Head Up – Argent
27. Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Paul Simon
26. Wade In The Water – Ramsey Lewis
25. I Am What I Am – Greyhound
24. Alone Again – Gilbert O’Sullivan
23. at the club – Drifters
22. Heart of gold – Neal Young
21. Beg Steal or Borrow – New Seekers
20. Runnin’ Away – Sly & Family Stone
19. Beautiful Sunday – Daniel Boone
18. Open Up – Mungo Jerry
17. Take A look Around – Temptations
16. Rocket Man – Elton John
15. Crying Laughing Loving Lying – Labi Siffre
14. Without You – Nilsson
13. Tumbling Dice – Rolling Stones
12. Johnny Nash
11. David Cassidy
10. Johnny Cash
9. Marmalade
8. Jo Jo Gunne
7. Chiffons
6. T.Rex
5. Fortunes
4. Elvis Presley
3. Ringo Starr
2. Vicky L
1. RSDGB

the last 2 were basically scribble, so I must have been half asleep…
songs to the last few can be deduced from previous postings.

Hope that was fun!

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6 thoughts on “Radio Luxembourg. Breaking The Rules.

  1. testing for comments just in case Radio Luxembourg charts of interest

  2. […] Radio Luxembourg. Breaking The Rules. « popchartfreak […]

  3. I used to write up all the Radio Luxembourg charts from April 1971 through to the end of 1974 – blue for a new entry, green for up, red for down and black for no movement. I am kicking myself now for chucking them all out when leaving home in 1977; who knew they would still be of interest? I loved the way they tried to project the charts on a couple of weeks, particularly with the outlandish and inaccurate results that sometimes arose. And the Angelettes should have got a lot higher than they actually did….

  4. Maz says:

    Great to see the fabulous Vicky Leandros topping a couple of those charts ! Pity she stopped at 2 on the BBC but they did play her that week after the chart run down when they always play the number one ! Guess because Amazing Grace had so many weeks at number one and it was instrumental, people were sick of it by then and it was not a fav of the Radio station . Check out Vickys jubilee tour in Apr and May 2016 . Great new CDS out in Germany and an anthology in France !! Shes been top of my charts for 50 years .

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