EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

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

  1. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    This seems more in sync with the nature of the song than Orlando's take... at least, until the rollicking ending, which laughably misses the point.
     
  2. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Forum Resident

    Maybe it was a bus made out of a DeLorean?
     
    AppleBonker likes this.
  3. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Next we have "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Stevie Wonder, #1 from May 13 - May 19, 1973.

     
  4. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Awesome. Thanks, Tim!

    I don't know what it is that irks me about that effect - maybe because it feels kinda cartoonish to be using in a ballad.
     
  5. W.B.

    W.B. Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Now, here is how this should sound, with the horns added on for the 45's, given this is about the #1 singles. Many places have the LP version without the horns. Me, I prefer this one.

    The two other vocalists heard here are Jim Gilstrap in the opening, followed by Lani Groves, before Mr. Wonder makes his grand entrance.

    It also is retro, in a way - the kind of songs Mr. Wonder did when under the thumb of the Motown production structure, dressed up with his "new" sound and ethos.
     
  6. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    There was recently a poll (now closed) up on the board that asked "horns or no horns". (Horns won 62 - 48).

    I didn't vote cause I couldn't pick "both". Love the horns, but it's also a pleasant surprise when they don't come in and I realize it's the album version.

    Speaking of horns, the B-side is "Tuesday Heartbreak", featuring the inimitable sax sound of David Sanborn, who at that time had just come out of Paul Butterfield's horn section.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    pablo fanques likes this.
  7. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity

    I adore "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." A sentiment that could be cheesy in other hands, and with Stevie it is just joyful and life-affirming. The fact that it opens with two singers who are not Stevie seems like a brave choice for a major single. Prince did the same on "1999." Love this song. :righton:
     
  8. Glass Candy

    Glass Candy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greensboro
    A great record, of course. I much prefer it on the album tho, where the lite-soul muzak quality is undercut by being followed with the angular, paranoid Maybe Your Baby.
    I know it had happened before with Beatles, Supremes, 5th Dimension etc. but I think of this as one of the first occurrences of the modern multi-#1 single off an LP.
    Is someone gonna post Sinatra's version of this one?? If so, choose The Main Event.
    See ya next year, Stevie!
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  9. W.B.

    W.B. Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    As far as covers go, the one I remember earliest is by Bobbi Humphrey from her c.1974-75 album Satin Doll. I seem to recall their playing her version frequently on 107.5 WBLS.
     
  10. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    That would be their drummer, Skip Prokop. The song was meant to feature the band's lead singer , Bob McBride (the guy on "One Fine Morning") but he didn't turn up for the session. He subsequently quit the band.
     
  11. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree

    Not a fan of Tony Orlando or Dawn, nor of this song. And yet, I can't help but feel a little nostalgic when I hear it, and so I value it more than it probably deserves. I dimly recall his cheesy show, which we used to watch all the time as kids. I watched it, but damned if I can recall a single moment from it other than what they looked like.

    As far as Orlando goes, he strikes me as not a particularly capable singer (better than Vicki Lawrence, but we just recently had Stevie Fricking Wonder on top of the charts. We were spoiled and didn't realize it). I will say that he came into his own once he grew the mustache; he and Freddie Mercury were the two big 70s entertainers I would say needed the porn staches to make their faces work.

    So, not a bad song. Well, it was good-bad but not evil (winking at Mary Weiss). Did it deserve to be #1 for a hundred weeks in 1973? Hell no. But far far worse is creeping our way, so I'll give it a mild pass.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  12. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    I much prefer the version with the horns and extra vocal noises. Also, the flipside "Tuesday Heartache" also got airplay in some areas. My guess is that someone at Motown thought it should be the hit, so they put it on the back of "You Are The Sunshine...".
     
  13. SITKOL'76

    SITKOL'76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colombia, SC
    Hell yeah, I love this song. Might be my favorite #1 hit of the year (just maybe ;)). I just like the calming vibe of the song and how beautifully arranged it is.

    This song was included in the live acts of both Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald from the 70's onward so it must have been amazing for Wonder to write a song that 2 bonafide legends at that time took to so wonderfully.

    Bonus: This song was #1 the week of Stevie Wonder's 23rd Birthday (May 13, 1973). Now that was certainly a good B-day Present.
     
  14. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    I also really like this one, maybe more than Superstition as I've always been a sucker for Stevie's happy, uplifting melodies . Think For Once In My Life, My Cherie Amour, Uptight, Sir Duke and on and on. I used to prefer the single with the over-dubbed horns but these days I can deal with either. The groove here is quite reminiscent of Superwoman. God, this man is a genius!
     
    SITKOL'76 and Cheevyjames like this.
  15. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" is fluff, but high-level, transcendent fluff. It's the most welcome kind of fluff, sounding the way a soft down pillow feels under the head after a long, busy day. A richly deserving chart-topper, and the two guest vocalists coming in at the very start of the song are about as Stevie a thing to do as anything. Probably made Motown nervous, too...
     
  16. tmoore

    tmoore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Olney, MD
    Another Top 40 song with a state title is Perry Como's (in)famous "Delaware".
    This would make a list of my top 10 most detested singles, and that's a shame because I'm a native Delawarean.

    Re: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life":
    I remember wondering --- for a long time ---why the first male vocal of this song didn't sound anything like Stevie Wonder.

    WRT to "Georgia On My Mind" -- it may have been written for a girl named Georgia, but note that the US state of Georgia made this its state song in 1979. I remember seeing a news report about that at the time, with Ray Charles playing the song in the state capitol (I assume that's where it was; it looked like he was surrounded by politicians).
     
  17. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    I'm of the opinion that Tony started out a much better vocalist as a teenager, and decayed a bit as time went on.
     
  18. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    This confused the hell out of me when I was a kid. That's something I don't think anybody else has done before or since - have two different vocalists start off by singing a verse before the main guy comes in.

    On top of that, Stevie's voice sounded remarkably similar to Lani's, so of course I'd be wondering whose record was this, anyway...
     
  19. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    I never really cared for "Sunshine Of My Life." I usually skip past it when listening to Talking Book. I'm just now finding out that there were no horns on the LP version.
     
  20. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    I can think of one: Prince's "1999". Lisa, Dez Dickerson, then Prince comes in third. Or, was that Prince on the secord line?
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  21. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    :wtf::faint:
     
  22. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    I guess because the voices sound so similar to Prince's, it's not as jarring as when Jim Gilstrap stands in for Stevie.
     
  23. W.B.

    W.B. Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Seeing those pictures of Mr. Orlando, when he first stepped out with Joyce and Telma on their LP covers in '71, he looked almost like his '60's self, only with a bad shag wig. Not until he grew his moustache did his long hair look to the manor born.
     
  24. W.B.

    W.B. Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Didn't think about the extra vocals, since I pretty much avoid the LP version when I can. But now that you mention it . . . all those add-ons for the 45 version, clearly made it more complete.
     
    Grant likes this.
  25. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    Can't say I've heard a lot of his output, neither early or '70s, but I have an original Epic 45 of Chills and can't praise it enough. I recognise that it is a kind of Stay retread, but it doesn't matter. This must have been a popular record in the UK -- I can think of at least two covers: Gerry and The Pacemakers did it as well as Brian Poole and The Tremeloes (who did a fantastic cover of it, kind of updated to 1964 British Beat sound--it appears on their 1964 UK Decca LP It's About Time and its US counterpart Brian Poole Is Here! from 1965.

     
    Mylene and Damiano54 like this.

Share This Page