19 April 2015

UK Music Chart: January 22, 1972 Ft. Al Green

singer Al Green
Al Green at Number 17 (Image: Amazon)
Celebrating their third week at the top of the UK charts this week in 1972 were The New Seekers with I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony), a song that was simultaneously riding high in the American Top 10.

Also selling well in the US singles chart at this point in time was Al Green's latest record, which was about to enjoy Top 10 success in the UK too. Let's Stay Together hadn't quite achieved that status this week, instead climbing an impressive twelve places to Number 17.

He was joined in the Top 20 by Louisiana-born soul singer Donnie Elbert, who was the singer of the other new entry this week, rising an equally noteworthy twelve slots to Number 16.

The New Seekers at Number 1

The Chart: 
  • 01 (01) The New Seekers - I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing 
  • 02 (02) Neil Reid - Mother of Mine 
  • 03 (11) America - Horse With No Name 
  • 04 (08) Melanie - Brand New Key
  • 05 (04) The Congregation - Softly Whispering I Love You 
  • 06 (07) Elvis Presley - I Just Can't Help Believing 
  • 07 (05) Middle of the Road - Soley Soley 
  • 08 (16) The Faces - Stay With Me 
  • 09 (09) The Johnny Pearson Orchestra - Sleepy Shores 
  • 10 (13) Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken 
  • 11 (12) Gilbert O'Sullivan - No Matter How I Try 
  • 12 (06) Cilla Black - Something Tells Me (Something's Gonna Happen Tonight) 
  • 13 (03) Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) 
  • 14 (14) Isaac Hayes - Theme From 'Shaft' 
  • 15 (17) The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Theme From 'The Onedin Line' 
  • 16 (28) Donnie Elbert - Where Did Our Love Go? 
  • 17 (29) Al Green - Let's Stay Together 
  • 18 (10) T. Rex - Jeepster 
  • 19 (15) Val Doonican - Morning 
  • 20 (20) The John Barry Orchestra - Theme From 'The Persuaders'
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold
Image: Melanie: Double Exposure at Amazon

16: Donnie Elbert: Where Did Our Love Go?

Donnie Elbert had been recording since the mid-1950s, but with only limited regional commercial success in the United States.

It wasn't until he employed his striking falsetto vocals to great effect on Where Did Our Love Go? - a soulful remake of the 1964 Number 1 American hit by The Supremes - did he manage to make an impressive breakthrough, initially on the American charts (#15) and several weeks later, in the UK (#8).

Much of Elbert's British success was by virtue of the Northern Soul clubs, which had discovered his older recordings and promoted them at their all-night events. Incessant play there pushed his later releases into the mainstream for a while, giving him two more hits in the UK charts during 1972.

17: Al Green: Let's Stay Together

It wouldn't be long before Al Green registered his one and only American Number 1 pop hit with Let's Stay Together - this week he was sitting at Number 3.

In the UK however, the record was about to become Green's second straight Top 10 single, following hot on the heels of his Number 4 hit, Tired of Being Alone.

Over the years, the song has been the subject of several accolades, including: #60 on Billboard's 500 Greatest Songs of All time, Billboard's #11 song of 1972, #1 R'n'B song of 1972 and its 2010 selection by the Library of Congress for its addition to the National Recording Registry.

As much as Al Green was a commercial and personal success in the US, his chart fortunes in the UK diminished significantly after this release. He would never again reach the Top 10, although Let's Stay Together would return in 1983 when Tina Turner's cover version peaked at Number 6.

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

The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)