UK Album Charts 1977

1977-uk-charts

I read the 33-1/3 book on Television’s Marquee Moon by Bryan Waterman and thought it kind of remarkable that Marquee Moon made the top 30 in the UK album charts. Thanks to Official Charts you can see the top 60 from each week. This mainly doesn’t include compilations or soundtracks (The Muppet Show was an exception since I was amused to see one of my childhood albums was so wildly successful). I gotta say it’s pretty jarring when it transitions from a The Muppets track to Derek And Clive, which is Peter Cook and Dudley Moore doing drunken stream-of-consciousness comedy, peppered with the C-word. Wikipedia says they were “far too crude for a mainstream audience.” Yet 8 weeks on the top albums chart shows otherwise. Also, people who complained about the Muppet Show reboot a couple years ago because it was too “adult” clearly missed the adult humor subtexts in the original. Check out “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.” Or is it just my own warped mind?

This makes me feel old. If I was writing a similar piece in 1977, I would be reminiscing about music from 40 years previous, 1937. 

I made a playlist of some of the albums I hadn’t listened to as much. ABBA’s original “I’m A Marionette” just as weirdly wonderful as Ghost’s cover. That bass in “Dreams” is like being swaddled in black velvet. I get flashbacks to my childhood of laying in the backseat of my grandfather’s Lincoln Continental hearing that song and gazing at blue sky and white clouds through the window. However aside from “You Make Loving Fun” and “Gold Dust Woman,” the rest of Rumours leaves me cold. I’d argue that artists like Fleetwood Mac made less consistent albums than some of the punk/art rock crowd.

Given the colossal reverence for Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express, it’s interesting to see that Jean Michel Jarre was vastly more popular at the time, arguably making much less accessible electronic music.

While the Sex Pistols album did well, and both Stranglers albums did better than I would have expected,  punk hardly slayed prog. People were buying the sh*t out of Yes and Pink Floyd albums. Even Camel and Utopia made the top 30! The live Genesis album also reached number 4 and charted for 17 weeks, before they went pop. Speaking of prog pop, Electric Light Orchestra’s Out Of The Blue holds up quite well. It’s not just me and childhood nostalgia, as they were recently inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and AXS TV just featured a performance by an ELO tribute band! Same with Queen, I was impressed by the note-perfect rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the Almost Queen tribute band, which aired on AXS TV last week. I’d be tempted to make a road trip to Michigan to catch them later this year if I knew they’d play a favorite deep cut, “It’s Late” from News Of The World.

Members if ILX (or you can register if not) can vote in this poll.

Peak Wks 1977 UK Album Charts
1 675 Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
1 61 ABBA – The Album
1 48 Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols
1 34 The Muppets – The Muppet Show
1 28 Yes – Going For The One
2 35 Pink Floyd – Animals
2 29 David Bowie – Low
2 24 Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene
2 18 The Stranglers – No More Heroes
3 32 David Bowie – Heroes
3 21 10cc – Deceptive Bends
4 108 Electric Light Orchestra – Out Of The Blue
4 34 The Stranglers – IV Rattus Norvegicus
4 20 Queen – News Of The World
4 9 Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation
5 89 Ian Dury And The Blockheads – New Boots And Panties
5 15 Status Quo – Rockin’ All Over The World
5 10 Steely Dan – Aja
7 27 Santana – Moonflower
7 19 Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel
8 58 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus
8 15 Leo Sayer – Thunder In My Heart
9 521 Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell
9 22 Darts – Darts
10 54 Blondie – Plastic Letters
10 6 Dr Feelgood – Sneakin’ Suspicion
12 22 Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments
12 16 The Clash – The Clash
12 14 The Steve Miller Band – Book Of Dreams
12 9 Steve Winwood – Steve Winwood
13 4 Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors
14 12 Elvis Costello And The Attractions – My Aim Is True
17 5 AC/DC – Let There Be Rock
17 1 Neil Young – American Stars ‘N’ Bars
18 11 The Boomtown Rats – The Boomtown Rats
18 8 Derek And Clive – Come Again
19 5 Graham Parker And The Rumour – Stick To Me
20 19 The Jam – In The City
20 8 Camel – Rain Dances
22 6 Rush – A Farewell To Kings
22 5 The Jam – This Is The Modern World
23 6 Judas Priest – Sin After Sin
24 40 Billy Joel – The Stranger
24 13 Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
25 2 Roy Harper – Bullinamingvase
26 8 The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot
26 3 T Rex – Dandy In The Underworld
27 6 Utopia – RA
27 3 Eddie And Hot Rods – Life On The Line
28 13 Television – Marquee Moon
28 5 Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
28 5 Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever
30 7 Barclay James Harvest – Gone To Earth
30 6 Hawkwind – Quark Strangeness And Charm
30 3 Iggy Pop – The Idiot
31 4 Wishbone Ash – Front Page News
34 10 The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
34 4 Heart – Little Queen
35 5 Leonard Cohen – Death Of A Ladies’ Man
43 6 Weather Report – Heavy Weather
43 5 Motorhead – Motorhead
46 4 The Motors – The Motors
49 7 Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
49 4 The Vibrators – The Vibrators
50 3 Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Rock ‘N’ Roll With The Modern Lovers
50 1 The Boys – The Boys
52 1 Godley & Creme – Consequences
54 2 UFO – Lights Out
55 3 Dr Feelgood – Be Seeing You
55 1 Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F.
57 3 The Pirates – Out Of Their Skulls
59 1  Utopia – Oops Sorry Wrong Planet
60 2 The Ramones – Rocket To Russia
60 1 Blue Öyster Cult – Spectres
60 1 Culture – Two Sevens Clash
60 1 Talking Heads – Talking Heads ’77
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