Hi kids, and welcome back. This week: will the rhinestone cowboy face his last roundup? Will Janis Ian learn the truth at number one? Will Joey run to the top? Will John Denver say I'm sorry, cutting through? Or will Freddy Fender end his wasted days and wasted nights? All this and the disproportionality of debuts, Harry Nilsson gets the point, and a brand new feature (WHAT? ANOTHER FEATURE?). Let's go!
First things first, we had fifteen debuts on the hot 100 this week- and I only know 2 of them. The lucky winners are: The Captain and Tenille at 78 with The Way I Want To Touch You, and WAAY up at 52, the Eagles with Lyin' Eyes. The big dropper was Why Can't We Be Friends at 55, down 23; we'll see the big jumper in the top 40.
This week I'm going a little out of usual order on the specials, and first up are the almost but not quite trifecta. Yes, 3 songs peak this week that I wanted to note, and they peaked at 13, 14, and 15. At 15 we have the Carpenters with Solitaire, which is yet another member of the "Sedaka's Back" song club. More about Neil later on; let's see what the Carpenters thought of his song:
Richard Carpenter has stated that he felt that this song was yet another "perfect vehicle for Karen's voice." However Karen herself never really cared for the song even though the majority of The Carpenters' fanbase consider it to be one of Karen's finest recorded performances. (From Wikipaedia)
The second song of the group, at 14, is the latest in the big Paul Anka comeback, (I Believe There's)Nothing Stronger Than Our Love, which I thought was better than the top ten I Don't Like To Sleep Alone, but que sera sera. Finally, peaking at 13 was That's The Way Of The World by Earth Wind And Fire, which gets some comeback in that Rolling Stone magazine named it 329 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. And no, that's not the new feature.
What is a list I feature is my top songs of the 70's, and this week we start at #50. Me And My Arrow was from the cartoon movie The Point, which exposed the obsurdity of prejudice by the vehicle of a round-headed child in an all-pointy-headed society. The entire thing was conceived by Harry Nilsson, who says:
"I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" (Again, Wikipaedia)
Okay then, but I remember the original airing and it remains my favorite animated movie. At 49 I have Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds with a song that will be among our debuts in a couple weeks, Winners And Losers. At 48 is Rikki Don't Lose That Number by Steely Dan; 47 is Yvonne Eliman's cover of Barbara Lewis' Hello Stranger; and at 46 is the late great Jim Croce with Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels).
Three songs enter the top 40 this week, and 2 of them contended for the biggest jumper. At 40, up 14, is Tony Orlando and Dawn with a song I didn't recognize, You're All I Need To Get By. At 39, roaring up from 61, are the Four Seasons with Who Loves You. And at 34, up 29 spots from 63 last week, is the man hisself, Neil Sedaka with Bad Blood. Did I mention I hated this song back then? I guess you always had to have a song out there you really couldn't stand. This was mine. I grew out of it, though. I guess what I didn't like was Elton John's screechy backup vocals, which I mistook for a woman with a really annoying voice.
Only one goes in, only one goes out this week. The dropper from the heights is former top dog Get Down Tonight, which gets down 17 notches from 4 to 21.
We are visiting the fours this week in our look at other years' number ones. In 1994, Boyz II Men were in the midst of a 2-song run that would stretch from 3 weeks earlier to 6 weeks into the next year(!). The song was I'll Make Love To You, and stands as a shining example of why I had abandoned mainstream pop by this point.
1984 saw John Waite, ex- of The Babys, at 1 with Missing You; 1974 at this point was headed by bedroom Beethoven Barry White with Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby; 1964 was the Animals with House Of The Rising Sun; and in 1954, a doo-wop song called Sh-Boom was at the top. This was playing at the time by 2 different acts (which Cashbox mashes into one entry, but Billboard separates): the Chords had their only hit with their version, which Billboard Peaked at 5; and the Crew Cuts, whose version Billboard had #1 for 9 weeks. A typical, enjoyable, doo-wop song.
My new feature is, we're going to look at the #1 albums of the 70's, three at a time. The first Number one album of the 70's first hit #1 on the first week of November 1969, skipped the last week of the old decade, resumed the first two weeks of January, slipped down again, and retook the top one last time in the last week of January. The Beatles Abbey Road featured, along with the double-sided #1 Something/ Come Together, a lot of airplay hits such as Oh Darling, Octopus' Garden, Here Comes The Sun, and the Abbey Road Medley which included She Came In Through The Bathroom Window and I Want You (She's So Heavy). The second Number one of the decade filled in all those spaces between Abbey Road and added the entire moth of February- Led Zeppelin II. This lp included the #4 Whole Lotta Love, along with favorites Ramble On and Livin' Lovin' Maid. The third #1 spent 10 weeks, all the way to May 9th, at the top- Bridge Over Troubled Water. Simon and Garfunkel's swan song included the #1 title track, The Boxer (#7), Cecillia (#4), and El Condor Pasa (#18).
Top Ten, anybody? Coming in at leadoff is Bad Company, up one with Feel Like Makin' Love; 9 is the Isley's Fight The Power, which peaked at 6 last week. 8 is former top dog Fallin' In Love by Hamilton and his amazing friends, dropping from numero duo last week. Barry Manilow creeps up one to 7 with Could It Be Magic; Freddy Fender does likewise to 6 with Wasted Days And Wasted Nights. John Denver leaps 5 to #5 with I'm Sorry; David Geddes does likewise to 4 with Run Joey Run (what a buncha copycats!). Glen Campbell, concedes the top spot, dropping to 3 with Rhinestone Cowboy. David Bowie rises 3 to #2 with Fame; and that means our new top dog is .... Janis Ian with At Seventeen. See, Janis, I KNEW you could take a good picture!
That's it for this trip. See ya next time!