EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

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

  1. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    Well, imagine if, say, AC/DC had changed. The fans would be calling for their heads. When they did "For Those About To Rock" it was different enough that a lot of their fans complained. And, I knew several Def Leppard fans who were very disappointed with "Pyromania" because they felt they had moved in an even more pop direction that they had on "High & Dry". That doesn't even get close to what they would think later. A lot of longtime Van Halen fans cried foul when...well, i'm jumping too far ahead. :)

    BTW, I love that "hippie crap" from the late 60s. Great stuff. It came out when rock music was at its most creative and influential state. The Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad, Traffic, Santana...all great stuff!
     
  2. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yeah, kind of my history with Yes as well. I liked the early stuff - my uncle was a fan, had all those records, and rock radio played it constantly into the early '80s - but a little went a long way. I eventually made do with the CD of Classic Yes, even though it had a kinda crappy live recording of "I've Seen All Good People", which is one of my Yes favorites in its studio incarnation.
     
  3. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I liked it too, but it belonged to a time and place. Just repeating the same crap over and over again for a decade?

    :drool:
     
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  4. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    It always sounded to me, to a certain degree, like an aping of The Police sound, with Jon Anderson seemingly doing his best Sting impression. There was at least one single out by them in this period that was piggybacking off their "Every Breath You Take" success and keeping the fires burning from their Synchronicity album. One wonders how a Sting cover of "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" may've sounded like.

    And to think Yes' biggest hit, up to that point, was "Roundabout" some 12 years before:

    A portion of the midway instrumental break - one singular guitar note, backed by organ - was looped over and over again for a news sounder for a Liberty, NY radio station in the late 1970's which I'm familiar with from the summer camp I stayed in within a few miles of Liberty.
     
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  5. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Really? I've never thought they sounded even remotely like The Police. No faux Jamaican accent, for starters. If it was close to any existing major band it would probably be Duran Duran and their own edgy sound, but there was something even sharper about this reconstituted Yes. "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" was really unique. Although it was made up of familiar parts, I don't recall ever hearing anything quite like it before. I think that's part of what made it such a massive, out of the blue success. It really catapulted Horn into the big leagues - for awhile he was probably the hottest producer on the planet after Quincy Jones, given he'd enjoyed enormous success in a variety of innovative styles/genres.

    Deservedly so, I might add.
     
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  6. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I wasn't going by the SFX used in the song, I was going by the basic guitar/bass/drum arrangement used. Anderson may not have used a faux Jamaican accent, but his vocal range (and timbre) was not too dissimilar to Sting's.
     
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  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Yes is a band I always think are crap and then I listen to an album and realize I really like them: this is true regardless of the album or era they recorded in.

    As for "Owner of a Lonely Heart", I think it's another iconic classic -- not my favorite of the year or anything; I'm more into up-and-coming alternative bands from this time; but a petty good single. Trever Horn's signature sounds date it a little, but no more dated than anything else Yes had ever done.
     
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  8. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    Like many in my age bracket, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" was my introduction to Yes. When it hit toward the end of 1983, it sounded sleek, modern and catchy. The various sound effects and other seemingly left of center production choices really enhanced the overall sonic picture. Although I now prefer the band's early 70s releases, "Owner Of a Lonely Heart" stands as an example of songcraft, musicianship and technology coming together to create something special.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  9. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    "Owner of a Lonely Heart"

    Loved this song. So did the rest of my 6th grade class...or at least they liked the ultra-hard riff at the beginning. It was my introduction to Yes, and even though they had a 15 year history at this point (with just a few years off between 81-82), I thought of them as new. They somehow slotted right into the radio of early '84 without sticking out in a bad way. As someone pointed out, it did have broad appeal: to the pop people, the hard rock people, new wave people. There was even a dance mix. For the first and only time in their career, they had at least a few screaming girls in the audience.

    It's also one of the first big songs to use that whole "scare" effect on the keyboard that was really common between about '84 and '88 before it disappeared, considered an '80s cliche. Even Prince succumbed to using it in a couple of places ("It" on Sign o the Times, I think). (On "Owner," it's the big bwouumpph! you hear between some of the verses as well as the bridge when Anderson goes "yow!")

    One band they were certainly trying to sound like (or at least compete with) were arch-rivals Asia, who had ex-Yes men Steve Howe and Geoff Downes, even though this was a good 18 months after Asia's "peak." Yes in '84 was sort of like Asia without the Journey-esque douchiness (and I like Journey!)

    It's a shame about Big Generator. I like much of that album and think it's a logical extension of 90125. But politics, etc prevented it from being released until a year after it was due. I think it would've fared a heck of a lot better in '85 or '86 than in '87. By the late '80s "classic rock" was starting to heat up on radio and people were starting to look back to the '70s.
     
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  10. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident


    Believe it or not, this was the version that I heard first. Nothing can top the original but Tina did a fantastic job and her cover helped to kick off a well deserved career renaissance that would last for almost a decade.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    That was my second yes album. I was also ticked off that it had the live version of "Your Move/I've Seen All Good People". At some point I finally bought "The Yes Album" and "Fragile".

    I still don't care for Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
     
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  12. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    I wasn't into that music as a kid, and neither was my family. All I knew about them back then was what I heard on top 40 radio. It was specifically 1989 when I finally got deeper into it. A "friend" gave me her old copy of The Rolling Stones "Hot Rocks" LP and that turned on the light. Next was Crosby, Stills, Nash/Young, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Santana, and most recently, The Jefferson Airplane. I wish I had been old enough and aware to have gone to Woodstock in 1969. Uh, but then I probably would have been old enough to have been drafted.:sigh:
     
  13. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    That awkward off-time edit in the single version always annoyed me so I created a new edit that uses a drum fill from another part of the song to make it more natural as they could have played it.
     
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  14. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I was going to ask if Leave It was the song where they produced all those videos, each one more boring than the last. Look, in this one they're standing in a row for the entire video! Now the new one they are in a row but upside down! In this one, they're alternately flipped on their heads! Etc. No joke there were like 15 of them. Who produced those things, Yoko Ono?

    The kids in my school thought stuff like that was a good sign that MTV had jumped the shark (though that term was not in use yet). When artists start using gimmicks like that to get noticed, you know you're in trouble. At least no one ended up resorting to Smell-o-vision for a video...

    There was one version of the video which supposedly they would only play if the song reached #1 on the charts. Needless to say, that one never got shown. Too bad. :rolleyes::shh:

    PS - you think I was joking? Have you ever seen a more boring video? And this is one of the more interesting variations... :help:

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  15. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I remember that. "Saturday night at 8 PM, see all ten versions of 'Leave It.'"! I thought, "why would anyone make more than one version? This song must be incredible--not even Michael Jackson has made that many different videos!" And then I heard the song and liked it a lot less than "Owner."
     
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  16. Geee!

    Geee! Senior Member

    My intro to Yes was 3 years earlier when I picked up Drama & Classic Yes. I was only 13 or 14.

    "Owner of a Lonely Heart" reminds me of driving around in my brother's car early spring with the windows down. This is on the radio. I can still remember the exact street I was on when it came on the radio. I never owned 90125 until recently though I had heard it. I liked it just fine, but have never heard anything post 1984 from Yes, and I am A-Ok with that.

    This song sounds so 1984. Yes grooves successfully with funky beats. Nice FX.
    A worthy #1.

    The song was stymied a top slot in Canada (by "Major Tom" & the next US #1) peaking at #2.
     
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  17. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    Yeah, I mentioned the videos earlier, but we are jumping far ahead, as "Leave It' was the second chart single from the album. Not #1, but it was a single.

    I immediately liked "Leave It" because it is R&B. Probably why Slug man doesn't like it as much. :D
     
  18. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    "Leave It" was my favorite single from 90125. The vocals are amazing. I'm not usually a huge fan of Anderson's strained voice, but the band chorused like that is amazing. I don't know if it was just multitracked or if they assembled the vocal arrangement presumably on the Synclavier - it feels like some parts of the arrangement could just have been sung but others might have been assembled using the sampler - but either way it's an amazing arrangement.

    The Synclavier by the way was way more sophisticated than the Fairlight CMI. I think the Fairlight was still stuck with 8-bit samples at sub-CD sample rates, although perhaps the new 16-bit model had arrived by this point. The Synclavier was I think always 16-bit, had up to a 50kHz sample rate (it would later be extended up to 100kHz), and much, much better analog stages. Unlike the original Fairlight, it was largely sonically transparent, and could provide a much more realistic (and surreal) experience. Its heyday was circa '85-'88 or so, making this a very early application of the device's sampling abilities, assuming that's what they used here (it doesn't sound like the Fairlight, which has a distinctive gauzy sound, at least the earlier unit).
     
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  19. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Old Dude Who Knows Things

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    I was not a fan of Yes and have never been a fan of Progressive Rock. I could go the rest of my life without hearing stuff like “Roundabout.” But, I do like “Owner of a Lonely Heart” - it has a nice fusion of “classic rock” and 1980s production. Pretty amazing that they finally had a number 1 single after almost 15 years, when their best days seemed to be behind them.
     
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  20. ronm

    ronm audiofreak

    Location:
    southern colo.
    I guess I just didn't get the video
    No resemblance to the song at all.Allthough I didn't care for OOALH I did very much like what was probably their last charting hit "Love Will Find Away" from '87.
     
  21. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is probably my peak year for pop music in my teens. A funny thing I've noticed: starting in 1965 and running through 1991, every odd-numbered year is better musically for me than the even-numbered years surrounding it. My peak years for classic rock are 1971 & 1969. My peak years for pop/rock as a teenager are 1983 & 1981.

    The very best #1 records of 1983:

    "Every Breath You Take" - The song of Summer '83.

    "Down Under" - MTV assured that the music industry was not business as usual by the mid-80s.

    "Come On Eileen" - Infectious. Fun. (n.b. I play music over the PA system when I announce baseball games, mostly 60s - 80s pop/rock. I actually got a request - from a friend - to not play this song last year. Must still get played a lot by others! :p)

    "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" - Annie Lennox is one of my favorite female singers. A great pop record.

    "Let's Dance" - Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.

    "Islands In The Stream" - If the Bee Gees had also recorded this song around '83 (and had a decent video to promote it), I wonder if it would also have hit #1, 'cause I love when they sing it as well as Kenny & Dolly.

    "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" - I'm a Jim Steinman fan. And Rory Dodd, who sings the counterpoint "turn around". And the E Street Band - Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg play piano and drums on this record. And Rick Derringer on guitar! Epic.

    Still great #1s:

    "Africa" - Lyrics not penned by Bob Dylan, but it's a catchy-as-hell tune. Not all songs need genius lyrics.

    "Beat It" - Another #1 hit by Toto; great guitar (lead & bass) from Steve Lukather. And some other guy on the solo.

    "Billie Jean" - So many of these songs have iconic videos.

    "Flashdance... What A Feeling" - I'd place some other strong top ten hits above this, but it's obvious why it was very popular.

    "All Night Long (All Night)" - Just lots of fun.

    Good:

    "Tell Her About It" - A good song, but there are several better ones from this 7x platinum album.

    "Say Say Say" - I liked it better at the time, but I still enjoy playing it.

    "Maneater" - A good #1, even though Hall & Oates have had many better.

    OK:

    "Baby, Come To Me" - I never totally got the General Hospital stuff. All the people I knew who watched soaps watched Days Of Our Lives - including all the guys on my dorm floor in the mid-80s. Since that's when I was there eating lunch, I ended up watching quite a bit of it for two years. And this record never came close to being the #1 song on the radio stations I listened to - top ten at best.

    Meh:

    "Maniac" - Not bad, but I have no desire to ever play it.


    For other 'songs that should have been #1', there are many this year that deserved the top spot. My top pick is "Overkill" by Men At Work. Sure, it had stiff competition, but I think it should have reached the summit for at least a week or two before "Flashdance". It's one of my top ten pop records of the 80s. In addition, "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley, "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye, ""Shame On The Moon" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" by Culture Club, "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran, "Jeopardy" by The Greg Kihn Band, "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant, "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats, "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel, and "Say It Isn't So" by Hall & Oates all deserved the top spot for at least a week.

    Also worthy of mention that peaked in 1983 are: "You Can't Hurry Love" - Phil Collins (#10), "Love In Store" - Fleetwood Mac, "Allentown" - Billy Joel (#17), "Shock The Monkey" - Peter Gabriel (#29), "You Got Lucky" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (#20), "Change Of Heart" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (#21), "I've Got A Rock 'n' Roll Heart" - Eric Clapton (#18), "I Know There's Something Going On" - Frida (#13), "Twilight Zone" - Golden Earring (#10), "Back On The Chain Gang" - The Pretenders (#5), "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" - Journey (#8 for six weeks!), "Mr. Roboto" - Styx (#3) :shh:, "Der Kommissar" - After The Fire (#5), "She Blinded Me With Science" - Thomas Dolby (#5), "Little Red Corvette" - Prince (#6), "White Wedding" - Billy Idol (#36), "Faithfully" - Journey (#12), "Always Something There To Remind Me" - Naked Eyes (#8), "Time (Clock Of The Heart)" - Culture Club (#2), "Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)" - A Flock Of Seagulls (#26), "Family Man" - Hall & Oates (#6), "She's A Beauty" - The Tubes (#10), "I'm Still Standing" - Elton John (#12), "Baby Jane" - Rod Stewart (#14), "Too Shy" - Kajagoogoo (#5), "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" - Michael Jackson (#5), "Come Dancing" - The Kinks (#6), "1999" - Prince (#12), "Our House" - Madness (#7), "Saved By Zero" - The Fixx (#20), "China Girl" - David Bowie (#10), "Stand Back" - Stevie Nicks (#5), "Lawyers In Love" - Jackson Browne (#13), "She Works Hard For The Money" - Donna Summer (#3), "Don't Cry" - Asia (#10), "Puttin' On The Ritz" - Taco (#4), "Sitting At The Wheel" - The Moody Blues (#29), "Big Log" - Robert Plant (#20), "Burning Down The House" - Talking Heads (#9), "Love Is A Stranger" - Eurythmics (#23), "King Of Pain" - The Police (#3), "Modern Love" - David Bowie (#14), "Tender Is The Night" - Jackson Browne (#25), "Love Is A Battlefield" - Pat Benatar (#5), "Undercover Of The Night" - The Rolling Stones (#9), "Church Of The Poison Mind" - Culture Club (#10), "Crumblin' Down" - John Mellencamp (#9), "Cum On Feel The Noize" - Quiet Riot (#5), "Major Tom (Coming Home) - Peter Schilling (#14), and this gem that I can't believe missed the Top 40 given the success of their previous comeback album - "Blue World" - The Moody Blues (#62). I could have listed another two dozen favorites easily.

    The best non-#1 records:
    "Overkill"
    "Dirty Laundry"
    "Big Log"
    "China Girl"
    "Burning Down The House"

    Lots of great #5 hits and top ten in general!

    Welcome to "The 80s"!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  22. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I don't think we've mentioned "King Of Pain", or else I missed it. Is it a "hat" or a "cat" stuck in the tree? We argued about that for ages. A wonderful moody tune, it definitely pointed in the direction of where Sting would be heading in his subsequent solo career. Hardcore rockers were probably disappointed, but I didn't mind.

    "Love Is A Stranger" might actually be the best song on the Sweet Dreams album - it's certainly one of my favorite singles of the '80s, and the video is fantastic as well. MTV famously made Lennox produce her birth certificate because they thought she was actually a man. For a supposedly subversive cultural force, MTV were always ridiculously prudish.

    The video is actually a great, low-budget glimpse at the London aesthetic circa '82 - '83 - you see hints of punk, the New Romantics and even sophistipop in it. Eurythmics were masters of making something look glamorous while simultaneously condemning it.



    And nobody could stare down a camera better than Annie Lennox.

    There was a fantastic remix of "Love Is A Stranger" - "The Obsession Mix" - that came out around the time of their Greatest Hits release in '91. I don't normally care for radical reinterpretations, preferring well-executed extended mixes, but this one is absolutely sublime and is one of my favorite remixes ever. Languid and hypnotic, it's the polar opposite 0f the pulsing original, and gives real insight into the original vocal mix as well by deconstructing it in spots. Check it out at the link above.
     
  23. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I like to picture a Cat in the Hat stuck in a tree.
     
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  24. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Great to see all the love for "Love Is A Stranger" here. Even then I knew it was something special despite not being the hit that "Sweet Dreams" was. "Who's That Girl" is another one that stayed with me. Time to go on a Eurythmics binge I'm thinking
     
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  25. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Old Dude Who Knows Things

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    As some of my favorite bands were fading away, I was discovering new bands. One of my favorite singles from 1983 was “The Cutter” by Echo and the Bunnymen. It reached the Top 10 in the UK and was frequently played on US alternative radio stations. Echo & the Bunnymen would become one of my favorite alternative bands.

    I still have no idea what the song is about.

     
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