19 August 2015

UK Music Chart: March 11, 1972 Ft. Gilbert O'Sullivan

Album / The Very Best of Gilbert O'Sullivan
Gilbert O'Sullivan at Number 9
It was all change at the summit of the UK music chart this week in March 1972, as Harry Nilsson's debut British Top 20 hit, Without You, climbed two places to Number 1, ending Chicory Tip's three week reign at the top.

It had been approximately three years since Nilsson had appeared on the British listing - his version of Everybody's Talkin' peaking at a lowly Number 23 - but Without You would prove to be the zenith of his chart career in the UK. 

Further down the listing, singles by bands debuting in the Top 20 were making good progress, with folk-rockers Lindisfarne climbing into the Top 10 and Paul McCartney's Wings causing a stir at Number 19.

The big, new song of the week, though, came courtesy of Gilbert O'Sullivan. His Alone Again (Naturally) jumped fourteen places to Number 9, but would prove even more fruitful when released in the States in the coming months.

Nilsson at Number 1


The Chart: 
  • 01 (03) Nilsson - Without You 
  • 02 (02) Don McLean - American Pie 
  • 03 (01) Chicory Tip - Son of My Father 
  • 04 (12) The New Seekers - Beg, Steal or Borrow 
  • 05 (09) The Chelsea Football Team - Blue is the Colour 
  • 06 (05) Michael Jackson - Got to Be There 
  • 07 (07) Paul Simon - Mother and Child Reunion 
  • 08 (04) Slade - Look Wot You Dun 
  • 09 (23) Gilbert O'Sullivan - Alone Again (Naturally) 
  • 10 (22) Lindisfarne - Meet Me on the Corner 
  • 11 (08) The Fortunes - Storm in a Teacup 
  • 12 (11) The Sweet - Poppa Joe 
  • 13 (10) Badfinger - Day After Day 
  • 14 (06) The Chi-Lites - Have You Seen Her? 
  • 15 (13) Neil Reid - Mother of Mine 
  • 16 (19) Donnie Elbert - I Can't Help Myself 
  • 17 (17) Colin Blunstone - Say You Don't Mind 
  • 18 (14) T. Rex - Telegram Sam 
  • 19 (21) Wings - Give Ireland Back to the Irish 
  • 20 (16) The Bee Gees - My World
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold
*Intro Image: The Very Best of Gilbert O'Sullivan: The Singer & His Songs

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09: Gilbert O'Sullivan: Alone Again (Naturally)

Gilbert O'Sullivan made a triumphant return to the UK Top 20 this week in 1972 with one of his most successful recordings, Alone Again (Naturally). This was his fifth British chart hit and, to this point, the one which would place highest in the Top 10, peaking at Number 3.

If O'Sullivan was pleased with this, he was no doubt bowled over by the song's reception in the United States. The Americans took the single to their hearts and sent it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks over the late Summer.

In fact, it became one of the biggest selling songs of the decade in the States, only beaten by Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for the top spot in 1972 and settling at Number 5 in the listing for the 1970s.

10: Lindisfarne: Meet Me on the Corner

Geordie folk-rock group Lindisfarne announced their overdue arrival in the UK charts with a bang this week, as their debut hit, Meet Me on the Corner, climbed twelve places into the Top 10.

Written by the band's bassist, Rod Clements, the song is a bright and breezy uptempo track with a memorable and hum-able chorus. No doubt, this helped it climb to a peak of Number 5 which, in turn, produced further interest in the band's output.

Consequently, the single's parent album, Fog on the Tyne, soon found itself at Number 1, while the band's previously under-performing debut long player, Nicely Out of Tune, began to pick up sales - sufficient to send it belatedly into the Top 10.

19: Wings: Give Ireland Back to the Irish

The Troubles in Northern Ireland were at their peak at this time and Paul McCartney felt the need to contribute his two cents worth to the political discussion.

Give Ireland Back to the Irish was Wings controversial debut single, its inflammatory content the cause of a blanket ban in the UK. On this occasion, it was not only the BBC which refused to give it airtime, but also commercial radio stations including Radio Luxembourg.

Despite this, the track still managed to climb the UK Top 20 to a peak of No. 16. Naturally, Ireland lapped it up and sent it to No. 1 there, while Americans bought enough copies to send it to Number 21 on the Billboard chart.

The UK Number 1 album this week:
  • Neil Young: Harvest


The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)


The Numbers 2 and 3 songs, Heart of Gold by Neil Young and The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Robert John, are unavailable.  Songs numbered 2-8 in the above list were charting at Numbers 4-10 respectively.

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