Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Top Ten (?) Songs of the 1970s

Bill Crider has been posting links to a compilation of the top 75 songs from the 1970s, based on the criteria used by Cashbox Magazine.  You can find Bill's links to the lists (and comments by his regulars) here:


I wondered what the Billboard list would look like, so I looked.  I have ranked the songs by the number of weeks they are listed at #1, and have not tried to break ties.  Here's what I get (and I'm going to do this in one list).  Overall, 251 songs made it to #1 on Billboard in the 1970s.  Of those, 120 lasted a single week at the top, and 62 held on for 2 weeks.  So only 70 songs lasted 3+ weeks in the number 1 position.  And only 35 were there for 4+ weeks.  I'm going to report those 35 songs.  I should mention that of these 35 songs, I have (I think) 6 on CDs or LPs in my personal collection.

At 4 weeks as the Billboard #1 song (17 songs--about half of the 35 I'm going to list, in no particular order):
Peaches and Herb, Reunited
Rod Stewart, Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
Exile, Kiss You All Over
The Bee Gees, How Deep Is Your Love
The Emotions, Best Of My Love
Andy Gibb, I Just Want To Be Your Everything
Johnnie Taylor, Disco Lady
The Captain and Tennille, Love Will Keep Us Together
Paul McCartney and Wings, My Love
Tony Orlando and Dawn, Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree
Roberta Flack, Killing Me Softly With His Song
Johnny Nash, I Can See Clearly Now
Harry Nilsson, Without You
Don McLean, American Pie
Melanie, Brand New Key
The Bee Gees, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
The Carpenters, Close To You

At 5 weeks (8 songs, a little less than half of the remaining 18):
Donna Summer, Bad Girls
Paul McCartney and Wings, Silly Love Songs
Rod Stewart,  Maggie May
Carole King, It's Too Late
The Osmonds, One Bad Apple
George Harrison, My Sweet Lord
The Jackson 5, I'll Be There
BJ Thomas, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

This gets us to the Top 10, songs that held on to #1 for 6 or more weeks.  Six of the 10 made it for exactly 6 weeks,  I'm going to list these from the one I liked least to the one I liked most:
Gilbert O'Sullivan, Alone Again (Naturally)
Chic, Le Freak
The Knack, My Sharona
Roberta Flack, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Three Dog Night, Joy To The World (written by the great Hoyt Axton)
Simon and Garfunkle, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Leaving 4.  One made it 7 weeks, 1  for  8, 1 for 10, and the #1 song of the Billboard charts held the #1 position for 12 weeks.

7 Weeks:
Andy Gibb Shadow Dancing

8 Weeks:
Rod Stewart, Tonight's The Night

10 Weeks (perhaps the worst song in my lifetime to be a #1 hit):
Debby Boone, You Light Up My Life

12 Weeks, the #1 song of the 1970s:
The Bee Gees, Stayin' Alive

Also not a favorite, and I have managed never to see the movie.

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