MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS
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.
Title: New Kid In Town
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.
Title: Isn't She Lovely
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).
Title: Boogie Nights
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
Title: What Can I Say
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.
Title: Don't Leave Me This Way
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.
Title: Jack In The Box
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.
Title: Year Of The Cat
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.
Title: When I Need You
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: More Than A Feeling
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.
Title: Chanson D'Amour
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.
Title: Torn Between Two Lovers
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.
Title: Sound And Vision
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,
Title: Go Your Own Way
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.
Title: Knowing Me Knowing You
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
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".
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
Title: My Kinda Life
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: Moody Blue
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.
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.
Title: Love Hit Me
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.
Title: Red Light Spells Danger
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.
Title: You Don't Have To Be A Star
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.
Title: Southern Nights
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.
Title: Going In With My Eyes Open
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.
Title: Pearl's A Singer
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
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.
Title: Lonely Boy
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.
Title: Sir Duke
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: Solsbury Hill
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.
Title: The Shuffle
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.
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.
Title: How Much Love
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).
Title: Good Morning Judge
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.
Title: Hotel California
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.
Title: The First Cut Is The Deepest
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.
Title: I Don't Want To Talk About It
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.
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.
Title: Mah Na Mah Na
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.
Title: Don't Stop
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).
Title: Got To Give It Up
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.
Title: Disco Inferno
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
Title: Telephone Line
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.
Title: Baby Don't Change Your Mind
& 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.
Title: You're Moving Out Today
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.
Title: Life In The Fast Lane
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.
Title: Show You The Way To Go
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.
Title: Oh Lori
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.
Title: Slow Down
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:
& Glenn Frey: 3 (all for the Eagles)
Comments and corrections to: firstname.lastname@example.org