Monday, February 29, 2016

SWEET 16: The Leap Year #1's (2-29-16)

We continue our Sweet 16 salute this year by taking a look back at the last 16 records to top the charts on February 29th ... 


Today in Forgotten Hits 

#1 - 2016:  WORK - Rihanna (featuring Drake)

OK, I'm confused ... so is the point of this video to get us to enjoy and appreciate Rihanna as a singer and performer or simply an excuse to stare at her tits???  (Think this one's racy?  Check out her "Bitch Betta Have My Money" video which features full nudity throughout!)  As you will see during today's countdown, music SURE has changed since rock and roll began in 1955!  (Back in 1956, the CBS censors felt that Elvis Presley should only be shown from the waist up ... now it seems that ANYTHING goes ... whether it's music-related or not!)  kk
#1 - 2012:  PART OF ME - Katy Perry

Wow!  Has it really been four years since Katy Perry lit up the charts like a Firework?  Perry scored SEVEN #1 RECORDS in a span of only four years ... and watched four others make The Top Ten during that same time frame.

#1 - 2008:  LOW - Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

#1 - 2004:  YEAH! - Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

#1 - 2000:  AMAZED - Lonestar

A HUGE cross-over hit, this one topped Billboard's Pop Chart for two weeks ... and their country chart for EIGHT!

#1 - 1996:  ONE SWEET DAY - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

Speaking of "Amazed", this is a pretty amazing list of #1 Records when one considers the fact that ALL of these hits occupied the #1 Spot on the Leap Year Date of February 29th.  You'll find some pretty heavy hitters in this bunch ... like this one that held down the #1 Spot for sixteen incredible weeks.  Scaling down the list you'll find "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles, a seven week #1 hit, and "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" by Percy Faith, who topped the chart for nine weeks back in 1960.

#1 - 1992:  TO BE WITH YOU - Mr. Big

#1 - 1988:  FATHER FIGURE - George Michael

George Michael had six Top Five singles from his first official solo album "Faith" back in 1987-1988 ... and four of those went all the way to #1.  (Other #1 Hits from "Faith" include the title track, "One More Try" and "Monkey".  The two that missed didn't miss by much ... "I Want Your Sex" went to #2 and "Kissing A Fool" reached #5.  Makes you almost forget the other guy from Wham!, doesn't it???  (What was his name again???  Brian Dunkelman?  No wait ... he co-hosted the first season of "American Idol" ... it was Andrew Ridgeley ... but it was never any question as to who did all the heavy lifting in this band!)

#1 - 1984:  JUMP - Van Halen

Van Halen had already been making their mark on Rock Stations for about six years when this catchy pop tune catapulted them into the stratosphere.  Anybody who hadn't been listening before, was now ... "Jump" was infectious and STILL sounds every bit as good today.  It earned the band its first (and only) #1 Record ... and stayed there for five straight weeks.


Queen were one of the most creative and diverse bands to ever come along ... their finely crafted "Bohemian Rhapsody", a rock opera symphony if there ever was one ... their pop hits "Killer Queen" and "You're My Best Friend" ... their rock anthem "We Will Rock You" which segued into the beautiful "We Are The Champions" ... the rock/disco funk of "Another One Bites The Dust" ... even a novelty hit like "Fat Bottomed Girls" sent the message loud and clear to the listener ... ALWAYS expect the unexpected.  So when Freddie Mercury and the boys kicked things back to some early '50's rock-a-billy sounds, we were completely bowled over ... and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" went straight to #1, where it stayed for four weeks.

#1 - 1976:  LOVE MACHINE - The Miracles

Once Smokey Robinson split for a solo career, most of us wrote The Miracles off as a thing of the past ... great while it lasted ... but Smokey was the driving force in that unit, writing and singing all their hits.  So imagine our surprise when The Miracles funked things up in 1976 and earned a gold record and a #1 Hit out of it!  Completely out of left field, even Smokey had to be surprised ... and proud.  (By the way, for the record, Smokey's never reached #1 with any of his solo hits!)

#1 - 1972:  WITHOUT YOU - Nilsson

Harry Nilsson took a Badfinger album track and, together with an incredible arrangement by Producer Richard Perry, scored one of the biggest and most memorable hits of the '70's.  I don't care how many times you've heard it since ... the power of this track sweeps you away every single time.

#1 - 1968:  LOVE IS BLUE - Paul Mauriat

#1 - 1964:  I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND - The Beatles

This is the one that broke The Beatles in America.  Designed, reportedly, for the American audience, Beatlemania exploded on these shores and carried on for several years to come.  While "She Loves You" might have been the more likely "universal hit", it was held to the #2 position for weeks behind this juggernaut.  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" topped the US Chart for seven weeks, by which time nearly every boy in America had grown his hair out and picked up a guitar.

#1 - 1960:  THE THEME FROM "A SUMMER PLACE" - Percy Faith

One of the most beautiful and memorable movie themes ever ... "The Theme from 'A Summer Place'" will still make folks stand up and listen, even if they're hearing it for the very first time.  Yes, rock and roll had set in by then ... but there's just something about an incredible memory that trumps everything else ... and this one has it in spades.

#1 - 1956:  LISBON ANTIGUA - Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra

Yes, Virginia, this is what radio sounded like before Elvis Presley came along and shook things up!  His first big hit, "Heartbreak Hotel" would hit the charts a week later ... and music would never be the same again.  But for now, tracks like Nelson Riddle's "Lisbon Antigua" and other middle of the road fare like "The Poor People Of Paris" and "No Not Much" were the norm.  (There was hope, however ... The Platters had the #3 record this week with "The Great Pretender" ... and Pat Boone was already covering Little Richard tunes!)

#1 Records as determined by Billboard Magazine for the chart covering the date of February 29th ... 60 YEARS OF #1 LEAP YEAR HITS!!!