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    Default The Season 14 contemporary music thread

    I couldn't let this thread go without my usual contribution to seventies contemporary music, especially as 1976 was such a mixed bag musically, and generally looked upon as a year of change.
    1976 started off with Queen's humungous hit, Bohemian Rhapsody at number one before being replaced by Swedish giants ABBA with the second of their nine number ones, Mamma Mia. After almost two years in the wilderness of pop after their popular Eurovision win with Waterloo, Mamma Mia really set ABBA on the road to seventies superstardom, as we shall see later in this thread.
    As I stated, 1976 was a bit of a mixed bag, those of you here following the Top of the Pops repeats from '76 on BBC4 will have already seen some of the novelty hits that appeared in the charts from Brotherhood of Man and The Worzels, and the hits that came throughout that famous long hot summer that year.
    As Season 14 begins we have ABBA's Dancing Queen at number one, it went on to spend six weeks at that position having replaced Elton John and Kiki Dee's huge summer hit Don't Go Breaking My Heart, which itself had spent six weeks at number one.
    Other good records in the charts for the week ending 4th September come from Manfred Mann with Springsteen's Blinded By The Light a new entry at 26. We find former 60's model Twiggy launching her pop career with a Country Joe and the Fish cover, Here I Go Again at 24, it peaks a few weeks later at number 17.
    Cliff Richard is at number 23 with the third hit from his best selling album I'm Nearly Famous, I Can't Ask For Anything More Than You Babe.
    There were a load of disco records in the charts at this time too, disco had been bubbling for about two years and was still to make a huge impact on the charts, but here we have hits from: The Real Thing, Barry White, The Bee Gees, Jesse Green, Tina Charles, Lou Rawls, The Stylistics, The Chi Lites, KC and the Sunshine Band and a delightful record from 5000 Volts entitled Dr Kiss Kiss, their lead singer, the lovely Linda Kelly, gives a wonderfully sexy performance of the song on at least five ocassions on Top Of The Pops.
    I can't leave this post without mention of David Dundas with Jeans on, A track that peaked at number three. The song was originally a jingle for Levi Jeans and featured in a successful, and iconic, TV ad. The song was made into a complete single and would have topped the charts if not for Elt and Kiki.
    I should also make mention of one of the first gay "love songs" in Rod Stewart's The Killing of Georgie, a six minute opus telling the true-life story of a gay acquaintance of Rod's, Georgie, who was killed by a New Jersey street gang in New York City. Although the song's lyrics state that Rod last saw Georgie in 1975, this was done for rhyming reasons only, his death actually occurring in 1974.
    The song performed well in many major markets. peaking at #2 in the UK singles chart in September 1976, and at #30 in the US in July 1977.

    More facts and reminscences as we move through season 14 contemporary music later.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 8th Sep 2011 at 11:01 PM.

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    Within the period that Season 14 aired (Sept 1976 - April 1977), the following albums that I enjoy were released:

    Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstacy
    Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same
    Rush - All the World's a Stage
    Deep Purple - Made in Europe
    Queen - A Day at the Races
    Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
    Pink Floyd - Animals
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel

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    Thanks Steve. Always nice to read these posts...sorry I don't say so more often.

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    Agreed - particularly interesting this for me, as I can just about remember 1976. Brotherhood of Man's Save All Your Kisses For Me was their huge hit that year I think, but rather embarassingly although I remember that I don't remember Bohemian Rhapsody at all... in fact I don't ever recall hearing that until about 1987!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Gently View Post
    Thanks Steve. Always nice to read these posts...sorry I don't say so more often.

    Thanks Tim, its my pleasure to post these things.

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    As we begin October 1976 ABBA are number one with Dancing Queen. The chart for the week ending October 2nd is not especially exciting, there are one or two good singles in there, but nothing to write home about. One of the best new entries comes from Sherbet with Howzat, that's at 22, while Manfred Mann's Earthband are at 9 with Springsteen's Blinded By The Light.
    There are a couple of novelty records fom Rick Dees and his Cast Of Idiots with Disco Duck at 10 (surely disco's worst crime) while The Wurzels are back with I Am A Cider Drinker at 4, they peaked at 3 the previous week.
    Undoubtedly the biggest hit this month comes from Dutch group Pussycat who soared to a six week stretch at number one with Mississippi, a Dutch version of country rock you might say. Pussycat were massive right across Europe, but after this huge hit, their follow up in December '76 only reached number 24 (the very similar sounding Smile), the band were all but forgotten in the UK.

    Here's the top 20 for the week ending October 23rd 1976,

    20 Love and Affection Joan Armatrading
    19 Can't Get By Without You The Real Thing
    18 Jaws Lalo Schifrin
    17 Couldn't Get It Right Climax Blues Band
    16 The Rubberband Man Detroit Spinners
    15 Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
    14 The Best Disco In Town Ritchie Family
    13 Disco Duck Rick Dees and his cast of Idiots
    12 Girl Of My Best Friend Elvis Presley
    11 I'll Meet You At Midnight Smokie
    10 Sailing Rod Stewart
    9 Dancing With The Captain Paul Nicholas
    8 Dancing Queen ABBA
    7 Summer Of My Life Simon MAy
    6 Don't Take Away The Music Tavares
    5 Hurt The Manhattans
    4 Howzat Sherbet
    3 If You Leave Me Now Chicago
    2 When Forever Has Gone Demis Roussos
    1 Mississippi Pussycat

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    I've been very much enjoying the music of 76 on the BBC 4 repeats. It's been a really interesting mix of stuff from the iconic to the ironic to the crap!

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    For the weeks ending 30th October and 6th November 1976 Dutch group Pussycat were still riding high at number one with Mississippi. By the 13th of the month it was the turn of Chicago with the acoustic led, If You Leave Me Now, a song that has become the basis of many Rock/Power Ballad albums down the years.
    Chicago, led by singer Peter Cetera, had been around since the late 1960s, they sold albums by the shed load both in America and the UK and had had minor UK hits with I'm A Man and 25 or 6 to 4, both in 1970.
    Their albums were mainly self titled, If You Leave Me Now comes from the album Chicago Ten and was their biggest selling worldwide single spending three weeks at number one in the UK. Several singles over the next few years failed to emulate its success, 1977s Baby What A Big Surprise only reaching number 41 for instance. It wasn't until 1982 that thay would again achieve UK success with Hard To Say I'm Sorry which reached number 4, 1984s Hard Habit to Break, number 8, and Your The Inspiration, number 14 1985. As a solo artist Cetera recorded the theme for Karate Kid II, Glory of Love, reaching number 3 in 1986.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    For the weeks ending 30th October and 6th November 1976 Dutch group Pussycat were still riding high at number one with Mississippi. By the 13th of the month it was the turn of Chicago with the acoustic led, If You Leave Me Now, a song that has become the basis of many Rock/Power Ballad albums down the years.
    Chicago, led by singer Peter Cetera, had been around since the late 1960s, they sold albums by the shed load both in America and the UK and had had minor UK hits with I'm A Man and 25 or 6 to 4, both in 1970.
    Their albums were mainly self titled, If You Leave Me Now comes from the album Chicago Ten and was their biggest selling worldwide single spending three weeks at number one in the UK. Several singles over the next few years failed to emulate its success, 1977s Baby What A Big Surprise only reaching number 41 for instance. It wasn't until 1982 that thay would again achieve UK success with Hard To Say I'm Sorry which reached number 4, 1984s Hard Habit to Break, number 8, and Your The Inspiration, number 14 1985. As a solo artist Cetera recorded the theme for Karate Kid II, Glory of Love, reaching number 3 in 1986.
    If you leave me now is an iconic track. And that explains why the Glory of Love sounded so familiar when I first heard it. Cetera has a distinct sound.

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    After The Deadly Assassin finished its run at the end of November 1976, the series took a mid season break and returned in January 1977 for the remainder of the series.
    Let's take a look at what the charts had to offer from November up to Christmas 1976.

    The biggest hit in those weeks was Showaddywaddy's Under The Moon Of Love spending three weeks at #1 and a total of fifteen weeks on the chart.
    Showaddywaddy had been New Faces talent show winners in 1973. Their Rock "n" Roll style of music, catchy tunes and colourful image (1950s Teddy Boy rockers) immediately caught on and their first single, "Hey Rock and Roll" (written by the band), was released in April 1974. It reached number two in the UK Singles Chart. Specialising in 1950's cover versions, Showaddywaddy then went on to have a further twenty-two UK hits until late 1982. Covers included "Three Steps to Heaven" (originally by Eddie Cochran in 1960), "Heartbeat" (originally written and recorded by Buddy Holly), "Under the Moon of Love" (originally a U.S. hit for Curtis Lee in 1961 and co-written by Tommy Boyce), "When" (originally by the Kalin Twins), "You Got What It Takes" (originally by Marv Johnson) and "Dancin' Party" (originally by Chubby Checker). The above six singles were all produced by Mike Hurst (a former member of The Springfields, who had also previously produced Cat Stevens).
    Showaddywaddy were a highly successful singles band spending a total of 209 weeks in the singles charts during the mid seventies and early eighties.

    Other big hits in this period of 1976 included Leo Sayer's high pitched falsetto on You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Welsh girl Bonnie Tyler with Lost In France, Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music, The Osmonds with their last top 40 entry I Can't Live A Dream, Simon May with The Summer Of My Life (it's from Crossroads don't ask). A reissue of The Who's Substitute provided the first sighting of a 12 inch single in the charts, (the 12 inch would become standard fair for records in the forthcoming disco boom due to its better quality sound from its wider than average grooves) Disco hits at this time included Lalo Schifrin's version of the Jaws theme and Tavares who made the top ten with the follow up to their summer smash Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Don't Take Away The Music.
    Undoubtedly some of the best singles in these weeks came from singer songwriter Joan Armatrading with Love And Affection and session singer/musician Boz Scaggs with Lowdown from a pot boiler of an album, Silk Degrees, which would rival the chart longevity of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours in the following year.
    Mustn't let this one go without mention of Queen's Somebody To Love which stalled at number two mainly due to Showaddywaddy and 50s singer Johnny Mathis, who had the Christmas number one with When A Child Is Born.

    Not much there of any worth you might think, indeed some of the youth of Britain were beginning to tire of some of the blandness of the music charts, maybe it was time for a change, a breath of fresh air. Something was definately needed to blow the old guard out of the water.
    Anarchy was just around the corner.

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    I remember a lot of those Shawaddywaddy songs thanks to my parents. Most of the other popular stuff I probably remember from repeats of TotP & OGWT.
    The latter being famous for the rather outspoken Bob Harris's comments about "mock-rock" and (as you alluded to at the end, Steve) the fact Bob wouldn't have Punk bands on. It was left to Annie Nightingale when she took over in 1978 to let the new sound be heard.
    I know all that because I saw the BBC4 OGWT night a week or so ago.

    Thanks for the memory jog, Steve.

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    As some of the nation's youth was revelling in the emergence of Punk, the Sex Pistols debut hit Anarchy In The UK appeared on the charts of week ending December 18th 1976 and rose to #38 over the next couple of weeks, so the rest of the record buying population were still cheerfully buying the novelty Christmas hits from the likes of Chris Hill, who's Bionic Santa reached #10 in the weeks up to Christmas and into the new year of 1977. Old Prog Rockers Jethro Tull just made the top thirty with Ring Out Solstice Bells, today that track seems to be on just about every Christmas compilation cd available. Some of the better sounds around came from Tina Charles who'd had a magnificent year, her biggest hit, I Love To Love (But My Baby Just Loves To Dance) was one of the year's best sellers, here she was again with her fourth hit, Dr. Love, reaching #4 in January 1977, another great hit from ELO peaks at #4 in December with Livin' Thing from the album A New World Record. Undoubtedly though one of the very best hits at this time comes from Steely Dan with Haitian Divorce, reaching # 17 on 22nd January, should have been a bigger hit, it's from an excellent album, The Royal Scam.
    I could enthuse wildly about Steely Dan, their albums are sheer perfection from Pretzel Logic in 1974, through, AJA, 1977 to Gaucho in 1980. Lead singer Donald Fagen brought out a seminal album in 1982, Nightfly, which has attained something like cult status for its sheer perfection and faultless production.

    Here's the top 20 for the week ending 22nd January 1977, and then we'll take a look at the #1.

    20 Suspicion Elvis Presley
    19 Fairy Tale Dana
    18 Daddy Cool Boney M
    17 Haitian Divorce Steely Dan
    16 Car Wash Rose Royce
    15 Isn't She Lovely David Paton
    14 Grandma's Party Paul Nicholas
    13 When A Child Is Born Johhny Mathis
    12 Under The Moon Of Love Showaddywaddy
    11 You're More Than A Number In My Little Red Book The Drifters
    10 Living Next Door To Alice Smokie
    9 Wild Side Of Life Status Quo
    8 Money Money Money ABBA
    7 Portsmouth Mike Oldfield
    6 Things We Do For Love 10cc
    5 I Wish Stevie Wonder
    4 Dr Loe Tina Charles
    3 Sideshow Barry Biggs
    2 Don't Cry For Me Argentina Julie Covington
    1 Don't Give Up On Us David Soul

    David Soul, the then current TV idol due to the success of American TV detective show, Starsky and Hutch, (lampooned by Morecambe and Wise in their Christmas 1976 show as "Starkers and Crutch") spent four weeks at #1 with his debut hit Don't Give Up On Us.
    Soul was an accomplished singer, he'd brought out an eponymous album early in 1976 but released no singles from it. If you like gentle, country flavoured rock ballads this is the album for you, it includes a great singalong track, Black Bean Soup, the B side of Don't Give Up On Us, and featured briefly in an episode of Starsky and Hutch.
    In late 1977 he released his second, and best selling album, Playing To An Audience of One, and featured no less than his three hit singles of the year, Don't Give Up On Us, Going In With My Eyes Open and Silver Lady which reached #1 in September 1977. Soul was named best male singer of 1977 but seemed to quickly fall out of favour in 1978 only managing to scrape to #12 with It Sure Brings Out The Love In Your Eyes in May of that year.
    Allegations of wife beating and alcoholism dogged Soul throughout the early 1980s, culminating in a two year therapy program.
    In latter years he has made something of a comeback, appearing as himself in the first series of the BBC's Little Britain. In 2004, he appeared in Agatha Christie's Poirot - Death on the Nile in the role of Andrew Pennington (he had also starred in the 1989 film adaptation of Christie's Appointment with Death). He had a brief cameo in the 2004 film version of Starsky & Hutch, alongside original co-star Paul Michael Glaser. On 12 July 2004, he took over playing the role of Jerry Springer in Jerry Springer - The Opera at the Cambridge Theatre in London, which was televised by the BBC in 2005. He returned to the West End in 2006, playing Mack in a new production of Jerry Herman's musical Mack and Mabel at the Criterion Theatre. The production co-starred Janie Dee and was directed by John Doyle.
    In August 2008, Soul appeared in the reality TV talent show-themed television series Maestro on BBC Two.
    He also appeared in the TV series Dalziel & Pascoe (Game of Soldiers) in 2004 and was a guest on the BBC's Top Gear. Soul proved to be one of the fastest drivers to have appeared on the show, but managed to break the car's gearbox (and subsequently that of the backup car) very close to the finish.
    He appeared with Fred Ward and Willem Dafoe in the film Farewell directed by Christian Carion which received its US release in 2010.
    In 2010 and 2011, Soul appeared as the narrator on the BBC Radio 4 series iGod.

    All in all, he hasn't done too badly for himself.

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    Here's the top twenty for week ending 19 February 1977:

    20 Every Man Must Have A Dream Liverpool Express
    19 What Can I Say Boz Scaggs
    18 Don't Leave Me This Way Thelma Houston
    17 This Is Tomorrow Bryan Ferry
    16 Romeo Mr. Big
    15 Don't Believe A Word Thin Lizzy
    14 You're More Than A Number In My Little Red Book The Drifters
    13 Car Wash Rose Royce
    12 Chanson D'Amour Manhattan Transfer
    11 Sing Me Brothers
    10 Suspicion Elvis Presley
    9 Daddy Cool Boney M
    8 Jack In The Box Moments
    7 Don't Leave Me This Way Harold Melvin and the Bluenbotes
    6 Boogie Nights Heatwave
    5 Isn't She Lovely David Paton
    4 Sideshow Barry Biggs
    3 Don't Give Up On Us David Soul
    2 Don't Cry For Me Argentina Julie Covington
    1 When I Need You Leo Sayer

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    Here's the top twenty for w/e 2nd April 1977.

    20 Saturday Nite Earth Wind and Fire
    19 Another Suitcase In Another Hall Barbara Dickson
    18 Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone Smokie
    17 Baby I Know Rubettes
    16 My Kinda Life Cliff Richard
    15 Romeo Mr. Big
    14 Rockaria ELO
    13 Red Light Spells Danger Billy Ocean
    12 Love Hit Me Maxine Nightingale
    11 Oh Boy Brotherhood of Man
    10 Boogie Nights Heatwave
    9 Torn Between Two Lovers Mary Macgregor
    8 I Don't Wanna Put A Hold On You Bernie Flint
    7 Sunny Boney M
    6 Moody Blue Elvis Presley
    5 Sound And Vision David Bowie
    4 When Showaddywaddy
    3 Chanson D'Amour Manhattan Transfer
    2 Going In With My Eyes Open David Soul
    1 Knowing Me Knowing You ABBA

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