My Retro November 1968 Charts

3rd November 1968

It’s 3 weeks on top for the epic Eloise, holding off the equally epic Wichita Lineman and highest new entry I Heard It Through The Grapevine, the timeless original version from Marvin Gaye, finally put out by Motown as a single, for a 60% Motown top 5. Eloise makes it a double as Barry Ryan also tops my “wot I liked at the time” chart which was totally based on the UK top 30 on Fluff Freeman’s Pick Of The Pops show. Judy Collins gets a first top 10 with Joni Mitchell’s great song: the song would be back in my top 10 2 years later for Glen Campbell but Judy never had another chart that high.

Bonzo Dog enter at 16 with one I was mad on at the time, it was fun, catchy, and mentioned Spacemen in the lyrics, so that was all I needed from the witty Neil Innes, later of The Rutles and more. Barbra Streisand has a new album out as I type, her first proper album in 15 years, so it’s only fair one of her great moments should shoot up to 20, more recently as showcased nicely on Glee. Edwin Starr and Gene Chandler bring some funk into the 40, and Demis Roussos and Vangelis both debut at 46 with Rain And Tears. My fave track of the band is still 4 years away (Break, not actually a song by either of them, rather their bandmate the forgotten Loukas Sideras, produced by Vangelis) but this will do nicely till then.

Two total faves in my 10-year-old days enter lower down, Lily The Pink and I’m A Tiger appealed very much to my age demographic, The Scaffold were beloved by kids, as was Lulu – who frankly wasn’t that much older than us anyway! These days, they have a certain nostalgic charm, but I wouldn’t put them on repeat listen more often than a couple of times a year. Unlike the dramatic funk of Cloud Nine, signalling the new era of The Temptations, edgier funk moving towards social commentary, which bears repeat plays, in at 57, the touching cover of Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released by The Band, and two new-to-me old soul/blues tracks from Bobby Bland and Barbara Acklin.

1 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 2 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
3 ( 3 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
4 ( 4 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
5 ( NEW ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
6 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
8 ( 11 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
9 ( 5 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
10 ( 8 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration

11 ( 9 ) ELENORE The Turtles
12 ( 10 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
13 ( 15 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
14 ( 13 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
15 ( 14 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
16 ( NEW ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
17 ( 16 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
18 ( 17 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
19 ( 12 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
20 ( 49 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand

21 ( 20 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
22 ( 22 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
23 ( 19 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
24 ( 18 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
25 ( 25 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
26 ( 24 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
27 ( 21 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
28 ( 23 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
29 ( 30 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
30 ( 26 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson

31 ( 32 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
32 ( 27 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
33 ( 33 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
34 ( 28 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
35 ( 29 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
36 ( 38 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
37 ( 53 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
38 ( 40 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
39 ( 52 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
40 ( 31 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard

41 ( 36 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
42 ( 37 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
43 ( 35 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
44 ( 34 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
45 ( 55 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
46 ( NEW ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
47 ( 44 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
48 ( 41 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
49 ( NEW ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
50 ( 48 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor

51 ( 47 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
52 ( 43 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
53 ( 39 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
54 ( 69 ) AQUARIUS (FROM “HAIR” ORIGINAL BROADWAY ALBUM) Ronnie Dyson
55 ( 46 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers
56 ( NEW ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
57 ( NEW ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations
58 ( 59 ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns
59 ( 45 ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
60 ( 63 ) THE PORPOISE SONG The Monkees

61 ( 58 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
62 ( 57 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
63 ( 42 ) LALENA Donovan
64 ( 61 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
65 ( 71 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
66 ( 62 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
67 ( 68 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS (THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG) Betty Everett
68 ( 65 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
69 ( 54 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
70 ( 51 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro

71 ( NEW ) I SHALL BE RELEASED The Band
72 ( 72 ) TOO WEAK TO FIGHT Clarence Carter
73 ( NEW ) JUST AIN’T NO LOVE Barbara Acklin
74 ( NEW ) ROCKIN’ IN THE SAME OLD BOAT Bobby Bland
75 ( 50 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker


3rd Nov Retro-Then

1 ( 9 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 1 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
3 ( 4 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
4 ( 2 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
5 ( 3 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
6 ( 12 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
7 ( 17 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
9 ( 6 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
10 ( 11 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
11 ( 5 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
12 ( 15 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
13 ( NEW ) ELENORE The Turtles
14 ( 10 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
15 ( 8 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
16 ( NEW ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
17 ( 16 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
18 ( NEW ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
19 ( 14 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark 5
20 ( NEW ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience

 

 

10th November 1968

It’s Glen Campbell getting a second chart-topper with another Jimmy Webb song, the eternal Wichita Lineman holding off a Beatles invasion in the week that The Beatles double album was released, and 50 years later a mega-version of alternate takes comes out for the first time, including tracks that turned up on later albums but were recorded then. Restricting myself to the original sprawling, patchy album, there is nevertheless 7 new entries from it, none of them singles at the time, though covers (Ob-La-Di, Dear Prudence), later singles (Back In The USSR), lush stage alternate orchestral versions (While My Guitar Gently Weeps) and ongoing popularity in the 20th century (Blackbird) have made them feel like hits anyway in retrospect. The remainder, the full-on hippie murderer anthem Helter Skelter had its reputation tarnished but y’know, give or take The Kinks You Really Got Me, this is where Heavy Metal and Thrash started as far as I’m concerned. All of the above are musically varied, nothing in common, which is why of course the Fabs are the greatest pop act of all-time still, inventing new genres and working on what had gone before, regardless of where it had come from. The highest new entry, though, is the obscure Ringo-sung Good Night: This a beautiful, gentle, melodic throwback to the early 20th century ballads, and is just gorgeous.

The Bonzos break into the 10, and Dusty enters into the 20, knocking herself out of it, with her Memphis-recorded soul classic, Son Of A Preacher Man. Aphrodite’s Child and Rain & Tears get big climbs into the 40, which is pretty good going as most shouldabeen-climbers get stalled or drop due to the Beatles invasion. Elvis’ showstopping anthem If I Can Dream enters at 50, while The Mamas & The Papas do a very different version of Bobby Freeman’s 1958 song Do You Wanna Dance, better known in versions by Cliff or The Beach Boys, but I prefer this one, or the entirely different song with that title by Barry Blue. Sly & The family Stone enter with the future Arrested Development hit, Everyday People, with its still-relevant ode to tolerance, and Nancy Sinatra gets her monthly new entry with Good Time Girl. Meanwhile, back in the day, 15 of the songs I liked then are also in my new top 20, or already have been there, but chart peaks for 5 of the rest continue to be way lower.

1 ( 2 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
2 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
3 ( 4 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
4 ( 5 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
5 ( 3 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
6 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 8 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
8 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
9 ( NEW ) GOOD NIGHT The Beatles
10 ( 16 ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

11 ( 9 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
12 ( 11 ) ELENORE The Turtles
13 ( 10 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
14 ( NEW ) BACK IN THE USSR The Beatles
15 ( 12 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
16 ( 14 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
17 ( 20 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand
18 ( NEW ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
19 ( 15 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
20 ( 22 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon

21 ( 17 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
22 ( 18 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
23 ( 21 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
24 ( NEW ) HELTER SKELTER The Beatles
25 ( 46 ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
26 ( 13 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
27 ( 29 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
28 ( 23 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
29 ( NEW ) OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA The Beatles
30 ( 26 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin

31 ( 36 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
32 ( 19 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
33 ( 24 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
34 ( 30 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
35 ( 31 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
36 ( 37 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
37 ( 27 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
38 ( 28 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
39 ( 39 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
40 ( 57 ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations

41 ( 25 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
42 ( 32 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
43 ( 35 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
44 ( 34 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
45 ( 45 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
46 ( 41 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
47 ( 42 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
48 ( 49 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
49 ( 33 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
50 ( NEW ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley

51 ( 38 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
52 ( 47 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
53 ( 54 ) AQUARIUS (FROM “HAIR” ORIGINAL BROADWAY ALBUM) Ronnie Dyson
54 ( NEW ) BLACKBIRD The Beatles
55 ( 50 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
56 ( 56 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
57 ( 51 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
58 ( NEW ) WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS The Beatles
59 ( NEW ) DEAR PRUDENCE The Beatles
60 ( 40 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard

61 ( 71 ) I SHALL BE RELEASED The Band
62 ( 65 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
63 ( NEW ) DO YOU WANNA DANCE The Mamas & The Papas
64 ( 43 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
65 ( 61 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
66 ( 62 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
67 ( 67 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS (THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG) Betty Everett
68 ( 64 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
69 ( 74 ) ROCKIN’ IN THE SAME OLD BOAT Bobby Bland
70 ( 48 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight

71 ( 44 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
72 ( NEW ) EVERYDAY PEOPLE Sly & The Family Stone
73 ( 73 ) JUST AIN’T NO LOVE Barbara Acklin
74 ( 66 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
75 ( NEW ) GOOD TIME GIRL Nancy Sinatra


RETRO THEN

1 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 3 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
3 ( 2 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
4 ( 13 ) ELENORE The Turtles
5 ( 4 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
6 ( 7 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
7 ( NEW ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
8 ( 12 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
9 ( 5 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
10 ( NEW ) I’M A TIGER Lulu

11 ( 8 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
12 ( 6 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
13 ( 16 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
14 ( 9 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
15 ( 11 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
16 ( 18 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
17 ( 10 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
18 ( 20 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
19 ( 14 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
20 ( NEW ) MAY I HAVE THE NEXT DREAM WITH YOU Malcolm Roberts

 

17th November 1968

It’s a 4th week (back) at 1 for Eloise, eliminating even the classic Wichita Lineman after just one week on top. It’s also a week of more anecdotes (sorry! Music just relates to my life, always!) as The Beatles 1976 chart-topper Back In The USSR Beach Boys pastiche heads top 10, as all the Fabs tracks climb. My Xmas 1975 prezzie was the very expensive and brilliant Beatles 1967-70 blue double album, so I already had some of the tracks in my chart, and for Xmas 1976? Beatles 1962-66 red double album. Filling in gaps took considerable time and money back in those days.

Highest new entry is The Gun and their still-exciting Race With The Devil, manic and mad in a good way, love the riffs, in at 16. In at 28, shockingly low for a chart-topper in my actual real-as-compiled-at-the-time charts, it’s The Foundations party classic Build Me Up Buttercup. I saw Mike D’Abo do it with Manfreds 2 weeks ago (his song, of course, so he’s entitled) for the 3rd time, and to be honest the track is hugely popular and well-known these days thanks to a key 90’s There’s Something About Mary film moment. I felt gratified as it had become increasingly obscure and forgotten prior to that – I played the 12″ EP to my college room-mate in 1977, I asked him how fab was it, and he replied “sounds a bit dated” coming right after his Oxygene album – which it was. Yet here I was 2 months ago singing along with a karaoke version in Gran Canaria in Shenanigans pub. Timeless…but I’ve overdosed on it the last couple of decades.

Soulful Strut, new at 47, is the tune to Dusty’s forthcoming brilliant version of Am I The Same Girl, and as covered just as well by Swing Out Sister. Written by The Chi-Lites’ Eugene Record, and it can’t be long before they start charting with their own classics in the retro charts. Glen Campbell gets a second entry with album track cover of The Straight Life at 54 – another Singapore radio fave, sung better than Bobby Goldsboro’s version, Glen never misses a prolonged note, unlike Bobby. Two Archies album tracks also enter, both meant a big deal to me in 1970: Archie’s Theme was the jolly theme tune to the TV show and on my first ever EP, while Catching Up On Fun was part of a great bit of product placement for kids with no money to buy singles: Alpha Bits USA cereal boxes had a plastic vinyl record printed onto the back of the cardboard box, and it actually played! Not brilliant quality, but better than not having the song, which I adored. Written by Mark Barkan. Who? The writer/producer behind the Banana Splits song and TV show (surprisingly funky and cool for men in funny costumes, helped by Barry White! among others), many an Archies track, and ooh the odd song like Pretty Flamingo – refer back to The Manfred’s and Paul Jones singing it 2 weeks ago – and Warm This Winter xmas song. He also wrote the songs for Olivia Newton-John’s debut movie. Not Grease. Toomorrow, 1970, sci-fi cheese. It had a pop group in London and aliens, bombed (it was awful) but I saw it in our local RAF cinema chain, where flop movies went to get a small audience they otherwise never would have had, to fill in the nights before the 6-month-old blockbusters arrived.

Talking of kiddie stuff, Des is back with his tuneful old-fashioned pop nursery-rhyme, beloved by me at the time, 1-2-3 O’Leary. Saw him having fun the other week on a repeat panel show. Still good-natured and funny. Starred in the greatest Morecambe & Wise sketch ever back in the day – when they take the proverbial out of his latest album and he walks on stage. Still hilarious. Meanwhile greedily grabbing second entries on my chart: Aretha Franklin, and Jimi Hendrix. Which reminds me of another anecdote (groan!): Picture this: Boston, Mass. Logan Airport 1989, me and 2 mates stranded after getting bumped by a US airline on our way back to Gatwick. The next flight developed mechanical trouble while we were on the runway, and they had to fly in parts. That meant we had to disembark at 4am, 18 hours in the airport, and get ferried by taxi with our luggage in the early hours of the morning to a posh hotel across Boston to get a couple of hours sleep, breakfast and a shower. The taxi driver was in a hurry to get back to the hordes of passengers and was hyper, driving at high speed on deserted streets like a maniac and blaring out at full volume a track from “dead Jimi” as he affectionately called his hero. Crosstown Traffic was never more appropriate, and never will be anything else for me.

That leaves a handful of 60’s soul legends doing covers, and The Flirtations debuting – the girls were all over the place in the early 70’s on UK TV, often kiddie pop shows like Lift Off, or I would hazard a guess, Dave Cash’s Music Box.

1 ( 2 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 1 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
3 ( 4 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
4 ( 3 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
5 ( 5 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
6 ( 7 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
7 ( 9 ) GOOD NIGHT The Beatles
8 ( 14 ) BACK IN THE USSR The Beatles
9 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
10 ( 10 ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
11 ( 8 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles

12 ( 18 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
13 ( 11 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
14 ( 12 ) ELENORE The Turtles
15 ( 13 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
16 ( NEW ) RACE WITH THE DEVIL The Gun
17 ( 24 ) HELTER SKELTER The Beatles
18 ( 15 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
19 ( 25 ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
20 ( 29 ) OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA The Beatles

21 ( 16 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
22 ( 17 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand
23 ( 19 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
24 ( 27 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
25 ( 21 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
26 ( 22 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
27 ( 23 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
28 ( NEW ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
29 ( 20 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
30 ( 31 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive

31 ( 40 ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations
32 ( 26 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
33 ( 30 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
34 ( 28 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
35 ( 54 ) BLACKBIRD The Beatles
36 ( 58 ) WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS The Beatles
37 ( 63 ) DO YOU WANNA DANCE The Mamas & The Papas
38 ( 32 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
39 ( 34 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
40 ( 50 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley

41 ( 33 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
42 ( 38 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
43 ( 37 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
44 ( 36 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
45 ( 48 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
46 ( 35 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
47 ( NEW ) SOULFUL STRUT Young-Holt Unlimited
48 ( 59 ) DEAR PRUDENCE The Beatles
49 ( 56 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
50 ( 42 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones

51 ( 39 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
52 ( 46 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
53 ( 47 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
54 ( NEW ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Glen Campbell
55 ( 44 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
56 ( 45 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
57 ( 72 ) EVERYDAY PEOPLE Sly & The Family Stone
58 ( NEW ) CATCHING UP ON FUN The Archies
59 ( 43 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
60 ( 52 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees

61 ( 55 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
62 ( 62 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
63 ( 57 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
64 ( NEW ) 1-2-3 O’LEARY Des O’Connor
65 ( 51 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
66 ( NEW ) MY SONG Aretha Franklin
67 ( 61 ) I SHALL BE RELEASED The Band
68 ( NEW ) CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC The Jimi Hendrix Experience
69 ( 69 ) ROCKIN’ IN THE SAME OLD BOAT Bobby Bland
70 ( NEW ) ARCHIE’S THEME The Archies

71 ( NEW ) PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG Otis Redding
72 ( NEW ) WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE The Sweet Sensations
73 ( NEW ) CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ Bobby Womack
74 ( NEW ) NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE The Flirtations
75 ( NEW ) GOING UP THE COUNTRY Canned Heat


retro 70’s

1 ( 4 ) ELENORE The Turtles
2 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
3 ( 3 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
4 ( 7 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
5 ( 2 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
6 ( 10 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
7 ( 8 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
8 ( 6 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
9 ( 5 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
10 ( 13 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone

11 ( NEW ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
12 ( 9 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
13 ( 16 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
14 ( 20 ) MAY I HAVE THE NEXT DREAM WITH YOU Malcolm Roberts
15 ( 11 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
16 ( 14 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
17 ( 12 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
18 ( NEW ) IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW Val Doonican
19 ( 17 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
20 ( 18 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience

 

24th November 1968

It’s a first chart-topper for Marvin Gaye, with his career-defining classic I Heard It Through The Grapevine. Hard to believe Berry Gordy failed to realise the genius of it when it was originally recorded before the Gladys Knight cover. Dusty’s Preacher man goes top 10, as does The Gun ahead of the highest equally-frantic-rocking-ness of Love Sculpture’s fab Sabre Dance. Dave Edmunds was one of my teen heroes 4 or 5 years in the future. Saw him a couple of years back still rocking it.

Second-highest new entry is the great cover of the fab Madeline Bell minor UK hit, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, with the 21st-century trend-setting multi-artist billing of Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations, albeit no “featuring” or “with”. Both the acts “feature” elsewhere on the chart though, “with” Love Child and Cloud 9. The Delfonics keep the Philly hits coming, in at 26 with the future 1971 UK hit, while Jerry Butler also enters lower down with a Gamble & Huff effort.

Gene Pitney’s back with a decent ballad, Classics IV return with a bit of Stormy-ness, aka Spooky Part 3, The Impressions keep the Curtis Mayfield vocal hits at a furious pace, this one with that future Move On Up riffness about it. Obscure The Crystal mansion pop in with a record that sounds just like Jamie Cullum. It really does! Meanwhile Dave Clark 5 bounce back with a chanty Live In The Sky, and The Equals bring Eddie Grant some more early chart action.

1 ( 3 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
2 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
3 ( 2 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
4 ( 7 ) GOOD NIGHT The Beatles
5 ( 4 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
6 ( 5 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
7 ( 8 ) BACK IN THE USSR The Beatles
8 ( 12 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
9 ( 10 ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
10 ( 16 ) RACE WITH THE DEVIL The Gun

11 ( 6 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
12 ( 9 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
13 ( NEW ) SABRE DANCE Love Sculpture
14 ( 11 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
15 ( 17 ) HELTER SKELTER The Beatles
16 ( 20 ) OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA The Beatles
17 ( 13 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
18 ( 14 ) ELENORE The Turtles
19 ( 15 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
20 ( NEW ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations

21 ( 28 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
22 ( 19 ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
23 ( 18 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
24 ( 24 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
25 ( 21 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
26 ( NEW ) READY OR NOT HERE I COME (CAN’T HIDE FROM LOVE) The Delfonics
27 ( 31 ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations
28 ( 23 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
29 ( 35 ) BLACKBIRD The Beatles
30 ( 37 ) DO YOU WANNA DANCE The Mamas & The Papas

31 ( 25 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
32 ( 26 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
33 ( 27 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
34 ( 36 ) WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS The Beatles
35 ( 22 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand
36 ( 47 ) SOULFUL STRUT Young-Holt Unlimited
37 ( 40 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
38 ( 48 ) DEAR PRUDENCE The Beatles
39 ( 29 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
40 ( 54 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Glen Campbell

41 ( 33 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
42 ( 34 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
43 ( 45 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
44 ( 39 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
45 ( 32 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
46 ( 49 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
47 ( 30 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
48 ( 58 ) CATCHING UP ON FUN The Archies
49 ( 57 ) EVERYDAY PEOPLE Sly & The Family Stone
50 ( 66 ) MY SONG Aretha Franklin

51 ( 38 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
52 ( 43 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
53 ( 41 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
54 ( 68 ) CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC The Jimi Hendrix Experience
55 ( 64 ) 1-2-3 O’LEARY Des O’Connor
56 ( 52 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
57 ( 53 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
58 ( 42 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
59 ( NEW ) YOURS UNTIL TOMORROW Gene Pitney
60 ( 70 ) ARCHIE’S THEME The Archies

61 ( 71 ) PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG Otis Redding
62 ( 60 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
63 ( 61 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
64 ( 75 ) GOING UP THE COUNTRY Canned Heat
65 ( 73 ) CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ Bobby Womack
66 ( NEW ) STORMY Classics IV
67 ( 63 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
68 ( NEW ) ARE YOU HAPPY Jerry Butler
69 ( 74 ) NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE The Flirtations
70 ( 72 ) WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE The Sweet Sensations

71 ( 44 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
72 ( NEW ) THIS IS MY COUNTRY The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield
73 ( NEW ) THE THOUGHT OF LOVING YOU The Crystal Mansion
74 ( NEW ) LIVE IN THE SKY Dave Clark Five
75 ( NEW ) SOFTLY SOFTLY The Equals

What I actually liked this week in 1968:

1 ( 1 ) ELENORE The Turtles
2 ( 11 ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
3 ( 6 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
4 ( 3 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
5 ( 2 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
6 ( 10 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 7 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
8 ( 13 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
9 ( 4 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
10 ( 5 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro

11 ( 8 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
12 ( 9 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
13 ( 14 ) MAY I HAVE THE NEXT DREAM WITH YOU Malcolm Roberts
14 ( 18 ) IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW Val Doonican
15 ( 15 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
16 ( 12 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
17 ( 16 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
18 ( NEW ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
19 ( NEW ) ONE TWO THREE O’LEARY Des O’Connor
20 ( 17 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry

My 1970 Charts – March

mum on the bus to Changi Village, Changi Beach Road

mum on the bus to Changi Village, Changi Beach Road

youtubers…


3rd March 1970

4 weeks for Mary Hopkin’s Harbour on top, still holding off another folk-stylee singer Judy Collins at 2. Lee Marvin wanders his way to 3, Painting his Wagon along with Clint’s tree-talking at 8, while Simon & Garfunkel keep that folk theme going with a gospel detour for the perfect Bridge Over Troubled Water.

B.J. Thomas is the third movie record in the chart entering just behind the Sacha Distel cover, and it’s WAY better, taken straight from the bicycling sequence in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, a great film for those sunshine-themed days, cool cowboy outlaws and a great Bacharach/David song, what’s not to like! B.J. is also an under-rated singer in the UK, he had some great US hits, many of them covered by others in the UK and US (see Elvis, JK, Blue Swede). Shame!

At 17, future Bananarama hit Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye enters for Steam, actually a 1969 US hit, regarded as bubblegum (and therefore not worthy) but it’s bloody fantastic, and still the definitive version, great tune, great vocal, great production. Kenny Rogers is back, and Something’s Burning at 19. Smoldering for the first half of the country track, mostly, but it packs a wallop later on, and is a cut above some of his more famous later country story songs. Finally, it’s Polly Brown at 20, 4 years ahead of 2 later versions of her pop toons, but this time it’s Pickettywich, who have a sweet enough ditty getting that same old feeling.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
3 ( 6 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
4 ( 3 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
5 ( 5 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse

6 ( 4 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
7 ( 8 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
8 ( 10 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
9 ( 15 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
10 ( 7 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary

11 ( 13 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
12 ( NEW ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
13 ( 12 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
14 ( 17 ) INSTANT KARMA The Plastic Ono Band
15 ( 18 ) UNITED WE STAND Brotherhood Of Man

16 ( 14 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
17 ( NEW ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
18 ( 20 ) VENUS Shocking Blue
19 ( NEW ) SOMETHING’S BURNING Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
20 ( NEW ) THAT SAME OLD FEELING Pickettywich

This week in the news, it was the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew (March 2015) and it’s impossible to mention 1970 Singapore without reference to the giant of Far east politics. Singapore was well under-way on the route to modernisation and prosperity, largely thanks to his way of doing business, politics and social planning. I have very mixed feelings about this (and him) – on the one hand he created a genuine melting pot of cultures, dominated by a sort of Chinese Britishness with generous dashes of Malay and Indian culture, all really dating back to the British Empire in the Far East and trading links between them. I loved the historic styles that old Singapore still had, but the bulldozers were busy levelling much and rebuilding new high rise megacity Singapore. That said, some of the more poverty-stricken areas had their own odours hitting you as soon as you got in range!

On the other hand, Lee kept Singapore relatively stable despite the chaos politically in the immediate region. I never agreed with the death penalty, the anti-gay laws, and the banning of much western youth culture, even as a kid, but it has to be said even Singapore had terrorism problems. That’s not something you got to hear about back in the UK, and it was mostly imported in from neighbouring countries, and directed against the British – even though they were leaving, winding down in 1970 through 1972. The worst moment was when 2 kids from my brothers infants school were blown up by booby-trapped flag-bombs at Suicide Village, one of them dying. This was deliberate targeting of children, the red flags left in scrubland adjacent the largely British housing estate where we had friends we visited. After that, all kids were told not to go away from Changi Village/RAF Changi on their own. Not that I took notice, but that’s another story…

mum sitting by a monsoon drain and our house over the road

mum sitting by a monsoon drain and our house over the road


10th March 1970

5 weeks for Mary Hopkin on top, now beating Goodbye’s 4 weeks, but still lagging behind Those Were The Days 7 weeks, but the total of 16 weeks is way ahead of any other act in the 18 months of charting so far. Glen Campbell meanwhile gets yet another record peaking at 2, something of a habit by now, his 4th Top 5. Try A Little Kindness is terrific, and like Galveston and Wichita Lineman should have hit number one too. Raindrops is in the top 10, too, twice! The best version at 5, t’other at 10.

New at 11, it’s…The Beatles and a gospel ballad classic you may have heard? Let It Be. 5th top 20 since Hey Jude debuted on top of my first chart, a Paul McCartney gem, and yes, I loved the Phil Spector-produced strings n all version. No apologies, it’s brilliant any way the Fabs want to do it, but this is the version I heard, and loved. Of course, on April 10th Paul announced that the boys had already in fact Let It Be, and he left what had already disbanded, and the greatest popular music act of the 20th century moved into history after a mere 7 years or so. They crammed more into 7 years than any act has managed in a lifetime, creatively, inspirationally, popularly, culturally and critically. True fact. Lots of people don’t like them (mad!) but no-one can offer up a credible alternative argument. When dad told me the news, in far off Singapore, it seemed just so unlikely! I literally (in the true meaning of the word) could not recall a time when there was no Beatles, and it didn’t seem as if it would stay that way, that one day they would realise the error of their ways and get back together. Eep!

At 15, Andy Williams returns with an Elvis cover, all sweeping strings. Andy was huge in our house in 1970/1, his TV show was the bees knees and I loved The Cookie Bear and frequent guests The Osmond Brothers, not to mention his missus Claudine Longet. Have I mentioned I’ve seen Andy, and Paul, and Glen in concert? Fab, Awesome and awesome, respectively. At 18 and 20, 2 records that came back bigger in my charts in 1974, as technically they didn’t get played much in Singapore (Bob and Marcia was a reggae classic, but not one that made even 2-way family favourites that I heard) – Young Gifted And Black, and Farewell Is A Lonely Sound. Love ‘em, love ‘em. Which leaves childhood faves The Dave Clark 5 returning after a year away with their final good record, the sweet Everybody Get Together, a love and peace pop song with a fab toon. Dave & co would have likely have grabbed at least 3 chart-toppers if I’d started earlier: Bits And Pieces, Glad All Over and Everybody Knows.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 7 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
3 ( 3 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
4 ( 2 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
5 ( 12 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas

6 ( 5 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
7 ( 9 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( 6 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
9 ( 4 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
10 ( 11 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel

11 ( NEW ) LET IT BE The Beatles
12 ( 8 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
13 ( 17 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
14 ( 10 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
15 ( NEW ) CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE Andy Williams

16 ( 19 ) SOMETHING’S BURNING Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
17 ( 16 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
18 ( NEW ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
19 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
20 ( NEW ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin

So, life at Tanah Merah Besar, by Changi prison. It meant a longer bus ride to school at RAF Seletar, and at school I’d been moved up a grade into a higher Maths class, while still in English class 2. The other subjects were mixed ability with the rest of my classmates in 1H2 – I was doing pretty well, actually, I enjoyed being at school, I had friends, a best friend in Stephen Game, and was actually not that rubbish at athletics, a first for me being good at any sort of sports. The roasting sun and humidity obviously affected me less than everyone else, hooray! For some reason, oddly, when we all sat down for 12 Plus exams I tried to do well. 12 Plus? Actually 11 Plus exams, where kids were streamed according to passing (Grammar Schools) or failing (Secondary Modern Schools). Obviously I, along with all kids at my previous British Primary School bar 1, was a failure, as was the norm for oiks in those days. trouble was the Secondary School in Seletar was over-subscribed, and the Grammar School in Changi was under-subscribed, so each term a couple kids from each year were upgraded to Grammar, usually the swots that had slipped through the net unexpectedly. A bit like me then. Not sure, in retrospect, that I should have tried, cos I only went and bloody passed (it turned out a few weeks later) which really made my heart sink. I loved it at Seletar and didn’t want to leave. Damn!

mark, mark, front porch

mark, mark, front porch


17th March 1970

6th and final week on top for Mary Hopkin – she would have had longer, but sadly I gave records a chart run that matched the UK singles chart, and once they dropped out of that one they were ejected (and non-chart runs were limited to 10 weeks). Judy Collins also gets the boot this week for the same reason, giving Canned Heat a brief chance of a 3rd hit, Let’s Work Together, an old blues track that was to become definitive for Bryan Ferry in 1976, under it’s new title Let’s Stick Together.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 3 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
3 ( 2 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
4 ( 5 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
5 ( 7 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 10 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
7 ( 11 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
8 ( 6 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
9 ( 13 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
10 ( 8 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5

11 ( 14 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
12 ( 9 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
13 ( 18 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
14 ( 15 ) CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE Andy Williams
15 ( 19 ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
16 ( 12 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
17 ( 20 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
18 ( 17 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
19 ( 16 ) SOMETHING’S BURNING Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
20 ( NEW ) LET’S WORK TOGETHER Canned Heat


The Beatles Steam into the 10, Lee Marvin peaks at 2, the rest shuffle about a bit. At RAF Changi we were having quite the social whirl, as neighbours the Wainwrights spent a lot of time with us, Dale and Gary being slightly younger than me and my brother, and baby Jamie being adored by mum, so we often did stuff together, such as ten pin bowling on camp. I still love 10-pin bowling, one of the games I’m actually good at, and no-nonsense attitudes to it, fits perfectly for anyone capable of holding a heavy ball and chucking it at some pins. Fab. We attended a lot of stamp auctions, too, as I now specialised in getting mint and first day cover 1960’s UK stamps, and recent and current Singapore stamps. Singapore had some gorgeous designs on theirs – the various traditional dresses of ethnic female Singaporeans featured heavily, and became the template for copper beatings, a big artistic pastime of the mums, framed for wall display and all. This truly was a lifestyle of leisure and creativity completely alien to 1960’s UK. Mum’s works still hang on the wall. We also bought paintings on silk cloth from a deaf Chinese lady, madame Teo, who came round the house one day, Chinese ships in traditional harbours, the sort of views very-much disappearing in the modern Singapore. Fab.

me on bed

me on bed


24th March 1970

Mary Hopkin gets evicted for her protege, the one that signed her to Apple Records, wrote her a follow-up hit, and produced her huge number one – that’ll be Paul McCartney then, as The Beatles get their second number one, and Paul McCartney becomes the first songwriter to write 3 number ones (credited also to John Lennon, but Paul wrote them – John and Paul credited each other on songs after their teenage agreement, even if the other had nothing to do with it). The Beatles become the first band to get 2 number ones. Mary Hopkin, in the meantime, is the UK’s Eurovision singer and here she is at 13 – Knock Knock Who’s There? Mary. Mary who? I just told you, use your ears! It’s not as good as her first three singles, but she was on a roll!

BJ hits 2, Raindrops tended to fall on our heads too – well monsoon raindrops in Singapore, deluges of warm exciting floods of rain, filling the monsoon drains, and running down into our new house patio, giving us temporary paddling pools to play in. Hooray! I digress. Bob and Marcia hit the 10, and Joe Dolan gets a second hit, following his 1969 biggie Make Me An Island which I adored. You’re Such A Good Looking Woman is a nice slice of upbeat Irish pop balladry, so yay!

1 ( 7 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
2 ( 4 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
3 ( 2 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
4 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 3 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
6 ( 9 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
7 ( 6 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
8 ( 8 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
9 ( 13 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
10 ( 10 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5

11 ( 15 ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
12 ( 12 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
13 ( NEW ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
14 ( 11 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
15 ( 17 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
16 ( 14 ) CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE Andy Williams
17 ( 19 ) SOMETHING’S BURNING Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
18 ( 16 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
19 ( 20 ) LET’S WORK TOGETHER Canned Heat
20 ( NEW ) YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD LOOKING WOMAN Joe Dolan

Talking of rain, the monsoon drains all ran to bigger drains, which ran downhill from Changi Prison onto the Lloyd Leas Estate huge drain, mostly a stream or river, dependent on volume – where I used to fish for guppies. On the way downhill, there was this overhanging tree on the footpath just by the junction to the main road, and it had giant ants living on it, Clingers we called them, cos they sowed up the elongated leaves of the tree into oval-ish hollow balls where they lived. The downside was you had to not hang around cos they had a tendency to drop on you from above, and had a hurty nip. Just behind the tree was a Kampong, Malay this time I think, with a shop fronting the road selling bits and bobs. The worst visit I had to make to the shop was when mum was poorly in bed and needed some lady products, and I had to ask for some hoping they spoke English well enough. Very embarrassing for a 12-year-old!


31st March 1970

2 weeks for Let It Be on top, as the Eurovision winner for Ireland, teenage sweet-faced sweet-voiced Dana enters at 2 with her sweet ditty All Kinds Of Everything. This is bad news for Mary Hopkin up to 9 with her UK entry! Not that I got to see the contest, the first I’d missed since I first watched Sandie Shaw win in 1967, being as Singapore and Malaya TV didn’t broadcast it. In at 16, it’s a future 3 times UK chart-topping song, the awesome Spirit In The Sky, but the best version by far is the original from Norman Greenbaum, the fab riffy guitars, the singalong gospel-tinged chorus, the tune…fantastic! I finally bought the single in 1974, which is when I fell in love with it, but I was sort of aware of it at the time, which is why it was allowed in these charts. Gimme Dat Ding at 17 – yes, it’s him again, Tony Burrows singing (unrecognisably) assisted by David & Jonathan man Roger Greenaway, and written by Albert Hammond & Mike Hazelwood. It’s falsetto fun, almost 20’s jazz in style. At 20, The Four Tops are back (even though their substantial classic period predated my charts, with the awesome Levi Stubbs vocals, they were still having reissued Holland Dozier Holland hits – this time with early single I Can’t Help Myself.

1 ( 1 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
2 ( NEW ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
3 ( 2 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
4 ( 4 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 3 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin

6 ( 6 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
7 ( 5 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
8 ( 9 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
9 ( 13 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
10 ( 8 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse

11 ( 7 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
12 ( 10 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
13 ( 15 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
14 ( 11 ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
15 ( 12 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb

16 ( NEW ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
17 ( NEW ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
18 ( 18 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
19 ( 16 ) CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE Andy Williams
20 ( NEW ) I CAN’T HELP MYSELF The Four Tops

My 1970 Charts – February

vids 1970…. click!

4th February 1970

Love Grows gets 2 weeks on top of my last ever top 10, from here-on it’s Top 20’s as in Singapore we move house to a bungalow with very high ceilings located next door to the rear of the infamous wartime Changi Prison. 122F Tanah Merah Besar was opposite barbed wire fencing, and our house was overlooked from that fence by a tall guard tower, manned by armed prison officers. Burglary didn’t really go on much round here! We were also pretty much a short walk from the end of RAF Changi’s forces airfield runway, so we had regular drowning-out of the TV and radio from loud aircraft taking off, especially the VC10’s. On the plus side I got to see plenty of airplanes for nearly 2 years.


changi prison viewed from our garden

changi prison viewed from our garden

Speaking of jet planes, in the chart, Peter Paul & Mary take John Denver’s song to 2, as Mary Hopkin takes the tropical Temma Harbour to 4, and yes we could see banana plants and coconut trees from our house, hooray! Keeping on with the singer-songwriter cover version theme, in at 7, the pure-voiced folk-ish Judy Collins enters with a gorgeous harpsichord-flavoured cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, a song I randomly found already recorded on a reel-to-reel tape accompanying our first ever second-hand 4-track tape recorder, which revolutionised my pop music experiences cos I could now repeat-listen to songs as often as I wanted to hear them. Paradise! Buying blank reel-to-reel tapes became important to me, immediately! Both Sides Now is a flawless song, much-covered, but probably only bettered in this version by a male act who charts soon with it. The great white soul songwriter Laura Nyro never achieved any chart success herself, but she provided songs for many others to cover successfully, especially The Fifth Dimension, who had been having hits for 3 years already, including my top 3 Hair track, Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine from 1969. I love their versions of her songs, starting with Wedding Bell Blues, harmony soul delight in at 10.

Which leaves only one other new entry, a kiddie/teen Motown family pop-soul all-male band called The Jackson 5, jointly-fronted by a precociously talented kid who was only 6 months or so younger than 12-year-old me, and his name was Michael. They were sometimes on variety shows imported from the States on TV, so I got to see them sing, and they looked so cool. I Want You Back is brilliant, of course, so good it’s been a hit on several occasions over the decades, a great song, production and passionate vocals from a boy. I wonder what happened to The Jackson 5…

1 ( 1 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
2 ( 4 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
3 ( 2 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
4 ( 7 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
5 ( 3 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies

6 ( 8 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fayre
7 ( NEW ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
8 ( 5 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
9 ( NEW ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
10 ( NEW ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool


11th February 1970

At 1, and completing her hat-trick of consecutive chart-toppers, it’s Mary Hopkin and the lovely Temma Harbour. Notable for being the longest-span to get a hat-trick (3 calendar years), for being the first act to do it, and for doing it with her first 3 releases. It would another 14 years before the next act did that (Frankie Goes To Hollywood).

Vanity Fayre go top 5 for the second time, and a load of re-entries peppered about the expanded top 20, but it’s the new entries that count: Actor Lee Marvin growls his way in at 13 with the fab Wanderin’ Star from the movie Paint Your Wagon, a future UK chart-topper, a film loved so much by my family that dad bought the soundtrack album which we played to death. Most famous these days for the brilliant song They Call The Wind Mariah, from which Ms Carey was named. True fact. Also infamous for an even worse vocal performance than Lee Marvin’s endearing growl, yes it’s Clint Eastwood in at 18 with the B Side, I Talk To The Trees. It’s kinda sweet, but Clint never repeated the experience, though to be honest I’ve heard much worse on X Factor’s final shows.

At 15, Glen Campbell was on a roll, and his muse Jimmy Webb was behind him, but ti mattered not as he was hot on country-pop hit gems like Try A Little Kindness, a romping great song, which was a discovery on the afore-mentioned reel-to-reel tape we acquired. I loved it, I played it. A lot. Glen Campbell was pretty much my most favourite pop star in the world in 1970, hot off seeing him True Grit and singing the fab movie theme (not eligible for my chart but it would have been a number 1). At 16, the now-obscure follow-up to huge hit Saved By The Bell, Robin Gibb was still mad at his 2 brothers and on a wistful waltzing-ish ballad groove, another song I loved. It’s pleasant, sweet, nice. Not bad words to me! At 20, Jonathan King starts his long run of whimsical multiple alter-ego hits using his own name, the fun Let It All Hang Out.

1 ( 4 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 1 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
3 ( 2 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
4 ( 6 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fayre
5 ( 3 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
6 ( 7 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
7 ( 9 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
8 ( 5 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
9 ( 10 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
10 ( RE ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger

11 ( 8 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
12 ( RE ) FRIENDS Arrival
13 ( NEW ) WANDERIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
14 ( RE ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
15 ( NEW ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
16 ( NEW ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
17 ( RE ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
18 ( NEW ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
19 ( RE ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations
20 ( NEW ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King


Back in sunny Singapore, I was on a new ghari (white RAF bus) to RAF Seletar, on a new route up Tampines Road, which was a bit more rural than the Bedokville route, though on Singapore island (17 miles wide) all things are relative. Next to our hilly road adjacent Changi Prison we had Lloyd Leas Estate, which had a great monsoon river running through it, a great place to re-stock my tropical fish tank with plainly-coloured guppies (multi-colours and frilly fins not being that helpful for survival in monsoon streams). I loved them anyway, been fascinated by fish in rivers since my 6-year-old stickleback-catching days. And lollipop sticks floating down monsoon drains, around obstacles, the shapes the mud flats made. Ah we had to make our entertainment then, no computer games to waste a life away on….

swimming lessons RAF Changi

swimming lessons RAF Changi


18th February 1970

2 weeks for Mary on top, giving her the most weeks on top in total for any artist in the whole 18 months of pre-teen charting. Judy Collins goes top 3, and Lee Marvin is Wandrin’ up the top 10, and there are 4 new entries: Sacha Distel gets yet another movie Western song into the top 20 (the third) as he covers Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s song from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and enters at 16. From this distance the very French crooning isn’t a patch on the much-superior film version by B.J.Thomas, a big American pop star of the period who had a long string of great pop hits, one of them later covered by Jonathan King (at 17 this week) Hooked On A Feeling, which in turn was covered by Blue Swede and as featured in Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014. At 19, The Brotherhood Of Man debut, though not the Eurovision line-up of singers, it was instead Tony Burrows (at 2 with Edison Lighthouse) leading the way in the early days. This is a great Tony Hiller ballad (creator of the group and co-writer of their later biggest hits), very Eurovision, but in a good way. Lastly, veteran soul group The Tams debut at 20 with the sweet Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy, as the Northern Soul circuit was about to rescue the seeming has-beens from obscurity in a big way in 1971, long after their career had more-or-less faded away and they were looking quite elderly to teenagers like me who were buying their records suddenly.

At 18, it’s John and Yoko, with their second solo hit, and it’s terrific, Instant Karma, complete with Yoko knitting while on Top Of The Pops (not that I saw it at the time, of course, being out of the country and all). The hook We All Shine On is fab, John is in great voice, and we had no idea that The Beatles were actually over, just over 7 years of chart hits from start to finish. Or to put it into perspective, that would be like a musical act dropping out of the blue with new innovative, creative, timeless, and influential material in late 2008, releasing 3 or 4 singles a year, all chart-toppers and usually not on albums, while also releasing a record-breaking 1 or 2 albums a year, giving songs away, making 3 movies, TV specials and touring before calling it a day around now. No wonder they burnt out quickly, that sort of intense career is unthinkable in the modern era. Rihanna comes closest, co-incidentally now working with Paul McCartney. I love a nice link.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
3 ( 6 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
4 ( 7 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
5 ( 3 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
6 ( 4 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fare
7 ( 5 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
8 ( 13 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
9 ( 16 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
10 ( 15 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell

11 ( 10 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
12 ( 11 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
13 ( 9 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
14 ( 18 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
15 ( 14 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
16 ( NEW ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
17 ( 20 ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King
18 ( NEW ) INSTANT KARMA The Plastic Ono Band
19 ( NEW ) UNITED WE STAND Brotherhood Of Man
20 ( NEW ) BE YOUNG BE FOOLISH BE HAPPY The Tams

In Singapore, my swimming badges were coming along nicely, and we getting them sewn onto our swimming gowns – actually that sounds a bit gay now I say it, but they were really just towels you could wear, and it was early evening so the temperatures sometimes dropped as low as ooh the upper 70’s (25C) and it felt a bit chilly after the heat of the day. Perhaps that’s why I still prefer those sort of temperatures, and loathe the cold to this day. Hey, ho, anyway, distance badges were nearly done, and we were by now moving on to learning how to blow up our pyjamas (for life-belt purposes) and diving for bricks – which as we all know is a very useful skill to develop. Who hasn’t accidentally dropped a brick into a river or pond or pool that they just had to retrieve?! Anyways, considering I couldn’t swim 5 months earlier, I did OK.

me n my comics and drawing

me n my comics and drawing


25th February 1970

3 weeks for Temma Harbour anchored on top, Judy Collins is still looking at both sides now, while Robin Gibb looks at his calendar and gets a second solo top 3 hit. There are only two new entries, but my word they are great: At 15, Bridge Over Troubled Water is the title track to one of the greatest albums of all time, and pure genius in it’s own right, talk about going out on top! Yes, The Beatles weren’t the only ones splitting at the top of their game, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were also going it alone, admittedly because Paul Simon felt as the songwriter he could do whatever he wanted, and did. Paul Simon is a poet, and he’s a gifted folkpop songwriter, but in this case Bridge Over Troubled Water was basically Paul’s gospel tour-de-force sung as a solo by Art, and what a combination that made. The word Epic is over-used, but it’s totally deserved for Bridge Over Troubled Water, future UK chart-topper singles and albums charts, and in the case of the album for 2 years or so on and off. For me, Simon and Garfunkel were big with the young married RAF crowd, we borrowed the album from our next-door neighbours, and recorded it onto reel-to-reel, plus Bridge was regularly on 2-Way Family Favourites, so it remains a huge record for me – without ever being my single-fave record of the moment until I bought the album myself in 1976, played it to death, and would say it’s comfortably one of my top 10 of all-time.

Venus, by Dutch band Shocking Blue and in at 20, was fantastic too, a sort of hippie rock pop anthem, so good it got covered kitschtastically by Bananarama 16 years later.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 3 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
3 ( 9 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
4 ( 4 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
5 ( 2 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
6 ( 8 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
7 ( 5 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
8 ( 10 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
9 ( 7 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
10 ( 14 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood

11 ( 6 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fare
12 ( 11 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
13 ( 16 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
14 ( 12 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
15 ( NEW ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
16 ( 17 ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King
17 ( 18 ) INSTANT KARMA The Plastic Ono Band
18 ( 19 ) UNITED WE STAND Brotherhood Of Man
19 ( 13 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
20 ( NEW ) VENUS Shocking Blue