UK Number One Songs of the 70s
The 1970s Number One Songs on Video
1970s popular music in the UK proved that variety is the spice of life, and the Number One hit songs of the decade reflect this phenomenon.
From 1970 onwards, the music scene in Britain changed dramatically and a myriad of musical styles reinforced the varying tastes of the average record buyer. Some of the most popular styles that took the British charts by storm were Glam Rock at the beginning of the decade, progressing to Disco and Punk Rock towards the end. In between saw novelty records, the progression of the rock single and the continuing evolution of teen pop, represented by the likes of David Cassidy, Donny Osmond and the Bay City Rollers.
Most of these styles and artists were very popular for a time, and their records sold by the shed load. To see the musical changes across the decade is a fascinating exercise, and so this page brings together all the Number One hits from the UK in a video package, together with some short comments regarding each one.
The source for this compilation is the Record Retailer/Music Week chart, which was broadcast by the BBC each Sunday evening.
Simon & Garfunkel
Matthews' Southern Comfort
UK Number One Hits of 1970
31st Jan (5 weeks) Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes): Only ever UK Number One for this studio act. Lead singer Tony Burrows also sang on hits for many other groups.
7th Mar (3 weeks) Lee Marvin - Wandrin' Star: Only UK Number One for this actor with a song from the film Paint Your Wagon.
28th Mar (3 weeks) Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water: Surprisingly, the duo's only ever UK Number One. Only Art Garfunkel sings on this classic, but Paul Simon went on to greater solo success, even though he never had a UK Number One again, while Garfunkel did.
18th Apr (2 weeks) Dana - All Kinds Of Everything: First Eurovision Song Contest winner for Ireland. Her chart career was short-lived and this was her only UK Number One.
2nd May (2 weeks) Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky: Only ever UK Number One for Greenbaum with a self-penned song. Doctor & The Medics took the track to Number One again in 1986.
16th May (3 weeks) England World Cup Squad - Back Home: Mexico World Cup Football sing-along by the 1970 England team.
6th Jun (1 week) Christie - Yellow River: Only ever UK Number One for Jeff Christie with a song he wrote for the Tremeloes. They turned it down, so he recorded it himself.
13th Jun (7 weeks) Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime: First UK Number One for this group led by Ray Dorset.
1st Aug (6 weeks) Elvis Presley - The Wonder Of You: Elvis revived his career in Las Vegas and this was a live recording from his show. At this point, he was only one behind the Beatles as this was his 16th UK Number One.
12th Sep (1 week) Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Tears Of A Clown: First UK Number One for Motown singer Smokey Robinson who would have to wait another 11 years before hitting the top spot again.
19th Sep (6 weeks) Freda Payne - Band Of Gold: Only ever UK Number One for this American actress.
31st Oct (3 weeks) Matthews' Southern Comfort - Woodstock: Written by Canadian folk legend Joni Mitchell, MSC's only UK Number One was about the famous rock festival of 1969.
21st Nov (1 week) Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile: Posthumous Number One for the American guitar legend who died in London a couple of months earlier.
28th Nov (6 weeks) Dave Edmunds - I Hear You Knockin': Only ever UK Number One for Dave Edmunds who had further hit single success later in the Seventies.
UK Number One Hits of 1971
January 5 ( 3 weeks) Clive Dunn - Grandad: Only UK Number One for this Dad's Army star who gained sales on the back of seasonal sentimentality.
January 26 (5 weeks) George Harrison - My Sweet Lord: First UK Number One for the ex-Beatle. Following the song's release, musical similarities between it and The Chiffons' hit He's So Fine led to a lengthy legal battle over the rights to the composition.
March 2 (2 weeks) Mungo Jerry - Baby Jump: Written by the group's lead vocalist and guitarist Ray Dorset, it was a maxi-single playing at 33rpm. Second and last Number One for the band.
March 16 (6 weeks) T. Rex - Hot Love: The group's first UK Number One. It fared less well in the USA where it peaked at Number 72. It was also the first T. Rex single to feature both a bass guitar and drums.
April 27 (2 weeks) Dave and Ansil Collins - Double Barrel: Jamaican duo who scored only the second West Indian reggae chart topper. It became the first reggae single to reach the Top 30 of the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 22.
May 11 (5 weeks) Dawn - Knock Three Times: Tony Orlando had retired from singing when he was persuaded to front Dawn for studio recordings. Their first UK Number One.
June 15 (5 weeks) Middle of the Road - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep: It nearly flopped in the UK as Mac and Katie Kissoon released a version just before. MOTR got the greater airplay and sold in bundles. The Kissoon's version reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but failed to impress in the UK.
July 20 (4 weeks) T. Rex - Get It On: The second UK Number One from Marc Bolan's band, selling nearly a million copies. Re-titled Bang a Gong in the US, it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 10 in January 1972, becoming the group's only major US hit.
August 17 (4 weeks) Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting: A first solo Number One for Diana Ross. It was a minor success in the US reaching Number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
September 14 (3 weeks) The Tams - Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me: It was originally released in 1964 and became a minor hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching Number 41. It became a favourite on the Northern Soul scene in the UK which led to its Number One position.
October 5 (5 weeks) Rod Stewart - Maggie May: It was initially released in the UK as the B-side of the single Reason to Believe, but DJs preferred Maggie May and, after two weeks in the chart, the song became the A-side. It simultaneously topped the charts in the United States.
November 9 (4 weeks) Slade - Coz I Luv You: It was the band's second hit song in the UK and the first of six Number One singles.
December 7 (4 weeks) Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West): Comedy single, the song concerned the fictional exploits of Ernie, a milkman who drove a horse-drawn milk cart and his war with the bread delivery man: Two-Ton Ted from Teddington.
UK Number One Hits of 1972
January 4 (4 weeks) The New Seekers - I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony): A 1971 Coca-Cola TV commercial featured young people from around the world singing on a hilltop and was so popular that the song (without the Coke references) became a hit in its own right. Another recording was issued by The Hillside Singers, but this failed to sell in the UK.
February 1 (2 weeks) T. Rex - Telegram Sam: Third UK Number One single for T. Rex., but it only reached Number 67 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
February 15 (3 weeks) Chicory Tip - Son of My Father: The first UK Number One single to prominently feature a synthesizer, in this case a Moog synthesizer. Originally a song by Giorgio Moroder, he re-recorded it shortly after, but it failed to chart in the UK, though it made the Top 50 in the United States.
March 7 (5 weeks) Harry Nilsson - Without You: Suicide inspired song written by two members of Badfinger, who both later committed suicide.
April 11 (5 weeks) The Pipes & Drums & Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Amazing Grace: The old favourite traditional hymn as played by this Scottish military bagpipe band. It was the best-selling single of the year in the UK.
May 16 (4 weeks) T. Rex - Metal Guru: Apparently, the song is about a car and became the group's fourth and final UK Number One. It did not chart in the USA.
June 13 (2 weeks) Don McLean - Vincent: Don McLean wrote this song as a tribute to artist Vincent Van Gogh. It reached Number 12 in the US.
June 27 (1 week) Slade - Take Me Bak 'Ome: Second UK Number One for the glam rockers, featuring Noddy Holder on vocals.
July 4 (5 weeks) Donny Osmond - Puppy Love: Revival of the song written and recorded by Paul Anka in the '60s, this was Osmond's first UK Number One.
August 8 (3 weeks) Alice Cooper - School's Out: Only ever UK Number One for shock rocker Alice Cooper with this classic rock tune.
August 29 (1 week) Rod Stewart - You Wear It Well: From the album Never a Dull Moment, this was Rod's second UK Number One.
September 5 (3 weeks) Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now: Slade was on a roll! This was their third Number One single in a matter of months.
September 26 (2 weeks) David Cassidy - How Can I Be Sure?: First UK Number One for this star of US TV series The Partridge Family. His solo career was more successful in the UK than at home.
October 10 (4 weeks) Lieutenant Pigeon - Mouldy Old Dough: It is the only UK Number One single to feature mother and son and became one of the more unusual chart topping singles of the 1970s. It sold 790,000 copies and was the third biggest selling single of 1972.
November 7 (2 weeks) Gilbert O'Sullivan - Clair: First UK Number One for this Irishman who dressed as a 1920s worker in a flat cap, braces and baggy trousers.
November 21 (4 weeks) Chuck Berry - My Ding-a-Ling: Pioneer of R&B and rock 'n' roll, whose only UK Number One was this live, innuendo-laden novelty song recorded in Coventry, England.
December 19 (5 weeks) Little Jimmy Osmond - Long Haired Lover From Liverpool: Jimmy became the youngest person to ever reach Number One on the UK singles chart aged 9 years 8 months. Often cited as one of the worst singles to get to Number One.
UK Number One Hits of 1973
January 23 (5 weeks) The Sweet - Blockbuster!: It made Number One in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland, but fared less well in the USA where it peaked at Number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100. Plenty of No. 2 singles for The Sweet, but this was their only Number One.
February 26 (4 weeks) Slade - Cum on Feel the Noize: Slade's fourth Number One single in the UK and the first to enter straight at the top. Revived in 1983 by Heavy Metal band Quiet Riot, their version went on to peak at Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 that November.
March 26 (1 week) Donny Osmond - The Twelfth of Never: Popular song originally recorded by Johnny Mathis. Osmond's version spent a single week at Number One, while in the USA it peaked at Number 8.
April 3 (2 weeks) Gilbert O'Sullivan - Get Down: Second and final Number One for the Irishman, who had a handful of other Top 20 hits.
April 15 (4 weeks) Dawn featuring Tony Orlando - Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree: The best selling single of 1973 in the UK. It sold shed loads in the USA too, where it also hit the top spot of the singles chart.
May 13 (4 weeks) Wizzard - See My Baby Jive: Written and produced by bandleader Roy Wood, the record owes much to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.
June 12 (1 week) Suzi Quatro - Can the Can: Can the Can was the second single by Quatro and her first to reach Number One. It also reached Number One on the Japanese, European and Australian charts in whose market Quatro achieved her most consistent success throughout her career as a recording artist.
June 19 (1 week) 10cc - Rubber Bullets: The band's first Number One single in the United Kingdom, being a tongue in cheek homage to the movie Jailhouse Rock.
June 26 (3 weeks) Slade - Skweeze Me Pleeze Me: Fifth Number One single for Slade.
July 17 (1 week) Peters and Lee - Welcome Home: The duo's only Number One single coming after their success on the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
July 24 (4 weeks) Gary Glitter - I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am): The song is a glam rock anthem, typical of (the now-disgraced) Glitter's early seventies recordings.
August 21 (4 weeks) Donny Osmond - Young Love: The oft recorded ballad gave the teen heartthrob yet another best selling single.
September 18 (1 week) Wizzard - Angel Fingers: Wizzard's second UK Number One single. Stylistically, it continued in the same Phil Spector-influenced Wall of Sound genre as their earlier hit See My Baby Jive.
September 25 (4 weeks) Simon Park Orchestra - Eye Level (Theme From Van Der Valk): The tune became very popular with TV audiences and, in a move which was unusual at the time for television themes, Columbia Records issued it on a single record. Total sales were 1,005,500.
October 23 (3 weeks) David Cassidy - Daydreamer/The Puppy Song: This was Cassidy's second and final Number One single in the UK.
November 13 (4 weeks) Gary Glitter - I Love You Love Me Love: Glitter's second UK Number One single.
December 11 (5 weeks) Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody: The band's sixth and final Number One single in the UK. The song continues to re-enter the UK Top 75 singles chart every Christmas, selling over one million copies in the process.
UK Number One Hits of 1974
January 15 (1 week) The New Seekers - You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me: The band's second and final Number One single.
January 22 (4 weeks) Mud - Tiger Feet: First Number One song for the very popular Glam Rockers and the biggest selling track of the year.
February 19 (2 weeks) Suzi Quatro - Devil Gate Drive: It was the second Number One in a row for the ChinniChap writing and production team and Quatro's second UK Number One.
March 5 (1 week) Alvin Stardust - Jealous Mind: Only Number One from the moody Stardust - born Bernard Jewry.
March 12 (3 weeks) Paper Lace - Billy Don't Be a Hero: Paper Lace had the chart-topper in the UK, but their version stalled at Number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods took the song to Number One in the USA.
April 2 (4 weeks) Terry Jacks - Seasons in the Sun: The recording was based on a song called Le Moribond (The Dying Man) by Jacques Brel. The song had been recorded by The Fortunes in 1968 and by Pearls Before Swine in 1970 - but became a worldwide hit for Terry Jacks.
April 30 (2 weeks) ABBA - Waterloo: This was the song that won ABBA the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and began their path to worldwide fame.
May 14 (4 weeks) The Rubettes - Sugar Baby Love: Debut single for this band that was originally offered to Carl Wayne to record, but he turned it down.
June 11 (1 week) Ray Stevens - The Streak: Single that capitalized on the then popular craze of streaking.
June 18 (1 week) Gary Glitter - Always Yours: Glitter's third and final Number One single in the UK.
June 25 (4 weeks) Charles Aznavour - She: The song was recorded by Aznavour in several different languages, namely French, Italian, Spanish and German. Elvis Costello recorded a cover version in 1999.
July 23 (3 weeks) George McCrae - Rock Your Baby: One of the landmark recordings of early Disco music. In total it sold over 11 million copies internationally.
August 13 (2 weeks) The Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again: One of the most successful recordings in the Philly Soul sound. It sold 28 million copies in total internationally.
August 27 (3 weeks) The Osmonds - Love Me For A Reason: Written by Johnny Bristol, the song was revived by Boyzone in 1994, becoming their breakthrough single in the UK.
September 17 (3 weeks) Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting: Recorded in 10 minutes as a B-side, it sold 10 million worldwide and was his only ever UK Number One.
October 8 (1 week) John Denver - Annie's Song: This was Denver's only solo hit in the UK - an ode to Denver's then-wife, Annie Denver
October 15 (1 week) Sweet Sensation - Sad Sweet Dreamer: The second single from the British soul group, reaching number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 the following spring.
October 22 (3 weeks) Ken Boothe - Everything I Own: Jamaican reggae artist with a song by David Gates of Bread. The Bread version only made No.32 in the UK, but Boy George took the song to Number One again in 1987.
November 12 (3 weeks) David Essex - Gonna Make You A Star: A first UK Number One for David Essex. He found stardom as an actor before breaking into the charts with Rock On.
December 3 (2 weeks) Barry White - You're the First, the Last, My Everything: Originally written as a country song with the title You're My First, You're My Last, My In-Between, this was White's only UK Number One.
December 17 (4 weeks) Mud - Lonely This Christmas: Another classic Christmas favourite that is still seasonally popular each year in the UK.
UK Number One Hits of 1975
January 18 (1 week) Status Quo - Down Down: Status Quo had 22 Top 10 UK hits between 1968 and 1996, and this was their only non-collaborated UK Number One.
January 25 (1 week) The Tymes - Ms Grace: Could only peak at No.91 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, this song by the US soul group was their fourth and biggest UK hit.
February 1 (3 weeks) Pilot - January: Only ever UK Number One for this Scottish group whose two follow-ups failed to make the Top 30.
February 22 (2 weeks) Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me): Steve Harley has stated that the lyrics are vindictively directed at his former band members whom he felt had abandoned him. The group's only UK Number One.
March 8 (2 weeks) Telly Savalas - If: Another Bread song that failed to chart in the UK by that band, but Savalas of Kojak fame managed to talk his way to Number One.
March 22 (6 weeks) Bay City Rollers - Bye Bye Baby: Scottish band that dressed in tartan and built up a fanatical teen following took this Frankie Valli song to the top. The best-selling single of 1975.
May 3 (2 weeks) Mud - Oh Boy: Mud's third and final UK Number One came with a virtually a cappella cover of the Buddy Holly hit from 1958.
May 17 (3 weeks) Tammy Wynette - Stand by Your Man: 1968 US Country Number One that went to the top when it was finally released in the UK in 1975.
June 7 (3 weeks) Windsor Davies & Don Estelle - Whispering Grass: Davies and Estelle were actors in the successful BBC sit-com It Ain't Half Hot Mum. The record is a version of the song which was originally recorded by the Ink Spots in 1944.
June 28 (2 weeks) 10cc - I'm Not in Love: A second UK Number One for the band with this classic love song, incorporating its innovative production. The recording includes multiple overdubs of the voices of the band singing a single note in unison.
July 12 (1 week) Johnny Nash - Tears on My Pillow: American who specialised in soft reggae arrangements. Had much success in the UK , although this was his only UK Number One.
July 19 (3 weeks) Bay City Rollers - Give a Little Love: Rollermania was in full flight by this time, but this was the band's second and final UK Number One single.
August 9 (1 week) Typically Tropical - Barbados: Two recording engineers created this reggae dance hit and became One Hit Wonders in the process. In 1999, a reworked version of the song, renamed We're Going To Ibiza!, also reached the UK Number One spot for The Vengaboys.
August 16 (3 weeks) The Stylistics - I Can't Give You Anything (But My Love): The split from producer Thom Bell proved disastrous for the group in the US, but The Stylistics continued to be popular in the UK. This was their first and only UK Number One single.
September 6 (4 weeks) Rod Stewart - Sailing: Having been a hit twice, this classic anthem remains Stewart's biggest-selling single in the UK.
October 4 (3 weeks) David Essex - Hold Me Close: Essex was at the height of his popularity at this time. This was his second and final UK Number One.
October 25 (2 weeks) Art Garfunkel - I Only Have Eyes for You: Having separated from Paul Simon, Garfunkel recorded mostly MOR standards. This was his first solo UK Number One.
November 8 (2 weeks) David Bowie - Space Oddity: Bowie made No.5 with this track alluding to drug use in 1969, but had more luck with the re-issue, making this his first UK Number One.
November 22 (1 week) Billy Connolly - D.I.V.O.R.C.E.: Wonderful parody of the Tammy Wynette song of the same name by this internationally renowned Scottish comedian.
November 29 (9 weeks) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody: SEE DESCRIPTION BELOW.
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody - Number One: December 1975
An all-time classic Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody was accompanied by the following video and was the first Number One to benefit from sustained TV exposure. It spent nine long weeks at the top of the charts and was the year's Christmas Number One.
In 1991, the record returned to the Number One spot following the death of lead singer, Freddie Mercury.
Elton John/Kiki Dee
UK Number One Hits of 1976
January 31 (2 weeks) ABBA - Mamma Mia: Two years after their first UK Number One and Eurovision hit, ABBA were back with their second UK Number One.
February 14 (1 week) Slik - Forever and Ever: Band led by Midge Ure. He went on to groups Visage and Ultravox, but his next Number One was a solo effort in 1985.
February 21 (2 weeks) The Four Seasons - December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night): Written by original-Four Seasons keyboard player Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker, this was the the follow-up to the hit Who Loves You. The Four Seasons only UK Number One hit.
March 6 (3 weeks) Tina Charles - I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance): This was the first of Charles' seven Top 40 chart singles. However, it was also her only Number One in the UK Singles Chart.
March 27 (6 weeks) Brotherhood of Man - Save Your Kisses for Me: Winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1976, the best-selling single of 1976 and the group's first UK Number One.
May 8 (4 weeks) ABBA - Fernando: Originally written for ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad, ABBA's third UK Number One became a worldwide hit as ABBA-mania was at its height.
June 5 (1 week) J.J. Barrie - No Charge: Awful sentimental slush by this Canadian, who thankfully never graced the UK Singles Chart ever again.
June 12 (2 weeks) The Wurzels - Combine Harvester (Brand New Key): A reworking of Melanie's hit from 1971-72 with new rustic-themed lyrics.
June 26 (3 weeks) The Real Thing - You To Me Are Everything: Landmark record that was the first single by a black British band to top the singles chart. Several cover versions released in the US prevented it being a major success there.
July 17 (1 week) Demis Roussos - The Roussos Phenomenon EP: Forever and Ever became the most played track on this EP from the Greek star prone to wearing kaftans.
July 24 (6 weeks) Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Elton John's first Number One single in the UK, but he would not enjoy a solo British chart-topper until 1990.
September 4 (6 weeks) ABBA - Dancing Queen: ABBA's only American chart-topper from April 1977 was their fourth in the UK.
October 11 (4 weeks) Pussycat - Mississippi: First Dutch act to make the UK top spot. Success was short lived however and this was their only UK Number One.
November 13 (3 weeks) Chicago - If You Leave Me Now: Chicago's biggest hit worldwide, after topping the charts in the US and Australia as well. It went on to win two Grammy Awards.
December 4 (3 weeks) Showaddywaddy - Under the Moon of Love: A minor hit in the USA in 1961 for Curtis Lee, this revival was the group's only UK Number One.
December 25 (3 weeks) Johnny Mathis - When a Child is Born (Soleado): Now a Christmas standard, it sold 850,000 copies and became Mathis' sole UK Number One.
UK Number One Hits of 1977
January 15 (4 weeks) David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us: One half of top TV cop show Starsky & Hutch who was a singer before he became an actor. Best selling single of 1977 and his first UK Number One.
February 12 (1 week) Julie Covington - Don't Cry For Me Argentina: Julie Covington first sang this song for the original 1976 studio release of the album Evita, but declined the stage role.
February 19 (3 weeks) Leo Sayer - When I Need You: After three of his earlier singles had stalled at No.2, this became a massive worldwide hit and Sayer's only UK Number One single.
March 12 (3 weeks) The Manhattan Transfer - Chanson d'amour: Only ever UK Number One for this MOR mixed harmony group who worked in New York gay bars, singing 40s and 50s swing classics.
April 2 (5 weeks) ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You: Their previous release had stalled at No.3, but they returned for another run of chart toppers with this, their 5th UK Number One.
May 7 (2 weeks) Deniece Williams - Free: She was in Stevie Wonder's backing group in the early 70s and this was her only UK Number One.
May 21 (4 weeks) Rod Stewart - I Don't Want to Talk About It /The First Cut is the Deepest: Rod's 4th UK Number One.
June 18 (1 week) Kenny Rogers - Lucille: An international hit, it reached Number One on the Billboard Country Singles chart and No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100. This hit gave him stardom in the UK.
June 25 (1 week) The Jacksons - Show You the Way To Go: Four members of the Jackson Five, including Michael. This was their only UK Number One following their departure from Motown.
July 2 (3 weeks) Hot Chocolate - So You Win Again: They had 30 hits from 1970 to 1984, but this was the band's sole UK Number One single.
July 23 (4 weeks) Donna Summer - I Feel Love: It has been said that this is the first disco-style song recorded with an entirely synthesized backing track and was enormously influential in the development of disco, electronica and techno music. This was Summer's only UK Number One.
August 20 (1 week) Brotherhood of Man - Angelo: The group's second UK Number One, sounding very similar to ABBA's style.
August 27 (1 week) The Floaters - Float On: True One Hit Wonders - one Number One single and nothing else from this soul group from Detroit, Michigan, USA.
September 3 (5 weeks) Elvis Presley - Way Down: The last single released before his death on August 16, 1977 and it became his 17th UK Number One song.
October 8 (3 weeks) David Soul - Silver Lady: The single fared less well in the US, peaking at only No.52, but we loved him in the UK - so much so that this was his second Number One single.
October 29 for (1 week) Baccara - Yes Sir, I Can Boogie: This single did not chart in the United States despite receiving major airplay in several markets. It was the first Spanish act to have a UK Number One and also the first female duo to do so.
November 5 (4 weeks) ABBA - The Name Of The Game: A 6th Number One for the band and their 3rd in this year, following a successful world tour.
December 3 (9 weeks) Wings - Mull of Kintyre / Girls' School: The first single to sell over two million copies in the UK. The UK's best-selling single of all time, until overtaken by Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas in 1984 and one of the UK's best-selling non-charity singles, beaten only by Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
UK Number One Hits of 1978
February 4 (1 week) Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking: Two Jamaican teenagers who put some Caribbean slang to existing music for this One Hit Wonder. Althea & Donna became the youngest female duo to reach the pinnacle of the UK chart.
February 11 (1 week) Brotherhood of Man - Figaro: The song spent one week on top of the charts in the UK and became one of the twenty best selling singles of the year. This was to be Brotherhood of Man's final Number One single.
February 18 (3 weeks) ABBA - Take A Chance On Me: A 7th UK Number One for the Swedish foursome with another unforgettable ABBA classic.
March 11 (4 weeks) Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights: In reaching Number One, Bush became the first woman to write and perform a UK chart-topper, propelling the singer to fame. However, this was Kate's only UK Number One single, despite her numerous chart hits over the years.
April 8 (3 weeks) Brian and Michael - Matchstalk Men & Matchstalk Cats & Dogs (Lowry's Song): A One Hit Wonder with a song celebrating the life and work of the painter, L S Lowry. The backing vocals are by the St Winifred's School Choir, who had a Number One in 1980.
April 29 (2 weeks) The Bee Gees - Night Fever: A third Number One for the Bee Gees in the UK, from the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, relaunching their careers as kings of disco.
May 13 (5 weeks) Boney M - Rivers of Babylon: First UK Number One for this Caribbean act which recorded in Germany. This was the best selling UK single of 1978 and was also the group's only significant US chart entry, peaking at No.30 in the Pop charts.
June 17 (9 weeks) John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - You're the One That I Want: This song came from the soundtrack to Grease and the film and music from it dominated the second half of 1978. It is number six on the list of best-selling singles in the UK, where it has sold over 1,975,000 copies.
August 19 (5 weeks) The Commodores - Three Times A Lady: Led by Lionel Richie, who wrote the song, the group had considerable success until Richie went solo in 1982. This was their only UK Number One.
September 23 (1 week) 10cc - Dreadlock Holiday: A third and final UK Number One for 10cc. By this time Godley and Creme had left the group and the hits quickly stopped. The lyrics, about a white man lost in Jamaica, were based on a true story told by Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward about an experience he'd had in Barbados.
September 30 (7 weeks) John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Summer Nights: Another classic track from the film Grease. The soundtrack album was the second best selling of 1978, beaten only by Saturday Night Fever.
November 18 (2 weeks) The Boomtown Rats - Rat Trap: A first Number One for the Irish punk band led by Sir Bob Geldof. It is notable as it was the first official UK chart topping single by a punk or new wave act.
December 2 (1 week) Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?: A fifth Number One for Rod with a song that became the center of a confirmed plagiarism lawsuit by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor.
December 9 (4 weeks) Boney M - Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord: A second and final Number One for Boney M with this cover version of a 1957 chart topper by Harry Belafonte.
UK Number One Hits of 1979
January 6 (3 weeks) The Village People - Y.M.C.A.: Only UK Number One for the boys, with this classic disco hit from the New Yorkers who started out in the Big Apple's gay bars.
January 27 (1 week) Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick: The only UK Number One of Ian Dury's remarkable career, ironically with more of a novelty song than for what he was best known.
February 3 (4 weeks) Blondie - Heart of Glass: One of the best known Blondie recordings, this was a first UK Number One for the band fronted by the enigmatic Debbie Harry.
March 3 (2 weeks) The Bee Gees - Tragedy: Yet another UK Number One for the now reinvented disco act. This was from the group's chart topping album, Spirits Having Flown.
March 17 (4 weeks) Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive: Established US diva who finally got her only UK Number One with this disco classic. It received the Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording in 1980.
April 14 (6 weeks) Art Garfunkel - Bright Eyes: It was written for the soundtrack of the movie Watership Down and Garfunkel scored his second and final UK Number One with this tearjerker. It sold over one million copies, becoming the biggest selling single of 1979 in the UK.
May 26 (3 weeks) Blondie - Sunday Girl: Never released as a single in the US, this became the band's second UK Number One.
June 16 (2 weeks) Anita Ward - Ring My Bell: Only major hit (on both sides of the Atlantic) for this gospel singer from Memphis TN.
June 30 (4 weeks) Tubeway Army - Are "Friends" Electric?: A first UK Number One for Gary Numan under this pseudonym, the single is notable for being the first electronic/synthesizer-based record to become a hit in the post-punk era.
July 28 (4 weeks) The Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays: Bob Geldof wrote the song based on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children playing in a school playground across the street from her home in San Diego, California. Her explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays."
August 25 (4 weeks) Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore: After a lean time throughout most of the 1970s, this first UK Number One for 11 years (Richard's 10th so far) started another run of Top 10 hits throughout the 80s.
September 22 (1 week) Gary Numan - Cars: Now recording under his own name, this was Numan's second and final UK Number One.
September 29 (3 weeks) The Police - Message In A Bottle: A first UK Number One for the trio led by singer / songwriter Sting, who went on to even greater success.
October 20 (1 week) The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star: (The) Buggles consisted of Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley. This single celebrates the golden days of radio and ironically (or intentionally) became the first music video shown on MTV.
October 27 (3 weeks) Lena Martell - One Day At A Time: This single was an unlikely success as it came during the height of disco and new wave. Martell's follow-up singles failed to chart, so she has the dubious honour of being classified as a One Hit Wonder.
November 17 (3 weeks) Dr Hook - When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman: US group that found favour in the UK with a series of melodic love songs, although this was their only UK Number One.
December 8 (1 week) The Police - Walking on the Moon: A second Number One for The Police, with a song that surprisingly didn't chart in the US.
December 15 (5 weeks) Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall: In the UK, it was Floyd's first single since 1968's Point Me at the Sky and became one of the band's most well-known songs. It was their biggest hit to date and was banned in several countries because of its lyrical content. It became the final UK Number One of the 1970s.
More Music of the 1970s
Block Buster! British Glam Rock of the 70s
At the beginning of the 1970s, my husband was in his early teens, an excellent age to appreciate a new phenomenon about to hit the British airwaves: Glam Rock.
The Sweet Glam Rock Video Showcase
Glam Rock band, The Sweet (or Sweet, as the band later became known), was one of the premier groups from the Glam era of Seventies British commercial pop/roc...
ABBA: A Music Video Showcase
The Swedish pop group ABBA came to my attention, along with the rest of Europe, when on a cool April evening in Brighton, England they won the 1974 Eurovisio...
Best (& Worst) Christmas Songs of the Seventies
For many years, the record industry in Great Britain has rightfully looked to the run up to the Christmas period as a time when huge sales of records (or CDs...
Slade Songs 1971-1973
At the age of thirteen, the songs of Slade introduced me to the brash, loud, cheery, and some might say, vulgar side of rock music. Slade came to fame in th...
Polly Brown and Pickettywitch
Polly Brown (occasionally spelled Browne) was the lead vocalist with the early 1970s pop band, Pickettywitch. Although the group was not around for all tha...
The Best of Middle Of The Road
The pop band Middle of the Road (featuring Sally Carr) was one of my musical guilty pleasures when I was growing up in the 1970s. I suspect the group was the...
The Music of Colin Blunstone
While you may not be familiar with Colin Blunstone's music, I am sure you are aware of his voice. If you turn on any Oldies radio station his clear, heartfel...
David Bowie: The Glam Rock Years
When David Bowie dyed his hair orange and donned a revealing bodystocking, many commentators accused him of compromising rock music with showbiz, while manip...
The Supremes in the 1970s
Many predicted that The Supremes of the 1970s would falter and fade away following the departure of Diana Ross in 1969. While the girl group never attained...
© 2007 Richard