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MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS

1975

 

1975 saw the growth of Disco music and the fading away of Glam Rock.  This change led to a large number of different acts appearing in the UK charts during this year.  There are in fact 36 new names in this 1975 listing, but very few went on to have a long chart career, and several turned out to be one-hit-wonders.  Only three acts have as many as three hits in this listing.  They are the Bay City Rollers who were the top British group of the year, David Bowie, who had four entries in the Top 20, although one of those was "Space Oddity", a reissue of his 1969 hit.  The third act was American Soul group the Stylistics, who achieved four Top 20 hits, and remained more popular in the UK than at home.

From the UK, Elton John, David Essex, Rod Stewart, Showaddywaddy, and Hot Chocolate all had a couple of substantial hits in the charts.  John Lennon, whose solo career had been a bit sporadic, had his classic "Imagine" single in the 1975 charts for the first of three appearances over the next three decades.  From Sweden, Abba had the first two of 18 consecutive Top 10 hits which continued until 1981, making them a dominant force for the remainder of the decade.

The Americans still had a good look-in.  The Country Rock band the Eagles finally reached the British singles charts in 1975, having had several hits in the USA since 1972.  The year also witnessed the unexpected return of the late 1950s/early 1960s guitarist Duane Eddy, although it was very much a one-off.  Other revived names from the States included Art Garfunkel (originally one half of Simon & Garfunkel) who had the first of two chart toppers in the 1970s, crooner Johnny Mathis, who had not been in the UK Top 10 since 1960, and those 'Jersey Boys', the Four Seasons who had their first Top 10 hit for ten years.  Other acts from the USA in the charts this year included the Carpenters, the Drifters, Gladys Knight & The Pips, and Barry White.

These are my personal favourite recordings from this particular year, listed in the order in which they entered the UK hit singles chart.  You may not agree with my choices, but these were UK chart hits* that had plenty of air play on the music radio stations of the day, such as BBC Radio 1, Capital Radio, and Radio Luxembourg.

*four songs not a hit in the UK.

 


1

Title: Boogie On Reggae Woman
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Writer(s): Stevie Wonder
Entered chart 11 Jan 1975; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

Stevie Wonder was born on 13 May 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, but he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, USA.  He was blind almost from birth, but began singing in a church choir as a child.  He was signed to Tamla Motown records at the age of eleven, and made several records.  In 1963, when he was 12, he had his first hit, "Fingertips", which went to Number One on the USA charts.  His next few releases, however, did not reach the charts, and there was a danger that Motown might drop him.  However, he was given one last chance to produce a hit, and with his musical mentors, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby, he wrote "Uptight (Everything's Alright)".  The single reached number 3 in the USA, peaking at number 14 in the UK - his debut hit there.  His career grew from there with a series of hit singles and albums over the following years.  By the end of the 20th century, he had scored 54 hit singles and 17 Top 30 hit albums in the UK.  He has continued to record and perform until the present time, although at greater intervals than in the earlier decades.  His most recent original album release was in 2005.
# This single came from Wonder's album "Fulfillingness' First Finale", which reached number five in the UK album chart.  This was his only chart entry of 1975.  He was back, however, in late 1976 with a Top 10 single and the album "Songs In The Key Of Life", which reached number two in the UK album chart.  In fact, Wonder was becoming mainly an album act.  Whilst his singles were a bit hit or miss, he had eight consecutive Top 10 original albums in the charts from 1973 to 1985.


2

Title: Sugar Candy Kisses
Artist: Mac & Katie Kissoon
Writer(s): Wayne Bickerton & Tony Waddington
Entered chart 18 Jan 1975; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 10.

Mac & Katie Kissoon were a brother and sister duo, both born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on 11 Nov 1943 (Mac) and 11 Mar 1951 (Katie).  They emigrated to the UK with their family in 1962.  Both began recording and performing separately with different groups during the second half of the 1960s.  They first recorded together in 1971 when they issued the song "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep".  The Kissoons missed out to a rival version from Scottish group Middle Of The Road which went to Number One in the UK (see year 1971, song 41).  Mac & Katie's version peaked at number 41 in the UK, but reached number 20 in the USA.  The duo's first chart success in the UK came in 1975 when "Sugar Candy Kisses" climbed up to number three.  This was followed by the Top 10 hit "Don't Do It Baby" later in the year.  They only had two further smaller hits in the UK, but they were very popular in the Netherlands, where they had several hits, including two Top 10 entries during 1979-1980.  In the 2000s, Katie provided backing vocals on several album recordings for other artists, and performed the same role on their concert tours.
# The duo's next hit came in May (song 36).
# The songwriters Bickerton and Waddington had written all of the Rubettes hits in 1974.


3

Title: January
Artist: Pilot
Writer(s): David Paton
Entered chart 18 Jan 1975; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 10.

Pilot was a Scottish rock group formed during 1973 in Edinburgh by David Paton and Billy Lyall.  Both Paton and Lyall had been in the the Bay City Rollers before that band reached the height of its fame.  In 1974 they recorded their debut album "From The Album Of The Same Name", which was not a hit, but featured the song "Magic".  The recording peaked at number eleven in the UK but it reached Number One in Canada and number five in the USA.  Even the afore-mentioned album reached number 82 on the American Top 200 album chart.  The band's next release, in January 1975, the aptly-named "January", went to Number One in the UK, but two further releases only made the Top 40.  The band broke up in 1978, and Paton with two other members of the band joined the Alan Parsons Project which had a few album hits in the second half of the 1970s and early 1980s.
# This was the band's second of two Top 10 hits that they enjoyed.  Only two minor hits followed.


4

Title: Angie Baby
Artist: Helen Reddy
Writer(s): Alan O'Day (American singer-songwriter)
Entered chart 18 Jan 1975; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 10.

Helen Reddy (25 Oct 1941 - 29 Sep 2020), was born in Melbourne, Australia.  She started singing as a child, and took part in several talent contests.  One contest had a winning prize of a trip to New York, in 1966.  She decided to remain in the USA to pursue her ambition to be a successful singer.  She moved to Los Angeles and eventually gained a recording contact with Capitol records.  During the 1970s, Reddy enjoyed success in the USA, where she placed 15 singles in the top 40.  Six made the top 10 and three reached Number One, including her signature hit "I Am Woman", in 1972.  On television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.  Her only major successes in the UK were her Top 10 single "Angie Baby", and her "Best of Helen Reddy" album which reached number five on the UK album chart in 1976.  She continued successfully in the USA until she retired from live performance in 2002, although she made a come-back from 2011 for special events.  She suffered from Addison's disease and dementia in her later years, and died on 29 September 2020 in Los Angeles, aged 78.


5

Title: Purely By Coincidence
Artist: Sweet Sensation
Writer(s): David Parton
Producer: Tony Hatch
Entered chart 18 Jan 1975; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 7.

Sweet Sensation were a British Soul group formed in Manchester in 1971.  It was an eight-piece band with lead singer Marcel King (4 Jan 1957 - 5 Oct 1995), who was 17 when this song was recorded, which he sang in a falsetto voice.  They came to prominence when they appeared on the TV talent show "New Faces" in early 1974.  One of the judges on the show's panel was record producer Tony Hatch, who had crafted numerous hits for Petula Clark in the 1960s.  Hatch saw their potential and arranged for them to sign a record deal with Pye records.  Their first release did not reach the charts but the second offering, "Sad Sweet Dreamer" (see year 1974, song 71), became a Number One hit in the UK, and it even reached the Top 20 in the USA.  One further release reached number eleven in January 1975, but there were no further hits, and the band was dissolved in 1977.
# This was the second of their two chart entries.


6

Title: Please Mr Postman
Artist: The Carpenters
Writer(s): Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland & Robert Bateman
Entered chart 18 Jan 1975; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 12.

The Carpenters were a brother and sister duo from Connecticut, USA.  The act comprised Richard Carpenter (born 15 Oct 1946) and Karen Carpenter (2 Mar 1950 - 4 Feb 1983).  Karen provided the vocals and sometimes drums, while Richard provided the arrangements,  instrumentation (mostly piano), and sometimes backing vocals.  During the 1970s they were an extremely popular easy-listening act with numerous hit singles and albums throughout the world.  Their compilation album "The Singles 1969-1973" reached Number One in the UK and remained on the album chart for well over two years, with seven other albums reaching the Top 10.  They toured the world extensively for a decade, but Karen began to suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, although she always denied the suggestion.  However, in early February 1983 she collapsed and died from a heart attack brought on by anorexia nervosa.  Richard Carpenter then began producing a new album of unreleased Carpenters recordings which was issued later in 1983.  Since then he has produced several compilation albums, and in 2018 an album of the duo's hits with orchestration from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was issued, reaching number eight in the UK album chart.
# This song was first recorded in 1961 by Motown group the Mavelettes, and their version reached Number One on the American charts.  It was recorded in 1963 by the Beatles for their second album "With The Beatles".  The Carpenters' version went to Number One in the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
# This was the Carpenters' first Top 10 hit since October 1973.  Their next, however, came in April 1975 (song 31).


7

Title: Star On A TV Show
Artist: The Sylistics
Writer(s): Hugo & Luigi and George David Weiss
Entered chart 25 Jan 1975; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

The Stylistics was a smooth Soul five-piece vocal group that was formed in Philadelphia, USA in 1970.  The group was characterised by the falsetto voice of Russell Thompkins Jr (born on 21 Mar 1951 in Philadelphia, USA) and the smooth sound created by producer Thom Bell.  This combination resulted in a series of six UK hits until the summer of 1974.  Thom Bell stopped working with the group at that time, but production was taken over by record label owners Hugo & Luigi with arrangements by Van McCoy.  This resulted in another run of ten hits in the UK, with seven of those reaching the Top 10.  However, this second run of hits over the years 1974 to 1976, did not do well in the USA where the new Disco sound was becoming dominant.  In addition to the singles success in the UK, the group's "Best Of" album went to Number One on the British album chart, where it eventually stayed for 63 weeks.  The group continued for the next two decades, but Thompkins left in 2000.  He released a solo album in 2002, but in 2004 Thompkins formed a new group, Russell Thompkins Jr & The New Stylistics.  They are still performing (as a trio) at the present time.
# This was the group's first of four UK Top 20 hits during 1975, one of which made Number One, and two others reached the Top 5.  The next hit came in May (song 37).


8

Title: I'm Stone In Love With You
Artist: Johnny Mathis
Writer(s): Thom Bell, Linda Creed & Anthony Bell
Entered chart 25 Jan 1975; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 12.

Johnny Mathis was born on 30 Sep 1935 in Texas, USA, but his family moved to San Francisco, where he grew up.  His father encouraged him to sing, and he was having voice lessons from the age of 13.  He began singing in clubs in 1955, and was soon given a recording contract.  His crooning style was very popular with the older generation, and TV appearances increased his popularity.  He issued dozens of albums of ballads and standards, as well as having some success in the singles market.  He had not enjoyed a UK Top 10 single since 1960 when "My Love For You" reached number nine (see year 1960, song 87), so, this hit single was quite unexpected.  In 1976 his Christmas perennial, "When A Child Is Born", first entered the UK charts, reaching Number One.  A few further hits continued in the UK until 1979.
# This song was originally a hit for Soul group the Stylistics in 1972 (see year 1972, song 85).


9

Title: Shoorah! Shoorah!
Artist: Betty Wright
Writer(s): Allen Toussaint
Entered chart 25 Jan 1975; Highest Position 27; Weeks on chart: 7.

Betty Wright (21 Dec 1953 - 10 May 2020) was born in Miami, Florida, USA.  Betty joined the family Gospel group when she was a child, but that broke up in 1965 when she was eleven.  She then decided to follow an R&B musical career, and began recording when just twelve.  She continued singing whilst still at school, and became well-known in the Miami area.  When only 17 she had her first national hit record, and followed that with several R&B hits over the next couple of years.  Her first appearance in the UK charts came in early 1975 when "Shoorah! Shoorah" reached the Top 30.  A follow-up in April that year got two places higher, but a sustained chart career in the UK did not ensue.  Although she continued to record, she was also a backing singer on the albums of several other artists during the 1980s and 1990s.  In the 2000s she was a vocal producer for several prominent vocalists, but still often performed on stage and TV.  Sadly she died from cancer, in Miami, at the age of 66.


10

Title: Your Kiss Is Sweet
Artist: Syreeta
Writer(s): Stevie Wonder & Syreeta Wright
Entered chart 1 Feb 1975; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

Syreeta (3 Aug 1946 - 6 Jul 2004) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.  The family moved around the USA, until they settled in Detroit as Syreeta began high school.  After competing her education she got an office job with Motown records, but was soon recording demos for established artists.  She met Stevie Wonder at Motown in 1968 and they began songwriting together.  In September 1970 she and Wonder married in Detroit, and they worked on Wonder's next couple of albums, although they divorced in 1972.  In 1974, Syreeta issued a new album which included the single "Your Kiss Is Sweet", which was a Top 20 hit in the UK, but did not chart in the USA.  She later began recording with Billy Preston (who worked with the Beatles in the late 1960s), and they enjoyed the UK number two hit "With You I'm Born Again" in 1979.  She also continued to work with Wonder on his albums into the 1980s, and she issued albums into the 1980s as well.  Wright briefly lived in Ethiopia in the mid-1970s, where she worked as a Transcendental Meditation teacher.  She eventually settled in Los Angeles, where she lived for the rest of her life.  She died in 2004 from congestive heart failure, a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments she was receiving for breast and bone cancer, at the age of just 57.


11

Title: My Eyes Adored You
Artist: Frankie Valli
Writer(s): Bob Crewe & Kenny Nolan
Entered chart 1 Feb 1975; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 11.

Frankie Valli was born on 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA.  He became famous as the lead singer with the group the Four Seasons.  He had begun singing in the 1950s with various groups, but it was In 1960, with the Four Seasons, that his career took off.  Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper.  Other similar recordings followed and they managed to hit the UK charts through to 1966.  Valli continued to record with the group, but also recorded as a solo artist.  In 1970 he had his first UK solo hit with "You're Ready Now" (see year 1970, song 100) which was made in 1966, but not released in the UK until four years later.  His next solo hit came in 1975, when he reached the Top 10 with "My Eyes Adored You", which was an American Number One.  He had more hits with the Four Seasons, as well as solo, during the mid-to-late 1970s.  He has continued to perform in concert tours during the 2010s, but went to the UK for a farewell tour at the end of 2018.
# His next UK hit came in June this year (song 47).


12

Title: Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
Artist: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Writer(s): Steve Harley
Entered chart 8 Feb 1975; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 9.

Steve Harley was born on 27 Feb 1951 in Deptford, south London, England.  Steve's first guitar was a Christmas gift from his parents when he was ten-years-old.  He took classical violin lessons from the age of nine to fifteen and played in his Grammar school orchestra.  He had set his sights on a career in journalism, and got a job with the Daily Express in 1968.  He later took a job with a local newspaper group in Essex, and then worked on the East London Advertiser in the heart of London's East End.  However, his love of music had grown, and after a stint with a Folk music group, he formed Cockney Rebel in 1972, and signed a deal with EMI records.  The first single "Sebastian", did not chart in the UK, but went to Number One in the Netherlands and Belgium.  The group first charted in the UK during 1974 with "Judy Teen" which reached number five, followed by another Top 10 entry.  In February 1975 they hit Number One in the UK with "Make Me Smile", and they had two Top 10 albums during 1974-1975.  In the 1980s Harley turned to acting, and starred in the stage musical "Marlow".  More roles followed into the 2000s.  For nine years from 1999, Steve Harley presented BBC Radio Two's "Sounds of the Seventies", and he has composed many songs for other performers over the years.
# His next Top 10 hit came 1976, a recording of the Beatles' song "Here Comes The Sun".


13

Title: Pick Up The Pieces
Artist: The Average White Band
Writer(s): The Average White Band
Entered chart 22 Feb 1975; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Average White Band was a white Soul/Funk band, formed in London by six musicians originating from Dundee, Scotland.  They had played together in Scotland previously, but had gone to London as individuals.  Featuring two saxophonists and a trumpeter, they gained a support slot at an Eric Clapton concert in 1973, and shortly after signed a recording contract.  Their debut album "Show Your Hand" in 1973 did not reach the charts, but their 1974 album "AWB", recorded in Los Angeles, reached number six in the UK, and went all the way to Number One in the USA.  A single taken from the album, "Pick Up The Pieces", which was largely an instrumental piece, also peaked at number six in the UK but reached Number One in the USA.  With that American success, the band remained in Los Angeles, and two further albums over 1975-1976 reached the USA Top 10, although they did not do so well in the UK.  In 1980, they had a number twelve Disco hit in the UK with "Let's Go Round Again".  After that initial success, their popularity began to wane, and the band broke up in 1983.  However, with mostly new personnel, they reformed in 1989 and further recordings have been made, as well as performances into the 2010s.
# The song "Pick Up The Pieces" has been recorded by several Jazz instrumentalists.


14

Title: Mandy
Artist: Barry Manilow
Writer(s): Scott English & Richard Kerr
Entered chart 22 Feb 1975; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 9.

Barry Manilow was born on 17 Jun 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.  He is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician, producer and actor, with a career that has spanned more than 50 years.  He began as a songwriter in the 1960s, but turned to singing in the early 1970s.  His hit recordings include "Mandy", "Could It Be Magic", "I Write the Songs", "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana (At the Copa)".  He recorded and released numerous hit singles and albums from the mid-1970s to the beginning of the 2000s.  He has had six Top 10 albums in the UK, but in the USA he has scored numerous Top 10 albums up to 2014.  He has produced albums for other artists including Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award (winning once) as a producer, arranger and performer a total of fifteen times (and in every decade) from 1973 to 2015.  Manilow has sold more than 85 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.
# This was Manilow's first hit in the UK and first Number One in the USA.
# The song was co-written by American singer-songwriter Scott English under the original title of "Brandy", and his version reached the Top 20 of the UK charts in 1971.  


15

Title: There's A Whole Lot Of Loving
Artist: Guys 'n' Dolls
Writer(s): Christian Arnold, David Martin & Geoff Morrow
Entered chart 1 Mar 1975; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 11.

Guys 'n' Dolls was formed in November 1974, after a production company held auditions for three young men and three young women to perform as a vocal group.  The six original members were Paul Griggs, David Van Day, Dominic Grant, Thereza Bazar, Martine Howard and Julie Forsyth (daughter of entertainer Bruce Forsyth).  Guys 'n' Dolls first single, "There's a Whole Lot of Loving", was released in January 1975.  The song was originally recorded in September 1974 by a group of session singers (including the ubiquitous Tony Burrows) for a TV advertisement for McVitie's biscuits.  Guys 'n' Dolls were formed to cash in upon the popularity of the jingle.  However, the group was not ready to record a new version required for the single's hasty release and so the voices of the session singers remained on the single.  The song became an immediate hit, rising to number two in the UK singles chart, launching the group to overnight stardom.  They had one more Top 10 entry, being a remake of Dusty Springfield's hit from 1966 "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", in 1976.  However, only two further recordings reached the charts, peaking at numbers 38 and 42.  In mid-1977 David Van Day and Thereza Bazar left to form the duo Dollar, who had a successful chart career with several hits from 1978 to 1988.  Guys 'n' Dolls continued as a quartet, but broke up in 1985.


16

Title: Young Americans
Artist: David Bowie
Writer(s): David Bowie
Entered chart 1 Mar 1975; Highest Position 18; Weeks on chart: 7.

David Bowie (8 Jan 1947 - 10 Jan 2016) was born in south London, England.  He developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963.  "Space Oddity" became his first entry on the UK charts after its release in July 1969.  Following a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the Glam Rock era with his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.  The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and the album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars", which won him widespread popularity and recognition.  After an uneven period in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)", and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen.  He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with "Let's Dance", which topped both the UK and USA charts.  Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles.  He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006.  In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with the album "The Next Day".  He remained musically active until he died of liver cancer in New York City at age 69, two days after the release of his final album, "Blackstar" (2016).
# This track was featured on his ninth studio album, also titled "Young Americans".  The album reached number two on the UK album chart, which perhaps explains the single's disappointing number 18 peak.  In the USA, it was Bowie's first Top 40 (reached number 28) appearance on the American singles chart.  The album did even better, reaching number nine on the USA album chart.  Later in 1975, Bowie was at Number One in the USA with the release "Fame" (song 60).


17

Title: Bye Bye Baby
Artist: Bay City Rollers
Writer(s): Bob Gaudio & Bob Crewe
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 16.

The Bay City Rollers was a Scottish band from Edinburgh, formed originally in the 1960s under different names.  Although the personnel changed a few times, the best-known line up comprised lead singer Les McKeown (born in Edinburgh on12 Nov 1955),  guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood, bassist Alan Longmuir, and drummer Derek Longmuir.  They signed a contract with Bell records and had their first hit in 1971, "Keep On Dancing", which reached the UK Top 10 (see year 1971, song 71).  They did not have another hit until 1974 when they began a run of Top 10 hits until 1976.  Fan adulation for the group during that time was dubbed 'Rollermania', echoing the 'Beatlemania' of the 1960s.  They also had some success in the USA in the mid-1970s, with three of their releases reaching the American Top 10.  After their popularity began to wane, there were several personnel changes, but they continued into the 1980s.  Various regroupings and reunions have taken place since then, with tours at home and abroad in the 2010s.
# This recording was the band's first of two Number Ones that they enjoyed.  Their next came in July this year (song 52).
# The song was previously recorded by the American vocal group, the Four Seasons, in 1965.  That version reached number twelve in the USA, Number One in Canada, but did not chart in the UK.


18

Title: Girls
Artist: Moments & Whatnauts
Writer(s): Venus Dodson, Al Goodman & Harry Ray
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 10.

The Moments and Whatnauts were two separate vocal groups that were put together by their record company for this recording.  The Moments was a trio, including the co-writers of this song, Al Goodman & Harry Ray.  They had formed in the mid-1960s in Washington DC, and some changes of personnel took place over a few years.  They enjoyed several USA hits during those years, but it was not until 1975 when they collaborated with the Whatnauts that they first appeared on the UK charts.  They had a further Top 10 hit in July this year (song 53), and another in 1977, but that was it in the UK.  They changed the group name to Ray, Goodman & Brown in 1980 and they had several more hits in the USA.  Ray and Goodman have both died, but the group continues with new members.
The Whatnauts were formed in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1969.  They had a few hits in America during the first half of the 1970s, but have not charted in the UK, except for this collaboration with the Moments.


19

Title: Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar
Artist: Duane Eddy
Writer(s): Keith Potger & Tony Macaulay
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 9.

Guitarist, Duane Eddy was born on 26 Apr 1938 in Corning, New York, USA.  His family moved to Arizona when he was a young teen, and he started playing guitar with a friend when he was 16.  They got a few gigs on a local radio station, where Duane met Lee Hazlewood, who would help develop the "twangy" guitar sound that was Eddy's trademark.  He began recording in 1957, and his recording of "Rebel Rouser" became an international hit in 1958.  Eddy enjoyed numerous hit singles and albums during the early 1960s, and has continued making some live appearances into the 21st century.  In November 2018 he made a short concert tour of the UK to celebrate his 80th birthday.
# This was Eddy's first Top 10 hit since 1962, and indeed his first hit of any sort since August 1963.  In common with his previous Top 10 hit (see year 1962, song 89), this recording features a female chorus called The Rebelettes.  Unfortunately, this hit did not start a new run of UK chart entries, and his next appearance in the charts did not come until 1986, when he collaborated with the UK production team Art of Noise on a remake of his old hit "Peter Gunn".
# This song was written by the British songwriters Tony Macaulay and founding member of The Seekers and New Seekers, Keith Potger.  This recording was produced by Tony Macaulay.


20

Title: Philadelphia Freedom
Artist: Elton John
Writer(s): Elton John & Bernie Taupin
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 9.

Elton John was born on 25 Mar 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex (north-west London).  He learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967.  He met his longtime musical partner Bernie Taupin in 1967, after they both answered an advert for songwriters.  For two years, they wrote songs for artists including Lulu, and John worked as a session musician for artists including the Hollies and the Scaffold.  Elton John was also one of several singers in the late 1960s and early 1970s who recorded covers of hit songs for sale as budget-priced albums in shops like Woolworths.  In 1971, his first hit single, "Your Song", taken from his second album, "Elton John", reached the top ten in the UK and the USA.  From that point he gradually became a star and by the end of the 20th century he had achieved over seventy hit singles in the UK charts and some 36 albums in the album chart.  In the USA he has had more than 50 Top 40 hits and seven consecutive number-one albums.   His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and USA singles charts.  He has also composed music for the musical film and stage presentation "The Lion King", as well as for several other musicals.  Elton John owned Watford Football Club from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002, and is an honorary Life President of the club.  In 2019 a biographical film tilted "Rocket Man", about Elton John's life from childhood to the 1980s, was released.
# This recording was not issued on a album at the time, but was included on "Elton John's Greatest Hits volume 2" in 1977.  "Philadelphia Freedom" was his fourth Number One single in the USA, but it did not even reach the Top 10 in the UK.  His first British chart-topper came in 1976.  However, he was achieving well on the UK album chart with eleven consecutive Top 10 albums from 1972 to 1978, four of which reached Number One.
# John's next Top 20 hit came in October this year (song 81).


21

Title: What Am I Going To Do With You
Artist: Barry White
Writer(s): Barry White
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 8.

Barry White (12 Sep 1944 - 4 Jul 2003) was born in Galveston, Texas, USA, but he grew up in Los Angeles.  He began singing in the early 1960s, often with groups, sometimes solo, and he began producing recordings in the second half of the 1960s.  In the early 1970s he had success with girl group Love Unlimited and their hit "Walking In The Rain With The One I Love" (see year 1972, song 52), which White wrote, arranged and produced.  In 1973 White created the Love Unlimited Orchestra, which was used mainly to provide backing for for himself and the girl group.  However, the orchestra also recorded instrumental tracks, and they had the hit "Love's Theme" (see song 8 above).  White had a couple of small hits before his first UK Top 10 in August 1974.  This kicked off his solo career in the USA and UK, where he had ten Top 20 hits by the end of the 1980s.  He continued recording and performing until the end of the 1990s.  In the early 2000s he suffered from kidney failure, and a stroke in 2003, which led to his death at the age of 58.
# This recording was taken from his 1975 album "Just Another Way To Say I Love You", which reached number twelve on the UK album chart.  His next Top 10 hit came in December this year (song 100).


22

Title: Let Me Be The One
Artist: The Shadows
Writer(s): Paul Curtis
Entered chart 8 Mar 1975; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Shadows were originally Cliff Richard's backing band, and were at first called The Drifters.  Whilst remaining Cliff Richard's backing band for several years, The Shadows enjoyed considerable success in their own right, and in the early to mid-1960s, were Britain's top instrumental group, achieving five Number One hits plus an additional nine Top 10 entries out of 24 hits in total during the 1960s.  Not content with that, they had more hits in the 1970s and early 1980s.  They had often provided Cliff Richard with vocal support both on recordings and on the stage, in addition to the instrumental backing.  They issued a few vocal singles during the 1960s, and one, "Don't Make My Baby Blue" became a Top 10 entry in 1965 (see year 1965, song 68).  At the time of this recording, the members were: Hank Marvin (guitar and vocals), Bruce Welch (guitar and lead vocals), Brian Bennett (drums), John Farrar (piano and vocals), and Alan Tarney (bass guitar).  The group has officially disbanded, but they have reunited for special concerts with Cliff Richard two or three times in recent years.
# This song, performed by the Shadows, was the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry of 1975.  It came second in the contest, loosing to the Netherlands (see song 28).
# The Shadows next hit came in 1978 when they reached number five in the UK charts with an instrumental version of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".


23

Title: Fox On The Run
Artist: The Sweet
Writer(s): Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Andy Scott & Mick Tucker (members of the band)
Entered chart 15 Mar 1975; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

The Sweet was a British Glam Rock band that found fame in the early 1970s.  The original lineup comprised lead vocalist Brian Connolly (5 Oct 1945 - 10 Feb 1997), bass player Steve Priest (23 Feb 1948 - 4 Jun 2020), guitarist Andy Scott (born 30 Jun 1949), and drummer Mick Tucker (17 Jul 1947 - 14 Feb 2002). The band was formed in London in 1968 and achieved their first hit, "Funny Funny", in early 1971 after teaming up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.  They went on to have considerable chart success, achieving ten Top 10 hits by 1978, including a Number One and no less than five number twos in the UK charts.  They also had success in other parts of Europe, and in the USA where they enjoyed four Top 10 hits.  Sweet had their last international success in 1978 with "Love Is Like Oxygen".  Connolly left the group in 1979 to start a solo career and the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1981.  From the mid-1980s, Scott, Connolly and Priest each played with their own versions of Sweet at different times.  Connolly died in 1997, Tucker in 2002 and Priest in 2020.   Andy Scott, with a new line up, still tours the UK and the rest of Europe.
# This was the band's first hit single to be written by the band, rather than the songwriters Chinn and Chapman.  It was a great success, reaching Number One in Australia, Denmark, Germany and South Africa.  It also reached the Top 10 of several other countries, including the USA.  Their next Top 10 entry in the UK came in 1978, which was their last major hit.
# This is a different song to "Fox On The Run" by Manfred Mann, which was a hit in 1968 (see year 1968, song 99).


24

Title: Swing Your Daddy
Artist: Jim Gilstrap
Writer(s): Kenny Nolan
Entered chart 15 Mar 1975; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 11.

Jim Gilstrap was born on 10 Nov 1946 in Texas, USA.  Gilstrap served in the Vietnam war during the late 1960s, and began his musical career upon his return.  Although he worked with a couple of groups in the early 1970s, his main job was as a studio session musician.  Gilstrap sang the first two lines of Stevie Wonder's recording of "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (see year 1973, song 38).  He recorded a couple of albums, the first of which contained the song "Swing Your Daddy", and the single reached number ten in the USA.  Despite that modest success, he continued as a prolific session musician, and has performed on dozens of albums by various artists into the 2010s.  This single is his only (solo) appearance in the UK charts.


25

Title: The Way We Were / Try To Remember
Artist: Gladys Knight & The Pips
Writer(s): Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman & Marvin Hamlisch / Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones (American songwriter)
Entered chart 15 Mar 1975; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 15.

Gladys Knight & The Pips was a Tamla Motown group initially, but their greatest success came with a move to Buddah records in 1973.  The group started as family group, the Pips, in 1952, when Gladys was just seven!  They changed the group name in 1961 to showcase their lead singer, Gladys Knight (born 28 May 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA).  They had a few local hits in Georgia, but it was in 1966 when they signed with Motown that they began USA-wide and international success.  They did not reach the level of popularity as other Motown acts such as the Supremes and Four Tops, however.  Following contractual disagreements, the group left Motown for Buddah in 1973, and they enjoyed several hits including "Midnight Train To Georgia" which was an American Number One (number 10 in the UK).  The group disbanded in 1989 when Gladys went solo.  In 1989 she recorded "License to Kill" for the James Bond movie of the same title, which was a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany.  In the 2010s she is still making occasional concert appearances, and she performed at an outdoor festival in London during 2018.
# This is a medley of two songs.  "The Way We Were" was originally recorded by American performer Barbra Streisand in 1973 and was the lead track on her album of the same title.  Released as a single, it reached Number One in the USA (UK number 31) in 1974.  The song was also featured in the 1973 American romantic drama film, also called "The Way We Were" which starred Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.
  "Try To Remember" was written for the 1960 stage musical comedy "The Fantasticks".  It has been recorded by numerous artists and there were three different versions in the USA charts during 1965.
# This was the first hit in the UK for
Gladys Knight & The Pips since 1973.  However, they were back in the Top 10 in August this year (song 58).


26

Title: Take Good Care Of Yourself
Artist: The Three Degrees
Writer(s): Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Entered chart 12 Apr 1975; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Three Degrees is a female vocal trio formed in Philadephia, USA during the early 1960s.  There has always been a rotation of group members (some 15 women have been members at one time of another), but at the time of this hit, the singers were lead vocalist Sheila Ferguson (born 8 Oct 1947), Fayette Pinkney (10 Jan 1948 27 Jun 2009) and Valerie Holiday (born 2 Dec 1947).  They made several recordings during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but it was not until they signed with Philadelphia International records that they became a major act.  Their debut album spawned their first hit single "Year Of Decision", as well as the international best seller "When Will I See You Again", which reached Number One in the UK (see year 1974, song 55).  More hits followed during the 1970s, and they toured the UK several times in that decade.  Fayette Pinkney left in 1976 and was replaced by Helen Scott.  The trio's final Top 10 hit came in 1979, and Sheila Ferguson left in 1986.  She was replaced, but there were several changes of personnel over the following years, with some members leaving and returning.  Nevertheless, the group continues to tour and perform in the 21st century with Valerie Holiday (continuous member since 1967), Helen Scott and Freddie Pool.
# This recording followed the trio's successes of 1974, but despite their popularity, they did not reach the UK Top 10 again until 1979.  They had one Top 40 hit in 1976, no UK hits in 1977, and a number 12 hit in 1978.  But 1979 saw them with three Top 10 hits in the UK charts.  Their 1975 album, also called "Take Good Care Of Yourself", reached number six on the UK album chart.


27

Title: Loving You
Artist: Minnie Riperton
Writer(s): Minnie Riperton & Richard Rudolph
Entered chart 12 Apr 1975; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

Minnie Riperton (8 Nov 1947 - 12 Jul 1979) was born in Chicago, USA.  She was interested in music as a child, and by her teens she was performing with a local group called the Gems.  The group became known well enough to begin work as backing singers at Chess records in Chicago during the early 1960s.  They provided backing for the Fontella Bass hit "Rescue Me" in 1965 (see year 1965, song 96).  Riperton released her first solo album in 1970.  However, by 1973 she was a semi-retired mother of two living in Florida.  But she was invited to join Epic records in Los Angeles to record a new album.  That album, "Perfect Angel", reached number four in the USA album chart (number 33 in the UK).  "Loving You" was taken from the album, and the single reached Number One in America and number two in the UK.  No other singles reached the British charts, although she had success on the American R&B charts.  In 1976 she announced that she was suffering from breast cancer which had spread to other organs.  She continued touring through 1977 and 1978, but she succumbed to the disease in 1979 aged just 31.


28

Title: Ding-A-Dong
Artist: Teach-In
Writer(s): Dick Bakker, Will Luikinga & Eddy Ouwens
Entered chart 12 Apr 1975; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 7.

Teach-In was a Dutch vocal group, comprising five guys and a female lead singer (Getty Kaspers).  They had formed in the late 1960s in the Netherlands, and during 1974, the group had three Top 20 hits on the Dutch charts.  In 1975 they represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest, which they won with the song "Ding-A-Dong".  The recording reached the Top 10 of several European countries, and even reached number 22 on the American easy-listening chart.  They had a few more Dutch hits, but lead singer Getty Kaspers left in 1976, and other changes of personnel occurred over the next couple of years.  Despite that they had a few more hits but eventually broke up in 1980.  Some reunions have taken place from time to time.  This recording is the group's only appearance in the UK charts.


29

Title: Take Your Mama For A Ride
Artist: Lulu
Writer(s): Kenny Nolan
Entered chart 19 Apr 1975; Highest Position 37; Weeks on chart: 4.

Lulu was born on 3 Nov 1948 near Glasgow, Scotland.  She started singing at a young age and by the time she was 13 she had a manager and was singing with a band around Glasgow.  Her manager took her to London in early 1964 and arranged a recording deal with Decca Records.  Her debut single, "Shout", was an American R&B song written by the Isley Brothers.  It was an instant hit, and Lulu's career took off from there.  However, some of her recordings with Decca did not sell as well as was hoped and she missed the charts completely in 1966.  So, in 1967 she moved to EMI's Columbia label, and producer Mickie Most.  This gave her a new start, with hits for the rest of the 1960s.  Lulu was given her own BBC TV series in 1968, which ran annually until 1975.  In 1969 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, where she came joint first.  She continued to record and tour in the following decades, and in 1993 achieved her first chart-topper when she sang with boy band Take That on "Relight My Fire".  She was in the Top 10 again in 2002 when she duetted with Ronan Keating with the song "We've Got Tonight".  Recording and touring continued, and she embarked on another concert tour of the UK during the autumn of 2017.
# This track was included on Lulu's 1976 album "Heaven and Earth and the Stars", which also featured the hit recording "The Man Who Sold The World" (see year 1974, song 6) and the James Bond theme "The Man With The Golden Gun" (see year 1974, song 90).  The album failed to reach any album charts.  Lulu did not appear in the charts again until 1981.
# The writer of this song also wrote "Swing Your Daddy" - song 24 above.


30

Title: The Night
Artist: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Writer(s): Al Ruzicka & Bob Gaudio
Entered chart 19 Apr 1975; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Four Seasons is a vocal group, characterised by the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli (born 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA).  In 1960, they they began working with record producer Bob Crewe, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer.  The rest of the band was Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals (also their songwriter), Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals.  Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper.  Other similar recordings followed and they managed to hit the UK charts through to 1966 despite the prominence of the British beat groups, although many of the singles peaked at low positions.  They also had hits during the 1970s, including several solo recordings by Frankie Valli.  The band is still performing, but with Valli as the only original member.  A farewell concert took place London in December 2018.
# This was the band's first UK hit since 1967, although lead singer Frankie Valli had charted solo in 1970, and again in early 1975 (song 11 above).  The group was in the charts again in September this year (song 77), and so was Frankie Valli, with a solo hit in June (song 47).
# "The Night" was first issued in 1972, but did not reach the charts.  However, it became popular on the Northern Soul circuit in England, and went to number seven upon re-release in 1975.


31

Title: Only Yesterday
Artist: The Carpenters
Writer(s): Richard Carpenter & John Bettis
Entered chart 19 Apr 1975; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 10.

The Carpenters were a brother and sister duo from Connecticut, USA.  The act comprised Richard Carpenter (born 15 Oct 1946) and Karen Carpenter (2 Mar 1950 - 4 Feb 1983).  Karen provided the vocals and sometimes drums, while Richard provided the arrangements,  instrumentation (mostly piano), and sometimes backing vocals.  During the 1970s they were an extremely popular easy-listening act with numerous hit singles and albums throughout the world.  Their compilation album "The Singles 1969-1973" reached Number One in the UK and remained on the album chart for well over two years, with seven other albums reaching the Top 10.  They toured the world extensively for a decade, but Karen began to suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, although she always denied the suggestion.  However, in early February 1983 she collapsed and died from a heart attack brought on by anorexia nervosa.  Richard Carpenter then began producing a new album of unreleased Carpenters recordings which was issued later in 1983.  Since then he has produced several compilation albums, and in 2018 an album of the duo's hits with orchestration from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was issued, reaching number eight in the UK album chart.
# This recording is from their 1975 album "Horizon", which reached Number One on the UK album chart.  The single was the last Top 10 that the duo had in the USA, although in the UK they had one more Top Tenner in 1977.


32

Title: Stand By Your Man
Artist: Tammy Wynette
Writer(s): Billy Sherrill & Tammy Wynette
Entered chart 26 Apr 1975; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 12.

Tammy Wynette (5 May 5 1942 - 6 Apr 1998) was born in Mississippi, USA, and became one of the top female Country music singers of the 1970s and 1980s.  She had a poor and difficult upbringing, and after leaving school she had a series of manual jobs.  However whilst working in Alabama during 1975 she had a chance to sing on a local Country music TV show.  That lead to a record deal and a move to Nashville, Tennessee, the home of American Country music.  Her second single release became a big hit in 1967.  This success grew to see her become a major music star in the USA.  The song "Stand By Your Man" was recorded in 1968 and was an American hit in that year.  It was not released in the UK until 1975, when it went to Number One on the British charts.  It was followed by "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." which made number twelve in the UK, having also been recorded in 1968.   Her popularity began to fade during the 1990s, and having endured numerous health issues during her adult life, involving some 26 major operations, she died from heart failure in 1998 at the age of 55.


MORE TO COME


 

Acts with most appearances in this list:

Stylistics: 4
Bay City Rollers: 3
David Bowie: 3

Composers with most appearances in this list:

Hugo & Luigi and George David Weiss: 4 (all for the Stylistics)
Bob Gaudio: 3
Kenny Nolan: 3 (1 with Bob Crewe)
Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman: 5 (3 for Mud; 2 for Sweet)
Thom Bell & Linda Creed: 4
Bill Martin & Phil Coulter: 4 (all for Bay City Rollers)
Wayne Bickerton & Tony Waddington: 3 (all for the Rubettes)
Roger Greenaway: 3 (1 with Roger Cook and Geoff Stevens; 1 with Roger Cook; 1 with Tony Macaulay)

New Names in 1975
To qualify, new acts must have gone on to have at least three entries in these lists.  One-hit Wonders do not qualify.

K C & The Sunshine Band
Roxy Music

 


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Comments and corrections to: mjs@onlineweb.com

Compiled April 2021
Updated 13/04/2021

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