Number One Singles of 1973 (Part 1)

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 OsmondLong 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 SweetBlockbuster
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.

Steve Priest - Then and... um... now

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.

SladeCum 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 OsmondTwelfth 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…]

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5 Comments

Filed under 1973 Diary Entries

5 responses to “Number One Singles of 1973 (Part 1)

  1. When I was a kid, I had Osmond posters all over my walls and I bought ever issue of 16 and Tiger Beat so I’d never miss out on any Osmond news (especially Donny!).

    Jimmy was meh.

  2. boudicabitch

    Wow…what a jerk. Steve Priest then and…um…now?

    I hope you develop a disabling disease yet still have the courage to go on doing what you do best, and yet be forced to endure so-called former fans who take potshots at your appearance without having all the facts.

    • teenagerockopera

      Wow… pot, kettle, black there boudicabitch, you jerk.

      Instead of calmly telling me what Mr Priest’s condition is – so I can comment accordingly – you blithely assume EVERYONE knows about it somehow and castigate them if/when they don’t.

      If you claim you’ve never commented on how someone has changed (gone grey, got fat, lost their looks) after seeing them for the first time in maybe 20 or 30 years then you are a hypocrite, a pure and simple hypocrite.

      • boudicabitch

        The precise nature of his condition is none of your damn business. What, are you willing to “forgive” him for gaining weight if you, in your role as judge and jury, determine that said condition is a justifiable cause???

        And NO, I haven’t ever commented on something like that; the fact that you assume everybody has or would be that shallow just highlights the point I was making in my original post. Why you give a flying fart in space about whether a musician has “lost his looks” is mystifying. It’s his or her talent that matters and Steve Priest still has his chops. And it would take a hell of a lot more than a double chin to deprive that man of his mojo.

      • teenagerockopera

        Actually boudacabitch, the ‘precise nature of his condition’ is not just my damned business, it’s everybody’s damned business!

        He sucked on corporate music industry’s dick and became a ‘pop star’. Do you remember when he WAS a star? When he mimed on Top of the Pops wearing a stupid glittery faux-Nazi outfit?

        He brought attention to himself and thus became not ‘private property’ but ‘public property’. He certainly hasn’t become a recluse, he’s still out there ‘doing it’ for fans… presumably fans like you?!

        All power to him for still picking up the bass, but his appearance remains ‘open game’ as far as commentators like myself are concerned, no different than if I wanted to say my favourite actress was getting chubby or a footballer has grown a stupid beard.

        Your defence of Steve is most admirable but if you know he he has a ‘condition’ and you don’t wish to share it – so I can then ponder and perhaps retract my alleged disparaging remarks – you instead take the snarky provocative approach, and thus completely fail him as fan.

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