UK Top 20: December 9, 1972 Ft. Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
New at 18: Gladys Knight along with her Pips

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

Christmas 1972 was just around the corner and it seemed as if  Chuck Berry would continue to maintain the Number 1 position over the festive period. However, a challenger had just appeared on the horizon and My Ding-A-Ling's days at the top of the pile were now numbered. 

Berry's challenger came in the form of a nine-year-old, a member of a family which was all over the charts at this time, The Osmonds. Nevertheless, Little Jimmy's new single was not the highest new entry on the chart as T. Rex's latest release came crashing into the Top 10 at Number 8. Further, with two re-releases disappearing from the Top 20, another 1960s hit reappeared while Gladys Knight and the Pips returned for the first time in five years.

So four new entries this week meaning we said farewell to hits by 10cc, Lieutenant Pigeon, Neil Sedaka and Chris Montez.

Read on...

Image: Kingkongphoto & from Laurel Maryland, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Berry at Number 1

The Chart: 

  • 01 (01) - Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling 
  • 02 (02) - The Osmonds - Crazy Horses 
  • 03 (04) - Slade - Gudbuy T'Jane 
  • 04 (06) - Rod Stewart - Angel / What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me) 
  • 05 (05) - Elton John - Crocodile Rock 
  • 06 (03) - Donny Osmond - Why 
  • 07 (16) - Michael Jackson - Ben 
  • 08 (---) - T. Rex - Solid Gold Easy Action 
  • 09 (27) - Little Jimmy Osmond - Long Haired Lover From Liverpool 
  • 10 (09) - The Jackson Five - Lookin' Through the Windows 
  • 11 (18) - David Cassidy - Rock Me Baby 
  • 12 (13) - The Strawbs - Lay Down 
  • 13 (12) - Blue Mink - Stay With Me 
  • 14 (07) - Gilbert O'Sullivan - Clair 
  • 15 (10) - The Stylistics - I'm Stone in Love With You 
  • 16 (21) - Roy C - Shotgun Wedding 
  • 17 (17) - Jeff Beck - Hi-Ho Silver Lining 
  • 18 (28) - Gladys Knight and the Pips - Help Me Make It Through the Night 
  • 19 (15) - Shag - Loop Di Love 
  • 20 (08) - The Shangri-Las - Leader of the Pack
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

Stream This Week's Number 1 and New Hits:

08: T. Rex: Solid Gold Easy Action

The latest in a long line of hit singles by Marc Bolan and T. Rex was a new entry to the UK chart this week in 1972.

Solid Gold Easy Action was a stand alone single release by the group, not having been featured on any album up to this point.

With such a strong debut, one would have expected the single to leap to the Number 1 slot in no time, but instead it would take another four weeks to reach its peak position of Number 2.

Barring re-releases, it would also mark the final time that T. Rex would have one of their records finish in the Top 2 - the last of eight original releases to do so.

09: Little Jimmy Osmond: Long Haired Lover From Liverpool

With the popularity of the Osmond family gathering apace, it was now the turn of the youngest sibling, Jimmy, to take on the British Singles Chart.

Written by Christopher Kingsley whose own 1969 version had flopped, Osmond's record company decided to record his version and the rest, as they say, is history.

Having leapt eighteen places this week, it would be at Number 1 in two weeks time. Staying there for five weeks it was 1972's Christmas Number 1, eventually selling over a million copies.

At the time, Jimmy Osmond was just nine years old and still holds the record as the youngest person to have a chart topper on the UK Singles Chart. IMHO, it's quite possibly one of the worst.

16: Roy C: Shotgun Wedding

Roy C is Roy C Hammond, an American soul singer and songwriter whose major claim to fame is this 1966 recording, Shotgun Wedding.

With the burgeoning popularity for re-releases in the UK, this was the latest in a long line of Sixties records finding renewed success during the early to mid-1970s.

Although a Top 20 hit on the Billboard R&B chart during the mid 60s, British record buyers seemed to really enjoy the ricochet element of the recording and sent it to Number 6 in 1966, nearly repeating the feat in 1972 when it settled at Number 8.

18: Gladys Knight and the Pips: Help Me Make It Through the Night

One of Kris Kristoffersons's most recorded songs following Sammi Smith's 1970 cover is Help Me Make It Through the Night.

Smith's recording made no impact in the UK, so it wasn't until the end of 1972 that the song would climb the British Top 20 - courtesy of Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Instead of the country flavour of Smith's recording, Knight gave it a soulful rendition which was more in step with British tastes. As a result, the single would climb to a peak of Number 11, spending 17 weeks on the Top 50.

The UK Number 1 album this week:
  • Various Artists: 25 Rockin' and Rollin' Greats

The American Top 10 (Click to play tracks)

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