Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Countdown Continues ... #50 - #26

This week we're counting down The Top 70 Hits of the '70's, as determined by the new Dann Isbell / Bill Carroll book "Ranking The '70's", available here through ...

50.  War - Edwin Starr  (1970)
The Sound of Motown became a bit more socially and politically relevant as we reached the late '60's and early '70's ... and nowhere was this more evident than in this #1 Hit by Edwin Starr.

49. Indian Reservation - The Raiders  (1971)
Paul Revere had to convince Mark Lindsay to take this solo track and release it under The Raiders' name.  In exchange for the favor, Paul jumped on his motorcycle and drove coast to coast promoting the record at every major radio station in the country.  It worked ... it became the first ... and ONLY ... official #1 Record for Paul Revere and the Raiders.  (Listen closely to the closing organ riff at the end of this track ... they pretty much copped it note for note from the Janis Ian hit "Society's Child"!)

48.  Three Times A Lady - The Commodores  (1978)
Lionel Richie and Company created a soft-rock classic when they recorded this one.

47.  American Woman - The Guess Who  (1970)
The biggest hit of their career ... incredibly its success helped spell the end of the Burton Cummings - Randy Bachman songwriting partnership.  The Guess Who would go on to record many other great hits over the years ... Randy would form Bachman-Turner Overdrive and have quite a few hits of his own.

46.  Tonight's The Night - Rod Stewart  (1976)
While I've never been a huge Rod Stewart fan, this one's got an incredible hook that appealed to just about everybody.

45.  Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty  (1978)
After some chart success with Stealers Wheel, Rafferty went off on his own and had his greatest success with this one ... a solo hit from '78.

44.  Rockin' Robin - Michael Jackson  (1972)
In the scheme of things, not one of Michael's better recordings ... and hard to believe it ranks this high on the countdown ... but back then he was still a kid learning the ropes.  Who would have ever dreamed where he'd end up a decade later.

43.  Bad Girls - Donna Summer  (1979)
Beep Beep - Donna was recording some pretty "hot stuff" right from the beginning ("Love To Love You Baby") and became The Queen Of Disco almost overnight.  This was one of her biggest and best.

42.  How Can You Mend A Broken Heart - The Bee Gees  (1971)
There's Barry Gibb again ... with a lush ballad this time.

41.  Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson Five  (1971)
In addition to his solo hits, Michael was still enjoying chart success with his brothers back in the early '70's.

40. Hot Child In The City - Nick Gilder  (1978)
A GREAT One Hit Wonder that still sounds good today.

39.  The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles  (1970)
One of the prime reasons for Motown's success was the songwriting talents of Smokey Robinson ... in addition to his own string of hits, he also wrote #1 Records for Mary Wells and The Temptations.

38.  I Want You Back - The Jackson Five  (1970)
Here they are again ... and this one would have ranked even higher if Isbell and Carroll had been able to include the points it racked up right at the end of 1969!

37.  Torn Between Two Lovers - Mary MacGregor (1977)
In hindsight one of the harder songs to listen to today ... but it was loved enough to hit #1 back in 1977 for Mary MacGregor.

36.  Crocodile Rock - Elton John  (1973)
As big as he was in the '70's this is the ONLY Elton John song to make The Top 70 for the purposes of this countdown.  Still a timeless track that gets played every day today.

35.  One Bad Apple - The Osmonds  (1971)
Bubblegum Pop - this song was reportedly rejected by The Jackson Five ... so The Osmonds snatched it up and took it right to #1.

34.  Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney and Wings  (1976)
Now here's one I figured would have charted higher on this list ... one of Macca's dabbles into the disco arena, this one stayed at #1 for only two weeks in Cash Box Magazine (on whose charts this ranking is based.)  It would have charted higher, having spent FIVE weeks at #1 in Billboard and four weeks at #1 in Record World.

33.  My Love - Paul McCartney and Wings  (1973)
Back-to-back McCartney tracks ... both HUGE hits (but I still can't believe this one ranked higher than "Silly Love Songs".)

32.  Theme from "Shaft"  (1971)
Can you dig it?

31.  It's Too Late - Carole King (1971)
One of my all-time favorite songs from the '70's ... or any other era for that matter.  From the HUGELY successful "Tapestry" album - Carole King finally stepped out from behind the curtain and scored a series of hits of her very own.

30.  Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone  (1971)
Five of the last twelve songs come from 1971 ... and you'll find four more before we hit the #1 spot on this very special countdown of The Top 70 Hits of the '70's.

29.  I Write The Songs - Barry Manilow  (1976)
Barry ruled the world in the mid-'70's and this was one of his biggest.  I actually liked most of the other ones.

28.  Let It Be - The Beatles  (1970)
The end of an era.  The Fab Four broke up in early 1970 ... but not before topping the charts two more times ... first with this one ... and then again with "The Long And Winding Road" (which ranks at #129 in the new Dann Isbell - Bill Carroll book "Ranking The '70's").

27.  Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel  (1970)
Another one I would have expected to be right up there at the top of the list ... a truly timeless track that is just as powerful today as when I first heard it.  A goosebumps-inducing track if there ever was one. 

26.  A Brand New Key - Melanie  (1971)
A great way to wrap up the countdown today ... what a fun track this was when it first hit the airwaves!

More tomorrow ... as Forgotten Hits continues to countdown The Top 70 Hits of the '70's!