What's It All About, Mar-keeey???
(Is it just for old disco we live???..... well IS it????)
January 08, 1977
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GOING TO BE ROUGH.
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GOING TO BE TOUGH.
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GOING TO BE HARD.
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GOING TO BE SLOW.
IT'S AN UPHILL CLIMB TO THE FINISH LINE
WE GONNA TRY, WE GONNA TRY, JUST ONE MORE TIME.
I think Mel & Tim said it all, didn't they?
I've been avoiding doing this :icon_eek::icon_exclaim::icon_mad: but will make an attempt to fill in this post over the course of the weekend, so I can move on to the next chart.
That needed to be said again.The last chart of 1976 was on 12/25, Christmas Day. Two weeks transpired between Christmas 1976 and the next published chart on January 8, 1977. This must have been the start of the year-end double issue (on newsstands for 2 weeks) that continues until today. Note that it was not the case at the end of 1974 or 1975. Charts appeared for every week in that time period.
So--when we last checked in on 12/25/76, Thelma Houston was #1 for the first week with "Don't Leave Me This Way," after 5 weeks of charting. Now, I have to add 2 weeks to those totals---making "Don't Leave Me This Way" #1 for 3 weeks after charting for 7 weeks. All records that are still charting as we move into 1977 have been given charting credit for that missing week and assigned points for that non-published week (repeated the 12/25/76 points) added into their cumulative point totals. Understand?
Now here we are in the relatively eventless week after New Years Day: January 8, 1977. The Top 10 is stagnant; Top 4: Thelma Houston, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder & D. C. LaRue are in exactly the same postions they occupied on 12/25/76. The rest of the Top 10: the Supremes, Crown Heights Affair, Dazz and Rose Royce slightly rearrange their postions, while Mass Production returns to the Top 10, pushing the Glitter Band down to #13.
The only notable change is that a long overdue bundling of certain tracks that had been charting in December as "bubbling under" items finally get bundled into the Top 10. The Supremes' "Let Yourself Go" and "Love I Never Knew You Could Feel So Good" get added to the heretofore only Top 10 charting "You're My Driving Wheel." Now that that's happened, another track from the "Mary, Scherrie, & Susaye" LP is getting notable mentions on the prestigious New York & LA charts: "I Don't Want To Be Tied Down." Both chart "Tied Down" as the third item in their Supremes 3-pack leaving out "Love I Never Knew You Could Feel So Good." The Supremes magic is fading however and they will start dropping next week.
The other notable addition "Anyway You Like It" is bundled with Thelma Houston's current #1: "Don't Leave Me This Way." The irony here is that Billboard will now forever list these two titles in tandem--but after this week "Anyway You Like It" will not receive any points from any city chart! And strangely, the Billboard 1977 year-end chart will actually list Thelma Houston's hits as such: "Anyway You Like it/ Don't Leave Me This Way" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Anyway" gets top billing--AS IF!!! :icon_exclaim:
Of the 16 city charts printed, 2 are total repeats of the 12/25/76 charts: Philadelphia & Seattle.
Note Seattle keeps "The Best Disco In Town" charting with one point as their #15 for the 3rd week in a row. Next week, I just noticed a really odd thing happens on the Seattle chart that I didn't catch before. One and only one item in their top 15 is changed. The rest remains exactly the same for the 4th week. Someone [???] kindly removes the seasonal "Christmas Jollies" LP from their #6 position and inserts "My Love Is Free"--leaving the other 14 postions exactly the same! Ain't that peculiar?
I noticed another relatively rare occurrence in this week's Top 10: 3 records chart simultaneously in the Pop, Soul & Disco Top 10! Note "I Wish," "Dazz" and "Car Wash" are in the Top 10's on all 3 charts. A rare moment in time--since the Disco chart is usually month's ahead of the Pop & Soul radio charts. This time the radio popularity of these records is making the Disco charts take notice and give thm their due.
#1: "DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY" (188 points /14 charts)
This is Thelma's best point total to date--gets better later. (based on a maximum 240 points for 16 #1's (15 points x 16 charts = 240)
#1= (8 charts) Atlanta/Baltimore+DC/Boston/Chicago/Detroit/Miami/NYC/SF
#4= New Orleans
#6= Philadelphia (repeat chart)/Pittsburgh
Not charting: Seattle/Montreal (will chart in both cities at later date.)
"ANYWAY YOU LIKE IT" bundled @ #1 in 2 cities: NYC & SF; bundled @ #2 in Phoenix.
The Top 40 debuts a few other new items that previously were "bubbling under": most notably Silvetti's lovely piano instrumental that still sounds fresh and sparkling today "Spring Rain." Recorded in Spain, the record gets a U.S. release via acquisition by Salsoul. "Spring Rain" debuts @ #30; headed for the Top 10, but gets shoved aside relatively early in it's chart run [6 weeks in the Top 10--then a quick demise; afterthought: maybe that's not so bad?] for some odd reason I don't understand. :icon_eek: (#8 in Chicago, #12 in Miami & #14 in SF)
Ashford & Simpson crack the Top 40 for the first time @#34 with "Tried, Tested & Found True." I think this is the only Top 40 appearance--but it will "bubble under" in future weeks. (#8 in Detroit & #10 in NYC)
A German group called Tender Aggression debut an instrumental titled "Black Jack" @ #37 (not related to the Baciotti title) for a one week spin in the Top 40. Will "bubble under" for a few weeks. (#7 in Phoenix)
Then there's the 17+ minute lush Euro ( also German) extravaganza "Turn On To Love" from Jumbo @ #39 (#15 in Philly & #12 in Phoenix)
[UPDATE: remicks reminded me I should mention that "Turn On To Love" was the first time the NYC label Prelude charted here; I think he is right on that. Oddly, Billboard lists the label as "Pye" until the very last week it charts in the Top 40; then it corrects to Prelude.]
Hmmm...checking Discogs, I see 'Turn On To Love" was released on Pye as Billboard contends...so maybe a label switch takes place during it's chart run? From January 8, 1977 through February 12, 1977 it's listed as [Pye]... On February, 19, 1977 Billboard changes the label to say [Prelude]
For the record, I originally typed Pye as the label on the "Bubbling Under" chart; then, thinking that was an error, I edited it to Prelude; it appears that at this point in time it should be Pye. Will correct that on the next chart.
Lastly, two tracks from the latest Esther Phillips LP "Capricorn Princess" get remixed into a 12-inch medley: "Magic's In The Air/Boy, I Really Tied One On." "Magic's" previously charted in 1975 by Ronnie Walker and "Boy" is a cover of a Janis Ian (!) tune. This is headed for the Top 10.
1977 officially begins with next week's chart. A slew of debuts grace the charts (Top 40 & "Bubbling Under"); notably, new product from 1976's disco chart champs: the Trammps (a rare Top 10 debut, I might add).
Love Unlimited Orchestra return to the Top 40 with a new movie theme and lastly, the neo-African group, Black Soul, debuts two titles at #40.
"Bubbling Under"--- much activity ensues as titles debut from the following acts: additional lp track from the Trammps; new titles from Loleatta Holloway, Denise McCann, the Miracles, Karma, Eddie Russ, Fat Larry's Band, Elton John (with "A Tom Moulton Mix" no less!), Instant Funk, Johnny Wakelin, Barbara Pennington, Tina Charles, El Coco and....[drumroll, please.......disco will never be the same after this!........French newcomer, Cerrone, courtesy of a #15 in Montreal!)
We will now have reached the intersection in the disco road where status quo/R&B-based/Philly state-of-the-art --the Trammps--meet the the future of classically-based, swirling string-saturated Euro disco--Cerrone. It will be fun to watch the battle that rages! (Well for Stephen L. anyway! ) [Actually the Heart & Soul Orchestra's Cerrone cover is the real spoiler here....you'll see.]
Geez, looks like that's about all there is-- and I thought I had nothing to say! Well, technically I probably didn't :icon_lol: --but I typed something (!) so I can start January 15, 1977.