Sunday, 19 August 2007

Number Ones: Part 2 - The Seventies

As I'm forty-one years old in a few days (you can see my Amazon Wishlist if you want to buy me a pressie!) I thought I'd take a look back at the songs which were number one in the UK chart each year on my birthday.

Today it's the turn of the 1970's.

1970: Elvis Presley - "The Wonder of You (Live)"
July 28 for 6 weeks.

Seven years before he died, Elvis was starting to shake off the doldrums of the mid to late 1960s and was entering the Vegas years when he started to revive his credibility. This is one of the most powerful songs of his late era.

1971: Diana Ross - "I'm Still Waiting"
August 17 for 4 weeks.

I can't for the life of me remember how this one goes. I'm afraid Miss Ross has never been a favourite of mine. I'm sure she'd be gutted to know that I spent my fifth birthday totally oblivious to her.

1972: Alice Cooper - "School's Out!"
August 8 for 3 weeks.

This single would become an anthem to a generation of us kids on the last day of the school year. On that occasion we'd sing this as we tore out of the school gates. The other two end-of-terms were greeted with the "no more rulers, no more books" chant which was also incorporated into this song.

1973: Donny Osmond - "Young love"
August 21 for 4 weeks.

I was, I am ashamed to say, a bit of a Donny Osmond fan when I was seven years old. I even had a t-shirt with the toothy Osmond fizzog imprinted thereon. I still wake up in a cold sweat even now.

1974: The Three Degrees - "When Will I See You Again"
August 13 for 2 weeks.

Famously Prince Charles' favourite "pop group". A nice enough song I suppose, though a bit syrupy. Sheila Ferguson, lead singer (or the first degree, I suppose) was the entertainment at a company function I attended a couple of years ago. She was rubbish!

1975: The Stylistics - "I Can't Give You Anything (But My Love)"
August 16 for 3 weeks.

Another song title that I don't recognise. Sorry Stylistics.

1976: Elton John & Kiki Dee - "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
July 24 for 6 weeks.

Ah! Elton and Kiki flirting all through the video (though they weren't called that then) to this record. Would they get together, we thought. Strangely, they never did marry...

1977: Brotherhood of Man - "Angelo"
August 20 for 1 week.

A song which was a complete rip-off (or "fond homage" if the writers' lawyers are reading) of ABBA's Fernando. Oddly, I remember the Barron Knights' spoof of this better than the original. Altogether now: "Long ago, outside a chip shop in Walthamstow..."

1978: The Commodores - "Three Times A Lady"
August 19 for 5 weeks.

This was the song that was played at the end of school and youth-club discos for the next 5 or 6 years. As a hormonally unbalanced teenager the entire evening was spent trying to pluck up the courage to ask the girl you fancied to dance with you to this.

1979: The Boomtown Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays"
July 28 for 4 weeks.

A brilliant song, even before Live Aid came along. I remember learning to DJ when I was in the Reggae Soc at university. For some reason this single used to fit in very well alongside the dub, ska and Smiley Culture records we played.


Delmonti said...

I dont like mondays..... I remember this very very well. I was 12 and vividly remember being very excited at the prospect of buying that single, strangely the memory that comes flooding back is of me with a bunch of mates down the "dene" walking through a stream on a very hot summers day. I also remember being very shocked at the story the lyrics told, that could have been the start of my fascination with story telling songs.

Oh buggery, almost forgot the reason I was posting, happy birthday there fella!

Chris said...

I've got a great picture of you in the 'Donny' t-shirt, somewhere. Perhaps, seeing as it's raining, I'll spend the rest of the day finding it and then.....

(Word verification is toxvtipoo - what could that possibly mean?)

Clare said...

Both "I don't like Mondays" and "School's Out" featured in Teechers, either on stage or as foh music :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

jomoore said...

"And he said...
Little girl
Please don't wait for me
Wait patiently for love
Someday it will surely come.
But I'm stil wai-ting

And, Angelo - there was a dance and everything. We (not you and me, I hasten to add...) used to 'perform' it on our way out of school.

"Running away together
Running away forever
Running away from danger
Hiding from ev-ry stranger

Angelo and his high-born love ended up killing themselves, so it was a tragic story (though with only one verse and one chorus, not exactly an epic!).