UK Top 20: June 24, 1972 Ft. The Chi-Lites

Oh Girl The Chi-Lites 1972
New Entry: The Chi-Lites at Number 14
In the week of 24 June, 1972 Don McLean was celebrating his second week at the top of the UK chart with the single, Vincent.

Elsewhere in the Top 20, there was a major clear out as six new entries made their debuts on the listing - led by two singles making impressive moves directly into the Top 10.

Both embraced the newly christened glam rock genre and came via acts which would become among the most successful singles artists of the 1970s: The Sweet and (whisper) Gary Glitter.

The smooth voices of American soul were represented by The Chi-Lites and the inaugural UK chart appearance from North Carolina native, Roberta Flack.

Another British debut chart arrival came courtesy of teen idol Donny Osmond who had to wait until the British release of Puppy Love to finally begin a string of successful hit singles in the UK.

Don McLean at Number 1

The Chart: 
  • 01 (01) Don McLean - Vincent 
  • 02 (03) Slade - Take Me Bak 'Ome 
  • 03 (05) Michael Jackson - Rockin' Robin 
  • 04 (02) T. Rex - Metal Guru 
  • 05 (04) The Drifters - At the Club / Saturday Night at the Movies 
  • 06 (21) Gary Glitter - Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2 
  • 07 (07) The Move - California Man 
  • 08 (23) The Sweet - Little Willy 
  • 09 (10) Wings - Mary Had a Little Lamb 
  • 10 (06) Lindisfarne - Lady Eleanor 
  • 11 (09) New World - Sister Jane 
  • 12 (08) Hurricane Smith - Oh Babe, What Would You Say? 
  • 13 (36) Donny Osmond - Puppy Love 
  • 14 (25) The Chi-Lites - Oh Girl 
  • 15 (16) Neil Diamond - Song Sung Blue 
  • 16 (17) The Kinks - Supersonic Rocket Ship 
  • 17 (22) Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 
  • 18 (40) Gilbert O'Sullivan - Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day 
  • 19 (11) Elton John - Rocket Man 
  • 20 (19) Free - Little Bit Of Love
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

Download This Week's New Hits:

06: Gary Glitter: Rock & Roll Parts 1 and 2

First Top 20 hit for the now disgraced glam rocker, Gary Glitter.

08: The Sweet: Little Willy

The Sweet's previous release, Poppa Joe, just missed out on the Top 10, but this latest ChinniChap recording made no mistake by climbing fifteen places to Number 8.

In fact, Little Willy began a run of seven consecutive UK Top 10 hits for the group between 1972 and 1974. In addition, the song became a major success throughout continental Europe.

Moreover, the record - the last to feature session musicians instead of the usual band members - represented The Sweet's commercial breakthrough in North America where it peaked at Number 1 in Canada and Number 3 in the USA.

It would go on to settle at Number 4 in the UK.

13: Donny Osmond: Puppy Love

Although Donny Osmond had already enjoyed three Top 10 hits in America, he had to wait until the release of Puppy Love for the same to happen in the United Kingdom.

Only 14 at the time, Osmond became one of the biggest selling teen idols of the decade, competing with the likes of David Cassidy, Michael Jackson and, in America, Bobby Sherman.

This cover of Paul Anka's 1960 recording kicked off what would soon become known in the UK as Osmondmania - fuelled principally by hysterical teenage female fans.

They would eventually push this recording to Number , as well as five follow-ups into the UK Top 5.

14: The Chi-Lites: Oh Girl

The smooth soul of Chicago-based vocal quartet The Chi-Lites returned to the UK Singles Chart with their latest release, Oh Girl.

Included on the group's album A Lonely Man, the track had already topped the American Hot 100, making it their one and only US Number 1 record.

Over the pond, it did not perform as well, however. This week's Number 14 was its peak position.

17: Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Although The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face dates back to 1957 - when it was first recorded by its composer Ewan MacColl - its most memorable version is this week's new entry by Roberta Flack at Number 17.

First recorded by Flack in 1969, the song was subsequently featured in the Clint Eastwood flick Play Misty For Me. This publicity led to the release of the track in an edited version which soon saw it climbing the American charts.

It would eventually peak at No.1 and become the USA's bestselling song of the year, while the Grammys awarded it not only Song of the Year but also Record of the Year.

In the UK, it reached the much more humble position of No.14.

18: Gilbert O'Sullivan: Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day

Back in 2013 this Gilbert O'Sullivan song got a new lease of life when a reworded version was used in advertising for the UK's National Lottery.

However, the original version was already a winner in 1972 when it leaped twenty-two places into the Top Twenty on its way to a peak of Number 8.

In O'Sullivan's homeland, however, Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day fared even better as it became the first of his three consecutive Irish No.1 singles.  

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

The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)

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