Saturday, 3 July 2010

Retro Blast - July 1972

So I've decided to have another run of retro blasts for the summer (if I can keep up the work) and have planned 13 of these to last us just past my next birthday.

Basically it is stuff happening around about that date in a year gone by, based primarily on the UK singles chart but including any other info I can lay a cursor on. As I might have previously stated this is bounded by me being around (from September 1964) and me starting this blog (to March 2006), though I have an exception coming later this month.

As the intro picture hints, this was the period when David Bowie went mega thanks to the birth of Ziggy Stardust which was via the release of the eponymous album. Bowie had of course had a #5 hit in 1969 with "Space Oddity" (later to have a #1 re-release) but his next was "Starman", here rising to #41 in its 2nd week on the chart (it would reach #10) while the album it came from entered at #15.

Here is the now infamous "Top of the Pops" performance:

Next we have another riser in Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now", at #25 this week:

And here at #16 is Roberta Flack's wondrous version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (a US #1 single), performed here a little later in 1972:

Appropriately enough for the 4th of July weekend, here's Elvis Presley at #8 with "American Trilogy":

And keeping the UK end up with their "Little Willy" are The Sweet at #4:

Enjoying one week at #1, between two American Donny triumphs, were Slade with one of their least remembered hits, "Take Me Bak 'Ome".

In the midst of 8 weeks at #1 in the album chart were, basically, K-Tel with "20 Dynamic Hits" (they were the 'Now' compilations of the day youngsters). And for those of us too poor to have enough pennies for a K-Tel there were these (this is the one that had just came out):

In the US Neil Diamond was also having a solitary week at the top with "Song Sung Blue".

Anyways, I was merely seven and would have only just completed Primary Three at Millar Academy in Thurso, as taught by a Miss Munro. Thus it was probably a big thing for me that the first Monday in July 1972 marked the last regular appearance on "Blue Peter" of the legendary Val Singleton. Lesley Judd had joined from the Young Generation in May and this presumably concluded the handover. The rest of the team were off on their summer expedition to Fiji, Tonga and San Fransisco without Val.

And earlier the same day in kiddy tv land I would have been watching the last episode of the first series of "Pardon My Genie" on ITV. The first of the retitled series of "Lift Off with Ayesha" also ended on the 5th with a stunning line-up of Vanity Fare, Jo-Ann Love and Festival (me neither). In fairness they'd premiered Bowie's "Starman" a fortnight earlier.

Doctor Who had concluded season nine the previous week with a naked Benton providing the comic ending to "The Time Monster", but filming was ongoing for "Carnival of Monsters" before the crew went on their summer break.

My research into what was on at the cinema (what with the TV running down for the hols) came up with a preponderance of sauce and blood - some in the same film - though we seem to be between Bonds and Carry-Ons.

It certainly appears to have been the peak of British made horror films, many of which I remember fondly when they turned up on Friday late night TV some five or so years later. Among those released or produced around this time was Vampire Circus, Psychomania, Dracula AD 1972, Fear In the Night, Asylum and the deeply batty Dr Phibes Rises Again. Home grown horror of a different sort was available in the form of Mutiny on the Buses. America gave us Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Play It Again Sam and Deep Throat. Ironically the latter premiered in June 1972, just as the Watergate building was burgled.

But I'm going with another then-playing US film to give me my retro totty. Here's Ryan O'Neal in "What's Up Doc". As YouTube concurs he's even more undressed at one point, but I couldn't find a photo :(

Next weekend, July 1991.

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