Let’s do a little bit of pop remininscing about the UK’s Number One singles in 1973 shall we?…
Starting off with January to March…
• Little Jimmy Osmond – Long Haired Lover from Liverpool
I dismissed talked briefly about Little Jimmy’s novelty hit a year or so ago, it being a spill-over from enjoying “Number One at Xmas” status in 1972.
The Osmonds really were incredibly ubiquitous back then, their faces adorning the covers of every teen mag and daily newspapers. Hell, it seemed like they had a hit single every other week, either as a group, a brother/sister duo or solo.
I guess I can understand the girly teen appeal for Donny or one of his older brothers, and Marie had a certain mormon something-something about her… but Jimmy? C’mon people … (and I’m looking at all of you Grandma record buyers)… surely Jimmy was just a little fat kid with a squeaky ‘nothing’ voice wasn’t he? These days he wouldn’t get through round one of “X-Factor” or “America’s Got Talent“.
• The Sweet – Blockbuster
I’m almost two years into this seventies blog and I’m amazed that there’s yet to be significant mention of the pop royalty known as The Sweet.
Thanks to the songwriting talents of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, the band racked up no fewer than 13 hits singles in the seventies, with 5 of them reaching Number 2. “Blockbuster” was their sole Number One.
It wasn’t always like this. The songwriting team and the band fell out time and time again in the early 70’s, when the Sweet were being marketed (wrongly) as a UK version of the USA’s cartoon pop band The Archies. Songs like “Funny Funny” (a thinly-veiled knock-off of “Sugar Sugar“) and “Co-Co” highlighted the band’s harmonic strengths but failed miserably to convey what they were like live in concert; a much harder-hitting rock band.
After Chinn & Chapman saw the band in concert they wrote them a whole new set of songs. Pop chuggers “Little Willy” and “Wig Wam Bam” paved the way a little, just a few months before the impact of “Blockbuster” and its air raid siren opening blast of energy. Suddenly The Sweet were a Glam band to be reckoned with, up there with the likes of Bolan, Bowie and Slade. Bassist Steve Priest used every Top of the Pops appearance to dress more and more outrageously, moving from simple long hair, to glitter filled locks, ludicrously tall platform boots, make-up and sparkly outfits, all topped with feather boas. He personified the phrase “showman”.
I’m sure there will be more mention of The Sweet as these diary blogs progress – even if it’s mere reference to the other fantastic hit singles they enjoyed in forthcoming months.
• Slade – Cum On Feel the Noize
You had to go back to 1969 to find the last single that went straight in at Number One on the charts. That was The Beatles “Get Back”
“Cum On Feel the Noize” entered at the top slot and went on to spend four weeks there. No mean feat and tribute to Noddy Holder & Co’s popularity at the time.
It wouldn’t be Slade’s last Number 1 of the year, as you will find out in the next few days blog posts.
• Donny Osmond – Twelfth of Never
See what I mean? We barely blinked and there’s another bloody Osmond at Number One!
On a recent BBC programme, Donald Clark Osmond (for that is his real name) traced his family ancestry back to Wales. That explains a lot.
Let’s face it ladles and jellyspoons, the Osmonds were about one single and one single ONLY… the magnificent, timeless Crazy Horses!
[“Number One Singles of 1973” continues in Part II…]