Tag Archives: 12/12/12

12-12-12: Decades Full Of Dozens

Something about those twelves.

Something about those twelves.

Today marks an important date when it comes to numbers: 12/12/12. December 12, 2012. It’s not going to happen again until December 12, 2112, if the Mayans are wrong, that is. It’s not like there’s going to be a 13/13/13, unless we get an extra month somehow. I guess anything could happen. To celebrate this momentous occasion, here are some lists of my favorite #12-peaking songs throughout the decades. All data comes from the archives of the Billboard Hot 100. For now, it’s the 1970’s and 1980’s, though I may update this post with a 1990’s playlist later on. There are plenty of songs that still get regular airplay today on your classic hits and classic rock-formatted radio stations, while others have been gone from radio stations for many years now, maybe even since the end of the songs initial release. It was so hard to narrow the songs down when so many charted way back when, so even if you don’t see your favorites in here, just know that I did go through everything that I could. That being said, I’m sure you’ll remember most of the well. Let’s dig into these dozens, shall we?

THE 1970’S
1970: Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm BandExpress Yourself
You’ve probably heard this one sampled in an advertisement lately for Windows 8. It’s a funky soul classic, which has been remixed into several tracks, including a 1989 single by N.W.A. of the same name.

1972: Don McLeanVincent
It doesn’t compare to his ode about “the day the music died”, but it’s still a good track from his earlier period. This, of course, was a tribute to artist Vincent van Gogh.

1972: EaglesTake It Easy
Before their stay at the Hotel California, the group charted with this classic rock radio regular. They’d chart with bigger singles in just a few years.

1973: Elton JohnSaturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
One of the Rocket Man’s rockier numbers. It missed the top ten, but people remember it like it did nowadays.

1974: Bachman-Turner OverdriveTakin’ Care Of Business
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. One of the Canadian’s band best chart successes, even though their only top ten hit was a #1 tune from the same year.

1975: KISSRock and Roll All Nite (Live)
Prepare to paint your face. This was the breakthrough hit from the Big Apple rockers, which is still remembered well.

1975: QueenKiller Queen
First big hit for Freddy Mercury and the boys, which showed off their dramatic style, as well as some excellent instrumentation. It’s also one of the few times a band’s name was featured in the name of the single.

1976: Peter FramptonBaby, I Love Your Way (Live)
From the huge album Frampton Comes Alive, this one remains a big hit on the airwaves today. It became a bigger hit for the group Big Mountain in 1994.

1976: Thin LizzyThe Boys Are Back in Town
One of the first big songs in the Irish rock movement. This one endures very well, even though they’re a one-hit wonder here in the States.

1978: Chris ReaFool (If You Think It’s Over)
Rea usually gets some seasonal airplay overseas with his song “Driving Home For Christmas”, but this was his only major U.S. hit, a pop ballad.

1979: G.Q.Disco Nights (Rock Freak)
A disco classic with plenty of funky guitar and synthesizers. It was later sampled in a number of songs, including 1989’s “I Beg Your Pardon” by Canadian group Kon Kan.

1979: Nick LoweCruel to Be Kind
As new wave rolled in in the late 70’s, Lowe scored his only hit to date, a great pop tune.

Twelve More Twelves:
1971: The Staple SingersRespect Yourself
1973: Bob DylanKnockin’ On Heaven’s Door
1973: The Moody BluesI’m Just A Singer (In A Rock ‘N’ Roll Band)
1974: Jim StaffordMy Girl Bill
1975: Barry ManilowIt’s A Miracle
1975: J. Geils BandMust Of Got Lost
1976: Bay City RollersI Only Want To Be With You (strangely enough, Dusty Springfield‘s original also hit #12!)
1977: Dave MasonWe Just Disagree
1978: ABBAThe Name Of The Game
1978: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet BandHollywood Nights
1978: Gerry RaffertyRight Down The Line
1979: Cheryl LynnGot To Be Real

THE 1980’s
1980: The JacksonsLovely One
After their big dance hits in the late 70’s, the group remained on a disco kick in 1980 when “One” rose on the charts. It has a great groove.

1981: Climax Blues BandI Love You
First dance at the wedding, anyone? This tender ballad has been a favorite for many lovebirds throughout the years.

1982: Fleetwood MacGypsy
Wonderful track from their album Mirage with Stevie Nicks taking on the lead vocals. This was their last top-20 hit from the album.

1983: Def LeppardPhotograph
One of the big breakthroughs of the “Rock 40” era, the band continued to have success well beyond their first rockin’ hit.

1983: Elton JohnI’m Still Standing
Good song with an even better message about staying strong. Fun video in the hot summer sun too.

1984: The CarsMagic
The band from Boston scored this one off of their album Heartbeat City. It’s a memorable pop song from what could be their best LP.

1985: ForeignerThat Was Yesterday
Doesn’t really stack up to anything they put out in the 70’s, but it’s enjoyable. Much more dark and haunting than their usual fare.

1986: Boys Don’t CryI Wanna Be A Cowboy
One of the odd spoken word records to hit the charts during the decade. It’s a catchy song, but extremely dated-sounding.

1987: Level 42Lessons In Love
Though it didn’t fully duplicate the top ten success of “Something About You”, this was another solid single by the band, who would never make the top 40 in the U.S. again.

1988: D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh PrinceParents Just Don’t Understand
Remember when rap music was fun and playful? The first big hit for Will Smith saw him chasing after girls and crashing his parents’ new car.

1988: Lita FordKiss Me Deadly
Just to prove that girls could rock in the 80’s, Ford’s anthem was rough and tough, inspiring a new generation of ferocious females. Ford would have several other songs chart in the next few years.

1989: Howard JonesEverlasting Love
He’s had much bigger, but this was a really pleasant song that also cracked the top ten on the airplay chart. Jones never had a single as big as this one for the rest of his career.

Twelve More Twelves:
1983: Adam AntGoody Two Shoes
1983: Prince & The Revolution1999
1984: New EditionMr. Telephone Man
1984: “Weird Al” YankovicEat It
1985: Ashford & SimpsonSolid
1986: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet BandLike A Rock
1986: Culture ClubMove Away
1987: Cyndi LauperWhat’s Going On
1987: Glenn MedeirosNothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You
1987: Motley CrueGirls, Girls, Girls
1988: ErasureChains Of Love
1989: Tom PettyI Won’t Back Down

Hope you enjoy all the memories! Thanks for checking in on all these twelves.

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Filed under Playlists, Retro