7 May 2015

UK Music Chart: February 5, 1972 Ft. Chicory Tip

Number 11: Chicory Tip
A new month and a new Number 1 song, as the latest release from T. Rex jumped to the the top of the charts for the first week of its two-week run as the bestselling single in the UK.

In fact, Marc Bolan was celebrating the double. In addition to the top selling Telegram Sam, his group's Electric Warrior long player had settled at Number 1 on the Album Chart, about to complete a further two weeks at the top.

Further down the Top 20, three classic tunes of the era were making their mark. Two of them (American Pie and Family Affair) had previously risen to Number 1 in the States, while the other (Son of My Father) was about to do the same thing in the UK.

T. Rex at Number 1

The Chart: 
  • 01 (03) T. Rex - Telegram Sam 
  • 02 (01) The New Seekers - I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony) 
  • 03 (02) Neil Reid - Mother of Mine 
  • 04 (04) America - Horse With No Name 
  • 05 (05) Melanie - Brand New Key 
  • 06 (07) The Faces - Stay With Me 
  • 07 (17) The Chi-Lites - Have You Seen Her? 
  • 08 (08) Donnie Elbert - Where Did Our Love Go? 
  • 09 (10) Al Green - Let's Stay Together 
  • 10 (06) Elvis Presley - I Just Can't Help Believing 
  • 11 (30) Chicory Tip - Son of My Father 
  • 12 (15) Greyhound - Moon River 
  • 13 (09) Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken 
  • 14 (20) Bread - Baby I'm-a Want You 
  • 15 (23) Sly and the Family Stone - Family Affair 
  • 16 (19) Sonny and Cher - All I Ever Need is You 
  • 17 (27) Don McLean - American Pie 
  • 18 (11) Middle of the Road - Soley Soley 
  • 19 (12) The Johnny Pearson Orchestra - Sleepy Shores 
  • 20 (13) The John Barry Orchestra - Theme From 'The Persuaders'
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold
*Image: Chicory Tip: The Singles Collection at Amazon

03: Chicory Tip: Son of My Father

The group had been around since 1967, but it wasn't until Chicory Tip's manager heard Giorgio Moroder's original recording of Son of My Father (itself an English version of a German language song) that the band's fortunes suddenly changed.

The somewhat nonsensical English lyrics were given to the band and it was recorded and released quickly in order to negate any sales potential of the Giorgio version.

The tactic worked: The record sailed up the British charts, eventually securing the Number 1 spot for three weeks and selling a million copies within six months of its release. It was no doubt helped by its prominent use of a Moog synthesizer - a first on a UK Number 1 song - and a very memorable chorus.

It flopped in the US, although Giorgio's version picked up enough airplay and sales to send it briefly into the Billboard Hot 100.

15: Sly and the Family Stone: Family Affair

Just off the back of a three-week spell as America's Number 1 song, Sly and the Family Stone's latest single was their first release to register on the UK Top 20 in five years.

The group had enjoyed four Top 40 hits in the US in the interim (two of them going all the way to Number 1), but it was Family Affair which briefly changed the group's fortunes in the UK.

It wasn't the massive hit on this side of the Atlantic that one might have hoped for (a peak of Number 15), but nevertheless its British sales helped it become the most successful single of the group's career.

17: Don McLean: American Pie

There's no denying that American Pie is one of the greatest songs ever written and thankfully the British public was wise enough to try and help it repeat its American feat of becoming the best selling song in the country.

Having already jumped 22 places the previous week, Don McLean's classic continued its rapid upward trajectory by climbing another 10 spots to this week's Number 17.

It eventually failed in its attempt to become a British Number 1, outsold alternately by Chicory Tip and Harry Nilsson in the weeks to come.

The UK Number 1 album this week:
  • T. Rex: Electric Warrior

The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)