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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1969

The British charts of 1969 saw the decade end with a flourish from the Beatles and Elvis plus Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye.

 

  • The Beatles were again the top act of 1969, the seventh year in succession. However, the year marked the end of the band as a cohesive force in popular music. They remained officially together but much of their work was made as individuals. They still managed number one singles with "Get Back" (number two single of the year and recorded with Billy Preston) and "Ballad of John and Yoko" (very much a John Lennon effort). At the end of the year the George Harrison song "Something" failed to get any higher than number 4 in the charts. Their hold on the album charts remained powerful with "The White Album" being followed by "Abbey Road" (the biggest album of the year).
Abbey Road - The Beatles, 17 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Number two act was Fleetwood Mac. On the singles charts the band released "Albatross" at the end of 1968 but it eventually reached number one in 1969 and is followed by number two hits "Man of the World" and "Oh Well". They also begin an auspicious album career with a top five LP "Fleetwood Mac".
The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac, 21 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • In third position for the year was Marvin Gaye. The Tamla Motown star was number one on both sides of the Atlantic with "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and had a top five hit with "Too Busy Thinking 'bout My Baby". He also managed a succession of smaller hits dueting with Tammi Terrell. The biggest was top ten single "Onion Song ".
The Very Best Of Marvin Gaye, 22 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Elvis Presley returned to the British charts in style to be fourth biggest performer of 1969. He had never been absent while the Mersey Sound was in its ascendancy but now he registered a pair of top two hits for "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds". He also returned to the top of the album charts for the first time since 1962 with "From Elvis in Memphis".
From Elvis In Memphis, Elvis Presley, 18 tracks incl Suspicious Minds for 5.99 Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Another long-standing star took fifth spot for the year, Frank Sinatra. The record that made it all happen was "My Way", probably the single that stayed in the UK charts for longer than any other. Although it never got higher than number five it was the fifth biggest single of 1969. Sinatra followed this with another top ten hit "Love's Been Good to Me". His "My Way" album also hovered at the top of the charts for many weeks, finally peaking at number two.
Double album with 46 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Biggest single of the year was "Sugar Sugar" from the Archies - very much a one hit wonder band but they were number one in the UK for 8 weeks. Another big success with little other support in 1969 was "Two Little Boys" by Rolf Harris, third biggest hit of the year. The Rolling Stones released only one single, "Honky Tonk Women", but that was the number four for the year. However, they also had three big albums "Beggars Banquet", "Through the Past Darkly" and, at the end of the year "Let It Bleed".
  • There were also hits for Amen Corner with number one "If Paradise is Half as Nice" and a top five hit in "Hello Suzie". Peter Sarstedt followed his number one "Where Do You Go To My Lovely" with a top ten hit "Frozen Orange Juice". US band Creedance Clearwater Revival entered the UK charts with top ten number "Proud Mary" and followed this with number one "Bad Moon Rising".

 

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