Music through the ages

D

DaveM

The idea of this thread is for us to post up music videos of hits through the ages. We start off with 1960. The hit posted would need to at least fall within the Top 20 of that year. The next person to post up a hit needs to take the next year of the previous poster.

Posting up some information about the hit would also be great.

So in 1960 we had


Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans, October 3, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist". In September 2008 "The Twist" topped Billboard's list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot 100 since its debut in 1958, an honor it maintained for an August 2013 update of the list. He also popularized the Limbo Rock and its trademark limbo dance, as well as various dance styles such as the fly.

Checker is the only recording artist to place five albums in the Top 12 all at once. The performer has often claimed to have personally changed the way we dance to the beat of music, as when he told Billboard, "Anyplace on the planet, when someone has a song that has a beat, they're on the floor dancing apart to the beat. And before Chubby Checker, it wasn't here." Clay Cole agreed: "Chubby Checker has never been properly acknowledged for one major contribution to pop culture—Chubby and the Twist got adults out and onto the dance floor for the first time. Before the Twist dance phenomenon, grownups did not dance to teenage music."
 

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Stand By Me 1961

Ben E. King recorded this shortly after leaving The Drifters in 1960. It gave him a solid reputation as a solo artist.

"Stand By Me" was the name of a gospel hymn written by the Philadelphia minister Charles Albert Tindley in 1905. His hymn became popular in churches throughout the American south and was recorded by various Gospel acts in the 1950s. The most popular adaptation was by The Staple Singers, who recorded it in 1955. It was this version that Ben E. King heard; he pushed The Drifters to record it, but the group's manager rejected it.
(information from www.songfacts.com)
 

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1962 - the Beatles burst onto the charts

"Love Me Do" is the Beatles' first single, backed by B-Side "P.S. I Love You". When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom on 5 October 1962, it peaked at No. 17; in 1982 it was re-promoted (not re-issued, retaining the same catalogue number) and reached No. 4. In the United States the single was a No. 1 hit in 1964. In 2013, recordings of the song that were published in 1962 entered the public domain in Europe.[4]

The song was written several years before it was recorded, and prior to the existence of the group named the Beatles. The single features John Lennon's prominent harmonica playing and duet vocals by him and Paul McCartney. Three different recorded versions of the song by the Beatles have been released, each with a different drummer.
(Wikipedia)
 

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Although in 1963 the Beatles had two songs in the top 20, music was changing all over with new sounds with one of the biggest tunes being Beach Boys Surfin USA

The lyrics are basically a guide to good surf locations, but the "Surfin' U.S.A." music was based on Chuck Berry's 1958 hit "Sweet Little Sixteen." The Beach Boys did it as a tribute to Berry, but didn't get his permission first - maybe because Berry was in jail for transporting a minor across state lines. When Berry threatened to sue, The Beach Boys agreed to give him most of the royalties and list him as the song's composer. The song also helped build Berry's legend while he served his time.
(songfacts.com)
 

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in 1964 the Beatles grew more having 3 songs in the top 20, but a new sounds was starting to come around with an early introduction to the psychedelic scene:
The Animals: House of the Rising Sun:

Historians have not been able to definitively identify The House Of The Rising Sun, but here are the two most popular theories:

1) The song is about a brothel in New Orleans. "The House Of The Rising Sun" was named after Madame Marianne LeSoleil Levant (which means "Rising Sun" in French) and was open for business from 1862 (occupation by Union troops) until 1874, when it was closed due to complaints by neighbors. It was located at 826-830 St. Louis St.

2) It's about a women's prison in New Orleans called the Orleans Parish women's prison, which had an entrance gate adorned with rising sun artwork. This would explain the "ball and chain" lyrics in the song.
(songfacts.com)
 

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Although in 1965 Sonny and Cher tops the charts with I Got You Babe, the song that keep getting played over and over again from that year is
The Righteous Brothers: Unchained Melody:

Although the Righteous Brothers' version is the most-remembered today, it was by no means the first or most-successful "Unchained Melody." Four versions of the song made the Top 40 in 1955, three of them simultaneously in the Top 20: Les Baxter (#1 - from the movie Unchained), Al Hibbler (#3 - first vocal version), Roy Hamilton (#6), June Valli (#29). All four of these recordings were in the US Top 40 on May 14, 1955. Harry Belafonte also recorded a version that year.
(songfacts.com)
 
D

DaveM

1966 this must be one of those all time greats from that period.


"When a Man Loves a Woman" is a song written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright and first recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts.[2] Singer and actress Bette Midler covered the song and had a Top 40 hit with her version in 1980. In 1991, Michael Bolton recorded the song and his version peaked at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Billboard Adult Contemporary Singles chart

The song was initially recorded by Percy Sledge at Rick Hall's FAME Studios at Muscle Shoals, before being re-recorded at the nearby Norala Studios owned by Quin Ivy. The sidemen for the recording included Spooner Oldham, Farfisa organ; Marlin Greene, guitar; Albert "Junior" Lowe, double bass and Roger Hawkins, drums. Andrew Wright and Calvin Lewis did not play on the record. Rick Hall arranged a distribution deal with Atlantic Records, but Jerry Wexler asked that the song be re-recorded because the horns were out of tune. According to musician David Hood, "They went back in the studio and changed the horns, got different horn players to play on it. But then the tapes got mixed up and Atlantic put out their original version. So that's the hit."
 

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Kind of a Drag is a song written by Jim Holvay and recorded by the Buckinghams. The single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1967, becoming the first #1 single within the new calendar year and remaining in the top position for two weeks. It was the first of the band's three Top 10 hits in 1967.

 
D

DaveM

We have this one from 1968.


"Harper Valley PTA" is a country song written by Tom T. Hall that was a major international hit single for country singer Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. Riley's record sold over six million copies as a single. The song made Riley the first woman to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the U.S. Hot Country Singles charts with the same song, a feat that would go unrepeated until Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" in 1981.

The song tells the story of Mrs. Johnson, a widowed mother of a teenage girl, who becomes outraged when one afternoon her daughter brings home a note from her junior high school's PTA decrying Mrs. Johnson's supposedly scandalous behavior by small-town standards; which, according to the PTA, is setting a bad example for her daughter. In response, Mrs. Johnson attends the next PTA meeting (being held that same afternoon), wearing a miniskirt, to the surprise of the PTA members. She then exposes various episodes of misbehavior and indiscretion on the part of several members of the PTA, concluding with, "This is just a little Peyton Place / And you're all Harper Valley hypocrites."
 
D

DaveM

1969 brought us


"Crimson and Clover" is a 1968 song by American rock band Tommy James and the Shondells. Written by the duo of Tommy James and drummer Peter Lucia Jr., it was intended as a change in direction of the group's sound and composition.

"Crimson and Clover" was released in late 1968 as a rough mix after a radio station leaked it. It spent 16 weeks on the U.S. charts, reaching number one in the United States and other countries. The single has sold 5 million copies, making it Tommy James and the Shondells' best-selling song. It has been covered by many artists such as Joan Jett and Prince.

In 2006, Pitchfork Media named it the 57th best song of the 1960s.

Tommy James constructed this slice of psychedelia from his favorite color and his favorite flower. In our interview with Tommy James, he told us: "They were just two of my favorite words that came together. Actually, it was one morning as I was getting up out of bed, and it just came to me, those two words. And it sounded so poetic. I had no idea what it meant, or if it meant anything. They were just two of my favorite words. And Mike Vale and I – bass player – actually wrote another song called 'Crimson and Clover.' And it just wasn't quite there. And I ended up writing 'Crimson and Clover' with my drummer, Pete Lucia, who has since passed away."
 

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1970 brought us
"Bridge over Troubled Water" is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel from their fifth studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water (1970). Produced by the duo themselves and Roy Halee, the song was released as the follow-up single to "The Boxer" on January 26, 1970. Composed by singer-songwriter Paul Simon, the song is performed on piano and carries the influence of gospel music. The original studio recording employs elements of Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" technique using L.A. session musicians from the Wrecking Crew.[3][4]
 
D

DaveM

1971 we had this one


"Knock Three Times" is a popular song credited to Tony Orlando and Dawn. The actual singers were Tony Orlando, Toni Wine, and Linda November, prior to the creation of "Dawn" with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.[citation needed] The song was released as a single in November 1970, paired with Orlando's other hit song, "Candida" (also written by Toni Wine). The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1971 and eventually sold six million copies, also claiming the number-one spot on the UK Singles Chart. The song registered well at Adult Contemporary stations, reaching #2 on Billboard's "Easy Listening" survey.

The composers of this song, L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine, were thinking of the song Up on the Roof and they wanted to write a song with that kind of lyrical flavor, about tenement living. In the song, the singer has fallen in love with a woman who lives directly below him but has no clue as to her interest, so he asks her to respond by either knocking three times on the ceiling (yes) or banging twice on the pipe (no), and the chorus includes sound effects of the two choices. (However, the song never states her response.)

Tony Orlando was, at the time of the recording, working as a producer/singer for a rival record label. Tony first heard the tune recorded by another artist and immediately knew the song could be a hit produced as he envisioned. Orlando cut the track under the name "Tony Orlando" and had to do the studio sessions on the "down low" to ensure his current record label wasn't aware. The result? Tony's insight into how the song should sound (in his mind), basically as produced, rocketed it to success.
 

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1972 was a big year for big songs including:
The First Time Ever I saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
Alone Again Naturally - Gilbert O'Sullivan (one of the most depressing songs ever)
The Candy Man - Sammy Davis Jr
Brandy - Looking Glass
A Horse with No Name - America
Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues
Rocket Man - Elton John
and many more ... but the one to pick for this is the one that everyone can sing along with:


According to McLean (as posted on his website), this song was originally inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. "The Day The Music Died" is February 3, 1959, when Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash after a concert. McLean wrote the song from his memories of the event ("Dedicated to Buddy Holly" was printed on the back of the album cover).

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album was also a huge influence, and McLean has said in numerous interviews that the song represented the turn from innocence of the '50s to the darker, more volatile times of the '60s - both in music and politics.

McLean was a 13-year-old paperboy in New Rochelle, New York when Holly died. He learned about the plane crash when he cut into his stack of papers and saw the lead story.

(songfacts.com)
 
D

DaveM

1973 we had a few great hits but I have taken this one from the list.


Warren Beatty is no longer just a cloud in her coffee – he is also a confirmed subject of Carly Simon’s 1972 hit single “You’re So Vain.” Ever since the song’s release fans have speculated over which of her notoriously self-involved paramours Simon was lampooning, and the singer has just revealed to People magazine that at least one of the verses is about Beatty, whom Simon dated in the early ‘70s.

For years Simon has been teasing the public with clues about the song’s subject, including in 2004 when she told Regis Philbin that the man’s name contained the letters “A,” “E” and “R.” That left Beatty, but also some of Simon’s other exes like Mick Jagger and James Taylor, to whom she was married for 11 years.

Proving her point, Beatty has long maintained that the song is definitely about him. Simon tells People, “I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren,” adding, “Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!” The verse she’s referring to goes as follows:

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and...
 

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I guess the song that should be picked for 1974 would be Waterloo by ABBA as it was the song that kicked off decades of songs making ABBA a massive world wide success to this very day, but being more of a rocker, the pick of the year is:

I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow

Young had written songs like "Southern Man" and "Alabama," which implied that people in the American South were racist and stuck in the past. Skynyrd responded with "Sweet Home Alabama," a song about Southern pride and all the good things in Alabama.

The feud between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young was always good-natured fun; they were actually mutual fans. Ronnie Van Zant often wore Neil Young T-shirts onstage and is wearing one on the cover of Street Survivors, the last Skynyrd album released before his death.
 
D

DaveM

The Sweet seemed to have a few hits during this period so I think they need a mention as this was their one for 1975


  • This was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote many Glam Rock hits like this one. They also wrote Sweet's "Blockbuster," Suzi Quatro's "Devil Gate Drive" and Tony Basil's "Mickey."
  • This song was inspired by an incident in 1973 when the band were performing at the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock, Scotland and were driven offstage by a barrage of bottles.
  • In 2000, this was used in La Vie Ne Me Fait Pas Peur, a French movie about a group of girls who don't speak English - the only words they know are "Ballroom Blitz." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 3)
 
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D

DaveM

1976 brought us Showaddywaddy with this hit.

  • This song was originally recorded by Curtis Lee and was co-written by Tommy Boyce, who also wrote for The Monkees.
  • In 1973 two 4-piece bands from the English town of Leicester, The Hammers and The Choice, decided to merge to become an 8-piece Rock And Roll group called Showaddywaddy. As a result the new band had two of everything; vocalists Dave Bartram and Buddy Gask, guitarists Trevor Oakes and Russ Fields, bassists Rod Deas and Al James and drummers Romeo Challenger and Malcolm Allured. They achieved their big break on the UK talent show New Faces and a recording contract with Bell soon followed. After achieving 6 Top-20 singles, Showaddywaddy had become recognized as Britain's most successful Rock revivalist. Then in 1976 their cover of Curtis Lee's "Under The Moon Of Love" became their one and only UK #1. They went on to enjoy 8 more UK Top-20 singles including in 1978 a cover of another Curtis Lee song, "Pretty Little Angel Eyes."
  • This was Showaddywaddy's best selling single in the UK, selling 985,000 copies. It was the last ever single on the Bell label before it became Arista. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
 

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As tempted as I am to put on ABBA Dancing Queen... I have to go with:
Written by Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, this song is about materialism and excess. California is used as the setting, but it could relate to anywhere in America. Don Henley in the London Daily Mail November 9, 2007 said: "Some of the wilder interpretations of that song have been amazing. It was really about the excesses of American culture and certain girls we knew. But it was also about the uneasy balance between art and commerce."
(songfacts.com)
 
D

DaveM

Well 1978 did not hold many numbers that I enjoyed but this was one of the few that I did really like.


"Mull of Kintyre" is a song by the Anglo-American rock band Wings written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine. The song was written in tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966. The song was Wings' biggest hit in Britain where it became the 1977 Christmas number one, and was the first single to sell over two million copies nationwide

"Mull of Kintyre" was recorded on 9 August 1977 at Spirit of Ranachan Studio at High Park Farm in Scotland, during a break in recording the London Town album caused by Linda McCartney's advanced pregnancy. The song featured bagpipes played by the Campbeltown Pipe Band from nearby Campbeltown. Paul's vocals and acoustic guitar were recorded outdoors. "Mull of Kintyre" and "Girls' School" (a rocker that had been previously recorded for London Town) were released as a double A-sided single on 11 November 1977, independently of the album. It was included on the Wings compilation Wings Greatest in 1978, and the UK/Canada version of McCartney's 1987 compilation album, All the Best! as well as his 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.
 
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