UK Top 20: December 16, 1972 Ft. The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues
New at Number 15: The Moody Blues

Presenting the UK Top 20 music chart for the week ending 16 December, 1972

With the festive season of 1972 now in full swing, the British charts began to reflect the celebrations with the appearance of one of the first classic Christmas pop songs to show in the listing: Happy Xmas (War is Over) courtesy of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Harlem Community Choir. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards also contributed to the Yuletide festivities with their rendition of Little Drummer Boy.

Elsewhere, Chuck Berry was enjoying his fourth and final week at Number 1 as Little Jimmy Osmond waited in the wings to claim the crown the following week.

The Moody Blues made a welcome return to the UK hit parade as did The Four Tops with their first hit single on their new record label.

These four new entries meant that it was farewell to singles by The Shangri-Las, Gilbert O'Sullivan, The Stylistics and Shag.

Read on...

Image: Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang, bestanddeelnummer 923-9509 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Berry at Number 1

The Chart: 

  • 01 (01) - Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling 
  • 02 (03) - Slade - Gudbuy T'Jane 
  • 03 (02) - The Osmonds - Crazy Horses 
  • 04 (08) - T. Rex - Solid Gold Easy Action 
  • 05 (09) - Little Jimmy Osmond - Long Haired Lover From Liverpool 
  • 06 (06) - Donny Osmond - Why 
  • 07 (05) - Elton John - Crocodile Rock 
  • 08 (07) - Michael Jackson - Ben 
  • 09 (04) - Rod Stewart - Angel / What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me) 
  • 10 (16) - Roy C - Shotgun Wedding 
  • 11 (13) - Blue Mink - Stay With Me 
  • 12 (10) - The Jackson Five - Lookin' Through the Windows 
  • 13 (11) - David Cassidy - Rock Me Baby 
  • 14 (12) - The Strawbs - Lay Down 
  • 15 (21) - The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin 
  • 16 (23) - John and Yoko/Plastic Ono Band With the Harlem Community Choir - Happy Xmas (War is Over) 
  • 17 (17) - Jeff Beck - Hi-Ho Silver Lining 
  • 18 (25) - The Four Tops - Keeper of the Castle 
  • 19 (18) - Gladys Knight and the Pips - Help Me Make It Through the Night 
  • 20 (28) - The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Little Drummer Boy
*Previous week in brackets; Climbers denoted in red; New entries in bold

15: The Moody Blues: Nights in White Satin

A welcome re-release brought The Moody Blues back into the UK Top 20 with their 1967 single Nights in White Satin, taken from the album Days of Future Passed.

Having previously peaked at Number 19, the track had already surpassed that position and was about to crack the Top 10 at Number 9.

In the States, it would perform even better. The 1967 release didn't even break into the Hot 100, but on this occasion it would manage to climb all the way to Number 2 for a couple of weeks - only kept off the top by Johnny Nash's hit, I Can See Clearly Now.

16: John and Yoko/Plastic Ono Band: Happy Xmas (War is Over)

And so to one of the first specific Christmas songs to become a hit on the British chart - even though it had to hang around a year before its UK release.

Originally released in the USA the previous December, Happy Xmas (War is Over) had to wait until December 1972 before it could be released, due to a disagreement with Northern Songs, a music publisher.

It was an instant success, eventually reaching Number 4 and turning into a Christmas classic in the process. Apart from its appearance in the charts of 1972, it has resurfaced on numerous occasions over the years - most notably following Lennon's death when it peaked at Number 2 in 1980. Of course, it has also featured on many Christmas compilations over the years helping it to remain in the public conscience.

18: The Four Tops: Keeper of the Castle

The Four Tops were making their third appearance on the British charts during 1972, but significantly, this was the quartet's first hit on their new record label, ABC-Dunhill, following their departure from Motown.

It performed respectably, as well. In the States, it was their first Top Ten hit since 1967's Bernadette - which, incidentally, had reappeared on the British chart to fair success just months earlier.

This week's Number 18 would be its high point in the UK before hastily falling away.

20: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards: Little Drummer Boy

The Pipes and Drums and the Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - to give them their full artist title - returned to the charts following the staggering success of their Number 1 single, Amazing Grace.

This time, to help celebrate the Christmas season, they were on point with their rendition of the oft recorded, Little Drummer Boy.

Although this would reach Number 13, it is probably best remembered sung in duet by David Bowie and Bing Crosby as part of a medley coupling it with Peace on Earth.

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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