UK Top 20: July 15, 1972 Ft. David Bowie

Starman / David Bowie / 1972
New at Number 20: David Bowie


Presenting the Top 20 music chart in the United Kingdom for the week ending 15 July 1972


The Top 3 singles of the chart remained static with Donny Osmond clocking up a second week at the top with his reworking of the Paul Anka song, Puppy Love.

The biggest climber within the Top 20 was the début single by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. Sylvia's Mother would eventually peak at Number 2, but this week the disc rose nine places to settle at Number 4.

Just two new entries this week as Neil Diamond and The Chi-Lites are replaced by the latest singles from The Partridge Family and David Bowie.

Donny Osmond at Number 1




The Chart: 
  • 01 (01) - Donny Osmond - Puppy Love 
  • 02 (02) - Gary Glitter - Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2 
  • 03 (03) - Slade - Take Me Bak 'Ome 
  • 04 (13) - Dr Hook and the Medicine Show - Sylvia's Mother 
  • 05 (06) - The New Seekers - Circles 
  • 06 (04) - The Sweet - Little Willy 
  • 07 (12) - Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now 
  • 08 (05) - Don McLean - Vincent 
  • 09 (09) - Elvis Presley - An American Trilogy 
  • 10 (07) - Michael Jackson - Rockin' Robin 
  • 11 (08) - Gilbert O'Sullivan - Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day 
  • 12 (16) - The Who - Join Together 
  • 13 (30) - The Partridge Family - Breaking Up is Hard to Do 
  • 14 (10) - The Move - California Man 
  • 15 (11) - Wings - Mary Had A Little Lamb 
  • 16 (19) - Love Unlimited - Walkin' in the Rain With the One I Love 
  • 17 (14) - Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 
  • 18 (15) - Free - Little Bit of Love 
  • 19 (20) - B. Bumble and the Stingers - Nut Rocker 
  • 20 (29) - David Bowie - Starman
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

Download This Week's New Hits:




13: The Partridge Family: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

The UK was a little slow to cotton on to the bubblegum pop of America's TV combo, The Partridge Family.

However, principally due to the increasing popularity of lead vocalist David Cassidy, the group's singles began to sell in ever greater amounts on this side of the Atlantic.

The band's latest offering was a cover of Neil Sedaka's signature song, Breaking Up is Hard to Do. While it stalled at just inside the Top 30 in America, it continued to climb the listing in the UK to eventually peak at Number 3.


20: David Bowie: Starman

It had been three long years since David Bowie had first appeared on the British charts with the seminal Space Oddity, but this had been one of the singer's most creative periods culminating in the birth of his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.

No doubt, it was this character's appearance on the BBC's Top of the Pops during July (see left) performing Starman which secured Bowie's eventual British breakthrough.

Ultimately included on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Starman was the first in a succession of UK Top 20 singles for Bowie over the next eighteen months to two years - many peaking within the Top 5. It would eventually peak at No.10, but marked the beginning of one of the most commercially successful and artistically inventive rock careers of all time.


The UK Number 1 album this week:
  • Various Artists: 20 Dynamic Hits


The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)



UK Top 20: July 8, 1972 Ft. Johnny Nash

Johnny Nash: New at Number 12
The latest male teen heartthrob to capture the attention of Britain's female youth was just about to set up residency as a permanent fixture of the UK charts for the next few years.

It all started with Donny Osmond's début British solo hit, a recording of Paul Anka's Puppy Love, which climbed to the top of the Hit Parade this week in 1972.

Osmond reigned supreme over a Top 20 which included five new entries - two of which were introductory hits for American groups Love Unlimited and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Elsewhere, British rockers The Who returned to the charts, along with a single which had been a UK smash 10 years earlier.

Johnny Nash was back too, debuting with a record which would become his most successful international hit, his self-penned song I Can See Clearly Now.

Donny Osmond at Number 1




The Chart: 
  • 01 (03) Donny Osmond - Puppy Love 
  • 02 (05) Gary Glitter - Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2 
  • 03 (01) Slade - Take Me Back 'Ome 
  • 04 (04) The Sweet - Little Willy 
  • 05 (02) Don McLean - Vincent 
  • 06 (11) The New Seekers - Circles 
  • 07 (06) Michael Jackson - Rockin' Robin 
  • 08 (12) Gilbert O'Sullivan - Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day 
  • 09 (08) Elvis Presley - An American Trilogy 
  • 10 (07) The Move - California Man 
  • 11 (09) Wings - Mary Had A Little Lamb 
  • 12 (25) Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now 
  • 13 (28) Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show - Sylvia's Mother 
  • 14 (16) Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 
  • 15 (13) Free - Little Bit of Love 
  • 16 (22) The Who - Join Together 
  • 17 (14) Neil Diamond - Song Sung Blue 
  • 18 (18) The Chi-Lites - Oh Girl 
  • 19 (21) Love Unlimited - Walkin' in the Rain With the One I Love 
  • 20 (24) B. Bumble and the Stingers - Nut Rocker
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

Download This Week's New Hits:



12: Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now

After three years away from the UK chart, 1972 proved to be a fruitful year for Johnny Nash.

He had already reached Number 13 during April with his cover of Bob Marley's Stir It Up and he now took a thirteen place leap into the Top 20 with his own composition, I Can See Clearly Now.

In time, this light reggae groove proved to be even more popular, peaking at Number 5 in late July and going all the way to Number 1 when released in the US.

13: Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Sylvia's Mother

Having just peaked at Number 5 in America, Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show's début hit, Sylvia's Mother, found just as much success on the British charts only a few weeks later.

The group, led by Ray Sawyer and Dennis Locorriere, were masters of the soft rock genre and this single was no exception.

Written by American poet Shel Silverstein - the group recorded several of his compositions - Sylvia's Mother would become one of the band's biggest UK hits, peaking at Number 2. It did even better in both Australia and Ireland where it topped their respective charts.

16: The Who: Join Together

The Who's previous Top 20 single, Let's See Action, was intended to be a part of the group's abandoned Lifehouse  rock opera project, as was their latest single which entered this part of the chart at this week's Number 16.

Join Together would eventually climb into the Top 10. It  then followed up its British success by scaling the American charts to peak at Number 17.




19: Love Unlimited: Walkin' in the Rain With the One I Love

Featuring Barry White's future wife Glodean James, Love Unlimited was a female soul vocal trio fashioned in the style of Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Walkin' in the Rain With the One I Love was the group's first hit in both the UK and the US and was not only composed by Barry White, but also featured his voice on the telephone.

The single peaked at Number 14 on both sides of the Atlantic.



20: B. Bumble and the Stingers: Nut Rocker

Originally a UK Number 1 hit in 1962 Nut Rocker, a piano instrumental based on Tchaikovsky's March of the Toy Soldiers, was re-released in 1972 - possibly prompted by a new recording of the tune by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

B. Bumble and the Stingers' original became a hit all over again, although not quite so big as a decade earlier. This time around, it peaked at Number 19.




The UK Number 1 album this week:
  • Various Artists: 20 Dynamic Hits


The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)