It's always amazed me that Britain, which gave us the Beatles (not to mention the Kinks, the Who, the Stones, the Faces, David Bowie, Queen and Dusty Springfield, just to get some names roling), have had a bizarre habit over the years of putting godawful songs at the No. 1 position in the charts. I still remember Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce, which somehow made its way to the top in 1981.
This week, courtesy of the BBC Radio 4 serial drama The Archers, I learned of another. The characters in the fictional village of Ambridge are getting ready for a Seventies-themed party. The fantasy of the younger folk is matched by the weary "well, we were actually there" of the older ones. Jazzer, one of the characters, remembers a band he recalls being called "Captain Pigeon, was it?" with "somebody's mum playing the piano."
I was curious, and found the band was actually Lieutenant Pigeon, which went to the top in October 1972 ... and yes, somebody's mum actually did play the piano on the song, Mouldy Old Dough. And yes, it was No. 1 for four weeks in a row!
And ... it's wretched! As best I know, the song did not travel much across the Atlantic.
1972 turns out to be a spotty year for No. 1 singles in the U.K. Yes, there was Rod Stewart's You Wear It Well and T. Rex's Telegram Sam, but there were also appearances by Donny Osmond and Jimmy Osmond ... you can see the full list here.