EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

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

  1. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Possibly because it was originally released in 1967.

    I don't think so.

    Thing is, it's not entirely country. It's blues, soul, and a bit of pop all woven in. It defies categorization which is why I think it was so popular in 1974.

    Really? How come?



    Problem is, their fairly recent divorce and Darryl Dragon's death has forever tainted this song for me.

    OK, now for the ranked numbers:

    And writers/producers Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson made a name for themselves with it.

    I sure hope so with more than 100 mixes of it, some with foghorns!

    The first time I heard this song was in the car riding through New Mexico. I thought it was brilliant!

    It also put Linda on the map! I'll bet Capitol Records was not happy that it was on her last release for the label and she had already signed with Asylum.

    Problem is, everything he wrote, produced, and recorded after it all have the same rhythm pattern.

    Most rockers hate it, but it put Elton John on the R&B map. It even got him a spot on Soul Train.

    10) Chic - "Le Freak"
    Deservedly made them superstars, if only for a moment.


    The song bores me to tears. I was never a Janis Joplin fan anyway.

    This song was actually a demo but it's a brilliant one.

    And, this song was part of the couple's real-life soap opera.

    Much of the credit goes to producer and mentor Arif Mardin. Without him, they never could have made their transformation into authentic soul and funk.

    The producers say that they had all of the instruments arranged in a circle and Stevie would go from one to the other when laying down tracks.

    Stevie started down the clavinet road all the way back in 1971. The sound on "Superstition" wasn't new, but Stevie had to fight Motown to get his new musical vision out there. But, it all came together on his "Talking Book" album.

    Like Elton John's "Bennie And The The Jets", a lot of rockers dislike this one too. Like EJ, this song not only landed Mr. Jones a spot on Soul Train, John Lennon co-wrote and plays on it. There is a jarring edit on the single, but it's kind of rare on CD. I do have it.

    I just discovered that the mono single cut out some of that rap, too.
    joemarine, Jrr and sunspot42 like this.
  2. SITKOL'76

    SITKOL'76 Forum Resident

    Colombia, SC
    Elton John being male artist and Top overall act of the 70's is no surprise.

    Olivia Newton-John winning for women makes sense sort of, all though she wasn't a shoe in. She didn't make rounds until 1974, and was female artist of the year for 1975, fell off then came swinging back in 1978 with Grease. She scored 2 #1 albums this decade.

    Donna Summer didn't get her fist hit until 1975, and her first #1 came in 1978, when the 70's were almost over, but in that last year she dominated more than any woman ever had that decade. In the last 14 months she scored all 4 of her #1 hits and scored 2 #1 albums, including a live one.

    Diana Ross started the decade off with a #1 hit and scored 4 Total by the decades end. She scored the title of Top Female pop artist of the year twice (1970, 1976) and was a runner up in 1973. She never had a string of Top 10's, but was a regular in the Top 20. Things cooled down for her after '76 though. She had one #1 album, a ST for LSTB.

    Barbra didn't get a #1 hit til 1974, and before that only had a Top 10 hit in 1971. It wasn't until 1977 that she came back strong on the Hot 100 and for the rest of the decade was consistent. She scored 4 #1 hits total to decades end. She had an upperhand in album sales, by the later half of the decade her albums were scoring like they did during the earlier half of the 60's.

    Linda Ronstadt, she actually could lay claim to the title of female artist of the decade as well. Only 1 #1 hit, but her success was consistent in the later half of the decade, she also interestingly moved the most albums compared to her female peers. She also had the most crossover audience, at atleast in comparison to women like Diana or Babs who kind of fell into the overwrought 'diva ballad' singer category.

    I'll mention her because compared to the others her star has drastically decreased but Helen Reddy desevres a mention. In the earlier half of the 70's she gave Diana Ross and Cher a run for their money on the charts, even besting them several times. She never was a big album seller but she was a very consistent hit maker.
  3. For some reason an early girlfriend of mine thought 'Timothy' was a sad song about a little boy who ran away from home (!).
  4. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    If you had listened to the terrific interview posted earlier in this thread, you would have learned the reasons for both the repetitive riff, the reason the lyrics and title are the way they are, and that Mr. Holmes himself didn't want the song leading off the album.

    But that's OK. The record sold well without your input and that of other haters. Mr. Holmes' fans are proud of his accomplishments. It's not his greatest work, but it struck a chord at the time.
    Witchy Woman likes this.
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    So did the original 1971 UK stereo single version, frankly. Even a bit of the hi-hat pattern at the start was cut out of the 45 in Britain. Having heard some of Mr. Hayes' "raps" muted on the 45, it is that I've long been accustomed to. I have to presume US promos were mono/stereo.
  6. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    One song that, in the last months of 1979, peaked at #15 here, and #2 country, was this:

    I always thought that string open sounds very similar to that of this 1975 Elton John #1, are there anyone else who came to that same conclusion?
  7. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    Really good list.

    I really like all the singles you picked except "Love You Inside And Out" (The Bee Gees last great single was "Too Much Heaven" to me), "Pop Muzik" (too goofy), "Theme From Mahogany" (too saccharine), and "Whatever Gets You Thu The Night" (too chaotic). I also could never pick "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" over "Maggie May".

    "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", "Angie", and "Bennie & The Jets" would most likely be in my Top 20, too. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" might just be the most beautiful song of the 70s, and is also a strong contender. "You're So Vain" is great, too.

    "Listen To What the Man Said" is as happiness inducing as you described it, and "Love Will Keep Us Together" is great cheese. Spot on.

    I don't have the time to make my own Top 20 of the 70s list, because I would keep thinking of something new and have to keep changing it. :laugh:

    So, I'm going to take your list and add another great 7os hit song or two from each artist, if there is one.

    Diana Ross - "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)"
    You already chose the great "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", so my choice here is "Love Hangover".

    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - "The Tears Of A Clown"
    The Miracles didn't have much else of note in the 70s, so I'll go with Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin"

    The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"
    Hard to top this masterpiece, even with their more abundant 60s hits. But, OTOH, "Just My Imagination" can certainly give it a run for the money. Amazing to have two great singles like that so late in a career.

    The Love Unlimited Orchestra - "Love's Theme"
    Can't think of anything else by them, but this is a great instrumental.

    Gordon Lightfoot - "Sundown"
    "If You Could Read My Mind" is another great one from Gordon Lightfoot.

    John Lennon - "Whatever Gets You Thu The Night"
    "#9 Dream" is my pick for John Lennon in the 70s. One of those songs that sounded really great when you were listening to the radio in bed late at night.

    A Taste Of Honey - "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
    Nothing else comes to mind. This song is more proof disco didn't really suck.

    Rod Stewart - "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
    "Maggie May" is his classic. Great storytelling + great performance.

    Bee Gees - "Love You Inside Out"
    They have so many great singles, but I'm most partial to "Fanny Be Tender", "Nights On Broadway", "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Too Much Heaven". "Stayin' Alive" was also great but was even more overplayed than the other Bee Gees hits. Barry Gibb could write damn good singles.

    Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together"
    I like "Lonely Nights". Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed to say that. :D

    OK, now for the ranked numbers:

    20) Diana Ross - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
    I already picked "Love Hangover", so my next choice would be "Touch Me In the Morning" which I find to be a much better ballad than "Theme From Mahogany"

    19) Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)"
    Loved this song when I was a kid. "Jimmy Loves Maryanne" was their far less popular followup, and had a good groove.

    18) Wings - "Listen To What The Man Said"
    "Band on the Run", "Jet", and "Uncle Albert" were also great 70s McCartney singles. IMO, Paul by far had the best output in the 70s of all the Beatles.

    17) Linda Ronstadt - "You're No Good"
    This is her best, but her version of "Blue Bayou" comes close. And was even better than Roy Orbison's original. She was such a hottie back then.

    16) Van McCoy - "The Hustle"
    Was their anything else? I think my mom took Hustle dance lessons. This was actually something people did when that song was popular. :laugh:

    15) Carly Simon - "You're So Vain"
    She never came close to topping that one. But, "That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be" pulled off sounding profoundly sad and a little eerie at the same time. At least to my 10 year old ears.

    14) The Rolling Stones - "Angie"
    "Wild Horses" just edges this out for me. Go figure.

    13) Elton John - "Bennie And The Jets"
    Too many other great singles to mention. Okay, I'll mention a few ... "Rocket Man", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Tiny Dancer".
    Elton was my childhood favourite artist. I moved on from him and to Led Zeppelin when I was 14 and he started his creative downslide, but he'll always be the 70s artist to me. The 70s wouldn't have been the same without Elton.

    12) M - "Pop Muzik"
    A true one hit wonder. They should have had a comeback in the 80s as N.

    11) Roberta Flack - "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
    This is her best, but "Killing Me Softly" was also pretty great.

    10) Chic - "Le Freak"
    "Good Times" and "I Want Your Love" were also great disco songs. Chic and Donna Summer ruled disco.

    9) Janis Joplin - "Me And Bobby McGee"
    Nothing she did comes close to this. "Piece of My Heart" was really good, but that was the 60s.

    8) Carole King - "It's Too Late"
    Great song from a great album. "So Far Away" was also a great single from that album. "Jazzman" and "Sweet Seasons" are also favourites from Carole King.

    7) ABBA - "Dancing Queen"
    Their best, but I also really liked "Knowing Me Knowing You". "Waterloo" is a sugar rush.

    6) Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"
    "Go Your Own Way" should have also hit number one. They never had a bad single in the 70s with Stevie and Lindsey. "Tusk" was really out of left field and cool.

    5) Bee Gees - "Jive Talkin'"
    I covered the Bee Gees above.

    4) Stevie Wonder - "Superstition"
    Another one with a huge amount of great singles. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" was my personal favourite. Such a cool groove. "Higher Ground", too.

    3) Blondie - "Heart Of Glass"
    Most of their hits are still to come in the 80s. "Dreaming" was a good one, and popular just about right where we are at this point in the thread. Debbie was a fox.

    2) David Bowie - "Fame"

    Again, lots of great singles, even though many weren't big hits. "Space Oddity" was always my favourite. I love "Young Americans", too.

    1) Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft
    Not much else from him in the 70s coming to mind. "Do Your Thing" has a good groove. Waka waka waka.
    A song I always associate with "Theme from Shaft" is "Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone, which would probably make my 70s Top 20 list, which I'll never make. :unhunh:
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  8. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    The span between "Le Freak" and "Good Times" was roughly a year I think. After "Good Times" I don't think they ever scored another Top 40 hit, let alone the kind of running streak of hits you need to maintain "superstar" status.

    Yes, I realized this myself just a few years ago. Don't know if it was an intentional lift or not. Loved "Half The Way".

    I limited my list to #1's, and in doing so quickly realized that a lot of acts on that list - probably most of them - had better cuts in the '70s that never made it to #1.
  9. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Don't forget "Do It, Baby" from 1974 and "Love Machine" from 1976. Except, Smokey had gone solo by then. He had his own hits in the 70s like "Baby, That's Backatcha".

    "Satin Soul". It was all Barry White, of course.

    "#9 Dream" is great, but lets's not forget "Imagine".

    I really love his version of "The First Cut Is The Deepest". He made it his own.

    You're not alone!

    100% agree! I also include "Last Time I Saw Him".

    He was more of a songwriter and record producer, but he did have a single a year later that built on this. It is called "Party".

    Carly Simon had a knack for socially relevant songs without sounding topical.

    That's why his original greatest hits album was such a best-seller. It plays like a regular album in its own right. It's only flaw is that it doesn't have "Philadelphia Freedom" on it.

    "M" was actually a DJ.

    That's why I gave @sunspot42 a o_O . He also may have forgotten "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge, who was at that point, an extension of the Chic Organization.

    Oh yes! "Jazzman"! Such an overlooked and underrated song! It made top 40 radio fun.

    That might be because the majority of his 70s stuff fared better on the R&B chart. "Joy", "Ain't That Loving You" with Dave Porter, "Don't Let Go", and "Chocolate Chip". But, I remember all but the last to being played a lot of pop radio.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  10. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    I forgot those two from the Smokey-less Miracles. They were both pretty cool in different ways. "Cruisin'" is easily my favourite thing Smokey ever did on his own.

    I vastly prefer "#9 Dream" due to it's 'dreaminess' and the fact "Imagine" has been played to death. And a rich rock star singing about "imagine no possessions" is hilarious. Yeah, you first, John. You can start by giving the Rolls Royce to charity.

    Yeah, his version was the best version of that song.

    Okay, then check this out ... I actually like "Muskrat Love". I like the keyboard sound, I think it's cute, and it has a feel good vibe.

    Now I may be alone. :D

    Absolutely. The perfect EJ greatest hits album would have been a double released in 1976 ...

    Side 1: "Your Song", "Amoreena", "Love Song", "Levon", "Tiny Dancer"

    Side 2: "Rocket Man", "Honky Cat", "Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters", "Crocodile Rock", "Daniel".

    Side 3: "Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting", "Goodbye YBR", "Bennie & The Jets", "Candle In The Wind" "Don't Let The Sun Go Down".

    Side 4: "The Bitch Is Back", "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds", "Philadelphia Freedom", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Island Girl"

    I would have worn that album out. :agree:

    "We Are Family" was huge, and as good as the Chic hits. But, I see Sunspot's point that Chic's chart reign was very short lived. 1978 to 1979, and then they were gone.

    Nile Rodgers went on to other successes, though.

    :righton: I love everything about that song.

    I like his versions of "Walk On By" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", but I think they were from 1969.

    "Don't Let Go" was enjoyable, but really different from his earlier 70s stuff. More poppy. I think "Don't Let Go" was on the charts right where we are in the thread now.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  11. Cheevyjames

    Cheevyjames Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    1979 Overview

    There was definitely some great music that came out this year. Some of it was still thoroughly in the 70's while a handful of tracks were pointing to the upcoming decade. Things like Pop Muzik, My Sharona, Tragedy and Heart of Glass showed some of the directions we'd see again. I like changes and evolution in music so I'm excited to get to the songs from the 80's. The 80's were also the decade I really grew up in; I was 5 when the calendar turned. Even though I only started participating in this thread beginning in '75, I did follow along since day 1. I wasn't very familiar with so many of these 70's #1 songs so this thread has been a great education. I found out I like a lot more Bee Gees songs than I ever thought possible, as well as just disco in general. Sure there was some dreck, 1979 had quite a few, but there was also a significant amount of quality songs that I hadn't been exposed to before. 1979 surprised me with how much I did love. Here are the #1's that are Keepers for me:

    Bee Gees - Too Much Heaven
    Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
    Bee Gees - Tragedy
    Amii Stewart - Knock On Wood
    Blondie - Heart of Glass
    Donna Summer - Hot Stuff
    Bee Gees - Love You Inside Out
    Donna Summer - Bad Girls
    Chic - Good Times
    The Knack - My Sharona
    Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
    Herb Alpert - Rise
    M - Pop Muzik
    Commodores - Still

    My favorite #1 of the year is Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. Tremendous song. On to the 80's!
  12. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    I hear ya! In fact, John was criticized about his apparent hypocrisy of a lot of things at the time. I absolutely love "#9 Dream", but somehow, I keep wanting to put it back in 1973. And, BTW, I love "Mind Games". Man! For a good two or three years, John gave Paul a run for his money.

    No, i'm still there with you! "Really like C&T's "Muskrat Love". "Circles", too.

    There would have been no need to buy his studio albums!:agree:

    They weren't gone. We will see later on both of these charts.

    So did Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson. People keep forgetting about them.:realmad:

    It's actually the first Carole King record I ever bought I liked it so much. The aural space, the compression, instrumentation, arrangement, everything!

    I like his versions of "Walk On By" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", but I think they were from 1969.

    True. It's jumping ahead.:hide: but, I mentioned it because it was more of an R&B hit single. And, BTW, i'm about to introduce the 80s in that thread. Come join us.
  13. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    "Mind Games" was another really good one from Lennon, but the production is pretty lousy. I think "Jealous Guy" would have made a great single.

    I imagine many of us have put together in our minds that final Beatles album that never was from their early 70s singles. Even Ringo had a few good ones to bring to the table; "Photograph", "It Don't Come Easy".

    Sonically it never works though, because of the production differences.

    I like America's original version of "Muskrat Love", too. But, C&T's keyboard sound, earnestness, and goofy Muskrat sounds just makes it a perfect 70s AM radio guilty pleasure for me.

    For many, yep.

    But, I love the 5 albums from "Tumbleweed Connection" to "Goodbye YBR" like they're dear old friends.

    Chic made the Top 40 in the 80s? :confused:

    I had the Power Station cassette in the 80s. But, it was John Taylor of Duran Duran on bass instead of Bernard Edwards. Tony Thompson was going to join a reformed Led Zeppelin for a few minutes in the 80s, as you might already know.

    You never hear much about that song, so it's nice to see someone else is a big fan of it, too. I love the vibe of it.

    I have a little more free time lately, so I think I will. I always have to dig around for this thread. Is there an easy way to find both threads without an email every time someone posts? I guess the search engine.

    Our great thread here sinks pretty quickly when a thread about The Beatles' favourite day of the week and whether Paul liked smooth or chunky peanut butter is being made every 10 seconds. :blah:

    sunspot42 and Grant like this.
  14. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    No, but their presence was still felt. They did score four more top 40 singles on the R&B chart in the 80s, including one top 10.

    Bernard Edwards put it together as the producer. Each member recorded their parts in different countries. Thompson not only was part of The Power Station, but played on Madonna's second album. Bernard Edwards produced and played on several 80s hits with and without Chic.

    My conspiracy theory is that the moderators and Grant-haters sabotaged the R&B thread. :D Seriously, I set up a speed dial for that thread in Chrome. That way I always have instant access to it. Otherwise, it sinks too fast.
    Wild Horse likes this.
  15. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Presence still felt <> "superstars". Chic were superstars for literally like a year and change. Sister Sledge had an even shorter career in the Top 20 - less than a year.
  16. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Not true. Sister Sledge hit the pop top 40 at least one more time. But, you have to remember that both groups were blacklisted because of the disc backlash. That changed the playing field for all R&B artists. Remembering that, most fared much better on the R&B chart.
  17. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Amazing at how there can be so many points of view, totally opposite in some cases, but just as valid. On Chic, I’ll be more diplomatic...maybe he doesn’t know who they are?? :D Yes, that didn’t make much sense. But neither do I on on some of this stuff! Even though I lean more in his direction on the subjective points, in this case, your points are also excellent and I enjoyed the post!
  18. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    My Top 10 '70s no. 1's, in order of release:

    The Long and Winding Road
    My Sweet Lord [the flip Isn't It a Pity is good too]
    Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
    Maggie May [the flip Reason to Believe is good too]
    Gypsies Tramps and Thieves
    Without You
    The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
    Love's Theme
    Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe
    Dancing Queen

    rounding out the Top 21 (as it happens):

    I Think I Love You
    Just My Imagination
    My Ding-a-Ling
    Me and Mrs. Jones
    Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)
    Best of My Love
    One of These Nights
    That's The Way I Like It
    Afternoon Delight
    Kiss You All Over

    Meanwhile, here's the Bottom 21 which are instant channel-changers:

    Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
    Tears of a Clown
    Joy to the World
    A Horse with No Name
    Candy Man
    Lean On Me
    Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me
    Tie a Yellow Ribbon
    Will It Go Round in Circles
    Bad Bad Leroy Brown
    Delta Dawn
    The Joker
    Seasons in the Sun
    Dark Lady
    You're Having My Baby
    Rock Me Gently
    I Can Help
    Angie Baby
    Lady Marmalade
    December 1963 (Oh What a Night)

    This list doesn't even include anything by Grand Funk Railroad or any person or group named "Jackson", none of whose songs I like but they don't rise to the level of annoying that these do (actually ABC probably does, and the Osmonds' One Bad Apple too).
    joemarine likes this.
  19. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I said Top 20, not Top 40. They had one single that scraped into the mid-'20s in the early-'80s, a cover of "My Guy" that was self-produced (not Chic). That ain't superstar performance.

    Chic became superstars with "Le Freak" right at the end of '78. Good times hit #1 in August of '79. It was their last Top 40 single. They were huge, and then they were nothing, in about 9 months. Hence, "a moment."
  20. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    Always! I remember hearing "Half the Way" a few times when I was a kid, then it disappeared from the radio - or at least from the stations I listened to - while I did start hearing "Philadelphia Freedom" fairly often on the classic rock station. I think for a while I thought my memory was playing tricks on me and it was really the same song that I was misremembering as sung by a woman and with that different refrain.
  21. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I’ll let Grant take this one...he’s a huge fan. But, they did had numerous hits, though you are so right that it seemed like they suddenly disappeared. Like most other acts that did that kind of music. Even Niles says he couldn’t believe how they went from hot to nothing almost overnight. But hot they were, for a few albums if memory serves. They were never my cup of tea though I respect what they did, and what they did for other acts they produced.
  22. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    We'll get there.

    It wouldn't be so bad if such hyperbole wasn't used.
  23. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Chevrolet used it in one of their TV commercials at the time.
  24. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    I don't want to play the age card, but he was still young when Chic was a huge sensation. :p He had to be there! It's cool, @sunspot42 ! I was around when the Beatles were hot in the 60s, remember their music on the radio, but was too young to comprehend their stature.

    The Chic sound lived on through other artists they produced and had nothing to do with even though the public may not have realized it.

    The disco backlash isn't the only reason Chic's shine faded on the pop charts, as we will see in about seven months of chart time, they could have also partly been responsible for their own demise. Not only that, there were other artists appearing who out-Chic'ed Chic. We are going to see that very soon. In fact, i'll do that right now on the Billboard R&B thread because his next single was released in December 1979!
    Jrr and joemarine like this.
  25. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Now we go into the 80's with "Please Don't Go" by KC and the Sunshine Band, #1 from December 30, 1979 - January 5, 1980.


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