As I was working on this week’s Top Ten, the songs that finished 1975 in positions 11-20 on the year-end Hot 100, I was reminded of something Dan tells me whenever I get into this decade’s music, that this is around the time he started listening to music other than Top 40. Now that I hear it, I realize that I was doing the same thing. For Dan, it was country music, for me, it was blues and album-oriented rock that I was finding myself listening to as the ’70’s reached their midpoint. Not that I don’t listen to this with a certain feeling of fondness and nostalgia… or maybe that’s just something I ate…
20 – Janis Ian, "At Seventeen": A song about being a social outcast in high school, it reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts in both the US and Canada and #3 on the Hot 100.
19 – Tony Orlando & Dawn, "He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)": Originally "He Will Break Your Heart" by Jerry Butler in 1960, it spent three weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and one week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
18 – B. J. Thomas, "(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song": Written by Larry Butler and Chips Moman (for which they won the 1976 Grammy for Best Country Song), it was B. J. Thomas’s second #1 song on the Hot 100 and also topped the Adult Contemporary and Country charts. It holds the record for having the longest title (including the parenthetical part) for any #1 record.
17 – Sweet, "The Ballroom Blitz": Written by Nicky Chinn and Steve Chapman and documenting an evening where the band was chased off the stage by having stuff thrown at them (a practice known as bottling, the song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 in Canada.
16 – Doobie Brothers, "Black Water": Written and sung by The Doobies’ Patrick Simmons, it started as just the guitar riff from the beginning. It spent a week at #1 in March.
15 – Carl Douglas, "Kung Fu Fighting": This was one of the original disco songs and was an international #1 hit in late 1974 and 1975. Disco meets martial arts: a deadly combination.
14 – Minnie Riperton, "Lovin’ You": Noted for her coloratura soprano vocal range and for being Maya Rudolph’s mother, she did a lot of work for Chess Records as a backup singer early in her career. She wrote "Lovin’ You" with her husband, Richard Rudolph. It peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.
13 – Eagles, "Best Of My Love": Written by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and J. D. Souther, it reached #1 on both the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary charts.
12 – Bee Gees, "Jive Talkin’": The song that sent Barry, Robin, and Maurice down the road to disco perdition, it was their first #1 hit since 1971’s "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart."
11 – John Denver, "Thank God I’m A Country Boy": Written by John Martin Sommers, the live version (this one) reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Hot Country Singles charts.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for August 10, 2021.