This week in 1978
Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs
(Lowry's Song) Brian and Michael 2 I Wonder Why Showaddywaddy 3 Baker Street Gerry Rafferty 4 If You Can't Give Me Love Suzi Quatro 5 Denis (Denee) Blondie 6 Never Let Her Slip Away Andrew Gold 7 Follow You Follow Me Genesis 8 Wuthering Heights Kate Bush 9 With A Little Luck Wings 10 Too Much, Too Little, Too Late Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
‘Now Lowrys hang upon the wall Beside the greatest of them all’
MATCHSTALK MEN AND MATCHSTALK CATS AND DOGS
‘Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’ was not an instant success, taking over four months to get to number one. But when it did, around Easter 1978, it was selling 60,000 copies a day, and remains one of music’s most enduring one-hit wonders. The song was written by Mick Coleman as a tribute to the artist LS Lowry who is best known for his urban landscapes peopled with human figures often referred to as ‘matchstick men’ (see picture). Lowry died, aged 88, two years before ‘Matchstalk Men…’ made number one. Mick Coleman’s partner in ‘Brian and Michael’ was not a Brian, but a Kevin. Original group member Brian Burke quit a couple of weeks after ‘Matchstalk Men…’ was pressed, citing ‘family reasons’. Coleman then teamed up with old friend Kevin Parrott (who had borrowed £1,000 to produce the record) and they kept the name ‘Brian and Michael'. The single featured the voices of St Winifred’s School Choir who had their own number one hit with ‘There's No One Quite Like Grandma’ at Christmas in 1980. Coleman and Parrot never had another hit. They reunited in 2002 and continue to perform as ‘Brian and Michael’.