No pictures for that. Only a wish that the ones that still live could see where the ones that died are now.
Welcome to this week's Time Machine, a week in which we heard for the first time the songs I'll Be Around by the Spinners, and -for what was likely the first time- the Doobie Brothers and Listen To The Music. This week, we get a new #1, a backwards 6 degrees, and the very Gibb-flavored Top Top Ten of 1978! Follow me...
First thing up is that this is a week featuring two very successful b-sides. One of them was definitely another "A&R men, whaddya gonna do" moment- that aforementioned Spinners song, I'll Be Around. A classic IMHO, this was the b-side of their first single for Atlantic Records, How Could I Let You Get Away. The a-side made it to 77; but the b-side we'll be seeing much higher. The other b-side is in our Greatest selling singles of all time feature; so why don't we hit that now?
Wind Of Change, the Scorpions, 1991. No song deserved it more than this power ballad celebrating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. It is my understanding that the band actually presented a gold record to Mikhail Gorbachev. Voted Song of the Century in Germany, it is the best selling song ever by a German artists, with sales of 14 million- 6 mil in Germany alone.
|The Scorps and Gorby|
I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor, 1978. More than just a "disco song", it became an anthem for everyone who struggled for their love and dreams. It is, also unbelievably, our other b-side- the a-side was a track from a recent Righteous Brothers' lp called Substitute. It made it to #107. Silly A&R men! Unlike many of the other songs this high, she only hit the top in 4 countries- here, the UK, Ireland, and Canada. Another 14 million seller.
All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey, 1994. It debuted in the UK at #5, but was held out of the top spot by boy band East 17 and Stay Another Day. They sold 910,000; Mariah ended up with 55 weeks on the charts during the decade and 15 million sold. I doubt she's upset.
I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston, 1992. I hate this song so much I forgot the beautiful version by Dolly Parton, who hit #1 country with it in 1974, and AGAIN in 1982! Parton sung it with the passion that came from her breakup with Porter Waggoner; Whitney, I always thought, sounded like she was singing to herself. Didja know- The song was offered to Elvis, but when Col. Tom Parker told her that the King normally got 50% of writing royalties on all songs he covered, she told them to take a hike. Whitney's version held the record for sales in a single week with 632,000- until Elton John's Candle In The Wind 1997 plastered it with 3.4 million.
My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion, 1997. Written at first as the instrumental woven through the movie Titanic, James Cameron at first rejected the idea of words to it. And once written, Celine Dion didn't want to record it. But she did- allegedly in one take- and it ended up #1 for 17 weeks on the Eurocharts, 15 in Switzerland, 13 in France and Germany, 11 in the Netherlands and Sweden, 10 in Belgian Wallonia, Denmark, Italy, and Norway- and was allegedly playing in a shipboard restaurant when the Costa Concordia ran aground.
|My trip won't go on and on...|
I suppose we should get to this week's top 40- a week in which we have 4 top 40 debuts and 4 You Peaked songs! Coming in: Mel and Tim, the duo who hit #10 with Backfield In Motion in 1969, move up 2 to 39 with Starting All Over Again; up 7 to #38, Chuck Berry and My Ding-A-Ling; also up 7 to #37 is "Michael Jackson's love song to a rat", Ben; and the high debut climbs 8 to #35- Rick Springfield's Speak To The Sky.
The You Peaked crew contains Flash's Small Beginnings (30), the Partridge Family's Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (20), the Detroit Emeralds' Baby Let Me Take You In My Arms (21), and the Rolling Stones' Happy (14).
And before I forget, our biggest mover in this week's countdown was by a one-hit wonder soul group called the Temprees, moving up 17 to #83 with a cover of dedicated To The One I Love. A one-week with a peak of 93 on Billboard, it lasted three weeks and made #75 on Cashbox.
Speaking of one-hit wonders, it's a good time for the One-Hit-Wonder's Next Biggest Hit. At #13 on my list is the band The Reflections, who hit #6 in 1964 with Just Like Romeo And Juliet. Their next biggest hit peaked at #55 the next year:
Now it's time for the Top Top Ten, and this week it is the best top ten of 1978- from March 18th of that year. It was the height of Saturday Night Fever- and the Brothers Gibb were prominent:
10- Thunder Island, Jay Ferguson. No longer jumping fat ladies with Jo Jo Gunne, Jay hits the top ten on his own- with a little help from Joe Walsh on guitar.
9- What's Your Name, Lynyrd Skynyrd. From Thunder Island to Boise, Idaho- there's a shakedown cruise!
8- I Go Crazy, Paul Davis. The longest charting song in history at the time, at it's peak on the chart.
7- Can't Smile Without You, Barry Manilow. One of those rare songs that can actually bring me out of a depression. His Daybreak was another.
6- Sometimes When We Touch, Dan Hill. A song that did nothing for me until I heard it with the middle verse that the 45 cut out.
5- Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton. This song grew on me a bit many years later, but was a turn-the-channel at the time.
4- Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees. The former #1 and first of four Gibb-penned songs in a row.
3- Love Is Thicker Than Water, Andy Gibb. I always did think this was Andy's best song, and the only one with real staying power.
2- Emotion, Samantha Sang. The first keyboard notes will stop me yet today. Love this song.
Annnnnnd at #1 that week-
1- Night Fever, Bee Gees. The first of 8 weeks at the top.
We had but one song join the top ten this week, so one drops out. The ever-obliging Luther Ingram falls from 5 to 16 with If Loving You Is Wrong, etc.
The ever-perverse Gary Glitter moves up a notch to 10 with Rock And Roll (part 2).
Jim Croce moves up to 9 with You Don't Mess Around With... well, Jim.
Donna Fargo may or may not be The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA, but she's got to be pretty happy with moving up a notch to #8.
Ditto for The Carpenters' Goodbye To Love at 7.
And for the O'Jay's Back Stabbers at 6.
And Argent's Hold Your Head Up at 5.
But the Hollies are stuck at 4 with Long Cool Woman.
As is Al Green at 3 with I'm Still In Love With You.
And that brings us to a six degrees- which I shall give to you in reverse!
It was the absence of Christine McVie- or a woman substitute- in the "bogus Fleetwood Mac" that toured in 1973, that tipped fans off to their bogosity. And why was there a bogus FM in the first place? Because during the tour, it came out that Bob Weston, guitarist in the band, was boinking Mick Fleetwood's wife, Jenny Boyd. Boyd, sister of Patti Boyd (and thus George Harrison's sister-in-law), was also the inspiration for the song Jennifer Juniper by Donovan, from his Hurdy Gurdy Man lp. Also on that lp was a song called Get Thy Bearings. This song was among a list of songs sampled by a rapper named Biz Markie on his album I Need A Haircut, which sold poorly and was only noteworthy because the writer of another song he sampled on that lp sued him for not getting permission. This was a landmark lawsuit, and from then on rappers had to pay for permission to sample other people's songs.
What was the song? Our #2 this week- Alone Again Naturally by Gilbert O'Sullivan, otherwise known as the Plaintiff.
Which means, as I said, a new #1 song this week. And that would be-
...Looking Glass with Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)!!!!!!!!