Feb 07

Popular ’71

FT + Popular/21 comments • 1,310 views

Every record reviewed on Popular gets a mark out of 10. Here’s where you can vote for all the ones you personally would have given 6 or more to. Tick any that apply!

Number One Hits of 1971: Which Would You Have Given 6 or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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You can use the comments box to talk about the year in general, if you like.


  1. 1
    vinylscot on 18 May 2008 #

    This was the year I discovered there was music beyond what Radio1 and TOTP were playing, and Peter Glaze was parodying.

    I was all of ten at the time, and started buying Disc, and reading it from cover to cover. You had to trust music journalists a lot more then, because, although you became aware of it, there was no way to actively hear new stuff other than chancing upon it on the tranny. (If you were a little older than ten you could ask your record shop to play something for you – they actually did that for you back then – but sadly not if you were ten years old!)

    Don’t know why I went for Disc over any of the other three – possibly the middle pages poster, or more likely J. Edward Oliver’s fantastic cartoon (half) page at the back. Many years later I was lucky enought to engage in some correspondence with the great cartoonist, and it was a sad loss when he passed away around this time last year.

    So this was the first year I would have been aware of all the big hits, and their provenance, before they suddenly appeared fully-formed on TOTP.

    I was fast becoming a Bolan nut, so there’s a couple of classics straight away – Dave and Ansel and George Harrison are obvious classics, and I LIKE Sally Carr’s voice, so although this is not a patch on some of their later hits (e.g. Soley Soley, Bottoms Up, Sacramento) it would still get a six.

    Oh.. please note my vote for “Maggie May” is really for “Reason To Believe” – a far better song, performed far better, but slightly less “commercial” sounding. Or are you counting it as a #18 or wherever it peaked before they stopped listing it?

    “Baby Jump” – had a vague recollection of quite liking it, but I’ll be honest – I had to dig it out to check!

  2. 2
    and everybody elses Mark G on 19 May 2008 #

    Funnily enough, I heard Baby Jump while we were out yesterday, as soundtrack music for a bouncy castle. Along with “California Man”, “Monkey Spanner” and “Never be lonely”

    Go figure!

  3. 3
    Drucius on 19 May 2008 #

    1971, a classic year for pop. Who knew?

  4. 4
    mike on 19 May 2008 #

    Yeah, 1971 was the year that I (aged 9) started Following The Charts: a habit which I have yet to break. It was also the year that I bought my first music mag: Disco 45. A great year for #1s, and I have no problem in voting for all but three of these… but I still can’t remember how “Baby Jump” goes!

  5. 5
    DJ Punctum on 19 May 2008 #

    I only voted for four of them, not including “Baby Jump.”

    A decent year by and large undersold by its number ones.

  6. 6
    Drucius on 20 May 2008 #

    Blimey, I voted for 8 of them. I can’t remember how Baby Jump goes either.

  7. 7
    David Belbin on 20 May 2008 #

    1971 was a kind of year zero for me, too. Mungo Jerry was at the start of my big single buying habit that continues to this day and also the seed of that odd loyalty I still carry to some extent whereby if I like one record by an artist a lot, I have to collect the rest, so I didn’t just buy ‘Baby Jump’ (which I voted for but can’t really remember either) but the next two singles as well, even though I didn’t like any of them that much. (I can just about remember ‘Lady Rose’).

    I got big on Rod/The Faces and even went to see them live, but soon tired of T.Rex and moved into a singer/songwriter loving period (this was the music that really dominated the early 70s for the generation directly above me), which earned the opprobrium of my prog loving peers. Went down well with the girls though, as I would eventually find. Scarily, or nostalgically, I voted for nine of these number ones and I am shocked – very shocked – that the Tams should be rated so low. 1970 and 71 were the years when the UK completely embraced all sorts of classic 60s soul and surely this one belongs in the pantheon. But. Or. Eh, maybe I should dig out the Motown Chartbusters it’s on before I ramble on too much about how great it is, just in case it isn’t…

  8. 8
    DJ Punctum on 20 May 2008 #

    CORREKSHIN: The Tams weren’t a Motown act.

  9. 9
    rosie on 21 May 2008 #

    Can you add a vote for Maggie May from me please as I forgot to click that one when I did the deed (I also voted in part for Reason To Believe as the superior half what I distinctly recall having been a double-A-side.

  10. 10
    DJ Punctum on 21 May 2008 #

    According to Guinness, “Reason To Believe” was listed as the sole A-side for the first two weeks the single was on the chart but in the third week it suddenly got flipped over and “Maggie May” got the sole credit for the remainder of its chart run. I agree that the Hardin cover is the better side.

  11. 11
    and everybody elses Mark G on 21 May 2008 #

    My copy has MagMa as the b-side. As does everyone elses from then, I suspect.

    It’s the source of one excellent piece of fiction from Lester Bangs, in that book of ‘his’.

  12. 12
    DJ Punctum on 21 May 2008 #

    Magma doing “Maggie May,” today’s Potentially Greatest Thing Ever.

  13. 13
    David Belbin on 22 May 2008 #

    Fair cop, DJP, I’ve just pulled out my incredibly scratchy copy of ‘Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me’ and it is, indeed on Probe, a rather nice pink label, dated 1964. Decent Coastersish song. Still well worthy of a 6. I think I had it conjoined in my head with the Elgins’ wonderful ‘Heaven Must Have Sent You’, a hit in the same era, and which I do have on a Motown Chartbusters comp. It’s one of HDH’s sweetest songs.

  14. 14
    Martin Skidmore on 23 May 2008 #

    There’s a great run of six that I ticked in a row (up to but not including Benny Hill). There are at least 5 that would have got at least 9 from me, though I can’t quite decide if any would have got a 10.

  15. 15
    Billy Smart on 10 Jul 2008 #

    The Phantom NME Chart number ones of 1971; Another Day, My Brother Jake, I Did What I Did For Maria, Never Ending Song Of Love.

  16. 16
    wichita lineman on 19 Jul 2008 #

    Rockin’ the Brussels bureaucrats was this suitably pan-European selection – with a pinch of Native American for good measure. Those Belgian number ones of ’71, which I know you’ve all been waiting for:

    Peter Maffay – Du
    George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
    Gilbert O’Sullivan – Nothing Rhymed
    Lynn Anderson – Rose Garden
    Tom Jones – She’s A Lady
    Middle Of The Road – Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
    Waldo De Los Rios – Mozart 40
    Sweet – Funny Funny
    Will Tura – Zonneschijn
    Georgie Fame & Alan Price – Rosetta
    Juan Bastos – Loop Di Love
    Oscar Harris – A Soldier’s Prayer
    Ocean – Put Your Hand In The Hand
    Michel Delpech – Pour Un Flirt
    Sweet – Co Co
    Peret – Borriquito
    Pop Tops – Mamy Blue
    Middle Of The Road – Soley Soley
    Tony Ronald – Help (Get Me Some Help)
    Redbone – Witch Queen Of New Orleans

  17. 17
    wichita lineman on 21 Jul 2008 #

    Yes, I frightened myself there. But the fact the Belgians placed Nothing Rhymed right at the very top seemed like justification. Soley Soley, too. Hats off to them. Now, back to filing my gold label Brunswicks…

  18. 18
    The Intl on 24 Jul 2008 #

    The year I graduated from high school … where’s “I’m Eighteen”?

  19. 19
    Tom on 24 Jul 2008 #

    I’d have loved to include it, but sadly the clue is in the “.co.uk”

  20. 20
    DJ Punctum on 24 Jul 2008 #

    Not in the British singles chart, for a start.

  21. 21
    Billy Smart on 5 Aug 2008 #

    To provide a sense of upside down context, two singles got to number 40 on the same chart in 1971;

    6 Feb Inside Looking Out – Grand Funk Railroad – 1 week

    3 Apr Underneath The Blanket Go – Gilbert O’Sullivan – 1

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