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December 4th, 2014


THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 12, 1964

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’64:

 

No. 5 (LW 22) “I FEEL FINE”

The Beatles CAPITOL5327

No. 4 (LW 8) “COME SEE ABOUT ME”

The Supremes MOTOWN1068

No. 3 (LW 1) “RINGO”  

Lorne Greene RCA VICTOR47-8444

No. 2 (LW 4) “SHE’S NOT THERE” 

The Zombies PARROT9695

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

 

“MR. LONELY”

Bobby Vinton

                                   EPIC RECORDS5-9730


Bobby Vinton had to fight-off the Beatles early in 1964, when his record “There, I Said It Again” was bumped-off the No. 1 spot by “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Vinton was still a hit-maker at the end of that same year with this week’s leading 45 RPM, “Mr. Lonely.” Only this time, he’d be in that position for just a sole week, with the Supremes “Come See About Me” taking over the pinnacle position the following week; followed by the Fab Four and their fifth No. 1 Hot 100 of the year, “I Feel Fine” during the very next survey-period. But this week, it was the former Big-Band leader who occupied the high point on Epic Records. Vinton had overtaken another oddity in the record business. His “Mr. Lonely” replaced the one-week No. 1 record “Ringo” by TV’s Ben Cartwright, Lorne Greene. It is still my belief today that the title of that song had more to do with it being No. 1 than the content of the material or the star.

In the above video, Dick Clark had it right when he said “Mr. Lonely” had been written a few years before, but wasn’t a hit at the time. It had been included on Vinton’s 1962 LP called Roses Are Red, containing the title track and million-selling No. 1 song, “Roses Are Red (My Love)" his very first hit single. The tune had been recorded by Middle-of-the-Road artist Buddy Greco attaining the No. 64 position on the Hot 100 in ’62, but got little Top-40 radio air-play. Vinton’s arrangement was almost identical to Greco’s so one has to assume Buddy’s was a cover-version of Vinton’s recording. “Mr. Lonely” was co-written by Vinton, and New York’s Brill Building songwriters, Gene Allan; one of the many writers for Aldon Music, headed by Don Kirshner. The song was so successful internationally, that Vinton and Allan wrote a sort of follow-up a few years later with the similarly themed, “Coming Home Soldier.” It should be noted that when “Mr. Lonely” was released on Bobby Vinton’s Greatest Hits album, the Vietnam “conflict” was rapidly escalating, and was in full-bloom when “Coming Home Soldier” (No. 11 Pop) came out in 1966. A memorable use of “Mr. Lonely” came in the ‘90s, when newly crowned Dancing With The Stars champion, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks) played the song when he danced with model Tyra Banks (coincidence) who played the role of Jackie Ames on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during the fourth season of the sitcom in 1993.  


EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“RINGO”

Lorne Greene

RCA VICTOR– 47-8444

While “Ringo” sat atop the Hot 100 Singles chart for only one week, the record had legs on the Easy Listening Singles list; as this was the fourth of what would be six decisive survey-phases as the leading 45 RPM. Canadian actor and former radio star Lorne Greene (real name Lyon Himan “Chaim” Green, who portrayed the patriarch of the wealthy Cartwright family on NBC-TV’s Sunday night staple Bonanza, had an entire album recorded due to his fame from the show. That album was aptly titled Welcome To The Ponderosa on RCA Victor Records. All of the singing on this 45 RPM was performed by the backing singers. Some sources say the backing group was the Jordanaires (known for Elvis Presley songs) while others say it was a vocal group called The Mello Men that featured Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger and the Grinch! In fact, Greene didn’t sing a note, as he did the whole record as a narrator; thus he never SANG the name Ringo.

Each track on Greene’s LP had a spoken-word introduction by the TV cowboy as your heard above. On the B side of “Ringo” was Lorne Green’s vocal version of “Bonanza” the show’s theme, written by well-known Academy Award® winners Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Greene’s voice was almost laughable on the theme song from the show—so listen at your own risk.

Lorne Greene recorded a total of five albums filled with usually spoken lyrics, as he wasn’t truly a singer; having been a radio newscaster and stage actor earlier in his career. Greene was also later known as Commander Adama in the 1978-79 one-season TV series Battlestar Galactica, and he replayed the character on the short-lived 10-show TV sequel version called Galactica in 1980. Greene died in 1987 of complications due to surgery.

 

**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.

 

CASHBOX

R&B SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No.1

Cashbox

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“REACH OUT FOR ME”

Dionne Warwick

SCEPTER RECORDS – 1285

 

“Reach Out For Me” was the fourth single from the LP called Make Way For Dionne Warwick on Scepter Records. “Reach Out For Me” (like every other song on the album) was written by the future Songwriters Hall of Fame members Bacharach and David. “Reach Out For Me” reached a decent No. 20 on the Hot 100, after she stumbled a bit with the dual-sided hit “You’ll Never Get To Heaven” later sub-titled “(If You Break My Heart)” (No. 34) with the B side called “A House Is Not A Home” stalling at No. 71. Of course the big hit from the LP was Warwick’s “Walk On By” her biggest hit until 1968 when she had the million-selling single “(Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls).” “Reach Out For Me” was listed on the label as being written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach in that order.

Bacharach arranged the orchestration with the record being produced by Bacharach and David in that running order. This so-called “Uptown Soul” song sat atop the Cashbox R&B Sides chart for two weeks, with this being the second. The liner note on the album Make Way For Dionne Warwick were written by Warwick’s then manager Paul Cantor, with additional notes on top of the back cover written by Fabulous 57 WMCA Music Department members Joe Bogart and Frank Costa. The album Make Way For Dionne Warwick is also notable for having a version of the future No. 1 song “(They Long To Be) Close To You” a 1970 smash for Carpenters and Warwick’s version of “Wishin’ & Hopin’” later a hit for Dusty Springfield; for which Warwick was not happy that Dusty copied her version almost note for note and phrase by phrase.


 THE

BIG ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 12, 1964


TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week 1)


BEACH BOYS CONCERT

The Beach Boys

CAPITOL RECORDS2198


As it says on the front cover of the album, “This is the Beach Boys’ first “LIVE” album. Here are the great songs, the unbelievable excitement of an actual Beach Boys concert—before thousands of shouting, screaming Beach Boys fans.” This was the group’s seventh album and their very first to reach No. 1 on the 150 title (at the time) Top LPs chart on Capitol Records. Four of the songs had not appeared on any Beach Boys LP up until this one, recorded on December 21, 1963 in Sacramento, California at the Civic Memorial Auditorium. Those four non-LP tracks were remakes of “The Monster Mash,” “The Wanderer,” “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” a recent hit from Jan & Dean. To say this was a note-for-note “LIVE” album is a bit of a misnomer as I’ll explain below. This was the same venue where the Beach Boys became a headlining concert act just six months prior. Here’s a song from that show that you almost would never expect the Beach Boys to perform—it’s the old Doo-Wop rocker, “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” originally recorded by the Rivingtons in 1962. That’s Brian Wilson with the very cool falsetto lead vocal.  

A side note about the Beach Boys in 1963. The Beach Boys’ frontman and concert promoter Fred Vail was the announcer on the album Beach Boys Concert. He recorded HIS parts in the studio in August of ’64 when the record was “doctored” by producer Brian Wilson. Vail also later had claimed that contrary to numerous accounts, the song “Warmth Of The Sun” (included on a future Beach Boys LP called Shut Down Vol. 2) was NOT written as a result of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in an office in Los Angeles in 1963. He said that was impossible, as the Beach Boys performed that very night in Marysville, California not far from Sacramento after having serious doubts as to whether or not to do a concert that night. They did indeed perform after local officials allowed them to do their show. The song “Warmth Of The Sun” was recorded six weeks later. But the initial writing of the song WAS done the morning before the assassination later in day, but was completed in a hotel room in Sacramento AFTER that concert in Marysville, 50 miles north of the California capital city with the group in full knowledge of the President’s death. Now back to the Beach Boys Concert album. While most of the tracks were recorded in Sacramento on December 21, 1963, with some done on another date (August 1, 1964) many of the tracks were overdubbed with vocal harmonies, or in some cases, simply NOT done live, but either sped-up or were edited versions of previous studio recordings with crowd noise added on August 31, 1964. The LP Beach Boys Concert was released by Capitol Records on October 19, 1964.   

 

**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. If YOU know or have copies of either Cashbox or Record World R&B LP charts 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

December 9, 1978


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘78:

 

No. 5 (LW 3) “HOW MUCH I FEEL”

Ambrosia WARNER BROS.8640

No. 4 (LW 5) “I JUST WANNA STOP”

Gino Vannelli A&M – 2072

No. 3 (LW 1) “YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS

Barbra & Neil COLULMBIA RECORDS3-10840

No. 2 (LW 2)“MacArthur Park”

Donna Summer CASABLANCA939

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 4)

 

“LE FREAK”

Chic

ATLANTIC RECORDS3519

 

If you guessed that “Le Freak” by Chic was the best-selling single ever on Atlantic Records, you’re a Record Pig! Indeed, this was the first of what would become five survey-periods as the biggest hit in America. But it attained that status non-consecutively, as two other songs knocked “Le Freak” out of the No. 1 slot during its chart-run. Chic was on top for just a week, when “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” roared back from No. 3 to recapture the crown it had prior to “Le Freak” hitting the heights. Then Chic had another two-week stay at the zenith to end the chart-year of ’78. The Bee Gees started 1979 with their song “Too Much Heaven” at the apex of the Hot 100 Singles chart for three straight weeks. But “Le Freak” refused to die. The song kicked the Gibb Brothers out of the No. 1 position and yielded yet another three back-to-back weeks as the nation’s biggest 45 RPM. An amazing feat, that eventually gave Atlantic Records an over four-million-selling single! It was the initial time a record hit the top of the Hot 100 on three separate occasions.

Guitarist/songwriter Nile Rogers and his bass guitar virtuoso/songwriting partner Bernard Edwards originally called the song “F&*% Off,” but wisely changed the title. The reason for that original profane title is that of legend, as both musicians were supposed to be guests of Grace Jones but denied entrance to the infamous Studio 54 Disco nightclub where she was appearing on New Year’s Eve in 1977 to promote her first Club hit “I Need A Man.” It appears she forgot to tell the overly-sensitive doormen that they were on the “list.” Thus the vulgarity for the snub. “Le Freak” clocked-in at 5:23 seconds on the album C’est Chic, but was edited for 45 RPM release. The follow-up single didn’t quite attain the rare sales achievement or even chart position, but “I Want Your Love” from the LP did manage to sell over one-million copies on its own, and got to No. 7 on the Hot 100. “Le Freak” was also on the top of the Hot Club Play listing with a 12-inch single along with “I Want Your Love” and another track from the LP called “Chic Cheer.” It also reached the top of the Hot Soul Singles chart (**see below.)   

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘78

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“TIME PASSAGES”

Al Stewart

ARISTA RECORDS0362


The guy who co-wrote and recorded this week’s biggest hit on the Easy Listening Singles chart was, “Never thrilled” with the song. He still doesn’t like it; but it was this week’s leader as “Time Passages” would continue to be for eventually 10 straight weeks! This was survey-phase number five in that position for the 45 RPM this week in ‘78 by Englishman Al Stewart (born Alastair Ian Stewart) from his album of the same name. I’ve read that Stewart once reportedly claimed he was forced to come up with something that ‘sounded’ like his successful “Year Of The Cat” (that was released on Janus Records) by his new record company, Arista Records; something his co-writer says is the bunk. The song appeared on other labels around the world as you’ll see on this video.

Produced by fellow Arista Records signee Alan Parsons;  “Time Passages” only reached number seven on the Hot 100 Singles chart in ’78, but (at 10 weeks) was actually the longest running 45 RPM in the pinnacle position on the Easy Listening Singles chart for the entire 1970s! The song “Time Passages” clocked-in at 6:39 on the LP; though it was edited down to 4:32 for the single liberation. Despite being that popular in America, Al Stewart apparently STILL doesn’t care for it, because while in an elevator, he once heard what he THOUGHT was a generic “elevator-music” version; only to realize it was his recording—which apparently bothered him. According to the song’s co-writer Peter White, Stewart’s long-time guitar player, while Al may not like the song, contrary to some published reports, they DO perform the song in concerts all over the world. The same saxophone player Phil Kenzie performed the solo on both “Time Passages” and on the earlier “Year Of The Cat” which may make them seem like similar songs to many people because of that. 


HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘78


No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“LE FREAK”

Chic

 

ATLANTIC RECORDS3519

** (See above for more information.) “Le Freak” was in the second of five ultimate weeks as the Hot Soul Singles chart-leader. Here’s a live version of “Le Freak” by Chic.

The album that contained “Le Freak” called C’est Chic would become the Hot Soul LPs chart’s principal LP next week.

 

THE

BIG ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 9, 1978


TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘78:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


52ND STREET

Billy Joel

COLUMBIA RECORDS10003

 

52ND Street was Billy Joel’s sixth studio album and would end up the biggest album of the year according to Billboard Magazine’s year-end listing. The Columbia Records release was also Billy’s first to hit No. 1 on that chart; eventually selling over seven million copies in the U.S. alone. This was the fourth of an eventual eight non-consecutive weeks in the prime position on the Top LPs & Tape survey. This assortment of songs was also the first to be released commercially (in Japan initially) on the new Compact Disc (CD) format in 1982—more on that below. The album was, in reality, recorded at 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan at the A&R Recording Studios which was partially owned by Billy’s producer, Phil Ramone. 52nd Street (the actual street) was the residence to many Jazz venues earlier in the 20th Century, which may explain some of the Jazz-like tinges on the album. Not only did Joel win a Grammy® for Best Pop Vocal Performance-Male for the album, it also got a statue for producer Ramone for the esteemed ‘Best Album’ award. The first single from the seven-million plus selling 52ND Street was “My Life” which was released two weeks after the LP debuted. Members (at the time) of the group Chicago—their bass player/vocalist Peter Cetera and guitarist/vocalist Donnie Dacus—sang backing vocals on this track. If you listen carefully, you can pick out Cetera’s one-of-a-kind voice. “My Life” reached number three on the Hot 100 Singles chart in early 1979, but was rapidly climbing the list this week in ’78.

The second single was the album’s opening track, “Big Shot”, which reached number 14 on the singles chart, and is allegedly about Joel thinking about Mick Jagger doing the song for his former wife Bianca Jagger. Billy says HE never dated her as gossip has attempted to expose. The ballad “Honesty” was chosen as the third single, reaching number 24 on the Pop Singles chart. It was nominated for the Grammy® ‘Song of the Year’ in ’79 (even though the album was released in ’78) but lost out to the Doobie Brothers’ song “What A Fool Believes.” Billy’s album 52ND Street has the distinction of being the first commercially available CD album, but was released in Japan first on October 1, 1982, as it was the Sony Corporation’s innovation (along with Philips.) The first POP CD to be manufactured but not released until later was 1981’s album from ABBA called The Visitors. And, truth be told, the first Compact Disc to EVER be made was a classical recording of Richard Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie as a ‘test-pressing’ performed by the Berlin Philharmonic. And you Big Jay’s Record Pig Music Trivia© fanatics likely already know that Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. was the first commercially released CD in the America.

 

 

HOT SOUL

LPS & TAPE CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘78

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


THE MAN

Barry White

20th CENTURY FOX RECORDS

T-571

The Man. Slightly pompous, but certainly Barry White was worthy of that moniker. The other one was “The Maestro.” That one was surely apropos as well, because White proved he could blend sultry rhythms with lush orchestration; and, of course, that voice. But Barry’s touch was slipping a bit with Pop audiences by this point in ’78 after a strong five-year run at Top 10 Hot 100 hits. Every trend has its lifespan, and White was experimenting to find that next “thing.” While the LP The Man was the biggest album this week in ’78 on the Hot Soul LPs & Tape chart, the only charting Pop single on the Hot 100 Singles listing from Barry White’s album was “You’re Sweetness Is My Weakness” on 20th Century Fox Records; and that just managed to reach No. 60 on the Pop side. However, the song became a strong No. 2 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.

White’s career suddenly slipped almost into oblivion after this album and the lack of Pop success with “Your Sweetness Is My Weakness.” Barry didn’t have another Hot 100 hit song until 1993; and that was a collaboration with another big man in the industry, Quincy Jones. White was the last person listed on the artist credits, as it was Jones’ project, along with Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El DeBarge and White providing vocal support for a song called “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” on the Quest Records label, owned by Quincy. Barry White’s next excursion sold a half-million copies called “Practice What You Preach,” another No. 1 Hot Black Singles hit and a No. 18 Hot 100 charting record. After that, White slipped backward due to the public’s lack of interest in his new music, although still revered by his fans. It should be noted that globally, Barry White sold over 100 million albums in his lifetime—proving he WAS the MAN. White’s health deteriorated to the point of having to curtail concert dates and his recording became sporadic. He retired from public life after suffering a debilitating stroke due to diabetes complications in the spring of 2003. Barry White passed away on July 4, 2003 at the age of 58.

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week

Ending

December 13, 1986


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘86:

 

No. 5 (LW 7) “EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT”

Wang Chung GEFFEN28562

No. 4 (LW 1) “NEXT TIME I FALL”

Peter Cetera w / Amy Grant WARNER BROS. – 28597

No. 3 (LW 3) “HIP TO BE SQUARE”

Huey Lewis & the News CHRYSALIS43065

No. 2 (LW 5) “WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN”

The Bangles COLUMBIA38-06257


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 4)

 

“THE WAY IT IS”

Bruce Hornsby and the Range

RCA RECORDS5023-7


As we headed toward the end of 1986, a new group showed up strongly on the Pop, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts; Bruce Hornsby and the Range on RCA Records with the title track from the album The Way It Is. Bruce Hornsby was no newcomer to the Virginia music scene, but nationally, he and his group gained a Grammy® for Best New Artist for 1986. Born in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, Hornsby began performing in his older brother Bobby’s band Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids. That short-lived collaboration featured the younger Bruce on keyboards. Hornsby began studying music at schools including Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated from the University of Miami. A few years after leaving school, Bruce and his brother John began songwriting and session-musician careers in Los Angeles, and eventually returned home to Virginia after touring with Sheena Easton’s backing band. His new group was signed by RCA Records in ’84 and hit pay-dirt with their second single; this week’s Hot 100 Singles chart-leading record, the civil-rights thought provoking “The Way It Is.” 

“The Way It Is” was as lyrically challenging as the musical passages; with the lilting and almost hypnotic piano playing by Hornsby. An interesting side-note. One of Hornsby’s backing group members in the Range was former Ambrosia co-founding member, bassist and vocalist Joe Puerta. Bruce Hornsby had replaced one of the departing members of that band for touring in 1982 as a second keyboard player. Ambrosia broke up shortly thereafter. Then, Puerta joined Hornsby’s band and they recorded the LP The Way It Is. That album featured the group’s first single “Every Little Kiss” featuring the harmonica playing of one Huey Lewis; reaching No. 72 as the LP’s first single. Upon re-release after the No. 4 Pop hit and No. 1 Adult Contemporary smash “Mandolin Rain” was a success; “Every Little Kiss” reached a respectable No. 14 on the Hot 100 and No. 3 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles listing. Another song that received attention from the album was called “On The Western Skyline” which was a track played by album rock radio stations. Hornsby and his brother John wrote a song called “Jacob’s Ladder” which they gave to their pal Huey Lewis for inclusion on the album Fore!  That song became a No. 1 record in 1987. Bruce Hornsby and the Range continued having hits with “The Valley Road” (No. 5 Pop and No. 1 A/C) in 1988 from their second album Scenes From The Southside; which also included “Look Out Any Window” (No. 35 Pop) and their own version of “Jacob’s Ladder.” Bruce performed keyboards for Eagles co-founder Don Henley’s solo track called “The End Of The Innocence” from the album of the same name. One final hit for Bruce Hornsby and the Range in 1990 reached No. 18 on the Hot 100 and a No. 1 Rock Track called “Across The River” featuring Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead on guitar. That led to Hornsby dismantling the Range and joining the Grateful Dead on tour before having some minor chart success as a solo artist and session musician since the early ‘90s and has appeared on hundreds of recordings by a range of artists.

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’86:

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“THE WAY IT IS”

Bruce Hornsby and the Range

RCA RECORDS5023-7


This was the second and final week as the chart-topping hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks listing for “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. (** See above for details.)

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’86:


No.1

R&B

45 RPM/Cassette/CD

(Last Week No. 2)


“LOVE YOU DOWN”

Ready For The World

MCA RECORDS52947


Just weeks before “Love You Down” by the group Ready For The World became the No. 1 song on the Hot Black Singles chart, a similarly titled record had been the top record on this listing and the Hot 100 called “Shake You Down”—a “one-hit-wonder” from Gregory Abbott. “Love You Down” was a slow-jam ballad from the group that had another No. 1 song on this chart and the Hot 100 called “Oh Sheila” in 1985. “Love You Down” was in the first of two consecutive weeks as the hottest record on the Black Singles list.

“Love You Down” on MCA Records was sung by Ready For The World’s frontman, Melvin Riley. The track came from the album Long Time Coming. The band was discovered at a talent show by a Detroit radio personality after they formed in Flint, Michigan during High School. “Love You Down” performed well on the Hot 100 (No. 9 Pop) Hot Black Singles and even Adult Contemporary list, where it reached No. 24. Further attempts at success netted only a few entries on the Hot Black Singles or Hot Black Album charts, with hits like “My Girly” and “Can He Do It (Like This, Can He Do It Like That)”—but Pop prominence eluded Ready For The World and they disbanded in 1991. Attempts at comebacks in 2004 and 2011 were largely ignored by record buyers.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 13, 1986


TOP POP ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’86:


No. 1

Pop

LP/Cassette/CD

(Last Week No. 1)


LIVE / 1975-1985

Bruce Springsteen

& the E-Street Band

COLUMBIA RECORDSC5X 40558


The long-anticipated Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band Live / 1975-1985 didn’t disappoint fans once released by Columbia Records in late ’86. Advance orders for the set were approximately 1.5 million pieces, allowing it to debut in the No. 1 position on the Top Pop Albums chart—the first album to do that since Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life in ’76. Springsteen’s collection came in several configurations, as finicky consumers were still playing catch-up with emerging technologies. There was the five-disc vinyl LP set, the three-cassette tape version, a three-compact disc (CD) version and even a very rare 8-track tape series, released only via a record club—remember those? The first single from this array of songs was “War” (No. 8 Hot 100) a live remake of the song made famous in 1970 by Gordy/Motown artist Edwin Starr. Here is a different live version of “War” featuring the Edwin Starr and Bruce Springsteen with the E-Street Band backing the two. If you look closely to the sax player in the background standing behind Starr—that’s my Lakewood, New Jersey High School former marching band mate Eddie “Kingfish” Manion touring with the E-Street Band. Manion still performs frequently with Bruce and was an original member of Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes after I taught him everything he knows about music. Right.

There was another single (No. 46 Pop) from the set called “Fire”—the same song made into a hit version by the Pointer Sisters. If you count all of the configurations, and knowing that each disc counted as one unit—the entire album sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone. While the live compilation sold well during the holiday season of late ’86, many retail outlets over-stocked the release and had to return them to Columbia when everyone who wanted one, indeed bought it already. That fact doesn’t take away from the music itself, as Live / 1975-1985 was a potent mix of rockers that made Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band such a cultural phenomenon. Here’s a HoliJay treat for you; the live version of “Merry Christmas Baby” featuring Conan O’Brien done on his late night show when he was on NBC-TV. The song had been the B side of the single “War.”

Those Jersey guys earned their place in Rock & Roll history with this live anthology. Some critics were disappointed that several mainstays of Springsteen shows were not included in the set, but you can’t please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself.  

 

TOP BLACK ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’86:

No.1

R&B

LP/Cassette/CD

(Last Week No. 1)


JUST LIKE THE FIRST TIME

Freddie Jackson

CAPITOL RECORDS

 

This was the second of an eventual 26 non-consecutive weeks as the biggest Hot Black Albums chart record in the U.S. for Harlem, New York-native Freddie Jackson with Just Like The First Time. While not as prolific on the Pop Singles chart, from late 1986 through almost the middle of ’87, Jackson ruled the Top Black Albums chart with his Capitol Records LP—featuring the No. 1 Hot Black single, “Tasty Love.”

Other No. 1 singles on the Top Black Singles list from Jackson’s album Just Like The First Time were: “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” and “Jam Tonight.” Another single reached No. 2 on that chart in ’87 called “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love.” I participated in an in-studio interview with Freddie Jackson when I was an air-talent at 66 WNNNBC-AM Radio in 1986 at the peak of his popularity, and found him to be a most gifted singer and interpreter of “Slow Jam” love-song lyrics. His album was listed as the No. 1 year-end R&B album at Billboard Magazine for the upcoming entire year of 1987. His biggest crossover Hot 100 Singles chart entry was “You Are My Lady” (No. 12 Pop) in 1985 from Jackson’s debut album, the No. 1 Top Black Album chart submission (No. 10 Pop) Rock Me Tonight.

**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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