Friday, September 30, 2005

Top 5: Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics

Last Sunday was National One-Hit Wonder Day. I'm not sure how I missed it, because that's a favorite topic of mine. And in poking through the charts from this day in years gone by, I discovered an unusual theme--Other Hits by People Everybody Thinks Are Classic One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s. Since it's Friday, here are five of them.

Looking Glass: "Brandy" was Number One in late August of 1972, and if you know the record at all, you might think it would be hard to make another as perfect as that one. For the Looking Glass, it wasn't. On this date in 1973, a record every bit as good, "Jimmy Loves Mary Anne," reached its chart peak: Number 33.

Hues Corporation: "Rock the Boat" is one of the essential records of the 1970s, a Number One in July 1974. Not only wasn't it the group's only hit, it wasn't even their first hit. The same week Looking Glass made its return to the charts, Hues Corporation's first hit, "Freedom for the Stallion" stalled at Number 67. (After "Rock the Boat," they'd return to the Top 20 in the fall of '74 with "Rockin' Soul.")

The Stampeders: Their most memorable tune, "Sweet City Woman," was heading for the Top Ten on this week 34 years ago, but it would not be their only chart hit. They blew their one-hit wonder status a couple of times, most notably with a cover of "Hit the Road Jack," featuring DJ Wolfman Jack, nearly five years later.

Starbuck: "Moonlight Feels Right" is so perfectly realized that Starbuck would be some kind of musical legend if it had been their only hit. However, Starbuck actually returned to the Hot 100 on four other occasions. "I Got to Know," the followup to "Moonlight" was rising (get it? rising?) on this date in 1976. It tries to be "Moonlight," only faster--and makes the mistake of featuring another xylophone solo. (Play that funky music, white boys.) A couple of years later, Starbuck returned on the charts on the last day of September with "Searching for a Thrill," which was very different from what they'd done before--and probably deserved better than to peak at Number 58.

The Knack: "My Sharona" was in its last week at Number One on this date in 1979, but the second single from the album, "Good Girls Don't," was already roaring up the charts on its way to Number 11. (The G-rated version, that is: the lines "get inside her pants" and "sittin' on your face" from the album version were changed to "givin' you a chance" and "puts you in your place" on the single.) The Knack would make the Hot 100 on three other occasions, including the depraved "Baby Talks Dirty," which would just squeeze into the Top 40 in 1980.

Any others you can think of? Comment forthwith.

Over at the Daily Aneurysm, another Friday Random 10: Turn Up the Radio.


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Starbuck have yet another minor hit called "Everybody be Dancing" in the 70's?

Does Sugarloaf qualify? "Green Eyed Lady" (1970) seems to be their only hit to some, but I do recall "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" in 1975.

And how about Golden Earring? "Radar Love" charted in 1974 and I don't think they had another hit until 1983 with "Twilight Zone."


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