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Number Ones of 1972 (Part 5)

…[continued from Part 4]

You know when you write about a year in these terms – all the number ones – you wonder whether it gives a realistic representation of the music everyone listened to.

In terms of sheer public popularity I guess it does, but in my own personal world I feel there were many different songs – which didn’t reach Number 1 – that I would play over and over again from my weekly tape recordings of the Top 30 show.

So along with the likes of “School’s Out”, “Claire”, T.Rex, Slade, “Son of my Father”,  Lieutenant Pigeon, plus all the Prog rock and pop already mentioned in my 1972 diary entries, would the following songs also stand up and take bow for providing a suitable distraction to the arguments going on at our house…

• America – “A Horse with No Name
• Argent – “Hold Your Head Up
• Blackfoot Sue – “Standing in the Road
• David Bowie –  “John I’m Only Dancing
• David Bowie –  “Jean Genie” 
• David Bowie –  “Starman
• Alice Cooper – “Elected
• Dr Hook – “Sylvia’s Mother
• Electric Light Orchestra – “10538 Overture
• Family – “Burlesque
• Roberta Flack – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
• Gary Glitter – “Rock & Roll Part II
• Hawkwind – “Silver Machine
• The Hollies “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress
• Hot Butter – “Popcorn
• Elton John – “Rocket Man
• John Lennon & Yoko – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)
• Lindisfarne – “Lady Eleanor
• Melanie – “Brand New Key
• Mott the Hoople – “All the Young Dudes
• Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now
• Redbone – “Witch Queen of New Orleans
• Lou Reed – “Walk on the Wild Side
• Rolling Stones – “Tumbing Dice
• Roxy Music – “Virginia Plain
• Paul Simon – “Me & Julio Down By the Schoolyard
• Ringo Starr – “Back Off Boogaloo
• Status Quo – “Paper Plane
• Stealers Wheel – “Stuck in the Middle
• Cat Stevens – “Can’t Keep it In
• Temptations – “Papa Was a Rolling Stone
• 10cc – “Donna
• The Who – “Join Together
• Stevie Wonder – “Superstition

1972 was therefore a year that had me listening to all kinds of music, creating a varied love for it that would not only supply me with an eventual career (of sorts) but a lifetime of many happy memories.

Meanwhile, (I love a good “meanwhile”) 4000 miles away, my future wife who had started her own musical education early was finding that Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” was proving to be an awkward choice for her classroom’s show and tell session.

Both of us can now only hope that the 8 and 14-year-old kids of today carry forward the same kind of interest, love and enthusiasm for music into their middle and old age as we have.


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March 5th 1972

“Recorded Side one of  Zero Time by Tonto’s Expanding Headband”

Seems weird that I should record just one side of an album? But what an album to record just one side of!!

Tonto’s Expanding Headband were – to say the least – so very, VERY ahead of their time, it’s almost criminal.

Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff made up Tonto, and created an ambient electronic landscape years before the likes of Eno or the Orb found their keyboards and ‘chilled out’ the world’s populace.

Tonto, or more properly “T.O.N.T.O.” was actually an acronym for “The Original New Timbral Orchestra”, the (then) world’s largest analog polyphonic synthesizer, and the album (the entire album I hasten to add) remains one of my firm favourites 36 years later, the cut “Jetsex” especially.

Although not in any way a commercial success as Tonto’s, Cecil & Margouleff were courted by artists such as Stevie Wonder to work on their albums. The contribution to classics like “Talking Book” and “Innvervisions” is now recognised as being innovative, and has influenced many other black pop acts to take their game – as it were – to the next aural level.

On a personal note, I find it somehow comforting that, even as far back as 1972, I appeared to experiment in a BIG way with the various sounds I was listening to. One week it could be 70’s bubblegum pop and Deep Purple. The next it might be psychedelic blues, singer/songwriter material by the likes of Cat Stevens, or frontier electronic stuff like this gem.

I honestly believe that my peculiar willingness, at an early age, to listen to “almost anything” is what helped propel me along later in life, when having an appreciation of all kinds of genres was necessary for the career I ended up pursuing in the business itself.

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