Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Birthday Number Ones (1972 - 1981)

So moviing on to my second decade of birthday week No.1 hits.

1972: Chicory Tip - Song of My Father

Chicory Tip probably hasn't remained in contemporary consciousness. But this, my friends, is real musical history. The song was co-written by Giorgio Moroder, no less, and is the first pop song to prominently feature a Moog Synthesizer.

1973: The Sweet - Blockbuster

Right - now we are in the era of Glam Rock. Sequins! Shiny! This was a massive hit for The Sweet.

1974: Suzi Quatro - Devil Gate Drive

Not I think one of Suzi's most memorable hits, but makes me think. By the end of Glam, Rock was clearly mature enough to allow for a consciously retro, nostalgic approach like this to work (with Suzi's gender being the contemporary twist). Also I wonder how much her look and attitude here fed into Punk a few years later? Fairly sure the Punks themselves would deny all influence!

1975: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

Good grief, just how sexy does Mr Harley think he is here? This is a lovely song though, and is probably still very familiar from its frequent use in tv ads, most recently for Marks & Spencer. It has also featured in two movie soundtracks: The Full Monty and Velvet Goldmine.

Steve Harley's birthday is the 27th February, so this was No.1 for him on his birthday in 1975.

1975 - Telly Savalas - If

Make me Smile was followed by Telly Savalas's If as No.1 - Telly making it as an add-on to his hugely succesful career as tv detective Kojak.

1976: Four Seasons: December 63 (Oh What A Night)

I loved this then, and it has stood up well to the passing of time. A remix charted in 1994.

1977: Leo Sayer - When I Need You

Leo Sayer, like Petula Clark, features twice in my Birthday No.1s! This was a huge hit for him at the time, reaching number 1 in both the UK and the USA. It was the first UK No.1 for its writer, Carole Bayer Sager. However, I feel it's all a trifle tedious and whiny now.

1978: Abba - Take A Chance On Me

But, hey! Abba! Woo!

If Armageddon swept away all late 20th-century popular music and left somehow only these blog posts, we would lose all the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John and Rod Stewart - all massive artists who clearly neglected to have hits in late February. However, Abba saves the day. I was a total fan - this had to be kept somewhat under wraps from cool kid friends, who followed virtually every music critic at the time and dissed them. But ha! Time has vindicated the Swedish super group.

1978 - Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

Abba was followed at No.1 in February 1978 but this extraordinary debut single by the legendary Kate Bush. Definitely a song one remembers.

1979: Blondie: Heart Of Glass

Was 1979 the greatest ever year in the history of the popular musuc charts? Judge for yourself.This is the amazing Blondie's debut smash.

1979 - The Bee Gees - Tragedy

Followed on immediately by the Beegees! The melodrama of this one has always thrilled me.

1979 - Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive

And the Beegees were followed by this all-time classic by Gloria Gaynor! Honestly, from the Village People to Pink Floyd, 1979 has got it all!

1980 - 1980: Kenny Rogers - Coward Of The County

Down to earth with a thump. Yuck. The obvious sentimentality took this one to No.1, it can't disguise the nastiness now. It deserves oblivion.

1980 - Blondie - Atomic

However, Kenny Rogers was followed quickly by another terrific Blondie effort.

1981: Joe Dolce Music Theatre - Shaddap You Face

Another very efficient novelty number, in grand pop fashion being followed by the sublime:

1981 - Roxy Music - Jealous Guy

Was this the greatest cover ever made? I always think that Bryan is singing about Jerry, but in fact she had left him for Mick three years previously. Anyhow, he sings it with total conviction.

And another ex-Beatle, John Lennon, makes it into my Birthday charts (albeit as the writer) - posthumously, sadly.

Well, that concludes my second decade on an extremely high artistic note: what does decade three have in store? Find out tomorrow!


gingergirl said...

I am LOVING this skip down Memory Lane. Love all your picks - tho' my selection for The Sweet would have been Ballroom Blitz - I can still sing all the words. These are the songs that just pop into my head when I think about the 70 - 80 period: You're so Vain (Carly Simon), At Seventeen (Janis Ian), Radar Love (Golden Earring), Money (Pink Floyd), Crime of the Century (Supertramp), Night Nurse By Gregory Isaacs (tho think that was closer to 82), The First Time (Roberta Flack), Crocodile Rock (Elton), You Make Me Feel Brand New (Stylistics), Evergreen (Babs), Dancing Queen (Abba), Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees), Three Times a Lady (Commodore), Le Freak (Chic) .. All that disco stuff!!! Then The Rose by Better Midler ... REO Speedwagon and Blondie. Plus Bob Marley the while way through. Aaaah - we were so young...

Hedgie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hedgie said...

That's a great playlist there! Yes, we were young once.

But hey! One of my friends on facebook thinks I'm 36! I'm clinging to that one!