Apr 08

Popular ’75

FT + Popular/59 comments • 3,778 views

The first in what will be a regular run of reader participation features – one each time we reach the end of a year.

As you know, I give a mark out of 10 to each track. The rough expectation, over the course of 56+ years of #s, is that the number I give 1-5 to will roughly equal the number I give 6-10 to – but we will see. ANYWAY, at the end of every year I’m going to run a poll (below the cut) so you can have your say. All you have to do is vote for the ones you would have given 6 or more to (by whatever criteria you yourself would choose).

In other words – tick the ones you like! And, if you want, use the comments box for more general thoughts on the year and its qualities – what the list reflected, what it missed, and so on.

Number Ones Of 1975: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Tom on 17 Apr 2008 #

    I can see votes for this coming in behind the scenes but the graphs aren’t updating!

  2. 2
    Alan on 17 Apr 2008 #

    no they are – but we do that there ‘caching’ innit. i’m seeing 11 VOTERS here at the mo.

  3. 3
    Tom on 17 Apr 2008 #

    Oh – there some are!

    Anyway, 1975 – for most under-40s it’s probably pretty difficult to recapture much of an idea of this year – after the glam and reggae booms; disco a big thing in the states but not so much here; teenpop a force but not an inspiring one…. all very transitional, or at least it inevitably seems that way to younger people whose impression of rock/pop history is going to be warped by the gravitational field of what’s coming.

    I think – I will check this at home – that the marks I’ve given this year are low on average, lowest since ’67 maybe.

  4. 4
    Doctor Casino on 17 Apr 2008 #

    I feel like my vote for “Come On Up And See Me,” “Barbados,” “Space Oddity,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” – and nothing else – looks like a warped idea of a joke ballot – but somehow I just didn’t get on board with most of this year’s cuts. I don’t know if it was a transitional time or if the production aesthetics weren’t my bag or what, but most of these just didn’t get their hooks into me.

  5. 5
    mike on 17 Apr 2008 #

    Even as a music-obsessed 12/13-year old, I felt somewhat disconnected from the charts of 1975, and particularly in comparison to the years which preceded and succeeded it. Yes “transitional” is fair comment. Meanwhile, I was happily playing catch-up with prog…

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 17 Apr 2008 #

    This is like Eurovision! “Telly Savalas – nul points”

    6 out of 20 from me is statistical evidence of an exceptionally underwhelming year from my perspective.

  7. 7
    koganbot on 17 Apr 2008 #

    Oh, unlike lj this doesn’t give you the option of revoting. My apologies to the Stylistics (and to the 12 tracks I haven’t heard yet).

  8. 8
    Tom on 17 Apr 2008 #

    While we’re statting, here are my favourite five years so far (as determined by average mark given)

    1. 1958, 2. 1966 (these two massively out in front), 3. 1971, 4. 1964, 5. 1974

    (The worst are 52-3, 54, 60, 55, and 67)

  9. 9
    intothefireuk on 17 Apr 2008 #

    Are you going to retrospectively enable this Tom ? (You may have already, I haven’t checked).

  10. 10
    Tom on 17 Apr 2008 #

    Yes! But not yet cos I don’t have time. When I put one up for an older year I will mention it in the comments of the current entry.

  11. 11
    Ben on 18 Apr 2008 #

    Poor year, voted for 7/20. 1977-1979 is one of my favourite eras for music though, so will be intriguing to find out how many of the songs that I love from that period actually made it to #1.

  12. 12
    vinylscot on 18 Apr 2008 #

    I voted for seven of these. It’s interesting to look at all the year’s No1s together, rather than one by one.

    Looking at this lot, it suggests there was rather a void in the charts at the time – there must have been to allow Telly Savalas, Windsor Davies and Don Estelle and Billy Connolly to get to the top.

    At the moment there is quite a gap in the voting after the top 4, and rightly so I think – these are the only four from this year which could be described as enduring “classics” (with the obvious exception of “Space Oddity” which wasn’t really from this year)

    I’d be interested in participating in future polls from previous years if/when you do get around to it Tom.

  13. 13
    jeff w on 18 Apr 2008 #

    Bah, my stupid werk PC hates FT polls.


  14. 14
    Tom on 18 Apr 2008 #

    The lack of love for Johnny Nash is interesting – I gave it a 5, and from the comments I got the impression this sentiment was generally shared, so it’s amusing to see that almost nobody would push it that one mark higher. I think if we did a “most hated” poll it would hardly pick up any votes either.

  15. 15
    DJ Punctum on 18 Apr 2008 #

    There is one year coming up in the fullness of time where I would personally find it very difficult not to give practically every entry at least an 8 but that’s for the future.

    I would be inclined to give a 5 to quite a lot of the ’75 entries – not wretched or fundamentally dislikeable, but not particularly inspiring either.

  16. 16
    DJ Punctum on 18 Apr 2008 #

    The NME ’75 critics’ EOY singles poll went like this, by the way, just to gain a different perspective; UK chart peaks in brackets:

    1. No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley & The Wailers (22 – original ’75 chart run)
    2. I’m Not In Love – 10cc (1)
    3. Shame Shame Shame – Shirley & Co. (6)
    4. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1)
    5. Third Rate Romance – Amazing Rhythm Aces (none)
    6. Fame – David Bowie (17)
    = Young Americans – David Bowie (18)
    8. King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo (none)
    9. Lady Marmalade – Labelle (17)
    10. A Fool In Love – Frankie Miller (none)
    = Welding – I. Roy (none)
    12. Do It Again – Steely Dan (39)
    13. Shoorah Shoorah – Betty Wright (27)
    = Hurt So Good – Susan Cadogan (4)
    15. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen (none for the original studio recording)
    16. 18 With A Bullet – Pete Wingfield (7)
    17. Mendocino – Sir Douglas Quintet (none)
    = Love Hurts – Jim Capaldi (4)
    19. Swing Your Daddy – Jim Gilstrap (4)
    = Dance With Me – Orleans (none)

  17. 17
    Tom on 18 Apr 2008 #

    For some reason I had it in my head that the NME didn’t pay much attention to disco until the later 70s, when enthusiasm increased as a side effect of hiring new blood for other reasons.

    This was obviously totally wrong!

  18. 18
    rosie on 18 Apr 2008 #

    I for one would certainly have given Jimmy Gilstrap a high mark had he reached number one.

    Who was it was saying standards weren’t making the trip by 1975? Jim Capaldi’s rendering of Love Hurts (and the Rock and Roll era certainly produced many standards of its own as well as reworked those of earolier decades, this being one of them) was nice enough but never set me aflame.

  19. 19
    DJ Punctum on 18 Apr 2008 #

    Nazareth had the big US hit with their cover version, though that didn’t make our charts until ’77.

  20. 20
    Doctor Mod on 18 Apr 2008 #

    The fact that I voted for no more than three songs must say something about my antipathy/apathy about most 70s music, to the extent that I even managed to surprise myself.

  21. 21
    rosie on 18 Apr 2008 #

    It may have been a mediocre year overall but those top four would surely have been exceptional in any year.

  22. 22
    mike on 18 Apr 2008 #

    OK, here’s my Totally Subjective Top Thirty for 1975, based on Everyhit’s Top 100 for the year…

    1. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
    2. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
    3. Gloria Gaynor – Never Can Say Goodbye
    4. Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp
    5. Shirley & Company – Shame Shame Shame
    6. Jigsaw – Sky High
    7. Status Quo – Down Down
    8. The Sweet – Fox On The Run
    9. Abba – SOS
    10. Helen Reddy – Angie Baby
    11. Susan Cadogan – Hurt So Good
    12. The Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’
    13. David Bowie – Space Oddity
    14. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
    15. The Average White Band – Pick Up The Pieces
    16. Van McCoy – The Hustle
    17. Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You
    18. Fox – Only You Can
    19. Mud – Oh Boy
    20. 10cc – I’m Not In Love
    21. Art Garfunkel – I Only Have Eyes For You
    22. Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing
    23. Ray Stevens – Misty
    24. KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It)
    25. The Stylistics – Na Na Is The Saddest Word
    26. Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy
    27. The Four Seasons – Who Loves You
    28. Jim Gilstrap – Swing Your Daddy
    29. Wigan’s Chosen Few/Chuck Wood – Footsee/Seven Days Too Long
    30. The Goodies – The Funky Gibbon

  23. 23
    DJ Punctum on 18 Apr 2008 #

    29. Wigan’s Chosen Few/Chuck Wood – Footsee/Seven Days Too Long

    There has been scandalously scant use of the “kazoos as horn section” trope throughout pop’s rich history.

  24. 24
    Chris Brown on 18 Apr 2008 #

    If I had to summarise the year’s Number Ones in a word, it’d probably be “frothy” – even beyond the obvious novelty hits, there’s a tendency towards relatively light-hearted material (even ‘Space Oddity’, I think has elements of this.)

    And the self-indulgent stats: I own three of the chart-topping tracks (including an old 45 of ‘Ms Grace’ that my Dad had in his attic) and there were three I couldn’t remember hearing if you include the Mud record.

  25. 25
    o sobek! on 21 Apr 2008 #

    voted for six – queen, tammy, stylistics, harley, 10cc, bowie (probably rank them in that order also). LOVE that orleans sneaks onto that nme poll.

  26. 26
    Tom on 21 Apr 2008 #

    I am glad someone found it in their hearts to vote for Telly!

  27. 27
    o sobek! on 21 Apr 2008 #

    when i worked at wuxtry the telly album was always in the ‘now playing’ slot regardless of what was actually playing. still haven’t heard that telly track but his ‘i shall be released’ works well enough, his voice like some amalgam of nashville skyline dylan and johnny cash.

  28. 28
    DV on 4 May 2008 #

    Space Oddity seems like a surprisingly rockist front runner.

  29. 29
    crag on 4 May 2008 #

    happened to glance back at this and was a bit ashamed to realise i forgot to vote for Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)thus robbing it of it’s rightful 2nd place position…

  30. 30
    Drucius on 22 May 2008 #

    That’s funny, it says I didn’t vote for 10cc, but I’m convinced I did.

  31. 31
    Billy Smart on 10 Jul 2008 #

    The phantom NME Chart number ones of 1975; The Streets Of London, Please Mr Postman, Honey, Loving You, Moonlighting, You Sexy Thing. A lot of discrepancies between the two charts that year.

  32. 32
    Billy Smart on 5 Aug 2008 #

    For a sense of context, here’s the same chart seen upside down. These are the singles that peaked at number 40 in the same chart in 1975;

    8 Feb 60 Minute Man – The Trammps – 1 week

    29 Mar My Man & Me – Lynsey De Paul – 1

    12 Jul Long Lost Lover – The 3 Degrees – 1

    20 Sep Yum Yum – The Fatback Band – 1

  33. 33
    Billy Smart on 2 Sep 2008 #

    NME Readers’ poll for 1975 – ‘Best single’ category;

    1. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
    2. 10CC – I’m Not In Love
    3. Bob Marley – No Woman, No Cry
    4. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
    5. Led Zeppelin – Trampled Underfoot
    6. David Bowie – Golden Years
    7. Rod Stewart – Sailing
    8. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
    9. David Bowie – Fame
    10. Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug

  34. 34
    wichita lineman on 3 Sep 2008 #

    Post-Clough Derby County won the league, their season ending with a goalless draw against relegated Carlisle. That’s from memory, but my memories of the 1975 pop year are of a similar non-event. You don’t have to be under 40, Tom, to think that it was a poor year. And if Jim Capaldi’s Love Hurts made it into NME’s Top 20 singles of the year, that shows how little was happening underground.

    (Somebody there probably got one of the white label/press kits of Big Star’s Sister Lovers, though.)

    As with 1960, it was a year of novelties (Running Bear, Whispering Grass) and lack of direction due to a major boom (R&R, Glam) imploding with surprising rapidity (no deaths or prison – yet – for the Glam heroes, though, so less obvious explanation). Kenny’s Fancy Pants and Hello’s New York Groove were great pop 45s, but no rivals to Hell Raiser or Cum On Feel The Noize.

    Studio technology to blame? There’s a distinct thinness of sound and a squeakily dry, reverb-free sound on ’75 recordings. Think of Ian Hunter’s Once Bitten Twice Shy and compare it to Mott’s Roll Away The Stone; Roy wood’s Oh What A Shame vs Angel Fingers, Hold Me Close vs Rock On. I should understand the reason for this, but I don’t.

  35. 35
    Billy Smart on 13 Sep 2009 #

    Oh, I see that the ‘Barbados’ forum is still closed… But I still thought that you might rather enjoy Pan’s People’s Christmas TOTP interpretation;


  36. 36
    wichita lineman on 19 Oct 2010 #

    1975’s US number ones in full:

    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – Elton John
    Mandy – Barry Manilow
    Please Mr Postman – The Carpenters
    Laughter In The Rain – Neil Sedaka
    Fire – Ohio Players
    You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt
    Pick Up The Pieces – Average White Band
    Best Of My Love – The Eagles
    Have You Never Been Mellow – Olivia Newton John
    Black Water – Doobie Brothers
    My Eyes Adored You – Frankie Valli
    Lady Marmalade – Labelle
    Lovin’ You – Minnie Riperton
    Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John
    Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song – BJ Thomas
    He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You) – Tony Orlando & Dawn
    Shining Star – Earth Wind & Fire
    Before The Next Teardrop Falls – Freddy Fender
    Thank God I’m A Country Boy – John Denver
    Sister Golden Hair – America
    Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
    Listen To What The Man Said – Wings
    The Hustle – Van McCoy
    One Of These Nights – The Eagles
    Jive Talkin’ – The Bee Gees
    Fallin’ In Love – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
    Get Down Tonight – KC & The Sunshine Band
    Rhinestone Cowboy – Gen Campbell
    Fame – David Bowie
    I’m Sorry/Calypso – John Denver
    Bad Blood – Neil Sedaka
    Island Girl – Elton John
    That’s The Way I Like It – KC & The Sunshine Band
    Fly Robin Fly – Silver Convention
    Let’s Do It Again – Staple Singers

    A whacking great 14 of these never even reached the UK Top 50. BJ Thomas’s lovely lazy thing was a Radio 2 staple, but Bad Blood? Fire? Fallin’ In Love? Don’t think I’ve ever heard these, on the radio or anywhere. Disco taking a grip late in the year, and some real corkers.

    Isn’t it odd that John Denver only had one (monster) hit in the UK? Four number ones in the US; nothing wrong with I’m Sorry, or his Jacques Cousteau tribute Calypso.

  37. 37
    punctum on 16 Jan 2012 #

    Well, howdy again.

    Many thanks indeed to the divine Lena for keeping everybody here abreast of my condition and indeed for ringing for the ambulance in the first place, without which Punctum would have been consigned to the next world for sure. Also many thanks for all the kind comments which have arisen in my absence; these certainly made my stair exercises (and making-the-tea exercises too! No slacking in world-class stroke units, that’s for definite, although both the wobbleboard and wobble cushion happily eluded me, as did the more gruesome exercises referred to by Rosie elsewhere – my main hassle was being bothered by earnest staff to participate in surveys or research/data collection studies!).

    Happily I am now safely enconsced back home at Punctum Towers and continue to make a great recovery, although I have been reminded in no uncertain terms by the distinguished neurologists who have followed me up that it’ll be early doors for Punctum if I do not radically change my ways. Next time I might not be so lucky.

    Getting back to work on TPL has been good therapy (and helped me to work with a computer again) so without further ado I present the latest chapter:


  38. 38
    Cumbrian on 16 Jan 2012 #

    Welcome back to you – and welcome back to TPL. Glad to see you’re ploughing on.

  39. 39
    thefatgit on 16 Jan 2012 #

    Yay! Fantastic news!

  40. 40
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Jan 2012 #

    Welcome back to the Green Dome, Marcello!

  41. 41
    wichita lineman on 16 Jan 2012 #

    Great to have you back on board!

  42. 42
    Erithian on 17 Jan 2012 #

    A hearty welcome back, and our thanks to Lena too. And you’ve been eased back into the routine with some nice MOR music I see!

  43. 43
    jeff w registered on 18 Jan 2012 #

    Welcome home, MC

  44. 44
    punctum on 21 Jan 2012 #

    TPL does its second double album in a week, though this one is perhaps schmaltzier than the previous one.

  45. 45
    jeff w registered on 23 Jan 2012 #

    Good stuff. I have always secretly hoped that there is a late 60s Tom Jones album out there full of funky soul material in the vein of “Looking Out My Window”. But it probably doesn’t exist.

    (P.S. Tried posting this on your blog but I couldn’t get OpenID to work)

  46. 46
    thefatgit on 25 Jan 2012 #

    Happy Birthday MC!

  47. 47
    wichita lineman on 26 Jan 2012 #

    Re 45: I remember Live At The Talk Of The Town being quite full-on by Tom Jones’ standards.

  48. 48
    AndyPandy on 26 Jan 2012 #

    His version of ‘Land Of A Thousand Dances’ (on the b-side of the ‘It’s Not Unusual’1980’s 12inch)is pretty intense sixties soul – probably the kind of stuff Otis Redding was on about when he called him the greatest white soul singer.

  49. 49
    Mark G on 27 Jan 2012 #

    His “On Stage” ep is also great stuff.

  50. 50
    punctum on 28 Jan 2012 #

    TPL moves on to present the year’s biggest seller.

  51. 52
    punctum on 18 Feb 2012 #

    TPL: not exactly a laugh a minute, this album, but it’s one of the best I’ve written about for some time. Who’d have thought it?

  52. 53
    punctum on 26 Feb 2012 #

    TPL: even when you have one foot planted at home, you really can’t go home again.

  53. 54
    punctum on 3 Mar 2012 #

    One of the MAJOR TPL posts, I think it safe to say, all 3,922 words of it.

  54. 55
    punctum on 11 Mar 2012 #

    TPL: this post worked out as only 31 words shorter than the Wish You Were Here one, but there was a lot to get in, and not just the forty songs the album contains.

  55. 56
    punctum on 18 Mar 2012 #

    TPL: not the only “comedy” number one album – it’s about rather more than that.

  56. 57
    punctum on 25 Mar 2012 #

    TPL: what does a crooner know who only crooning knows?

  57. 58
    punctum on 1 Apr 2012 #

    And so TPL finally staggers to the end of 1975; and, of course, the last entry is also the most important one.

  58. 59
    lonepilgrim on 21 Sep 2012 #

    It may have passed some people by but a clip of T.Rex performing New York City on TOTP in 1975 has just reappeared and can be viewed here.

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