On the back of recent chart discussion in a couple of comments sections, a panorama of charts contemporaneous to the week we've just seen, starting with that week's album chart. Note, by the way, that when Stewpot said David Essex's album was at 29 he was actually referring to the chart for the following week, officially published week commencing that Sunday. Can't keep a secret, Ed.
1 Diana Ross And The Supremes - 20 Golden Greats
Third of seven weeks at number one for a pointedly credited UK-only compilation of eighteen hits and two mid-60s songs that hadn't been released as singles here. 40 Golden Motown Greats, released in 1998, has exactly the same cover but that couldn't fool an audience.
2 Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene
This was as high as it got, though it did stay there for five weeks.
3 Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
His final studio album hadn't even charted on release in July but a posthumous surge sent it this high. In fact the surge was more catalogue-based, nine Elvis albums appearing in this week's top 40.
4 A Star Is Born Original Soundtrack
5 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Very much a slow burner, charting at the end of February but not peaking until the start of September at number three and making it to number one in January 1978. Oddly this didn't apply to the singles, Dreams having just peaked at 24. This was one of its 31 (non-consecutive) weeks at Billboard number one.
6 Joan Armatrading - Show Some Emotion
New entry, her second highest peaking record.
7 Frankie Laine - The Very Best Of Frankie Laine
8 Yes - Going For The One
Coming back from two weeks at number one. So much for punk's year zero. Referred to as a return to shorter songs, though given it features five tracks, one comfortably clearing fifteen minutes, all things are relative.
9 Connie Francis - 20 All Time Greats
10 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
A year in the chart, never got above number 8.
11 Space - Magic Fly
Is there a correlation between Star Wars' release in May 1977 and the rise of 'space disco' shortly afterwards, do you think? See also the Rah Band and more directly the US chart underneath.
12 David Soul - Playing To An Audience Of One
A singles hitmaker of consistency that year he may have been, but this was already on its way down from a #8 peak.
13 The Eagles - Hotel California
Its last week inside the top 20 but it had had a very decent run, entering at the top for Christmas week 1976 and returning for a five week stay at number two when the title track was released as a single.
14 Elvis Presley - Welcome To My World
A filler compilation released in March, so after a slow start as the most available ostensibly greatest hits compilation it flew off the shelves, gold in the US by the end of September.
15 Linda Ronstadt - Simple Dreams
Her biggest album in the UK, peaking at this entry position, but five weeks on top of the Billboard chart, selling more than three and a half million copies within a year in the States.
16 Donna Summer - I Remember Yesterday
As mentioned in the comments for the last show this was essentially a concept album, the first side disco reinterpretations of previous decades, closing with the sound of the future in I Feel Love.
17 Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest
18 The Boomtown Rats - The Boomtown Rats
And that's where it peaked.
19 Elkie Brooks - Two Days Away
20 Various Artists - New Wave
Giving the lie to the modern idea everyone called all this stuff punk at the time, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, the Damned, the Boomtown Rats, the Saints, Dead Boys, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Stanley Frank and Little Bob Story. Philips' rights department might have been running a little slow by the end.
21 Rod Stewart - The Best Of Rod Stewart
Not only was there a volume two but a second compilation by this name twelve years later. Oddly this one only spent two weeks in the top 20.
22 Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation
Straight up to number four the following week.
23 Johnny Mathis - The Johnny Mathis Collection
24 The Stranglers - Stranglers Iv (Rattus Norvegicus)
On its way out after nearly five months in the top 12.
25 ABBA - Arrival
...which is nothing compared to this, as it fell out of the top 20 for the first time since release the previous November.
26 Elvis Costello And The Attractions - My Aim Is True
How come Elvis was on TOTP when Red Shoes came nowhere near the chart? Because this was riding perhaps surprisingly high at the time, peaking at 14.
27 Leo Sayer - Endless Flight
28 Iggy Pop - Lust For Life
New entry and peak, it's said it would have done better but for RCA focusing on shovelling Elvis product out. Bowie co-produced in the Hansa studio Low and the forthcoming Heroes were made in and clearly the lure was rubbing off, as he's never charted higher with any form of album. The rhythm section later reappeared in Tin Machine.
29 Camel - Rain Dances
30 Barclay James Harvest - Gone To Earth
Meanwhile, what was happening in America? You'd think there'd be a proper Billboard chart archive available to all somewhere but as it is all that can be found online is the singles top ten, and for the uninitiated that's not the original at number one and the number ten had been a big chart topper, the most played track on US radio that year:
1 Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band
2 KC And The Sunshine Band - Keep It Comin' Love
3 Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
4 The Emotions - Best Of My Love
5 The Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23
6 Carly Simon - Nobody Does It Better
7 Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line
8 Shaun Cassidy - That's Rock 'N' Roll
9 Foreigner - Cold As Ice
10 Andy Gibb - I Just Want To Be Your Everything
Elsewhere, France's chart topper was the genuinely legendary chansonnier Mireille Mathieu's Mille Colombes, replaced during the week by Santa Esmeralda's cover of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, which we'll get before the year is out. Germany were in the midst of Baccaramania with Sorry I'm A Lady, Australians had four chart-topping weeks to ask each other exactly what Carol's subject does with bread, while Sweden's number one was Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. For twenty weeks. TWENTY WEEKS OF YES SIR I CAN BOOGIE AT NUMBER ONE. Unsurprisingly, a record for their chart. No wonder it's reckoned to be the seventh biggest selling record worldwide ever. It was eventually replaced come January (!) by our friend Danny Mirror, who was knocked off for a four week run by... the Tom Robinson Band! Clearly record buyers there had a highly developed sense of fashion.