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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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November 21st, 2014



THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 29, 1969

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’69:

 

No. 5 (LW 6) “NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE”

Steam Featuring Garret Scott FONTANA1667

No. 4 (LW 2) “TAKE A LETTER MARIA”

R. B. Greaves ATCO6714

No. 3 (LW 1) “WEDDING BELL BLUES”  

The 5th Dimension SOUL CITY779

No. 2 (LW 4) “AND WHEN I DIE” 

Blood, Sweat & Tears COLUMBIA45008

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 7 & No. 3)

 

“COME TOGETHER” /  “SOMETHING”

The Beatles

                                   APPLE RECORDS2654


A first from the Beatles happened this week in 1969, as Billboard Magazine decided to put into place a change in the criteria for certain 45 RPM releases on their charts; positioning both titles of double-sided hits in an equal slot. Because of that new standard, “Come Together,” and “Something” were co-No. 1 songs on the Hot 100. Here in New York during this exact time-period, then Top 40 AM station Musicradio 77 WABC showed that “Come Together” was No. 3, with “Something” weighing in at No. 10! It was decided by Apple Records that these two songs would be a so-called double-A-sided release from the LP Abbey Road. The original intent of the song “Come Together” was to be a campaign slogan for Timothy Leary’s failed attempt to win the California Governor’s race against Ronald Reagan. John Lennon would later have to contend with a lawsuit by the owners of the publishing of Chuck Berry’s song “Maybellene,” as Mr. Ono used the lyrics, “Here come old flattop”—taken directly from the 1955 hit. Following a settlement, Lennon also had to eventually make an album called Rock ‘n’ Roll, with three songs from the owners of the “Maybellene” copyright to make it all even. That’s John saying the word, “Shoot” in the beginning of “Come Together”—an eerie word (hearing it now) that impacted the end of his life.

History shows that both songs were powerful records for the Fab Four, with George Harrison’s “Something” becoming a Pop standard. The song was written well before Abbey Road was released in 1969. George Harrison had the basis for the tune while the Beatles were recording the album commonly known as The White Album, but officially titled The Beatles. But it wasn’t completed in time for the release of that two-LP set, so Harrison resurrected it for Abbey Road. The song was clearly a love song about his then wife Patty Boyd.

These two songs were another ‘first’ for the Beatles in the U.K, as “Come Together” and “Something” were issued as singles; the very first time songs from a current LP by the Fabs over there were issued as 45 RPM releases. This double A sided single was only in the No. 1 slot for one week in America, and didn’t fare as well over in the U.K.; the lowest charting 45 RPM there since “Love Me Do” in 1962!

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69


No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“LEAVING ON A JET PLANE”

Peter, Paul and Mary

WARNER BROTHERS /

SEVEN ARTS RECORDS – 7340


This was the second of three ultimate seven-day survey-periods on the Easy Listening Singles chart for “Leaving On A Jet Plane” from Peter, Paul and Mary on Warner Brothers/Seven Arts Records. It would later be No. 1 for just one chart-week on the Hot 100 for the seven-day-period ending December 20, 1969 as the year was coming to an end. That made this 45 RPM the one and only Pop Singles chart-topper for Peter, Paul and Mary during their successful careers. They accomplished that lofty goal with a song written by John Deutschendorf a/k/a John Denver way back in 1966 before his success, which was originally penned as “Babe, I Hate To Go.” Here’s a live version for their 25th Anniversary concert in 1986.

It was trio member Mary Travers who suggested they put it on tape, even though Peter Yarrow, (Noel) Paul Stookey and Mary had not considered it for single release from their 1967 LP titled Album 1700 (named after the catalog # W-1700) which also featured their hit, “I Dig Rock And Roll Music.” Delayed but persistent radio air-play in some cities was the deciding factor for Warner Brothers/Seven Arts to make (what was re-titled) “Leaving On A Jet Plane” a 45 RPM over two years after the album was originally released in ’67. It featured a front cover photo with the threesome in front of an early ‘30s car holding guitar-cases instead of machine guns ala Bonnie & Clyde. The engineer on the 1967 session was Phil Ramone, who would later become a world-renowned producer of major stars. He died in 2013. The LP’s producer was Milton “Milt” Okun, who was the link between the song’s writer John Denver and the trio. Okun was responsible for Denver’s successful career in the ‘70s. Peter, Paul and Mary broke up in 1971, only to re-unite a few times for special occasions—finally resuming their partnership full-time until Travers passed away after complications from leukemia in 2009.

 

BEST SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES

SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘69

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“BABY I’M FOR REAL”

The Originals

SOUL RECORDS – 35066


The Originals had their very first national hit on Motown’s Soul Records subsidiary label with “Baby I’m For Real” written by Marvin Gaye and his then wife Anna Ruby Gordy-Gaye. Anna had written the music, while Marvin came up with the lyrics to this searing Soul ballad. Anna Gordy-Gaye was the older sister of Berry Gordy, Jr., chairman of Motown. Anna died at the age of 92 earlier this year. She was 41 years old when she married a then 23 year-old Marvin Gaye. They divorced in 1977. Anna Gordy had been a record-industry distributor even before Motown had found success. This was the fourth of five consecutive weeks at the pinnacle of the Best Selling R&B Singles chart for the Originals “Baby I’m For Real.”

That’s Marvin Gaye playing drums on “Baby I’m For Real,” which he also produced. The success of this record helped Marvin Gaye convince Berry Gordy to allow him to self-produce his own next album, What’s Going On. The single “Baby I’m For Real” by the Originals also reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. The follow-up single was titled “The Bells” also co-written by Mr. & Mrs. Gaye. The Originals, sometimes known as “Motown’s best-kept secret,” was comprised of: C. P. Spencer, Henry Dixon, Walter Gaines and Freddie Gorman. C. P. Spencer died in 2004, Freddie Gorman died in 2006 and Walter Gaines passed in 2012. Gorman was the co-writer of the first No. 1 record for Motown; “Please Mr. Postman” from the Marvelettes. When he was aced-out of the Holland-Dozier-Gorman team in favor of Brian Holland’s brother Eddie, Gorman began writing for rival Golden World Records, and co-wrote the big hit “(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet” for the Reflections. The Originals formed in 1966, and initially were used for backing vocals on many Hitsville, U.S.A. recordings; notably on the song “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin also on Soul Records, “For Once In My Life” and “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday” both by Stevie Wonder and that’s them on “Twenty-Five Miles” and “War” by Edwin Starr as well!  Jimmy Ruffin died just the other day at the age of 78 in Las Vegas.  His younger brother David was the one-time lead singer of the Temptations and also used the Originals as back-up singers for his 1969 hit "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)" on Motown Records.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 29, 1969


TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘69:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


ABBEY ROAD

The Beatles

APPLE RECORDSSO-383


It was week number five, of an ultimate eight survey-periods as the leader of the Top LPs & Tape chart for the last true album from the Beatles, Abbey Road on Apple Records. Here’s the entire album for your listening pleasure. Crank it up.  

The front cover of Abbey Road from the Beatles is likely one of the most viewed photographs in history. It’s been satirized so many times, that it’s now cliché. Scottish photographer Iaan Macmillan had worked with Yoko Ono, and was asked by John Lennon to take the shots outside of the EMI Studios, the former mansion at #3 Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood, London on a hot summer day in early August of ‘69. Paul McCartney had previously sketched what he thought the shot should look like. And perhaps because of the success of the album, EMI decided to call the building the Abbey Road Studios. The front cover photo has been analyzed by hundreds of authors and Beatle experts through the years. Each member of the group supposedly represented different types of figures, and the photo used was the only one of six shots taken from a step-ladder in the middle of the crossroads that had the four guys showing a simultaneous stride. There are four other people in the photo, with three who just happened to be there at the time returning from lunch and the other an American tourist. Bobbies tried to move the Volkswagen left there by vacationing local resident, but were unsuccessful. The back cover shot, also taken by Macmillan, showed a street sign on a rock wall with a woman in a blue dress hiding part of the image; ultimately left intact. Had the woman NOT been seen, the full sign should read BEATLES ABBEY ROAD NW 8 (the 8 was obscured) at the corner of Abbey Road and Alexandra Road—which doesn’t exist any longer as the wall was demolished, with a posh housing site there today. Here in America, we didn’t get to buy the LP until October 1, 1969. Record buyers in the Mother Country got first dibs on September 26th. The first two tracks were released as a single six days after the LP was released in America. (**See this week’s The Big Singles above.)  Abbey Road is the best-selling album by the Beatles, release on their own label, Apple Records. One postscript to the front cover photograph—the group wanted people to see them walking away from the studio that had brought them to worldwide stardom, as they realized this would be their last album recorded together, although a few photos show them walking back toward their other home. Those pix had to be taken quickly, as you can imagine the commotion having the “Boys” on any street almost anywhere in the world would provoke.   

 

BEST SELLING RHYTHM & BLUES

 LPs CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


TEMPTATIONS PUZZLE PEOPLE

The Temptations

GORDY – 949

This was the fifth of what would become 15 back-to-back weeks for the Temptations LP called Temptations Puzzle People on Gordy Records. It was a risky move for Berry Gordy, Jr. to give a producer almost total control of one of his most successful acts; but he did just that with Norman Whitfield, who gave the Temptations a rougher edge that began with a new lead singer to replace the out-of-control David Ruffin. Dennis Edwards was brought to the attention of Gordy by the legendary session players’ (the Funk Brothers) bass player, James Jamerson. At first, Gordy let Edwards do some touring with the Contours (most famous for “Do You Love Me” in 1962—a group way past their record-selling prime. Gordy and company passed on signing Edwards’ own group Dennis Edwards and the Firebirds, thinking their Sly & the Family Stone-like sound wasn’t right for Motown. Edwards then sought out songwriters/producers Holland-Dozier-Holland; just starting to make noise with their own labels away from ‘The Sound of Young America.’ His inquiry happened because Edwards was frustrated with Motown, who had asked that his personal contract be torn-up for not signing his entire band. Perhaps a mole inside of the H-D-H camp got word to Gordy’s underlings that Edwards was sniffing around there, because Dennis was summoned to Motown headquarters and was astoundingly asked to join the internationally famous Temptations—minus his band. His first hit with the Tempts was “Cloud Nine” and after that, most of their hits with him singing lead were largely harder edged than anything the group had done previously. Here’s the first single from Temptations Puzzle People, “Don’t Let The Jones Get You Down” that reached No. 20 on the Hot 100.

For this week’s leading Soul album, Temptations Puzzle People, Whitfield also wrote (along with Barrett Strong) “I Can’t Get Next To You”; a throwback to the love song-era for the Temptations at Motown—although a love song with more grittiness than usual. However; it was the other socially conscious tracks on Temptations Puzzle People that sealed it for African-Americans, including song heard above, and others like “Slave” and “Message From A Black Man” that ignited chart-topping sales for the last two months of ’69 into the first six weeks of 1970 (for a grand total of 15 consecutive weeks as the best-selling Soul LP in the nation) a not too shabby feat. There were a few cover versions given the ‘psychedelic-soul’ treatment by producer Whitfield—who produced every track and got solo or co-writing credit on all of them except a re-working of “Hey Jude”, “Little Green Apples” and “It’s Your Thing.” The rest of the Temptations line-up on the chart-topper this week in 1969 included; Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams. Both hit singles from Temptations Puzzle People feature all five members of the vocal group getting a lead; with Edwards out front much of the time. Why am I calling this album Temptations Puzzle People? Because that’s precisely how it appeared on the label…and not JUST Puzzle People.

 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 24, 1979


HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘79:


No. 5 (LW 5) “HEARTACHE TONIGHT”

Eagles ASYLUM46545

No. 4 (LW 2) “DIM ALL THE LIGHTS”

Donna Summer CASABLANCA2201

No. 3 (LW 1) “STILL

The Commodores MOTOWN RECORDS1474

No. 2 (LW 4)“BABE”

Styx A&M2188

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH)”

Barbra Streisand / Donna Summer

COLUMBIA RECORDS1-11125

 

 

This week’s No. 1 song in America had two of the biggest stars in recording history co-headlining. “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” from Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer was in the first of a two successive weeks at the apex of the Hot 100 Singles chart. Nobody could have imagined Barbra Streisand having a #1 record with a DISCO song; but with the help of Donna Summer, it was a reality. The reality is that Donna, the Disco Diva was red hot at that point, but somehow this idea of pairing the two singers worked. Summer was also sitting in the No. 4 position after peaking at No. 2 with “Dim All The Lights.” But the song that made history was “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” which appeared on Streisand’s current album Wet, and Summers’ LP On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II. Here’s a very interesting piece of audio you’ve likely never heard; featuring a de-constructed version of the song, where you can hear the power of both vocalists doing tracks for the song…including a word we can’t say on the radio by Summer. You’ll get a new appreciation for the completed song when you hear it.

There were two slightly different versions of the single released as they were on two different record labels.

Summers’ version was a bit more rock-slanted with addition production done by German producer Harold Faltermeyer, famous for writing the song “Axel F” from the film Beverly Hills Cop, for his work on the Top Gun theme, and for soundtrack work for American Gigolo and Midnight Express.

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY TRACKS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘79

 

No.1

Adult Contemporary

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“YOU’RE ONLY LONELY”

J. D. Souther

COLUMBIA RECORDS5-10902


J. D. (John David) Souther must have been a musician’s musician to have the talent he had helping him record this week’s No. 1 Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 45 RPM called “You’re Only Lonely” taken from an album of the same name. Souther’s composition was indeed a tip of the hat to Roy Orbison with a similarly named song “Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)”—a song Souther adored. He had grown up in West Texas and had enjoyed the Rockabilly sound that Orbison began his career singing. On his track “Only The Lonely,” Souther featured some superstar pals accompanying him, namely: Phil Everly, Jackson Browne, Glen Frey, Don Henley and Don Felder of the group Eagles. Considering he had co-written two of Eagles’ greatest hits, “Best Of My Love” and “New Kid In Town,” they owed him one. In fact, Souther and Frey were roommates before Frey helped form Eagles. Both Frey and Souther had auditioned to be solo artists with the new Asylum label. Souther got that gig.

With a similar sound to some Eagles music, one can speculate that he might easily have become a member of that group had he not already been signed as a solo, as his friendship with Frey was strong. Add to the backing vocalists mentioned above (Jackson Browne was more of a duet partner on this track) Souther was able to hook up with L.A.’s finest musicians including: Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar on guitar and David Sanborn on alto sax. “You’re Only Lonely” peaked at a respectable No. 7 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, and was a Top 5 Country hit as well. J. D. Souther was one of the keystones of the so-called Country/Rock era. His nobility included being one-third of the Souther Hillman Furay Band with ex-Byrds member Chris Hillman and Richie Furay, ex-Buffalo Springfield and Poco member. Souther had another hit along with James Taylor called “Your Town Too,” in 1981. He famously dated Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks in the ‘70s. Souther dabbled in acting, performing on TV shows like Thirty-Something, and Nashville, and was seen in the films Purgatory and My Girl 2. J. D. Souther was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.

 

HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘79


No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“STILL”

The Commodores

MOTOWN RECORDS1474

 

The Commodores continued to roll with their blend of Funk, Soul and Pop, as Lionel Richie worked his ballad magic once again with the song “Still” from the album Midnight Magic on Motown Records. The 45 RPM “Still” was the prime record for just one week on the Hot Soul Singles listing.  In addition, “Still” had been the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 during the prior week for a sole survey-period. “Still” had the distinction of being the last No. 1 R&B hit while Richie was still a member of the Commodores before leaving for a solo career. The song “Sail On” from the Midnight Magic album hit the chart for the week ending on August 11, 1979; peaking at No. 4 on that survey. Due to almost instant radio airplay from the LP, “Still” rush-released and entering the Hot 100 just seven weeks later, as Motown realized they had a potential blockbuster hit. They were correct.

“Still” was the only 45 RPM to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles chart for the entire year of 1979, showing perhaps just how quickly the label began to falter after nearly two decades of having hits. The label would continue to have more hits (some were giant hits) due to not only Lionel Richie (along with Diana Ross) but with acts like Stevie Wonder, Rick James and others. From today’s vantage point, it was clear however that the heyday of Motown had been in earlier years; as so many members of their roster either left the label for greener pastures or simply fell out of favor. 

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 24, 1979


TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘79:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


THE LONG RUN

Eagles

ASYLUM RECORDS5E 508


When you have an album trying to follow-up a blockbuster as huge as Hotel California, it’s easy to see why some critics and even the public may have thought the latest Eagles LP The Long Run was a let-down. But it was the prime album on the Top LPs & Tape chart, in this, the fourth of nine ultimate weeks at the apex on Asylum Records. The long-player had debuted at No. 2 in its initial week on that chart, and made the leap to the top slot in the next survey-cycle. The first single was “Heartache Tonight” with the lead vocal from Glen Frey. That tune was co-written by Frey, Don Henley, their pal Bob Seger and J. D. Souther. (**See above in the Big Singles listing for his then current hit song.) “Heartache Tonight” was the biggest hit on the Hot 100 for just one week for the survey-period ending on November 10, 1979, and quickly fell to No. 5 the following week. The follow-up single was the album’s title track, “The Long Run” which debuted in the first week of December on the Hot 100; having been released just days before on November 27th.

The song “The Long Run” was co-written by Don Henley and Glen Frey; with Henley doing the lead vocals. Guitar virtuoso Joe Walsh and Don Felder performed the dueling slide guitars on this track; reaching No. 8 on the Hot 100. A third single, the ballad “I Can’t Tell You Why” featuring Timothy B. Schmidt on the lead vocal (co-written by Schmidt, Henley and Frey) also attained the peak position of No. 8 on that chronicle and No. 3 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart all in 1980. Keeping a running gag going, Eagles had been putting handwritten notes on the vinyl album’s inner run-out-grooves. Side A on The Long Run said, “Never let your monster lay down,” with the B side exclaiming, “From the Polack who sailed north” likely a reference to the LP’s producer Bill Szymczyk. Eagles were listed as the album’s co-producers. The song “Heartache Tonight” won a Grammy® for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The LP The Long Run sold over seven million copies and was Eagles’ last studio effort until they reunited for the album Long Road Out Of Eden in 2007. Felder was fired from Eagles in 2000. Lawsuits flew between him and his former band, but were finally settled out of court in 2007.

 

HOT SOUL

LPS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘79

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


OFF THE WALL

Michael Jackson

EPIC RECORDS35745


Neither Michael Jackson nor producer Quincy Jones could have possibly conceived just how big their NEXT collaboration would be; but this one was mighty huge. Off The Wall was Jackson’s fifth solo studio album, and it was No. 1 on the Hot Soul LPs chart this week in ’79. The LP had been at the zenith of this list since the week ending on October 6, 1979; currently in its sixth non-consecutive week of an eventual 16 on the Hot Soul LP list. The initial single from the Epic Records album was “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” which peaked in the No. 1 spot on both the Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts. It held the No. 1 slot on the Pop side for just a week, but was a five-week chart-topper (virtually all of September and the first week of October) on the Soul side. The second of four singles from the album Off The Wall was “Rock With You” written by former Heatwave member, Rod Temperton. His former band was famous for “Boogie Nights,” “The Groove Line” and “Always And Forever” sung by their lead singer Johnny Wilder, Jr. who was paralyzed after a car crash in ’79 and died in his sleep in 2006. “Rock With You” had been released as the second single on November 3, 1979 and would be the No. 1 Pop hit in America for four consecutive weeks beginning in the middle of January, 1980.  

Regaining steam after the release of “Rock With You,” Jackson’s album spawned another single “Off The Wall” which reached No. 10 Pop and No. 5 on the Hot Soul Singles chart; also written by Rod Temperton. A fourth American single broke a new record for a solo artist, as “She’s Out Of My Life” (reaching No. 10 on the Hot 100) made Michael Jackson the first solo artist to have four Top 10 Pop hits from one LP in the history of Rock-era albums. “She’s Out Of My Life” didn’t do as well on the Soul Singles list, stalling at No. 43. A fifth single was only released in the U.K. called “Girlfriend” written originally for Jackson (unbeknownst to Michael) by Paul McCartney. Macca decided to perform it himself for the album London Town. Michael’s producer Quincy Jones convinced Jackson to record it for Off The Wall and it was a decent sized hit in the U.K. That teaming lead to three other songs recorded by the two: “The Girl Is Mine,” (from Thriller) “Say, Say, Say” and “The Man.” Little did McCartney know that Michael wanted to purchase the publishing rights to ATV Music; the then current holders of the Lennon/McCartney catalog. Sir Paul simply passed on buying them himself. After all, how rich CAN someone be?


THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week

Ending

November 26, 1988


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘88:

 

 

No. 5 (LW 7) “KISSING A FOOL”

George Michael COLUMBIA08050

No. 4 (LW 8) “HOW CAN I FALL?”

Breathe A&M1224

No. 3 (LW 4) “DESIRE”

U2 ISLAND99250

No. 2 (LW 6) “a: BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY / b: FREE BIRD Medley (Free Baby)”

Will To Power EPIC – 08034


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“BAD MEDICINE”

Bon Jovi

MERCURY RECORDS870 655 – 7


The Sayreville, New Jersey outfit called Bon Jovi had the No. 1 record on the Hot 100 Singles chart this week in ’88 with “Bad Medicine.” The song came from their then current album called New Jersey on Mercury Records. This was the last of two-weeks floating atop this register. Bon Jovi had two previous No. 1 songs on Hot 100: “You Give Love A Bad Name” almost exactly two years prior in ’86, and their anthem “Livin’ On A Prayer” was No. 1 for four weeks in February and early March of ’87 from the album Slippery When Wet. “Bad Medicine” from New Jersey was co-written by the same three songwriters of their previous No. 1 tunes; Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child featuring a cameo from the late Rock & Roll comedian Sam Kinison.

The New Jersey LP was recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with Bruce Fairbairn producing their fourth album. The album would have another four more singles springing from it, including yet another No. 1 song, written without Desmond Child called “I’ll Be There For You.” Jon Bon Jovi lost out a few months ago on a bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills NFL team. He claimed he was depressed about not getting the franchise. He also claims that it doesn’t look like Richie Sambora will be with the band, saying in a recent interview with Showbiz 411 that, “He quit. He’s gone. No hard feelings.” 

 


ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’88:

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)


 

“KISSING A FOOL”

George Michael

COLUMBIA RECORDS08050

George Michael had a run of four-straight No. 1 Hot 100 singles ending with “Monkey” and all of those from the over 10-million-selling album Faith. The fifth single “Kissing A Fool” just didn’t quite have the muscle to hit the heights on the Hot 100 Singles list, but it DID manage to become No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart for one sole week, during this survey-period in ’88. “Kissing A Fool” did end up at No. 5 on the Pop list.

Following the incredible success of the album Faith (a No. 1 album for 12 weeks on the Top Pop Albums chart) and “Kissing A Fool” single had its run, George Michael didn’t release any new solo material for almost two years. He did have a duet listed as Deon Estus WITH George Michael called “Heaven Help Me,” reaching No. 5 on the Hot 100, but that was it until the release of the single “Praying For Time” (another No. 1) in the late summer of 1990. George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) has seen his fair share of controversy in the ensuing years, with all of the tawdry details readily available online should you choose to be curious. 

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’89:


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)


“THANKS FOR MY CHILD”

Cheryl Pepsii Riley

COLUMBIA RECORDS07996


“Thanks For My Child” from former nurse, singer and future actress Cheryl Ann “Pepsii” Riley had a one-hit-wonder with the song on Columbia Records. No doubt, the song was helped by the songwriting, production and arrangement by the conglomeration called Full Force. Fellow Brooklyn resident and Full Force member Bowlegged Lou had offered Riley the chance to record “I Wonder If I Take You Home,” but she passed on it. Instead, that song became the first hit and an over half-million-seller for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam also on Columbia. But Riley reached No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles chart this week in ’88 with her rendition of “Thanks For My Child” from her album Me, Myself And I.

Full Force intended the song to be a message of hope to women. But hope and faith in the record industry caused Riley’s powerful Gospel-trained voice to not be able to follow-up with another hit; however she was able to move into acting. Her alignment with Tyler Perry has yielded appearances in Madea’s Class Reunion and ensuing plays in that series, in addition to the 2005 film Diary Of A Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Big Happy Family. Don’t think Riley’s singing voice has been silent since having her one big hit. Pepsii’s been a back-up singer for stars like Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Matchbox 20 and has been a vocal coach at the Vocal Workout School in New York City.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 26, 1988


TOP POP ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’88:


No. 1

Pop

LP/Cassette/CD

(Last Week No. 1)


RATTLE AND HUM

U2

ISLAND RECORDS


U2’s sixth studio set was enjoying its third of six back-to-back weeks as the biggest album in America this week in ’88 called Rattle And Hum on Island Records. This album included live tracks and some studio releases as well. The intent of this record was to pay tribute to some of rock’s legends, and explored American roots music. The accompanying documentary was recorded largely at Sun Devil Stadium at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.  The first single from Rattle And Hum was a track called “Desire.” With its “Bo-Diddley beat,” that song reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 Singles chart.

The LP starts out with a remake of the Lennon/McCartney song from the White Album, “Helter Skelter,” where Bono says, “This song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles…(and) we’re stealing it back.” Manson’s been in the news yet again, unfortunately, claiming he’s got a marriage license to marry a woman from outside of his prison. Subsequent singles included: “Angel Of Harlem” (No. 14 Pop) “When Love Comes To Town” (No. 68 Pop) recorded with the legendary Blues guitarist B.B. King at the equally legendary Sun Studio on Union Avenue in Memphis. One other track was released as a single called “All I Want Is You” which charted quite lowly; but was featured in the Winona Ryder film Reality Bites in 1994 and had a minor impact on the charts. Other legends appeared on Rattle And Hum, including Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, the Memphis Horns and Van Dyke Parks.  

 

HOT BLACK ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’88:

No.1

R&B

LP/Cassette/CD

 

(Last Week No. 5)


ANY LOVE

Luther Vandross

EPIC RECORDS44308


The No. 1 LP on the Hot Black Albums chart this week in ‘88 was the sixth studio set for Luther Vandross with Any Love on Epic Records. This was the first of two weeks at the helm of this list. This was the album before Luther Vandross had his breakout mass-appeal hit with “Here And Now.” Previously, Vandross had several R&B hits, with some reaching the Top 40 on the Pop chart. The first single from Any Love was the title track “Any Love” co-written by Vandross and his producer Marcus Miller. While only reaching No. 44 on the Hot 100, the song did manage to attain the peak position of No. 12 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart, and was the No. 1 song this week on the Hot Black Singles register. 

The follow-up single from the album Any Love was “She Won’t Talk To Me” co-written by Vandross with Hubert Eaves III, himself a producer and keyboardist who did some work with D-Train (“You’re The One For Me”) and Mtume, led by percussionist James Mtume. A third single just made the R&B chart at No. 3 called “For You To Love” co-written by Vandross and producer Miller. Vandross’ big album was waiting in the wings in late ’89. The so-called “Velvet Voice” or sometimes known as “The Best Voice of a Generation”— Luther Vandross died after a lengthy illness on July 1, 2005 at a hospital in Edison, NJ.   

**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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