Tag Archives: The Hollies

“Brother”, Can You Spare A Rhyme? Records Keeping It Relative

Hermanos with hits,

Hermanos with hits.

He’s got a magic touch. 24-year-old Avicii is folking things up one more time with vocalist Dan Tyminski, a member of Alison Krauss‘s backing band, Union Station. Their collaboration, titled “Hey Brother”, has already gone to #1 in the DJ and producer’s native Sweden, as well as several other European territories. However, the song has yet to be a hit in the States, though it does get serviced to an assortment of radio formats within the next few weeks. Until it inevitably storms onto the scene next year, enjoy this list of brotherly hits from the past, bro. (Please remind me to never say “bro” again.)

“Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, Neil Diamond (#22, 1969)
After a series of top 40 misses, it was this that brought Diamond back into the 20’s on the Hot 100 and would lead to the Platinum selling followups “Sweet Caroline” (#4) and “Holly Holy” (#6). No word on his live plans thus far for the new year.

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, The Hollies (#7, 1970) and remade by Neil Diamond (#20, 1970)
The original by the English group was their third top ten hit in America and first of the 70’s. Diamond’s remake was featured on Tap Root Manuscript. “Heavy” was also a U.K. #1 last year as a charity single from The Justice Collective.

“Tell It All Brother”, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (#17, 1970)
Before Rogers became a top-selling Country star of the 70’s and 80’s, his band was big on the pop survey with a handful of charting singles beginning in 1967. This was their penultimate top 40 entry and the group would eventually split by 1976.

“Brother Rapp (Parts 1 & 2)”, James Brown (#32, 1970)
It was yet another hit for The Godfather Of Soul and did even better on the R&B survey, where it peaked at #2. The two part record is about 5 1/2 minutes in total and both sections were credited when it charted. Brown passed away in 2006.

“I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper”, The Flaming Ember (#34, 1970)
Bringing the soul of Detroit to the charts, this American band ranked three songs on the Hot 100’s top 40 between in 1969 and 1970, this being the last of the three. It also made the top 20 on the R&B chart in 1970. The band is no longer together.

“Hey Big Brother”, Rare Earth (#19, 1971)
Signed to Motown Records, the band was the label’s first all-white act to find success on the Hot 100 with three top ten singles in 1970-71. This was their last record to make the top 40, and they continued to chart through 1978’s “Warm Ride”.

“Brother Louie”, Stories (#1, 1973)
The quartet from New York City had a big #1 in the States with a song that originally went to #7 in the U.K. for Hot Chocolate. The driving force behind it was its theme: an interracial relationship between a white male and a black female.

“Me And Baby Brother”, War (#15, 1973)
This was the followup to “Gypsy Man” (#8) and the second single from the top ten album Deliver The Word, which was certified Gold. The funk rock band last made the top 40 in 1978, though they are still together today under a varied lineup.

For more on that brotherly love and other singles from the siblings that sing, follow the blog below or hit the “Get Social!” tab to find out how you can connect with PGTC on social media.

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“Stop”, Drop and Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Hits That Won’t Halt

Stoppin' 'em since 1987.

Stoppin’ ’em since 1987.

She’s no Hannah Montana anymore. Miley Cyrus has taken on a new character with an edge for her latest era, the first single release of which is “We Can’t Stop”. The party girl goes wild in the music video for her new song. It recently debuted at #11 on the Hot 100 and looks to go higher as it sits comfortably in the top 5 at iTunes. In honor of this achievement, I give you all the other top 5 hits in the history of the Hot 100 (since 1958) to feature the word “stop” in their title, excluding subtitles. Conveniently, there are eleven of them. So, don’t stop now; check them all out:

“I Can’t Stop Loving You”, Ray Charles (#1, 1962)
It was back in the late 1940’s that the legendary Charles began recording and first made the Hot 100 in 1957. “Can’t” was the third #1 song for the performer and his last on the pop chart. His last top 40 single as a solo artist came in 1971, though he last made the Hot 100 in 1990. His posthumous 2004 duets album, Genius Loves Company, hit #1 on the album chart and won Album Of The Year at the GRAMMY Awards.

“Stop! In The Name Of Love”, Diana Ross and The Supremes (#1, 1965)
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and this classic trio definitely was in the year 1965. “Name” was the fourth #1 single in a row for the group, following “Where Did Our Love Go?”, “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me”. It would spend two weeks on top of the Hot 100. They ended with twelve shortly before Diana Ross left the group, although they managed to keep cranking out music with a revolving lineup through 1976.

“Bus Stop”, The Hollies (#5, 1966)
Though they quickly attained success in Europe, pop group The Hollies waited several years before their first top ten hit in the U.S. came in September 1966. Stopping seemed to be their thing because in December of the same year, their followup called “Stop Stop Stop” went to #7. During a 1983 reunion, their cover of “Stop! In The Name Of Love” went to #30. They haven’t stopped yet as they remain together.

“Don’t Stop”, Fleetwood Mac (#3, 1977)
Former President Bill Clinton may have drilled it into our heads from using this in his presidential campaigns, but back in 1977, Fleetwood Mac made “Don’t” a hit in its own right from the landmark release Rumours. Going to #3, it was the third consecutive top ten single from the album, followed by the #9 “You Make Loving Fun”, which established a then-record for the most top ten songs from one studio album.

“I Just Wanna Stop”, Gino Vannelli (#4, 1978)
After first hitting the top 40 in 1974 with “People Gotta Move”, Montreal-born Vannelli achieved much greater success with this ballad from his album Brother To Brother. It rose to #4 late into 1978, becoming his first of two top ten singles (the second coming in 1981) and biggest hit to date. He had a handful of minor singles reach the Hot 100 through 1987 and continued charting in his native Canada into the 1990’s.

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, Michael Jackson (#1, 1979)
The first of two Jackson songs on the list was a hot disco record from his first release with Epic following his departure from Motown. From his album Off The Wall, “Enough” quickly climbed into the #1 spot, becoming his first solo song to reach the top of the Hot 100 since “Ben” in 1972. The album would provide him with three other top ten hits through 1980 before regrouping with The Jacksons later that year.

“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (#3, 1981)
In-between albums by Fleetwood Mac, Nicks pursued a solo career with 1981’s Bella Donna, which eventually went to the top spot on the album chart. The first single from it was this collaboration with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, which remains her biggest solo song to make the Hot 100 to date. She and Petty would also collaborate on a 1986 live remake of the song “Needles And Pins”, which peaked at #37.

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, Starship (#1, 1987)
Mannequin was big at the box office in the spring of 1987 and so was the theme song from it. “Now” became the final of three #1 singles for Starship, which at the time established a record for member Grace Slick as the oldest woman to have a #1 single at age 47. (That has since been passed by Cher, when she hit #1 with 1999’s “Believe” at age 53.) The group last made the top 40 in 1989 and the Hot 100 in 1991.

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett (#1, 1987)
After the massive success of his 1982 album Thriller, how could Michael Jackson follow it up? Well, five years later came Bad, and this was the first single from it. The romantic ballad shot straight into the Hot 100’s top 40 with a debut at #37 during the week of August 8, 1987, climbing to #1 six weeks later for one week. It was the first of five #1 singles from the album, which was certified 9x Platinum this past spring.

“Can’t Stop This Thing We Started”, Bryan Adams (#2, 1991)
The summer of 1991 was all Bryan Adams as the Canadian singer dominated with his chart-topper, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”. Following that monster single was this notable change in direction into a rock sound, which hit the top ten in at least a dozen countries, including the United States. Parent album Waking Up The Neighbours was also a big seller, going 4x Platinum. Adams continues to record today.

“Don’t Stop The Music”, Rihanna (#3, 2008)
Back in 2008, this Barbadian beauty was just beginning her journey as a Good Girl Gone Bad. Interpolating “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango (also prominently featured in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” by Michael Jackson), the song became another big hit for the singer, going to #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart. Her current release is “Right Now”, featuring producer David Guetta.

For more on the stop and go of the pop music flow, follow the blog below and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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FRIDAY FORTY: A Passion For Fashion

Dressed to impress.

Dressed to impress.

Happy Friday! Welcome to another special edition of an occasional segment I’m putting together called The Friday Forty. Consider it a definitive list on all sorts of music-related topics (and much better than those VH1 lists!)

I guess we’ve decided recently that if you want to have a big hit nowadays, it needs to be fashion forward. Look at “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. That one’s a formal affair. “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recently topped the charts and explored the less expensive side of things. It wasn’t exclusively about clothing, but it’s so hard to ignore a bargain. So, inspired by these two songs, especially the former one, I give you the Top 40 Most Fashionable Titles of the Rock Era. The list contains those song titles that either mention a specific article of clothing (pants, shirt, etc.), a major component of it (a collar or a pocket, but not a button) or a style of clothing. So, you won’t be seeing titles with the generic word “clothes” in them (like Shakira‘s “Underneath Your Clothes”), songs with solely materials in the title (like “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles) or other songs that may otherwise use “dress” or “wear” but without something else to complete it (like “You Wear It Well” by Rod Stewart.) Oh, and no songs about a “sock” when its clearly meant to be a verb. Now, get ready to run down the aisles, ’cause this sale on singles won’t last long.

(Statistics are from the Hot 100, 1958 to the present, with ** indicating Hot 100 Airplay peaks, thus releases like the original “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley from 1956 are left off.  You didn’t want to see “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” at the top, did you?)

Just so you can make some room in your closet, the majority of these songs are about pants and shoes (10 each). Four are about hats, two mention sunglasses, another two dive into some swimwear, and I’ll let you figure out the rest.

40. Chris YoungGettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song) (#33, 2009)
39. TLCHat 2 Da Back (#30, 1993)
38. James BrownI Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance) (#27, 1973)
37. Dr. HookBaby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk (#25, 1982)
36. Morris DayFishnet (#23, 1988)
35. StyxBlue Collar Man (Long Nights) (#21, 1978)
34. Neil DiamondForever In Blue Jeans (#20, 1979)
33. Timbuk3The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades (#19, 1986)
32. Eddie KendricksShoeshine Boy (#18, 1975)
31. Nigel OlssonDancin’ Shoes (#18, 1979)

30. David DundasJeans On (#17, 1977)
29. ApplejacksMexican Hat Rock (#16, 1958)
28. Elton JohnWho Wears These Shoes? (#16, 1984)
27. James BrownHot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got to Get What She Wants) (#15, 1971)
26. Alanis MorissetteHand In My Pocket (#15**, 1995)
25. The Ohio PlayersSkin Tight (#14, 1974)
24. RoxetteDressed For Success (#14, 1989)
23. The PretendersBrass In Pocket (I’m Special) (#14, 1980)
22. Joe South & The BelieversWalk A Mile In My Shoes (#12, 1970)
21. Adam AntGoody Two Shoes (#12, 1983)

20. Tommy TuckerHi-Heel Sneakers (#11, 1964)
19. GinuwineIn Those Jeans (#8, 2003)
18. David BowieBlue Jean (#8, 1984)
17. Jimmy ClantonVenus In Blue Jeans (#7, 1962)
16. Corey HartSunglasses At Night (#7, 1984)
15. Del ShannonHats Off To Larry (#5, 1961)
14. Natasha BedingfieldPocketful Of Sunshine (#5, 2008)
13. Connie FrancisLipstick On Your Collar (#5, 1959)
12. Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-ZSuit & Tie (#4, 2013)
11. TacoPuttin’ On The Ritz (#4, 1983)

The top ten:
10. Mitch Ryder & The Detroit WheelsDevil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly (#4, 1966)

I think I’ve heard this medley a few too many times on the local classic hits station. The original song, combined with the Little Richard hit, became the biggest of their five singles to make the top 40, hitting #4. Ryder also made the Hot 100 as a solo artist later in the decade. The Michigan native still tours in the U.S. and in Europe.

9. H-TownKnockin’ Da Boots (#3, 1993)

Named after their hometown of Houston, Texas, this trio catapulted to the #3 slot in 1993 with the first single. It led them to a win at the Soul Train Music Awards the following year in the category of Best R&B New Artist. They largely struggled to find a hit single after “Boots”, charting three other times below the top 40. They haven’t recorded any music during this decade… yet.

8. Helen ReddyLeave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) (#3, 1973)

Australia’s darling was taking over the charts here in the States in the early 70’s, which included three number-one singles like “Angie Baby” and “I Am Woman”. “Alone” only got to #3, but it was one of six top ten hits Reddy collected on the Hot 100. As disco infiltrated the mainstream, Reddy could no longer make the top 40 by 1977, and she last hit nationally in 1981. She occasionally performs today.

7. NellyAir Force Ones (#3, 2003)

The rapper from St. Louis took us to Nellyville back in 2002 and this song about Nike-brand shoes (rather than the presidential aircraft) from the multi-Platinum album went #3 in the early 2003. He’s recorded several albums since then and recently made the Hot 100 with his latest single, “Hey Porsche”. He’s also featured on a new remix of Florida-Georgia Line‘s “Cruise”.

6. Dodie StevensPink Shoe Laces (#3, 1959)

She was born Geraldine Pasquale, but was given her stage name on a local talent show. Stevens was just 13 years old when she found herself in the pop spotlight with her Gold-certified debut single about a wacky guy’s sense of clothes. It took her to #3 on the Hot 100, her highest charting position. She had several other minor singles make the big chart. She has a daughter and performs with her today.

No ordinary "Song".

No ordinary “Song”.

5. SisqoThong Song (#3, 2000)

After taking a break from Dru Hill, it was clear that Sisqo was the frontrunner from the group to achieve a solo career. The goals of a long career, however, were stunted rather quickly when his novelty “Thong Song” blew up. Whether you were at the beach or the club, you couldn’t ignore it. “Thong” went to #3 on the Hot 100, which was followed by the #1 “Incomplete”, which secured the spot thanks to big R&B airplay and strong physical sales. His second album ultimately tanked, and Dru Hill‘s next release couldn’t measure up to the success of their 90’s material. In other words, he bottomed out.

When "Cool" goes hot.

When “Cool” goes hot.

4. The HolliesLong Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) (#2, 1972)

After several charting records on the Hot 100 in the 60’s, including a handful of top-ten hits like “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, these Brits scored their biggest entry in 1972 with the #2 “Woman”, just stuck behind the monster that was “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. It’s the highest song on this list about a dress. The group would have one more big single two years later, “The Air That I Breathe”, before largely disappearing from the U.S. charts. They last made the top 40 in 1983 and remain together with a few replacement members.

A man of many hats.

A man of many hats.

3. Prince & The RevolutionRaspberry Beret (#2, 1985)

Prince and his band The Revolution were on fire in 1985 after just coming off the success of Purple Rain and its corresponding soundtrack full of hits like “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry”. “Beret” was the first single from Around The World In A Day, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200, though the single itself only made it to #2. One other song from the album, “Pop Life”, went to top ten. The video for “Beret” was combination of both live performance and animation which the Purple One ended up editing himself. Let’s just say juggling all those berets didn’t quite help him on that one.

She won't be defeeted.

She won’t be defeeted.

2. Nancy SinatraThese Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (#1, 1966)

As the daughter of the iconic Frank Sinatra, Nancy was bound for big things once she decided to pursue a career in music. After a single failed to achieve a high position in 1965, Sinatra went to the top of the Hot 100 the next year with “Boots”, which became her signature song. She enjoyed some modest success with the occasional top ten single for the rest of the decade, last reaching the Hot 100 in 1969. She hosts a weekly show on a SiriusXM Radio channel named after her father, Siriusly Sinatra.

Taking the Hy-Road.

Taking the Hy-Road.

1. Brian HylandItsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (#1, 1960)

Watching the snow melt away day after day brings us closer to the summer season, and now, a musical memory from the summer of 1960. It’s the most popular song on this list about articles of clothing. 16-year-old Brian Hyland was objection of affection for many a young girl back then as he went to the top of the Hot 100 with his mouthful of a song title. Sales of the garment skyrocketed because of the song’s popularity, and it’s been featured in a number of movies and advertisements in the nearly 53 years since its release. Hyland went onto other top ten singles like “Sealed With A Kiss” (1962) and “Gypsy Woman” (1970), but he’ll always be remembered as the teen idol who sang the sweet sounds of swimsuits. Not surprisingly, it’s still his most requested song on his tours.

That’s going to do it for this Friday Forty. Hope you enjoyed this look back in the glamorous genre of pop music, and let me know if I missed any along the way! Or, suggest a topic for the next Friday Forty! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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