Tag Archives: Hot 100

REWIND: The Leader Of The Pac-Man

Drivin' them crazy.

Drivin’ them crazy.

Audio:

With a reliance on synth-pop and programmed parts in a lot of mainstream music today, you’d think artists and producers were playing video games while creating hit songs. There’s a certain musicality about it that some acts really like. In fact, music and video games really go hand in hand, especially now that well-known musicians have a much greater role in the content. However, there was one such case where a landmark video game, one that took in billions of dollars in both game play and additional merchandise, made the final leap and became the subject of a top ten hit in early 1982 thanks to one of the earlier uses of sampling. From the joystick to a joyride up the charts, this is Buckner & Garcia with “Pac-Man Fever”.

Pac-Man, of course, is the famous arcade game and the name of the game’s title character, who zips around a maze looking to eat up a series of pac-dots and the occasional cherry before the four colorful enemies attack. First introduced in Japan in the spring of 1980, it made its way to the U.S. by the fall of the same year and became one of the most recognizable figures in video game history. Heavy sales were almost immediate, both by individual players in arcades and those who desired units for personal use. Chances are you’ve probably played it or some variation of it, like Ms. Pac-Man or Super Pac-Man.

It was also in 1980 that Buckner & Garcia first cracked the Hot 100 with a Christmas record. “Merry Christmas In The NFL” was the title, credited to Willis The Guard & Vigorish, and it spent a week at #82 on the chart dated December 27, 1980. The song imitated sports journalist Howard Cosell as Santa Claus with a chorus of cheerleaders, which Cosell didn’t particularly like, though the shelf life of the song was obviously limited. However, bigger things were on the horizon for the twosome, who had been together and recording since the 1960’s. With that arcade game on the brain, they hit the jackpot.

Today, January 30, back in 1982, “Pac-Man Fever” rose from 45-38 on the Hot 100, becoming the duo’s first and only top 40 single. It would peak at #9 for two weeks in March and April on the Hot 100 and slowly descended (for the time) down the top 40. (Billboard had adopted a policy in February 1982 which led to an overwhelming amount of stall-outs followed by sharp falls.) “Fever” also peaked at #7 on the Cashbox Singles Chart, a leading competitor to Billboard at the time, but it’s noticeably absent from the airplay archives compiled by Radio & Records, which like Cashbox is now defunct. Either the song was under-reported, or it was primarily attaining points from sales and jukebox rotations. Nevertheless, the song was a hit; it was certified Gold and parent album Pac-Man Fever (featuring other video game themed songs) also went Gold.

After that sudden breakout success in the spring of 1982, it was inevitable that the duo was to remain a one-hit wonder with their novelty track. Follow-up single “Do The Donkey Kong” just missed the Hot 100 by a few spots (#103) a few months later. No other singles charted from their debut effort, though the two musicians continued writing for other artists and for commercial jingles for the next few decades. They also recorded a few new original tunes along the way. Gary Garcia passed away in the fall of 2011, but with the help of writer and producer Jamie Houston, he and Jerry Buckner completed a song credited to the duo, “Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph”, a theme song for the principal character of the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph.

For more chart action faster than a hunt for cherries, keep it locked on PGTC and follow the blog on social media via the “Get Social!” tab.

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REWIND: A Cure For The Charts, “Just Like” That

An angelic anthem.

An angelic anthem.

Music Video:

Remembering when I was younger and constantly listening to the local pop station, I discovered a lot of new music of all genres that would influence the way my chart operated when I officially began it in September 1999. However, this particular station also added some older tracks into the mix, ones that the CHR format would absolutely never go for today. It was the place where I discovered “Connected” by Stereo MC’s and “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms, two of my favorite songs from the decade. I also took a liking to Bon Jovi and Madonna through their constant play on there. However, not all of their choices were commercially recognizable; some of them were straight out of left field.

One of those songs was called “Just Like Heaven”, which I would later find out was by a band called The Cure. It was written by frontman Robert Smith about a trip to the sea with future wife Mary Poole and recorded in France. It was my first exposure to the band and a song that particularly liked, though I knew it didn’t sound new even when I was 9. There was something about the guitar line that I instantly loved. It was the synths, it was the attitude, it was the “Show me how you do that trick/The one that made me scream, she said,” opening line that just got me. There’s an instant nostalgia about it, a remembrance of a happier time in the heat of love. So, later in life, when I found out more about the band and how the song did in the U.S., I was shocked at how little attention it was paid when actively being promoted by Elektra Records.

On this date, January 9, in 1988, “Heaven” spent its one and only week at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100, a “one-week wonder” as some of the chart community likes to call these cases. (On rival Cashbox, it peaked at #42, while on the airplay-based Radio & Records, it went to #30.) Given the much faster speed of the charts in the late 1980’s, it had an uncharacteristically slow run up, losing its bullet several times before finally edging in a week at that #40 spot on a slow week following the holidays. However, a top 40 hit is a top 40 hit, no matter what it takes to reach its final destination. After spending four months on the Hot 100, it faded away in February 1988. In Europe, the results were much the same.

“Heaven” may not have been the band’s first charting hit nor their biggest in their catalogue as a whole, but it did start what would be a particularly commercial time for the band. Parent album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me became their first Platinum certified album in the U.S. and their first to reach the top 40. One year later, they would rise to #2 on the Hot 100 with “Lovesong” and go even further with a string of six consecutive top 20 studio albums, including 1992’s Wish, which went to #2. Though new material has been released from the band since 2008, they have toured a bit, ending The Great Circle Tour a few weeks ago here in the States. It’s unclear whether the members will be out with anything this year.

This may not have received its due justice on the national surveys back in the day, but it’s certainly well-remembered today. In fact, I think I hear “Heaven” more often on satellite radio today than I do of most of the other charting entries. Both emotionally satisfying and musically pleasant, it’s a classic in my book. If you find a moment, give it a spin today.

(Buy “Just Like Heaven” on iTunes)

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“Ready” Or Not: It Almost Charted — But It Doesn’t Exist?

The Phantom of the Record Surveys.

The Phantom of the Record Surveys.

EDIT: In July 2016, “Ready ‘N’ Steady” was aired on radio show Crap From The Past, just over 37 years after it first charted. Yes, it exists!

Grab the cake and pick out some party hats because a birthday celebration is in order this weekend. On August 4, 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 debuted in what was then The Billboard magazine, a combination of their Best Sellers in Stores and Most Played by Jockeys charts into an all-genre top 100 survey. The first song to top the chart was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson. The magazine and the big chart have had their ups and downs over the years, but they’ve managed to survive while other trade publications, like Cashbox Magazine and Record World, folded over time. Rather than compile any sort of list of my favorites to hit the Hot 100, I thought I would take a look at one of the more peculiar cases that’s occurred in the chart’s history. It remains one of Billboard’s biggest mysteries of all-time and most likely, it will never be completely solved.

Let’s take a trip back to the disco era and the summer of 1979. Anita Ward, Chic and Donna Summer were ruling over the land with their energetic hits, but there were also some rockers on the way up the survey. On the chart dated June 16, 1979, a song called “Ready ‘N’ Steady” debuted at #106 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under survey by an act called D.A., released by Rascal Records out of Detroit. It moved up to #103 on the next chart, and then to #102 the following week (pictured above) before disappearing and failing to make the Hot 100. Now, it seems silly to report on this kind of chart action as is, and that probably should’ve been the end of the story. Who remembers a song that peaked at #102 on a national chart? No one — literally.

Absolutely no one has been able to find a copy of the song even though it placed on a Billboard chart. Longtime record collector and music historian Joel Whitburn tried to hunt it down for years, even finding a trade ad for the punk rock record label with an address, but by the time it was scoped out, the label’s building was vacant and he wasn’t any closer to finding the song. A band called DA! was also tracked down, based out of Chicago and matching the genre, who were active at the time the song charted, but none of the three members in the group at that point ever confirmed recording it or being signed to the label. So, the hunt goes on, and we’re not moving any closer to a result.

So, how could this have happened in the first place? It would never happen in 2013, but the loopholes that existed back then when compiling data was astounding. At that point in history, there was no way to track airplay or sales via the computer methods that we have today. Reports were done by calling radio stations and record stores and having them report their statistics, and basically, they could make up anything they wanted because everything was based on estimations rather than pure accuracy. There was also the issue of payola, which still existed even if it was illegal. So, if a record label paid a retail outlet or a station to report that a song was playlisted or sold some amount, this could be done back in the day without them every having touched the record or have it purchased. It appears this is what happened. Since the label was based out of Detroit, I’m guessing that several regional places there were told to report it to Billboard, probably lower down on their own lists, and this is why it made the Bubbling Under for three weeks. It’s a good-sized market and it likely would’ve been given more weight when the chart data was analyzed; hence, whomever was behind it only needed a few reporters, and boom, a fictitious group with a fictitious song is somehow being recognized by Billboard, or so I think.

If it truly does exist and it happens to somehow find its way to YouTube one day, I think some people would be rather happy, yet perplexed about how it managed to stay under the radar for so long. Until then, it’s anybody guess as to why this was actually done in the first place. Yet, people still go back to it and the charts and the magazine every week, and that’s why it remains so popular. Happy birthday, Billboard Hot 100. You may not always be hot, but lukewarm is acceptable too.

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Take A Bow: Revisiting The Top Tracks From Graduation (5th High School Reunion)

Showing "Love" to 2008.

Showing “Love” to 2008.

When your first high school reunion comes around, you start to realize that you might be getting just a little bit old. Sigh. Next month marks five years since I graduated from high school, but our Reunion Weekend happens to be this upcoming one. It’ll be great to see old friends again, catch up, have a fun time, etc. So, in honor of the Weekend to come and because this is a music blog, I give you a look back at the top songs in the nation when were last together for our Commencement on June 5, 2008. It reflected a mix of music, from pop to rap, and a lot of American Idol entries after the grand finale of season 7 wrapped up. We start off with the top ten:

#10: COLDPLAY – “Viva La Vida”
Ah, yes, the days when an advertisement Apple could give you all the exposure you needed. After falling back to #41 the previous week, “Viva” soared back up to #10 that week, becoming the group’s second top ten hit. It went to #1 for one week in late June. The group’s 2011 Mylo Xyloto album gave them three other top 40 singles, but this is by far their biggest single, having sold in excess of 3 million copies here.

#09: NATASHA BEDINGFIELD – “Pocketful Of Sunshine”
She had a pocketful of harmless pop ditties, including 2006’s “Unwritten” and this 2008 single, which both peaked at #5 on the Hot 100. This was the last time (to date) that Bedingfield had a top 40 single on the Hot 100, though her most recent appearance outside of it was last year on Lifehouse‘s “Between The Raindrops” (#79). She hopes to release a new studio album worldwide this year, her first in three years.

#08: MADONNA featuring JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – “4 Minutes”
Her Madgesty was always a fan of keeping up with the youth, and so, she enlisted Justin Timberlake and Timbaland for her leadoff single from Hard Candy. Both a hit at retail and on the radio, it leapt to #3 on the Hot 100, which was her first top 5 hit in seven years (and her last to date.) Last year, she visited the top ten for a week with “Give Me All Your Luvin'” after a performance at the Super Bowl halftime show.

#07: RAY J featuring YUNG BERG – “Sexy Can I”
When he wasn’t making sex tapes with ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian or writing songs about how he “hit it first”, Brandy‘s younger brother had his biggest solo hit with “Sexy”, the leadoff single from his album All I Need. It peaked at #3 and was his last top 40 hit to date; even “I Hit It First” couldn’t become a hit on its own. He’s still recording new music and no doubt, reeking of desperation while doing said action.

#06: USHER featuring YOUNG JEEZY – “Love In This Club”
Leaked on the internet in February of that year, “Love” garnered heavy airplay from the beginning and rose from 51-1 in one week in mid-March when it was released to digital retailers, selling a little under 200,000 downloads in its first week. It spent three weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and also sent parent album Here I Stand to #1. Usher is currently serving as one of four judges on the television show The Voice.

#05: JORDIN SPARKS & CHRIS BROWN – “No Air”
Chris Brown and Rihanna would end up next to one another on our look back. Brown’s duet with the former American Idol winner Sparks gave her the biggest single of her career, peaking at #3, while Brown has gone on to several number-one singles. Though Sparks would see the top ten once more with 2009’s “Battlefield”, her career has been in decline since it. She’s currently romancing singer Jason Derulo.

#04: RIHANNA – “Take A Bow”
After hitting the top with 2006’s “S.O.S. (Rescue Me)” and 2007’s “Umbrella”, the Barbadian beauty took this ballad to #1 from the Reloaded edition of her Good Girl Gone Bad album. It was the second “Take A Bow” song title to hit the spot after Madonna‘s big ballad from 1995. Though her career has had its missteps, she’s still racking up the big hits, including her most recent, “Stay”, featuring vocalist Mikky Ekko.

#03: DAVID COOK – “The Time Of My Life”
It wouldn’t be an American Idol win without a big ballad to start it all off. David Cook won the battle over David Archuleta and this first single of his sold 236,000 copies in the three days after the Idol finale, enabling it to debut all the way up at #3 on the Hot 100, where it also peaked. Ten of his performances from the show also debuted that week, as network FOX withholds sales and chartings during the season.

#02: LEONA LEWIS – “Bleeding Love”
It was the international smash that broke Lewis in America after her win on the U.K. version of The X Factor. It spent four non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and went to the top in nearly three dozen countries. Lewis could never repeat the success of “Bleeding” in the States, though followup single “Better In Time” did gather significant airplay for a time. She is currently working on a fourth full-length album.

#01: LIL WAYNE featuring STATIC MAJOR – “Lollipop”
He may be in the middle of some health problems at the moment, but back in 2008, this rapper and singer were topping the charts, also at #1 on the Airplay survey. This song marked Lil Wayne‘s only time rising to #1 as a main-credited artist, as well as one of the only times a posthumous release (Major passed away three months before) went to #1, joining a list of others like Janis Joplin and Otis Redding.

Debuts:
David Cook: “The Time Of My Life” (#3), “Dream Big” (#15), “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (#22), “The World I Know” (#28), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#42), “Billie Jean” (#47), “Always Be My Baby” (#67), “Hello” (#73), “The Music Of The Night” (#77), “Eleanor Rigby” (#92), “I’m Alive” (#99)
David Archuleta: “Imagine” (#36), “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (#58), “In This Moment” (#60)
“Should’ve Said No”, Taylor Swift (#84)
“That Song In My Head”, Julianne Hough (#88)
“Girls Around The World”, Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne (#93)
“Homecoming”, Kanye West featuring Chris Martin (#96)

Top 5 (or 6) Big Movers:
“Viva La Vida”, Coldplay (41-10) (+31)
“Dangerous”, Kardinal Offishall featuring Akon (76-51) (+25)
“I Kissed A Girl”, Katy Perry (40-21) (+19)
“Last Name”, Carrie Underwood (37-19) (+18)
“Apologize”, Timbaland presents OneRepublic (32-18) (+14, tie)
“Get Like Me”, David Banner featuring Chris Brown (88-74) (+14, tie)

Check out the full Hot 100 for June 7, 2008 at this link. Happy Reunion to all of you celebrating out there!

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Five x Five: The Top 5 Five Acts For Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! First celebrated on May 5, 1862, the day represents the best in Mexican culture and heritage, so get ready for a little tequila and a quesadilla or two. To feed our never-ending feast of music, I thought it might be cool to take a look back at top-ranking acts with a “cinco”, or rather, a “five”, in their name. After all, quite a few quintets over the decades have taken pride in their top-selling singles. In fact, over a dozen acts have made the top 40 with the number in their name, from We Five to the Five Man Electrical Band to 5ive to Five For Fighting, and the list goes on. Can you guess which one has had the most top 40 hits on the Hot 100? Scroll down below… and a high-five to you if you guessed correctly!

Still playing hard to get.

“Way” too cool.

05. HI-FIVE

This group formed in Texas during the late 1980’s and had a string of big hits beginning in 1991, including “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” (#1) and 1992′s “She’s Playing Hard To Get” (#3).  A total of five of their singles made the top 40 on the Hot 100 through 1994. Lead singer Tony Thompson died in 2007. They band returned in 2012 with new members and a self-released single, but it failed to chart.

This chart has taken control of them.

This chart has taken control of them.

04. MAROON 5

Here’s the most recent act on the list. The quintet, led by Adam Levine, has had eleven songs make the top 40 on the Hot 100 since their debut in 2003. That includes #1 hits like 2007’s “Makes Me Wonder” and 2012’s “One More Night”, their most recent of seven to hit the top 5 region. Can the fourth single from their album Overexposed, “Love Somebody”, add to that growing amount? We’ll see very soon.

** Thanks to reader Mike B. for noticing an error with this!

They'll be there.

They’ll be there.

03. THE JACKSON 5

The family band out of Gary, Indiana took the charts by storm in 1969 and 1970 with four number-ones in a row: “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”. In total, seven of their singles made the top 5, and sixteen of their hits made the top 40 through 1975’s “I Am Love”. When the group transferred to Epic Records in 1976, they changed their name to The Jacksons, and thus, songs like “Enjoy Yourself” and “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” aren’t included in their total. They made the Hot 100 through 1989. Brothers Jermaine and Michael charted with solo entries.

Still "Glad" with #2.

Still “Glad” with #2.

02. DAVE CLARK FIVE

The Beatles may have started the British Invasion, but the Dave Clark Five continued that momentum with a total of seventeen top 40 hits over the span of a little over three years. They first made the top 40 in 1964 with “Glad All Over”, which went to #6, and broke through the top 5 with songs like “Because” (#3) and the #1 “Over And Over” from 1965, the last of their five top-5 singles. The group broke up by 1970 as their success in the U.K. faded. They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2008. There are two living members left: drummer Clark and lead guitarist Lenny Davidson.

One more chart to answer.

One more chart to answer.

01. THE 5TH DIMENSION

This five-piece band is the only mixed group in the pack, three males and two females. The group had a number of moderately successful singles and a handful of top tens, including four top five hits. 1969 remains their peak year on the Hot 100 when the band took two songs to the #1 spot: a medley of “Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In” from Hair (six weeks) and “Wedding Bell Blues” (three weeks). They continued to hit into the 70’s, last making the top 40 in 1973 after a total of twenty songs to hit that portion of the chart. They last entered the Hot 100 in 1976 with their first of many lineup changes. The group remains together today with one original member left, Florence LaRue.

For Cinco De Mayo chart trivia and more, keep it here on POP! Goes The Charts by following the blog below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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REWIND: No Pain, No “Vain” – 40 Years Of Mystery

Legend in her own time.

Legend in her own time.

January 6 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark song “You’re So Vain” going to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Carly Simon‘s biggest hit of all-time. It’s often been regarded as the greatest mystery song to ever hit the charts, a song that’s been the subject of many a guess as to whom Simon is actually referring to; a man who is so vain that he thinks that the song is about him. In a bit of irony, the album it’s included on is called No Secrets, which also took a fast rise to the top. Maybe it was intentional. We’ll go through the clues later on in this post. First, the statistics.

The chart action on “Vain” was super fast and it was gone almost as quickly as it appeared. On Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, it debuted at #99 on the date of December 2, 1972, bolting to #60 the next week, and then to #37 on December 16. The week before Christmas, it soared all the way up to #8, a 29-spot leap, the fourth biggest climb within the top 40 of all-time. So, after a holiday break (when “Vain” rose to #4), it was no surprise that it stood at #1 beginning on that January 6, 1973 date and stayed there for three weeks. It was in the top ten through early March, but suddenly sank, from #11 to #26 to #49 and then out entirely, all before the month was over. It ranked as the #9 song of the year and the #29 song of the decade. Obviously, it’s very well-remembered today, more so than any of her other songs. This is all despite having other big hits after her only chart-topper, like “Mockingbird” with then-husband James Taylor and “Nobody Does It Better”.

The song itself was produced by Richard Perry, sometimes referred to as “The Hit Doctor” for reviving many careers of faded singers in the late 1970’s. This was one of his earlier numbers. Simon wasn’t in a rut career-wise, more of an up-and-comer. Lyrically, it tells of a man who goes to parties and is admired by women, saw a solar eclipse in Nova Scotia, and went to Saratoga Springs, where he bet on a horse and it won the race. He’s clearly a lucky guy, but once Simon’s poison pen struck the page, everyone was wondering who exactly it could be.

So, the suitors – which of them made Simon so frustrated that she had to write a song about them? Well, according to her, it’s a “composite of three men” from her days living in Los Angeles. Mick Jagger was initially suggested to be one of them; he does the background vocals on the song and Simon took a liking to him for a while. However, this was proven to be not true. James Taylor was also proposed as he was married to the singer; Simon denied it. Actor Warren Beatty has always been seen as one of the leading candidates and Simon has stated at least on one occasion that it’s partially inspired by him. The list goes on and on.

A number of letters found in the names of the men have been revealed over the years: A, E and R, not that it does much for the detective in us. There are also three names whispered backwards in the song: “Warren”, referring to Beatty, “David”, and one that can’t be clearly heard. The second name was initially thought to be referring to label head David Geffen, but Simon’s publicist said that the rumor was untrue. Singers David Bowie and David Cassidy have also been suggested to fill that slot; no word on whether one of them is indeed the “David”. There’s also been a suggestion of Dan Armstrong, a guitarist, as the name of the person that can’t be made out. He and Simon were together for quite some time before they both went onto other relationships.

Whoever it may or may not be, the song did exactly what Simon wanted: fostered a discussion that will likely never end. Maybe we don’t want to know who the song is about. It’s influenced thousands of other performers to write their own breakup songs without revealing the name of who it’s actually about. Some have one, some have too many. (Taylor Swift.) Yet, “Vain” is always going to be seen as the one that started it all, the perfect mix of great instrumentation and a heavy lyric that makes you think. Happy anniversary, Carly.

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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