Everyone is buzzing about the debut single from 24-year-old Irish newcomer Hozier, “Take Me To Church”. After a lengthy rise up the AAA survey, it’s finally made it to #1 as it continues to pile on airplay at the Alternative format, as well as begin its crossover to CHR and Hot AC radio. Now, while synagogue may be my place of choice when it comes to religious preference, there are still plenty of churchgoers around and a few of them have sung about it. So, while the latest “Church” sits just below the Hot 100, waiting to deliver its sermon upon the surveys, here are some of the other charting singles on the topic from the holy scripture we call Billboard:
“The Church Bells May Ring”, The Diamonds (#14, 1956)
Originally done by a group called The Willows, the version by this Canadian quartet broke the top 40 and became another moderate single for the four. One year later, they would score with their signature song, “Little Darlin'”, which climbed to #2.
“I Met Her In Church”, The Box Tops (#37, 1968)
“The Letter” (#1) and “Cry Like A Baby” (#2) put them in the national spotlight when it came to giant releases, but even their more obscure singles struck a chord with the buying public. Barely a top 40 entry, it was one of two charters from Non-Stop.
“Church Street Soul Revival”, Tommy James (#62, 1970)
After breaking off with his band The Shondells, James turned his attention to what should’ve been a decent-sized solo career, but the notable singles didn’t come easily. Unfortunately, this cut from 1971’s Christian Of The World isn’t well-remembered.
“I Hear Those Church Bells Ringing”, Dusk (#53, 1971)
Peggy Santiglia made it to #1 on the Hot 100 with The Angels on “My Boyfriend’s Back”, and years after that classic smash, she led this band to some minimal success. Followup “Angel Baby” stalled in the 50’s before the short-lived act called it quits.
“Church”, Bob Welch (#73, 1979)
After leaving Fleetwood Mac at the end of 1974, Welch had a small run of solo songs on the national pop survey. This was the followup to “Precious Love”, a top 20 hit, but this second single from Three Hearts didn’t do as well. He passed away in 2012.
“Church Of The Poison Mind”, Culture Club (#10, 1983)
The hype was big for Colour By Numbers, this quartet’s second album, and it was no sophomore slump. Climbing to a peak of #10 on the Hot 100 in December, it was their fourth consecutive top ten release. It also peaked at #2 in the United Kingdom.
“Church Of Your Heart”, Roxette (#36, 1992)
Sweden’s dynamic duo took a Joyride to the top in 1991, but their time on the highway to hits were numbered. “Church” went top 20 on CHR radio, though it just dented the top 40 on the Hot 100, becoming their lowest charting release up to that time.
“Little White Church”, Little Big Town (#59, 2010)
After the struggling A Place To Land era failed to answer their prayers, this “Church” became the first top ten on the Country chart for the group since 2006’s “Good As Gone”. It was their second certified single, selling 500,000 copies and going Gold.
“No Church In The Wild”, Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean (#72, 2012)
Taken from Watch The Throne, this certainly wasn’t the biggest in terms of peak position, but the collaboration between the two rappers and singer did sell enough to go Gold. It was put in several movie trailers and an advertising campaign for Dodge.
Which of these songs get you in the spirit of spirits? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.