UK versus US

When comparing the UK and US singles charts from the 70s there is some interesting trivia:

Time spent at #1:

Songs in the US, once they made #1, would fall quickly from the top spot – far quicker than those at #1 in the UK:

  • In the 70s, 250 songs made it to the #1 spot on the US charts.  That’s an average of 2.08 weeks that each song spent at #1.
  • In the 70s, 168 songs made it to the #1 spot on the UK charts. That’s an average of 3.09 weeks that each song spent at #1.

At the top of both US and UK charts:

In the entire decade only once did a song sit simultaneously at the top of both charts;

  • John Travolta and Olivia Newton John – You’re the One That I Want – 17 June 1978.

Mull of Kintyre-WingsLiked by some, not by others:

Some songs did very well on one side of the Atlantic only to bomb on the other side.  Notably the songs of the decade;

  • Wings – Mull of Kintyre was the top selling song of the 70s in the UK but it was barely heard in the US.  The B-side, Girls’ School received more air-time and reached #33 on the charts.  The best Mull of Kintyre could do was #45 on the Easy Listening charts.
  • You Light Up My Life - Debby BooneDebby Boone – You Light Up My Life was the top selling song of the 70s in the US.  It set a new record for the longest time spent at #1 – ten weeks (since equalled in 1982 by Olivia Newton John’s, Physical) but did not even chart in the UK.
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2 Responses to UK versus US

  1. Ann Marie Meek says:

    Wow – I’m surprised that Mull of Kintyre only reached #45 on the E.L. charts in the U.S. That’s one of my favorite Wings tunes – it’s absolutely lovely. The imagery in that song is so powerful. I start looking at airline tickets to Scotland every time I hear it. 🙂

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