Best UK number one single of 1971

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Inspired very obliquely by the David Croft thread on ILE:

Poll Results

OptionVotes
T. Rex - Get It On 11
Dave & Ansil Collins - Double Barrel 6
Rod Stewart - Maggie May 5
Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)4
Slade - Coz I Luv You 4
T. Rex - Hot Love 4
Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting 4
George Harrison - My Sweet Lord 3
Middle Of The Road - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep 2
Dawn - Knock Three Times 1
Mungo Jerry - Baby Jump 1
Tams - Hey Girl Don't Bother Me 0
Clive Dunn - Grandad 0


Marcello Carlin, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I want to vote for "Get It On" becaues it feels more "right", but you can't fuck with "My Sweet Lord".

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Got to go with my Popular marks here. Hot Love.

Groke, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:31 (thirteen years ago) link

i think Ernie is the only song on that list that has at some point emotionally destroyed me

acrobat, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Rod gets it.

blueski, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:38 (thirteen years ago) link

I voted for:

http://www.srichinmoybio.co.uk/images/people/KRISHNA.jpg

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:55 (thirteen years ago) link

Double Barrel! its like a mashup of Derrick Morgan and Chas n Dave.

zappi, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Another vote for Hot Love.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:05 (thirteen years ago) link

i heard the original 'hot love' only recently. it's an appalling travesty of the justus kohncke version.

don't really like any of these - diana ross gets it based on mild appreciation.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:08 (thirteen years ago) link

or at least i either don't like these songs, or have no interest in hearing them.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:08 (thirteen years ago) link

I voted for Dawn on the grounds that it (a) it's grebt, (b) nobody else will, and (c) it got unfairly roughed up over at Popular.

But "Get It On" would be the most deserving winner.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Have we gotten beyond the point where "Baby Jump" is the most forgotten #1 of the 70s now because people keep going "Hey, "Baby Jump" is the most forgotten #1 of the 70s"?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:22 (thirteen years ago) link

"Get It On"

NYCNative, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:26 (thirteen years ago) link

Knock Three Times would have been my pick in 1971 (I think).

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:37 (thirteen years ago) link

"Baby Jump" is filthy (for its time) and has a top guitar solo.

Mark G, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:45 (thirteen years ago) link

"...i was 5 and u were 10 boy"

pisces, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 14:10 (thirteen years ago) link

This is staggeringly difficult. 1971 was the year I started Following The Charts, and so a lot of these would be Perfect 10s from me.

OK, process of elimination. Let's say goodbye to:

Clive Dunn - Grandad
Not even redeemed by Herbie Flowers. I thought it was sappy at the time, and I was an 8 year old Dad's Army fan, ergo one of the target demographics.

Mungo Jerry - Baby Jump
The last UK Number One until (probably) Michael Jackson's "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" which I can't cue up on my internal jukebox.

Tams - Hey Girl Don't Bother Me
Cute but slight.

Dawn - Knock Three Times
Lovable, especially in its Peter Glaze <i>Crackerjack</i> incarnation, but still a little too silly.

Dave & Ansil Collins - Double Barrel
This would be the hipster choice, and so I'm a little suspicious of over-praising it.

Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
Cast aside with great reluctance. I took a return Virgin flight to China just over a year ago, which had every UK Number One EVER on the in-flight entertainment system. You can imagine the joy. Deciding to do without sleep, I proceeded to work through them in order from Al Martino onwards, and managed to get as far as late 1975. OK, so not all of them got played in full (Pat Boone only lasted 20 seconds before I could take no more), but only two earned immediate repeat plays: Those Were The Days and Ernie.

Middle Of The Road - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
The single which Turned Me On To Rock And Roll, no less. Seminal, indeed. But there are *cough* better songs...

T. Rex - Hot Love
Drags on a bit at the end, let's face it.

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord
Oh, let's be all rockist and moan about the Chiffons lift. Got to get rid of them somehow.

Rod Stewart - Maggie May
That Peel-on-mandolin TOTP clip has been so over-played on lazy nostalgia clip shows, that the greatness has been fatally diluted.

OK, final three. T.Rex, Diana Ross and Slade, with nary a hair's breadth between them.

Slade - Coz I Luv You
Not the greatest lyric in the world, so it's Gudbuy To Slade.

T. Rex - Get It On
I'm rejecting this because I didn't particularly care for it at the time, unlike...

Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting
...which I have loved without reservation for the past 36 years, right from when Tony Blackburn started hammering it on his Radio One Breakfast Show. And if she performs it in Nottingham next Tuesday, I'll be a happy man.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 14:48 (thirteen years ago) link

The answer is so completely 'Double Barrel'. Nothing hipster about that.

emil.y, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 18:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Maggie May, easy.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 18:51 (thirteen years ago) link

I've never seen Peel playing mandolin. Rod wins.

billstevejim, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 19:25 (thirteen years ago) link

bump

Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 07:10 (thirteen years ago) link

Voted Harrison, in spite of the ripoff.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 08:06 (thirteen years ago) link

I voted for Dawn on the grounds that it (a) it's grebt, (b) nobody else will

-- Jeff W,


Watch as I magically DOUBLE Dawn's vote total! (Same reasons as Jeff's)

Myonga Vön Bontee, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 08:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Double Barrel by a nose from Hot Love and I'm Still Waiting.

Dr.C, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 08:30 (thirteen years ago) link

bump (closing date is Friday btw)

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 3 May 2007 07:21 (thirteen years ago) link

i think Ernie is the only song on that list that has at some point emotionally destroyed me

Damn right. It gets my vote.

Michael Jones, Thursday, 3 May 2007 08:51 (thirteen years ago) link

I took a return Virgin flight to China just over a year ago, which had every UK Number One EVER on the in-flight entertainment system. You can imagine the joy. Deciding to do without sleep, I proceeded to work through them in order from Al Martino onwards, and managed to get as far as late 1975. OK, so not all of them got played in full (Pat Boone only lasted 20 seconds before I could take no more), but only two earned immediate repeat plays: Those Were The Days and Ernie.


"Thank you for flying Tom Hibbert airways..."

Mark G, Thursday, 3 May 2007 09:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Out of 45 votes cast, "Get It On" predictably walks it.

Marcello Carlin, Friday, 4 May 2007 07:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Damn, I knew I should have voted for "Maggie May" instead.

JN$OT, Friday, 4 May 2007 07:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Mine, btw, was an equally predictable vote for "Double Barrel."

Marcello Carlin, Friday, 4 May 2007 07:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Hardly surprising that "Get It On" wins. It is more or less the only of these #1's that is part of the "singles canon".

Geir Hongro, Friday, 4 May 2007 08:14 (thirteen years ago) link


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