MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS
As Glam Rock was beginning to fade in 1974, we saw the first rumblings of the Disco sound from the USA. Disco would become the dominant form of music in the second half of the 1970s. Also from America, the Philadelphia Soul sound became very popular from acts based in that city, such as the Stylistics, the Three Degrees and Barry White. Meanwhile, most of the established acts continued as before, including Elton John, David Bowie, Slade, Status Quo and the Bay City Rollers, the latter of whom began to create the hysteria amongst fans, not seen since the days of the Beatles. 1973 newcomers David Essex and Leo Sayer consolidated their arrival with more hits in 1974. After a gap of four years, 1974 witnessed the return to the charts of Scottish 1960s songbird, Lulu, with a song written and produced by David Bowie. British newcomers included bands Mud and the Rubettes.
From the States, the Osmond family continued hitting the charts in various combinations, as did Diana Ross who scored two hits in duet with Marvin Gaye. The smooth Soul group, the Stylistics put three hits in the British charts, whilst the Doobie Brothers and the Three Degrees began their chart careers in 1974. The man who became known as 'the love walrus', Barry White, also started his impressive run of hits in this year.
Perhaps the most important of all was the arrival of Swedish group Abba, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, and with a short gap, went on to dominate the British music scene for the rest of the 1970s.
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.
Title: All Of My Life
Diana Ross was born on 26 Mar 1944 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She first found fame
as the lead singer with the group the Supremes, which was one of the most successful female groups of the second
half of the 1960s (see year 1964, song 75). Ross had decided to leave the group for a solo career early
Her first UK solo release "Reach Out And Touch" (year
1970, song 61) performed disappointingly in the UK, but she was soon
in the UK and USA Top 10, and she enjoyed her first British Number
One in the summer of 1971 with "I'm Still Waiting" (see
year 1971, song 58). She went on to have a highly successful career with numerous hit singles and albums, and was
recording into the 2000s.
Title: Living For The City
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.
Title: Rockin' Roll Baby
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.
Title: Tiger Feet
Mud was a Rock band formed in London during
1966 by Rob Davis (born 1 Oct 1947) and Les Gray (9 Apr 1946 - 21
Feb 2004). They began recording in 1967 but without any
commercial success for several years. But in 1973 they signed
with Mickie Most's RAK label, and with help of songwriters Chinn and
Chapman (who had written several hits for the band Sweet), hits
started coming the way of Mud. They had three hits in 1973,
but 1974 saw them have their first Number One with the catchy
"Tiger Feet". That started a run of Top 10 hits that
extended into 1976. In 1975 the achieved five Top 10 hits, and
in 1974 they made Number One with their Christmas hit "Lonely
This Christmas", which has enjoyed radio airplay every December
until the present time. As their popularity waned in the late
1970s, they decided to split up in 1979. Following the break
up, Gray formed a new band, Les Gray's Mud, and they continued to
perform, with a changing series of musicians, until Gray's death in
2004. Since then various musicians have continued performing
under that band name.
Title: Teenage Rampage
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
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
Title: The Man Who Sold The World
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 duetted 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.
Title: The Wombling Song
The Wombles are fictional furry creatures created by Elisabeth Beresford and originally appearing in a series of children's novels from 1968. The Wombles live in burrows, where they aim to help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish, on Wimbledon Common in London, England. In the early 1970s the BBC decided to produce a stop-motion animated series of the Wombles and composer Mike Batt (born 6 Feb 1949) was asked to provide songs and music for the programmes. Batt enlisted the help of session musicians to record the music, which became so popular, singles and albums of the songs were issued. To promote the recordings, Batt and other musicians dressed up in Womble costumes and performed the songs on TV. Four singles including the Christmas hit "Wombling Merry Christmas" reached the UK Top 10 during 1974, with three smaller hits in 1975. Three albums of Wombling songs also reached the UK album chart in 1974. Batt has continued to write mainstream hits and produce recordings for various artists, especially for Katie Melua, up to the present time.
Title: Love's Theme
The Love Unlimited Orchestra was a 40-piece string-laden orchestra, formed by American singer-songwriter Barry White, that served as a backing unit for White and female vocal trio Love Unlimited. In the mid-1970s the orchestra also recorded several singles and albums under their own name. This recording is the only one to appear on the UK charts. It reached Number One in the USA where the orchestra additionally had a few further hit singles and albums until 1977.
Title: Happiness Is You And Me
O'Sullivan was born on 1 Dec 1946 in Waterford, Ireland. When
he was just seven years old his family moved to England where he
grew up. He began playing when at art college in the
1960s. He signed a recording contract in 1967, but no hit
recordings came from that. It was not until 1970 when he came
under the management of Gordon Mills that things took off. To
gain publicity, he went for an unusual appearance comprising a pudding basin haircut, cloth cap and short trousers.
This did attract attention, and by late 1970 he was in the UK charts
with his debut hit "Nothing Rhymed". His style and
songs were certainly unique, and he enjoyed enormous success for the
first half of the 1970s. He changed his appearance to a
college boy look after a year or so, and the hits continued.
He had eleven Top 20 hits up to the end of 1974, two of which were
Number Ones, and he achieved four Top 10 albums during that period
as well. He also enjoyed three Top 10 hits in the USA
including a Number One. Later in the 1970s however, he
realised that he had not received a fair proportion of his earnings
from his management company. He sued them, but it was not
until 1982 that the courts found in his favour and awarded him seven
million pounds. His career had been on hold for most of the
second half of the 1970s, but he had another Top 20 hit in
1980. He has continued to record and perform, issuing four new
albums between 2007 and 2018. He has also toured the UK and
Ireland in recent years.
Title: Remember (Sha-La-La)
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 (12 Nov 1955 - 20 Apr 2021, born in Edinburgh), guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood,
bassist Alan Longmuir (20 Jun 1948 - 2 Jul 2018), 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.
Title: The Air That I Breathe
The Hollies was a beat group from Manchester, England.
It was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1962, and by early summer 1963 they had their first hit.
In the autumn of that year they made their debut in the Top 10 with a recording of a former American chart topper,
"Stay". This started a run of fifteen Top 10 hits by the end of the 1960s, and they continued
successfully into the 1970s as well. They finally broke into the USA charts in 1966, and enjoyed six Top 10
hits there. In 1968, founding member Graham Nash left the group, moving to California where he became part
of the super group, Crosby, Stills & Nash. With some changes of personnel, the Hollies continued to
perform through to the 1990s, mostly in the guise of a sixties revival group. Clarke finally retired in 2000,
but the Hollies still perform on the nostalgia circuit.
Title: The Most Beautiful Girl
Charlie Rich (14 Dec 1932 - 25 Jul 1995) was born in the state of Arkansas, USA. He was primarily a Country music singer, although early in his career, he preferred Jazz. He was in the US Air Force from 1953 to 1956 where he formed a small group to play Jazz and Blues music. In the late 1950s began working at Sun Studios as a session musician. He left Sun in 1963, and began recording in his own right with RCA, although there was no real commercial success. He signed with Epic records in 1967 and several albums were issued. His breakthrough came in 1972 when he began reaching the Top 10 of the American Country music charts. In 1973/1974 he had the USA Number One "The Most Beautiful Girl", which was followed by five more chart-toppers on the Country chart, three of which reached the Top 30 on the American pop charts. Sadly, he succumbed to alcoholism in the late 1970s, and he gave up performing. He returned to recording in the early 1990s, but died in his sleep in 1995 at the age of 62.
Title: Jealous Mind
Alvin Stardust (27
Sep 1942 - 23 Oct 2014) was born in north London, England. He
first found fame in the early 1960s, when he performed under the
name of Shane Fenton. His real name was Bernard Jewry,
and in the early 1960s he was working as a roadie for a band called Shane Fenton & The
Fentones. Unfortunately, the lead singer (real name Johnny
Theakstone) died just before the band was asked to audition for the BBC. With the blessing of the mother of the
deceased singer, the band members asked Jewry to take on the role of lead singer so they could attend the audition.
So Jewry became Shane Fenton. The audition was a success, and this led to a record deal with EMI. Several
smallish hits followed, plus
the Top 20 entry "Cindy's Birthday" (see year 1962, song
53). There were no more hits after 1962 for the band, and Jewry turned to music management for a decade. However, in
1973 he took on another persona, as Alvin Stardust, after Peter
Shelley had written and recorded the song "My Coo-Ca-Choo".
Shelley had used the pseudonym Alvin Stardust on the recording, but
did not wish to perform it on TV. Bernard Jewry was contacted
and he agreed to become that singer to promote the song on TV.
The song was a big success and Stardust went on to record several
hits from 1973 to 1985. Following that he went into stage musicals and TV presentation work. He died from prostate cancer at age 72.
Title: Billy Don't Be A hero
Paper Lace was a
four-piece band formed during 1969 in Nottingham, England, and they
performed at several clubs in the north of England from that
time. In 1973, they appeared on the TV talent show
"Opportunity Knocks", which they won for five consecutive
weeks. As a result of this publicity, songwriters Murray and
Callander offered to write them a song. That song, "Billy
Don't Be A Hero" went to Number One in the UK. In the USA
the song was covered by a band called Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods,
who took their recording of it to Number One in that country.
Paper Lace went on to have two more Top 20 hits during 1974, however
their popularity waned in the second half of the 1970s, and they
broke up in 1980. At the present time there are two bands
touring the UK with names derived from the original Paper Lace name.
Title: You're Sixteen
Ringo Starr was born on 7 Jul 1940 in Liverpool, England, and
found fame as a member of the Beatles group. After the breakup
of the band, Starr pursued a solo career, as did the others. His
first solo hit came in April 1971 with "It Don't Come
Easy" (year 1971, song 29), which reached number four in the UK
charts. He had four Top 10
entries on the UK singles charts, one each in the years from 1971 to
1974. Two of those reached Number One in the USA. He
also enjoyed two Top 10 albums in the British album chart. As
well as performing and recording music, Starr also
narrated the first two series of the children's television programme
Friends" and portrayed "Mr. Conductor" during the first season of the PBS children's
television series "Shining Time Station". Since 1989, he has
frequently toured with his All-Starr Band.
He has continued recording from time to time, and issued his
twentieth album in 2019. As at 2021, Starr mainly resides in
Los Angeles, USA, with his wife, actress Barbara Bach.
Title: Rebel Rebel
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,
McCartney was born on 18 Jun 1942 in Liverpool, England, and
found fame as a member of the Beatles group. After the breakup
of the band, McCartney pursued a solo career, as did the others.
His first solo hit was "Another Day" in 1971, which just missed
reaching the top spot of the charts. Despite this success, in
1972 he formed the band Wings, with his wife Linda on keyboards and
former member of the Moody Blues, Denny Laine, on guitar. This
group enjoyed considerable success (sometimes billed as Paul
McCartney & Wings) until the end of the 1970s. In 1981
Denny Laine left the group, which McCartney then decided to dissolve,
and all following hits and albums were credited to McCartney as a
solo artist. He also had much success on the album chart, with
his most successful being "Band On The Run" which peaked
at Number One, and remained on the UK album chart for 124
weeks. He has been very successful too on the USA charts where
he has scored seven Number One albums. He has continued
concert performances throughout the 21st century, and performed at
the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012. His
most recent album was released in 2018.
Title: Candle In The Wind
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
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.
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.
Title: Listen To The Music
The Doobie Brothers is a band from San Jose, California, USA, which formed in 1970. At the time of this hit recording the members were Tom Johnston (lead vocalist), Patrick Simmonds and three others. They began touring and recording, although their debut album in 1971 was not a success. The second album, "Toulouse Street", reached number 21 in the USA album chart, and provided their first hit single "Listen To The Music". This was followed by several Top 30 hits, including the 1974 American Number One "Black Water". Success in the UK was rather more muted. By 1975, Johnston was in poor health, and he took a break from the band. He was replaced by Michael McDonald, whose distinctive voice gave the band a new sound, and they enjoyed even greater success. The band broke up in 1982, but reformed in 1987 with Johnston back in the fold. McDonald meanwhile had forged a successful solo career, but he did make a few guest appearances on the band's concert tours during the 1990s and 2000s. McDonald rejoined on a permanent basis in 2019 for a planned 50th anniversary tour in 2020, although that was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Title: I Get A Little Sentimental Over You
The New Seekers was a British five-piece vocal
group, formed by Australian musician Keith Potger, after the break up of his group the
Seekers. The New Seekers comprised female lead singers Eve Graham
(born in Auchterarder, Scotland on 19 Apr 1943) and Lyn Paul (born
in Manchester, England on 16 Feb 1949), plus three males. The
first version of the group, formed in 1969, did not include Lyn
Paul, but after the first album release, several personnel changes
were made, including the addition of Paul. They had a minor
hit in late 1970, but made the big time in the summer of 1971 with
their first Top 10 entry "Never Ending Song Of
Love". This was followed later in the year by "I'd
Like To Teach The World To Sing", which was their first Number
One chart hit. They enjoyed considerable success through to
the mid-1970s, but broke up in the second half of 1974.
However, they reformed in 1976, but without Lyn Paul. They had
three smallish hits until 1978, when Eve Graham left. With new
personnel, the group has continued to tour and perform.
Title: Long Live Love
Newton-John ( 26 Sep 1948 - 8 Aug 2022) was born in Cambridge,
England. Her family moved to Australia in 1954, where she grew
up. She was a member of a short-lived group when she was 14,
but after appearing at a few talents contests, she was soon
appearing on Australian TV and radio. She went to the UK after
winning the trip as a prize, and was performing there in the late
1960s. In 1971 she recorded her first album, and the track
"If Not For You" was issued as a single. It rose to
number seven in the UK and number 25 in the USA. Further hits
followed in the UK, and in 1974 she represented the UK in the
Eurovision Song Contest. In the mid-1970s she moved to the USA
to live and work. She had much success there, culminating in
her role in the musical film "Grease" in 1978. Two
of her songs from the movie become Number One hits in the UK.
Hits continued on both sides of the Atlantic, and she made more
films as well during the 1980s and 1990s. She continued
performing in concerts in to the 2010s. She was honoured with
a Damehood at New Year 2020, but died from breast cancer in 2022 at
the age of 73.
Chocolate is a five-piece Soul band from London, England which
became one of the most successful acts during the 1970s and
1980s. It was formed by
Errol Brown (12 Nov 1943 - 6 May
2015, born in Jamaica) and Tony Wilson (born in Trinidad on 8 Oct
1947). They started in 1968 as a Reggae band, but from 1970,
under the guidance of producer Mickie Most, they moved to a Soul/Pop
style. Their first hit was "Love Is Life" in 1970,
and this began a run of 25 UK Top 40 singles (12 Top 10) until
1984. Later in the 1980s, reissues returned them to the
charts. There were some personnel changes from time to time,
with Wilson leaving in 1976 and Errol Brown departing in 1986.
The band broke up after Brown's departure for a solo career, but it
was reformed with a new vocalist in 1992, with another new vocalist
in 2010, and it continues to perform in Britain and Europe until the
Title: Homely Girl
The Chi-Lites were formed in Chicago, USA
during 1964 with lead singer and songwriter Eugene Record and
Marshall Thompson. Their first UK hit came in 1971, but in
1972 their recording "Have You Seen Her" reached number
three on both sides of the Atlantic. This was followed by five
Top 10 hits in the UK up to the summer of 1976. In the
mid-1970s, most of the group's personnel changed, even seeing the
departure of Eugene Record, although Marshall Thompson has remained
throughout. The often-revised band has continued until the present
time. A new album was released in 2006.
Title: You Are Everything
For information about Diana Ross, see song 1
Title: A Walkin' Miracle
The leader of this family trio, Limmie Snell was born in Dalton, Alabama,
but his family moved to Canton, Ohio when he was very young. He recorded with Columbia Records
from age 11 as a solo artist before joining family members Jimmy (female lead singer) and Martha Snell
to form Limmie & Family Cookin'.
They released one single on Scepter Records, then signed with Avco Embassy, where they released three
singles which hit the UK
singles charts in 1973-74. The first was "You Can Do Magic"
(number 3), followed by "Dreamboat" (number 31), and "A Walking Miracle" (number
6). Despite their success in the United Kingdom, they entered the USA charts only once, with "You Can Do Magic"
(reached number 84). Because of their popularity in the UK, they continued performing there regularly into the
1980s. In the mid-1970s they split into two musical groups, the second of which was
named Limmie Funk Limited.
Slade was a Glam
Rock band formed in Wolverhampton, England during the late 1960s
(under a different name) by Noddy Holder (born 15 Jun 1946), Jim Lea
(born 14 Jun 1949), with lead guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell.
As Slade they obtained a deal with Polydor records, and from 1971 to
1977 they had 19 hit singles, with twelve consecutive Top 10 hits
which includes six Number Ones. They were the most successful
group of the 1970s in terms of singles sales. Their most
successful recording is "Merry Xmas Everybody" which
reached Number One in 1973, but has become a seasonal perennial,
being played on radio and in shopping centres every December
since. They lost some momentum in the late 1970s, but bounced
back in 1980, enjoying hits for most of that decade. However,
with falling sales and general disillusionment in the band, it broke
up in 1992. Noddy Holder then moved into acting and radio DJ
work. Lee continued writing songs and making occasional
recordings. Hill and Powell formed Slade II and began touring
and recording into the 2010s.
Title: Year Of Decision
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 (song 55). More hits followed for the rest of 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.
Title: He's Mistra Know It All
This was Wonder's follow-up to his hit of January "Living For The City" (song 2). This recording also came from his 1973 album "Innervisions", which reached number eight in the UK album chart. His next single release, in October "You Haven't Done Nothin'" was a Number One hit in the USA, but it stalled at a disappointing number 30 in the UK. However, the album from which it came, "Fulfillingness' First Finale", reached number five in the UK album chart. His next Top 10 single in the UK did not come until December 1976, although he had a Top 20 hit in January 1975.
Title: The Cat Crept In
This recording was the band's follow-up to their Number One hit of January "Tiger Feet" (song 4). They kept the feline theme going with this release which reached number two in the UK charts. The band toured the UK during 1974, the tour being titled 'Mud on the Road'. Their next hit, "Rocket", came in July (song 62).
Abba was a Swedish group who shot to fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The members were: Agnetha Fältskog (born 5 Apr 1950 in Jönköping, Sweden), Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad (born 15 Nov 1945 in Ballangen, Norway), Björn Ulvaeus (born 25 Apr 1945 in Gothenburg, Sweden), and Benny Andersson (born 16 Dec 1946 in Stockholm, Sweden). Following their "Waterloo" success, there was a slight gap in record sales until 1975 when they began a run of 18 UK Top 10 hits, lasting until 1981. They were the most successful Scandinavian act, with success in the USA, Australia, most of Europe and other parts of the world. They toured the world extensively during the second half of the 1970s. In 1977 "ABBA: The Movie" a drama-documentary about their Australian tour was released. Three 'greatest hits' albums were issued between 1976 and 1982, but in 1992 their "Gold" compilation album was released, which reached Number One in the UK, eventually staying on the chart for 328 weeks. The group split in 1982, and Benny and Björn went on to write the musical "Chess" (with Tim Rice) which opened in London in 1986. In 1999 a musical called "Mamma Mia!", which featured numerous Abba songs opened in London. A film version of the musical was released in 2008. Agnetha has issued several solo albums, the most recent in 2013. Frida initially retired from the music business and moved to Switzerland. However, in late 2021 it was announced that Abba had reunited to record a new album called "Voyage".
Title: Rock 'n' Roll Winter (Loony's Tune)
This group was
formed in 1972 by Roy Wood (born 8 Nov 1946 in Birmingham,
England). Wood had previously been co-founder of the band The
Move, which had success in the 1960s. He also formed the
Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynn which enjoyed its first hit
in 1972. However, after tensions within the band, Wood left in
the summer of 1972, and went on to form Wizzard. It was a
large band (eight members), including saxophone and cello
players. Their first hit came at the tail end of 1972, but
1973 was their big year, with two Number One hits, and the Christmas
perennial "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday".
That festive recording only reached number four in the charts that
year, but it is played every December on radio and in shopping
centres. It returned to the charts in 1981 and 1984, and with
the advent of music downloads, it has appeared in the charts every
year since 2007. Wizzard had their final hit with original
material in 1974, and since that time Wood has worked on various
solo projects. He was also record producer to Doo-wop revival
band Darts during the second half of the 1970s.
This was the group's follow-up to their Top 10 hit of February (song 10). This one did a little better in the charts, getting to four places higher. It was the second of four Top 10 entries they had in 1974, which made them a major act in the mid-1970s. Their next hit came in July (song 59).
Title: I'll Have To Say I Love You In A
Jim Croce (10 Jan 1943 – 20 Sep 1973)
was born in Philadelphia, USA. He was a Folk-rock
singer-songwriter, and in the early 1960s he formed a singing duo
with his wife, known as Jim & Ingrid, but they had no commercial
success. He always had doubts about having a singing career,
and frequently took long breaks from performing to do other
jobs. However, in the early 1970s he got a recording deal in
New York, and he recorded a few albums. His 1972 album
"You Don't Mess Around With Jim" went to Number One in the
USA album chart. The album included the track "Time In A
Bottle", and released as a single it went to Number One in the
USA and Canada in 1973. His 1974 single release "I'll
Have To Say I Love You In A Song" was also a great success in
the USA. None of his singles or albums charted in the
UK. Sadly, on 20 September 1973, he and five others were
killed when a plane they were in whilst touring the USA, crashed
during take off in Louisiana. Several of his biggest hits came
posthumously, including this American hit.
Title: TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
MFSB (meaning Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) was a group of over 30 studio musicians, based at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios. They worked with the production team of Gamble and Huff and producer/arranger Thom Bell, and backed such groups as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, the Stylistics, the Three Degrees, and Billy Paul, who were all signed to the Philadelphia International record label. The musicians also recorded instrumental tracks for albums under the name of MFSB. This track, like several others, was influential in establishing the Disco sound which became dominant in the second half of the 1970s. The recording "TSOP" also features some limited vocals from female trio, the Three Degrees. This track reached Number One in the USA, but a further 14 singles were only minor hits, at best, in the USA. In the UK they had a Top 40 hit in 1975, and a final hit in 1981 which reached number 41 on the British charts.
Title: Sugar Baby Love
The Rubettes was an English pop band put
together by musician John Richardson in 1974, after the release of "Sugar Baby Love", which
had been recorded by various studio session musicians in the
previous year, and featuring the
distinctive falsetto and lead vocals of Paul Da Vinci. However,
Da Vinci preferred not to join the band as he wanted to pursue solo
work. The Rubettes were formed with lead singer Alan Williams,
vocals never appeared on the original recording of "Sugar Baby Love", but
he sang lead on all subsequent recordings. John Richardson was
part of the band, along with four others. Several hit singles
followed including three Top 10 hits in the UK and five in Germany
where they were particularly popular. However, the hits dried
up towards the end of the 1970s and the band split in 1980.
Title: The Night Chicago Died
This was the
band's follow-up to their hit of February, "Billy Don't Be A
Hero" (song 14). This recording was a Number One hit in
the USA. They had one more Top 20 hit in 1974, but that was
pretty much it. See song 14 for more info.
Title: Break The Rules
Status Quo found fame as a Psychedelic band,
but had lasting success through the 1970s, 1980s and beyond as a Rock band, sometimes referred to
as a Boogie band. The origins of the group go back to 1962. They performed under
different names for five years, but became Status Quo in 1967 with members Francis Rossi
(born 29 May 1949, south London), Rick Parfitt (12 Oct 1948 - 24 Dec 2016), Alan Lancaster
(7 Feb 1949 - 26 Sep 2021), and John
Coghlan. They had a deal with Pye Records and had their first hit, "Pictures Of
Matchstick Men", in early 1968. They accrued five hits by the end of 1970.
There was then a gap of two hitless years until they emerged as a Rock band in 1973 with the
hit recording "Paper Plane" on the Vertigo label, where they remained for a couple
of decades. Their first Number One came in 1974 ("Down Down"), and they have
had over sixty hits in the UK singles charts, continuing well into the 2000s. They opened
the "Live Aid" fund-raising event in 1985, and have continued with recording and live
concert work into the 2010s despite forced personnel changes.
Title: If I Didn't Care
David Cassidy (12 Apr 1950 – 21 Nov 2017)
was born in Manhattan, New York City, USA. His parents were
singers/actors and spent much time touring the USA. This
resulted in Cassidy being raised mainly by his grandparents.
His father divorced his first wife (Cassidy's mother), and in 1956
he married singer and actress Shirley Jones. In 1968 Cassidy
moved in with his father, Shirley Jones and his half-siblings, in
New York City. Cassidy's father fixed him up with a manager,
and by 1969 he was acting on the Broadway stage. In 1970
Cassidy took a role in the TV musical sitcom The Partridge Family,
which starred his step mother Shirley Jones. The show ran from
1970 to 1974. With Jones and others he recorded several songs
as the Partridge Family, and these became hits on both sides of the
Atlantic in the early 1970s. Simultaneously he was recording
solo, and he enjoyed several hits during the first half of the 1970s
in the UK. He became a teen idol, and his concert tours in the
USA and UK were sell-outs, often with mass hysteria amongst the
audience. By the mid-1970s he had decided to quit touring and
acting to concentrate on songwriting and recording. By the
1980s he was performing in musical stage shows and had another UK
Top 10 hit in 1985. Some sporadic performing and acting took
place until his death at age 67 from liver failure.
Title: (You Keep Me) Hangin' On
Cliff Richard was born on 14 Oct 1940 in Lucknow, India, whilst his parents were working in that
country. He returned to England with his family in 1948. He formed a band in 1957 and a year
later he was chosen as a singer for the TV Rock 'n' Roll show "Oh Boy!". His first
hit came in 1958, which started a career that continued into the 21st century, with more than 130 hit singles
and over 50 original albums, spanning 60 years plus. In the early 1960s he also starred in several musical
films, notably "The Young Ones" and "Summer Holiday". He also achieved a number one
single in five different decades, and is the most successful British recording artist of all time.
He was honoured with a knighthood in 1995. He continues
in the 21st century and issued a new album in 2018 ("Rise Up"), which reached number four in the
album chart, and another album in 2020, "Music.. The Air That I
Breathe", which peaked at number three in the UK album chart.
Title: Jarrow Song
Alan Price was born 19 Apr 1942 in County Durham, England. He
had been one of the founders of the group the Animals which had
enjoyed a series of hit recordings from 1964 onwards. Price
left the Animals in 1965 for a variety of reasons, but soon formed
his own band, called the Alan Price Set, which featured a small
brass section. Although his main musical interest was the
Blues, after his first hit he turned more to lighter pop. He
had eleven hits in the UK, four of which reached the Top 10.
In the 1980s he joined other members of the Animals for reunion
concerts. He was still recording into the early 2000s.
Title: Summer Breeze
Brothers are a Soul and R&B group from Cincinnati, Ohio,
USA. They began by singing Gospel music, but moved to New York
City in 1957 and began recording R&B tracks. In 1959 they
had a moderate hit with their song "Shout", which was
later a hit for Lulu. They first appeared in the UK charts in
1963 with "Twist And Shout", although it was only a minor
hit for them. "This Old Heart Of Mine" first charted
in 1966, when it peaked at number 47. However, it became a
number three hit two years later. At the time of this hit the
Isley brothers were: Ronald, Rudolph, O'Kelly, Marvin and Ernie plus Chris
Jasper. During the 1970s and early 1980s they enjoyed enormous
success in the USA and elsewhere. In 1984,
however, Chris Jasper and Marvin left the band which was dissolved.
reformed in 1991, with Ronald, Ernie, and Marvin. In 1996
Marvin left due to ill health, leaving Ronald and Ernie as a
duo, and the pair have continued performing until the present time.
Title: Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
This was Elton's
follow-up to his hit of March, "Candle In The Wind" (song
18). This release also failed to breach the UK Top 10 although
it reached number two in the USA. The first part of 1974 saw
him touring Japan and Australia, whilst during the second half of
the year he was touring the USA and Canada. His next hit in
this listing (song 89) saw him entering the UK Top 10 for the first
time in over a year.
Title: Kissin' In The Back Row Of The
The Drifters are an American vocal
group, formed in the early 1950s, and with a constant rotation of
members. A count has indicated that some 60 individuals
have performed under the band name at one time or another. The group
enjoyed several hits in the 1960s, but in the 1970s, they signed a
deal with Bell records and based themselves in the UK, with lead
singer Johnny Moore (14 Dec 1934 -
30 Dec 1998). This gave them a run of nine hit singles, six of
which made the Top 10, until the end of 1976. Members came and
went (and returned again) several times during the next three
decades. Johnny Moore died in London at the end of 1998,
having been in the group (with some breaks) since he was 21 years
old in 1955. Nevertheless, others continued with the group
which has performed into the 21st
century, but there have been numerous lawsuits over the use of the
group name. No members of the hits-making versions of the band
are in the current lineup.
Title: One Man Band
Leo Sayer was born
on 21 May 1948 at Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England. Sayer began his music career co-writing songs with
British singer-songwriter David Courtney (including "Giving It All Away", which gave Roger Daltrey of the Who his first solo hit in
1973). Also in 1973, Sayer began his career as a recording artist under the management of Adam Faith, who
arranged Sayer's record deal. He went on to have a very
successful career, enjoying seven consecutive Top 10 hits until
1977, with three more up to 1982. Also in 1977 he had two
consecutive Number One hits in the USA. In Britain he also had
six Top 10 albums in the album chart. In the 1990s he had
financial difficulties, but successfully sued his management and
record company for unpaid royalties. He moved to Australia in
the early 2000s and became an Australian citizen in 2009.
Since that time he has recorded in Australia and mostly performed in
Title: Beach Baby
First Class was a studio group put together by British singer-songwriter John Carter. Carter had previously been a founding member of the group the Ivy League who had hits back in 1965. He then formed the group the Flowerpot Men in 1967 and enjoyed more hits. The Flowerpot Men featured the voice of Tony Burrows who fronted several manufactured groups in the early 1970s including Edison Lighthouse and White Plains. For this new venture, Carter again enlisted Tony Burrows to be the lead voice for First Class. As with their previous groups, neither Carter nor Burrows were interested in touring when the recording became a hit, so other musicians were hired to form a touring band. Further singles and two albums were recorded but none reached the UK charts. "Beach Baby" reached number four in the USA, and was followed there by two minor hits. With a lack of commercial success, the group was dissolved in the late 1970s.
Title: Wall Street Shuffle
10cc was a British
band, formed in 1972. The members were Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol
They were two pairs of songwriters - Gouldman and Stewart, as well
as Godley and Creme. Graham Gouldman in particular was a
well-known songwriter, having composed hits for the Yardbirds and
the Hollies amongst others during the 1960s. The band became
very successful, and from 1972 to 1978, 10cc had five consecutive UK top-ten
albums, plus twelve singles in the UK Top 40, three of which were the chart-toppers "Rubber Bullets"
(1973), "I'm Not in Love" (1975) and "Dreadlock Holiday" (1978).
"I'm Not in Love" was their breakthrough worldwide hit and is known for its innovative backing track.
Godley and Creme quit the band in 1976 due to artistic disagreements and became a duo
act who had a couple of Top 10 hits in 1981. They were
replaced, and the band continued recording and performing until the
end of 1978. There were reunions of all four members from time
to time, but Stewart left the band in 1995. Since 1999, Gouldman has led a touring version of
10cc with four others.
Title: Laughter In The Rain
Neil Sedaka was born on 13 Mar 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Since his music career began in 1957, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500
songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody. When Sedaka was 13,
a neighbour heard him playing piano and introduced him to her 16-year-old son, Howard Greenfield, an aspiring poet and lyricist.
They became two of the legendary Brill Building's composers in New York City. Sedaka co-wrote several hit songs for
Connie Francis as well as others, and began his own singing career in 1958. His first UK hit came in 1959, which led to a
run of Top 20 hits in the early 1960s. After his Rock 'n' Roll style went out of fashion, he reinvented himself in
the early 1970s with a series of ballads which charted between 1972 and 1975. He continues to perform in concert in the USA
and overseas in the 21st century.
(22 May 1924 – 1 Oct 2018) was born in Paris to Armenian immigrant
parents. He began as an entertainer as a child, and after WWII
and the Nazi occupation of France, he took to singing full
time. He wrote many songs himself, and began performing in
several European countries as well as the USA. It wasn't until
1974, however, that he found fame in the UK when he recorded the
song "She". The recording went to Number One and
remained there for four weeks. This success resulted in his
album "A Tapestry Of Dreams" reaching the UK album chart
Top 10. Unfortunately he had no other significant entries in
the UK charts. He continued performing throughout the world
into the 21st century, with his final world tour taking place during
2017 and early 2018, at the age of 93. He died at his home in
Switzerland at age 94.
Title: Rock Your Baby
was born on 19 Oct 1944 in Florida, USA. He joined the US Navy
in 1963 and married in the same year. After finishing his
naval duties, he began singing with his wife around different venues
in Florida from 1967. In 1974 he was approached by Harry Casey
and Richard Finch of K C & The Sunshine Band, asking if he would
like to record this song. He did, and it became one of the
best sellers of 1974, reaching Number One in both the UK and
USA. It was also one of the first hits in the Disco genre
which would grow during the following years. He had two
further Top 10 singles and a Top 20 album in the UK until
1975. He then moved to Canada, but in the 1980s moved to the
Netherlands where he recorded and married again. He enjoyed
success in various parts of Europe and as recently as 2016 he
recorded a new album which performed well in Germany.
Title: The Bangin' Man
This was the band's follow-up to their hit of April "Everyday" (song 27). It was the second of three Top 10 hits they enjoyed in 1974. It was written while the band was touring Australia earlier in the year, and it refers to their tour manager who would bang on their hotel doors to get them up ready to move on to the next location of the tour. Their next hit came in October (song 81).
Title: Band On The Run
This was the follow-up to the band's hit of March, "Jet" (song 17). This recording was the title song from their album "Band On The Run" which reached Number One on the album charts of the UK and USA. This single was also a Number One in America. The next single release, "Junior's Farm" peaked at number 16 in the UK charts during November, but they were back in the Top 10 in May 1975.
This was the group's follow-up to their debut hit in May, "Sugar Baby Love" (song 36). The recording was taken from their first album "Wear It's 'At", which reached the Top 40 in Germany and the Netherlands, but failed to reach the charts in the UK. The band's third single, "Juke Box Jive", reached number three in the UK charts during November (song 87).
Title: You Make Me Feel Brand New
This recording was the
group's follow-up to their hit of January, "Rockin' Roll
Baby" (song 3). The track was featured on their 1974
album "Let's Put It All Together", which reached number 26
on the UK album chart. This single also reached number two on
the USA charts. It was the band's biggest hit in the UK until
1975 when they finally reached Number One with "Can't Give You
Anything (But My Love)". They were next in the UK charts
during October (song 80).
Title: When Will I See You Again
This was the trio's follow-up to their debut hit in April, "Year Of Decision" (song 28). The recording is their most successful single in the UK, which peaked at number two in the USA. The song was featured on the group's album "The Three Degrees", which reached number 12 in the UK album chart from August 1974. Their next release in November stalled at number 34, but they were in the UK Top 10 again in April 1975.
Title: The Six Teens
This followed the band's hit of January this year, "Teenage Rampage" (song 5). This recording peaked at their lowest position in the UK charts since February 1972. The next single release, in November, failed reach the Top 40, after being banned by the BBC, but they were at number two in March 1975.
Title: Born With A Smile On My Face
Stephanie De Sykes was born in 1948. During the 1970s she was primarily a session singer, providing backing vocals for other artists. However, in 1974 she recorded and issued the song "Born With A Smile On My Face" which reached number two on the UK charts. In 1978 and 1980 she co-wrote two songs for entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. The first was "Bad Old Days" by Co-Co which reached number 13 in the UK charts. The 1980 entry was "Love Enough For Two" by Prima Donna which peaked at number 48 on the UK charts, even though it came third in the contest. She continued as a session singer into the 1980s, but in more recent times she has been a human rights campaigner.
Title: Stop Look Listen (To Your Heart)
Like the pair's previous duet in March (song 25), this song was first recorded by smooth Philadelphia Soul group, the Stylistics. Their version reached number 39 in the USA (number six on the R&B chart) during 1971 but it did not chart in the UK. This version by Ross and Gaye was also taken from their 1973 album "Diana & Marvin", which reached number six in the UK album chart. Ross had to wait until 1976 before reaching the UK Top 10 again, and Gaye had to wait until 1977 before he too was in the British Top 10.
Title: Summerlove Sensation
This was the band's third of four Top 10 hits that they enjoyed during 1974, and was the follow-up to "Shang-A-Lang" in April (song 33). All four were written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter who had previously penned the UK's Eurovision entries in 1967 ("Puppet On A String") and 1968 ("Congratulations"). The group's fourth Top 10 came in October (song 78).
Title: Rock The Boat
The Hues Corporation was a Soul trio from Santa Monica, California, USA. They were formed in 1969 and began as a support group for several acts. Their first recordings did not chart, but after a slow start, "Rock The Boat" climbed to Number One in the USA during spring 1974. It is regarded as one of the first recordings in the Disco genre. Further releases did not have the same success, and the group broke up around 1980. However, they reunited for some special events during the 1990s.
Title: I Shot The Sheriff
Eric Clapton was born on 30 Mar 1945 in
Surrey, England. He learned to play guitar as a young teenager
and he began to take a keen interest in American Blues music.
In 1962 he began performing with groups in local venues, and in 1963
he joined the Yardbirds (see year 1965, song 26). They enjoyed
growing success, but Clapton left after their first hit recording as
he thought the group had gone too pop rather than Blues. He
then joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, but left them in 1966 to be
part of the super group Cream. By 1967 he was regarded as one
of Britain's finest guitarists, and Cream performed in New York that
year. However, the band broke up in 1968, and Clapton spent a
few years collaborating with various American bands, culminating in
his hit "Layla" (in 1972) credited to Derek & The
Dominoes (see year 1972, song 62). He then began recording as
a solo artist, and had the 1974 hit "I Shot The Sheriff"
which reached Number One in the USA. The track was featured on
his album "461 Ocean Boulevard" which reached Number One
in the USA during 1974 (number three in the UK). His success
continued into the 21st century, and he accrued 38 hit albums in the
UK from 1974 to 2020, 18 of which reached the Top 10.
This was the band's follow-up to their hit of
April, "The Cat Crept In" (song 30). This was
another song from the pens of Chinn and Chapman. They went on
to write Mud's perennial Christmas song "Lonely This
Christmas" which reached Number One at Christmas 1974, but is
heard annually on the radio every December.
Title: I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You
Donny and Marie are brother and sister. Donny had enjoyed several major hits, including three Number Ones, in the UK over 1972 and 1973. He was also a member of the family group The Osmonds, with whom he was having further hits. Marie had enjoyed one solo hit in the UK during late 1973. For more info on these artists see year 1973, song 19 (Donny) and year 1973, song 93 (Marie). This recording was a revival of a song written in 1957 and recorded by the composers that year. It became well-known in the USA during 1963 when it was recorded by the duo Dale & Grace. Their version reached Number One on the USA charts. The Donny & Marie version peaked at number four in America. They were in the UK Top 10 again, with another duet, in December (song 94).
Title: Hello Summertime
Bobby Goldsboro was
born on 18 Jan 1941 in Florida, USA, but he grew up in Alabama,
USA. He began his musical career in 1962, and was in the USA
Top 10 by 1964. In 1968 he was in the UK Top 10 (USA Number
One) with the tear-jerker "Honey", about the death of a
man's wife. He wrote many songs, and several became hits for
other artists. His second UK hit came belatedly in 1973,
"Summer (The First Time)" which was not without
controversy as it documented a teenager's first sexual
encounter. Goldsboro was in the UK Top 20 in 1974 with
"Hello Summertime", and "Honey" charted again
1975. No more recordings reached the UK charts. He had
his own American TV series, "The Bobby Goldsboro Show",
from 1973 to 1975. He continued songwriting and in the 1990s
was writing themes for TV shows.
Title: Annie's Song
John Denver (31 Dec 1943 - 12 Oct 1997) was born in New Mexico, USA. He was given a guitar at the age of eleven, and he was giving performances by the time he was at college. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, and began performing in Folk clubs. He joined a group in 1965, but decided to go solo in 1969. He composed most of his recordings, and one of his songs, "Leaving On A Jet Plane", was recorded in 1969 by American Folk group Peter, Paul & Mary, whose version reached Number One in the USA. It reached number two in the UK (see year 1970, song 4). By 1971 Denver was at number two in America with "Take Me Home Country Roads", which was a hit in the UK for Olivia Newton-John in 1973. Denver was reaching the UK album chart from 1973, but finally made it to the singles chart in 1974 with "Annie's Song", which is his only solo hit in Britain. By contrast, he had four Number Ones in the USA and numerous other hits. In the 1980s, whist still successfully recording, he turned much of his attention to humanitarian and conservation causes. He was a keen pilot, and sadly was killed when his private aircraft crashed in California.
Title: Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe
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.
Title: Love Me For A Reason
The Osmonds was a
family group comprising brothers Alan (born 22 Jun 1949), Wayne (born 28 Aug 1951),
Merrill (born 30 Apr 1953), Jay (born 2 Mar 1955) and Donny (born 9 Dec 1957).
The older siblings began singing at a young age, and the oldest four
began appearing on American TV, notably on the Andy Williams show
from 1962 to 1969. As they grew older they moved into more
contemporary material, and were joined by Donny in the late
1960s. They first appeared in the UK charts in 1972, and their
second entry in November ("Crazy Horses") was a Top 10 hit
over the Christmas period. "Love Me For A Reason" was
the group's fourth Top 10 hit and was a strong harmony ballad. They continued having hits until the
end of 1975, but remained a successful live act for several
years. Alan and Wayne have retired from performing, and Donny
concentrates on his TV presentation work and concerts in Las Vegas
and other venues. Merrill and Jay continue performing as the
Title: Feel Like Makin' Love
Roberta Flack was
born on 10 Feb 1937 in North Carolina, USA, but grew up in
Arlington, Virginia, USA. She learned to play piano as a
youngster and decided to study music. She graduated from
Howard University at the age of 19, and went into teaching
music. She began her professional singing career at a restaurant
at Capitol Hill, Washington DC in 1968. Her reputation grew
and she soon had a recording contract. Her recordings did not
sell particularly well until she recorded Ewan MacColl's "The
First Time I Ever Saw Your Face". Her version went to
Number One on the USA charts (number 14 in the UK), and she enjoyed two further
chart-toppers in the USA. Her career flourished, and she
recorded a number of duets, notably with Donny Hathaway and Peabo
Bryson. She has continued to record and perform - her most
recent album was released in 2018.
Title: Rock Me Gently
Andy Kim was born on 5 Dec 1946 in Montreal, Canada to Lebanese immigrants. He took an interest in music from a young age, and moved to New York whilst still in his teens. He began writing and some recording with moderate success, but in 1969 he was the co-writer of the Archies big hit "Sugar Sugar" (see year 1969, song 82). From 1970 he was recording and touring the USA and Canada. His only hit in the UK came in 1974 when "Rock Me Gently" reached number two. The recording reached Number One in the USA and Canada. He has continued with recording and performing, sometimes under a pseudonym. He issued a new album in 2011, and in 2018 he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Title: Something 'Bout You Baby I Like
Tom Jones was
born on 7 Jun 1940 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales. For over
six decades he has been an international star with TV series in the
UK and USA, and seasons in Las Vegas. In his seventies he
continues to perform and act as a judge on a TV talent
contest. He began singing with a group called Tommy Scott
& the Senators in the early 1960s. They performed in local
venues and even made a couple of records. Then in 1964 Jones
was spotted by artist manager Gordon Mills. He took Jones to
London and arranged a contract with Decca Records. Jones'
first hit, "It's Not Unusual", started a life-long career
in showbiz. 1967 saw him jet off for his first of many seasons
in Las Vegas. The big hits continued through the 1960s, but
chart entries were thinner after that. Nevertheless he
remained immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic, and in
1999 he released an album of duets, "Reload", which went
to Number One in the UK album chart. Several singles were
released from the album, including "Sex Bomb" which peaked
at number three on the singles chart in May 2000 when he was almost
60 years old. He continues to perform on TV, issue albums, and
since 2012 has been a judge/coach on the UK version of the talent
show "The Voice".
Title: Sad Sweet Dreamer
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 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.
Title: Long Tall Glasses
This was Sayer's follow-up to his hit of June, "One Man Band" (song 45). This release climbed two places higher than its predecessor, and came from the same album, "Just A Boy", which reached number four in the UK album chart. Sayer's next hit single came in August 1975, the number two charter, "Moonlighting".
Title: Everything I Own
Ken Boothe was
born on 22 Mar 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica. Boothe began singing
in the early 1960s, usually in duos or groups, and several
recordings were issued. His first solo recordings were made in
1966, and by 1974 he had issued his seventh album. That album
included the single "Everything I Own" which was released
in the UK on Trojan records. This Reggae version of the David
Gates song reached Number One in the UK, and was followed later in
the year by "Crying Over You" which reached number
eleven. There were no further UK hits, but Boothe continued to
record and perform into the 1990s. Boothe was awarded the Order of
Distinction for his contribution to Jamaican music by the Jamaican government in 2003.
Title: Knock On Wood
Most of Bowie's
hits were written by himself, but this one was a revival of a song
from 1966. It had originally been co-written and recorded by
American Soul singer Eddie Floyd. That original version
reached number 19 on the UK charts during 1966. The Bowie
version is a live performance recording made in Philadelphia, USA,
and was featured on his album "David Live" which reached
number two on the UK album chart from November 1974. This
single was Bowie's second Top 10 hit of the year, following
"Rebel Rebel" in February (song 16). Two releases in
between only reached the Top 30. Bowie's next hit single,
"Young Americans" came in March 1975.
Title: Down On The Beach Tonight
This was the Drifters' second Top 10 hit of the year, and the hits would continue in 1975. They were still recording in the UK and largely performing in that country too, with appearances at the London Palladium during 1974. Their next UK hit came in February 1975, although it peaked at a lowly number 33. However, they were in the Top 10 during September and again in November 1975.
Title: Gonna Make You A Star
David Essex was
born on 23 Jul 1947 in east London, England. He thought he
might become a footballer before his singing and acting career took
off. He first recorded in 1965 and toured with a band for two
years. In 1971 he got the lead role in the stage musical
"Godspell", and in 1973 he starred in the film "That'll Be The
Day" along with Ringo Starr. He had his first hit
single, "Rock On" in 1973, which was taken from his debut
album also titled "Rock On". The album reached
number seven on the UK album chart. Essex has placed 25 hits
on the singles charts, including eight Top 10s and two Number
Ones. He has also seen many albums reach the album chart.
He has continued
with recording and acting in films, TV and on the stage up to the
Title: I Honestly Love You
This was the follow-up to her hit in March, "Long Live Love" (song 22). This recording only reached number 22 in the UK, although it went to Number One in the USA, Canada, Australia and Sweden. Furthermore, at the 17th Grammy Awards in 1975, the single won both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Obviously the British record-buying public just did not take to it. Her next UK hit did not come until 1977, after which she entered her USA period with hit songs from the film "Grease".
Title: All Of Me Loves All Of You
This was the fourth and final Top 10 hit for the band in 1974. It followed "Summerlove Sensation" (song 59). Their popularity continued into 1975 when they had three Top 10 hits, including two Number Ones. The first of those came in March 1975 when their remake of "Bye Bye Baby" hit the top of the UK charts.
Title: (Hey There) Lonely Girl
Eddie Holman was
born on 3 Jun 1946 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, but he was brought up
in New York City. He had an interest in music from a young
age, and he moved to Philadelphia when he was a teenager. After graduating from high school, he attended
university where he graduated with a degree in music. He began
recording in the mid-1960s and began having a few hits on the
American charts. In 1970 he recorded the song "(Hey
There) Lonely Girl", which reached number two on the USA charts
that year. It was not until 1974 that the recording reached
the British charts. That hit is is only entry on the UK
charts, although he did have some smaller hits in the USA during
1977. He continues to tour with the Eddie Holman Band, but
also works as a volunteer for the underprivileged of Philadelphia.
Title: Let's Put It All Together
This was the group's follow-up to their number two hit of July, "You Make Me Feel Brand New" (song 54). It was also their third Top 10 hit on the UK charts during 1974. The track was taken from their album "Let's Put It All Together", which was produced by Hugo & Luigi in New York City, and was the group's first recording session away from Philadelphia. As mentioned with song 3 above, this change of location did not blunt their success in the UK which continued into 1976, although in the USA, from mid-1974, the singles only reached minor positions. The band's next UK hit came in January 1975, being "Star On A TV Show".
Title: Far Far Away
This was the band's third Top 10 hit of 1974, and followed "The Bangin' Man" (song 51). This was also the last in a run of twelve consecutive Top 10 hits, six of which reached Number One, since October 1971. Their next hit in February got to number 15, but they had a Top 10 hit in May 1975, which was their last until 1981. See song 27 above for more info.
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.
Title: Too Good To Be Forgotten
This was the
band's second UK Top 10 hit of the year, but it was not a hit in
their American homeland. An intermediate summer release in the
UK had stalled at number 35. They had two further Top 10s in
1975, with a final entry in 1976. For more info see song 24
Title: You're The First, The Last, My
This was White's
follow-up to his August Top 10 hit "Can't Get Enough Of Your
Love Babe" (song 66). The album from which this track came,
"Can't Get Enough", also entered the UK album chart on 2
November, and reached number four, remaining on the
chart for 34 weeks. He was back in the UK Top 10 in March
Title: How Long
This group was formed in Sheffield, England in 1972, with lead singer Paul Carrack. Their debut album "Five-A-Side" contained the track "How Long" which was issued as a single, becoming a Top 20 hit in the UK. The album did not chart in the UK. However, in the USA, the single reached number three, and the album peaked at number eleven in the American album chart. With this American success, the band moved to that country and recorded two more albums. However, the success did not continue and the band broke up in mid 1977. Carrick then worked with other bands, most successfully with Mike & The Mechanics, whose hit "The Living Years" reached number two in the UK and Number One in the USA during 1989. Carrack has also recorded solo, and he remade "How Long" in 1996, which reached number 32 in the UK charts.
Title: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
Bachman-Turner Overdrive was a Canadian Rock band formed in Winnipeg, Canada during 1973 after group members had been in other bands. This track was taken from their third album, "Not Fragile" which went to Number One in the USA (number 12 in the UK). The personnel at the time of this release was Randy Bachman (vocals, guitars), Robbie Bachman (percussion, drums), Blair Thornton (guitars, backing vocals), and Fred Turner (vocals, bass guitar). They remained very popular in the USA and Canada for a few years, although in the UK they had just one more hit single and no further hit albums. Following disagreements over the band's direction, Randy left in 1976 and was replaced, but the band was dissolved in early 1980. However, there were several reunions and break ups over the following years into the early 2000s. In the 2010s, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner have recorded and performed as a duo, simply called Bachman & Turner.
Title: Juke Box Jive
This was the band's follow-up to their hit in July, "Tonight", which peaked at number 12. This release brought them back into the UK Top 10, and it reached the Top 10 in Germany and the Netherlands too. It was a track taken from their second album, "We Can Do It", which peaked at number 41 on the UK album chart. The band's popularity continued into 1975, with another Top 10 hit in March. For more info see song 36 above.
Title: Get Dancing
This recording was another offering of the Disco sound that was gaining considerable popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes was a group featuring Monti Rock III (born Joseph Montanez Jr., 29 May 1942 in New York City). Also in the band were the writers of this song Bob Crewe, who was well-known as a song writer for the Four Seasons during the 1960s, and Kenny Nolan. The only female member was Cindy Bullens who was a backing singer for Elton John, Rod Stewart and many others. The band had just two noteworthy hits and then pretty much disappeared.
Title: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
This was Elton's first UK Top 10 hit since
September 1973, although he had four hits in between, the highest
getting to number eleven. This recording of the Lennon &
McCartney song featured John Lennon on backing vocals and guitar,
and it reached Number One in the USA charts. It was his
follow-up to "The Bitch Is Back" which had reached number
15 in the British charts (number four in the USA) from September
Title: The Man With The Golden Gun
This was the theme to the James Bond film of
the same title; the ninth in the series. The Bond themes were
and are sung by prominent singers of the day, and Lulu was chosen to
perform this theme for the soundtrack. This recording is the
only James Bond theme not to reach the record charts of either the
UK or USA. No doubt this was a great disappointment for Lulu,
who had been in the UK Top 10 in January this year (see song 6
Title: Never Can Say Goodbye
Gloria Gaynor was born on 7 Sep 1943 in
Newark, New Jersey, USA. She came from a musical family, and
her brothers formed a Gospel choir in the 1950s. Gaynor joined
an R&B band in the 1960s and made a record in 1965. She
did not enjoy any major success until her recording of the song
"Never Can Say Goodbye" in 1974, which has become a Disco
classic. This was followed by several moderately successful
singles in both the UK and USA until 1979 when she reached Number
One in both countries with the classic hit "I Will
Survive". The hits tailed off after that but she has
continued to perform and record, and more recently has moved into
Title: Down Down
This was the band's follow-up to their hit of May, "Break The Rules" (song 38). "Down Down" was their first Number One in the UK charts, but it turned out to be their only chart-topper. Their next hit came in May 1975, being "Roll Over Lay Down", which was part of a three track release of live recordings. For more band info, see song 38.
Title: Streets Of London
Ralph McTell was born on 3 Dec 1944 in Kent, England. After leaving school he went to college and began to take and interest in all forms of music. In the mid-1960s he began busking around London, and other parts Europe, especially Paris. He met other musicians during this time and added to his skills, especially as a songwriter. Professional gigs followed, and by 1967 he had a record deal, and was making his first album. His second album, in 1968, included the song "Streets Of London". He began playing in big venues, and appeared at the Isle of Wight music festival in 1970. His recording of "Streets Of London" was finally issued as a single in late 1974 and became a world-wide million-seller. During the 1980s he took to TV presentation and performance work on the children's TV show "Alphabet Zoo". He has continued performing and recording, with a new album released in 2019.
Title: Morning Side Of The Mountain
This was the duo's follow-up to their hit of
August, "I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You" (song 63).
This also made the Top five in the UK, and the Top 10 in the
USA. The pair of siblings were in the UK charts again in June
1975 with a Top 20 hit. All their British hits were remakes of
old songs. Donny was also in the UK Top 10 in May 1975 with his
brothers, The Osmonds.
This was the follow-up to David Essex's hit of October, "Gonna Make You A Star" (song 76). This was the theme to the film "Stardust", a musical drama which starred David Essex, Adam Faith and Larry Hagman. The cast also featured a number of well-known pop/rock performers, including Keith Moon (The Who), Marty Wilde, Dave Edmunds, and Paul Nicholas. The film was a box office hit. Essex had two more Top 10 entries in 1975, one of which reached Number One ("Hold Me Close").
Title: Help Me Make It Through The
John Holt (11 Jul 1947 - 19 Oct 2014) was a
Jamaican Reggae singer who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He
began taking part in local talent contests from the age of twelve,
and recorded his first single in 1963. He was part of a
Jamaican group in the second half of the 1960s, and they enjoyed a
series of hits in that country, whilst Holt also recorded solo
during that time. One of his albums was picked up by Trojan
records in the UK during 1974, and from it the single "Help Me
Make It Through The Night" was released. It was very
successful, reaching the UK Top 10 and Holt toured in the UK over
the following years, but remained based in Jamaica. He had no
other hits in the UK. In 2004 he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his contribution to Jamaican music.
Sadly he died from colon cancer in 2014, and is buried in Jamaica's Dovecot Memorial Park.
Title: I Can Help
Billy Swan was born on 12 May 1942 in Missouri, USA. He started to play instruments and write songs as a child. In 1962 one of his songs, "Lover Please", was recorded by former Drifters vocalist Clyde McPhatter, which became a Top 10 hit in the USA. Swan moved to Nashville in the mid-1960s, and began writing Country music songs for the many acts based in that city. He recorded his first album in 1972, but his recording of "I Can Help" and the album of the same title were his only major hits. He recorded albums up to 1981, but the final three failed to chart. However, he had modest success on the American Country music singles chart until 1987. He has continued as a session musician and songwriter.
Title: Ms Grace
The Tymes was a Soul vocal group formed in Philadelphia, USA during the 1950s. They enjoyed hits in the USA during the 1960s, two of which reached the Top 30 in the UK. The bigger of those two was "People" which peaked at number 16 in early 1969. The group's big hit in the UK, "Ms Grace", only reached number 91 in their American homeland. It was the act's final major hit on either side of the Atlantic.
Title: Are You Ready To Rock
This was the band's first Top 10 hit after "Rock 'N' Roll Winter" (song 32), which was in the charts in April. An intermediate release in the summer stalled at number 34. This was also the group's final Top 10 hit, and indeed the final hit with new material of any kind, although their perennial Christmas song "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday", originally a Top 10 hit in 1973, reached the Top 10 again in 2007. Group leader, Roy Wood went on to record and perform solo with moderate success for the next three decades, but now appears to be semi-retired. See song 32 above for more info.
Title: Best Of My Love
The Eagles are an American Country Rock band formed in Los Angeles in
September 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey (6 Nov 1948 -
18 Jan 2016), Don Henley (born 22 Jul 1947), Bernie Leadon and Randy
Frey and Henley first played together when they joined Linda Ronstadt's backing band
for her tour in 1971. Leadon and Meisner were in the band as
well, and the four decided to form their own band. They
released their first album ("The Eagles") in 1972.
None of the band's early American hits reached the UK charts. In fact,
the band's first British hit did not come until 1975, after they had
enjoyed eight hit singles in the USA. However, all of their
American hits were included on the album "Their Greatest Hits
1971-1975" (released 1976) which reached number two on the UK album chart,
where it remained for 77 weeks. Guitarist and vocalist Joe Walsh joined the band in 1975, replacing
Leadon. The Eagles hit their commercial peak in late 1976 with the release of the album "Hotel California",
which went on to sell more than 26 million copies in the USA alone and more than 42 million copies worldwide.
The Eagles broke up in July 1980, but reunited in 1994 for the album "Hell Freezes Over", a mix of live and new
They toured consistently and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 2007, the Eagles released "Long Road Out of Eden", their first full studio album in 28 years and their sixth
American Number One album. The next year they launched the Long Road Out of Eden Tour in support of the album.
In 2013, they began the extended History of the Eagles Tour in conjunction with the band's documentary release,
"History of the Eagles".
Glenn Frey died in January 2016, but they reformed in 2017, with Deacon Frey (Glen Frey's son) and Country singer
Vince Gill sharing lead vocals for Frey's songs.
Acts with most appearances in this list:
Composers with most appearances in this list:
Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman: 5 (3 for Mud; 2 for Sweet)
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