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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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September 12th, 2014




THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

 September 14, 1968

 

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’68:

No. 5 (LW 7) “1, 2, 3, RED LIGHT”

1910 Fruitgum CoBUDDAH54

No. 4 (LW 2) “BORN TO BE WILD”

Steppenwolf DUNHILL / ABC4138

No. 3 (LW 3) “LIGHT MY FIRE”  

Jose Feliciano RCA VICTOR9550

No. 2 (LW 4) “HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.” 

 Jeannie C. Riley PLANTATION3

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“PEOPLE GOT TO BE FREE”

The Rascals

ATLANTIC RECORDS2537

 

No longer ‘young,’ one of the biggest hits of the late ‘60s, “People Got To Be Free” by the Rascals was in its final week of a strong five survey-period as the list-leader of the Hot 100 singles chart. The Atlantic Records 45 RPM was written as a plea for tolerance during a turbulent time in our nation’s history. The single was released on July 1, 1968, just four weeks after Robert F. Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles, but recorded before his death. The song was written as a response to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King by Rascals’ members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and became their biggest chart-hit. The song did take on an even more pronounced meaning due to RFK’s passing, as Cavaliere worked for Bobby Kennedy’s campaign. Some publications claim that the head producer at Atlantic Records, Jerry Wexler, didn’t think the song should be a single; saying it might hurt their careers with such a political composition. He was sorta accurate, as the Rascals never had another No. 1 song—let alone another Top 20 nationwide hit single. Here’s the group in full-beard-mode doing a live version of “People Got To Be Free.”

The follow-up record was also political in nature (and released perhaps because of the massive success of “People Got To Be Free”) called “A Ray Of Hope”—which was NOT about the death of RFK, but about the wish of his younger brother Ted Kennedy to become the torch-carrier. “A Ray Of Hope” only managed to reach the No. 24 slot on the Hot 100, and virtually ceased any momentum the group had with such a massive multi-million-seller before it. The Rascals were experimenting with this album that both songs appeared on called Freedom Suite; a lumbering two LP set that was filled with psychedelia and some of their ‘blue-eyed-soul.’ According to Hammond B-3 player Felix, his writing partner Brigati leaving the group after an album called See, was a setback too big to overcome with the band. Brigati is said to have been unhappy with the wheeling and unscrupulous dealings of the record business at the time. The partners didn’t talk for decades. Guitarist Gene Cornish also left after that album which didn’t perform well. The Rascals did famously reunite after a very long and acrimonious number of years, with all of the original members including big-band-trained drummer Dino Danelli. Time will tell if the Rascals will once again truly perform together after a successful run on Broadway last year called Once Upon A Dream, the name of one of their later albums. The Rascals were rightfully placed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—class of 1997. 

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘68

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“THE FOOL ON THE HILL”

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ‘66

A&M RECORDS – 961

The Easy Listening Singles chart was led for the second week of an ultimate six back-to-back survey-period run with a remake of the Lennon/McCartney song, “The Fool On The Hill.” It was rare then for any remake of the Fab Fours’ work to be accepted internationally, but this version was one of the atypical times it happened. Paul McCartney actually wrote the song, but his partnership with John Lennon necessitated the dual composer credit. The original was included in the film Magical Mystery Tour, which was panned by critics in the U.K. after it was broadcast on British Television. Here in the U.S., we got to hear the song on the LP also called Magical Mystery Tour which was not released on an album in the Mother-Country. The Limey’s got a double EP (extended-play) with three songs on each. Along comes Sergio Mendes, a Brazilian band leader and a proponent of the Bossa Nova sound. Here’s his version (with two English-speaking women) with “Fool On The Hill.”

Before recording “The Fool On The Hill,” Mendes had a contract with Atlantic Records, and was asked to do versions of some songs in English by his American partner Richard Adler. Previously, their singing was done in Portuguese; the native tongue of Brazilians. It was Adler who convinced the Atlantic suits to allow him to record non-Jazz-oriented tracks for another label. Herb Alpert and his cohort Jerry Moss took on the group and released the single “Mas Que Nada” (No. 47 Pop) in 1966. It took until 1968 for the ensemble (by then featuring Alpert’s then wife Lani Hall and Janis Hansen as vocalists) to have a huge American hit with “The Look Of Love” (No. 4 Pop) a song from the film Casino Royale. Hansen soon left and was replaced by a singer/actress Karen Philipp, who was later a Playboy Bunny and then portrayed a Medical Examiner on the TV show Quincy WITH her clothes on. Together, Hall and Philipp did the vocals on “The Fool On The Hill” reaching No. 6 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 this week on the Easy Listening Singles chart. The track was arranged by Oscar® and Grammy® winning artist Dave Grusin, and produced by Alpert & Moss. The follow-up to “The Fool On The Hill” was another remake; this time of the adaptation of an old English tune, “Scarborough Fair,” (made famous in America by Simon & Garfunkel) reaching No. 16 on the Pop chart. 

BEST SELLING RHYTHM & BLUES SINGLES CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘68

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“YOU’RE ALL

I NEED TO GET BY”

Marvin Gaye

and Tammi Terrell  

TAMLA RECORDS – 54169

 

This mid-tempo song from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell was the leading hit this week on the Best Selling R&B Singles chart on Tamla (Motown) Records with “You’re All I Need To Get By.” The Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson song was also produced by the married couple. It was the third of five successive weeks as the No. 1 song on this listing. Ashford and Simpson also did the backing vocals on the track; along with the Funk Brothers, Motown’s backing musicians at the Hitsville, U.S.A studios at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Here’s Marvin and Tammi.

Terrell, born Tomasina Montgomery hailed from Philadelphia, and began recording for producer Luther Dixon when she was just 16 years-old. But it was James Brown who asked her to join his entourage in 1963 and recorded a few songs as Tammy (with a Y) Montgomery. There was a two-year intimate relationship between Brown and Tammi, ending with alleged violence. But she moved on after Berry Gordy, Jr. saw her perform and signed her to join the ‘Sound of Young America.’ He assigned her to producers/songwriters Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol and had a couple of minor hits on the Motown label. She was romantically involved with David Ruffin during her time at Motown; ending in alleged abuse by the Temptations singer, with the relationship concluding in 1967 after she found out he was married AND had another girlfriend. But it was the teaming of Marvin Gaye with the newly renamed Tammi Terrell that brought her fame with songs like: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, (No. 19 Pop) “Your Precious Love,” (No. 5 Pop) “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” (No. 10 Pop.) It would be short-lived, as Tammi collapsed on-stage into the arms of Gaye during a performance at a school in Virginia in ‘67. Doctors discovered a brain tumor and operated. She recovered enough to begin recording with Gaye again, only to have to forgo performing and recording by 1968. This week’s No. 1 song on the R&B singles chart was from the album titled You’re All I Need. That LP also contained the hit just prior this one called “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing,” also an R&B singles chart-topper. There would be just one more LP from the duo called Easy released in early ’69. Simpson insists that Tammi’s vocals were done over the top of Valarie’s guiding singing when she was well enough to perform. Gaye once said it was Simpson who did most of the vocals. Reports claim the brass at Motown didn’t know just how sick she was until Tammi was terminally ill. After several more operations, Terrell died in 1970, leaving Marvin Gaye despondent and reluctant to record or tour until he gained enough confidence to do his musical masterpiece album, What’s Going On.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 14, 1968

TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘68:

No. 1

Pop

LP

WAITING FOR THE SUN


The Doors

ELEKTRA RECORDS74024

 

The leading LP in America this week in ’68 was the third album by the Doors titled Waiting For The Sun on Elektra Records. This was the second of an ultimate four non-consecutive survey-phases as the chart-topper. The album oddly did not contain the Doors song called “Waiting For The Sun.” They decided to use that moniker for the LP even though the track was discarded by the group just before the scheduled unleashing to the public. The release of that song would have to wait for their fifth LP titled Morrison Hotel to see the light of day. But the big hit from Waiting For The Sun (their only No. 1 LP in the U.S.) was the song about Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek watching a girl walking on the beach in Venice, California before the band was signed to a recording contract. All four members of the Doors are credited with writing the song, including Robbie Krieger and John Densmore.

There was another single just before “Hello I Love You” called “The Unknown Soldier” which was an anti-war song that was released on this album. It was reported by other band members that Morrison was largely intoxicated during the recording of this third set by the Doors, making them resort to using old poetry written by him for lyrics—including, “Hello, I Love You” which on some early 45 RPM pressings was released with the subtitle “(Won’t You Tell Me Your Name.)” They had planned on making this LP much longer, but ended up with a running time of just short of 33 minutes. Dave Davies of the Kinks insists to this day that “Hello, I Love You” bears an uncanny resemblance to their hit song “All Day And All Of The Night.” He’s right. See for yourself.  

The Doors original lyrics and perhaps music came from that observation of the girl on the beach in 1965, which was only months after the Kinks record hit the charts in America. Just sayin’ ya know. Ray Manzarek, Jr. died in 2013. Morrison famously passed away in 1971 at the age of 27. Recently, singer Marianne Faithful claimed Jim Morrison was inadvertently killed by her then boyfriend who was a heroin dealer. She says the drug was too strong for Morrison; thus killing him. Oh, and Faithful just happens to have a new album coming out this month.

 

BEST SELLING RHYTHM & BLUES LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘68

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 2)


I WISH IT WOULD RAIN

The Temptations

GORDY RECORDS – 927

As the record label proclaimed, “It’s What’s In The Grooves That Counts”—and count it did for the Temptations, as they were once again in the No. 1 spot on the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart with I Wish It Would Rain. But oddly, the song “I Wish It Would Rain” was a million-selling single back in the early part of 1968, yet still included. The LP wasn’t sent out to record outlets until April of ’68 and had previously been this chart’s leader for the last two weeks of June that year kicking Aretha Franklin’s monstrously huge LP called Lady Soul from the chart’s peak. But the Tempts came back for one more week at the apex of the listing, dethroning another huge album by The Queen of Soul called Aretha Now with I Wish It Would Rain; making this the third and final seven-day survey-period at the top. I’ve featured that title track before, so this time I’m giving you the follow-up single that was also a million-selling single, “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You.”)

Like the Temptations song “I Wish It Would Rain,” “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” was written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong (famous for his own hit “Money”—the first major hit for Berry Gordy’s family of labels) and Roger Penzabene; produced by Whitfield. Once again, David Ruffin evoked darkness and sorrow in, yet another of the most heart-wrenching songs in the Temptations long inventory of hits. Unhappily, Roger Penzabene, the song’s lyricist, committed suicide one week after the release of the first single “I Wish It Would Rain.” And with the second single from the set, it was clear he was inconsolable over a finding out his wife had cheated on him. The 45 RPM issue of “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You” would be the last to feature Ruffin with the Temptations, who collectively voted him out after he showed evidence of punctuality issues for appearances along with drug dependency that ultimately killed him. Those stories— and the corresponding lyrics from Penzabene, with the painful delivery by Ruffin—are a poignant commentary on the human condition.

 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 16, 1972


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES


THIS WEEK IN ‘72:

No. 5 (LW 6) “BACK STABBERS”

The O’Jays PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL3517

No. 4 (LW 10) “SATURDAY IN THE PARK”

Chicago COLUMBIA45657

No. 3 (LW 1) “ALONE AGAIN (NATURALLY”

Gilbert O’Sullivan MAM3619

No. 2 (LW 4)“BABY DON’T GET HOOKED ON ME”

Mac Davis COLUMBIA45618


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 9)

 

“BLACK AND WHITE”

Three Dog Night

DUNHILL / ABC RECORDS4317


Ok, so they were a cover/remake band. Who cares! They covered and/or remade some great material in their recording careers. Three Dog Night held the No. 1 position for this, the sole week in ’72 with a song that had roots all the way back to the ‘50s called “Black And White” on Dunhill/ABC Records. Their version was inspired by hearing a reggae interpretation of the song on a Dutch radio station while Three Dog Night was touring the Continent. The original song was motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court stopping segregation in America’s schools in 1954. The next year, Earl Robinson and David Arkin (yes, the father of actor Alan Arkin) wrote a lengthy work about the decision. Folky Pete Seeger laid down the first rendition, followed by Sammy Davis, Jr. But Three Dog Night’s version was a remake of the song they heard by a group called Greyhound. That band never had a chart hit in the U.S., but the Kings of remakes/covers took this to No. 1 and became their fifth million-selling 45 RPM.

Danny Hutton got the lead vocal on this track which not only got to No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles chart; it climbed to the summit of the Easy Listening Singles chart during the first week of October of ’72. Three Dog Night was not known as an album band, but their albums did sell well because they had at least two hit songs on each LP. “Black And White” was snagged from the Seven Separate Fools album; a bit of self-deprecating humor, as there were SEVEN members of the band, including the three singers. The follow-up single to “Black And White” was a song written by Dave Loggins (of “Please Come To Boston”-fame called “Pieces Of April” which rose only to the No. 19 spot on the Hot 100. The three singers—Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron—had just two more Top 10 hits; “Shambala” (No. 3 Pop) a quickly turned-around cover-version of a tune done by B.W. Stevenson (“My Maria”) with “Shambala” currently being heard on a TV commercial. The other was the circus-themed “The Show Must Go On” a cover of a song by Leo Sayer, their last million-selling single reaching No. 4 Pop. The album featured another two super songs called “Freedom From The Stallion” and another called “Going In Circles,” made well-known by the Friends Of Distinction. Negron famously had profound drug issues and left the band. He recovered years later—remained sober—and wrote a best-selling book about his struggles. Both Cory Wells and Danny Hutton still portray the co-leads of Three Dog Night, with Negron performing separately to this day. I like to name the other members of the group, as in this case, Three Dog Night was not JUST the singers. They included: Mike Allsup on guitar, Floyd Sneed on drums, Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards (his Godfather was comedian Jack Benny) and the late Joe Schermie on bass guitar who passed in 2002. Three Dog Night was one of the first bands to regularly fill outdoor stadiums in the early ‘70s until their original break-up in 1977.  

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“BABY DON’T GET HOOKED ON ME”

Mac Davis

COLUMBIA RECORDS – 45618

 

Mac Davis once worked for the R&B record label Vee-Jay and later Liberty Records as a manager. The Lubbock, Texas native then worked for Nancy Sinatra and her company. He had rapidly become a successful songwriter by the time this week’s biggest Easy Listening Singles chart-hit was at the zenith of that listing with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” on Columbia. He penned “I Believe In Music” a minor hit for Gallery after their success with a song called “Nice To Be With You.” That tune is often called Davis’ signature song; as it has been recorded by several diverse artists over the years as well as Mac. Here’s Davis with his only No. 1 Pop hit (that would happen next week and for three consecutive weeks on that chart as well) with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.” The signature sound of the string section on the song was arranged by Jimmie Haskell and recorded at the Rick Hall FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He was named Producer of the Year after this album was released.

This was the first of three back-to-back weeks as the top tune on the Easy Listening Singles chart for this 45 RPM disc. Davis was able to parlay his success with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” into a TV late-night music show and later, a weekly variety show and was a regular guest on other television talk programs. Davis wrote “A Little Less Conversation,” “Memories,” “Don’t Cry Daddy” and “In The Ghetto” all performed by Elvis Presley. You can blame Davis for the insipid “Watching Scotty Grow” from Bobby Goldsboro. Davis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his music. Mac began an acting career after the hits dried up. 

 

BEST SELLING SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72

No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“GET ON THE GOOD FOOT –

Part. 1”

James Brown

POLYDOR RECORDS14139

It was not likely his first million-selling single, but “Get On The Good Foot – Part 1” was the first CERTIFIED million-seller for the ‘The Hardest Working Man In Show Business’—in this case the Godfather of FUNK—in the first of four ultimate weeks at the peak of the Best Selling Soul Singles chart this week in ’72. James Brown had been having hits since the end of 1958, and had reached the peak of his crossover appeal by the mid-to late ‘60s and continued his assault on the charts up until “Get On The Good Foot – Part 1.” Trouble brewed for the superstar when he oddly got behind Republican candidate for President, Richard Nixon, then running for his second term in ’72; this time against Democrat George McGovern. We all know Nixon won in a decisive landslide, but that decision by Brown cost him dearly in record sales and ticket sales in the African-American community after this song led the Soul singles listing. But, you KNOW you’re a big star when your picture is placed on the 45 record label and everyone knows who it is.

Brown, of course, did recover his standing, becoming the purveyor of Funk music. But he began having I.R.S. issues and his music career had hit bottom in 1977, with his releases not even doing well on the R&B charts. The Godfather of Soul did make a comeback after being featured in films like The Blues Brothers and Rocky IV, plus he had one final huge crossover hit from that Sylvester Stallone flick called “Living In America” written and produced by the late Dan Hartman (of “Instant Replay” and “I Can Dream About You”-fame.) Brown’s troubles weren’t quite done yet, as he spent time in jail on several charges. After his release he relentlessly toured all over the world trying to make up for lost time, and performed just a month before his death on December 26, 2006 due to congestive heart-failure caused by pneumonia at age 73.

 

 THE

BIG ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 16, 1972

TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:

No. 1

Pop LP

(Last Week No. 1)


CHICAGO V

Chicago

COLUMBIA RECORDS31102

 

Chicago began tweaking their sound a bit by this, the fifth album on Columbia Records, and were riding high with what would become their first million-selling single, “Saturday In The Park, currently No. 4 on the Hot 100 Singles list, peaking at No. 3 next week. Their album Chicago V was the groups’ first to be a one-LP set, after having double studio albums and one four-disc live set. Robert Lamm became (for now) the defacto lead songwriter with this album, featuring eight of his compositions out of the 10 on the record. Chicago V was the biggest album chart hit of 1972. Here’s “Saturday In The Park.”

While Lamm was the dominant songwriter at this time, it was rapidly becoming apparent that Peter Cetera was fetching enough to be the face of the band as a vocalist and bass player, and would become more prolific in his writing with forthcoming albums; eventually being asked to leave. The horn section still was in the forefront, but by their next few LPs, Cetera would contribute more lead vocals as well. Another single from the Chicago V album was “Dialogue Part I & II” which was edited down for 45 RPM release. The song was politically-charged as had some earlier tracks by Chicago. Basically, it was an observation of the trials and tribulations people were having in the early ‘70s; showing some ideas were negative and others very positive about the state of affairs in the U.S. and abroad. I have seen the band in concert too many times to count. I will tell you one of the unsung members of the band is former drummer Danny Seraphine who may well belong in the Top 5 of best rock drummers in existence. If you agree or disagree, let US have a “dialogue” about it by sending me an email at BigJay@BigJaySorensen.com. I will get back to you.  


*NOTE: Billboard Magazine suspended publishing of the BEST SELLING SOUL LPs (R&B Albums) chart for several weeks from August 26 to October 7, 1972—so no SOUL albums were posted in that timeframe. I don’t have access to any other Soul LP listing from other publications at this time. IF someone wants to contribute to the cause so I can purchase said items, I’d be happy to entertain a trade of goods and/or banner ads, if ya know what I mean. We now return to our feature already in progress.

 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES 


For the Chart-Week

Ending

September 20, 1980


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘80:

 

 

No. 5 (LW 8) “LOOKIN’ FOR LOVE”

Johnnie Lee FULL MOON / ASYLUM47004

No. 4 (LW 4) “FAME”

Irene Cara RSO1034

No. 3 (LW 9) “ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST”

Queen ELEKTRA47031

No. 2 (LW 2) “ALL OUT OF LOVE

Air Supply ARISTA0520


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“UPSIDE DOWN”

Diana Ross

MOTOWN RECORDS1494

Ms. Ross was once again on a roll. 16 years after her first No. 1 song with the Supremes, and four years since she had a chart-topper with “Love Hangover,” the diva wore the crown of the Hot 100 Singles chart again with “Upside Down” on Motown Records. This was the third of an eventual four back-to-back survey-periods for the 45 RPM to hit the heights of Popdom. She had already been in the No. 1 slot for four weeks on the Hot Soul Singles chart earlier. Diana was the name of the album and everyone knew who she was just by her first name.

It wasn’t an easy album to make if you hear it told by Nile Rogers, co-producer and co-writer of the song and many of the tunes on the LP. He has stated that getting hit records is really hard. He’s done it so many times for not only hits own group Chic, but for Diana, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, INXS, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Madonna, Bowie and others. But the Boss (Diana) didn’t like the MIX of the Diana album, and insisted that she and her ‘peeps’ at Motown fix it so her voice was mixed louder and the music less intense; meaning she was in the forefront. It was released HER way. Rogers and his then producing partner Bernard Edwards (whom Nile found dead in his hotel room in Tokyo after a concert in 1996) were upset that after they worked so hard to find out what Diana wanted she would undermine their musical prowess. But when egos clash, you sometimes get this result. In the end, it didn’t matter, as “Upside Down” was one of the biggest records of the year.  

  

ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No.1

 

Adult Contemporary

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)  


“NO NIGHT SO LONG”

Dionne Warwick

ARISTA RECORDS0527


Dionne Warwick’s late ‘70s and early ‘80s comeback on Arista Records happened because of Barry Manilow and Ron Dante. Manilow and Dante had worked together early in Barry’s career, and when the Jersey diva signed with Clive Davis’ Arista Records, they decided she needed an update of her slick Uptown Soul sound. They achieved that with “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” which was Dionne’s first million-selling single since “Then Came You” with the Spinners in ‘’74. That album also contained the hit “Déjà Vu.” The album that held her next hit was called No Night So Long. That happened to be the name of the single that was at the pinnacle of the Adult Contemporary Singles chart this week in 1980. The same songwriting team that had penned her comeback hit with Manilow and Dante at the helm “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” also wrote “No Night So Long.” Here she is on TV’s Solid Gold with her No. 1 record, which reached No. 23 on the Hot 100 Singles list.

The LP No Night So Long had a new producer named Steve Buckingham who started his production career with a little ditty named “I Love The Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)” by the late Alisha Bridges in ’78. He wound up producing major artists like: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Shania Twain, Ricky Scaggs and dozens of others. All told, Steve Buckingham has produced more than 200 albums.

HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“GIVE ME THE NIGHT”

George Benson

QUEST / WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS49505

George Benson led the list of Hot Soul Singles this week in 1980 for the second of what would become three survey-periods on top with the Quincy Jones’ produced “Give Me The Night” on Warner Brothers Records. The guy who wrote songs and played keyboards with the band Heatwave, Rod Temperton wrote this song from Benson’s LP also called Give Me The Night.

In-demand back-up singer Patti Austin is quite upfront on “Give Me The Night” as her scatting vocals take over during much of the song. The guy they call “Captain Fingers,” Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour also performs on the track and LP. This record also reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 Singles chart and even achieved the No. 2 space on the Hot Disco Singles file despite not really being a Disco song. “Give Me The Night” was also an international hit. The LP was also the No. 1 Hot Soul LP for the first of four weeks. See details below.  

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 20, 1980


TOP POP ALBUMS

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘80:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)


THE GAME

Queen  

ELEKTRA RECORDS5E-513


Queen was on top of their game this week in 1980 with the chart-topping album The Game on Elektra Records. You had to see that first sentence coming. This album was the only Queen LP to hit the loftiness of the Top LPs & Tape chart, and was in that slot for five consecutive weeks beginning with this seven-day survey-period. It replaced Hold Out by Jackson Browne who was at the summit for just a week. The album featured two No. 1 Hot 100 singles. Freddie Mercury’s composition Rock-a-Billy-styled “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” made the chart just before Christmas in ’79 and was on top of that list for four weeks in the middle of February through the middle of March in 1980 and sold over a million copies. It was Queen’s biggest chart single, with regard to weeks at No. 1. The second single was a dud. “Play The Game” which was the albums’ opening track didn’t even make the Top 40, stalling at No. 42; surprising after such a big hit from a major act. But what came next became one of the biggest hits of the decade sale-wise. Try over two million copies of “Another One Bites The Dust,” liberally copying the bass pattern from the Chic song “Good Times.” Bassist John Deacon wrote this copyright. He could likely retire on this one alone. “Another One Bites The Dust” was No. 1 for ‘just’ three weeks but it sold mightily and quickly. Legend has it that Michael Jackson convinced the band to release this song as a single.

A fourth single from the album The Game found it impossible to follow such a monster hit. “Need Your Loving Tonight” stopped at No. 44 on the Pop singles chart. The LP was recorded in Munich, Germany and produced by band members Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon along with co-producer Reinhold Mack. The LP sold over four million copies in America. The Game was such a winning album it also reached No. 8 on the Hot Soul LPs chart. Not bad for white boys from the U.K. There is a report that there will be a ‘new’ album from Queen featuring Freddie Mercury singing later this year.

 

HOT SOUL

LPs CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘80


No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

 

GIVE ME THE NIGHT

George Benson

QUEST / WARNER BROTHERS. RECORDS3453

 

When you have Quincy Jones producing your record, you have a pretty good chance of it being successful. But a good SONG leading the way can put you in the cat-bird seat. Combine that with the guitar impresario George Benson, along with help from another Jazz great Lee Ritenour and you have the basis for some smooth, yet semi-funky music. The LP Give Me The Night was at the top of the Hot Soul LPs chart for this, the first of four back-to-back survey-periods on Quincy Jones’ vanity label, Quest Records; a collaboration with Warner Brothers. This was the only album Jones produced for the Jazz guitarist. Here’s “Moody’s Mood” from the LP.

George Benson won a Grammy® Award in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance - Male for this album. Benson also received a Grammy® for Best Jazz Vocal Performance – Male for the song “Moody’s Mood” (as seen above) that also featured Patti Austin on backing vocals; co-written by James Moody, a classically-trained harmonica player and lyricist Eddie Jefferson. He is known for his style of what is termed Vocalese—vocalizing along with the melody of a song that was once an all-instrumental tune; something George Benson does quite well himself. Eddie Jefferson was shot and killed leaving a club in Detroit in 1979 just around the time Benson’s album was recorded.  Plus, Quincy Jones and horn and string arranger Jerry Hey got the nod for another Grammy® for Best Instrumental Arrangement in favor of the B side of the single “Give Me The Night”—with the song “Dinorah, Dinorah” another track from the album.


**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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