Index

 

Rock Around the World October, 1976   25

BEST SELLERS

It often seems that chart positions of records, and the weekly digestion of same by various and sundry people, resemble body counts after a battle-an essential but somewhat dreary sta. tistic. The major record industry publications each publish their 'charts,' while other "specialist" periodicals concentrate on radio station and/or retail outlet reports for their listings; the problem is that the ordinary consumer usually doesn't see these listings on a regular basis while people actively involved in the record bus-

loess see them all too much. S000 ... may we introduce, for your edification, the Rock Around The World "Exposure Index." This figure is arrived at by averaging the chart positions of the Top 50 albums (rock, jazz, r&b and easy listening) over the course of an entire month, then combining it with the percentage of radio stations and retail outlets that report those albums. By breaking the Top 50 down into categories, the reader can tell at a glance which type of music is predominant in a given

month. There is a formula involved (of course), Roughly, it goes something like this: (Average chart position) -'/2 (% radio stations

playing 1p + % retail outlets

reporting sales of that 1p) As an example, if Peter Frampton was #1 in all three major trades for a given month and every radio station reporting was playing it and every retail outlet was reporting it as a top seller, Peter's "exposure index" (or El) would be: 1-1/2 (1 + I) = 0! Yes, folks. at last there's some-

thing to top a #1 album.

So, it's really quite simple. Just compare the El to a golf score; in golf, you combine driving. chipping and putting and the low score wins. Here. you combine chart position averages, radio station and retail outlet reports, and the low score 'wins.' Simple, right? Here's this month's Rock Around The World Exposure Index.

ROCK

  1. PETER FRAMPTON Frampton Comes Alive A&M SP 3703

  2. JEFFERSON STARSHIP Spitfire

Grunt BFL 1-1557

  1. FLEETWOOD MAC Reprise MS 2225

  2. WINGS

Wings At The Speed of Sound Capitol SW 11525

  1. CHICAGO

Chicago X

Columbia PC 34200

JAll

  1. GEORGE BENSON Breezin'

WB BS 2919

  1. RONNIE LAWS

Fever

Blue Note BN-LA628-G

  1. CRUSADERS

Those Southern Knights ABC/Blue Thumb BTSD 6024

EXP. INDEX

0.72

2.05

4.69

5.31

6.42

5.07

63.18

63.39

  1. THE BEATLES

Rock 'N' Roll Music Capitol SKBO 11537

  1. BEACH BOYS

15 Big Ones Brother/Reprise MS 2251

  1. AEROSMITH

Rocks

Columbia PC 34165

  1. STEVE MILLER BAND Fly Like An Eagle

Capitol ST 11497

  1. THE EAGLES Their Greatest Hits Asylum 7E-1052

  2. BOB JAMES THREE CTI 6063

  3. GEORGE BENSON Good King Bad

CTI 6062

  1. JOHN HANDY

Hard Work

ABC/Impulse ASD 9314

II. GARY WRIGHT
   7.41   The Dream Weaver WB BS 2868

  1. JEFF BECK

   10.64   Wired

Epic PE 33489

  1. BOZ SCAGGS
       10.68   Silk Degrees

Columbia PC 33920

  1. ROD STEWART

A Night On The Town 12.49

WB BS 2938

  1. DAVID BOWIE
       12.84   Changesonebowie RCA APLI -1732

  1. HEART

   13.39   Dreamboat Annie   28.83 Mushroom MRS 5005

  1. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
       16.17   Ole ELO   30.56

UA LA630-G

CROSBY/NASH

Whistling Down The Wire   31.31 ABD ABCD 956

QUEEN

A Night At The Opera   31.51 Elektra 7E-1053

MARSHALL TUCKER BAND

Long Hard Ride   35.09

16.21 18'

27.47 19.

28.52 20.

7. NORMAN CONNORS 64.92   You Are My Starship Buddah BDS 5655

72.78 8. STANLEY TURRENTINE Everybody Come On Out Fantasy F9508

76.60

  1. GEORGE BENSON

   95.78   The Other Side Of Abbey Road A&M SP 3028

  1. JOHN KLEMMER
       120.50   Touch

ABC ABCD 922

157.37

189.00

RHYTHM & BLUES

  1. AVERAGE WHITE BAND Soul Searching

Atlantic SD 18179

  1. BROTHERS JOHNSON Look Out For #1

A&M SP 4567

  1. ARETHA FRANKLIN Sparkle (Soundtrack) Atlantic SD 18176

14.10

19.99

20.22

  1. LOU RAWLS All Things In Time

P.I. PZ 33957

  1. WILD CHERRY Sweet City

PE 34195

  1. COMMODORES Hot On The Tracks Motown M6-867 SI

  • OHIO PLAYERS 23.79   Contradiction

  • Mercury SRM I -1088

    1. 1SLEY BROS.

    24.83   Harvest For The World T-Neck PZ 33809

    26.65

    1. NATALIE COLE 26.83   Natalie

    Capitol ST 11517

    1. DIANA ROSS

    26.99   Greatest Hits

    Motown M6-869S1

    36.71

    38.77

    EASY LISTENING

    1. NEIL DIAMOND

    Beautiful Noise

    Columbia PC 33965

    1. JAMES TAYLOR

    In The Pocket

    WB BS 2912

    1. STARLAND VOCAL BAND Windsong

    BHL1-1351

    1. THE CARPENTERS 4.09   A Kind Of Hush

    A&M SP 4581

    1. SEALS & CROFTS 20.55   Get Closer

    WB BS 2907

    1. GORDON LIGHTFOOT 25.33   Summertime Dream Reprise MS 2246

    37.50

    44.33

    46.34

    1. HELEN REDDY Music. Music

    Capital ST 11547

    1. CARLY SIMON Another Passenger Elektra 7E-1064

  • JOHN TRAVOLTA

  • 49.44   Midland International   54.33 BKL1-1563

    1. NEIL SEDAKA

    50.21   Steppin' Out   96.16 Rocket PIG 2195

    Black Hole Star

    (being a series devoted to albums, both foreign and domestic, that were either neglected upon release, never re ease musical associations contained therein)

    in this country, or are noteworthy because of the early

    HATFIELD AND THE NORTH

    Virgin v 2008

    birth to an improvisatory music of unparalleled beauty, wit and grace.

    The band started playing together in 1972. with all members being veterans of important Canterbury bands momentarily at liberty. Bassist Richard Sinclair contributed the dry wit and delicate melodic sense he'd mastered in Caravan. Guitarist Phil Miller injected pertinent instances of Matching Mole weirdness. Pip Pyle possessed that quality of the best British journeyman drummers, going with the flow and making it look effortless. brought to fullness with Gong.

    But Dave Stewart was the real hero of the group. He'd been training in Egg. a Nice-influenced trio with modern classical aspects, and then developed his compositional prowess in his multiband rock orchestra experiment, the Ottawa Music Company (of which Henry Cow were charter members). Last to join Hatfield (he replaced two Caravan pianists), he brought a head full of great ideas, an unfailingly beautiful rippling keyboard technique, and that rare ability to make a small ensemble sound as big as a full orchestra with

    his arrangements. He made a cute band into a great one.

    This album was released in England in February, 1974. and in America the next November. Compositions fall somewhere in among Stravinsky, Zappa and the Beach Boys. Pip's "The Stubbs Effect" is avant-garde tape play, but his "Shaving is Boring" starts out a careless vamp and inexorably burrows deeper. Richard's "Big Jobs" describes the album it's part of, its making and its chart-topping potential. with intricate wordplay. He sings it in a deadpan accented voice which surprisingly erupts into agile scat in Phil's "Calyx." an angular melody with a wealth of improvised tangents. Dave's "Lobster in Cleavage Probe" is theme and variations with constructive jamming here and there; his "Son of 'There's No Place Like Homerton' " goes one step better in expanding an infinite melodic idea with breathtaking artistry.

    Guest shots on the album include Geoff Leigh of Henry Cow on saxes and flute, Jeremy Baines on pixiephone, Robert Wyatt as elder statesman and singer, and the Northettes

    (Barbara Gaskin, Ann Rosenthal and Amanda Parsons), whose voices Dave in particular used so engagingly.

    Hatfield and the North broke up last year. due to the usual reasons for the demise of innovative bands: lack of recognition, lack of industry support, poverty. Richard has teamed up once again with his cousin Dave (one of the Caravan pianists) to form Sinclair and the South. Dave and Phil now gig with pianist Alan Gowan in a lopsided experiment called The National Health. Neither of these bands is signed, nor are there any moves afoot to restore the glory that was the North.

    Henry Cow's John Greaves, to whom I am indebted for a good part of this story, says that the recorded Hatfield is vastly inferior to what they were capable of in concert. I can't imagine it. I only know that, after two years of playing this record with outrageous frequency, it still has the power to delight me instantly as few other discs can. One of those other discs is their second album, The Rotter's Club, but that's another story for another time.

    -MICHAEL BLOOM-

    Hatfield and the North did so many things so well it's hard to know where to begin in describing them. Though they started out as a friendly jam band with no real professional aspira-

    tions-their name comes from the first road sign north on the MI out of London-they gave

    Picture

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