EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by alphanguy, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. snepts

    snepts Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    Personally I really like "Hello, I Love You," but I'm surprised it made # 1. It's kind of "grind-y" if you get my meaning. Just doesn't sound like something the Nation would Unite behind, haha.
     
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  2. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    It's not just the technology, it's also that groove. There is no way that the hit version of "Pata Pata" could have been recorded in the fifties. Maybe a raw prototype, but not the hit we now know.
     
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  3. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    Quite the opposite, to me. I always thought "Hello, I Love You" sounded downright bubblegummy. I could see a bunch of eighth graders dancing to this during the same set as "Simon Says" and "Yummy Yummy Yummy."
     
  4. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    And, if you look at the songs in the top to of that year, at least, you'll get much more variety.

    Among some of my favorites of this time of year is:

    Young Girl - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

    And, this all-time favorite of mine:

    I Love You - People

     
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  5. W.B.

    W.B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    My go-to copy for that People single has always been this, from Scranton:
    [​IMG]
    To me, these typefaces on the label, together with the orange and yellow swirl, scream Capitol . . .

    But yeah, there was more diversity in those days, not just with "regional" radio, but also more record companies to choose from . . . and never was this more true than 1968 . . .
     
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  6. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    The Doors spoke to me in those days. Hello I Love You was what I wished I could say. Jump in your game seemed weak to me, and I didn't wanna be a damned dog, but overall the song expressed my lust quite well.
     
  7. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    I was just listening to People - I Love You a few days ago, and recalled how much I liked it. Don't think it is anywhere in my collection these days, unless on a cdr or tape buried in a warehouse.
     
  8. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Hello I Love You is alright but nothing special. Personally I think the Doors' best song was Touch Me, a year later.
     
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  9. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    JJF definitely hit me harder at the time, I still distinctly remember hearing it for the first time on the radio in S'toon, DJ announces 'new Stones single' they strum then '1-2' and that riff kicks in - oh yeah, the're back! Like it was yesterday...
     
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  10. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    At the time I thought they were both embarrassingly awkward, trying too hard and creepy, still do. Nothing much musically, at least not enuff to make up for the lyrics/singing.
     
  11. SITKOL'76

    SITKOL'76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colombia, SC
    Didn't know The Doors had another #1 hit...

    Also this song's #1 reign fell on the 10th anniversary (August 4, 1958) of the Hot 100. So we're a decade into this thread. No recap please lol.

    Further the Hot 100 celebrated 59 years a week ago. :bdance:
     
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  12. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    So I guess I gotta be the one to remind people the Doors blatantly ripped off the Kinks here?
     
  13. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Hello I Love you falls somewhere in the middle of the pack of Doors songs for me. Much prefer Wishful Sinful, Love Her Madly and Riders On The Storm as far as later Doors songs go. Touch Me was pretty good, too.

     
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  14. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Mrs. Robinson

    Busy week, but I had to make some comments on this fabulous song before too much more time passed...

    IMO this song is the point when Simon and Garfunkel really arrived as one of the top recording acts of the era. Yes, they had Sound of Silence before this as well as a bunch of other brilliant songs, some of which were moderate hits. But Robinson was a huge hit, it was a pivotal song in a massively huge movie, and the song itself just seems to have an iconic quality about it that makes it stand out in Simon's excellent catalog.

    [​IMG]

    The lyrics are funny and very memorable. "Any way you look at it, you lose" - ain't that the truth. "Coo coo ca choo, Mrs. Robinson" -- tweaking the Beatles. "We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files" -- which files are those again? Hmmmm... "Joltin' Joe has left and gone away". Just one brilliant little moment after another.

    And hilariously, it seems to have jack squat to do with the movie's Mrs. Robinson. Can you imagine Anne Bancroft's character lamenting about Joe DiMaggio? Ben is not mentioned in the song, nor is there anything in the song about her character arc whatsoever. It works in the movie because Simon says it works, thank you very much.

    [​IMG]

    In fact, the song started life completely independent of the film, and was massaged to fit into it (for instance, the character was previously named Mrs. Roosevelt - possibly a reference to Eleanor, which would explain the candidates debate business).

    Paul Simon later commented that he used Joe DiMaggio in the song because it scanned better. However, DiMaggio was before his time, and he really grew up as a Mickey Mantle fan. He couldn't make Mantle's name work in the meter, though.

    Later, DiMaggio admitted he was confused by the reference and thought it was somehow a swipe at him by the hippies.

    Which brings me to the crux of the issue -- how are we to take the lyrics in the song? What is Simon trying to say? Let's assume that we can't equate the song Mrs. Robinson with the movie Mrs. Robinson. What's happening in his lyrics?

    I've never been entirely sure, but my read on it is that Simon/the narrator is taking a sarcastic look at the older generation and their way of life. The chorus is saluting the character, though probably not sincerely: here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. When he mentions that Jesus loves her and there is a place in Heaven for her, it sounds like the kind of backhanded compliment he believes a person of the previous generation would value while he himself has tongue in cheek.

    The first verse deals with Mrs. Robinson arriving at -- a hospital? Stroll around the grounds, sympathetic eyes everywhere... Has she ended up in an institution? Is she trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction (a 1960s version of the Betty Ford Clinic?)? That would match up with the second verse, which talks about her hiding something in her pantry and keeping it secret from the kids -- perhaps she hides her 'stash' of drugs or her booze there. Or, the second verse could be about the 'affair' from the movie (I doubt it, but 'pantry' could be metaphorical, like a place in her heart she hides her secrets or something). Regardless, all is not perfect in the Robinson household.

    In the third verse, we talk about going to the candidates debate. The narrator points out that this is a no win situation like her secret addiction was. (What koo koo ka choo means is anyone's guess; Mrs Robinson does not sound like the kind of person to listen to I Am the Walrus).

    Then comes the bit about Joe DiMaggio. Was he correct in thinking this was an insult? I'm still not sure to be honest.

    [​IMG]

    In real life, Simon would seem to have been sympathetic to the Yankee Clipper, so my guess is that it is not meant to be critical. He says: your (older) generation is screwed up, and when you look to your old heroes who showed you how you should be acting, they are not there to guide you. At least, tellingly, it is Mrs. Robinson who says he is gone; so maybe he's still there, but people of her age have become so corrupted that they choose not to see him. If this interpretation is true, then Joltin' Joe is the good guy in the song, and he should feel honored and not insulted by the reference.

    Then again, Simon could be saying that even DiMaggio the Big Hero was also shown to be just human, perhaps by what happened with Marilyn Monroe or whatever, in which case he has 'left and gone away' in the metaphorical sense: his heroic luster is gone, leaving just the man (note that Joltin' Joe, the heroic nickname, has left and gone away, not Joe DiMaggio the human being).

    I'm leaning towards the former meaning. It gives the song a bit more heft if you assume that it isn't a blanket condemnation of the older generation. I give Simon more credit than to take that easy route.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  15. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    The Graduate's use of Mrs. Robinson and other Simon and Garfunkel songs is generally credited as the first time Hollywood used modern pop songs for the soundtrack. Of course, this has become a common practice since then.

    It's a nice theory, but it's not really true. As far back as 1956, The Blackboard Jungle famously had 'Rock Around the Clock' in its credit sequence. Then you had all the Elvis movies and various other Rock and Twist and Beach movies. Starting with A Hard Day's Night in 1964, the songs became more than just numbers the singers were actually performing in the movie, like for instance in the famous Can't Buy Me Love field sequence. And earlier in 1967, you had You're a Big Boy Now, with Coppola using the Lovin' Spoonful's songs to set the mood for various scenes, with the Spoonful nowhere in sight.

    I do believe, though, that The Graduate, being an Oscar nominated film and a massive hit, really brought the practice into the mainstream. When Easy Rider followed suit in 1969 and also became huge, the idea started to become much more common.

    Here is the credit sequence for the film, using The Sound of Silence. The way this is structured is quite different from the way opening credits were previously done.

     
  16. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I like "Mrs Robinson," I don't love it. It has some fine acoustic guitar which helps a lot for me. I did not know The Graduate was an Oscar nominee, I'm a little surprised. It's a good movie, but not Oscar material - I think it was probably very topical at the time, and got the nod based on that. It certainly hasn't aged well. "Scarborough Fair" made it to #11 and I prefer it by a wide, wide margin.
     
  17. W.B.

    W.B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    It turned out to be a master stroke, in terms of DiMag's sterling reputation, for Simon to refer to him. That's because, as I may have noted, several posts back, Simon's true baseball idol Mickey Mantle's own wholesome reputation and "aw shucks" persona took a major hit the year after "Mrs. Robinson" topped the charts, following revelations by onetime teammate Jim Bouton in his book Ball Four. (Including stories of "The Mick" playing while extremely hung over.)
     
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  18. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    Larry Norman must have toured Australia about 10 times in the 1970s. He was always on TV talking about Jesus. He must have sold albums at his gigs because I doubt any of them were released here but they're common in secondhand shops.
     
  19. snepts

    snepts Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    I'm going with AppleBonker just to say I think Mrs R is an unusually savvy, smart and tight song to hit the Top Spot.
    There are tons of other songs I like more, but Mrs R was a twisty, sophisticated number I'm surprised others don't realize.
    Light, literate, a deliberate rhythm, nice guitar filligrees -- it's almost a perfect song.
     
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  20. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The cheerful, bubbly nature of the tune makes for a delicious contrast with its sneering, sarcastic lyric.
     
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  21. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Next is "People Got to Be Free" by The Rascals, #1 from August 17- September 20, 1968

     
  22. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Here it is performed live on The Barbara McNair Show, October 3, 1970:

     
  23. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Timely...
     
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  24. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Another massively popular #1 song - 5 weeks - that I like but not as much as some other tunes by the group now known as The Rascals. I'll take A Beautiful Morning or even A Ray Of Hope but it doesn't really matter since this is their biggie and you can't argue with the sentiments. The band saw a steep drop off in popularity after this one - their next four singles failed to make the top twenty - and by the start of the 70s, fractured and eventually went their separate ways. Still, their legacy is assured as one of the great Rock/R&B/Psych bands of the 60s and just to put a capper on their career here's a last taste of their psychedelic side from their last somewhat popular selling album See, the blissful Nubia:


     
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  25. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I think I've talked about this before, but the 1967 Best Picture Oscars were a very fascinating contest. It was really the first hurrah of the New Hollywood that would take over the industry in the 70s, and the last gasp of the old studio system.

    On the 'new' side were The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde, both massive hits at the end of the year (B + C had been released earlier in the year and had bombed, then was re-released and became a smash). On the 'old'/traditional side were Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, an old fashioned message picture, and Doctor Doolittle, a bloated musical. Then there was In the Heat of the Night, the fifth nominee, which was more of a new style movie especially in terms of subject matter, but with some more traditional elements as well. Heat would win the award.

    Even the Oscar ceremony was charged; it took place in April, 1968, and was postponed several days due to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Bob Hope, the MC, was supposedly not happy the rescheduling had happened, and some of the younger folks in the audience bristled at some of his jokes. The Best Actor winner, Rod Steiger, name dropped the Maharishi (!). Steiger was considered somewhat of a hero to the method actor types, and when he won and said 'We Shall Overcome' from the stage (one of the few references to MLK all night), it was an electric moment for them.



    I highly recommend the book Pictures at a Revolution, which is an in depth examination of this sea change in Hollywood through a close look at the five Best Picture nominees from 1967 and their histories and creation, as well as a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at the Oscar ceremony that year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017

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