UK Top 20: September 9, 1972 Ft. Bill Withers

Bill Withers / Lean on Me
Bill Withers enters the Top 20 at Number 18

Presenting the Top 20 music chart in the UK for the week ending 9 September, 1972

After just a single week at Number 1, Rod Stewart vacated the top spot as glam rockers Slade climbed one place with another (now usual) misspelled song title. This time it was Mama Weer All Crazee Now which secured the group another chart topper, their third in just ten months.

That track was among a number of singles making an upward move in the charts - seven in the Top 10 alone - but, in spite of that, only one record was able to cross the threshold into the Top 20 this week.

That honour fell to what has since become a classic song - as well as a then recent Number 1 single on the American Hot 100 - Lean on Me by Bill Withers.

Read on...

Above image by Columbia Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Slade at Number 1

The Chart: 
  • 01 (02) Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now 
  • 02 (01) Rod Stewart - You Wear It Well 
  • 03 (05) Mott the Hoople - All the Young Dudes 
  • 04 (09) Blackfoot Sue - Standing in the Road 
  • 05 (06) Faron Young - It's Four in the Morning 
  • 06 (12) Lynsey De Paul - Sugar Me 
  • 07 (04) Hawkwind - Silver Machine 
  • 08 (18) Roxy Music - Virginia Plain 
  • 09 (07) Derek and the Dominos - Layla 
  • 10 (14) Jackie Wilson - I Get the Sweetest Feeling 
  • 11 (03) Alice Cooper - School's Out 
  • 12 (11) Little Eva - The Loco-Motion 
  • 13 (13) Bee Gees - Run to Me 
  • 14 (08) Hot Butter - Popcorn 
  • 15 (10) Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs - Seaside Shuffle 
  • 16 (20) Michael Jackson - Ain't No Sunshine 
  • 17 (15) The Electric Light Orchestra - 10538 Overture 
  • 18 (25) Bill Withers - Lean On Me 
  • 19 (17) Donny Osmond - Puppy Love 
  • 20 (16) The Partridge Family - Breaking Up is Hard to Do
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

Download This Week's New Hit:

18: Bill Withers: Lean on Me

This was the first UK hit for now-legendary RandB singer, Bill Withers.

Although his original recording of Ain't No Sunshine was a Top 3 hit on the American charts the previous year, it had completely missed the British listing (cue Michael Jackson...) So, it was Lean on Me which really introduced Withers' brand of soul to the British public.

In his homeland, it had had already topped the charts some months earlier and the single was now making steady progress in the UK. However, the Number 18 spot would prove to be its high spot, remaining there for two consecutive weeks, before falling down the listing.

It wouldn't be the last that was heard of Lean on Me on the British charts, though. Later in the 1970s, glam rockers Mud would release their version of the song and take it into the Top 10 while RandB group Club Nouveau would peak at Number 3 with it in 1987. The latter single would also hit Number 1 in the US, making it one of only nine songs to accomplish the feat of topping the American charts with recordings released by two different artists.

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

The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)

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