Jul 08

Popular ’77

FT + Popular/663 comments • 16,794 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every single featured on Popular. This is your chance to indicate which YOU would have given 6 or more to, by whatever standard you wish to impose. And if you have any ‘closing remarks’ on the year to make, the comments box is your place!

Number One Hits Of 1977: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Tom on 18 Jul 2008 #

    “God Save The Queen” not included as it sits outside the marking system, not being an ‘official’ No.1

  2. 2
    mike on 18 Jul 2008 #

    Slim pickings this year; I only voted for five of them.

  3. 3
    Dan R on 18 Jul 2008 #

    I’ve enjoyed talking and reading about these songs more than I’ve enjoyed listening to them, which is maybe symptomatic of a year of transition. Surprising number of duds, on reflection. And two songs I’d not knowingly heard before they came up here.

  4. 4
    DJ Punctum on 18 Jul 2008 #


  5. 5
    Tom on 18 Jul 2008 #


  6. 6
    o sobek! on 19 Jul 2008 #

    meanwhile back in the states –

    rod stewart – “tonight’s the night (gonna be alright)”
    marilyn mccoo and billy davis jr. – “you don’t have to be a star (to be in my show)”
    leo sayer – “you make me feel like dancing”
    stevie wonder – “i wish”
    rose royce – “car wash”
    mary mcgregor – “torn between two lovers”
    manfred mann’s earth band – “blinded by the light”
    the eagles – “new kid in town”
    barbara streisand – “evergreen (love theme from a star is born)”
    hall & oates – “rich girl”
    abba – “dancing queen”
    david soul – “don’t give up on us”
    thelma houston – “don’t leave me this way”
    glen campbell – “southern nights”
    the eagles – “hotel california”
    leo sayer – “when i need you”
    stevie wonder – “sir duke”
    kc and the sunshine band – “i’m your boogie man”
    fleetwood mac – “dreams”
    marvin gaye – “got to give it up (pt 1)”
    bill conti – “gonna fly now (theme from rocky)”
    alan o’day – “undercover angel”
    shaun cassidy – “da doo ron ron”
    barry manilow – “looks like we made it”
    andy gibb – “i just want to be your everything”
    the emotions – “best of my love”
    meco – “star wars theme/cantina band”
    debby boone – “you light up my life”
    bee gees – “how deep is your love”

  7. 7
    Jungman Jansson on 19 Jul 2008 #

    Donna Summer.

    I wasn’t even born yet in 1977 (give me another six months and I would be with you from the start, if it weren’t for infantile amnesia).

    And also – as a native Swede – I have heard most of Abba’s offerings throughout my childhood. Abba may not have had any more actual pop/street cred in Sweden than in the UK, but on the other hand they were accepted by the… establishement, or parental generation, or whatever you might like to call it. They were always there, in the background if nothing else.

    Oh, my English writing skills are rusty. It’s been a long time since I wrote anything in English.

    But Donna Summer.

    Sometime in 1992 I was exposed to Messiah’s rave version of ‘I Feel Love’. There was something about it that stuck with me. I had no idea that it was a cover version of a much older song, but I liked it. (I am, for the record, something of a closet anglophile – otherwise I would probably never have heard that track, nor would I have been following Popular for that matter).

    I can still remember the first time I heard the original Donna Summer/Moroder version being played in a club, sometime in the late ’90s. It was almost… transcendental. Something like a déjà vu, or rather déjà visité phenomenon – the feeling of arriving at an unknown place and still perfectly knowing your way around it.

    My English writing skills are rusty. And I’m drunk. This may not make much sense.

    But still, if I were forced to pick just one song from the entire string of ’70’s #1’s and forget all the others, I’d choose ‘I Feel Love’. It’s as close to perfection as you’ll ever get.

    By the way – I did rather like ‘Show You the Way to Go’ by the Jacksons. I never heard it in my life until it was featured here, but I’d say it’s my second choice of Popular ’77.

  8. 8
    CarsmileSteve on 19 Jul 2008 #

    odd one this, i think most of the ones i ticked would have scraped a six (most due to fuzzy childhood nostalia rather than [cough] objective goodness) with the exception of I Feel Love which is probably a 9.7 at least…

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 19 Jul 2008 #

    A bad crop, but it could’ve been worse. In Ireland they suffered When Benjy Wrapped His Tractor Round The Old Oak Tree by Brendan Grace at no.1 while we were luxuriating in I Feel Love. To make up for this, they also placed Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better, The Carpenters’ Calling Occupants and Olivia Newton John’s Sam at the top. All worthier cases than three quarters of the votes from the UK jury.

  10. 10
    Billy Smart on 19 Jul 2008 #

    I was sorely tempted to vote for ‘Angelo’ because it does make me smile and laugh, but I couldn’t, with my hand on my heart, give it any more than 5.

    Impressive consensus for Donna.

  11. 11
    Lena on 20 Jul 2008 #

    In retrospect (now that I know about punk) I can heap praise on “White Riot,” “Complete Control,” “Rockaway Beach”…but at the time I loved “Mahna Mahna” by The Muppets and “King Tut” by Steve Martin.

    My three favorites that didn’t make #1 – “Sound and Vision” by David Bowie, Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights” and “Strawberry Letter 23” by Brothers Johnson. All 10s in my book.

    Like others I am really looking forward to 1978!

  12. 12
    Lena on 20 Jul 2008 #

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more totally AWESOME 1978 is…

  13. 13
    Dan R on 21 Jul 2008 #

    re: #7

    A drunken Swede writes more elegant English than most English people. As ever, the Scandinavians put us to shame.

    Once on holiday in Denmark, clutching my Berlitz phrasebook (because you have to make an effort don’t you?) I tried to exchange some traveller’s cheques in a Danish bank. Trying to make myself understood by following the supposedly phonetic guide in the book, I eventually gave up. ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ I lamented, ‘but do you speak any English’.
    ‘Yes,’ she replied in very lightly accented English, ‘I have a smattering’.
    I realised with a sickening sense of my own limitations that I could live a thousand years and would never know the word ‘smattering’ in any other language.

  14. 14
    Tom on 21 Jul 2008 #

    What’s the source of “smattering” though – it sounds very Scando itself!

  15. 15
    wichita lineman on 21 Jul 2008 #

    Wasn’t he a downhill skiier?

  16. 16
    Billy Smart on 5 Aug 2008 #

    For a sense of context, here’s the same year in the charts seen upside down: ie, all the singles that got to number 40 in 1977!;

    29 Jan The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot – 1 week

    23 Apr Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow – Tom Jones – 1

    4 Jun In The City – The Jam – 2

    18 Jun Dreamin’ – Liverpool Express – 1

    16 Jul Halfway On The 7th Floor – Paul Nicholas – 1

    27 Aug American Girl – Tom Petty – 1

    15 Oct Lipsmakin’ Rock & Rollin’ – Peter Blake – 1

    29 Oct It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me – Barry White – 1

    5 Nov Boogie On Up – Rokotto – 1

    24 Dec I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love – The Emotions – 3

  17. 17
    Billy Smart on 2 Sep 2008 #

    NME Readers’ Poll for 1977, ‘Best single’ category;

    1. The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
    2. The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
    3. Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
    4. Tom Robinson – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
    5. ELP – Fanfare For The Common Man
    6. The Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
    7. David Bowie – “Heroes”
    8. Eddie & The Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
    9. The Stranglers – Peaches
    10. The Clash – Complete Control

  18. 18
    Billy Smart on 3 Sep 2008 #

    The Melody Maker readers’ poll for 1977 is notably different;

    1. ELP – Fanfare For The Common Man
    2. The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
    3. Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
    4. The Stranglers – Peaches
    5. Genesis – Spot The Pigeon
    6. The Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
    7. David Bowie – Sound & Vision
    8. The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
    9. Thin Lizzy – Don’t Believe A Word
    10. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (eh?)

  19. 19
    Mark G on 3 Sep 2008 #

    Well, 5 are the same, 1 artist different track, leaving:

    Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
    Tom Robinson – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
    Eddie & The Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
    The Clash – Complete Control
    on the NME list, not on the MM, and

    Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
    Genesis – Spot The Pigeon
    Thin Lizzy – Don’t Believe A Word
    Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (eh?)
    on the MM list, not on the NME

    I make that 3-2 to the NME there.

  20. 20
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2011 #

    BBC Radio Times:

    “We’re delighted to hear that you’ve been enjoying the Top Of The Pops :1976 repeats on BBC4. I’m pleased to confirm that our journey into the hits of yesteryear will continue with Top Of The Pops:1977 from January next year.”

    So, here revive us this thread.

    (Mainly to keep the Andrea True mention on “Latest Comments” Popular ’76)

  21. 21
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2011 #

    This is grand news. We’ll be right at the forefront for when something which had to happened happened, although, of course, TOTP plodded on regardless. Interesting times to be a teen.

    And RIP, Andrea.

  22. 22
    Steve Mannion on 24 Nov 2011 #

    Richard Madeley
    No wonder punk happened.Something had to.
    1 hour ago via web

  23. 23
    Lazarus on 1 Dec 2011 #

    #20, just seen that, splendid news. Voted for 12, including both Souls and Man Tran, but not Leo, Julie or Floaters. A little surprised to see Wings up there in mid-table given that their average score to date is about 3.5. Obviously more people are doing this bit than marking individal songs – both are equally fun.

  24. 24
    lonepilgrim on 7 Jan 2012 #

    ‘Top of the Pops: The Story of 1977’ on BBC4 last night (and available on iPlayer) serves as a tantalising overture for the next round of TOTPs from that year:
    A bit of union bashing;
    Eric Hall;
    Gaye Advert;
    Peter Paphides with an hilarious childs-eye perspective on the programme;
    Jubilee vs Pistols;
    Elvis & Marc: RIP;
    black musics vs blackface;
    EJ the DJ
    and a reminder of how much fun Darts were

  25. 25
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2012 #

    The first TOTP of 1977 – 06/01/77
    Sheer elegance – light entertainment at its best (bland but with some energy)
    10cc – a bit too studied for my tastes
    Tina Charles – a weak song, but there’s something winning about TC
    Smokie – Dr Hook wannabes – and who wants to be Dr Hook?
    Gladys Knight & The Pips – wonderful voice; wonderful performance
    Jethro Tull – I enjoyed this for its quirky energy
    David Soul – drippy ballad made slightly more interesting by Legs & Co
    Drifters – efficient if unengaging
    Clodagh Rodgers – making a clean breast of her feeilings
    Boney M – great performance, what’s it called again?
    Yay! Donna Summer! she introduces the number 1! ‘Well done!’ say Kid! Jensen
    Johnny Mathis – can’t remember the words at first – when he does I wish he would forget them again
    Abba – we are the 99%

  26. 26
    chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2012 #

    It’s been said that Smokie is Vladimir Putin’s favourite group…They have played for him on several occasions.
    Oh dear

  27. 27
    Weej on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Is “Oh dear” for Putin or for Smokie?

  28. 28
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Putin’s always pulling stunts where he shows how much pain he can endure

  29. 30
    chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Hmm. This may be the only instance in which Medvedev is made out to be less of an ass than Putin.

    It could just be a bit of light relief from all this (and especially the You tube link towards the end of this article entitled “I Want To Be Your Koni” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/11/surreal_politik

    (Frankly, when it comes to cult-of-personality-boosting pop music in the post-Soviet space, I’d say yer beplaited and now imprisoned ex-PM of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, comes off far better than anyone in Russia right now, with the President of Azerbaijan in a possible 2nd place)

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