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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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January 9th, 2015


THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

January 11, 1964

 

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:

 

No. 5 (LW 5) “FORGET HIM”

Bobby Rydel CAMEO280

No. 4 (LW 3) “DOMINIQUE”

The Singing Nun (Sœur Sourire) PHILIPS40163

No. 3 (LW 6) “POPCICLES AND ICICLES”  

The Murmaids CHATAHOOCHEE628

No. 2 (LW 2) “LOUIE LOUIE” 

The Kingsmen WAND -143

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“THERE! I’VE SAID IT AGAIN”

Bobby Vinton

EPIC RECORDS9638

Just before the Beatle-boom, former Big-Band leader Bobby Vinton held down the No. 1 position for the second of four eventual weeks at the zenith of the Hot 100 Singles chart with his Epic Records smash, “There! I’ve Said It Again.”

Vinton’s 45 RPM was the first No. 1 single of ’64, and was the end of the dividing line between all that we knew (musically) and was exploding before our eyes and ears. The recording industry (and music consumers) could never have anticipated the permanent impact on America (or the world) that four boys from Liverpool, England would shortly have while Vinton’s record was sitting in the peak position. The blitz from the Beatles was underway, and it would just be a matter of time before many established artists would fall to the wayside, with others holding on for dear life.   

 

POP STANDARD SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No.1

POP STANDARD

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“THERE! I’VE SAID IT AGAIN”

Bobby Vinton

EPIC RECORDS – 9638

 

Bobby Vinton’s recording of “There! I’ve Said It Again,” was also No. 1 on what was briefly called the Pop Standards Singles chart for the second of five ultimate weeks. Vinton’s record was a remake of a Vaughn Monroe single from 1945. Despite the success of the British Invasion (and other genres of music) Vinton had a number of hits after this one; at a time when other so-called Middle-of-the-Road artists and even other hugely popular Rock & Roll stars before the Beatles couldn’t BUY a hit. Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton hailed from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and was encouraged by his musical parents to learn how to play several instruments. He went to Duquesne University and became proficient on the oboe, with hopes of joining the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It was as a musician, and not a vocalist, that got Vinton a contract with Epic Records after military service. He was almost let go from the label when he found a song in the discard-bin, “Roses Are Red (My Love)” and decided to SING on a new version. The switch from instrumentalist to vocalist led to a lengthy recording career. That release was the first of an eventual four No. 1 Hot 100 singles. Vinton owns an honorary Doctorate in Music from his college alma-mater.

 

**NOTE:

There was no HOT R&B SIDES Chart this week in ‘64, as Billboard Magazine stopped reporting this listing from November of ’63 through January of ’65. In its place, I have chosen the Cashbox Magazine R&B Singles chart to portray the biggest R&B single this week in ’64.

 


THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“LOUIE LOUIE”

The Kingsmen

WAND RECORDS – 143

An improbable No. 1 song on the Cashbox Magazine Rhythm & Blues Top 50 chart this week (there was no Billboard Magazine R&B list for just over a year from late ’63—early ’65) with “Louie Louie” from the Kingsmen; released in October of ’63 on Wand Records (initially on Jerden Records, released in May of ’63.) Cashbox Magazine showed the song sharing the top position with another Northwestern U.S. Caucasian group Paul Revere & the Raiders. It’s been referenced that Mitch Miller, the Columbia Records A&R (Artists & Repertoire) head didn’t like Rock & Roll, and squelched the Raiders record from being promoted on a national scale—although it was a big hit in the western part of the U.S. Ironically, Paul Revere & the Raiders’ adaptation was recorded in the very same Portland, Oregon studio only days after the Kingsmen did their version. The Kingsmen interpretation is the one that triumphed nationally. They did it with one take; using two mics for the instruments, and one overhead microphone that the singer Jack Ely had to stand on his toes to get nearer in order to be heard over the noise of the equipment. All that history was recorded for a reported fee of $100.00. There was a mistake in the Kingsmen reading—often copied today—coming right after the guitar solo. Jack Ely (his mouth filled with newly installed braces) jumped-in too soon, but somehow the band was able to cover it up. Add to that, Ely quit the group (they had relegated him to being the drummer) just before the record became a national hit. The new lead-singer and former friend Lynn Easton had to lip-sync to the recording to make it genuine for TV appearances. That state of affairs led to proceedings, which ended up with the remaining group not being able to use Ely’s recording to go with the lip movements lined up with the record. Fans at live concerts were disillusioned when they realized Easton wasn’t the guy they heard on the record.

“Louie Louie” (without a comma as is sometimes seen today) was also listed at the No. 1 Pop single on the Cashbox list, but Billboard claimed it was No. 2 on their Pop Singles chart; bested by “There! I’ve Said It Again” by former Big-Band leader turned vocalist, Bobby Vinton. (**See above.) “Louie Louie” was written by Richard Berry in 1955 and was first released as by Richard Berry and the Pharaohs on Flip Records in ’57 in a slow Jamaican-ballad-style. The man in the song named Louie was a bartender; being told the story from a forlorn sailor simply missing his girl back in Jamaica. The F.B.I got involved in a nearly frantic three-year inquiry on the Kingsmen recording, after repeated claims that the song contained “filthy” lyrics. It didn’t. J. Edgar Hoover & company interviewed virtually every person involved with the song, including the record company execs, engineer, most band members, publishers and even Richard Berry himself—everybody except Ely who SANG the suspected dirty lyrics on the Kingsmen version. The F.B.I. finally concluded (after much taxpayer money-spending) that they couldn’t comprehend the lyrics enough to take legal action with anyone connected with one of the greatest Rock & Roll recordings in history. The song’s writer Berry had been in many L.A. area groups in the ‘50s; even singing the bass part on the legendary “Riot In Cell Block #9” by the Robins, the precursor to the Coasters. Berry sold the rights to “Louie Louie” in 1959, but reclaimed them in the ‘80s, making him an instantaneous millionaire. Richard Berry died in 1997. Me gotta go now, indeed.



THE

BIG

ALBUMS


 For the Chart-Week ENDING

January 11, 1964


TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


THE SINGING NUN

The Singing Nun

(Sœur Sourire)


PHILIPS RECORDS603


This album reaching the No. 1 slot on the Top LPs chart, combined with the main track “Dominique” attaining the peak position on the Hot 100, gave The Singing Nun the distinction of being the first artist to EVER realize that achievement on the Billboard Hot 100 and Top LPs chart concurrently. As a side note, “Dominique” is the song that prevented one of the greatest Rock & Roll songs, “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen, from becoming a No. 1 Hot 100 record in late 1963. “Louie Louie” (**see above) was also prohibited from the apex by “There! I’ve Said It Again” by Bobby Vinton in early ’64 (**see above.) But the charts don’t lie about the biggest sellers at the time—at least during that era. Sister Luc-Gabrielle was her Catholic Nun name, and the moniker on the record label was totally made up; Sœur Sourire, or Sister Smile in English. Born in the Laeken section of Brussels, Belgium, her true birth name was Jeanine Deckers. “Dominique” (re-named as by The Singing Nun for U.S. issue) was released in America on Philips Records. It had been recorded in 1961, and was a hit in Europe in ’62. Over a year later (in late ’63) it shot up the charts like a rocket, and spent four weeks in the No. 1 niche, after music publisher Paul Kapp suggested it be put out as a single in America. The Singing Nun even appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS Television on January 5, 1964.

The nun recorded the song in French as a eulogy St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. In addition, the tune was written for her Mother Superior’s Saint’s Day. Debbie Reynolds benefited from Deckers’ story when the actress played the lead in film The Singing Nun in ’66. But the narrative was done. Reportedly, Jeanine Deckers later left the church to pursue a musical career, while continuing to be a lay missionary. Her singing career didn’t pan out, after several attempts to recapture the “Dominique” moment. The former star became deep in debt from what the government of Belgium said was lack of proof that the proceeds of her monster hit single and album went to her convent. The Dominican Order and her convent disavowed that it owed the money, leaving it on Deckers to sort out. Despondent, Deckers and her much younger female companion Annie Pescher, committed suicide in ’85 at their home in Belgium.

 

**NOTE:

There was no HOT R&B LPs Chart this week in ‘64, as Billboard Magazine did not debut a Rhythm & Blues album listing until the week ending January 20, 1965.  I cannot obtain any other R&B LP listing from any other national source, without spending a near fortune.  If YOU have access to copies of either Cashbox or Record World R&B LP charts (if there were any) from before January of ’65, please get in touch with me at BigJay@BigJaySorensen.com Thanks! And BE BIG!

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week ENDING

January 11, 1975


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

 

No. 5 (LW 10) “MANDY”

Barry Manilow BELL613

No. 4 (LW 5) “LAUGHTER IN THE RAIN

Neil Sedaka ROCKET / MCA40313

No. 3 (LW 4)“JUNIOR’S FARM” / “SALLY G”

Paul McCartney & Wings APPLE1875

No. 2 (LW 2) “YOU’RE THE FIRST, THE LAST, MY EVERYTHING”

Barry White 20th CENTURY2133


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS”

Elton John

(Featuring the Reggae guitars of Dr. Winston O’Boogie)

MCA RECORDS40344

 

 

Elton John was invited by John Lennon during the summer of ’74 to come to a recording session for what would become John Winston’s new single “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” from a forthcoming LP called Walls And Bridges. Elton sang harmonies and piano on the track. It’s been largely reported that Elton asked Lennon to appear with him on-stage in the future. Lennon, never thinking his song would be a big hit, agreed; but only if his song reached No. 1. Well, it did (much to Lennon’s mortification) in November of ’74. Move forward to Thanksgiving night that year, and Elton John was performing at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. His invited guest was a hesitant John Lennon, acquiescing only because he made the bet with Elton months prior. Lennon requested to Elton that he only perform on three songs that evening; “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” (a No. 1 song for a solitary week ending on November 16, 1974) “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (No. 1 this week on the Hot 100 Singles chart) and “I Saw Her Standing There” mostly written by Paul McCartney back in the early ‘60s. Lennon said he would not sing “Imagine” or any of his other songs, as it was Elton’s show. Lennon had sung back-up vocals plus lead guitar on the studio version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”—a non-album single. Here’s that live version of the Sgt. Pepper classic from that momentous evening in Midtown Manhattan, with Elton’s band along the Memphis Horns.

Without anyone’s knowledge, that evening’s performances by John Lennon would be the final live concert appearance before his death in 1980. The original tracks of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” from Elton John were recorded during the preparation for his album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, but kept off the LP. The B side of this No. 1 45 RPM was another Lennon composition from his Mind Games LP called “One Day At A Time” with John only playing guitar on the cut. The studio version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was in the last of two back-to-back weeks in the No. 1 slot during this survey-phase in 1975. Lennon reunited with Yoko Ono who was in the audience that night, and re-imagined their relationship, casting his 18-month girlfriend May Fun Yee Pang to the wayside.

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘75

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“ONLY YOU”

Ringo Starr

APPLE RECORDS1876


It was a respectable season to be an ex-Beatle, as Ringo Starr had yet another hit on his hands with “Only You” on Apple Records. The song reached No. 6 on the Hot 100, but was the prime hit on the Easy Listening Singles chart this week in ’75. The tune came from Ringo’s LP called Goodnight Vienna, and was recommended by John Lennon for Ringo to sing. Not only did John suggest the remake of the Platters’ 45 RPM from 1955, but Lennon also played guitar on the track along with guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Billy Preston on organ and Harry Nilsson on backing vocals.

“Only You (And You Alone)” as it was originally titled on Mercury Records, was written by the guy who managed the Platters Buck Ram. Lennon also wrote Ringo’s opening track to the album Goodnight Vienna called “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna.” “Only You” was released as the opening single from the LP, recorded in Los Angeles, produced by Richard Perry.  

 

 HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75

No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“KUNG FU FIGHTING”

Carl Douglas

20th CENTURY RECORDS2140 

I’m not sure if everybody was “Kung Fu Fighting”—but the song from Carl Douglas was on top of the Hot Soul Singles chart this week in ’75 on 20th Century Records, produced by prolific early Disco maven Biddu. This was the only week for this track to hit the summit of this survey. But the song had already spent two weeks atop the Hot 100 Singles chart during two weeks in December of ’74; selling over a million copies in the U.S. and reportedly eventually selling over 11 million worldwide according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Ok, so who was Carl Douglas? Carlton George Douglas was a Jamaican singer who moved to London to seek renown. He got it with the release of “Kung Fu Fighting” which was a hit in the U.K. well in advance of the U.S. issue. But it almost never saw the light of day. Indian-born Producer Biddu (full name Biddu Appaiah) was putting the finishing touches on a track called “I Want To Give You Everything” for Douglas, and realized he had about 10 minutes left on a three-hour session. Biddu asked Carl if he had any lyrics floating around his head. Douglas said he had a few; including words to a song called “Kung Fu Fighting.” Biddu quickly came up with a melody and thought of it as a B side to the Larry Weiss song “I Want To Give You Everything.” Note that it was Weiss’ song “Rhinestone Cowboy” that became a huge hit for Glen Campbell in just nine months. Now back to this Kung Fu nonsense. Biddu added some inane martial arts “hoo” and “haa” sounds and a Chinese-sounding introduction to the track with the lyrics from Douglas. Biddu played several tracks for the A & R person from PYE Records (the British label that originally released Douglas’ hit) and Robin Blanchflower asked to hear everything on the tape reel. When he got to “Kung Fu Fighting” he told Biddu THAT was the hit, as martial arts was all the rage at the time. Biddu wasn’t sure if that was a wise decision, but he let the Artists & Repertoire dude have his way; eventually making Biddu a wealthy man.

Douglas had a hard time having another hit in the U.S. with a song called “Dance The Kung-Fu” unwisely chosen as a follow-up single here; hitting the brakes at No. 48 on the Hot 100. Biddu however, who had later successes with Bollywood (India) movie scoring and producing, went on to have continued triumph s in the so-called Disco market with songs like “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance)” by Tina Charles (“The White Ball of Fire” as Biddu called her) and artists like Jimmy Charles & the Vagabonds, both early Disco faves, in addition to his own albums. One of my favorite tracks from that era was called “Blue Eyed Soul” from the Biddu Orchestra LP of the same name. Another was “I Could Have Danced All Night” that both got immense response from dancers in the clubs where I was playing records at the time at the Jersey Shore.   

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

January 11, 1975


TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


ELTON JOHN’S GREATEST HITS

Elton John

MCA RECORDS2128


While the single “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was riding high as the prime 45 RPM this week in ’75, a compilation from Elton John was once again the No. 1 LP in America on MCA Records. Elton John’s Greatest Hits was pretty much just that, with one tune that wasn’t big here in America. Because this was a single LP, the omissions were glaring in my estimation; especially leaving off “Take Me To The Pilot,” “Friends,” “Country Comfort,” “Love Song,” “Levon,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Harmony” and “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” as just some examples. But it was a single album, so MCA and the parent label in England, DJM Records decided on the tracks listed below. The order of the songs was slightly different on the European and U.S. Record Club release however. The newest song on this compilation was “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” That track was notable for who ELSE was singing and performing on it. I’ll tell you who they were after you watch and listen.

Ok, you’ve waited long enough. If you are a fan of Sir Elton, you may already know who sang on this track from the album Caribou. Two prominent members of the Beach Boys, Carl Wilson and the co-arranger of the vocal Bruce Johnston are featured, along with Billy Hinsche (whose sister Annie was married to Carl Wilson—with Billy a one-time member of Dino, Desi & Billy) and Toni Tennille. Her then husband Daryl Dragon helped co-arrange the vocals. Other tracks on the U.S. version of the album were (in order of appearance): “Border Song” (which was Elton’s first charting single here in America in 1970) “Daniel,” “Honky Cat,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be A Long Long Time),” “Bennie And The Jets,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Border Song” and “Crocodile Rock.”

 

HOT SOUL

LPS & TAPE CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘75

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


FIRE

Ohio Players

MERCURY RECORDS1013


Smokin’ at the top of the Hot Soul LPs chart this week in early ’75 was Fire by Ohio Players on Mercury Records. Equally smokin’ was a suggestive photo on the cover that alone may have sold more than a few copies of the album. But there was some interesting music on there too, ya know; especially the title track, clocking in a 4:36 of explosive but slick funk. “Fire” smoldered as the opening track. I’m giving you the entire album here so you can stare at the album cover for awhile.

The band played instrumentals for the R&B vocal group the Falcons and Band (“I Found A Love” with Wilson Pickett as the lead singer) in 1962, using the name the Ohio Untouchables. Confusion with another band over that name led the seven man assembly to transform it into Ohio Players and they started having hits in ’71. Their first nationwide big hit single and earliest million-selling record happened in ’73 with “Funky Worm” on the Westbound Records label. The band would go on to have three more million-selling hits, including: “Skin Tight,” (No. 13 Pop) an edited single version of “Fire” (the last two weeks of January’s top hit on the Hot Soul Singles chart and a one-week No. 1 single on the Hot 100 for the week ending February 8th) and finally in 1975, “Love Rollercoaster” (another No. 1 Pop hit) all on their new home, Mercury Records. The album Fire (recorded in Chicago) topped the Pop Top LPs & Tape register for merely a week for the survey-period ending on February 8, 1975, and sold over one million copies. In addition, the Fire LP contained a follow-up single called “I Want To Be Free” which rose to No. 6 on the Hot Soul Singles chart—yet only managed to get to No. 44 on the Hot 100. The album Fire was in its second of an ultimate five weeks on top of the Hot Soul LPs & Tape chart to open ’75. The key hit-making members of the group included: Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, William “Billy” Beck, James “Diamond” Williams, Marvin “Marv” Pierce, Marshall Jones, Clarence “Satch” Satchell and Ralph “Pee-Wee” Middlebrooks. Notably, the group featured scantily clad (if any clothing at all) pictures of models on their outside and inside LP covers in provocative poses. On this album, rather erotic usage of a fire hose held by a naked woman, likely consummated the sale of the LP for many men; including your usually very demure Big Jay. Ohio Players continued to have chart-hits until ’77.

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week

Ending

January 12, 1980


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

 

No. 5 (LW 1) “PLEASE DON’T GO”

K.C. and the Sunshine Band T. K. 1035

No. 4 (LW 4) “SEND ONE YOUR LOVE”

Stevie Wonder TAMLA 54303

No. 3 (LW 5) “DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME”

The Captain & Tennille CASABLANCA2215

No. 2 (LW 3) “ROCK WITH YOU”

Michael Jackson EPIC50797


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

 

 

“ESCAPE

 (The Pina Colada Song)” 

Rupert Holmes

INFINITY / MCA RECORDS30,035

 

Back in late ’79 into early 1980, you couldn’t ‘escape’ this record on the radio. This song was strong enough to be No. 1 for a week during the last survey-period of ’79, and vaulted back to the top spot for another week after K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Please Don’t Go” was in that position as the first chart-topping single of 1980. Rupert Holmes has always been a clever wordsmith, as is obvious with a 1971 minor hit he composed called “Timothy” by a group called the Buoys; a song about (gulp) cannibalism, and a No. 17 Pop hit on Scepter Records. He composed songs for the movie A Star Is Born and produced an album for Barbra Streisand called Lazy Afternoon. Barry Manilow and Dionne Warwick recorded some of his tunes and Holmes produced songs for some U.K. artists; all the while recording himself to no avail. Along came record executive and legend Ron Alexenberg (at the time at Infiniti Records, after he was responsible for signing Michael Jackson, Kansas, Boston and others to Epic Records) and he signed Rupert to a deal. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song) was the biggest hit for Infinity; a million-selling single. Here’s Rupert Holmes on TV’s Midnight Special.

So how do you follow-up a story song that sold over a million records? You do another. But by this time, Infinity had suddenly gone out of business and Rupert’s deal was absorbed by MCA Records; the same label that took over the distribution of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” while it was racing up the charts. The result was a song simply called “Him,” another story song about a girlfriend being messy about another guy visiting her when he was not at home, and finding telltale signs…a great song for a soap-opera; or at the very least a rehash of the theme from song “Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed.” “Him” reached a respectable No. 6 on the Hot 100. Another record from Holmes was another witty tale about a guy asking a girl to marry him over the phone, but had just 30 seconds to leave a message on an old-fashioned answering machine. Oh, and the song was called (you guessed it) “Answering Machine,” with the listener never finding out what the answer WAS, because HIS machine clipped the return message. The clever-lyrics songs dried up after that one. Listening to the lyrics of these songs, you realize just how much technology has changed since the early ‘80s; but the premises really never change when it comes to boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy discovers another boy or girl is coy. But Holmes had more aces up his sleeve as he wrote the Best-Musical Tony® Award-winning The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1986.  

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY TRACLS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

 

No.1

Adult Contemporary

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

  

“SEND ONE YOUR LOVE”

Stevie Wonder

TAMLA RECORDS54303

  

Stevie Wonder had only his second No. 1 song on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary Singles chart (up to this point) with “Send One Your Love” on Tamla Records. Previously, he hit the heights of this listing with “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” from back in ’73. “Send One Your Love” attained the No. 5 slot on the Hot 100 Singles chart from the album called Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life Of Plants.” The tunes on this album were written for a documentary The Secret Life Of Plants based on a book of same name. Wonder’s LP was mostly made up of instrumental tracks after he heard the movie’s producer describe to him exactly what the plants looked like; writing the songs to fit the length of each sequence in the documentary. The double-album yielded two charting singles; the first being “Send One Your Love” the Adult Contemporary chart-topper this week in 1980.

That easy-going beautiful song was strong enough for Stevie to release it as the first single after his album Songs In The Key Of Life had been such an enormous hit nearly three years earlier. Wonder is legendary for having long gaps in between album releases; but he seldom ceases to amaze. However, the second single didn’t perform as well. It was called “Outside My Window,” merely reaching No. 52 on the Hot 100 and disappearing after seven weeks. The LP also featured songs with lyrics by Wonder’s then wife Syreeta Wright and future solo star Michael Sembello, famous for the song “Maniac” from the soundtrack of the film Flashdance in 1983.   

 

HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“ROCK WITH YOU”

Michael Jackson

EPIC RECORDS50797

This was the second of six consecutive survey-phases for “Rock With You” from Michael Jackson to be the pace-setter on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The track was from the album Off The Wall on Epic Records; produced by Quincy Jones. Jackson didn’t want the LP to sound anything like a Jackson 5 album (kinda hard to accomplish when Michael was the lead singer on most of their tracks) but pulled-off the feat with the lead single called “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” That song reached No. 1 for just a sole survey-period for the week ending on October 13, 1979. The follow-up was completely different than the up-tempo dance track. “Rock With You” had a mid-tempo ballad-feel to it; complete with luxuriant harmonies. A member of the Soul/Funk/Disco group Heatwave, Rod Temperton, wrote “Rock With You” after being cajoled by Quincy Jones. It took some doing, as the keyboard player for Heatwave was busy writing songs for his own group at the time. Those first two singles from Off The Wall sold over two-million copies each!

The third single from the LP Off The Wall was the title track and ‘only’ sold over one-million 45 RPM singles. The next one was also a million-seller called “She’s Out Of My Life” and both reached No. 10 on the Hot 100 Singles register. The gloved-one was the first SOLO artist to have four Top 10 singles from one album. That would soon change. After the huge success of Off The Wall, it’s doubtful that Michael or Quincy could have possibly known that their next creation would become the largest- selling album in the annals of recorded music.

  

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

January 12, 1980


TOP POP ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)


BEE GEES GREATEST

The Bee Gees

RSO RECORDS2-4200

Back when they were on Atco Records (for American releases) the single LP greatest hits album Best Of Bee Gees contained their earliest hits in the U.S., ranging from their first hit here in ‘67, “New York Mining Disaster (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)” to “First Of May” in ’69. Some thought there would never be another greatest hits collection including all three Gibb brothers, as Robin left for a solo career after their double-album Odessa. Other members of the group, the almost forgotten drummer Colin Petersen and guitarist Vince Melouney were gone by that time. Barry and Maurice had a falling-out after one more album. The three brothers didn’t get back together until about a year later to record “Lonely Days” and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” during the same recording session. That led to several more Top 40 hits, but no other huge 45 RPM releases in the early ‘70s. Yes, there was a Bee Gees Greatest Vol. 2 LP, containing those songs that charted from late ’69 into the middle of ’73, including the above-mentioned huge hits and others including the often forgotten fantastic track (a Big Jay-fave) “Run To Me.” Atco had enough on minor hits and the brothers signed with Robert Stigwood’s (their manager) new label RSO Records and began a journey into various kinds of rhythmic music almost by accident, while still keeping their lush harmonies intact with their ballads. The current compilation was called Bee Gees Greatest, containing cuts from 1975 through 1979, ranging from “Jive Talkin’” to “Love You Inside Out,” which (ironically) was their last No. 1 single and last million-selling 45 RPM release in America.

“Love You Inside Out” was the group’s ninth No. 1 song, and was the last of six consecutive chart-topping singles on the Hot 100; the third prime-charter from their album Spirits Having Flown. Maurice Gibb passed away at age 53 in January of 2003, with Robin leaving this world in May of 2012. Brother Barry toured during 2013 in Europe and in 2014 here in the Colonies in honor of his two brothers and a lifetime of music.  

 

 

HOT SOUL ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘80

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)


OFF THE WALL

Michael Jackson

EPIC RECORDS35745

Off The Wall had already been No. 1 on the Hot Soul LPs chart for nine non-consecutive weeks in the last few months of 1979, and continued at the peak of that listing well into 1980. This was the 11th of an ultimate 16 weeks in the pinnacle position of this chart for Michael Jackson on Epic Records. (**See above under singles.)

**Special thanks to www.ShopRadioCast.com for supplying the photo of the 45 RPM adapter insert.

(Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net -- '60s 45 record image by dan; '70s headphones/vinyl record image by dan; '80s cassette tape image by graur razvan ionut.)

**All chart information is used by permission of Record Research, Inc., from Publisher Joel Whitburn. The original information comes from Billboard Magazine’s various Hot 100 singles, Top 200 albums, and various R & B charts published by Billboard as compiled by Record Research. www.RecordResearch.com

Copyright 2013-2014 by Big Jay Sorensen, Hosted by STCNtech (stcntech.com)
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