My 1984 Charts – December

the front drive before the TPO tree became a monster

the front drive before the TPO tree became a monster


4th December 1984

2 weeks on top for Frankie, as Band Aid debut from out of nowhere really, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organising the world-famous charity christmas record, about to become the UK’s biggest-selling single, pretty much overnight, convincing the biggest stars to turn up on the day. Still the best charity record, still the best version, and the money raised through this and Live Aid really did save lives in famine-stricken Ethiopa. Cynics whinge about pop stars doing stuff like this. Cynics of course doing f*ck-all themselves to help needy people, just slagging-off anyone with good intentions. The only ones in a position to criticise are those who DO actually work for charity organisations, or spend their voluntary time to do what they can, the rest are just mealy-mouthed hypocrites who can just go f*ck themselves. 30 years on and the record still makes the UK charts every year. So there!

In at 5, overshadowed, but it’s The Beatles and a record I bought in 1976 and was mad on: I Feel Fine was the single where The Beatles really started to experiment with sounds, and the songs started to become more sophisticated – still melodic, still love songs, but sounding more adult. 20 years old at the time, it’s breath-taking to me (cos I remember seeing them on TV at the time) to realise this is now 50 years old. Gulp! It also nicely keeps Paul McCartney’s frog chorus out of the top 5, is that irony or just me being realistic? Alvin Stardust gets his 6th top 10, Nik Kershaw his 3rd, and Madonna ponts on up to 12 from 66, cavorting most unlike a virgin. 30 years on as I write, and she’s topping my charts for the 20th time with Ghosttown. Not bad for a disposable dancepopstar, as she appeared to be at the time.

Big climbs for Kool And The Gang, Shaky (!), Dead Or Alive, The Cars and Strawberry Switchblade, with a high new entry for 1982 single The Voice, from The Moody Blues – saw them do it live 2013, and still fab. 14 years of hits. At 59, Ave Maria gets the Indian treatment, an unusual crossing of genres for an extended dance track, while at 66 Tears For Fears are back with a Shout! A fantastic record, and the video is SO appropriate to my life as it was filmed in and around scenic Lulworth Cove in Dorset, where I was working surveying roads, including the one running down to the cove. There be fossils in them thar cliffs, they be, as a local might (or might not) say. At 68 it’s a quick 3 out of 3 for Alison Moyet with the excellent Invisible, as other pop stars enter with more forgettable tracks.

1 ( 1 ) THE POWER OF LOVE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
2 ( NEW ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS Band Aid
3 ( 3 ) ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK Murray Head
4 ( 2 ) SEX CRIME (1984) Eurythmics
5 ( NEW ) I FEEL FINE The Beatles
6 ( 16 ) WE ALL STAND TOGETHER Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus
7 ( 7 ) LOUISE Human League
8 ( 12 ) I WON’T RUN AWAY Alvin Stardust
9 ( 5 ) ALL JOIN HANDS Slade
10 ( 11 ) THE RIDDLE Nik Kershaw

11 ( 4 ) I FEEL FOR YOU Chaka Khan
12 ( 66 ) LIKE A VIRGIN Madonna
13 ( 9 ) LET IT ALL BLOW The Dazz Band
14 ( 6 ) THE WILD BOYS Duran Duran
15 ( 10 ) HARD HABIT TO BREAK Chicago
16 ( 25 ) HALF A MINUTE Matt Bianco
17 ( 23 ) TREAT HER LIKE A LADY The Temptations
18 ( 18 ) WARNING SIGN Nick Heyward
19 ( 8 ) BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS Depeche Mode
20 ( 24 ) THE MEDAL SONG Culture Club

21 ( 17 ) NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS Paul McCartney
22 ( 75 ) FRESH Kool And The Gang
23 ( 13 ) ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
24 ( 15 ) DRIVE The Cars
25 ( 21 ) CARIBBEAN QUEEN (NO MORE LOVE ON THE RUN) Billy Ocean
26 ( NEW ) THE VOICE The Moody Blues
27 ( 27 ) DAVE The Boomtown Rats
28 ( 22 ) THE NEVER ENDING STORY Limahl
29 ( 35 ) STRUT Sheena Easton
30 ( 38 ) PRIVATE DANCER Tina Turner

31 ( 14 ) HOW TO BE A MILLIONAIRE ABC
32 ( 57 ) TEARDROPS Shakin’ Stevens
33 ( 19 ) FREEDOM Wham!
34 ( 20 ) WE ARE FAMILY Sister Sledge
35 ( 46 ) CLOSE (TO THE EDIT) Art Of Noise
36 ( 54 ) YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) Dead Or Alive
37 ( 64 ) YOU MIGHT THINK The Cars
38 ( 26 ) THIS IS MINE Heaven 17
39 ( 32 ) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Jim Diamond
40 ( 31 ) TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder

41 ( 28 ) TOO LATE FOR GOODBYES Julian Lennon
42 ( 29 ) DESERT MOON Dennis De Young
43 ( 30 ) GIMME ALL YOUR LOVING Z.Z. TOP
44 ( 44 ) RATTLESNAKES Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
45 ( 33 ) THE WAR SONG Culture Club
46 ( 73 ) SINCE YESTERDAY Strawberry Switchblade
47 ( 41 ) I’M SO EXCITED The Pointer Sisters
48 ( 48 ) RESPECT YOURSELF The Kane Gang
49 ( 37 ) LOVE’S GREAT ADVENTURE Ultravox
50 ( 45 ) LOST IN MUSIC Sister Sledge

51 ( 34 ) ALL CRIED OUT Alison Moyet
52 ( 42 ) OUT OF TOUCH Daryl Hall and John Oates
53 ( 59 ) HOTLINE TO HEAVEN Bananarama
54 ( NEW ) TROUBLE Rod Stewart
55 ( 40 ) THE WANDERER Status Quo
56 ( 51 ) MADAME BUTTERFLY Malcolm McLaren
57 ( NEW ) STRANGER IN TOWN Toto
58 ( 36 ) GOTTA GET YOU HOME TONIGHT Eugene Wilde
59 ( NEW ) AVE MARIA West India Company
60 ( 53 ) CARELESS WHISPER George Michael

61 ( NEW ) RIDDLE ME UB40
62 ( 63 ) BODY The Jacksons
63 ( 52 ) I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU Stevie Wonder
64 ( 39 ) IF THIS IS IT Huey Lewis and The News
65 ( 60 ) TWO TRIBES Frankie Goes To Hollywood
66 ( NEW ) SHOUT Tears For Fears
67 ( 58 ) THE GAY CABALLEROS Steve Wright
68 ( NEW ) INVISIBLE Alison Moyet
69 ( 67 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
70 ( 65 ) RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood

71 ( NEW ) THANK YOU MY LOVE Imagination
72 ( 70 ) BILLIE-JEAN Michael Jackson
73 ( 47 ) THE SECOND TIME Kim Wilde
74 ( NEW ) DO THE CONGA Black Lace
75 ( NEW ) EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE Paul Young

TV:
1. Star Trek: Errand Of Mercy
2. Hill Street Blues
3. Logan’s Run: film
4. Tenko
5. The Phil Silvers
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
7. MASH
8. Top Of The Pops
9. Carry On Camping: film
10. Soap
11. The Rockford Files
12. The Avengers
13. The Addams Family
14. Dungeons And Dragons
15. Hardcastle and McKormick


At work, had an argument with Boss-man about flying saucers (!) – maybe it was that sparking a setback for me, but I fell into a depression of sorts again in the evening for the whole week. Bob helped, as we bantered quite a bit at work. On TV the Band Aid video debuted, Friday lunch was the pub at Anstey (The Fox) where Boss-man tried to convince me Bob had spiked my coke. Arse. Bob assured me he wouldn’t (and he wouldn’t I can say now with some confidence after 30 years of friendship) it was just an attempt to stop us getting on so well by the boss cos he was an arse. I ended the week still very down, mood-wise.


11th December 1984

Band Aid get to number one with their christmas perennial, and guess what? The record it famously held at 2, the biggest-selling record never to top the UK charts, Last Christmas is new at 9, Wham!’s 6th top 10, and George’s 7th, and clearly his best record to date, it just punched all the right christmas buttons, had a fab tune, and George and Andrew donated profits to the Band Aid charity too.

The Beatles hit 3, not bad for a 20-year-old track, and I Feel Fine about it! Madonna gets her second top 10, after Holiday, it’s Like A Virgin. Touched for the very first time, indeed. Bob Marley’s 4-year-old Top 10 hit bounces back at 17, the great Could You Be Loved, as Alison Moyet makes it 3 in a row inside the 20, Invisible up 49 places to 19. Spandau are Round And Round, inoffensively at 39, and a host of christmas songs (yes actual NEW ones, no oldies!) drop in, one of them once upon a time a perennial xmas regular, and now banished forever: yes it must be Gary Glitter and the jolly Another Rock And Roll Christmas at 72, overshadowed for the moment by Queen’s middling try at a christmas song, and forgotten ones from Alvin Stardust and Captain Sensible.

The Stranglers are back, so is Ian McCulloch for the moment ex-of the Bunnymen, with September Song, Kurt Weil’s 1930’s standard. At 46, The Thompson Twins Lay Your Hands On Me is one of their not bad hits, while Prince’s brilliant Purple Rain track, I Would Die For U is in at 48, the 4th track to chart despite only 2 singles being released to date (and of course no youtube video for anything Prince-related). Bowie and Lennon (Julian) return with lesser follow-ups, and ditto Big Country and Stevie Wonder.

1 ( 2 ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS Band Aid
2 ( 1 ) THE POWER OF LOVE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
3 ( 5 ) I FEEL FINE The Beatles
4 ( 3 ) ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK Murray Head
5 ( 6 ) WE ALL STAND TOGETHER Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus
6 ( 12 ) LIKE A VIRGIN Madonna
7 ( 4 ) SEX CRIME (1984) Eurythmics
8 ( 10 ) THE RIDDLE Nik Kershaw
9 ( NEW ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
10 ( 11 ) I FEEL FOR YOU Chaka Khan

11 ( 7 ) LOUISE Human League
12 ( 8 ) I WON’T RUN AWAY Alvin Stardust
13 ( 22 ) FRESH Kool And The Gang
14 ( 9 ) ALL JOIN HANDS Slade
15 ( 17 ) TREAT HER LIKE A LADY The Temptations
16 ( 14 ) THE WILD BOYS Duran Duran
17 ( NEW ) COULD YOU BE LOVED Bob Marley And The Wailers
18 ( 20 ) THE MEDAL SONG Culture Club
19 ( 68 ) INVISIBLE Alison Moyet
20 ( 15 ) HARD HABIT TO BREAK Chicago

21 ( 13 ) LET IT ALL BLOW The Dazz Band
22 ( 29 ) STRUT Sheena Easton
23 ( 26 ) THE VOICE The Moody Blues
24 ( 18 ) WARNING SIGN Nick Heyward
25 ( 25 ) CARIBBEAN QUEEN (NO MORE LOVE ON THE RUN) Billy Ocean
26 ( 21 ) NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS Paul McCartney
27 ( 16 ) HALF A MINUTE Matt Bianco
28 ( 32 ) TEARDROPS Shakin’ Stevens
29 ( 19 ) BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS Depeche Mode
30 ( 37 ) YOU MIGHT THINK The Cars

31 ( 24 ) DRIVE The Cars
32 ( 35 ) CLOSE (TO THE EDIT) Art Of Noise
33 ( 28 ) THE NEVER ENDING STORY Limahl
34 ( 30 ) PRIVATE DANCER Tina Turner
35 ( 23 ) ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
36 ( 36 ) YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) Dead Or Alive
37 ( 66 ) SHOUT Tears For Fears
38 ( 27 ) DAVE The Boomtown Rats
39 ( NEW ) ROUND AND ROUND Spandau Ballet
40 ( 39 ) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Jim Diamond

41 ( 34 ) WE ARE FAMILY Sister Sledge
42 ( 46 ) SINCE YESTERDAY Strawberry Switchblade
43 ( 33 ) FREEDOM Wham!
44 ( 52 ) OUT OF TOUCH Daryl Hall and John Oates
45 ( 48 ) RESPECT YOURSELF The Kane Gang
46 ( NEW ) LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME The Thompson Twins
47 ( 40 ) TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder
48 ( NEW ) I WOULD DIE 4 U Prince
49 ( 75 ) EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE Paul Young
50 ( 50 ) LOST IN MUSIC Sister Sledge

51 ( 45 ) THE WAR SONG Culture Club
52 ( 31 ) HOW TO BE A MILLIONAIRE ABC
53 ( 38 ) THIS IS MINE Heaven 17
54 ( 57 ) STRANGER IN TOWN Toto
55 ( NEW ) NO MERCY The Stranglers
56 ( NEW ) SO NEAR TO CHRISTMAS Alvin Stardust
57 ( NEW ) ONE CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE Captain Sensible
58 ( 56 ) MADAME BUTTERFLY Malcolm McLaren
59 ( 59 ) AVE MARIA West India Company
60 ( 71 ) THANK YOU MY LOVE Imagination

61 ( 54 ) TROUBLE Rod Stewart
62 ( NEW ) TONIGHT David Bowie
63 ( 41 ) TOO LATE FOR GOODBYES Julian Lennon
64 ( NEW ) VALOTTE Julian Lennon
65 ( 60 ) CARELESS WHISPER George Michael
66 ( NEW ) THANK GOD IT’S CHRISTMAS Queen
67 ( 74 ) DO THE CONGA Black Lace
68 ( 43 ) GIMME ALL YOUR LOVING Z.Z. TOP
69 ( NEW ) THE ROSE IS SOWN Big Country
70 ( 69 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba

71 ( 65 ) TWO TRIBES Frankie Goes To Hollywood
72 ( NEW ) ANOTHER ROCK AND ROLL CHRISTMAS Gary Glitter
73 ( NEW ) LOVE LIGHT IN FLIGHT Stevie Wonder
74 ( 61 ) RIDDLE ME UB40
75 ( NEW ) SEPTEMBER SONG Ian McCulloch

1. Tenko
2. Star Trek: The Alternative Factor
3. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Monday)
4. Fame: film
5. MASH
6. Hill Street Blues
7. The Phil Silvers Show
8. Rising Damp
9. The Addams Family
10. The Betty White Show
11. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (wed)
12. Top Of The Pops
13. Soap
14. The Rockford Files
15. Entertainment USA


At work, my young car share driver was back following her dad’s suicide, and tried to help her talking about her terrible year: as bad as 1984 was for me, it was worse for her. Surveying the lovely hilly countryside at Bulbarro again, and a little more optimistic than the previous week moodwise. The boss took one of my light-hearted banter lunchtimes with Bob the wrong way and got nasty. Mum and dad were suffering from overwork and illness, looking tired. I had a dream about meeting Paul and Linda McCartney and getting an autograph! Well I hardly ever dream about celebrities, but if you gonna do it, may as well go for the top…! This weekend , went to Southampton, looking for music computers with ambitions to have a go at making demos. Optimist!


Thursday 6th December: Nik Kershaw at The BIC (Bournemouth International Centre), live in concert.

Went with Bob, and we marvelled at all the wacky haircuts in the audience, we felt well out of place and old, being over 21 as we were (but not by much) – but these days I’m glad we didn’t go the Flock Of Seagulls hair-gel route for the sake of old 80’s photos. The support band were Scary Thieves (impressive but lacked songs), but Nik got the girls screaming as he strode on, affable always, themed around the “excellent” (I noted) current hit The Riddle. Also good were Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, and album track Bogart, which should have been a single. Some lesser tracks were a bit samey, or else it may have the back-ache developing from standing in the same position for so long – one of those “standing-concert” things you put up with, though happily less of a problem (very oddly) as I got older. Rating: “a nice change but not a classic gig” . Nik was in Christchurch the other month (2014) doing great low-key gigs by accounts I’ve heard from a friend who went. I saw Nik again in 1989, supporting Elton John.


18th December 1984

Wham! get their first number one, the christmas classic Last Christmas knocking off Band Aid, and being chased by an 11-years-old 4th-time-round christmas classic I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday from Wizzard new in at 2, having previously topped my chart in 1973, 1974, and 1981. You can’t have Wizzard without Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody, of course, in at 15 and charting for the 5th time, and yet to top the chart, Slade of course on a roll in 1984 with two top 10’s already. Wham! it should be remembered, was new, and George had already had a solo number one, and the other side of the double A side was hardly getting any airplay at all – Everything She Wants was completely overshadowed by Last Christmas.

Alison Moyet gets a 2nd solo top 10, and her 5th including Yazoo, Tears For Fears shout up into the 20 for the 4th time, Gary Glitter joins the xmas festivities rock and rolling for the 2nd-time in 1984, and umpteenth since his first hit the brilliant Rock And Roll Part 2 (on which he doesn’t actually sing) in 1972. The fab Strawberry Switchblade go top 40, as Dead Or Alive shock drop out of the 40 (it’ll be back!), and new entries come from Z.Z. Top’s Sharp Dressed Man, back after sneaking briefly in a year earlier, at a much more assertive 28, and just ahead of a bonafide rock ballad classic from Foreigner, 6 years after a decent run of 70’s rock singles, the gospel-tinged I Want To Know What Love Is.

Bronski Beat cover Gershwin, very bizarrely for a pop hit, but nicely, cos It Ain’t Necessarily So at 36. Bobby G, of Bucks Fizz, sings a TV show theme into 46th slot. Kim Wilde is touched at 60, hey, so is Madonna up to 5 for the very first time. Sal Solo, ex-Classix Nouveau singer is back with the good San Damiano, and Pat Benatar is back with We Belong, another decent single from her.

1 ( 9 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
2 ( NEW ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
3 ( 1 ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS Band Aid
4 ( 5 ) WE ALL STAND TOGETHER Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus
5 ( 6 ) LIKE A VIRGIN Madonna
6 ( 2 ) THE POWER OF LOVE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
7 ( 4 ) ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK Murray Head
8 ( 8 ) THE RIDDLE Nik Kershaw
9 ( 7 ) SEX CRIME (1984) Eurythmics
10 ( 19 ) INVISIBLE Alison Moyet

11 ( 3 ) I FEEL FINE The Beatles
12 ( 13 ) FRESH Kool And The Gang
13 ( 17 ) COULD YOU BE LOVED Bob Marley And The Wailers
14 ( 37 ) SHOUT Tears For Fears
15 ( NEW ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade
16 ( 11 ) LOUISE Human League
17 ( 10 ) I FEEL FOR YOU Chaka Khan
18 ( 12 ) I WON’T RUN AWAY Alvin Stardust
19 ( 14 ) ALL JOIN HANDS Slade
20 ( 72 ) ANOTHER ROCK AND ROLL CHRISTMAS Gary Glitter

21 ( 15 ) TREAT HER LIKE A LADY The Temptations
22 ( 16 ) THE WILD BOYS Duran Duran
23 ( 42 ) SINCE YESTERDAY Strawberry Switchblade
24 ( 18 ) THE MEDAL SONG Culture Club
25 ( 20 ) HARD HABIT TO BREAK Chicago
26 ( 28 ) TEARDROPS Shakin’ Stevens
27 ( 21 ) LET IT ALL BLOW The Dazz Band
28 ( NEW ) SHARP DRESSED MAN Z.Z. TOP
29 ( NEW ) I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS Foreigner
30 ( 30 ) YOU MIGHT THINK The Cars

31 ( 46 ) LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME The Thompson Twins
32 ( 25 ) CARIBBEAN QUEEN (NO MORE LOVE ON THE RUN) Billy Ocean
33 ( 39 ) ROUND AND ROUND Spandau Ballet
34 ( 34 ) PRIVATE DANCER Tina Turner
35 ( 26 ) NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS Paul McCartney
36 ( NEW ) IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO Bronski Beat
37 ( 22 ) STRUT Sheena Easton
38 ( 45 ) RESPECT YOURSELF The Kane Gang
39 ( 49 ) EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE Paul Young
40 ( 33 ) THE NEVER ENDING STORY Limahl

41 ( 23 ) THE VOICE The Moody Blues
42 ( 57 ) ONE CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE Captain Sensible
43 ( 31 ) DRIVE The Cars
44 ( 66 ) THANK GOD IT’S CHRISTMAS Queen
45 ( 24 ) WARNING SIGN Nick Heyward
46 ( NEW ) BIG DEAL (THEME) Bobby G
47 ( 27 ) HALF A MINUTE Matt Bianco
48 ( 48 ) I WOULD DIE 4 U Prince
49 ( 29 ) BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS Depeche Mode
50 ( 62 ) TONIGHT David Bowie

51 ( 32 ) CLOSE (TO THE EDIT) Art Of Noise
52 ( 56 ) SO NEAR TO CHRISTMAS Alvin Stardust
53 ( 40 ) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Jim Diamond
54 ( 35 ) ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
55 ( 55 ) NO MERCY The Stranglers
56 ( 64 ) VALOTTE Julian Lennon
57 ( 44 ) OUT OF TOUCH Daryl Hall and John Oates
58 ( 69 ) THE ROSE IS SOWN Big Country
59 ( 50 ) LOST IN MUSIC Sister Sledge
60 ( NEW ) THE TOUCH Kim Wilde

61 ( 38 ) DAVE The Boomtown Rats
62 ( 47 ) TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder
63 ( 36 ) YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) Dead Or Alive
64 ( NEW ) NELLIE THE ELEPHANT The Toy Dolls
65 ( 67 ) DO THE CONGA Black Lace
66 ( 73 ) LOVE LIGHT IN FLIGHT Stevie Wonder
67 ( NEW ) SAN DAMIANO (HEART AND SOUL) Sal Solo
68 ( 58 ) MADAME BUTTERFLY Malcolm McLaren
69 ( 51 ) THE WAR SONG Culture Club
70 ( RE ) GHOSTBUSTERS Ray Parker Junior

71 ( 70 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
72 ( NEW ) SEE THAT GLOW This Island Earth
73 ( 75 ) SEPTEMBER SONG Ian McCulloch
74 ( NEW ) WE BELONG Pat Benatar
75 ( 41 ) WE ARE FAMILY Sister Sledge

1. Star Trek: City On The Edge Of Forever
2. Tenko
3. MASH
4. Hill Street Blues
5. The Phil Silvers Show
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
7. Carry On…Don’t Lose Your Head
8. Murder By Death: film
9. The Addams Family
10. Top Of The Pops
11. Rising Damp
12. Terrahawks
13. Soap
14. Entertainment USA
15. The Rockford Files

On TV Star Trek still topping my weeklies lists, but this is THE Star Trek, the greatest episode, and the one that regularly featured in Cult TV Greatest Episodes of TV Shows lists, City On The Edge Of Forever, written by Harlan Ellison, a time-travel tragic love story starring Joan Collins, who was never better, and rather young-looking! Certainly a candidate still for my most-favoritist-episode-ever..
Also, the award-winning Chuckles The Clown hilarious episode of Mary Tyler Moore Show was on, Mary finds the unusual death of TV show work colleague Chuckles The Clown dressed as a peanut, killed by an elephant trying to shell him, not funny – till the funeral. Watch it! Also the final episode of the generally great Tenko, as the survivors leave the prison camp for home.

At work, I got exasperated at the torturously slow speed colleagues worked at (I just took to computers right away and have a good memory) but especially He Who Be In Charge. To brighten up my day, the van broke down which oddly cheered me up and tickled my funny bone to the annoyance of the other 2 – I was nominated to stay stuck on cold country roads with the van while they walked to Sturminster Newton. An hour later, nothing. So I got the van jerkily jumping sort-of working and rolled down the road till I found them and parked it in a pub car park. Much more civil place to wait for the garage man to arrive at 7.15, home by 8pm. The next day, my car-share driver nearly hit a car on a roundabout, still driving fast, and now on anti-depressants. I was not comfortable with the situation at all. At work, Paul downloaded our data to Dorchester via phone line and commented “I’m still waiting for my print-outs to arrive”. “Never mind,” I quipped “some day your prints will come.” Snow White? No? Please yourself, I thought it was funny!

On the news, the shock news of a coach crash which had left Mike Nolan of Bucks Fizz in critical condition with head injuries, when he hadn’t seemed that seriously injured earlier (along with Jay Aston, he’d gone through the windscreen). Touch and go for a few days, he recovered but was left with problems from hereon, and Bucks Fizz were never quite the unit they were again. Xmas shopping, and then new movie Dune at the cinema – visually stunning, good cast, characters lacking. I was not a fan of the actor (hero) Kyle MachLachlan, rather ironically given his future era-defining (and also David Lynch creation) TV series Twin Peaks. I saw it as a flawed film, as you don’t develop any love of the thinly defined characters. Next up, straight into the Ghostbusters film! The kids in the audience really got into it, I enjoyed it, some good gags and special effects, engaging cast,: rating: “good, well-made fun” but “maybe not classic stuff” but preferred it to Dune.

more videos


25th December 1984

Wizzard take everyday Christmas wishing to the top for the 3rd time, and just to make the top 10 look like it’s Christmas 1973 again even more, Slade are at 10, Gary Glitter leaps to 7, and Paul McCartney is at 3 (both of them on the friday pub lunch jukebox at work in Anstey). To keep it all very festive, a bunch of christmas songs make the top 40 (none of them that great to be honest, at best OK), while forgotten naughty oddity I’m A Little Christmas Cracker whimsically bounces in for some alleged Czecks – it’s a pun. It’s actually quite sweet if you ignore the double-entendres, or amusing if you don’t.

Tears For Fears hit the 10, and Ashford and Simpson return with a solid record a few weeks after a short run, and hit a new height at 29. Seeing the movie obviously boosts Ghostbusters as it returns to the top 40 after dropping out my charts entirely, and Toto are also back again with Stranger In Town. The highest actual new record is The Adventures, as always still the bridesmaids of the UK charts, never the brides, with the good Send My Heart. Sal Solo brings some Latin christian cheer to the top 40, as The Toy Dolls update an early childhood toon: Nellie The Elephant was fondly remembered by those of who were first aware of music in the 60’s, so this stomping version was a bit of a larf. At least for the first few plays.

The Council Collective do some electioneering at 50, courtesy largely of Paul Weller and mates like Jimmy Ruffin, Junior, and missus Dee C. Lee. The Labour Party political party broadcast was OK, but it’s hard to see any current pop or rock stars doing a star-studded mini-gathering for, errr, ANY current political parties, except perhaps the SNP. This Island Earth go up a few places, a forgotten decent pop song that never really made it, sadly, and very very 1984-sounding.

On TV it’s a christmas bonanza of classic fave movies, recent and old, dotted about with some pop music shows (TOTP of course) and the final-ever episode of MASH, double-length and one of the biggest-ever non-sporting viewer ratings of all-time in the USA. It was a sad day when MASH ended, and the final episode was more disturbing than celebrating, but it had lasted 9 years longer than the actual Korean War did!

1 ( 2 ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
2 ( 1 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
3 ( 4 ) WE ALL STAND TOGETHER Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus
4 ( 3 ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS Band Aid
5 ( 7 ) ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK Murray Head
6 ( 6 ) THE POWER OF LOVE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
7 ( 20 ) ANOTHER ROCK AND ROLL CHRISTMAS Gary Glitter
8 ( 5 ) LIKE A VIRGIN Madonna
9 ( 14 ) SHOUT Tears For Fears
10 ( 15 ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade

11 ( 10 ) INVISIBLE Alison Moyet
12 ( 23 ) SINCE YESTERDAY Strawberry Switchblade
13 ( 13 ) COULD YOU BE LOVED Bob Marley And The Wailers
14 ( 9 ) SEX CRIME (1984) Eurythmics
15 ( 8 ) THE RIDDLE Nik Kershaw
16 ( 12 ) FRESH Kool And The Gang
17 ( 17 ) I FEEL FOR YOU Chaka Khan
18 ( 31 ) LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME The Thompson Twins
19 ( 11 ) I FEEL FINE The Beatles
20 ( 29 ) I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS Foreigner

21 ( 16 ) LOUISE Human League
22 ( 18 ) I WON’T RUN AWAY Alvin Stardust
23 ( 19 ) ALL JOIN HANDS Slade
24 ( 26 ) TEARDROPS Shakin’ Stevens
25 ( 28 ) SHARP DRESSED MAN Z.Z. TOP
26 ( 39 ) EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE Paul Young
27 ( 33 ) ROUND AND ROUND Spandau Ballet
28 ( 25 ) HARD HABIT TO BREAK Chicago
29 ( RE ) SOLID Ashford and Simpson
30 ( 22 ) THE WILD BOYS Duran Duran

31 ( 70 ) GHOSTBUSTERS Ray Parker Junior
32 ( 36 ) IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO Bronski Beat
33 ( 67 ) SAN DAMIANO (HEART AND SOUL) Sal Solo
34 ( 21 ) TREAT HER LIKE A LADY The Temptations
35 ( RE ) STRANGER IN TOWN Toto
36 ( 64 ) NELLIE THE ELEPHANT The Toy Dolls
37 ( 44 ) THANK GOD IT’S CHRISTMAS Queen
38 ( NEW ) SEND MY HEART The Adventures
39 ( 42 ) ONE CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE Captain Sensible
40 ( 52 ) SO NEAR TO CHRISTMAS Alvin Stardust

41 ( 27 ) LET IT ALL BLOW The Dazz Band
42 ( 24 ) THE MEDAL SONG Culture Club
43 ( 46 ) BIG DEAL (THEME) Bobby G
44 ( 32 ) CARIBBEAN QUEEN (NO MORE LOVE ON THE RUN) Billy Ocean
45 ( 66 ) LOVE LIGHT IN FLIGHT Stevie Wonder
46 ( 35 ) NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS Paul McCartney
47 ( 60 ) THE TOUCH Kim Wilde
48 ( 38 ) RESPECT YOURSELF The Kane Gang
49 ( 30 ) YOU MIGHT THINK The Cars
50 ( NEW ) SOUL DEEP The Council Collective

51 ( 41 ) THE VOICE The Moody Blues
52 ( 34 ) PRIVATE DANCER Tina Turner
53 ( 65 ) DO THE CONGA Black Lace
54 ( 43 ) DRIVE The Cars
55 ( 56 ) VALOTTE Julian Lennon
56 ( 40 ) THE NEVER ENDING STORY Limahl
57 ( 58 ) THE ROSE IS SOWN Big Country
58 ( 37 ) STRUT Sheena Easton
59 ( 53 ) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Jim Diamond
60 ( 48 ) I WOULD DIE 4 U Prince

61 ( 47 ) HALF A MINUTE Matt Bianco
62 ( 45 ) WARNING SIGN Nick Heyward
63 ( 59 ) LOST IN MUSIC Sister Sledge
64 ( 72 ) SEE THAT GLOW This Island Earth
65 ( NEW ) I’M A LITTLE CHRISTMAS CRACKER The Bouncing Czecks
66 ( 55 ) NO MERCY The Stranglers
67 ( 50 ) TONIGHT David Bowie
68 ( 57 ) OUT OF TOUCH Daryl Hall and John Oates
69 ( 74 ) WE BELONG Pat Benatar
70 ( 68 ) MADAME BUTTERFLY Malcolm McLaren

71 ( 71 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
72 ( 62 ) TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder
73 ( 73 ) SEPTEMBER SONG Ian McCulloch
74 ( NEW ) NEVER LET HER SLIP AWAY Trevor Walters
75 ( 49 ) BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS Depeche Mode

TV

1. Raiders Of The Lost Ark: film
2. Airplane: film
3. MASH – Goodbye Farewell and Amen
4. The Man With The Golden Gun: film
5. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
6. Some LIke It Hot: film
7. Top Of The Pops
8. Wogan
9. The Best/ Worst of Entertainment USA
10. Star Wars to Jedi
11. Mary Poppins: film
12. Porridge
13. Pop Quiz
14. Dallas
15. Hi De Hi


At work had an argument with Him over the north/south divide (these things are still facts in the UK, and not really a matter of opinion – the South does much better, always has!), while my car share almost had a second accident driving far too fast. “Watch out!” I cried, and she carried on speeding. “I’ll be a nervous wreck if I don’t get my own transport” I noted. Next morning, talk about prophetic: she finally hit another vehicle, 70mph hitting a tractor moving into the fast lane of the dual carriageway. She just didn’t see it. I was breathless gasping with disbelief and couldn’t get a word out in warning, how on Earth anyone could NOT see two tractors indicating to pull out (granted they shouldn’t have till it was clear, but she assumed they were going past a bike!) and still keep on going before slamming the break on violently at the last minute so my side of the car was gouged by a tractor and the front wheel crushed! I tell you it was my first lesson (but not my last, sadly) on just how many people there are on the roads determined to do me (and others) in. I also learnt to trust my own instincts when it comes to people…

She cried a lot, the tractor driver actually knew her and changed her car wheel, she didn’t exchange details, I suggested she go home rather than drive to work in her current state, where she was very upset on the phone to work. I made her a cup of tea to try and calm her down, I was oddly calm throughout, and arranged to get picked up in the works van on it’s way on site, on my walk home I finally got a bit shaky about it all, but was also rather relieved that it wasn’t serious: “she had to have an accident sooner or later…” I decided I needed a moped/motorbike soonish. Bob and boss were sympathetic, and next morning she drove more like a normal driver, hooray! The other surveying team team had disappeared, though, with no info on whereabouts when asked by the Big Boss in Dorchester. This caused a major team blow-out in the afternoon, acrimony much! Seems they felt they didn’t need to keep colleagues up to date on whereabouts, bit of a health and safety issue at the least, hey ho, I was a bit more blase about stuff given the events of the previous day, though saw the Boss’ viewpoint as the right one, which he appreciated and was quite nice for a few days.

Saturday, off to Mansfield with mum, dad and the cat for christmas with my brother’s family, and seeing everybody after our 10 months away, both dad’s family, and sister-in-law’s family, before settling down in coal-mining Blidworth where they lived, coal fire, cold and damp house like going back “to the Dark Ages of Liverpool in the 60’s. No wonder they like to stay in Poole.” Niece, I noted, was very active, quick on her feet and clever (15 months old). She, of course, interrupted sleep later on – it became a bit of a habit for oooh the next 5 or 6 years! Christmas Eve? Christmas Day? Shopping madness in jampacked town, sat about smelling watching TV (no hot water bathroom facilities), off to grandparents again, and Aunty’s. Christmas prezzies with toddler Vicki all excited next morning, dinner, and then big movies on TV after christmas Top Of The Pops. And relax….

My 1974 Charts – December

outside Gloucester cinema

outside Gloucester cinema


click here for video links


3rd December 1974

Winter draws on, christmas shopping for gifts starting, and the annual inrush of christmas classic pop songs had started. No it’s not 2014, it’s my charts in 1974 as I start the tradition of classic pop oldies invasions of the charts. I’m going to put modesty aside and declare I did it ahead of the UK charts, as John & Yoko drop to 2 behind new entry at 1 for christmas classic Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, a whole 12 months actual old! That gives it 3 weeks at 1 in total, and the first time a record came back in under a year to top my chart again. Of course it charts every single year in the UK for the last decade, but you can see why I don’t chart it highly anymore – been there done that many times already.

In at 4, and it’s an influential disco classic, pumping up the bpm’s, a disco diva in the making in Gloria Gaynor, and an exciting cover of The Jackson 5’s Top 5 (in my chart) 1971 ballad, given a very different treatment. I loved it immediately, and I loved Gloria. In at 6, it’s one of those “eh?” moments as an odd reggae obscurity announces itself with echo-effects, whooping, and unusual lyrics, to say the least. I also loved this Rupie Edwards track as it sounded like nothing before, except maybe a more laid back sort of Dave And Ansel Collins. Ire Feelings (Skanga). Skanga! Skanga! I’m feeling high…you know I suspect it might have something to do with substances now I think about it…

Disco Tex, Hot Choc and The Supremes pop up a few mid-table places, as George McRae is back at 16 with another very-KC (of Sunshine Band) disco hit, You Can Have It All, his third in 6 months, and KC’s 5th song. Ringo takes his Only You cover to 20, his 5th solo hit, ahead of his old band’s tracks, The Wombles pop up a christmas place, and TV’s family-friendly comedy-troop The Goodies move over to the singles chart with some very christmassy naughtiness, Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me. Actually the nominal A side was The Inbetweenies, Bill Oddie’s song which grabbed the airplay by default, basically a kiddie novelty hit. The other side was for the grown-up’s, Pythonesque rabble-rousing drunken-singing, as the lads sing the chorus each time omitting a word or syllable. I still find it funny, and the final line sort of puts it into moral context: he’s a most immoral Santa, they aren’t promoting that sort of behaviour! Honest! Finally John Christie pops in with 60’s fave Everybody Knows, a cover of the tuneful Dave Clark 5 big hit from 1967. Dave didn’t mind, I know that cos he produced the record.

1 ( NEW ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
2 ( 1 ) HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir
3 ( 2 ) YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET Bachman-Turner Overdrive
4 ( NEW ) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE Gloria Gaynor
5 ( 3 ) PEPPERBOX The Peppers
6 ( NEW ) IRE FEELINGS (SKANGA) Rupie Edwards
7 ( 4 ) KILLER QUEEN Queen
8 ( 8 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
9 ( 7 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
10 ( 6 ) JUKEBOX JIVE The Rubettes

11 ( 5 ) OH YES YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL Gary Glitter
12 ( 14 ) GET DANCING Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
13 ( 18 ) CHERI BABE Hot Chocolate
14 ( 19 ) WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? The Supremes
15 ( 10 ) SOUND YOUR FUNKY HORN KC And The Sunshine Band
16 ( NEW ) YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL George McRae
17 ( 9 ) SHBOOM (LIFE COULD BE A DREAM) Sha Na Na
18 ( 13 ) JUNIOR’S FARM Paul McCartney & Wings
19 ( 21 ) ON THE RUN Scorched Earth
20 ( 26 ) ONLY YOU Ringo Starr

21 ( 25 ) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Lulu
22 ( 11 ) GOODBYE NOTHIN’ TO SAY The Javells featuring Nosmo King
23 ( 24 ) WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS The Wombles
24 ( 16 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
25 ( 17 ) GET BACK The Beatles
26 ( 15 ) BABY COME BACK The Equals
27 ( 27 ) CANDY BABY Beano
28 ( NEW ) THE INBETWEENIES/ FATHER CHRISTMAS DO NOT TOUCH ME The Goodies
29 ( 20 ) O.K. CHICAGO Resonance
30 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY KNOWS John Christie

31 ( 12 ) DRACULA’S DAUGHTER Thunderthighs
32 ( 22 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Ken Boothe
33 ( 23 ) GAUDETE Steeleye Span
34 ( 28 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Elton John
35 ( 29 ) WILDCAT Merlin
36 ( 30 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
37 ( 36 ) YOU’RE THE FIRST, THE LAST, MY EVERYTHING Barry White
38 ( 31 ) TELL HIM Hello
39 ( 33 ) SHA LA LA LA (MAKES ME HAPPY) Al Green
40 ( 32 ) HOW LONG Ace

In real life, musician Nick Drake had quietly passed away with little publicity, Python was drawing to a close on TV, and the IRA had been outlawed. In my world of hobbies, DC Comics had kept on getting more fun and glossy, the Legion especially with new artist Dave Cockrum just getting better and better – at least until his strop with DC Comics, before pissing off to Marvel with his great costumes, artwork and ideas for X-Men, the classic years. I loved it so much I started buying multiple copies and keeping them in mint condition in bags. Fanboy!! Still got them mint though.

Big film at the cinema was the third disaster movie blockbuster in three months, and the best one, as Irwin Allen followed up Poseidon Adventure with the spectacle of The Towering Inferno. If a film ever inspired a fear of disaster in me it was this one, the thought of being trapped above a burning fire helpless in a skyscraper. Never felt comfortable with the thought of living or working way on high, subsequently. The film had Steve McQueen and Paul Newman together for the first time, a host of golden oldies like Fred Astaire, and it became an instant fave, though it wouldn’t make my lists these days. Scene of the film was poor old veteran Jennifer Jones falling out of a glass lift just after helping a kiddie. There’s gratitude for you, do a good deed etc.!


10th December 1974

After 2 weeks shoved down by xmas oldies, Bachman-Turner Overdrive reassert themselves on top, it was pretty popular at school and still sounded exciting. You Ain’t Seen N-n-n-n-nothing Yet! 2 weeks at 1 instead of 4 thanks to the oldies, it seems strange saying oldies for records that were 1 and 2 years old! These days records stay in the chart for 1 to 2 years! Those days they were golden oldies!

The christmas records keep on coming though, The Goodies get listed separately on the chart, and brand new christmas songs from Mud, at 20, with UK chart-topper Lonely This Christmas, and Les Grey doing a whimsical Elvis impersonation for their 4th hit of the year, but a major change in sound as they see the Glam Rock writing on the wall for all pop stars, this time it’s a charming, sad love song, and one that still hangs about at christmas time. The Wombles shoot up to 7, Wombling Merry Christmas giving them their biggest Wombling hit, and one of many songs written by Mike Batt in my charts this year. Showaddywaddy come back with a follow-up hit to Hey Rock ‘n’ Roll (I wasn’t keen on previous singles) with the sweet Hey Mr. Christmas, a xmas record you never hear anywhere these days. Mr. Big debut at 29 with the charming cockney Christmas with Dicken, a xmas flop, though Mr. Big finally got a UK chart hit with the fab Romeo in 1977.

Phil Spector’s classic early 60’s xmas album gets it’s first chart entry as Darlene Love takes Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) in at 30 as radio plays quite a few of it’s tracks. Darlene was actually the singer of He’s A Rebel, the brilliant cover of Gene Pitney’s song masterminded by Phil Spector, but it was credited to another entirely different act, The Crystals. In my charts she’d already appeared on backing vocals on Be My Baby, Monster Mash and Da Do Ron Ron, but she wouldn’t get another new go till the 90’s, following U2 grabbing her for backing vocals on their cover of the song – and it was another christmas goodie from Home Alone movies.

Away from christmas, Abba come back with their only single to fail to chart in the UK, So Long. It wasn’t playlisted by the BBC, though Radio Luxembourg did and it was fab, should have been a glam-tastic hit, in at 17 for their 4th hit of the year, 5th as songwriters. I had faith in Abba. Also The Faces, and what turned out to be their last record with Rod Stewart – You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything (etc) might have been amusingly titled but it was more groovy Rod than rocky Faces, and the writing was on the wall for the split. In at 13, a forgotten gem, the single from Deep Purple’s Roger Glover’s Butterfly Ball album, a thematic work with guest vocalists and an animated video. The great vocalist on Love Is All is Ronnie James Dio, of Rainbow and other metal bands – spot the connections? Ex-Deep Purple members mostly! It was a kids TV fave and bubbled under the charts but never broke into the 50, sadly.

Finally, Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus, a very naughty 1969 UK number one that I’d never heard in my life (it had been banned) started to get plays on Radio Luxembourg after being reissued and a hit all over again. Jane Birkin was the actress partner of French cult star Serge Gainsbourg, and they both provided a lot of breathy noises over the top of a lovely sultry melody. I rather liked it, and as I’d never be able to tape it onto my reel-to-reel tape recorder off the BBC I bought the single – Radio Luxembourg, being so far away, tended to be a medium-wave fading in and fading out and whining and hissing and screeching of broadcasts – but it was worth persevering to get to hear new songs not chosen by the BBC. At 40, one classic I didn’t get until years later, Ralph McTell’s Streets Of London, busker-song-classic, and already 4 years old or so before it charted. It’s a lovely lyric and wistful melody.

1 ( 3 ) YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET Bachman-Turner Overdrive
2 ( 2 ) HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir
3 ( 1 ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
4 ( 4 ) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE Gloria Gaynor
5 ( 12 ) GET DANCING Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
6 ( 6 ) IRE FEELINGS (SKANGA) Rupie Edwards
7 ( 23 ) WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS The Wombles
8 ( 28 ) THE INBETWEENIES The Goodies
9 ( 16 ) YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL George McRae
10 ( 5 ) PEPPERBOX The Peppers

11 ( 9 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 8 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
13 ( NEW ) LOVE IS ALL Roger Glover and Guests (featuring Ronnie Dio)
14 ( NEW ) FATHER CHRISTMAS DO NOT TOUCH ME The Goodies
15 ( 7 ) KILLER QUEEN Queen
16 ( NEW ) YOU CAN MAKE ME DANCE SING OR ANYTHING (EVEN TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK MEND A FUSE FOLD AWAY THE IRONING BOARD OR ANY OTHER DOMESTIC SHORTCOMINGS) The Faces featuring Rod Stewart
17 ( NEW ) SO LONG Abba
18 ( 14 ) WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? The Supremes
19 ( 13 ) CHERI BABE Hot Chocolate
20 ( NEW ) LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS Mud

21 ( NEW ) HEY MR CHRISTMAS Showaddywaddy
22 ( 24 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
23 ( 21 ) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Lulu
24 ( NEW ) JE T’AIME…MOI NON PLUS Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
25 ( 17 ) SHBOOM (LIFE COULD BE A DREAM) Sha Na Na
26 ( 26 ) BABY COME BACK The Equals
27 ( 34 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Elton John
28 ( 10 ) JUKEBOX JIVE The Rubettes
29 ( NEW ) CHRISTMAS WITH DICKEN Mr. Big
30 ( NEW ) CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) Darlene Love

31 ( 11 ) OH YES YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL Gary Glitter
32 ( 15 ) SOUND YOUR FUNKY HORN KC And The Sunshine Band
33 ( 18 ) JUNIOR’S FARM Paul McCartney & Wings
34 ( 19 ) ON THE RUN Scorched Earth
35 ( 20 ) ONLY YOU Ringo Starr
36 ( 22 ) GOODBYE NOTHIN’ TO SAY The Javells featuring Nosmo King
37 ( 25 ) GET BACK The Beatles
38 ( 27 ) CANDY BABY Beano
39 ( 29 ) O.K. CHICAGO Resonance
40 ( NEW ) STREETS OF LONDON Ralph McTell


School was about to break up any week now, and I’d made some newer friends that I didn’t really know the previous school year, which was great, and I’d obviously turn the conversation over to pop given the opportunity, though cards was the main social activity still. Given my enthusiasm for Queen, Gloria Gaynor, Abba and the very camp Disco Tex at this time, it was just as well I had Beatles, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and others to point to my less-girlie tastes in music. Not that I considered them girlie at all, who cares about categories anyway!

more video links here…
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17th December 1974

It’s a new number one for Disco Tex and his Sex-o-lettes, one of the great pop band names of all-time, Tex was on Top Of The Pops on film in his hat and flamboyant scarf, camping it up something cruel, it was great fun, funny, and tongue-in-cheek all in one, not to mention falsetto-catchy backing singing. Some people hated it, of course. The ones with no sense of humour. Gloria Gaynor, meantime, is in runners-up spot with a serious disco classic.

The christmas songs keep on a-coming, as I really get into the christmas spirit big-time on newies and oldies alike: Showaddywaddy hit the top 10, Gilbert O’Sullivan enters with Christmas Song, his first chart entry in over a year, and his best record since Alone Again (Naturally). As Gilbert has always been over-protective of his back catalogue you won’t find it on any compilation albums I suspect, or else it might have become better known as a christmas classic. Wizzard, meanwhile, stay top 5 with you-know-what as their last UK hit single enters my chart at 14 – are you ready to rock? Too right!

All four Beatles find themselves in the top 40, both all together, and solo, as George enters at 30 with Ding Dong, one of the few New Year pop singles to pop up over the years. I heard it on Radio 2 New Years Eve (2014) so hooray for keeping it vaguely-known, as it’s decent enough. My other fave band, other than The Beatles, and Roy Wood/Wizzard, who were on the decline after a hot streak, was soon to be Abba, doing well at 7 with So Long, their highest chart position since Waterloo hit 1.

KC goes back up to 11, Ray Stevens gets his 3rd hit of the year, this time with the very serious, slightly twee, Everybody Needs A Rainbow, Status Quo enter at 29 with their future UK chart-topper, the fabulous Down Down, and The Trammps debut at 28 with a romping disco version of the 30’s standard Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart. Judy Garland had the first well-known version, though the 50’s doo-wop flavour to The Trammps version shows where they took it from. Fab!

As school term ended, daytime TV was about to open to me – not that there was much in those days – as well as the evenings so that meant The Virginian, a great Western series, Tom & Jerry, still classic, Josie And The Pussycats In Outer Space (cartoon singing all-girl group on a spaceship with a cat. Honest!), the new animated Star Trek series (which I loved), The Generation Game (with Bruce Forsyth, of course, good game, good game), bald cop Kojak (Telly Savalas was huge in the UK), Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, Cannon (US PI), Top Of The Pops (of course), Jackanory had Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man (one of my future all-time fave films), Johnny Morris was still producing Animal Magic for kids, and had been my whole life as far as I could recall by then, Mission:Impossible was still chock full of plot-twisting, and The Magic Roundabout was still wondering about Florence.

1 ( 5 ) GET DANCIN’ Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
2 ( 4 ) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE Gloria Gaynor
3 ( 1 ) YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET Bachman-Turner Overdrive
4 ( 2 ) HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir
5 ( 3 ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
6 ( 7 ) WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS The Wombles
7 ( 17 ) SO LONG Abba
8 ( 8 ) THE INBETWEENIES The Goodies
9 ( 13 ) LOVE IS ALL Roger Glover and Guests (featuring Ronnie Dio)
10 ( 21 ) HEY MR CHRISTMAS Showaddywaddy

11 ( 32 ) SOUND YOUR FUNKY HORN KC And The Sunshine Band
12 ( 16 ) YOU CAN MAKE ME DANCE SING OR ANYTHING (EVEN TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK MEND A FUSE FOLD AWAY THE IRONING BOARD OR ANY OTHER DOMESTIC SHORTCOMINGS) The Faces featuring Rod Stewart
13 ( 14 ) FATHER CHRISTMAS DO NOT TOUCH ME The Goodies
14 ( NEW ) ARE YOU READY TO ROCK Wizzard
15 ( 24 ) JE T’AIME…MOI NON PLUS Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
16 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
17 ( 12 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
18 ( 6 ) IRE FEELINGS (SKANGA) Rupie Edwards
19 ( 9 ) YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL George McRae
20 ( 20 ) LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS Mud

21 ( 30 ) CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) Darlene Love
22 ( 38 ) CANDY BABY Beano
23 ( 22 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
24 ( 18 ) WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? The Supremes
25 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY NEEDS A RAINBOW Ray Stevens
26 ( NEW ) CHRISTMAS SONG Gilbert O’Sullivan
27 ( 25 ) SHBOOM (LIFE COULD BE A DREAM) Sha Na Na
28 ( NEW ) ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART The Trammps
29 ( NEW ) DOWN DOWN Status Quo
30 ( NEW ) DING DONG George Harrison

31 ( 15 ) KILLER QUEEN Queen
32 ( 19 ) CHERI BABE Hot Chocolate
33 ( 23 ) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Lulu
34 ( 26 ) BABY COME BACK The Equals
35 ( 27 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Elton John
36 ( 28 ) JUKEBOX JIVE The Rubettes
37 ( 29 ) CHRISTMAS WITH DICKEN Mr. Big
38 ( 33 ) JUNIOR’S FARM Paul McCartney & Wings
39 ( 35 ) ONLY YOU Ringo Starr
40 ( 40 ) STREETS OF LONDON Ralph McTell


24th December 1974

It was Christmas Eve and all through the house not a thing was stirring not even a mouse. Well, a hamster was, my brothers pet. I was doing my charts, meanwhile, and Gloria Gaynor gets her first week on top with the awesome Never Can Say Goodbye, a hectic dance with a tune and soaring strings, even better than the original achingly sweet and mournful Jackson 5 version, which had peaked at 2 in my charts. The Wombles go christmassy at 4, and Abba go top 5 for the second time. So Long? No chance!

George Harrison rings in the new, just behind old mucker John at 7, his 4th hit in 4 years, and biggest since My Sweet Lord hit 1. Never was prolific, George. It wouldn’t be christmas without Slade would it? Of course not! So it’s back in at 18 a year after hitting my top 3 – remember it all started here in popchartfeak world. Just saying it like it is, you can blame me it’s still doing the same 40 years later if that helps! Another regular classic bubbling under the UK 75 is The Ronettes fabulous Sleigh Ride. Ronnie Spector undoubtably glad she got away from Phil in the end, but here’s her 2nd hit of the year, after Be My Baby hit 1, with the track off A Christmas Gift For You, and just ahead of the other track at 20 for Darlene Love.

At 21, David Essex gets his 4th hit of 1974 with the title track from his 2nd movie Stardust, almost menacing and serious, in contrast to Gonna Make You A Star. David continues to be under-rated as a writer and performer, what he lacked in vocal dexterity he made up for in spades with conviction. The thinking schoolgirl’s popstar was Mr. Essex. Mud take a shock tumble, peaking at 20 after a run of 6 top 3’s (including 4 chart-toppers), I just preferred them glam and laddy to be honest at the time, though it will be back in christmas future to make amends. Billy Swan’s country-pop classic, covered by Elvis, and a minor anthem, I Can Help enters at 30, and it’s still a great song. Finally The Tymes scrape in at 40 with their UK number one in January 1975, Ms Grace. I like it now, but then it pissed me off for keeping Gloria Gaynor off the UK charts top spot. Bah!

1 ( 2 ) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE Gloria Gaynor
2 ( 1 ) GET DANCIN’ Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
3 ( 3 ) YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET Bachman-Turner Overdrive
4 ( 6 ) WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS The Wombles
5 ( 7 ) SO LONG Abba
6 ( 4 ) HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir
7 ( 30 ) DING DONG George Harrison
8 ( 10 ) HEY MR CHRISTMAS Showaddywaddy
9 ( 9 ) LOVE IS ALL Roger Glover and Guests (featuring Ronnie Dio)
10 ( 5 ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard

11 ( 16 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 8 ) THE INBETWEENIES The Goodies
13 ( 13 ) FATHER CHRISTMAS DO NOT TOUCH ME The Goodies
14 ( 14 ) ARE YOU READY TO ROCK Wizzard
15 ( 15 ) JE T’AIME…MOI NON PLUS Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
16 ( 12 ) YOU CAN MAKE ME DANCE SING OR ANYTHING (EVEN TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK MEND A FUSE FOLD AWAY THE IRONING BOARD OR ANY OTHER DOMESTIC SHORTCOMINGS) The Faces featuring Rod Stewart
17 ( 11 ) SOUND YOUR FUNKY HORN KC And The Sunshine Band
18 ( NEW ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade
19 ( NEW ) SLEIGH RIDE The Ronettes
20 ( 21 ) CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) Darlene Love

21 ( NEW ) STARDUST David Essex
22 ( 17 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
23 ( 26 ) CHRISTMAS SONG Gilbert O’Sullivan
24 ( 20 ) LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS Mud
25 ( 25 ) EVERYBODY NEEDS A RAINBOW Ray Stevens
26 ( 22 ) CANDY BABY Beano
27 ( 29 ) DOWN DOWN Status Quo
28 ( 18 ) IRE FEELINGS (SKANGA) Rupie Edwards
29 ( 19 ) YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL George McRae
30 ( NEW ) I CAN HELP Billy Swan

31 ( 23 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
32 ( 24 ) WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? The Supremes
33 ( 27 ) SHBOOM (LIFE COULD BE A DREAM) Sha Na Na
34 ( 28 ) ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART The Trammps
35 ( 31 ) KILLER QUEEN Queen
36 ( 32 ) CHERI BABE Hot Chocolate
37 ( 33 ) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Lulu
38 ( 36 ) JUKEBOX JIVE The Rubettes
39 ( 35 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Elton John
40 ( NEW ) MS GRACE The Tymes

TV at christmas was always a huge treat for me, so many great films and specials – this week there was The Time Machine, still a fave film version of the H.G. Wells novel, and The Marx Brothers in Go West. I love the Marx Brothers, especially Groucho, a major hero of mine at the time with his one-liners and put-downs. Top Of The Pops, of course, and future christmas regular (for a decade or so at any rate) The Goodies And The Beanstalk, a repeat of brilliant TV western comedy Alias Smith And Jones, and some bonus holiday Star Trek episodes (hooray!) each day. On BBC2, the fantastic MASH, the watchable Call My Bluff, Film Night has interviews with the Python team on location for The Holy Grail (that would be good to see again, probably wiped like everything else from this era, though), and I first watched the disturbing film “If” with Malcolm McDowell, which had an effect on me in more than one way, not the violence, which shocked, but the elite school life scenes.

The Radio Times, from whence this information comes (I don’t have THAT good a memory) had printed a letter from 15-year-old Peter Capaldi earlier in the year praising Doctor Who, though I take issue with the insistence of the BBC calling the TV animated great Top Cat “Boss Cat”. On every day, the title theme is Top cat, the cat is called Top cat and TC in the show, and it was called Top Cat when first shown in the early 60’s (inspired by Sgt Bilko), but no, there was a cat food called Top Cat and they wouldn’t want to be seen advertising. Mad BBC, absolutely insane. No idea what was on ITV, but probably a James Bond film at sometime and an episode of Rising Damp, a great cast, great script, great characters.


31st December 1974

New Years Eve, and I was at home watching TV. I know this because I saw the new year in (for the first time, almost sweet seventeen years old) watching Billy Wilder’s classic bittersweet comedy The Apartment on my black & white TV in my bedroom. It became an instant tearjerking (yet feelgood) fave, and I loved Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon already anyway (and Fred MacMurray playing a non-Disney nastier role than we were used to). I’d also bought myself a brand new proper spiral-bound notepad to make my charts more official-looking, and to be able to incorporate more records in my first official top 50 – just like Record Mirror which published all the charts that mattered at that time, including the UK Top 50 singles chart, and which was my must-buy bible.

So, first top 50 number one? I bought the record, and made it my top record in protest at the BBC not playing it (it was just outside the top 30), and cos I loved it anyway: naughty Je T’Aime..Moi Non Plus, completely absent from my 1969 charts age 11, completely owned 5 years on aged 16. Yay! With the extra 10 places lots of new entries for records that would otherwise not have charted, and quite a few re-entries showing just how many records were missing out on decent chart runs with the restricted slots available. To be honest even 50 wasn’t enough, really, but it was good enough for the BBC….

David Essex gets his 5th consecutive top 10 single, Billy Swan his first, christmas records suffer a decline, and highest new entry is Australian MOR I Am Woman and Delta Dawn big American star, Helen Reddy. Not eligible for my charts pre-1974 (as she’d had no UK hits) but Angie Baby changed all that, a spooky, swirling, disturbing minor classic and US number one. In at 16. At 18, Stevie Wonder gets his 5th chart hit of 1974 with the groovy Boogie On Reggae Woman, while actual reggae men popped in lower down, Ken Boothe’s follow-up to Everything I Own (Crying Over You) and John Holt’s jolly version of Gladys Knight’s weepy 1972 ballad hit Help Me Make It Through The Night.

The Jackson 5 near the end of their Motown career, with Life Of The Party, a flop single, in at 29 and almost 5 years of hits. For the first time (and last?) I chart an extended dance record twice, as the second half was on the B side (as was the fashion in those days, it was cut in half, faded out, and faded in on the B side) – Disco Tex’ Get Dancin’ Part 2. At 40, it’s a genuine huge American hit, his 2nd chart entry of the year for Harry Chapin, and the powerful, touching song Cats In The Cradle, the story of a dad with no time for his kid getting his comeuppance when old. I loved it to bits, and still do, despite the UK hit version being the trashy 1992 Ugly Kid Joe bloated monster. It lacks the subtlety and feeling of the original entirely.

Also in, Kenny with The Bump, a monster dance craze of the time, and this was the buttock-clashing cash-in pop single from the Bay City Rollers writer-producers Martin and Coulter, they of Puppet On A String, and many a hit record fame. They had even had a great 1973 number one for me with Irish singer Kenny, Heart Of Stone. Knowing they were onto a good thing, they nicked the name, gave it to a young band, and new pop stars were born. I wasn’t a huge fan though. The Carpenters I was a huge fan of, but the sudden change to jolly pop instead of classy ballad pop (like jolly Top Of The World and Jambalaya) had disappointed me, so this jolly cover of the Marvelettes 60’s song took a bit of getting used to, but it won me over in the end.

1 ( 15 ) JE T’AIME…MOI NON PLUS Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
2 ( 1 ) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE Gloria Gaynor
3 ( 2 ) GET DANCIN’ Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
4 ( 3 ) YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET Bachman-Turner Overdrive
5 ( 6 ) HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir
6 ( 7 ) DING DONG George Harrison
7 ( 5 ) SO LONG Abba
8 ( 9 ) LOVE IS ALL Roger Glover and Guests (featuring Ronnie Dio)
9 ( 21 ) STARDUST David Essex
10 ( 30 ) I CAN HELP Billy Swan

11 ( 4 ) WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS The Wombles
12 ( 10 ) I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY Wizzard
13 ( 8 ) HEY MR CHRISTMAS Showaddywaddy
14 ( 14 ) ARE YOU READY TO ROCK Wizzard
15 ( 16 ) YOU CAN MAKE ME DANCE SING OR ANYTHING (EVEN TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK MEND A FUSE FOLD AWAY THE IRONING BOARD OR ANY OTHER DOMESTIC SHORTCOMINGS) The Faces featuring Rod Stewart
16 ( NEW ) ANGIE BABY Helen Reddy
17 ( 17 ) SOUND YOUR FUNKY HORN KC And The Sunshine Band
18 ( NEW ) BOOGIE ON REGGAE WOMAN Stevie Wonder
19 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
20 ( 12 ) THE INBETWEENIES The Goodies

21 ( 13 ) FATHER CHRISTMAS DO NOT TOUCH ME The Goodies
22 ( 27 ) DOWN DOWN Status Quo
23 ( 22 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
24 ( 18 ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade
25 ( 19 ) SLEIGH RIDE The Ronettes
26 ( 26 ) CANDY BABY Beano
27 ( 23 ) CHRISTMAS SONG Gilbert O’Sullivan
28 ( 20 ) CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) Darlene Love
29 ( NEW ) LIFE OF THE PARTY The Jackson 5
30 ( 28 ) IRE FEELINGS (SKANGA) Rupie Edwards

31 ( 39 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Elton John
32 ( 29 ) YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL George McRae
33 ( 38 ) JUKEBOX JIVE The Rubettes
34 ( RE ) OH YES YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL Gary Glitter
35 ( 24 ) LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS Mud
36 ( 25 ) EVERYBODY NEEDS A RAINBOW Ray Stevens
37 ( NEW ) GET DANCIN’ PART 2 Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes
38 ( NEW ) CRYING OVER YOU Ken Boothe
39 ( NEW ) HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT John Holt
40 ( NEW ) CATS IN THE CRADLE Harry Chapin

41 ( RE ) GONNA MAKE YOU A STAR David Essex
42 ( NEW ) THE BUMP Kenny
43 ( NEW ) PLEASE MR POSTMAN The Carpenters
44 ( RE ) MY BOY Elvis Presley
45 ( RE ) WILDCAT Merlin
46 ( 37 ) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Lulu
47 ( RE ) ONLY YOU Ringo Starr
48 ( RE ) SHA LA LA LA (MAKES ME HAPPY) Al Green
49 ( 34 ) ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART The Trammps
50 ( 36 ) CHERI BABE Hot Chocolate


On TV Christmas day Top Of The Pops had Jimmy Saliva hosting so I guess it’ll never be broadcast ever again, though it is in the vaults. Ditto Part 2 as DLT was hosting, convicted of the ban-worthy crime of copping a feel. Santa had brought me gifts, though none of them spring to mind – I think Partridge Family Greatest Hits was probably one, record vouchers another (grandma often used to get me those), and on telly a fave film from Singapore RAF cinema days, True Grit, with John Wayne, the fab Kim Darby, and even fabber when non-acting Glen Campbell. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Race, were other film feast faves and the great Harry O David Janssen TV detective show was on along with some Doctor Who repeats.

My 1974 Charts – May

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Me and the neighbours 1974

7th May 1974

Exams were very much flavour of the month, both CSE’s and GCE O Levels. I ended up doing CSE’s, on the grounds that I’d changed schools inconveniently about 7 months before and the syllabus wasn’t the same as North Kesteven. Boo hoo for me, though it did spread out the revising times (of the few notes I had) over a longer period which meant I could stay at home and revise to Radio One and Radio Luxembourg (many of the obscure chart entries come from them). How did I do? Glad you asked. Took months to get the results, but I got grade 1 for CSE Maths and French (O level equivalent grades) and passed in O levels, English Language, Geography, I think.

My fave comic book Legion Of Super Heroes was well revitalised by now, so it came as a shock to me that they actually killed off one of the heroes, Invisible Kid. Sounds petty, but heroes just didn’t killed in comic books, it wasn’t the done thing when they’d been around for over 10 years. These days they kill off superheroes on a monthly basis and re-invent them monthly too. Invisible Kid, however, stayed dead, despite being previous leader of the Legion and a popular character. He’s still dead. Of course so is the rest of the Legion now, those DC toads killed them off years ago in a pathetic attempt to start from scratch which failed, not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times in 20 years. Think Marvels’ Avengers and X-Men movies, combined, and that’s the Legion, who were there first. Marvel were the copies, there’s no justice sometimes…

Pop music: (at last). Sparks finally do it, after playing subordinate to Abba and Wizzard for 4 weeks, overhaul them both and properly start their career. Fab! Barry White gets to 11 with his flop UK single (it’s good) just ahead of the UK success of Seals & Croft’s song as performed (way better) by the Isley Brothers, Summer Breeze highest new entry at 12 and it’s still brilliant guitar-soul.

In at 13, The Locomotion. Not Kylie, no. Not Little Eva either (she’d peaked Top 3 in 1972 already). No, this was a plodding heavy pop metal cover from Grand Funk that inexplicably hit big in the USA and my charts – I think it was the novelty value of being a totally different cover version. Smiffy at 15, Tranquility at 20, Melanie at 30, all obscure radio faves that sold about 6 copies each. I never managed to find copies, and haven’t heard them for 40 years, so I’m going to treat myself right now – if I can find them on youtube. Back in a jiffy!

Smiffy is pedestrian glam rock. Tranquility is not on the net, sadly, but was their final single release (harmony folkrock) before splitting up. Songwriter Terry Shaddick apparently went on to co-write Physical for Olivia Newton-John, so he prob made a few bob out of it. Melanie’s track is OK, and her final john-chart-hit for 9 years. Showaddywaddy. TV talent-show winners with a record deal, who’d’a thought of that eh? 50’s throwback stylee, this debut hit was actually glamtastically stomping singalong fun. In other words utterly unlike 21st century talent show winners, give or take the odd Olly Murs.

Quo drop by trying to break the rules, but sounding like their earlier boogie hits instead, so pretty much sticking to the rules. Gigliola Cinquetti finally charts some weeks after Eurovision. This one was the main opposition to Abba and Mouth Macneal in the contest (and Olivia) and it was a slow ballad, so I hated it on principle for doing so well against my newly-beloved Abba. After it became the latest of 4 eurovision big hits in 1974, it kinda grew on me. It’s very MOR Italian big ballad, but it’s gorgeous!! Still.

1 ( 3 ) THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US Sparks
2 ( 1 ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WINTER Wizzard
3 ( 2 ) WATERLOO Abba
4 ( 4 ) T.S.O.P. (THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA) M.F.S.B. (featuring the Three Degrees)
5 ( 5 ) JUDY TEEN Cockney Rebel
6 ( 6 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
7 ( 8 ) LUCINDA Howard Werth
8 ( 7 ) RED DRESS Alvin Stardust
9 ( 9 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING Blue Swede
10 ( 22 ) BENNY AND THE JETS Elton John

11 ( 24 ) HONEY PLEASE CAN’T YA SEE Barry White
12 ( NEW ) SUMMER BREEZE The Isley Brothers
13 ( NEW ) THE LOCOMOTION Grand Funk Railroad
14 ( 34 ) ONLY FOR THE CHILDREN The Stylistics
15 ( NEW ) SEE YA LATER (LITTLE BABY LOVE) Smiffy
16 ( 30 ) A TOUCH TOO MUCH Arrows
17 ( NEW ) HEY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Showaddywaddy
18 ( 10 ) TEEN WAVE Ricky Wilde
19 ( 12 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
20 ( NEW ) MIDNIGHT FORTUNE Tranquility

21 ( NEW ) BREAK THE RULES Status Quo
22 ( RE ) I’LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN KATHLEEN Lieutenant Pigeon
23 ( NEW ) GO (BEFORE YOU BREAK MY HEART) Gigliola Cinquetti
24 ( 26 ) I SEE A STAR Mouth and MacNeal
25 ( 21 ) SPIDERS AND SNAKES Jim Stafford
26 ( 29 ) RHODE ISLAND RED Ike & Tina Turner
27 ( 16 ) THE CAT CREPT IN Mud
28 ( 15 ) THE MAN WHO TURNED ON THE WORLD Friends Of St Francis
29 ( 28 ) THE JARROW SONG Alan Price
30 ( NEW ) LOVE TO LOSE AGAIN Melanie

31 ( 11 ) I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE THE FEELING Buffy Sainte-Marie
32 ( 13 ) MISSTRA KNOW IT ALL Stevie Wonder
33 ( 15 ) ON THE LINE Graham Nash
34 ( 14 ) SHANG A LANG Bay City Rollers
35 ( 17 ) PAPER MOON Nemo (aka Jonathan King)
36 ( 19 ) SEASONS IN THE SUN Terry Jacks
37 ( 18 ) DOCTOR’S ORDERS Sunny
38 ( 20 ) ON THE RUN Scorched Earth
39 ( 27 ) BAND ON THE RUN Paul McCartney & Wings
40 ( NEW ) THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED Paper Lace

14th May 1974

2 weeks on top for Sparks, but it’s straight in at 2 for Cozy Powell’s drumming instrumental follow-up to Top 3 Dance With The Devil. I loved the hook, it reminded me of a 60’s instrumental hit I’m struggling to recall the name of. The even better Judy Teen goes up to 3, and the Isleys get their biggest hit in 5 years with Summer Breeze at 6, while runner-up to Abba overtakes them, shocker! Yes Gigliola up to 7. Melanie goes Top 20, the rest shuffle about overtaken by all the new entries.

In at 12, one of David Essex’ minor hits, but it’s cool, all bluesy, saxey and multi-track-delayed-vocaley (made up words). I also had a thing about America, the land of my dreams – the pop culture was so much more exciting than the dreary UK pop culture, mostly. Only another 5 years to wait for the reality of it. Even better, though, Bryan Ferry had another solo album of covers out, oldies done modern stylee, and the 60’s soul dance hit The In Crowd is turned into a glam sax-full finger-snapping thundering guitar gem. Love it love it.

4 years before the Jacksons Blamed It On The Boogie, and 9 years before Michael Jackson warned of the Thriller, The Jackson released a great funky warning about The Boogie Man (he’s gonna get you). Obviously too scary as it bombed except in my chart. It’s a goodie. Three Dog Night turn up 5 years after Joy To The World, and show just how good Leo Sayer is by doing an inferior cover (and huge US hit). I was listening to the American charts on the American Forces radio network by this time, in the evenings, which is why there’s so many popping up in my charts. Talking of: the fab Staple Singers made 3 in 1972 in my chart (I’ll Take You There), so good they decided to do a soundalike follow-up (and huge US hit) 2 years later, popping in at 29 just behind my favourite novelty record maker Ray Stevens. He had loads of funny records, including the one new at 28, The Streak. The craze of taking your clothes off and running round naked in public was big news, so he naturally took the piss. It was hilarious for 2 or 3 weeks, then saturation set in and it stopped being funny. Then annoying. That’s the problem with novelty records when you hear them too much.

1 ( 1 ) THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US Sparks
2 ( NEW ) THE MAN IN BLACK Cozy Powell
3 ( 5 ) JUDY TEEN Cockney Rebel
4 ( 7 ) LUCINDA Howard Werth
5 ( 6 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
6 ( 12 ) SUMMER BREEZE The Isley Brothers
7 ( 23 ) GO (BEFORE YOU BREAK MY HEART) Gigliola Cinquetti
8 ( 4 ) T.S.O.P. (THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA) M.F.S.B. (featuring the Three Degrees)
9 ( 2 ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WINTER Wizzard
10 ( 3 ) WATERLOO Abba

11 ( 11 ) HONEY PLEASE CAN’T YA SEE Barry White
12 ( NEW ) AMERICA David Essex
13 ( NEW ) THE IN CROWD Bryan Ferry
14 ( NEW ) THE BOOGIE MAN The Jackson 5
15 ( 15 ) SEE YA LATER (LITTLE BABY LOVE) Smiffy
16 ( 13 ) THE LOCOMOTION Grand Funk Railroad
17 ( 17 ) HEY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Showaddywaddy
18 ( 30 ) LOSE TO LOVE AGAIN Melanie
19 ( 8 ) RED DRESS Alvin Stardust
20 ( 18 ) TEEN WAVE Ricky Wilde

21 ( 21 ) BREAK THE RULES Status Quo
22 ( 16 ) A TOUCH TOO MUCH Arrows
23 ( 14 ) ONLY FOR THE CHILDREN The Stylistics
24 ( 24 ) I SEE A STAR Mouth and MacNeal
25 ( 26 ) RHODE ISLAND RED Ike & Tina Turner
26 ( 19 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
27 ( NEW ) THE SHOW MUST GO ON Three Dog Night
28 ( NEW ) THE STREAK Ray Stevens
29 ( NEW ) IF YOU’RE READY (COME GO WITH ME) The Staple Singers
30 ( 22 ) I’LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN KATHLEEN Lieutenant Pigeon

31 ( 9 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING Blue Swede
32 ( 10 ) BENNY AND THE JETS Elton John
33 ( 20 ) MIDNIGHT FORTUNE Tranquility
34 ( 25 ) SPIDERS AND SNAKES Jim Stafford
35 ( 27 ) THE CAT CREPT IN Mud
36 ( 28 ) THE MAN WHO TURNED ON THE WORLD Friends Of St Francis
37 ( 29 ) THE JARROW SONG Alan Price
38 ( 31 ) I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE THE FEELING Buffy Sainte-Marie
39 ( 39 ) BAND ON THE RUN Paul McCartney & Wings
40 ( 40 ) THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED Paper Lace

21st May 1974

A big leap to 1 for Ray Stevens comedy hit, his second number one 4 years after his previous whopper, Everything Is Beautiful, not even a novelty hit that one, it’s a gospel song with a gorgeous tune and a kiddie refrain intro. I was mad on that one for years. I was mad on The Streak for at least one week. Sadly, it stops Cozy Powell getting to the top. Boo!

3 classic new entries though, in at 5 1968 Motown flop, now a Northern Soul re-issue, and the best ever record to come out of that scene, R. Dean Taylor’s There’s A Ghost In My House is fabulous. One of the very few white singers on Motown, he was a busy songwriter and had a 1968 hit with Gotta See Jane. So good, The Fall covered this song, but the original is the best, stonkingly dancetastic and frantictastic. At 6, a Lynsey De Paul song, a cinematically epic record by popular back-up singers Thunderthighs (see Walk On The Wild Side, Mott The Hoople etc) it’s a dramatic story song, sweeping strings and it’s a forgotten classic. Lynsey, meanwhile, is in at 27 herself with a delightful 50’s-pop-styled ditty, but it was generous to give away the better song.

At 15 it’s a debut for First Class and the equally epic-sounding Beach Baby, a retro Beach Boys harmonies, Summer Of Love vibing and referencing, sweeping gem. Just as cinematic as Thunderthighs, it’s much poppier, romping along and reminding one of Let’s Go To San Fransisco by The Flowerpot Men, which featured Jon Lord of Deep Purple fame. Actually it samples it, virtually. Actually it’s the same bandmembers, John Carter (who wrote this hit with his wife), and Tony Burrows on vocals. Actually it’s not a debut hit at all for Tony Burrows, who’d topped my chart as Edison Lighthouse in 1970, charted as White Plains, Butterscotch, The Pipkins and long-before-Eurovision Brotherhood Of Man, and sung lead on all of them. His early band links with massive pop songwriters Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook obviously didn’t hurt his career, and to be fair he was a great singer. Still love this summer-sounding record, pure summer of 74 for me.

Other stuff: The Locomotion shoots up to 4. Mystifyingly. Bryan Ferry goes Top 10, 5th in a row for Roxy/Ferry. Aretha Franklin pops in at 28 with a sweet soul ballad, and Showaddywaddy almost get a top 10 hit at 11. They went no higher, at least not till 1975.

 

1 ( 28 ) THE STREAK Ray Stevens
2 ( 2 ) THE MAN IN BLACK Cozy Powell
3 ( 1 ) THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US Sparks
4 ( 16 ) THE LOCOMOTION Grand Funk Railroad
5 ( NEW ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
6 ( NEW ) CENTRAL PARK ARREST Thunderthighs
7 ( 6 ) SUMMER BREEZE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 3 ) JUDY TEEN Cockney Rebel
9 ( 4 ) LUCINDA Howard Werth
10 ( 13 ) THE IN CROWD Bryan Ferry

11 ( 17 ) HEY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Showaddywaddy
12 ( 12 ) AMERICA David Essex
13 ( 7 ) GO (BEFORE YOU BREAK MY HEART) Gigliola Cinquetti
14 ( 18 ) LOSE TO LOVE AGAIN Melanie
15 ( NEW ) BEACH BABY First Class
16 ( 14 ) THE BOOGIE MAN The Jackson 5
17 ( 5 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
18 ( 10 ) WATERLOO Abba
19 ( 9 ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WINTER Wizzard
20 ( 23 ) ONLY FOR THE CHILDREN The Stylistics

21 ( 8 ) T.S.O.P. (THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA) M.F.S.B. (featuring the Three Degrees)
22 ( 24 ) I SEE A STAR Mouth and MacNeal
23 ( 11 ) HONEY PLEASE CAN’T YA SEE Barry White
24 ( 19 ) RED DRESS Alvin Stardust
25 ( 26 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
26 ( 15 ) SEE YA LATER (LITTLE BABY LOVE) Smiffy
27 ( NEW ) OOH I DO Lynsey De Paul
28 ( NEW ) I’M IN LOVE Aretha Franklin
29 ( RE ) GETTING OVER YOU Andy Williams
30 ( 37 ) THE JARROW SONG Alan Price

31 ( 20 ) TEEN WAVE Ricky Wilde
32 ( 21 ) BREAK THE RULES Status Quo
33 ( 22 ) A TOUCH TOO MUCH Arrows
34 ( 25 ) RHODE ISLAND RED Ike & Tina Turner
35 ( 27 ) THE SHOW MUST GO ON Three Dog Night
36 ( 29 ) IF YOU’RE READY (COME GO WITH ME) The Staple Singers
37 ( 30 ) I’LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN KATHLEEN Lieutenant Pigeon
38 ( 31 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING Blue Swede
39 ( 32 ) BENNY AND THE JETS Elton John
40 ( 33 ) MIDNIGHT FORTUNE Tranquility

28th May 1974

There was quite a strong Northern Soul movement around the lads who tended not to stay on at school after 16 (ROSLA kids who wanted to go at 15 – Raising Of School Leaving Age – and get an apprenticeship at the local big employer, or other stuff) so it was sort-of cool. R. Dean Taylor was cool. Deservedly a 60’s classic at the top, and joined by another 2- both of them The Monkees. I was getting fed up with limiting my charts with rules so I opened them up to anything that was available or new. I’d just bought The Monkees budget hits album and was loving every track, revisiting old faves from when I was a kiddie, and finding new gems. The single was out again, and the TV show may even have been having one it’s regular Beeb-edited selective repeats (so many episodes they never broadcast, so many they did broadcast had different songs). Net effect: I’m A Believer in at 4, as perfect as the day it was born, and Monkees Theme (from the TV show) at 22, incredibly every single classic record pre-dated my charts, so this was their chart debut, and the start of my voyage of 60’s rediscovery and discovery which is still ongoing.

Cozy Powell, 3 weeks at 2, all behind a different chart-topper…and he never did get there! The Streak proving to be a flash in the pan drops to 5, and Ronnie Lane’s gorgeous Poacher in at 9, already bigger than How Come. Band On The Run makes a proper entrance at 13 under the new rules, giving a belated follow-up to number 1 Jet for Macca & co. Deservedly, it’s brilliant, sprawling, varied and melodic. Lynsey gets her 4th top 20 hit (and at least 6th or 7th as songwriter), and soul classic Be Thankful is in at 23. Very much in the style of Timmy Thomas’ 1973 classic Why Can’t We Live Together, and almost as good. Smooth, jazzy, soulful, gospelly and wonderful.

Chart notes: 3 eurovision side by side 18,19,20, and two Elton side by side 38, 39. Yet another new underwhelming Elton turgid ballad (though I grew to love it 20 years later) being overshadowed by the ongoing brilliance of Bennie & The Jets, US monster hit single.

1 ( 5 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
2 ( 2 ) THE MAN IN BLACK Cozy Powell
3 ( 3 ) THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US Sparks
4 ( NEW ) I’M A BELIEVER The Monkees
5 ( 1 ) THE STREAK Ray Stevens
6 ( 6 ) CENTRAL PARK ARREST Thunderthighs
7 ( 7 ) SUMMER BREEZE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 10 ) THE IN CROWD Bryan Ferry
9 ( NEW ) THE POACHER Ronnie Lane
10 ( 12 ) AMERICA David Essex

11 ( 11 ) HEY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Showaddywaddy
12 ( 8 ) JUDY TEEN Cockney Rebel
13 ( RE ) BAND ON THE RUN Paul McCartney & Wings
14 ( 4 ) THE LOCOMOTION Grand Funk Railroad
15 ( 15 ) BEACH BABY First Class
16 ( 14 ) LOSE TO LOVE AGAIN Melanie
17 ( 27 ) OOH I DO Lynsey De Paul
18 ( 18 ) WATERLOO Abba
19 ( 13 ) GO (BEFORE YOU BREAK MY HEART) Gigliola Cinquetti
20 ( 22 ) I SEE A STAR Mouth and MacNeal

21 ( 19 ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WINTER Wizzard
22 ( NEW ) MONKEES THEME The Monkees
23 ( NEW ) BE THANKFUL FOR WAHT YOU’VE GOT William De Vaughan
24 ( 28 ) I’M IN LOVE Aretha Franklin
25 ( 16 ) THE BOOGIE MAN The Jackson 5
26 ( 17 ) SUGAR BABY LOVE The Rubettes
27 ( 30 ) THE JARROW SONG Alan Price
28 ( 29 ) GETTING OVER YOU Andy Williams
29 ( 36 ) IF YOU’RE READY (COME GO WITH ME) The Staple Singers
30 ( 35 ) THE SHOW MUST GO ON Three Dog Night

31 ( 9 ) LUCINDA Howard Werth
32 ( 20 ) ONLY FOR THE CHILDREN The Stylistics
33 ( 21 ) T.S.O.P. (THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA) M.F.S.B. (featuring the Three Degrees)
34 ( 23 ) HONEY PLEASE CAN’T YA SEE Barry White
35 ( 24 ) RED DRESS Alvin Stardust
36 ( 25 ) THE YEAR OF DECISION The Three Degrees
37 ( 26 ) SEE YA LATER (LITTLE BABY LOVE) Smiffy
38 ( 39 ) BENNY AND THE JETS Elton John
39 ( NEW ) DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME Elton John
40 ( 31 ) TEEN WAVE Ricky Wilde