We've reached The Top 100 ... and shortly you'll be seeing the very best of the best ...
With very few exceptions, in order for a record to have finished this high on our chart, it pretty much had to top the charts in all three of the major music trade publications ... and. for the most part, this is the case.
But along the way we found a few
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO "HMMMMM???"
And we'll point these out along the way.
#100 - DOCK OF THE BAY by OTIS REDDING
Here's the first one.
How is it possible that this record was big enough to top the charts in Billboard for FOUR WEEKS but never reached the #1 position in either of the other trades?
I can see that happening for a week ...
heck, it happened all the time ...
And maybe even TWO Weeks now and again ...
but FOUR WEEKS?!?!?
Something seems just a LITTLE bit odd about this one!
#99 - HAIR by THE COWSILLS
And here's another.
For whatever reason, The Cowsills never had a #1 Record in Billboard.
I'll concede "The Rain, The Park And Other Things", big as it was (and it topped an awful lot of charts during its late-1967 run) maybe didn't hit #1 because "Incense And Peppermints" (its stiffest competition) was so big ... but "Hair" not making it to #1 just doesn't make sense ...
Especially when you consider the fact that it topped the Record World chart for three weeks ... and the Cash Box Chart for two. (That's why it's ranked as high as it is in our recap countdown.)
"Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In" by The Fifth Dimension was one of the five biggest hits of this time period, falling behind only The Beatles and The Monkees in #1 points for this era. "Hair", while certainly not as big, was still a HUGE radio hit and best seller. (Don't get me wrong ... personally, I HATED the song ... still do ... but what's right is right!)
No matter ... thanks to its showing in two out of the three publications we consulted, it still makes The Top 100 on our special recap survey today!
#98 - SOMETHING by THE BEATLES
A questionable entry I suppose. This was right around the time that Billboard, Cash Box and Record World stopped listing both sides of the same record as separate chart entries ... instead they showed up as two-sided hits but, most often, with "tag-along" B-Sides not always worthy of A-Side status.
Had it always been done this way, this might not be a big deal ... but this process was changed right in the middle of the chart run of The Beatles' latest single. And how do you designate "Something" as a tag-along B-Side when it was, in fact, the designated A-Side by The Beatles themselves?
Truthfully, we debated as to whether or not we should keep it in ... but how do you exclude it? It's a modern-day classic ... and George Harrison's crowning achievement as a "Fab". (Besides, we already eliminated his solo #1 Hit "My Sweet Lord" earlier in this countdown ... and we just couldn't do it to him again!!!)
As such, we're including this one on our list. And, for those of you purists out there who pooh-pooh the whole idea, we've got a "TIE" coming up in the #27 position. If you want "Something" off the list, simply insert one of the "Tie" position records in at #28 and shift everything down one notch until you hit #98, at which point you'll balance out and still come up with a Top 200 Countdown. (In effect, I guess we've compiled The Top 201 ... plus we gave you ten runners-up earlier on, too ... hey, we started out with the very best intentions!!! I'm not sure where exactly we were led astray!!!)
#97 - HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. by JEANNIE C. RILEY
Another one of the most annoying songs to make the list ... but (as mentioned earlier) one of the hottest sellers in a two-week period on the countdown. While it rightfully only topped the Billboard and Cash Box charts for a week, "Harper Valley P.T.A." somehow managed a THREE Week run on top of the Record World Singles Chart ... which is why it ranks as high as it does.
#96 - HELLO DOLLY by LOUIS ARMSTRONG
Right in the thick of Beatlemania, Ol' Satchmo scored his biggest hit. This is another record that topped the Record World Chart for three weeks while only spending a week at the summit in Billboard and Cash Box. It's still a great-sounding record 'though ... and talk about a "Wow!" song!!!
#95 - I'M HENRY THE VIII, I AM by HERMAN'S HERMITS
Peter Noone dipped WAY back for this one ... and laid down his thickest British accent ever on record ... and, along the way, scored a HUGE novelty #1 Hit back in 1965. In fact, it is still a concert highlight today as the entire audience spells out H-E-N-R-Y for what sometimes feels like the 42nd verse, same as the first!!!
#94 - LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE by THE MONKEES
Proving again the power of television, some will attribute the bulk of The Monkees' success to the boob tube ... but the fact of the matter is, while The Beatles were off experimenting with new sounds and drugs, The Monkees came along and made pop music fun again. (I can't tell you how many kids were inspired to pick up a guitar and be in a band after The Monkees started coming into our living rooms every Monday Night. I know I did!!!) For those of us not quite old enough yet to embrace the counter-culture, The Monkees were still a safe, fun way to enjoy rock and roll. (Of course the fact that they, too, became total pot heads never crossed our minds!!! lol)
#93 - ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by THE BEATLES
An absolute Summer Of Love Anthem ... The Beatles (and John Lennon in particular) were all about Peace and Love in the Fabulous '60's ... and this was never better exemplified than in this #1 Hit from 1967.
#92 - PENNY LANE by THE BEATLES
As we get nearer to the top of the countdown, you'll find more and more Beatles tracks popping up on the list. (They had 24 #1's in all based on these survey results!) "Penny Lane" was their first British Hit not to reach #1 since their debut, "Love Me Do". They were held out of the top spot by The Record Of The Year, "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck!
#91 - SUSPICIOUS MINDS by ELVIS PRESLEYListening to Oldies Radio today, you'd think this was the only hit Elvis ever had! But there's no denying it was a big one ... another GREAT Comeback Record for The King Of Rock And Roll (now entertaining fans regularly in Las Vegas!!!)