UK Music Chart: May 23, 1970

Number 13 : Glen Campbell : Honey Come Back
While The England World Cup Squad continued its grip at the top of the UK charts this week in 1970, below it there was much activity, including a 25% change in the songs featured in the Top 20.
  • 01 (01) The England World Cup Squad - Back Home 
  • 02 (02) Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky 
  • 03 (06) Christie - Yellow River 
  • 04 (03) The Moody Blues - Question 
  • 05 (08) Tom Jones - Daughter Of Darkness 
  • 06 (04) Frijid Pink - House Of The Rising Sun 
  • 07 (10) The Move - Brontosaurus 
  • 08 (15) Roger Whittaker - I Don't Believe In 'If' Anymore 
  • 09 (07) The Hollies - I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top 
  • 10 (05) Dana - All Kinds Of Everything 
  • 11 (09) Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travellin' Band 
  • 12 (11) Andy Williams - Can't Help Falling In Love 
  • 13 (28) Glen Campbell - Honey Come Back 
  • 14 (12) Simon And Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water 
  • 15 (16) Stevie Wonder - Never Had A Dream Come True 
  • 16 (40) Ray Stevens - Everything Is Beautiful 
  • 17 (20) White Plains - I've Got You On My Mind 
  • 18 (25) Rufus Thomas - Do The Funky Chicken 
  • 19 (23) Julie Felix - If I Could (El Condor Pasa) 
  • 20 (41) The Jackson Five - ABC
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red
Image: Rhinestone Cowboy - The Best Of Glen Campbell

Yes, five had dropped off the chart to be replaced by the songs below, all legendary artists of the time. First up, and with the highest new entry of the week, was the latest release from country star Glen Campbell. While he was a frequent visitor to the US Country/Billboard Hot 100 charts, in the UK most of his hits occurred in the late Sixties and early Seventies. The excellent Honey Come Back (written by Jimmy Webb) was the first of his four songs to reach the UK Top 40 in 1970 alone.

If my memory serves me well, the following song was the first that I bought on a 45 all those years ago. Listening to it again, I'm really not sure why. I guess age has made me more cynical. That said, Ray Stevens was always better known for his comedy/novelty tracks - he'd already had hits Stateside with titles such as Ahab the Arab and Gitarzan - but the more religious and message driven Everything Is Beautiful became his first hit in the UK. It was an auspicious debut peaking at Number 6 here.

When Rufus Thomas passed away in 2001, he left behind a wonderful catalogue of funk and soul recorded at one of America's most historical record labels, Stax. While songs such as Walking the Dog never appeared on the British charts, thankfully Thomas did grace it on one solitary occasion. This was it. In the US, Do the Funky Chicken peaked at Number 28, while in the UK, our chicken was slightly more funky when the song peaked this week at Number 18.

Right about now, Simon and Garfunkel were the real deal, enjoying a huge selling album and single in Bridge Over Troubled Water, as well as seeing their other albums charting as a consequence. One of the tracks from the Bridge LP was If I Could (El Condor Pasa), with which Paul Simon had some copyright woes. While a lawsuit was settled amicably, the track was never released in the UK as a single, albeit the duo witnessed success with it across other parts of Europe and the USA. Step forward American folk singer Julie Felix, who was very much in the public spotlight at the time because of her appearances on TV. Never one to miss an opportunity, her producer Mickie Most released the song and both were rewarded with a hit when the tracked peaked at Number 19 this week.

Last and by no means least were the latest pop/soul sensation, The Jackson 5, whose single ABC made an impressive twenty-one place jump to this week's Number 20. This was to be the second of four consecutive US Number 1 songs for the quintet, beginning with their debut I Want You Back. In the UK, it would only peak at Number 8, but would also become the second in a string of four debut Top 10 hits. Who could have guessed what was yet to come from that skinny 12-year-old lead singer by the name of Michael Jackson?

The Number 1 album this week:

The Number 1 song in the USA:

Until next time...

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