I have been looking at songs that did not make it to number one in the UK and as I was trawling through the data I saw Abba – Money Money Money.
I was shocked. This classic Abba track never made it to number one in the UK. But why not….
Back to the data. The song had an incredibly short chart life. It only spent 12 weeks on the top 75. Nine of which in the top ten, before falling to 17, then 34 and gone completely. I was surprised how many classic songs appear in such a short period of time.
The week Money Money Money hit the top 10 the chart looked like this;
1 Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
2 Showaddywaddy – Under The Moon Of Love
3 Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
4 Queen – Somebody To Love
5 Dr Hook – If Not You
6 Pussycat – Mississippi
7 Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
8 Yvonne Elliman – Love Me
9 Bonnie Tyler – Lost In France
10 Abba – Money Money Money
It was late November/early December 1976 when Abba reached the top 3. Held back from the top spot by Queen’s Somebody To Love (at No2) – another classic that never made to it to number one.
and Showaddywaddy’s Under The Moon Of Love (at No1)
The following week Abba had dropped to Number 5. Forced downwards by the Electric Light Orchetra’s Livin’ Thing (at No4)
Queen had dropped to No3 and Johnny Mathis’ When A Child Is Born was at No2.
Showaddywaddy remained top of the heap.
The next week was the coverted Christmas No1 slot which in 1976 this honour went to Johnny Mathis, pushing Showaddywaddy into 2nd place. Abba rose a couple of places back to number 3. This chart was the same for the New Year chart, the following week.
The next week in January it seemed that Abba had peaked dropping down to No4. The top two stayed the same and Mike Oldfield’s Portsmouth edged itself into the third place slot. This is a tradional English Folk Song (not a Christmas Song) but is very much associated to Christmas. (Christmas songs still in the Top 10 in Mid January!!)
In their final chance to take the top slot Abba still only managed to reach No3 (again). The Christmas number one had, at last, been unseated, but only slipped one place. Mike Oldfield fell to number 9. The new number one was David Soul’s Don’t Give Up On Us
This song stayed at the top for 4 weeks. It first charted three weeks after the Abba song entered the chart and was ready to pounce in the new year. The popularity of David Soul (and the TV show he starred in – Starsky & Hutch), meant that his single received lots of airplay. If the release dates had been reversed I believe David Soul would have had the Christmas Number One and Abba’s Money Money Money would have been Number One – a status that Abba probably deserved for that song.
We probably should not feel too sorry for Abba, they did have 9 number one singles between 1974 and 1980.