Saturday, September 26, 2015


All week long we've been counting down the biggest hits of the '70's as compiled in the brand new Dann Isbell / Bill Carroll book "Ranking The '70's" ... and we've finally hit The Top Ten.

(You can order YOUR copy of this new book here:

Scroll back to Tuesday's posting for our complete review ... this book (and its companion edition "Ranking the '60's") tell it like it WAS ... the statistics are based on each record's chart performance AT THE TIME ... no 50/50 hindsight ... no radio screwing with our memories by "selective" programming ... this is the REAL DEAL ... EXACTLY AS IT HAPPENED.

And, based on this chart information, THESE were 


#10 - ABC - The Jackson Five  (1970)
Counting Michael's solo hit at #44, The Jackson Five are represented by FIVE records in this very special countdown.  This was their second chart-topping hit from early 1970.

# 9 - NIGHT FEVER - The Bee Gees  (1978)
The Bee Gees placed five of their own hits on the countdown ... plus Brother Gibb Barry penned four more for other recording artists including his brother Andy (two hits), Frankie Valli (the title track from the hit film "Grease") and Samantha Sang.  That accounts for NINE of the Top 70 tunes ... and this one was the biggest.

# 8 - MAGGIE MAY - Rod Stewart  (1971)
Rod Stewart owns THREE of The Top 70 tunes (honestly, I wouldn't have figured that ... especially with Elton John represented by only one tune!)  Ain't no way to slice it ... "Maggie May" was a HUGE hit (whether you liked it or not.)

# 7 - RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN' ON MY HEAD - B.J. Thomas  (1970)
More movie music, this track was featured in the Paul Newman - Robert Redford film classic "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".  Written by the unstoppable hit music team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach, it was a shoe-in to reach the top of the charts in January of 1970.

# 6 - I'LL BE THERE - The Jackson Five  (1970)
The Jackson Five is the only artist represented with TWO of The Top Ten Hits of the '70's.  This was one of their prettiest ... since covered by any number of artists including Mariah Carey who took HER version to #1 as well.

# 5 - LE FREAK - Chic  (1978)
One of those dance tracks that just wouldn't go away back in 1978 ... it topped the Cash Box Chart for seven weeks.

# 4 - SHADOW DANCING - Andy Gibb  (1978)
When all the dust settled it was baby brother Andy who bested ALL of The Bee Gees' '70's hits with this one ... a six week Cash Box chart topper.

# 3 - AMERICAN PIE - Don McLean  (1972)
Perhaps the most analyzed and dissected songs of all time, singer / songwriter Don McLean documented rock and roll history in about seven minutes with this smash hit from 1972.  February 3, 1959, will be remembered for all time as "the day the music died" thanks to McLean's meaningful lyrics.

# 2 - JOY TO THE WORLD - Three Dog Night  (1971)
It probably would have / SHOULD have been the biggest hit of the decade ... I can't remember ANY track causing as much excitement (and universal love) at the time ... but it was held to the #2 spot thanks to ...

# 1 - YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE - Debby Boone (1977)
... ironically a record that radio pretty much refused to play today ... this despite topping the chart for eight weeks on the Cash Box Chart.  (It held that same spot for an incredible ... and somewhat ridiculous THIRTEEN WEEKS in Record World!!!)  Like it or not, it's the biggest hit of the decade.  (I remember at the time John "Records" Landecker at WLS having to do a countdown of the most-requested songs ... and this track continually came in at #1. Even at the time a good number of folks were sick of hearing it ... and most deejays were sick to death of playing it ... but, since he was required to do so, Landecker fulfilled his musical obligation ... by airing about 30 seconds of the song every half hour until it was played through to completion by the end of his four hour show.  Classic ... you just don't hear radio like THAT anymore!!!)

This concludes our countdown of The Top 70 Hits of the '70's ... thanks again to Dann Isbell and Bill Carroll for their enlightening new book "Ranking the '70's", available through the link shown above.

And stay tuned to Forgotten Hits ... we have a copy to give away to a lucky FH Reader.

Want YOUR chance to pick up a copy?  Email me NOW at and write '70's ENTRY in the subject line ... and we'll throw your name in the hat for this special drawing.