EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

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

  1. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I do go back but I should do that before I post. And you almost never screw up so I actually thought I might mis remembered.
  2. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I obviously need to revisit the album...sounds like there is some un mind gold I missed. I actually just got it recently.
    Grant likes this.
  3. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    True, but I never hear the song anymore inc the 70’s themed streaming channels. Strange.
  4. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    The 80’s would really get going later on, but if memory serves there are going to be a whole lot of non descript, plain vanilla songs for awhile coming up. But when it kicks in, some great stuff starts really coming out. Will be interesting to see the charts again.
    Grant likes this.
  5. MielR


    Georgia, USA
    I think the album may have been recorded just prior to their breakup, but I'm not sure. It was right on the cusp, though.

    I recently read an interview where KC said that he wrote all the songs himself (which I had kind of suspected anyway). Finch's major contributions were production and engineering, some arranging and the great bass playing of course. Finch's co-writing credit was really just nominal, and KC got Finch's 50% back in court after they had their falling out.

    In the same interview, KC talked about his dissatisfaction with TK because of their lack of promotion for the album, which is what lead him to leave TK and go with Epic (who ended up being FAR worse than TK in that regard).
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  6. I was speaking of different ' hustles'...
    You know, the daily hustling of getting by.
  7. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Re: Rupert Holmes. I'm curious about the MCA CD for the next album, ADVENTURE. It's the only one of his 70s-80s albums that I don't own on CD, but given how bad the MCA CD of PARTNERS IN CRIME is, I'm hesitant to spend any big bucks on the now-rare Japanese CD. Anyone here own that one that can attest to sound quality?
  8. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Gambler should've done better than it did for sure especially since a bunch of his singles charted better down the road. I guess this paved the way for Kenny to be a Top 20 Hot 100 artist for the next 6 or so years.
  9. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    RE: The Hustle
    I hear it often on Sirius-XM's 70s channel.
    I also hear it in restaurants, etc., playing 70s music.
  10. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    Top 40 was pretty good in the summer of 1975.
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  11. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    One more note about "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" and that is that there is a single edit of the song. There's a CD comp called ESCAPE: THE BEST OF RUPERT HOLMES (also titled PIÑA COLADA with similar artwork) that contains both the album version of the song and the single edit. (Both sound better than the MCA disc of PARTNERS IN CRIME). The single clocks in at 3:52, while the album version goes on to 4:37.

    The single is sped up by a factor of 1% and contains an edit in the last iteration of the chorus. I'm assuming that the original Infinity 45 used this version. I don't own that single.

    ChristopherTeuma likes this.
  12. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I tell you, that's an eclectic combination of songs. You have remnants of the '60s there, like "Joy To The World" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". You have the requisite disco, two Gibb tracks and one by Chic. You have two big singer/songwriter tunes (the blues tinged "Tonight's The Night" and the retro-inflected "Alone Again (Naturally)"). You even have a little kick *** New Wave rock with "My Sharona".

    OK, so Debbie Boone is parked on top of it all like a cat turd plopped on your buffet plate, but the stunningly gorgeous "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" makes up for it. Only in the early '70s could something that breathtaking and musically and lyrically literate do so well on the pop charts.

    Wave goodbye to all of it - the disco, the singer songwriters, the literate pop - because we're about to enter a very different era.

    Or is it so different...

  13. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    I don't hate DeYoung's voice, but it does always sound to me like he needs to blow his nose.
  14. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Absolutely can't stand Journey, except for Wheel in the Sky.

    I vividly recall how they were used in the early eighties as the anti-cool totem on a local classic rock station. The narrator in a commercial for the station would intone in slowed down, distorted Darth Vader style voice: WE... don't.. play... JOURNEY...

    Ten years later, of course, Journey was on their playlist. I guess by then they were preferable to whatever hair metal stuff was the latest bogeyman.

    [EDIT]: I did have their Atari 2600 game, though, which was as utterly crappy as you would imagine it would be...


  15. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    I liked this one better than any of his more famous dance numbers.
  16. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Since the 70s are coming to an end, I think it's appropriate to post a song that says as much. I think it's our first Ramones song in this thread, too... :pineapple:

  17. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

    "Chris Pratt listened to the first (soundtrack) album hundreds of times. He said the only song he got sick of was the Pina Colada Song" - Director James Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt's reaction to the seventies songs used in that movie's soundtrack.

    The Book of Worst Rock and Roll songs of all time knocked the seventies, saying it was a decade that came in with a whimper - the first #1 that decade was Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head -- and went out with a whimper (final #1: Escape). My take: I rather like Raindrops. Escape? That's anoooooother story.

    1979 was a year of contrasts. There were some really interesting songs on the charts that year. Some of the best disco ever courtesy of Miss Donna Summer. New Wave making its presence felt. Rock returned as well. Even Herb Alpert! But there were also some horrible, cringey ballads. And some deservedly forgotten nonsense.

    And then there was Escape, my choice for the very worst #1 of the year. Oi vey, is this a crap pile. And like a lot of the top songs of the year, it was played to absolute death when it came out. You could say there was no 'escape' from it, even if you went to the dunes of the cape.

    Why do I hate this? Well, for a start, the faux reggae riff is repetitive as all heck. But it's the lyrics that push this one past the brink for me. Oh-so-topical references to health food and yoga. So seventies! And isn't the ending cute? They both hate each other and want to hook up with someone else! "Why, I never knew you liked pina coladas!" Let's forget about how we are both trying to cheat on each other, we both like the same alcohol, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with THIS relationship, no sir!

    People have mentioned the deeply weird Timothy, but it is so much better than the Rum and Cola Song. Now, if only our current song had ended the way Timothy does, it still would have been terrible, but at least in a more interesting way!!

    joemarine likes this.
  18. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Those songs were very 70s!o_O

    And did we really say goodbye to it all? I say no, at least not yet.
  19. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    OK, here's a tough one - your 20 favorite #1 hits of the '70s. I was gonna do 10, but that's not really fair to the whole decade.

    A few juuuuust missed the cut, but I've gotta mention them because they're golden:

    Diana Ross - "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)"
    The theme from Mahogany still transcends. Rest in peace, Prince Be.

    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - "The Tears Of A Clown"
    I tend to think of this one as a '60s hit, but the '70s transitioned slowly, and this is one of Smokey's greatest.

    The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"
    Probably their finest achievement, certainly their most epic hit.

    The Love Unlimited Orchestra - "Love's Theme"
    Nothing screams mid-'70s California louder to me than this track. I can see the convertible Mercedes racing down the PCH.

    Gordon Lightfoot - "Sundown"
    Forget country/rock, here's some straight up country. Incredible song.

    John Lennon - "Whatever Gets You Thu The Night"
    Kind of the soundtrack to Lennon's lost period, I just love its New York jam band sound, with a big touch of New Orleans.

    A Taste Of Honey - "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
    I cannot sit still thru the intro of this song. One of the finest dance grooves, ever.

    Rod Stewart - "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
    He took a lot of heat for this one, but I still think it's a classic with a revealing lyric twist at the end: horndog Rod is really a romantic softie. Awwww.

    Bee Gees - "Love You Inside Out"
    In their final #1, the Brothers Gibb hit on a kind of proto-hip hop several years before the real thing became a chart phenomena.

    Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together"
    The apex of '70s cheese, and I love it.

    OK, now for the ranked numbers:

    20) Diana Ross - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
    Sweeping into the decade in completely over-the-top glory comes the diva herself, in a rare remake that bests the original by slowing it down but adding D-R-A-M-A. Sooooooo much drama. She remained a superstar throughout the decade, even if she was never quite as big solo as The Supremes had been in their heyday (in spite of Berry Gordy's best efforts).

    19) Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)"
    Maybe the finest earworm of the decade. I think Looking Glass were just a Jersey bar band who hit it big, but man, did they ever strike gold with this one. It ain't art, but it sure works.

    18) Wings - "Listen To What The Man Said"
    Macca had a mixed decade, but I think this is probably his finest solo single, a bottle of antidepressants in aural form, propelled by a fantastic chugga chugga beat and punctuated by Tom Scott's sax.

    17) Linda Ronstadt - "You're No Good"
    Elevates the cover tune to an artform. Her cooing and crying at the opening of the song is already impressive, but when she cuts loose in the chorus a superstar is born. Andrew Gold's arrangement is both over the top and sublime - his coda is one of the great moments in pop music.

    16) Van McCoy - "The Hustle"
    Arguably the song that turned disco into a cultural phenomena. Harks back to dancehall tunes of the big band era, pulls in the Love Unlimited Orchestra symphonic element, but gives it all a light funk twist. Music executives sat up and took notice - the disco floodgates were opened and the '70s had a genre to call its own.

    15) Carly Simon - "You're So Vain"
    Maybe the greatest kissoff song ever written. Simon kept them guessing for decades. Her performance on this cut is flawless - it's riveting.

    14) The Rolling Stones - "Angie"
    Who knew Keith was capable of writing something so deeply anguished, or that Mick could convincingly sell it? Being delivered by rock's ultimate bad boys makes this song incredibly poignant - it's been one of my favorites since I was a tyke.

    13) Elton John - "Bennie And The Jets"
    Elton's reaction to glam is a brilliant bit of nonsense. Genius.

    12) M - "Pop Muzik"
    The sound of the future. This one had me bouncing off the walls in '79, and I still adore it. It's so profoundly un-American. And thank God for that.

    11) Roberta Flack - "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
    One of the most beautiful songs in the pop canon. Hard to believe something this long, this delicate, this intelligent, this exquisite could be the biggest hit of the year. Only in the early '70s was this kind of thing possible.

    10) Chic - "Le Freak"
    Deservedly made them superstars, if only for a moment. One of the greatest grooves in the pop canon.

    9) Janis Joplin - "Me And Bobby McGee"
    We lost a lot when we lost Janis, even if she was a pain in the ***. This was one of my two favorite songs in the world when I was a tiny tyke, and it still stops me in my tracks.

    8) Carole King - "It's Too Late"
    King established herself as a great performer and re-established herself as maybe the most important woman in pop music with this incredibly adult #1. The Boomers were moving into a new phase of life, and "It's Too Late" perfectly reflected that fact - the sound of disappointment. Along with the near simultaneous chart success of James Taylor, the singer/songwriter was established as a commercially hot property, so King really helped realign the industry as a whole with this hit and shaped the sound of the decade to come.

    7) ABBA - "Dancing Queen"
    Aural crack. The harmonies are almost country - more Tammy Wynette than Donna Summer - and there's nary a trace of funk, but that still hasn't stopped this monster hit (inspired by an earlier #1 disco hit, "Rock Your Baby") from packing them onto the dance floor for over 40 years. Not their finest - that would be "Knowing Me, Knowing You" - but since that didn't make it to #1 in the US, it'll do nicely.

    6) Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"
    The Buckingham/Nicks iteration of Mac were already a success - 1975's dynamite self-titled opus saw to that - but "Dreams", the venerable band's only chart topper, took Rumours over the top and helped propel it to becoming the biggest selling non-soundtrack LP of the decade and made the band superstars. A really smart blend of a compelling groove, a hypnotic bass line, perfectly spacey but not silly lyrics from Nicks and maybe her sultriest, least-affected performance. Enchanting.

    5) Bee Gees - "Jive Talkin'"
    They hadn't seen much success since '71's #1 "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" (another of my faves as a tyke) and the smart money would have written them off by this point. But here they roared back, as improbable kings of the dance floor, all breathy vocals and farting, funky synths. I've seen critics slam the Bee Gees as disco bandwagon jumpers. That's bullcrap. These guys helped build that bandwagon. And anyhow, Barry had already proven he was a dynamite R&B songwriter with "To Love Somebody" back in the '60s. He finally fully deployed those talents in the mid-'70s, and the results were the kind of global superstardom we hadn't seen since The Beatles. I loved this song as a kid and I still love it today. One of the great hits of the decade, helped established disco as a hit genre and re-ignited the career of the Brothers Gibb.

    4) Stevie Wonder - "Superstition"
    Another fave from my early childhood, the highlight of his incredible Talking Book album. Who knew a clavinet could be that funky? I love the menace of the song, those slightly demonic horns and the lyrics like incantations. I think the subsequent rise of disco and funkier R&B on the pop charts owe a great deal to the success of this and another song I'll get to in a moment. If these hadn't been monster hits? Who knows. Pop music in the '70s could have sounded very different.

    3) Blondie - "Heart Of Glass"
    A lot of acts hybridized rock and disco around this time, but none of those hybrids had as much New Wave attitude as Blondie's. When Debbie Harry cooed over the song's bridge she reshaped the course of pop music. American radio - which had been impossibly resistant to New Wave - was suddenly kicked open, and a new media-savvy superstar from the school of Papa Bowie was born. Blondie's reign at the top would be brief but incredibly influential - virtually all of the early MTV superstars ended up owing them a huge debt.

    2) David Bowie - "Fame"
    Speaking of Bowie, the US also remained incredibly resistant to Ziggy Stardust, at least on the singles charts, but even America couldn't resist the space alien funk of "Fame". Beyond the groove - which is the best of the decade in my opinion - there's also a nightmarish aspect to the vocals on this one, only intensified by Lennon's mocking falsetto. Irresistible yet bizarre - the most striking #1 of the decade.

    1) Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft
    My absolute favorite song in the world when I was about 4, my grandmother used to have my uncle play this in the evening in order to get me to come in for dinner. It always worked. I had good taste for a recently minted ex-toddler. Isaac Hayes married funk with over the top orchestrations and created a masterpiece that altered the course of '70s pop. And not just '70s - his vocals here anticipated the rise of rap at the close of the decade as well. The song that launched a million waka chaka rhythm guitar riffs.

    So bizarrely structured - a three minute intro followed by a one minute song - but it was so original and compelling that it flew up the charts and off the shelves. I find it just as arresting today as it was the first time I heard it in 1972. Not only an incredible song, but also probably the first major stepping stone in the rise of disco as the genre of the decade. The Theme from Shaft isn't just an incredible cut that screams 1970's, it's the song that probably did the most to forge the the sound of that decade as well. I can still see Hayes - bedecked in gold chains - playing the Oscars in '72, Minds were blown out in Middle America, the way great acts do.

    Rest in peace, Isaac.

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  20. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    We haven't talked about another big hit of 1979, Rock and Roll Fantasy. Bad Company had the hit, but 'nobody does it better' than Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter. Ah, 70s variety shows! :D

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  21. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    One last plug for my Billboard US #1 Hits of the '70s Spotify playlist. I discovered I'd somehow skipped adding 1972 to the playlist. Well, we all have those years we'd like to forget... Joking! Not sure how that happened. Anyhow, '72's hits are there now.

  22. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Gotta love those comps by artists that only had a couple notable hits :D
  23. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I think I have it and will check. I probably played it all of one time so I don’t recall. What a sucker...before I got back into vinyl exclusively I seemed to buy almost anything I had ever heard of! This is a great example.
  24. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Cat turd? I needed a laugh when I read that...thanks...I got a good one!:D Perfectly said.
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  25. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    One damn fine written post. I love every word. And out of all that, I would only remove just one track...Angie. Even if I don’t absolutely love svery single one of them, they all belong for the reasons you wrote. With Angie, I don’t know what it is exactly, but I decided this week I simply hate the Stones. Except for a couple tracks that randomly pop up on radio. One last gasp, I bought that two album comp with the four lips on the cover(Honk?), Terrible! Talk about a lot of singles that don’t belong on the same album, randomly mixed together. Just dreadful to me. Clearly I’m no fan, or you have to listen to them in context, album by album, which I have zero interest in. I imagine it would be like throwing Supertramp’s tracks against the wall and randomly mixing them up for a comp. Wouldn’t work...gotta listen to them as cohesive albums. So, maybe I’m being unfair. But aside from Angie, that’s a track list that I doubt I would ever tire of. And Love’s Theme in a car....that would make anyone want to crank it up and push down on the pedal! In fact, that whole comp album released a couple years ago, despite the insane $50 price, is one heck of a listen. Barry White had an amazing ear for orchestral music. Papa Was a Rolling Stone...never would have thought the Temps would do a track like that...genius. I don’t ever see a decade where we will again see such a diverse amount of quality music. Corporate America owning all our airwaves and labels simply won’t allow it. What a ride, and I consider myself lucky being a kid then and growing up with some pretty fine, easy accessible music.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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