On this day in 1978, Gerry Rafferty, once of Stealers Wheel, saw his debut as a solo artist – City to City – knock Saturday Night Fever off the top of the Billboard 200 album chart in the US. It had been there for an outrageous six months (from 21 January 1978, it would spend 120 weeks in the chart in all).
If that’s not a good enough reason to give thanks to Gerry Rafferty without delay, I don’t know what is. (Although without Saturday Night Fever we would never have had that amusing dance scene in Airplane!, amongst other things, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad and that Disco had its good points.)
This song is on that album, which you all know and features the impeccable saxophone work of Raphael Ravenscroft, who toured with David on his first solo tour in 1984: ‘Baker Street’. What a tune it is.
As it got me thinking of and searching for other albums that had been in the charts for months on end, if not years (18.5 in the case of Dark Side of the Moon and Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, but you all knew that), I found this splendid page bursting from top to bottom with facts and stats pertaining to the UK’s far less complicated album chart (singular), and thought it worth presenting to you along with a penny for your thoughts.
(No pennies will be paid for noticing that Saturday Night Fever does not feature until #54. According to Recording Industry Association of America figures, it’s the USA’s 23rd biggest-seller and the second highest-selling soundtrack album of all-time – behind The Bodyguard.)
Of these, please feel free to express your likes, hates, don’t minds, favourite tracks, most highly-regarded live acts… Whatever it is, let’s hear all about it.
What is of greatest interest to me at the time of writing, however, is how many of the UK’s Top 20 you have in your collection (I refer you to my second hyperlink, here it is again); I’ve got nine. Of the 43 others that have sold over two million copies in the UK, listed immediately below the Top 20 and minus the cover art, I have a meagre 14, making a dismal total of 23 out of 63.
Take another look at the full 63 and tell me which do you think is more respectable: to have a high number or a low number? And if you’d care to hazard a guess as to which albums your fellow bloggers possess and confirm which you also have where speculation has taken place, we’ll make a game of it and that game will be called ‘Snap’. (Again, no pennies will be involved.)
Everything below ‘Best-Selling Albums of All Time’ is, obviously, fair game for future blog content, but is certainly worth skimming over if the above suggestions do nothing for you. Lots to talk about, there.
Can’t be bothered to type, yet bored enough to allow yourself to be distracted by music quiz merriment? Take this and try to identify America’s 30 best-selling albums and artists in 11 minutes. Your scores, please.
The chatroom will be open tomorrow, from 3pm (UK), should any stray thoughts need an alternative place in which to casually spill. See you there.