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MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS

1977

 

1977 saw the continuation of Disco music in the charts, with Donna Summer enjoying a couple of Top 10 hits.  Despite that, Reggae remained very popular, and a big hit for Bob Marley cemented his position as the top Reggae performer.  Although the year witnessed the arrival of Punk Rock, no records in that genre reached the Top 20 best-selling singles of 1977, and no such recordings are included in this listing.  Established acts, the Eagles, with their classic album and single "Hotel California", Leo Sayer and Rod Stewart had a very successful year.  Fleetwood Mac, who had begun in the late 1960s as a niche Blues band, changed to a 'stadium' Rock act with the addition of two American members to the lineup.  Their 1977 album "Rumours" was a major success reaching the top of the album chart in the USA, UK and several other countries.  Three singles issued from the album were hits also.

The year was also one of sadness, in that Rock n Roll legend, Elvis Presley passed away at the age of 42.  This led to two major posthumous hits for him in 1977, with many more to follow in the years and decades to follow.  1977 was also the year of a final Top 10 hit for the USA easy-listening duo, the Carpenters.  However, Abba continued their enormous success, as did actor/crooner David Soul, and the group Boney M.  1977 was the year of the Disco-based film "Saturday Night Fever", for which the Bee Gees wrote many songs.  These were recorded by other acts who had major hits with them, and the soundtrack album became a mega-seller, reaching Number One in the charts of more than a dozen countries.  The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) continued with their own brand of music and had three Top 20 hits as a result.  

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 other commercial radio stations.

*1 song not a hit in the UK.

 


1

Title: New Kid In Town
Artist: The Eagles
Writer(s): Don Henley, Glenn Frey & J D Souther
Entered chart 15 Jan 1977; Highest Position 20; Weeks on chart: 7.

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 Meisner.  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 studio tracks.  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.
# This was the first single taken from the band's album "Hotel California".  The single reached Number One in the USA, as did the album.


2

Title: Isn't She Lovely
Artist: Stevie Wonder / David Parton
Writer(s): Stevie Wonder
Entered chart 15 Jan 1977; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 9 (data is for Parton version).

This song was written by Stevie Wonder to celebrate the birth of his daughter Aisha.  It was issued by Wonder on his album "Songs In The Key Of Life" which reached number two on the UK album chart from October 1976.  However, as the track ran for more than six minutes, and Wonder did not want it shortened, it was never issued as a single.  It nevertheless received considerable air-play in the UK, so somewhat unknown British singer-songwriter David Parton recorded the song, and his version became a UK hit in early 1977.  Parton was unable to follow up that success, and this is his only entry in the UK charts.  Wonder did release another track from the above-mentioned album, "Sir Duke", which reached number two in the UK charts in April 1977 (song 27).
# For more info about Stevie Wonder, see song 27.


3

Title: Boogie Nights
Artist: Heatwave
Writer(s): Rod Temperton
Entered chart 22 Jan 1977; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 14.

Heatwave was a Disco/Funk band formed in the UK by American Johnnie Wilder (3 Jul 1949 - 13 May 2006), with his brother Keith and British songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton (9 Oct 1949 - 25 Sep 2016).  Others joined the band and they gained a recording contract in 1976.  Their debut album spawned the single "Boogie Nights" which became a big hit, also reaching number two in the USA.  They had a few more hits until the end of the decade when some members left, including Temperton, although he continued to write songs for the band.  Following unrelated accidents to the two Wilder brothers, the band broke up in 1983.  A later incarnation with only Johnnie Wilder as original member made some recordings but without any major success.  
# Temperton went on to have a very successful career as a songwriter, providing hits for George Benson and Patti Austin & James Ingram, whose recording of Temperton's "Baby Come To Me" reached Number One in the USA.  Temperton's greatest achievements were writing for Michael Jackson.  He provided songs for the 1979 album "Off The Wall", and having relocated to California to work with producer Quincy Jones, he wrote songs for Jackson's "Thriller" album, including the title track.  He continued writing until his death from cancer in 2016 at the age of 66.


4

Title: What Can I Say
Artist: Boz Scaggs
Writer(s): Boz Scaggs & David Paich
Entered chart 22 Jan 1977; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 10.

Boz Scaggs was born on 8 Jun 1944 in Ohio, USA.  He began performing whilst still at school and recorded his first album in 1965.  Further recordings were not particularly successful until 1976 when he recorded the album "Silk Degrees".  That album only reached number 37 on the UK album chart, but it remained on the chart for 24 weeks.  The single "What Can I Say" was taken from the album and it peaked at number ten on the UK charts.  Two other tracks from the same album were Top 30 hits in the UK.  After touring for the remainder of the 1970s, he took a long break, but returned in 1988 with a new recording, and resumed touring, often with other performers of the day.  He continued into the 21st century, with a new album in 2015.


5

Title: Don't Leave Me This Way
Artist: Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
Writer(s): Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff & Cary Gilbert
Entered chart 22 Jan 1977; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 10.

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes was an American soul and R&B vocal group, and one of the popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s.  They had begun in the early 1960s under a different group name, but found international success when they moved to the Philadelphia International record company.  The group was founded by Harold Melvin, but in 1970 he recruited Teddy Pendergrass as lead singer, and the hits began in late 1972 when "If You Don't Know Me By Now" reached the UK Top 10 (see year 1973, song 3).  They did not score a huge number of hits, even in the USA, although they did appear frequently on the American R&B chart.  In the UK they had four further Top 40 hits up to 1976, but then reached the Top 10 again in 1977 with this song.  It was recorded in 1975 when Pendergrass was still the lead vocalist, but he quit the band in 1976 to go solo.  He had success in the USA, achieving five Top 20 albums from 1977 to 1981.  With more personnel changes the group had some more small British hits in 1984.  Melvin died in 1997, and Pendergrass in 2010.
# Two other versions of the song have been in the UK charts.  Also in 1977, the song was recorded by American Soul singer Thelma Houston, and her version reached number 13 on the UK charts (Number One in the USA).  Melvin's and Houston's versions were both in the UK charts during February and March 1977.  In 1986 the song was recorded by British duo The Communards, and their version reached Number One in the UK charts from August 1986.


6

Title: Jack In The Box
Artist: The Moments
Writer(s): Al Goodman, Harry Ray & Tommy Keith
Entered chart 22 Jan 1977; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 9.

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 another vocal group called the Whatnauts that they first appeared on the UK charts (see year 1975, song 18).  They had a further Top 10 hit in July 1975 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.
# This recording should not be confused with "Jack In The Box" by
Clodagh Rodgers which is a different song, and was a hit for her in 1971 (see year 1971, song 18).


7

Title: Year Of The Cat
Artist: Al Stewart
Writer(s): Al Stewart
Entered chart 29 Jan 1977; Highest Position 31; Weeks on chart: 6.

Al Stewart is a Scottish Folk music singer-songwriter, born 5 Sep 1945 in Glasgow.  Although he was born in Scotland, he grew up in the town of Wimborne, Dorset, England.  In 1965 he began playing his music in coffee shops around London, later meeting Cat Stevens, Ralf McTell, and Paul Simon with whom Stewart shared a flat in east London during the time that Simon was residing in England.  Stewart began recording in 1967, but his first album to reach the charts did not come until 1970.  He began to have modest hits in the USA from 1975, but it was not until 1977 that he came to general notice in the UK with the album "Year Of The Cat".  That album reached the Top 40 of the album chart, and spawned the single of the same title.  That single was his only entry in the UK charts, but five of his albums have appeared on the UK album chart, albeit reaching minor positions.  In the USA he had two Top 10 singles.  He has continued recording and performing into the 21st century, his most recent recording being released in 2010.


8

Title: When I Need You
Artist: Leo Sayer
Writer(s): Albert Hammond & Carole Bayer Sager
Entered chart 29 Jan 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

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 that country.
# This recording was also a Number One in the USA, and several other countries.  It was the follow-up to his hit of October 1976, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" (see year 1976, song 85).  His next hit came in April this year (song 31).


9

Title: More Than A Feeling
Artist: Boston
Writer(s): Tom Schotz
Entered chart 29 Jan 1977; Highest Position 22; Weeks on chart: 8.

This soft Rock band was established in 1969, in the city of  Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  The two main members were Tom Scholz on guitar and Brad Delp on vocals.  The band spent much time in a homemade recording studio in Scholz’s basement, recording demo tapes in the hope of getting a record deal.  Those tapes eventually landed Boston a deal with Epic Records.  In 1976, they released the album "Boston", which reached number eleven in the UK album chart.  Despite the domination of the Disco sound at the time, the album appealed to buyers and radio stations looking for something different.  The track "More Than A Feeling" was taken from the album, and peaked at number five in the USA charts, although it did not fare as well in the UK.  Like other bands of the era who achieved major commercial success, there was internal dissension and a tenuous relationship with a record label anxious to capitalize on the huge success of the band’s first album.  It was two years before the band’s second album, "Don’t Look Back", was released, selling four million copies the first month. The band has released six albums, including a Greatest Hits compilation.  Scholz and Delp were the only original members of Boston who were still with the band up to March 2007 when Delp died at the age of 55.  The band resumed touring in 2008 with new vocalists, and toured again in 2015.  In 2017 it was reported that Scholz was writing songs for a seventh album, but as at early 2022 nothing has been released.


10

Title: Chanson D'Amour
Artist: Manhattan Transfer
Writer(s): Wayne Shanklin
Entered chart 5 Feb 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

Manhattan Transfer is a harmony quartet, which performs mostly in a nostalgic, 1930s style.  The band was established in 1969, but it was not until 1975 (and some changes of personnel) that they hit the big time.  The 1975 album "Manhattan Transfer" was a modest success, but the follow-up album, "Coming Out" provided the group's signature track "Chanson D'Amour" in 1977.  Despite that success, they have remained a niche band, with modest sales of singles and albums on both sides of the Atlantic.  They have continued into the 21st century, but some original members died during the 2010s.  Nevertheless, new members have been recruited, and they continue to perform worldwide.


11

Title: Torn Between Two Lovers
Artist: Mary MacGregor
Writer(s): Peter Yarrow (member of Folk group Peter, Paul & Mary)
Entered chart 19 Feb 1977; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 10.

Mary MacGregor was born on 6 May 1948 in Minnesota, USA.  She began playing piano as a child, and by her teens was in a group.  She began touring with Peter Yarrow during the time he was working solo from Peter, Paul & Mary in the 1970s.  In 1976 she began recording and made the single "Torn Between Two Lovers".  The single went to Number One in the USA, Canada and Australia.  She had some smaller hits in the USA until 1980.  She continued performing until 1999, but is now retired and living in California.


12

Title: Sound And Vision
Artist: David Bowie
Writer(s): David Bowie
Entered chart 19 Feb 1977; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 11.

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" (see year 1969, song 73) 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 taken from his album "Low" which entered the album chart in January 1977, reaching number two.


13

Title: Go Your Own Way
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Writer(s): Lindsey Buckingham
Entered chart 19 Feb 1977; Highest Position 38; Weeks on chart: 4.

Fleetwood Mac was originally a Blues band formed in London in 1967.  The founding members were guitarist Peter Green (29 Oct 1946 - 25 Jul 2020), Drummer Mick Fleetwood (born 24 Jun 1947), and bassist John McVie (born 26 Nov 1945).  As a Blues band they had several UK hits in the late 1960s, including their Number One instrumental hit "Albatross" in late 1968.  Christine Perfect (later Christine McVie) joined in 1970 as vocalist and keyboardist.  Several members, including Peter Green, left in the early 1970s, and whilst in the USA in 1974, Fleetwood recruited American duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and the new Rock band was formed as a five piece comprising Fleetwood, McVie, Perfect, Buckingham and Nicks.  Their first album in this guise, "Fleetwood Mac" went to Number One in the USA, and their follow-up album "Rumours" went to Number One on both sides of the Atlantic.  They had a reasonable showing in the singles charts during the late 1970s and 1980s, but they were primarily an album band, achieving six Top 10 albums, including four which went to Number One.  During this time the band was a 'stadium' Rock band, performing to massive audiences, primarily in the USA.  The band has continued until the present time, although Buckingham left in 2018.
# This track was the first of four single hits taken from the album "Rumours".  The poor showing on the singles chart was probably caused by fans buying the Number One album in preference.


14

Title: Knowing Me Knowing You
Artist: Abba
Writer(s): Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson & Stig Anderson
Entered chart 26 Feb 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

Abba was a Swedish group who shot to fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Waterloo".  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".
# This track was the first in another run of three consecutive chart toppers.  The next hit came in October (song 79).


15

Title: When
Artist: Showaddywaddy
Writer(s): Jack Reardon & Paul Evans
Entered chart 5 Mar 1977; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 11.

Showaddywaddy is a Rock 'n' Roll band specialising in revivals of songs from the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The band was formed in Leicester, England in 1973.  They came to prominence after appearing on the TV talent show "New Faces".  The group was fronted by Dave Bartram (born 23 Mar 1952), and he remained in the group until 2011 when he then became their manager.  They first reached the charts in 1974, and went on to have 23 hits, ten of which made the Top 10, until 1982.  They have continued to perform until the present, although there have been several personnel changes, especially in recent years.
# This song was written in 1958 and recorded by the USA duo, the Kalin Twins.  Their version reached Number One in the UK charts that year (see year 1958, song 68).  Showaddywaddy's next hit came in July (song 55).


16

Title: My Kinda Life
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Chris East
Entered chart 5 Mar 1977; Highest Position 15; Weeks on chart: 8.

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.
# This recording was taken from Cliff's 1977 album "Every Face Tells A Story", which reached number eight in the UK album chart.  His next single release, in July, stalled at number 46, and he had no hits in 1978.  However, in 1979 he was back at Number One in the UK for the first time in eleven years.


17

Title: Moody Blue
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Mark James
Entered chart 5 Mar 1977; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 9.

The King of Rock 'n' Roll (8 Jan 1935 - 16 Aug 1977) was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA.  He and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was 13 years old.  Soon afterwards he acquired his first guitar and began playing and singing.  He started his recording career at Sun Records in Memphis, USA.  It took several attempts to get Sun owner Sam Phillips to let Presley record, but eventually a session was arranged with guitarist Scotty Moore and upright bass player Bill Black providing backing.  The resultant track "That's Alright" was soon on local radio in Memphis, and it became a local hit.  Public performances followed, including numerous appearances on the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show which was broadcast to half the USA.  Eventually he became famous enough for RCA records to buy out his Sun contract and take him to Nashville, in 1956.  He rose to be arguably the biggest music star of the 20th century, with world-wide record sales of over one billion.  Also in 1956 Elvis made his movie debut in the film "Love Me Tender".  By the end of 1969 he had completed 31 films.  He made no more movies after that, instead concentrating on live concert performances, including many in Las Vegas.  His home in Memphis, "Graceland", is now a museum and major tourist attraction, and his recordings continue to be heard throughout the world.
# This recording was taken from Presley's 1977 album, also titled "Moody Blue".  It reached number three in the UK charts, following his premature death in mid August.  Presley's next single, "Way Down" (song 61), entered the UK charts three days before his passing, subsequently reaching Number One on the UK charts.


18

Title: Sunny
Artist: Boney M
Writer(s): Bobby Hebb
Entered chart 12 Mar 1977; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 10.

Boney M was a Euro-Caribbean vocal group created in 1976 by German record producer Frank Farian, who was the group's primary songwriter.  Originally based in Germany, the four original members were Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett from Jamaica, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell, a dancer from Aruba.  In reality, only the two female vocalists Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett sang on the recordings, and any male voice was that of producer Frank Farian, not Bobby Farrell, backed up by session singers as necessary.  However, all four performed on live presentations of Bonny M recordings.  They became extremely popular throughout Europe during the Disco era, and they had scored ten Top 10 hits on the UK charts by the end of the decade.  Their albums "Night Flight To Venus" and "Oceans Of Fantasy" both went to Number One on the British album chart in the years 1978 and 1979 respectively.  In 1980 their "20 Golden Greats" compilation album also topped the album chart.  After 1985, the members had gone their separate ways, although some continued performing Boney M songs with the addition of different singers well into the 21st century.
# This recording was the group's second Top 10 hit.  It was a remake of the song recorded by Bobby Hebb in 1966.  His version reached number twelve in the UK charts that year (see year 1966, song 77).  Boney M were back in the Top 10 in June (song 50).


19

Title: Love Hit Me
Artist: Maxine Nightingale
Writer(s): J. Vincent Edwards
Entered chart 12 Mar 1977; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 8.

Maxine Nightingale is an English Soul, R&B, and Disco singer.  She was born on 2 Nov 1952 in west London, England.  She began her career in stage musicals, starting during 1969 in "Hair".  This was followed by appearances in the German productions of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Godspell".  After returning to London in 1975 she was offered the chance to record the Disco song "Right Back Where We Started From" (see year 1975, song 85) which became a huge hit, reaching number eight in the UK and getting as high as number two in the USA, as well as the Top 10 of several other countries.  Following the American success she relocated to the USA where she has remained.  Only one further hit entered the UK charts, being "Love Hit Me" in 1977, which peaked at number eleven.  From the 1980s she moved into Jazz performance, but in the 21st century she has also appeared on the American seventies nostalgia pop show circuits.
# This recording is the second of the two hits that she had on the UK charts.


20

Title: Red Light Spells Danger
Artist: Billy Ocean
Writer(s): Billy Ocean & Ben Findon
Entered chart 19 Mar 1977; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

Billy Ocean was born on 21 Jan 1950 in Trinidad, West Indies.  He emigrated to the UK with his family when he was ten years old.  He began singing with local London bands in his teens, and after some unsuccessful recordings, his break-through came in 1976 as a solo artist.  His debut album contained the track "Love really Hurts Without You" (see year 1976, song 13) which became a major success, reaching number two in the UK charts and number 22 in the USA.  His career took off from there, and he enjoyed numerous hits to the end of the 1980s.  He continues to perform in the 21st century, and recorded a new album in 2019.  He was awarded an MBE in 2020.
# Despite his popularity, his next Top 10 hit did not come until 1984, with no hits at all from 1981 to 1983.


21

Title: You Don't Have To Be A Star
Artist: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr
Writer(s): James Dean & John Glover
Entered chart 19 Mar 1977; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 9.

Marilyn McCoo (born 30 Sep 1943, New Jersey, USA) and Billy Davis Jr (born 26 Jun 1938, St Louis, USA), met when they both began singing in the harmony group the Fifth Dimension.  With the group they had several major hits in the USA (fewer in the UK) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  They married in 1969, and left the group in 1975.  They recorded a debut album in 1976 from which the single "You Don't Have To Be A Star" was taken.  The single went to Number One in the USA, but was the only hit they had in the UK.  They decided to work solo in the 1980s, but remained married, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2019.


22

Title: Southern Nights
Artist: Glen Campbell
Writer(s): Allen Toussaint
Entered chart 26 Mar 1977; Highest Position 28; Weeks on chart: 6.

Glen Campbell (22 Apr 1936 - 8 Aug 2017) was born in Arkansas, USA.  He was the son of a poor farmer, but he was taught to play guitar at a young age by his uncle.  At the age of 17 he joined his uncle's band, and performed at local venues.  A year later he formed his own band.  In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician.  He worked on the hit recording of many stars of the time, and by 1965 he was making records of his own.  His first substantial hit came in 1967, the year that also gave us "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (written by Jimmy Webb) which was a Top 30 hit in the USA, although it did not reach the charts in the UK.  He finally entered the British charts in 1969 with another Jimmy Webb song, "Wichita Lineman" (year 1969, song 7).  This started a run of successful singles and albums in the USA and UK for several decades.  Sadly he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011.  He decided to go on a final world concert tour in 2012, and to record his final album.  He died in Nashville, Tennessee, USA at the age of 81.
# The recording reached Number One in the USA.  This was Campbell's final UK hit.
# The song was written and originally recorded by American R&B singer Allen Toussaint in 1975.


23

Title: Going In With My Eyes Open
Artist: David Soul
Writer(s): Tony Macaulay
Entered chart 26 Mar 1977; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 8.

David Soul is an American actor and singer, born on 28 Aug 1943 in Chicago, USA.  He rose to fame playing the part of detective Hutchinson in the TV police drama "Starsky & Hutch" from 1975 to 1979.  He began performing as an actor in 1960, but always had a passion for music.  Based on his fame, in 1976 he came to the UK and began recording.  His first single release went to Number One, followed by a further three Top 10 hits and one Top 20 entry.  He also had two Top 10 albums in 1976-1977.  He returned to the USA after that and resumed his TV acting career, appearing in numerous dramas.  In the mid 1990s he moved to the UK and began appearing on the West End stage, as well as in British TV dramas, into the 2000s.  In 2004 he became a British citizen.
# This was Soul's follow-up to his debut hit in December 1976, "Don't Give Up On Us" (year 1976, song 98).  It was the first of three Top 10 hits he enjoyed in 1977.  His next came in August (song 64).


24

Title: Pearl's A Singer
Artist: Elkie Brooks
Writer(s): Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Ralph Dino & John Sembello
Producers: Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Entered chart 2 Apr 1977; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 9.

Elkie Brooks was born on 25 Feb 1945 in Salford, Manchester, England.  She began singing as a teenager, and spent most of the 1960s performing in cabaret.  She also began singing Jazz at this time, but in 1971 she joined Robert Palmer to form the R&B band Vinegar Joe.  Three albums were recorded, but none reached the charts.  They disbanded in 1974 and both pursued solo careers.  Brooks recorded her first solo album, "Two Days Away", in 1977 which reached the Top 20 of the UK album chart.  From that album came the single "Pearl's A Singer" which reached the Top 10 in the UK, as did the follow-up.  Her success continued, especially in the 1980s, on both the singles and album charts.  She has continued to perform until the present, with new material being released in the 2010s.
# Her next hit came in August (song 63).


25

Title: Free
Artist: Deniece Williams
Writer(s): Deniece Williams, Hank Redd, Nathan Watts & Susaye Greene
Entered chart 2 Apr 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 10.

Deniece Williams was born on 3 Jun 1951, in Gary, Indiana, USA.  She began singing as a college student, and as well as singing with a group, she became a backing singer on several of Stevie Wonder's albums.  In 1975 she gained a new recording contract, and the song "Free" came from her debut album.  In 1978 she recorded an album of duets with American crooner Johnny Mathis, and a song lifted from the album, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" reached Number One in the USA and number three on the UK charts.  Her final UK hit came in 1984.  In the late 1980s she issued a couple of Gospel albums.  Her most recent album was released in 2007, which reached the Top 50 of the American R&B chart.
# Her next hit came in July (song 58).


26

Title: Lonely Boy
Artist: Andrew Gold
Writer(s): Andrew Gold
Entered chart 2 Apr 1977; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 9.

Andrew Gold (2 Aug 1951 - 3 Jun 2011) was born in California, USA.  Gold's parents were both musicians, so Gold was destined to go into the music business.  As a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter he worked with numerous other musicians in the 1970s, in particular with Linda Ronstadt.  His debut solo album was released in 1975, but it was his second album, "What's Wrong With This Picture?" that spawned the single "Lonely Boy", which reached number seven in both the USA and Canada.  In 1978 he reached the UK Top 10 for the only time with "Never Let Her Slip Away".  In 1981 Gold worked with 10cc on their new album, and when 10cc broke up in 1983, band member Graham Gouldman formed the duo Wax with Gold.  The duo had a couple of modest hits in the second half of the 1980s, but separated in 1989.  Gold continued as a session musician during the 1990s, but died from heart failure in 2011 at the age of 59.
# This is a different song to "Lonely Boy" by Paul Anka, which was a UK hit in 1959 (see year 1959, song 61).


27

Title: Sir Duke
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Writer(s): Stevie Wonder
Entered chart 9 Apr 1977; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 9.

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 track is taken from Wonder's 1976 album "Songs In The Key Of Life" which reached number two on the UK album chart.  Wonder wrote the song as a tribute to the jazz composer, bandleader, and pianist, Duke Ellington, who had influenced him as a musician.  See also song 2 above.
# Wonder did not have another UK Top 10 hit until 1980, although there were a few minor hits during the intervening time.


28

Title: Solsbury Hill
Artist: Peter Gabriel
Writer(s): Peter Gabriel
Entered chart 9 Apr 1977; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 9.

Peter Gabriel was born on 13 Feb 1950 in Surrey, England.  He took an interest in music from a young age, and by his mid-teens he had formed a band with school friends.  He became well-known when he became the lead singer of the Rock band Genesis from its inception in 1967 through to 1975.  Genesis with Gabriel enjoyed only one hit single (in 1974), although they were far more successful in the album chart, where they had three Top 10 albums during Gabriel's reign.  After Gabriel left Genesis, drummer Phil Collins took over vocal duties, and they enjoyed even greater success through the 1980s and 1990s.  Gabriel went solo from his departure, and his debut hit, "Solsbury Hill", came in 1977.  Whilst he enjoyed a smattering of hit singles, his real success lay in albums, having five consecutive Top 10 albums from 1977 to 1983, with a Number One album in 1986, and two more Top 10s in the early 1990s.  His single "Sledgehammer" in 1986 reached number four in the UK (Number One in the USA), and the song's music video won a record nine MTV Video Music Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards.  He continued recording and performing into the 2000s, with a new number eleven album in 2002.  Since that time he has toured and has been planning a new album, but it remains unreleased as at 2022.
# Solsbury Hill is a small flat-topped hill and the site of an Iron Age hill fort.  It is located above the village of Batheaston in Somerset, England.  The hill rises to 625 feet above the River Avon, which is just over one mile to the south, and gives views of the city of Bath and the surrounding area. (Info from Wikipedia)


29

Title: The Shuffle
Artist: Van McCoy
Writer(s): Van McCoy
Entered chart 9 Apr 1977; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 14.

Van McCoy (6 Jan 1940 - 6 Jul 1979) was born in Washington DC, USA.  He took an interest in music from a young age, and by the time he was twelve he was writing his own songs and performing at amateur events.  He relocated to Philadelphia in the late 1950s where he began arranging and producing recordings as well as still writing songs.  His material provided hits for many artists and groups, particularly on the American R&B charts.  In the early 1970s he began arranging songs for the Stylistics which became major hits.  In 1975 he made an album of his own compositions called "Disco Baby", which included the track "The Hustle" (see year 1975, song 42).  Issued as a single, it went to Number One in the USA and number three in Britain.  Another couple of singles followed, but with less success.  However, in 1977 McCoy was in the UK Top 10 again with "The Shuffle", although that recording did not reach the USA Top 100.  Sadly, McCoy died from a heart attack in 1979 at the age of just 39.
# This was the second of just two Top 10 hits that McCoy had in the UK.  There were no more following this.


30

Title: Whodunit
Artist: Tavares
Writer(s): Freddie Perren & Keni St Lewis
Entered chart 9 Apr 1977; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 10.

Tavares was a Soul and R&B group from Massachusetts, USA.  The band comprised five brothers: Ralph, Arthur, Antone, Feliciano and Perry Tavares, who were born between December 1941 and October 1949.  They recorded and performed through the 1960s under different band names, but with no major successes.  By 1973 they were known as Tavares, and began having some modest hits.  In 1975, with the advent of Disco music, they hit the USA Top 10 with "It Only Takes A Minute" (a hit for Take That in 1992), and they finally reached the UK Top 10 in 1976 with "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel".  More hits followed until the end of the decade, including their recording of "More Than A Woman" in 1978 for the soundtrack of the film "Saturday Night Fever".  A couple of the brothers left in the 1980s and 1990s, but the others continued performing.  Antone recorded a solo album in in 2012, and all the brothers reunited in 2013 for a one-off performance at the National R&B Music Society Gala, where they received a lifetime achievement award.
# This was the group's third UK Top 10 hit, with one more to come in 1978.


31

Title: How Much Love
Artist: Leo Sayer
Writer(s): Barry Mann & Leo Sayer
Entered chart 9 Apr 1977; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 8.

This recording is taken from Sayer's late 1976 album "Endless Flight", as was the single's predecessor "When I Need You" (song 8).  The album reached number four on the UK album chart, number ten in the USA and Number One in Canada.  His next single hit came in September (song 70).


32

Title: Good Morning Judge
Artist: 10cc
Writer(s): Eric Stewart & Graham Gouldman
Entered chart 16 Apr 1977; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 12.

10cc was a British band, formed in 1972.  The original members were Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.  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 10 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 10cc 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 other musicians.
# This was the band's only single hit of 1977, and is taken from their 1977 album "Deceptive Bends" which reached number three on the UK album chart.  Their next hit single came in August 1978, and reached Number One


33

Title: Hotel California
Artist: The Eagles
Writer(s): Don Felder, Don Henley & Glenn Frey
Entered chart 16 Apr 1977; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 10.

This was the band's follow-up to "New Kid In Town", which was a hit in January this year (see song 1).  "Hotel California" became a classic recording which continues to get considerable airplay worldwide, but turned out to be the band's only Top 10 hit in the UK.  In the USA they have had ten Top 10 hits, including five Number Ones.  Despite their modest showing on the UK singles chart, they enjoyed four Top 10 albums, and no less than four 'best of...' compilation albums on the UK album chart between 1975 and 2007.  For more info about the band, see song 1 above.
# Their next USA hit came in early June 1977 (see song 44).


34

Title: The First Cut Is The Deepest
Artist: Rod Stewart
Writer(s): Cat Stevens
Entered chart 23 Apr 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

Rod Stewart was born 10 Jan 1945 in north London, England.  His father was Scottish, and Stewart has always celebrated his Scottish roots.  He came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the Jeff Beck Group, and then the Faces, but he recorded solo in addition to his group duties.  Stewart's 1971 solo album "Every Picture Tells a Story" made him a household name, reaching Number One in the UK and USA.  The album contained the Tim Harding song "Reason To Believe", which was issued as a single.  The B-side of that record was "Maggie May" which soon became the dominant side, reaching Number One on both sides of the Atlantic.  His fame grew to worldwide proportions, and he has sold over 120 million records throughout the world.  He has had nine Number One albums in the UK Album chart, and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the Top 10, six of which were chart toppers.  Stewart has had 16 Top 10 singles in the USA.  From 2002 to 2010 he issued five albums in his "Great American Songbook" series, which were all successful in the charts.  He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.  His most recent original album, "The Tears Of Hercules", was issued in 2021, which reached number five on the UK album chart.
# This was a double A-side with song 35 below, and was Stewart's fourth Number One.  His next hit came in October (song 78).
# The song was written by British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens in 1967 and appeared on his album "New Masters" in that year.  It was recorded by Anglo-American Soul singer P P Arnold also in 1967, and her version reached number 18 on the UK charts in May that year.


35

Title: I Don't Want To Talk About It
Artist: Rod Stewart
Writer(s): Danny Whitten
Entered chart 23 Apr 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

This recording was part of a double A-side with song 34 above.  The song was written by American musician Danny Whitten in 1971, and recorded by Neil Young's band Crazy Horse for their 1971 album.  In 1975 Rod Stewart recorded the song in Muscle Shoals, Alabama for his album "Atlantic Crossing", which reached Number One on the UK album chart in 1975.  The track "I Don't Want To Talk About It" was issued as a single rather belatedly in 1977, but proved to be a major hit.
# The song was recorded in 1988 by British duo Everything But The Girl, and their version reached number three on the UK charts that year.


36

Title: Lucille
Artist: Kenny Rogers
Writer(s): Roger Bowling & Hal Bynum
Entered chart 30 Apr 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 14.

Kenny Rogers (21 Aug 1938 – 20 Mar 2020) was born in Houston, Texas, USA.  After a slow start, he became a major recording star in the Country music field.  In the late 1950s he was a member of a couple of groups, but became known when he joined the Folk music ensemble New Christie Minstrels in 1966.  From there he formed a new band called the First Edition.  His first UK hit came in 1969, billed to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition.  Titled "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town", the recording reached number two in the British charts.  He went solo from 1975 and rose to be an American singing icon.  His biggest hits were stories of despair and difficulty in people's lives.  He also became an actor, made a couple of films, and appeared in numerous TV dramas during the 1980s and 1990s.  On a personal level he was married five times and had five children.  In 2017 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and he died in 2020 at the age of 81.
# His next major UK hit came in 1980, "Coward Of The County", another Number One.


37

Title: Mah Na Mah Na
Artist: Piero Umiliani
Writer(s): Piero Umiliani
Entered chart 30 Apr 1977; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 8.

Piero Umiliani (17 Jul 1926 – 14 Feb 2001) was born in Florence, Italy.  He was a composer of film scores, and this tune was composed for a Swedish film in 1968.  It was released as a single in several countries, including the UK, but it was not a hit there on its initial release.  In the USA, however, it was a hit, albeit peaking at a modest number 55.  Nothing more was heard of the song until 1977 when it was chosen by one of the producers of the Muppet Show, which was a major hit TV series being shown around the world at that time.  It was ideal for the Muppets, and a new version was duly recorded and performed on the show with the Muppet drummer Animal taking lead vocals.  This version was not issued as a single, so the original recording was revived and played on radio, resulting in it reaching the UK Top 10.  The Muppet version appeared on the B-side of their hit single "Halfway Down The Stairs" which reached number seven in the UK charts also in 1977.  Piero Umiliani had no further hit records, but continued composing during the next two decades.
# The recording does not feature the voice of
Piero Umiliani.  It was performed by a band called Marc 4 (four session musicians from the RAI orchestra) and the lead part was sung by Italian singer/composer Alessandro Alessandroni and his wife Giulia.


38

Title: Don't Stop
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Writer(s): Christine McVie
Entered chart 30 Apr 1977; Highest Position 32; Weeks on chart: 5.

This was the band's follow-up to their February hit "Go Your Own Way" (song 13).  Taken from the Number One album "Rumers", the single under-performed on the UK singles chart, but reached number three in the USA, and Number One in Canada.  The band's next hit came in July (song 54).


39

Title: Got To Give It Up
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Writer(s): Marvin Gaye
Entered chart 7 May 1977; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 10.

Marvin Gaye (2 Apr 1939 - 1 Apr 1984) was born in Washington DC, USA.  He joined a Doo-Wop group whilst still at high school, but in 1960 he moved to Detroit, and having been seen singing by Barry Gordy Jr, he was signed to Gordy's record label Tamla Motown.  He had a few smallish hits in the USA from 1962, and his first British hit came in 1964, although it only just entered the Top 50.  His early successes were duets with female performers - first with Mary Wells, then with Kim Weston, and later with Tammi Terrell.  He is probably best remembered for his 1970s and 1980s hits which often contained social commentary and civil rights messages.  Gaye was shot dead by his own father, when Gaye was just 44 and arguably at the peak of his career.
# This was Gaye's first UK solo hit since 1973 (see year 1973, song 79), although he had enjoyed a couple of hits in duet with Diana Ross in 1974.  Another long gap was to follow, as his next noteworthy hit did not come until 1982.


40

Title: Disco Inferno
Artist: Trammps
Writer(s): Leroy Green & Ron Kersey
Entered chart 14 May 1977; Highest Position 16; Weeks on chart: 7.

The Trammps were an American Soul, Funk, and Disco four-piece vocal group whose origins go back to the 1960s.  By the early 1970s they were called the Trammps, and their first hit came in 1972 in the USA and 1974 in the UK.  The band members at this time were Ron Baker, Norman Harris, Earl Young and Ron Kersey.  Only Earl Young still survives.  They were based in Philadelphia, and were backed by the MFSB orchestra on recordings and live performances.  "Hold Back The Night" was their only Top 10 hit in the UK and their biggest hit at that time in the USA.  Their Disco hit "Disco Inferno" in 1977 reached number eleven in the USA and number 16 in the UK, which was effectively their final British hit.
# This recording was used on the soundtrack of the 1978 film "Saturday Night Fever", and was included on the film's soundtrack album which reached Number One on the UK album chart.
# In 1993 a version by USA vocalist Tina Turner reached number 12 on the UK charts.


41

Title: Telephone Line
Artist: Electric Light Orchestra
Writer(s): Jeff Lynne
Entered chart 21 May 1977; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 10.

The Electric Light Orchestra (commonly known as ELO) was formed in 1970 by two members of the band The Move, Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood.  Wood left in 1972, and Lynne became the band's lead vocalist, songwriter and record producer.  Bev Bevan was the drummer, and he remained a fixture until 1986.  The band's sound is characterised by a full orchestral backing, often with classical overtones.  During ELO's original 13-year period of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide, and collected numerous awards.  From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 top 40 hits on the UK Singles Chart, and fifteen top 20 hits on the American charts.  They also achieved seven Top 10 albums in the UK, including two that reached Number One on the album chart.  Lynne disbanded the group in 1986, following which, drummer Bevan created ELO Part II and a couple of small hits ensued for them.  That incarnation ceased in 1999.  Lynne finally reformed the band in 2014 as Jeff Lynne's ELO.  They toured frequently, and issued a new album in 2019.
# This track is taken from their late 1976 album "A New World Record" which reached number six in the UK album chart.  The band's next hit came in October (song 83).


42

Title: Baby Don't Change Your Mind 
Artist: Gladys Knight & The Pips
Writer(s): Van McCoy (performed song 29 above)
Entered chart 28 May 1977; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 12.

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.  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 was still making occasional concert appearances, and she performed at an outdoor festival in London during 2018.
# This was the group's first Top 10 hit since May the previous year (see year 1976, song 41).  It was also the final Top 10 hit for the band, although Gladys Knight was in the Top 10 as a solo artist in 1989, as mentioned above.


43

Title: You're Moving Out Today 
Artist: Carole Bayer Sager
Writer(s): Carole Bayer Sager, Bette Midler & Bruce Roberts
Entered chart 28 May 1977; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 9.

Carole Bayer Sager was born on 8 Mar 1947 in New York City.  She is primarily a songwriter, and her first success was "A Groovy Kind Of Love", a hit for the British band The Mindbenders in 1966 (see year 1966, song 7).  She went on to write numerous hits for various artists, including several for Neil Diamond.  She also wrote the theme to the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me", which was titled "Nobody Does It Better", and was a hit for Carly Simon in 1977 (see song 59).  From 1982 to 1991 she was married to hit song composer Burt Bacharach, which resulted in several song writing collaborations, including the hit "That's What Friends Are For" which was recorded in 1985 by Dionne Warwick and others to raise funds for AIDS research.  Although Bayer Sager recorded three albums of her own, they were not particularly successful, and this single is her only chart entry in the UK.


44

Title: Life In The Fast Lane
Artist: The Eagles
Writer(s): Don Henley, Glenn Frey & Joe Walsh
Entered chart 28 May 1977; Highest Position 11 (USA chart data - not a UK hit)

This was the third single released from the band's album "Hotel California" (see song 33).  Although the single peaked at number eleven in the USA, and number 12 in Canada, it failed to reach the charts in the UK.  They had no more Top 10 single hits in the UK, and indeed only four minor hits until the end of the 20th century.  As mentioned with song 33 above, they did have further success on the album chart.


45

Title: Show You The Way To Go
Artist: The Jacksons
Writer(s): Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff 
Entered chart 4 Jun 1977; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 10. 

The Jacksons was a family vocal group comprising Michael Jackson (29 Aug 1958 - 25 Jun 2009) and his brothers Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Randy (who replaced Jermaine in 1975).  They all came from Gary, Indiana, USA, and began recording in 1967 as the Jackson 5, but without success.  They signed with Motown in 1968 and very soon found fame, appearing on numerous TV shows.  Their first big hit was "I Want You Back" (see year 1970, song 8), which reached Number One in the USA.  In fact their first four releases all went to the top of the charts in the USA and reached the Top 10 in the UK.  However, sales declined after that and in in 1975 they left Motown and renamed the group The Jacksons.  In 1977 they had their first major hit as the new setup, having jumped on the Disco bandwagon.  Success continued for the next decade, although Michael also recorded solo.  The band continued with occasional concert tours into the 2000s.
# Their next major hit came in September 1978.


46

Title: Oh Lori
Artist: Alessi
Writer(s): Billy & Bobby Alessi 
Entered chart 11 Jun 1977; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 11. 

Alessi is a duo comprising identical twins Billy and Bobby Alessi, born 12 Jul 1953 in New York.  They formed a band while still in high school, and even issued a single.  In 1970 the twins were performing in the musical "Hair" on Broadway, New York City.  They formed another band at this time and recorded an album.  Performing as a duo in 1976, they recorded an album, and a track was released as a single.  That single was "Oh Lori", which did not chart in the USA, but reached the Top 20 of several European countries, including the UK.  Despite that success, this is the only chart entry for the twins in the UK.  During the 1980s and 1990s they wrote numerous songs for other artists and film soundtracks.  They resumed performing again the the early 2000s.


47

Title: Slow Down
Artist: John Miles
Writer(s): John Miles & Bob Marshall
Entered chart 18 Jun 1977; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 10. 

John Miles (23 Apr 1949 - 5 Dec 2021) was born in Jarrow, north-east England.  He was part of a band in his teenage years, but opted for a solo career in 1971.  He signed a recording deal in 1975, and his first album, "Rebel", reached number nine in the UK album chart.  From that album came the song "Music" which was a Top 10 hit in the UK and other parts of Europe (see year 1976, song 20).  Further albums and singles only had modest success apart from "Slow Down" which reached the UK Top 10 in 1977.  Nevertheless he toured European countries extensively during the late 1970s and 1980s.  He also performed on the album recordings of several major acts including Tina Turner and Joe Cocker during the 1990s.  He toured in the 2000s as well, and had a concert planned in Belgium during 2022.  Sadly he died, after a short illness, in December 2021 at the age of 72.


MORE TO COME


 

Acts with most appearances in this list:

Eagles: 3
Fleetwood Mac: 3
Elvis Presley: 3
Leo Sayer: 3
Rod Stewart: 3

Composers with most appearances in this list:

Don Henley & Glenn Frey: 3 (all for the Eagles)
Hugo & Luigi and George David Weiss: 3 (all for the Stylistics)
Roger Greenaway: 3 (1 with Les Reed, 1 with David Dundas, 1 with Tony Macaulay)
Tony Macaulay: 3 (1 with Roger Greenaway)


New Names in 1977
To qualify, new acts must have gone on to have at least three entries in these lists.  One-hit Wonders do not qualify.

Chic
Elvis Costello
Fleetwood Mac (had hits 1968-1973 with different line-up)
Peter Gabriel
Bob Marley (had a Top 10 hit in 1975)
Deniece Williams


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Home Page   List of Acts


 

Comments and corrections to: mjs@onlineweb.com

Compiled January 2022
Updated 22/05/2022

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