Jun 07

Popular ’72

FT + Popular21 comments • 1,816 views

This post will appear on the front page for a few days before sinking into its rightful place in the Popular Year Poll Archives.

Each song on Popular is given a mark out of 10. The year end polls are your opportunity to indicate which songs YOU would have given 6 or more to.

Which of the Number Ones of 1972 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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My own lowest marks this year were 1s for “Long Haired Lover” and (more controversially) “Vincent”. My highest was a 9 for the Pigeon. Share views on the year as a whole, appropriate lists etc. in the comments box!


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Eight out of 17. A bit of a mixed bag, the year of my birth… Is 1972 the whitest ever Popular year?

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 22 Feb 2010 #

    The phantom number ones of 1972, that topped the other (NME) chart;

    America – A Horse With No Name (1 week)
    Don McLean – American Pie (1)
    T Rex – Children Of The Revolution (1)
    Slade – Gudbye T’Jane (1)

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 22 Feb 2010 #

    9 out of 17 for me – Metal Guru was the first single I bought and I also snapped up Schools Out that year so I don’t think I could be too critical – although the last two hits are dire.

  4. 4
    rosie on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Billy Smart @ 1:

    1953 has no black performers and unless you count Kay Starr no non-white ones. 1954 might have been ever whiter but for Winifred Atwell creeping in at the end of the year to become Britain’s first black chart-topper.

  5. 5
    jeff w on 22 Feb 2010 #

    A massive 13/17. Two duds (‘Grace’ and Jimmy), a minor embarrassment (Chuck) and I’m on the fence about “Take Me Bak Ome”.

  6. 6
    LondonLee on 22 Feb 2010 #

    12 from me, could have been more but I was trying to filter out my own warm nostalgic feelings toward some of the more dodgy ones (Clair, My Ding-a-Ling).

  7. 7
    thefatgit on 22 Feb 2010 #

    12 also. Funny how some of this stuff sticks in my memory, even though I was but a 6 year old slimgit in them daze!

  8. 8
    AndyPandy on 23 Feb 2010 #

    Sometime this year I started to become conscious that thee was somethinmg called a Number One – seem to remember Chuck Berry being at the top for what felt like ages. A massive 9 for me could have possibly been 10.

  9. 9
    Martin Skidmore on 23 Feb 2010 #

    I think I’d have given three tens in this year – two for T.Rex, one for Mama Weer All Crazee Now. It’s a shame that the only black number one is much his most painful record ever.

  10. 10
    punctum on 23 Feb 2010 #


    Ones that don’t quite do it for me now: Rod (slightly weary retread of “Maggie May”), Slade (their “Lady Madonna”/”Fernando”), New Seekers (though I love how they struggle to avoid singing the brand name), and both the Osmonds – Donny a bit painful, Little Jimmy extremely painful.

    A 10 to the good Pigeon of course but Nilsson and David C both 9+.

  11. 11
    Mark G on 24 Feb 2010 #

    The Nilsson one is one I like now and didn’t then (mainly because it was number one for SOOO LONG!)

    DJP, if you are able to forget Maggie May, you will possibly find “You wear it well” is better, all the likeable Rod elements without the unlikeable.

    And if there’s a CD with the Pigeon b-sides, I want one! (dug up the single purely to hear “The Villain”, and it’s way better than even I remembered it!)

  12. 12
    swanstep on 24 Feb 2010 #

    9/17 for me.

    I appear to diverge from consensus in two respects: I don’t pretend to understand what others see in Mouldy Old Dough (a UK thing I gather), and I evidently rate the New Seekers much higher than most. On the latter, I like the underlying music a lot, and neither the hippy-dippy sing-a-long sentiment nor the commercial connection bugs me as much as it does many other people. (I like the democracy of cheap, optimal-for-what-they-are, mass consumer goods. Warhol’s point: some poor kid’s coke is just as good as Elizabeth Taylor’s.)

  13. 13
    punctum on 24 Feb 2010 #

    #11 – haha Mark if only Radio 2 would let me forget “Maggie May”! I do get to do quite a lot of Rod on TPL so maybe I’ll have warmed to the song a bit more when I get there.

    I have a Pigeon best-of CD and there are quite a few B-sides on there including the extraordinary “The Villain.” The Staveley Makepeace best-of CD is also well worth tracking down.

  14. 14
    Tom on 24 Feb 2010 #

    Swanstep you seem to be the Voice Of The Lurker on Lieutenant P. as it languishes shamefully on 45% ticks. Chicory Tip are getting absolutely robbed too.

  15. 15
    thefatgit on 24 Feb 2010 #

    3 votes for Little Jimmy Osmond. Who forgot to take their meds then?

  16. 16
    taDOW on 24 Feb 2010 #

    voted for 7 (the top 7 as of this writing), of those would give ‘metal guru’, ‘school’s out’, and ‘without you’ an 8 or higher.

  17. 17
    admin on 5 May 2010 #

    gonna send this back in time, Tom

    (also we’ve been attacked by the ‘wrong count’ bug so all the % scores and bar sizes are shrunk down. fortunately all in scale, so the ranking is still intact)

  18. 18
    lonepilgrim on 5 May 2010 #

    re17 is there/could there be a page that links all the Year end polls somewhere in the righthand column?

  19. 19
    Alan on 5 May 2010 #

    http://freakytrigger.co.uk/tag/popular-year-poll/ is the link. Where or if we put it on the sidebar I’ll leave to tom

  20. 20
    wichita lineman on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Those US number ones in full:

    American Pie – Don McLean
    Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
    Without You – Nilsson
    Heart of Gold – Neil Young
    Horse With No Name – America
    First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
    Oh Girl – The Chi Lites
    I’ll Take You There – Staple Singers
    The Candy Man – Sammy Davis Jr
    Song Sung Blue – Neil Diamond
    Lean On Me – Bill Withers
    Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O
    Brandy – Looking Glass
    Black and White – Three Dog Night
    Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me – Mac Davis
    Ben – Michael Jackson
    My Ding A Ling – Chuck Berry
    I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
    Papa Was A Rolling Stone – The Temptations
    I Am Woman – Helen Reddy
    Me And Mrs Jones – Billy Paul

    An amazingly varied and (not an adjective I use often) classy list. All were UK hits of some stripe except The Candy Man (not sure how it failed), Brandy (ditto, and I’m sure it was a Radio 1 breakfast show single of the week), Black And White (had already been a Top 5 hit for Greyhound in ’71) and I Am Woman (phew eh readers?).

    Not sure if this’ll work but here they are on spotify, all originals. Skipped Oh Girl as there’s only a grotty re-recording:


  21. 21
    punctum on 21 Dec 2010 #

    As good a place as any to place a link to the latest TPL post, which hopefully will keep readers thinking over the festive season (though I do plan to do the next one next week!):


    (PS: and yes, we will be writing about this album more than once)

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