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
    You Are The Sunshine of My Life

    Sunshine is a great song; a classic, really. It was great having Stevie deliver awesome stuff like this to the top of the charts in 1973.

    As far as mellower Stevie goes, my favorite is probably Isn't She Lovely, because a song about a little baby and a joyous new daddy just hits me in the feels, as the kids say. Sunshine doesn't quite get to that level for me, but I like almost everything about it. The horns are boss; is there really a version without them? I guess I've only ever heard the brassy one. Stevie sings it beautifully, and the idea of having other vocalists on the track was inspired.

    At the peak of his powers was young Mr. Wonder. And he wasn't done yet!!
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  2. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Those of us who bought the album only ever heard it this way until the single was released. I'm sure a lot of us were pissed that we had to buy the single to get the horns.

     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  3. Victor/Victrola

    Victor/Victrola Makng shure its write

    YATSOML is pure happiness and joy. Stevie was really good at writing happy songs, I think this and "Sir Duke" are two of his very best singles. But what a talent - he was on a really hot streak in the early 70s and made some of the best music of the first half of the decade. Sunshine is certainly in the top 5 of the best #1s of 1973.
     
  4. tmoore

    tmoore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Olney, MD
    Never knew there was a version with horns and one without. In retrospect, I think the version with horns is the only one I've ever heard.
     
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  5. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fla.
    Tony Orlando's (solo) discography.
    Looks like he had his biggest success in 1961, when Bless You hit No. 15. I hadn't realized it charted that high.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It looks like he recorded a Drifters song in the late 70s as one of his "comeback" hits, which, unfortunately, didn't bring him back..

    • "Halfway to Paradise" (1961) US #39, CB #17
    • "Bless You" (1961) US #15, CB #17 UK #5[29]
    • "Happy Times (Are Here To Stay)" (1961) US #82, CB #76
    • "Chills" (1962) US #109, CB #111
    • "At the Edge of Tears" (1962) CB #146
    • "Shirley" (1963) US #133, CB #109
    • "I'll Be There" (1963) US #124, CB #123
    • "What Am I Gonna Do" (1963) CB #tag
    • "Tell Me What Can I Do" (1964) CB #147
    • "To Wait For Love" (1964) CB #119
    • "I Was A Boy" (1969) US #109, CB #89 (as Billy Shields)
    • "Make Believe" (1969) US #28, CB #18 (with 'Wind')
    • "I'll Hold Out My Hand" (1969) CB #114 (with 'Wind')
    • "Don't Let Go" (1978) Dance #27,[30] AC #48
    • "Sweets For My Sweet" (1979) US #54, CB #55, AC #20
    • [​IMG]
     
  6. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Finally! Like oxygen to a dying astronaut who's been stuck in a vacuum formed by exceedingly bad taste for several weeks.

    This one is a timeless classic, just a beautiful, soulful pop number with exceedingly tasteful jazz flourishes. Very much of the era, but with such an incredibly beautiful melody it doesn't sound particularly dated. The lyrics and their delivery seem heartfelt enough to come across as sincere and not sappy, an ability Wonder would lose within a decade ("I Just Called To Say I Love You"). But his decline was still far in the future - I think this is as close to perfection as you can get in a #1 song.

    Prince used the same three vocalists trick to kick of "1999", probably as an homage.

    A stunning album-opener as well for Talking Book, and smartly juxtaposed with the funkiest track on the album - Wonder was clearly ready to take the listeners on a little crazy joyride. At 23, Stevie proved he was capable of producing genre-blending pop material as good as anything Irving Berlin or Cole Porter had written in their prime.

    I've mostly heard the version without the extra horns over the years, having spun Talking Book a billion times, so it's my favorite. I find the extra material detracts a bit from the melody, which in my opinion doesn't need much adornment beyond what's on the album. But it certainly doesn't "ruin" the song.

    Uptempo songs this beautiful are pretty rare on the upper reaches of the pop charts of the rock era. The success of this one coming right after "Superstition" proved not only that Stevie Wonder had made a huge commercial comeback, but that artistically he was maybe the most talented and most important figure operating in pop. The 1970's might not have had The Beatles, but Stevie Wonder was back, and at just 23 he was already a giant.
     
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  7. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    He also lost a little weight, too.
     
  8. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Forum Resident

    That gets played on oldies stations once in a great while, usually as part of a "lost oldies" segment.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Don't feel bad. I never heard the horn-less album version until the 00s! I still prefer the single version, hands down.
     
  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    That "You Are The Sunshine...'s" theme was on one level almost retro, was unwittingly highlighted in Fred Bronson's The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits, where a photo of Mr. Wonder taken about 1967 (almost in the middle period between his "Fingertips" #1 as "Little" Stevie and this) was shown on the page devoted to this track.
     
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  11. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" - the perfect song for us to discuss as we go into Daylight Saving Time this weekend.
     
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  12. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Meta 1973! Vicki Lawrence's cover ...

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  13. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    That's an odd entry overall - half of it is spent discussing Stevie's love life.
     
  14. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    If you think about it, half of Talking Book probably discussed Stevie's love life as well. (I think he was getting divorced from the singer Syreeta around that time.)
     
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  15. ChrisScooter1

    ChrisScooter1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    I always thought it was a combination of a phaser set to stun with the added effect of a gentle wah pedal sweep. Then I found this little tidbit:

    When “If” was recorded, the track was enhanced by a mysteriously quavering sound that gave the song a distinctive sheen. “That was created by two Moog synthesizers,” Gates reports. “Paul Beaver came in and set them up – I played a plain old Fender Telecaster guitar through a voltage-controlled amplifier, and he put that into these two oscillators that triggered each other in random fashion. When we were all done he said, ‘I hope you liked that and got it on tape, ‘cause I could never do that the same way again.’”

    So, there you have it.
     
  16. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    very cool! thanks! I didn't even know this was possible.
     
  17. ChrisScooter1

    ChrisScooter1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    I know, right? It sounds like it was only possible for the one time they got it down on tape. Old Moog's were super temper-mental. One of the reasons many a Moog owner would end up selling them to another player with more patience. Tangerine Dream got theirs from Mick Jagger after his attempted uses of his Moog for "Performance." Those big Model 55's had all kinds of filters and oscillators that could be triggered by all kinds of stuff. David Gates used the Moog on "London Bridge" from their first album. It's a pretty cool track with an awesome Moog synth part. Not what you would expect from the kings of AM Gold.

    And since this is an audio forum, just listen to how rich, smooth and BIG David Gates' voice sounds on this...and all in the left channel.

     
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  18. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Yep, the divorce was happening round about then (the legal divorce at least, they kept up a good creative relationship after).

    Keeping that in mind sheds a different light on these songs, for sure. I used to think "Maybe Your Baby" went on for too damn long, but now it's like yeah, that's what your mind does when your baby done made some other plans ... it dwells.
     
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  19. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Far out! Thanks, Chris.

    I had to bust out the ol' Bread anthology and focus in on the sproinging. Just reminds me in those days an artist had to put some work into coming up with a unique sound.
     
  20. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fla.
    I don't really recall hearing the song when it was on the radio. (I was 11 in 1973).
    When I heard it later, I assumed it was one of his late 1960s greats. Was surprised to learn it was from the mid-70s.
     
  21. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I think their relationship and breakup permeates every album he did for the next decade. "Maybe Your Baby" was a major one, but there are things on side two of "Songs In The Key Of Life" that hit just as hard.
     
  22. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Crickets overnight? Alrighty then, while we await the next song up, here's yet another one I liked from this year that went absolutely nowhere. Just an uplifting, jaunty little number that must be a blast to sing !

     
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  23. tmoore

    tmoore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Olney, MD
    I already stated what I needed to say.
     
  24. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I kind of predicted this would start to happen as we moved further into the 70s.
     
  25. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Years ago, I happened upon another obscure single from this year, by this duo:
     

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