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Vintage Video: Al Stewart Tops the AC Chart For Ten Weeks with "Time Passages"

by VVN Music

Scottish singer-songwriter was over a decade into his career before he got his big break with the single "Year of the Cat".

Stewart released his first single in 1966 and his debut album, Bedsitter Images, the next year but it wasn't until his sixth album, Modern Times (1975 / #30) that the public, in general, took notice. Then came the Year of the Cat (1976 / #5) and the single of the same name (1976 / #8 Pop / #8 Adult Contemporary), giving Stewart his first major hit.

The next year brought Time Passages (1978 / #10) and the title track which peaked at 7 on the Hot 100 but was an immense hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Time Passages" hit number 1 on this day 39 years ago (November 11, 1978) and stayed there for the next ten weeks, the longest chart topping run in a decade going back to Herb Alpert's 1968 vocal hit "This Guy's in Love With You".

Stewart would have two more, lesser, U.S. hits, "Song on the Radio" (1979 / #29 Pop / #10 AC) and Midnight Rocks (1980 / #24 Pop / #13 AC) before his career would slow down.  Ironically, he was never as big in his home country with Year of the Cat being his biggest album, only going to number 38, and the single of the same name being his biggest single, but topping out at 31.

The top five Adult Contemporary records on November 11, 1978:

  1. Time Passages - Al Stewart
  2. Right Down the Line - Gerry Rafferty
  3. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away - Andy Gibb
  4. You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond
  5. Ready to Take the Chance Again - Barry Manilow