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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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November 28th, 2014



THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 30, 1968

 

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’68:

 

No. 5 (LW 5) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN

Dion LAURIE3464

No. 4 (LW 3) “THOSE WERE THE DAYS”

Mary Hopkin APPLE1801

No. 3 (LW 4) “MAGIC CARPET RIDE”  

Steppenwolf DUNHILL / ABC4161

No. 2 (LW 1) “HEY JUDE” 

The Beatles APPLE2276

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“LOVE CHILD”

Diana Ross And The Supremes

                                MOTOWN RECORDS1135

 

If for no other reason, “Love Child” could be known as the record that displaced the biggest hit the Beatles ever had with “Hey Jude.” But this Motown release by Diana Ross and the Supremes was so much more than just a place in the trivia books. It showed that social matters could be discussed in a Pop/Soul song; especially a topic that was controversial and a bit shocking for its time. “Love Child” was the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart this week in ’68. It was only the second single (since the Supremes reached national prominence in ’64) not to be written and produced by the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The first release without them was a bomb. When’s the last time you heard “Some Things You Never Get Used To?” My point exactly. Berry Gordy, Jr. knew that without his former employees guiding the sound and content of the Supremes, the act could be in trouble. At first he had reason to believe that, as that first single after H-D-H left topped-out at No. 30 on the Hot 100; only spending seven weeks on the chart. Gulp! The label’s premier group stumbled. It wasn’t a horrible song—written and produced by Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson—it just didn’t have that “thing.” So Berry Gordy hastily commanded a meeting with some of the other Motown staff songwriters to a meeting in Detroit to fix this situation. The result was “Love Child.”

The song was about a woman telling her lover to wait until marriage to have a child. Whoa. That wasn’t moon, June and swoon; but it did resonate with record buyers. It also showed that the sweet and lovable franchise players at Motown could take a step out of the comfort-zone with a new sound and socially-conscious topic. “Love Child” only featured one Supremes member; Diana Ross. By this time, Gordy usually used either the Andantes or other singers as the back-up vocalists to Ross. In this case, the Andantes were used; featuring Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks. Mary Wilson didn’t like the situation, nor did the newest member of the Supremes, Cindy Birdsong; who replaced co-founding member Florence Ballard. But they had little say in the matter. In fact, the Andantes were used as backing vocalists on “In And Out Of Love” in late ’67 and the follow-up “Forever Came Today.” “Some Things You Never Get Used To” had Ashford & Simpson as the backing vocalists. The Andantes came back for “Love Child,” written by the group of composers/producers known as “The Clan.” They included: R. Dean Taylor (who had a later hit called “Indiana Wants Me”) Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards and Henry “Hank” Cosby. With the edict given by Gordy, they put Diana Ross and the Supremes in the supreme position on the charts once again, making “Love Child” their third biggest-selling single in America. There was another snag after “Love Child” as the follow-up single was another similarly-themed composition called “I’m Livin’ In Shame” that was a bit more unsettling and thus, only attained the No. 10 position on the Hot 100. It took almost a year and another five non-Top 20 Pop singles to reach No. 1 again; the swan song for Ms. Ross with the Supremes, “Someday We’ll Be Together.”

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘68


No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“THOSE WERE THE DAYS”

Mary Hopkin

APPLE– 1801


By all rights, “Those Were The Days” should have been the biggest Hot 100 hit in America. It landed in the No. 2 position there for an eventual three weeks. It almost certainly would have been No. 1 there had it not been for the uber-success of “Hey Jude” and then “Love Child.” But the unknown Mary Hopkin did grace the top of the Easy Listening Singles chart this week in ’68 with the help of one Paul McCartney.

This was the fifth of an ultimate six weeks as the leading song on the Easy Listening Singles listing for “Those Were The Days.” Future English Knight, Paul McCartney, was responsible for this creation, as he was the producer on the track. Many people thought he wrote the song, as he was known for doing some schmaltzy-styled songs while the Beatles were together. But truth-be-told, this song’s melody was written by a Russian composer named Boris Fomin, with original Russian lyrics from Konstantin Podrevskii. The ENGLISH lyrics to the song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною,” translated to mean, “By The Long Road”), were done by New York-born playwright, author and Professor Eugene Raskin. But it was discovered that Raskin put in a copyright saying he was the composer and lyricist. He later altered those lyrics and successfully gained royalties for the rest of his life. Raskin and his wife Francesca had performed yearly in London as a singing act, and McCartney happened to watch them perform “Those Were The Days” at a club named the Blue Angel. Add to that, British model Twiggy told Paul McCartney about a singer she had seen on Welch television and suggest he meet Mary Hopkin. When the Beatles were designing their new Apple Records label, they signed Hopkin as one of their so-called “Our First-Four.” Those first four Apple 45 RPM singles were: “Hey Jude,” “Thingumybob” by the Black Dyke Mills Brass Band (Apple 1800) “Those Were The Days” (Apple 1801) and “Sour Milk Sea” from George Harrison’s friend Jackie Lomax (Apple 1802) in that order all released on the same day.

 

BEST SELLING

SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘68


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“WHO’S MAKING LOVE”

Johnnie Taylor

STAX RECORDS – 0009


Johnnie Taylor was one of R&B music’s most prolific entertainers who started out as a Gospel singer in the ‘50s, and ended up doing more sophisticated Soul in the ‘70s with his biggest hit “Disco Lady” in ’76. He replaced Sam Cooke in the Gospel group called the Soul Stirrers in 1957, as he left to record secular music. Johnnie Taylor, who grew up in West Memphis, Arkansas, right across the Mississippi River from Memphis,  set the tone in ’68 with his breakthrough recording, which was  this week’s No. 1 45 RPM on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart; “Who’s Making Love” on Stax Records. This was the second of three consecutive weeks as that lists leading 45 RPM from the Memphis-based record label, backed by Booker T. & the M.G’s along with the Memphis Horns.

 “Who’s Making Love,” with its sordid story, sold over one million copies, and managed to reach the No. 5 slot on the Hot 100 Singles chart as well as being this week’s top Soul record. Taylor was nicknamed “The Soul Philosopher” by Stax Records. His “Disco Lady” was the first record certified as a “Platinum” disc, selling over two-million copies. Soul man Taylor died in 2000 at age 66 at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He had been working as a radio personality at radio station KKDA-FM in the Metroplex.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 30, 1968


TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘68:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)


CHEAP THRILLS


Big Brother

and the Holding Company

COLUMBIA RECORDS9700


Janis Joplin was encouraged to be the lead singer of the group Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1966 and she proved her worth with this week’s key album on the Top LPs chart this week in ’68 with Cheap Thrills. This was the sixth of what would become eight non-consecutive survey-periods as the list’s primary LP. The Columbia Records album notes claim the LP was recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, owned by the renowned promoter Bill Graham. That’s false on many counts, as just one of the records’ tracks was entirely live—“Ball And Chain”— a remake of the Big Mama Thornton tune; and even that was NOT recorded at the Fillmore. In actuality, it was laid to tape at Winterland Ballroom (an ice-skating rink) that year. The LP does feature Graham introducing the group, but that was spiced-in later for inclusion on the album. Apart from the truths or falsehoods, the album had a power that felt live. The comic book-style cover was designed by Robert a/k/a R. Crumb, an underground cartoonist, after the band (thankfully) was not allowed to have an unclothed picture of them on the LP’s cover. The hit single from the set was called “Piece Of My Heart” a remake of a song done initially by Aretha Franklin’s sister Erma Franklin on Shout Records in 1967, written by the great songwriter Jerry Ragavoy and the illustrious producer Bert Berns. Here’s a live performance by the band.

Big Brother & the Holding Company was fashioned at the birth of psychedelia in San Francisco by Peter Albin along with another guitarist Sam Andrew. They invited James Gurley to their group and then (after a short-time drummer) recruited David Getz as their new skin-banger. They knew they needed a hard-hitting vocalist and were introduced to Janis Joplin; fresh from Texas. It was Joplin’s manager Albert Grossman who told Janis to leave the band; but she didn’t need much coaxing as Joplin wanted to add horns to their sound, which the rest of the band vociferously (and possibly psychedelically) refused to do. Janis left Big Brother and the Holding Company not long after Cheap Thrills; originally titled Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills; with that name being nixed by Columbia. It wasn’t until her death in 1970 that her recording (with the Full Tilt Boogie Band) from her album Pearl called “Me And Bobby McGee” became her biggest hit posthumously. The Kris Kristofferson tune sold over a million as a single. Janis died of a drug overdose on October 4, 1970 at the Landmark Hotel in L.A. at age 27.

 

BEST SELLING SOUL

 LPs CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘68

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 2)


ARETHA NOW

Aretha Franklin

ATLANTIC RECORDS – 8186


The Good-lookin,’ Good-cookin’, Right-rockin’ Queen of Soul—Sister Re was taking pleasure in her sovereignty at the Throne of the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart yet again this week in ’68 with her fourth Atlantic Records album, Aretha Now. The set was in the very last of 17 non-continuous survey-periods on the R&B LP chart. She had completed 16 weeks on top of that additional 17 with her previous album from ‘68 called Lady Soul. That’s a total of 33 out of 52 survey-periods at No. 1 on the Soul LPs chart for Aretha in ’68! That almost 64 % of that year represented by Franklin at No. 1! The hits from this Long-Player were “Think,” (No. 7 Pop—after reaching No. 1 on the R&B singles chart for three weeks—and a million-selling single) with the B side of “Think” a restoration of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me”—a small hit by itself. Also, “I Say A Little Prayer” (No. 10 Pop) and the Steve Cropper (from Booker T. & the M.G.’s) and Don Covay song (No. 14 and a million-seller) “See Saw.” That song entered the charts at around Thanksgiving-time in ’68. This record rocks—I just love this track—so here it is from Aretha Now.

Strangely, Aretha Franklin’s NON-LP single “The House That Jack Built” (No. 6 Pop and a million-seller) began its chart-run in August of ’68. As mentioned above, the other side of the 45 RPM “The House That Jack Built” was another hit; “I Say A Little Prayer,” eventually reaching No. 10 on the Pop side in the U.S.A. Aretha’s account of “I Say A Little Prayer” became her biggest ever hit in Great Britain. In fact, the British magazine New Musical Express gave the Queen of Soul’s adaptation of the Bacharach & David song the No. 1 spot by their critics as the TOP single out of 150 reviewed up to that date in 1987! That’s BIG. The album Aretha Now achieved No. 5 on the Top LPs Pop chart in America in ’68. The set was executively produced by Jerry Wexler, who supported Lady Soul’s extreme success by letting her compose and find relevant songs suited to her talents. Those achievements were maintained by the inconceivable skills of engineer Tom Dowd and arrangements by Arif Mardin that stand the test of time on Aretha Now.

 

THE

BIG SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 1, 1973


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘73:


No. 5 (LW 2) “KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ (Part One)”

Eddie Kendricks TAMLA54238F

No. 4 (LW 4) “SPACE RACE”

Billy Preston A&M1463

No. 3 (LW 9) “GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

Elton John MCA RECORDS40148

No. 2 (LW 1)“PHOTOGRAPH”

Ringo Starr Apple1865

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“TOP OF THE WORLD”

Carpenters

A&M RECORDS1468

 


While Carpenters’ version of “Top Of The World” was the No. 1 song in the nation on the Hot 100 on A&M Records; it wasn’t the first hit version. That distinction falls to Country singer Lynn Anderson on Columbia of “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden”-fame. I vividly remember playing her adaptation of “Top Of The World” on the radio during the summer of ‘73 and thinking to myself that a Pop version would be a hit—as Anderson’s rendition reached No. 2 on the Country/Western Singles chart. Richard Carpenter must have been reading my mind, as Anderson’s take was a remake OF Carpenters’ recording. Say what? Well, the song had been originally recorded and released by Carpenters (no THE in the name) and intended as just a filler cut for their 1972 album A Song For You. Anderson had heard the performance by Carpenters in ’72 from that album. There had already been four singles taken from that set. But the brass at A&M along with Richard Carpenter saw the success of Anderson’s Columbia version (written by lyricist John Bettis and composed by Richard Carpenter) and reasoned they too should release the track as a stand-alone single after the run of hits from A Song For You. So Carpenters had a belated No. 1 song on the Hot 100 this week late in ’73. It would go on to have another seat at the throne of that list for one other seven-day survey-phase the following week. Here’s Carpenters’ originally mixed LP version of “Top Of The World,” featuring the pedal steel guitar work of Buddy Emmons; known as “The World’s Foremost Steel Guitarist”

That track was notable due to the pedal steel guitar prominently high in the mix. The single version was slightly different for AM radio air-play. As a comparison, let’s hear the Lynn Anderson remake version of the original Carpenters recording; a hit several months before Karen and Richard’s was a single. Anderson’s ‘Countrypolitan’ version reached No. 74 on the Pop Hot 100, produced by her husband Glenn Sutton. He died in 2007. Both adaptations are quite good.

On Carpenters’ rendition, they were also accompanied by key members of “The Wrecking Crew”—the crack team of L.A. musicians including Hal Blaine on drums (no Karen didn’t play the drums on most of their recordings) and Joe Osborn on bass guitar. 

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘73

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“LEAVE ME ALONE (RUBY RED DRESS)

Helen Reddy

CAPITOL RECORDS3768

This was the first of three back-to-back weeks as the lead 45 RPM on the Easy Listening Singles chart for Helen Reddy and “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” on Capitol Records. The song was written by Brooklyn-born Linda Laurie (real name Linda Gertz; perhaps most notable for writing the theme song to the cartoon show Land Of The Lost in the ’70s. She came from the same High School (Abraham Lincoln) in Brooklyn that also had Neil Sedaka, his songwriting partner Howard Greenfield, Neil Diamond, songwriter Mort Shuman and the Tokens as former students. Linda passed away in 2009. Helen Reddy had her third million-selling single with “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” out of an eventual four.

Helen Reddy reportedly didn’t like the repetitious phrase “Leave me alone” in the song, plus the fact that it was similar to her previous 45 RPM “Delta Dawn” as depicting a Southern woman involved in a love tryst. That reasoning worked for the powers that be at Capitol Records. Reddy had recently completed a perfunctory eight-show TV summer replacement series, featuring some of the biggest stars on the scene in ’73. Flip Wilson was the Executive Producer of the show along with Reddy’s then husband Jeff Wald as co-producer with Carolyn Raskin. “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” was the second of Reddy’s six successive No. 1 songs on the Easy Listening Singles listing.   


 HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘73


No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“THE LOVE I LOST (Part 1)”

Harold Melvin

& The Blue Notes

 

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS3533


The biggest Soul record in America this week in ’73 was another of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s masterpieces of blending searing R&B with the new throbbing pre-Disco rhythms on “The Love I Lost (Part 1)” from Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. This Philadelphia International Records release was from the LP Black & Blue, and was 6:24 long on the LP, but cut down to a radio-friendly 3:35 for the 45 RPM disc. But if you love this song (as I do) here’s a 12 minute plus long remix by Tom Moulton. Enjoy.

Teddy Pendergrass had been the drummer of the traveling Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes when he was elevated to lead singer of the Philly vocal group. As with virtually all of the classic Gamble & Huff productions, “The Love I Lost (Part 1)”—and Part 2 for that matter—was recorded on North 12th Street in Center City Philadelphia at Sigma Sound, which had been where much of the Cameo/Parkway Records catalog was recorded by engineer Joe Tarsia. He had met Gamble & Huff (separately) at 250 South Broad Street; the Brill Building of Philadelphia during his time at Cameo/Parkway.  Tarsia recorded almost all of product Philadelphia International Records as well as earlier Gamble/Huff productions like: “Expressway To Your Heart” by the Soul Survivors, Jerry Butler’s incredible LPs from the late ‘60s and hundreds of hits from dozens of artists.  

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

December 1, 1973


TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘73:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

Elton John

MCA RECORDS10003


By 1973, it was more and more clear that Elton John was one of the prime performers in Pop music across the world. This week’s number one U.S. Pop Albums chart leader, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on MCA Records was never intended as a double album set, but lyricist Bernie Taupin and music composer Elton John (Reginald Dwight) were so fruitful in their current writing competence that 18 of the 22 songs written for the sessions were chosen for insertion by producer Gus Dudgeon. The album was released in the U.S. on October 5, 1973. This album had a bit of reminiscence inside its sleeves and was originally going to be titled “Silent Movies, Talking Pictures but the idea was scrapped. The first single came out way ahead of the release of the album, with a hard-rocking reminder of Taupin seeing people fight in British pubs. “Saturday Night’s Alright With Fighting” came out on July 16th, reaching No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart. The second single “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” nearly reached the top of the 45 best-sellers list, climbing to No. 2 in the U.S., where it sat this week in ’73; but in the long run selling over two million copies.

The third American single from the double album was “Bennie And The Jets”; a song about an imaginary group that Elton John didn’t want to have released as a single. Yet, it ended up selling nearly three million pieces of vinyl and reached the top of the Pop Singles chart for the week ending on April.  The song crossed over to the Best Selling Soul singles chart as well; a scarcity at the time for a Caucasian artist. Making the track sound like it was recorded in-concert (when it really wasn’t) was the idea of producer Dudgeon. Here are Elton and writing partner Bernie Taupin discussing the making of the album.

There were other songs on this record that got significant radio airplay at the time and even to this day, including: “Harmony”, the album’s very last track (which was almost released as a ‘A’ side, but was relegated to the ‘B’ side of “Bennie And The Jets”)—and likely should have been an ‘A’ side, as it was quite popular. This is MY fave Elton tune.

 Also on the double-album, was “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” timing in at 11 minutes and nine seconds long—and “Candle In The Wind”, initially a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, but as a Bernie Taupin re-written version, it became one of the biggest selling singles of all time after being performed by Elton at Diana Spenser’s (Princess of Wales) funeral in London; released in 1997. The original adaptation WAS released as a single in the U.K. in 1974 instead of “Bennie And The Jets”. The music for this marvelous double LP took just three days to write, while Elton John stayed at a hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. The album was recorded at the Château d’Hérouville in France and at Trident Studios in London. Other performers on the album were Elton’s band at the time: Dee Murray on Bass guitar, Nigel Olsson on Drums, Davey Johnstone on Guitar and Ray Cooper on Percussion. The album became the best selling record of 1973 according to Billboard Magazine. In 2003, the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was put into the Grammy® Hall-of-Fame.

 

HOT SOUL

LPS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘73

 

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


LET’S GET IT ON

Marvin Gaye

TAMLA RECORDS329V1


This was the 10th of an ultimate 11 week run at the summit of the Hot Soul LPs chart for Marvin Gaye’s sexually-charged album Let’s Get It On from Tamla Records. It would go on to have a total of 11 weeks in the top spot. His single, “Let’s Get It On” had a six-week odyssey as the leading 45 RPM record on the Hot Soul Singles chart, and two non-consecutive weeks as the leader of the Pop Hot 100 Singles register back in early September of ‘73. In addition to the song “Let’s Get It On” (written by Gaye and Ed Townsend of “For Your Love”-fame) the LP also contained a Big Jay fave, “Come Get To This” which attained the No. 21 on the Pop Hot 100 and No. 3 on the Hot Soul Singles chart. Here’s a live version of “Come Get To This.”

Marvin Gaye had written “Come Get To This” back in 1970 during the time of the sessions for the album What’s Going On. On the single of “Come Get To This” (which was re-mixed in Los Angeles after being originally recorded in the Motor-City) the Detroit Symphony Orchestra string section was employed on the track along with the Funk Brothers, the Motown recording session band. A third single was released from the Let’s Get It On album; “You Sure Love To Ball” which got to No. 13 on the Hot Soul Singles list, and only No. 50 on the Pop Hot 100.

It’s likely the song’s title and content was just a bit TOO blatantly risqué for many Pop radio stations to put in their rotations. That’s too bad, because radio personalities would have had a field day with announcing the song; your Big Jay included.



THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week

Ending

November 30, 1985


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘85:


 

No. 5 (LW 5) “NEVER”

Heart CAPITOL5512

No. 4 (LW 2) “YOU BELONG TO THE CITY”

Glen Frey MCA 52651

No. 3 (LW 4) “BROKEN WINGS”

Mr. Mister RCA14136

No. 2 (LW 1) “WE BUILT THIS CITY”

Starship GRUNT14107



No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1) 

 

“SEPARATE LIVES”

Phil Collins

and Marilyn Martin

ATLANTIC RECORDS89498

 


In between hits being released from the Phil Collins album, No Jacket Required, he had another No. 1 song; but it wasn’t featured on his album. “Separate Lives” from the film White Nights was No. 1 from that movie’s soundtrack, sung by Collins and singer Marilyn Martin. The song was written by Stephen Bishop, who had hits on his own like: “On And On, “It Might Be You (Theme From “Tootsie”)” and the theme from “Animal House” from the movie of the same name. “Separate Lives” was co-produced by Arif Mardin, Hugh Padgham and Phil Collins. But now you ask, “What about Marilyn Martin?” See below.

The song “Separate Lives” was nominated for an Academy Award® but lost out to another tune from same movie White Nights for the Best Song Oscar®; “Say You Say Me” from Lionel Richie. The film starred Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skoliowski, Helen Mirren, Geraldine Page and Isabella Rossellini. There are only two other musicians on the song “Separate Lives” beside Phil Collins on drums; Nick Glennie-Smith on keyboards and Daryl Stuermer on guitar. Glennie-Smith is a notable film score composer and conductor and Stuermer played guitar during tours for both Genesis and solo ventures for Phil Collins. “Separate Lives” was the No. 1 song for just one week on the Hot 100. Ok, so now about Marilyn Martin. The Kentucky-native had just one more venture into the Hot 100 Singles chart with the song “Night Moves” (no relation to the Bob Seger hit) also on Atlantic Records in early 1986, reaching No. 28, but lasting 18 weeks on that chart altogether. Marilyn Martin had recorded a song co-written by Madonna with Patrick Leonard and Jai Winding called “Possessive Love.” That song was originally reported to have been considered for inclusion in the film Who’s That Girl sung by Madonna; but was scrapped. It failed to chart by Martin. She had done back-up vocals for Madonna’s album Like A Prayer, and had done vocals for an array of artists like: Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Kenny Loggins, Don Henley and Joe Walsh. So Martin had some pedigree before being signed to a solo deal with Atlantic. Her last recording venture was in the Christian music realm.

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’85:

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


 

“SEPARATE LIVES”

Phil Collins

And Marilyn Martin

ATLANTIC RECORDS89498

 

“Separate Lives” was at the pinnacle of the Adult Contemporary Singles chart for this, the last of three consecutive survey-cycles in ’85. We told you about Phil Collins above and his part in “Separate Lives.” Ok, so now here’s what we know about Marilyn Martin. The Kentucky-native had just one more venture into the Hot 100 Singles chart with the song “Night Moves” (no relation to the Bob Seger hit) also on Atlantic Records in early 1986, reaching No. 28, but lasting 18 weeks on that chart altogether. Here’s Marilyn Martin’s video of “Night Moves.”

Marilyn Martin had recorded a song co-written by Madonna with Patrick Leonard and Jai Winding called “Possessive Love.” That song was originally reported to have been considered for inclusion in the film Who’s That Girl sung by Madonna; but was scrapped. It failed to chart by Martin. She had done back-up vocals for Madonna’s album Like A Prayer, and had done vocals for an array of artists like: Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Kenny Loggins, Don Henley and Joe Walsh. So Martin had some pedigree before being signed to a solo deal with Atlantic. Her last recording venture was in the Christian music realm. 

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’85:


No.1

R&B

45 RPM and Cassette

(Last Week No. 3)


“CARAVAN OF LOVE”

Isley-Japer-Isley

CBS ASSOCIATED RECORDS05611


The biggest hit 45 RPM/Cassette on the Hot Black Singles list this week in ’85 belonged to Isley-Jasper-Isley with “Caravan Of Love” on the CBS-Associated Records imprint. You know the last name Isley via the Isley Brothers; Ronald, O’Kelly and Rudolph. But it was the older brothers who had tax and other financial issues that forced their their younger siblings Ernie and Marvin along with Chris Jasper to split from the family group to form their own short three-year outfit. Jasper’s sister had married Rudolph Isley when the two families lived in the same apartment area in Cincinnati, Ohio. The brothers moved to Teaneck, NJ and allowed those three to join the group; with the first outing “It’s Your Thing” on T-Neck Records in ’69. As the 3 + 3 ensemble the Isley Brothers, they had numerous R&B hits in the ‘70s; notably a remake of the Stephen Stills song “Love The One Your With,” “That Lady (Part 1)” and “Fight The Power (Part 1).” “Caravan Of Love” from Isley-Jasper-Isley didn’t fare very well on the Hot 100 Singles chart (No. 51 Pop) but it attained the No. 16 slot on the Adult Contemporary Singles listing, and sat in the No. 1 slot on the Hot Black Singles survey for the first of what would become a three-week stand for this pleasant positive-message song.  

It was Chris Jasper who produced the track and sang lead on “Caravan Of Love.” Jasper played piano and other keyboards, with Ernie the guitar virtuoso, and Marvin on bass guitar. Jasper is a classically trained musician. “Caravan Of Love” came from an album of the same name.  

 

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)


MIAMI VICE

(Music from the Television Series Miami Vice Starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas)

Various Artists

MCA RECORDS3287 


The Miami Vice Soundtrack on MCA Records was the No. 1 album in America this week in ’85, riding on the success of the TV show that first aired on September 16, 1984. Propelled by the “Miami Vice Theme” from Jan Hammer which had already been a No. 1 record on the Hot 100 for the week ending on November 9, 1985; the rest of the album featured songs from several top artists. The next single from the LP was from Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey with “You Belong To The City” this week sitting in the No. 4 position on the Hot 100, after peaking at No. 2. “You Belong To The City” was the No. 1 song on the Hot Rock Tracks chart.

That was studio sax player Bill Bergman and Frey’s drummer Michael Huey on the track. Other songs from the soundtrack had been hits previously included: “Smuggler’s Blues” which had already been a hit for Frey back in ’84 (No. 12 Pop) from his album The Allnighter, “In The Air Tonight” (No. 19 Pop) previously released from the Phil Collins LP called Face Value and had appeared in a sequence in the ’84 film Risky Business, the Grammy® winning “Better Be Good To Me” (No. 5 Pop) from Tina Turner’s 1984 album Private Dancer, “Own The Night” from Chaka Khan (No. 57 Pop) and a song from Melle Mel called “Vice.” The original album sat in the No. 1 spot on the Top Pop Albums chart for 11 non-consecutive survey-periods. This was the fifth week on top. There was other score music on the LP from Jan Hammer. In fact, there would be another two more Miami Vice Soundtrack albums, featuring songs used on the NBC TV show and a Best Of Miami Vice with some hit songs that were not included on the first three soundtracks.

 

HOT BLACK ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’85:


No.1

R&B

LP/Cassette

(Last Week No. 1)


IN SQUARE CIRCLE

Stevie Wonder

TAMLA RECORDS6134


Another album with Grammy® written all over it for Stevie Wonder with In Square Circle on Tamla Records sat at the apex of the Hot Black Album chart this week in ’85. It would reach No. 5 on the Top Pop Albums list.  Wonder wrote, produced and arranged each track on the album which spawned four singles; three of them hits. Pent-up demand for a new full studio album from Wonder led to the first single, “Part Time Lover” becoming his ninth No. 1 Hot 100 single; including his duet “Ebony And Ivory” which was listed as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. In ’84, Stevie had released a couple of tracks from the soundtrack to the film The Woman In Red. That didn’t please the Motown brain-trust, as up to that point he was still working on the album that would become In Square Circle; at that point four years in the making! He DID have a monster hit with on the Motown Records label with “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” When “Part Time Lover” was released, it was a smashing success and the very first record to go to No. 1 on five different Billboard Magazine charts: Hot 100, Hot Adult Contemporary Singles, Hot Black Singles, Hot Dance/Disco Club Play and Hot Dance/Disco 12-Inch Singles Sales listings. The studio version of the song featured Luther Vandross and Philip Bailey from Earth, Wind & Fire among many others as backing vocalists. Here’s a live version of “Part Time Lover.”  

The follow-up single from In Square Circle was “Go Home” which hit the chart just a few weeks after another No. 1 song he performed on reached the charts—“That’s What Friends Are For” along with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Elton John. “Go Home” was performed entirely by Wonder with a sax player and trumpeter. The third single from In Square Circle was written years before, and was recorded for his album Journey Though The Secret Life Of Plants, but was excised from that project. Wonder re-recorded the song “Overjoyed” and included it for this set. It reached No. 24 on the Hot 100, but was No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart. Some may remember the song from an earlier date however, because Stevie performed it live on the TV show Saturday Night Live on May 7, 1983 when he hosted the program. One additional U.S. single from In Square Circle didn’t fare too well called “Land Of La-La” landing at the lowly position of No. 86 on the Pop list.

**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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