My 1974 Charts – March

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My school, swapping 45’s with Barney Robbo..

5th March 1974

Spring has sprung, and family outings to Bristol Zoo one overcast Sunday while listening to the chart show. We have the photos, so I know we went, and I probably sulked at not being back in time for the chart show, but to be honest the only real memory I have is sitting in the car (yes we actually had one now, affluent!) overlooking the River Severn while the music played.

A 5th week at 1 for Jet, lots of rebounds for Love Unlimited Orchestra, Hollies, Steve Miller & Brownsville Station as my chart rules meant exits from the UK Top 50 and over 5 weeks uncharted meant records got the boot early, victims this week being Cher, Melanie & others, who are listed outside the 30.

New stuff? Queen. They got a spare slot on Top Of The Pops, and the record was SO exciting and unusual I charted it on one listen. That lead singer certainly grabbed attention, and the seaside singalong at the end was genius. The New Seekers were back with their final hit single (sort of) an old-fashioned jaunty singalong with a great melody. Ricky Wilde, Kim’s Bro, charted for the third time – poor Rick, always the bridesmaid, he never did get a hit! Gladys Knight at this stage was having sporadic hits, this was one of the flops, upbeat funk. Even funkier, minor classic Funky Nassau, it does what it says on the label.

At 29, another late legend to join Otis in my charts, Buddy Holly, dead for 15 years by then, and his greatest hit. It was amazing that Holly, having diesd when I was 1 year old, was pretty much a chart regular over the subsequent 15 years in the UK. Eddie Kendricks climbs to 6, a recent voice from the past on Chris Malinchak’s single, and Pearly Gates non-hit I note as I heard from a friend that she’d been on All-Star Family Fortunes 2 weeks ago (I don’t watch) along with 80’s disco diva Miquel Brown (her sis) and niece Sinitta. Funny ol’ world, don’t think about someone for 40 years, then boom! Back again!

1 ( 1 ) JET Paul McCartney & Wings
2 ( 4 ) LOVE’S THEME Love Unlimited Orchestra
3 ( 2 ) JEALOUS MIND Alvin Stardust
4 ( 8 ) RAISED ON ROBBERY Joni Mitchell
5 ( 7 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
6 ( 14 ) BOOGIE DOWN Eddie Kendricks
7 ( 6 ) TIGER FEET Mud
8 ( 5 ) BURN BABY BURN Hudson-Ford
9 ( 15 ) MOCKINGBIRD James Taylor and Carly Simon
10 ( 11 ) MA MA MA MA BELLE Electric Light Orchestra

11 ( 16 ) EVERLASTING LOVE Robert Knight
12 ( 19 ) (SITTING ON THE) DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
13 ( 10 ) YOU’RE SIXTEEN Ringo Starr
14 ( 13 ) DEVIL GATE DRIVE Suzi Quatro
15 ( 21 ) JUST MY SOUL RESPONDING Smokey Robinson
16 ( 9 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Charlie Rich
17 ( 20 ) JOHNNY AND THE JUKEBOX Pearly Gates
18 ( 24 ) BILLY DON’T BE A HERO Paper Lace
19 ( 28 ) SCHOOL LOVE Barry Blue
20 ( NEW ) SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE Queen

21 ( NEW ) I GET A LITTLE SENTIMENTAL The New Seekers
22 ( NEW ) I’VE GOT TO USE MY IMAGINATION Gladys Knight & The Pips
23 ( NEW ) MRS MELINSKI Ricky Wilde
24 ( RE ) THE JOKER The Steve Miller Band
25 ( RE ) SMOKIN’ IN THE BOYS ROOM Brownsville Station
26 ( NEW ) FUNKY NASSAU The Beginning Of The End
27 ( 22 ) DANCE WITH THE DEVIL Cozy Powell
28 ( 23 ) TEENAGE DREAM Marc Bolan and T.Rex
29 ( NEW ) IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE Buddy Holly
30 ( 26 ) UNTIL YOU COME BACK TO ME Aretha Franklin

31 ( 3 ) DARK LADY Cher
32 ( 12 ) WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW Melanie
33 ( 17 ) LIVING FOR THE CITY Stevie Wonder
34 ( 18 ) GOING DOWN THE ROAD Roy Wood
35 ( NEW ) THE WOMBLING SONG The Wombles

12th March 1974

6 weeks for Jet, big jump for the sentimental New Seekers, and loads of new entries shoving out loads of other tracks that would easily have been charting on long runs had I done a 75 in those days, notably UK number one Billy Don’t Be A Hero, peaking at 18! In at 4 highest new entry, former Poppy Family Canadian singer Terry Jacks with his hushed version of a Jaques Brel song. The sombre tone was excelled by Hot Chocolate having another musical change of direction, opting for moody death ballad Emma, a wannabe star who never made it. Oudoing both, though, Jim Croce in at 15 with Time In A Bottle, poignant is an understatement as he’d died in a plane crash a year or so before and this was his posthumous US chart-topper. Gorgeous song, and that’s a new entry for 3 consecutive weeks for 3 plane crash pop stars posthumously charting. Obviously all the rage…

In at 6, debuting, cool sound of Philadelphia, the cool Three Degrees. They weren’t cool for long, but in early ‘74 they were, as the Philly Sound ruled. It’s their best record, still. In at 14, a debut hit for 50’s doo-wop sounds, glam-stylee, studio session musicians using the name Rubettes. Plugged heavily on Radio Luxembourg it was months before the Beeb and chart entry status beckoned. Jonathan King’s back, never one to turn down a chance for cash, it’s a carbon copy treatment of another Rolling Stones classic to his previous hit, only this misfired. Jimmy Helms gets a third hit in my charts. You might know him better as a member of 90’s hit band Londonbeat. I know him better as Jimmy Helms, great UK soul singer who’s had his 70’s TV performances wiped. They exist only in my memory…

Having another solo hit, the pure-voiced Art Garfunkel Shall Sing, just above Livvie. Yes, Eurovision, a bit military march-y, and I’m not even sure it was the best of her 6 songs that got voted for. Its low chart position (for me) shows I wasn’t that impressed compared to every UK entry from Puppet onwards. I saw Livvie in Bournemouth 2012 and she sang it live for the first time in decades, and it rather surprisingly brought a tear and smile to my face. Aaaahhhh!

1 ( 1 ) JET Paul McCartney & Wings
2 ( 2 ) LOVE’S THEME Love Unlimited Orchestra
3 ( 3 ) JEALOUS MIND Alvin Stardust
4 ( NEW ) SEASONS IN THE SUN Terry Jacks
5 ( 21 ) I GET A LITTLE SENTIMENTAL The New Seekers
6 ( NEW ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
7 ( 7 ) TIGER FEET Mud
8 ( 9 ) MOCKINGBIRD James Taylor and Carly Simon
9 ( 6 ) BOOGIE DOWN Eddie Kendricks
10 ( 5 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies

11 ( 11 ) EVERLASTING LOVE Robert Knight
12 ( 20 ) SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE Queen
13 ( 17 ) JOHNNY AND THE JUKEBOX Pearly Gates
14 ( NEW ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
15 ( NEW ) TIME IN A BOTTLE Jim Croce
16 ( 8 ) BURN BABY BURN Hudson-Ford
17 ( 19 ) SCHOOL LOVE Barry Blue
18 ( NEW ) THERE’LL BE ANOTHER NIGHT Jimmy Helms
19 ( NEW ) EMMA Hot Chocolate
20 ( 22 ) I’VE GOT TO USE MY IMAGINATION Gladys Knight & The Pips

21 ( RE ) I JUST CAN’T GET THE FEELING The Four Tops
22 ( NEW ) GET OFF MY CLOUD Bubble Rock
23 ( 25 ) SMOKIN’ IN THE BOYS ROOM Brownsville Station
24 ( 14 ) DEVIL GATE DRIVE Suzi Quatro
25 ( 10 ) MA MA MA MA BELLE Electric Light Orchestra
26 ( 13 ) YOU’RE SIXTEEN Ringo Starr
27 ( 16 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Charlie Rich
28 ( NEW ) I SHALL SING Art Garfunkel
29 ( NEW ) LONG LIVE LOVE Olivia Newton-John
30 ( RE ) CANDLE IN THE WIND Elton John

31 ( 4 ) RAISED ON ROBBERY Joni Mitchell
32 ( 12 ) (SITTING ON THE) DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
33 ( 15 ) JUST MY SOUL RESPONDING Smokey Robinson
34 ( 31 ) DARK LADY Cher
35 ( 32 ) WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW Melanie

19th March 1974

7 weeks at the top for Wings, making it one of my all-time longest runs at that time, making for a very rock-tastic Top 2 with newcomers Queen at 2. Hot Chocolate get their 7th Top 10, Rubettes their first, and the lead singer shown in the video and on TV, well he wasn’t the one with the excruciatingly-pitched voice. It was a session-singer tiff and he emerged in his own right…later in 1974!

Not much new entry-wise, just Sunny rattling on about her medical complaint. I liked this record straight away, for a while, and long-term, errr not so much. A bit of ragtime from big movie The Sting at 30, just behind some 1972 US rock, the fab Listen To The Music, which still needs to be a proper-sized hit in the UK. By now about one-third of my charts were not yet UK Top 40 hits, though some would be later in the month or year.

1 ( 1 ) JET Paul McCartney & Wings
2 ( 12 ) SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE Queen
3 ( 4 ) SEASONS IN THE SUN Terry Jacks
4 ( 6 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
5 ( 5 ) I GET A LITTLE SENTIMENTAL The New Seekers
6 ( 2 ) LOVE’S THEME Love Unlimited Orchestra
7 ( 3 ) JEALOUS MIND Alvin Stardust
8 ( 14 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
9 ( 19 ) EMMA Hot Chocolate
10 ( 8 ) MOCKINGBIRD James Taylor and Carly Simon

11 ( 10 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
12 ( 13 ) JOHNNY AND THE JUKEBOX Pearly Gates
13 ( NEW ) DOCTOR’S ORDERS Sunny
14 ( 11 ) EVERLASTING LOVE Robert Knight
15 ( 15 ) TIME IN A BOTTLE Jim Croce
16 ( 9 ) BOOGIE DOWN Eddie Kendricks
17 ( 28 ) I SHALL SING Art Garfunkel
18 ( 18 ) THERE’LL BE ANOTHER NIGHT Jimmy Helms
19 ( 17 ) SCHOOL LOVE Barry Blue
20 ( 20 ) I’VE GOT TO USE MY IMAGINATION Gladys Knight & The Pips

21 ( 22 ) GET OFF MY CLOUD Bubble Rock
22 ( 21 ) I JUST CAN’T GET THE FEELING The Four Tops
23 ( 16 ) BURN BABY BURN Hudson-Ford
24 ( 27 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Charlie Rich
25 ( 24 ) DEVIL GATE DRIVE Suzi Quatro
26 ( 26 ) YOU’RE SIXTEEN Ringo Starr
27 ( 25 ) MA MA MA MA BELLE Electric Light Orchestra
28 ( 23 ) SMOKIN’ IN THE BOYS ROOM Brownsville Station
29 ( NEW ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC The Doobie Brothers
30 ( NEW ) THE STING The Ragtimers

31 ( 7 ) TIGER FEET Mud
32 ( 29 ) LONG LIVE LOVE Olivia Newton-John
33 ( 31 ) RAISED ON ROBBERY Joni Mitchell
34 ( 32 ) (SITTING ON THE) DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
35 ( 34 ) DARK LADY Cher

26th March 1974

At last a new number one – Queen. I was an instant fan, they were fab, and this corker should have been bigger than it was. Bad news for Terry Jacks, who’s Seasons had to settle for runner-up in my charts (Number One everywhere else though!). Late summer chart-topper Sugar Baby Love hits 5 in my charts in Spring, Art Garfunkel gets his first solo Top 10 (after 6 with Paul Simon), and Joni Mitchell gets her 2nd in a row, straight in at 8 with the gorgeous Help Me, a fave on Old Grey Whistle Test, the album-oriented late evening “Later With Jools Holland” of its day, and which I was becoming more interested in.

Talking of Album-oriented – Prog rock pops in at 11, Genesis debut with the wonderfully quirky Wardrobe song, more Peter Gabriel than Phil Collins, but all members were to have chart entries galore for, ooh, the next 30 years. The Three Degrees had yet to chart, but I already was getting into their previous flop single, Dirty Ol’ Man. The lyrics, “You’re a dirty ol’ man, you can’t keep your hands to yourself”, obviously should have been aimed at a certain white-haired DJ in retrospect.

Just below them, the poor ol’ Glitter Band. Gary’s backing band, they had their own career take off as Gary’s was about to decline – maybe they saw the writing on the wall – but seem to have unfairly also been wiped from history for daring to have named themselves Glitter. Angel Face is a great glam-rock pop-song, they wrote their own stuff, and deserve at least the odd radio play! Merlin were one of those pop bands that never made it (not that surprisingly to be honest), but I liked them, and bought the album. So it sold at least one copy. Hooray!

1 ( 2 ) SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE Queen
2 ( 3 ) SEASONS IN THE SUN Terry Jacks
3 ( 1 ) JET Paul McCartney & Wings
4 ( 4 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
5 ( 8 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
6 ( 13 ) DOCTOR’S ORDERS Sunny
7 ( 5 ) I GET A LITTLE SENTIMENTAL The New Seekers
8 ( NEW ) HELP ME Joni Mitchell
9 ( 17 ) I SHALL SING Art Garfunkel
10 ( 7 ) JEALOUS MIND Alvin Stardust

11 ( NEW ) I KNOW WHAT I LIKE (IN YOUR WARDROBE) Genesis
12 ( 14 ) EVERLASTING LOVE Robert Knight
13 ( 24 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Charlie Rich
14 ( 11 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
15 ( 9 ) EMMA Hot Chocolate
16 ( 21 ) GET OFF MY CLOUD Bubble Rock
17 ( 18 ) THERE’LL BE ANOTHER NIGHT Jimmy Helms
18 ( 10 ) MOCKINGBIRD James Taylor and Carly Simon
19 ( NEW ) DIRTY OL’ MAN The Three Degrees
20 ( 29 ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC The Doobie Brothers

21 ( 19 ) SCHOOL LOVE Barry Blue
22 ( 20 ) I’VE GOT TO USE MY IMAGINATION Gladys Knight & The Pips
23 ( NEW ) ANGEL FACE The Glitter Band
24 ( NEW ) DREAM WORLD Don Downing
25 ( 30 ) THE STING The Ragtimers
26 ( 23 ) BURN BABY BURN Hudson-Ford
27 ( 25 ) DEVIL GATE DRIVE Suzi Quatro
28 ( 26 ) YOU’RE SIXTEEN Ringo Starr
29 ( NEW ) LET ME PUT MY SPELL ON YOU Merlin
30 ( NEW ) THE GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Mott The Hoople

31 ( 6 ) LOVE’S THEME Love Unlimited Orchestra
32 ( 12 ) JOHNNY AND THE JUKEBOX Pearly Gates
33 ( 15 ) TIME IN A BOTTLE Jim Croce
34 ( 16 ) BOOGIE DOWN Eddie Kendricks
35 ( 31 ) TIGER FEET Mud

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