Ranking #4 songs, UK edition: 1972-1973

Introducing themselves with a masterful swirl of noise, reliant on a lyrical decollage comprising thirty years of popular culture, Roxy Music released “Virginia Plain” and changed rock history. Bryan Ferry’s ridiculous vibrato had nothing to do with the way singers had previously ingratiated themselves with fans, but neither did mentor Richard Hamilton’s paintings and Andy Warhol’s silkscreens. Roxy from the beginning were their own creations. Fleet, fastidious, and above all fun, they co-existed with glam contemporaries like Slade, T. Rex, and Gary Glitter without acknowledging them; such was the size of “Virginia Plain”s footprint that one can hear no traces of “Avalon” and other works written by Ferry when he transformed himself into a fluttering Holy Spirit of Divine Melancholy.

A fun time, these two years, when even The Osmonds emulated The Sweet. Ike & Tina’s fizzy memory piece could sit alongside Aretha Franklin’s “First Snow in Kokomo.” The obvious, grand “Elected” came eighteen months before Watergate, adducing Alice Cooper’s insight into Richard Nixon’s black heart.

The Hague

The Rolling Stones – Angce
Shag – Loop di Love
Cliff Richard – Power to All Our Friends


The Congregation – Softly Whispering I Love You
Melanie – Brand New Key
Hurricane Smith – Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?
The New Seekers – Circles
Donny Osmond – When I Fall in Love
Little Jimmy Osmond – Tweedlee Dee

Sound, Solid

Rod Stewart – Angel
The Osmonds – Goin’ Home
Focus – Sylvia
Slade – Look Wot You Dun
Elton John – Daniel
John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Gary Glitter – I Didn’t Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock and Roll)
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
The Hotshots – Snoopy vs. the Red Baron

Good to Great

Roxy Music – Virginia Plain
Alice Cooper – Elected
Ike & Tina Turner – Nutbush City Limits
The Chiffons – Sweet Talkin’ Guy
T-Rex – The Groover
The Sweet – Little Willy
Mud – Dyna-mite
The Sweet – Wig-Wam Bam
The Detroit Emeralds – Feel the Need in Me
Johnny Cash & the Evangel Temple Choir – A Thing Called Love

One thought on “Ranking #4 songs, UK edition: 1972-1973

  1. The first top tier three are all timers. Not as fond as you on Sweet’s others, yo me minor ditties. But let’s take out hats off to Cooper, with an album version that is even better than the single edit. I mean, the man did glam stomp meets showtune Broadway and never for one second looks grating .That has to be its own genre, The horns blast in descending chords which are glorious, impending doom (as opposed to just mockery, which would have been too easy) .He sure did want to be elected, electeeeeed. And why this isn’t the national anthem?

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