The Friday 5×2: One-Hit #1’s, Part 2

This past Tuesday, Dan commented “I realize you have no control over what was once popular…” With that in mind, here are ten more songs that were the only Top Ten songs for the artist in question that also reached #1 from Summer 1970 through Summer 1974.

  1. The Beatles, “The Long And Winding Road” The Beatles had pretty much broken up when this song was released. It reached the Top Ten on June 6, 1970 and topped the Hot 100 the following week. This is an earlier demo version of the song, before Phil Spector got his hooks into it and added his “wall o’ sound.”
  2. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “Tears Of A Clown” Released in the UK in July 1970, it was a #1 hit there, and when it was released in the US in September, it reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart. This was their last #1 until 1975.
  3. Janis Joplin, “Me And Bobby McGee” Janis died of a heroin overdose in October 1970, and this was released in January 1971 and soon reached #1. It was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster and comes from 1971’s Pearl, her final and posthumous album.
  4. The Honey Cone, “Want Ads” Honey Cone was a girl soul trio of Edna Wright, Carolyn Willis and Shelly Clark. They were discovered by Eddie Holland of the music-writing team Holland-Dozier-Holland, who had just left Motown and started Hot Wax records. He signed them to the label and got their name from his favorite ice cream. This was from their third album, 1971’s Sweet Replies, and features a young Ray Parker Jr. on guitar.
  5. Neil Young, “Heart Of Gold” From Neil’s 1972 Harvest album, the best-selling album of 1972. It was released in February of that year and is Neil’s only #1 hit.
  6. Sly and The Family Stone, “Family Affair” From 1971’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On, it was released in late 1971 and quickly reached the Top Ten, peaking at #1.
  7. Johnny Nash, “I Can See Clearly Now” Johnny wrote the words and music for this and recorded it in 1972 as the title track for his album released that year. It reached #1 in the US and Canada.
  8. Stories, “Brother Louie” This was written by Errol Brown and Anthony Wilson of the British group Hot Chocolate, and was covered in June 1973 by Stories, who took it to #1 in the US and Canada and received a gold record for it. Despite what José Feliciano said about thinking we’d be hearing a lot more from them, this was their only Top Ten hit, although they reached #50 later that year with “Mammy Blue.”
  9. Blue Swede, “Hooked On A Feeling” Blue Swede, a band from Sweden (as the name implies), took BJ Thomas’s 1969 hit and added… gorillas? Anyway, it rose to #1 in 1973. Blue Swede would have one more Top Ten hit, a cover of The Association’s 1967 hit “Never My Love” before fading into obscurity.
  10. Andy Kim, “Rock Me Gently” Andy had been recording since 1963 and had a Top Ten hit with “Baby I Love You” in 1969, but this was his best seller, reaching #1 in 1974.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for August 4, 2017.

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: One-Hit #1’s, Part 2

    1. I read that Paul McCartney used the Phil Spector-produced version as proof that The Beatles should be dissolved. I’ve mentioned an album called “Let It Be…Naked,” that’s “Let It Be” without the Spector “wall o’ sound.” First time I heard that version of “Road,” I was in a car, and I remember having to pull off the road and compose myself. Without all the strings and orchestration, the song is just beautiful. The version I included in the playlist is almost as good.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the guy who posted The Long And Winding Road said it was an early version, but you get rid of all Phil Spector’s crap and that’s what’s left, and it’s beautiful. Janis was certainly unique, and there was something about her that people fell in love with.


  1. I like 2 3 4 7 & 10. BJ Thomas’ version of Hooked on a feeling is my fav, but I enjoy the as well. I always thought they were “cave” men with the “uh-ga-cha-ku’s”. As to Rock Me Gently, it and Brandi by Looking Glassglass and The Last Song by Edward Bear remain my three most played records of all time. I cannot NOT dance when Rock Me Gently starts!


  2. Thanks for the shout out. These mostly all fall in the category of “I liked them well enough and they weren’t played to death, so they’re still good…” I just heard “I Can See Clearly Now” last week on the radio. It took me back to when I consumed most of my music from the radio.


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