Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Singles of '76 (part 5)

Last week (click here if you missed it), I presented numbers 50 to 26 in my countdown of the Billboard charting singles of 1976. This is part of a month long celebration of the songs from this year that I am doing with online blogging buddies Herc (of Herc's Hideaway) and Mark (of 1976-1985: My Favorite Decade).

Today, we will wrap up my favorites of the year with a countdown of numbers 25 to 1.

25. You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show) - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. (9/11/76, 26, 1)
24. Takin' It To The Streets - Doobie Brothers (4/17/76, 14, 13)
23. Car Wash - Rose Royce (10/23/76, 23, 1)

The duet at number 25 was one of those songs I just adored when it came on the radio. The Doobie Brothers rock out at the number 24 spot. Another 45 that I owned back in 1976 was the theme song to the movie of the same name, from Rose Royce.

22. Dream On - Aerosmith (1/10/76, 20, 6)
21. Livin' Thing - Electric Light Orchestra (10/23/76, 18, 13)
20. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (1/3/76, 24, 9)

These three songs were rock station classics, so it is no surprise they scored so high up on my countdown list. For me, these include two epic signature numbers from Aerosmith and Queen. The entry from ELO was on the first of their albums that I owned.

19. (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty - KC & the Sunshine Band (7/10/76, 21, 1)
18. I'd Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley (6/12/76, 24, 2)
17. Hotline - Sylvers (10/9/76, 25, 5)

Last week I told you that Dan and Coley would be back, and this was my favorite from their album that year. Meanwhile, KC and the Sylvers deliver some disco favorites of mine.

16. Dancing Queen - ABBA (12/11/76, 22, 1)
15. Beth - KISS (9/4/76, 21, 7)
14. Devil Woman - Cliff Richards (7/4/76, 22, 6)

ABBA brings in their own disco-like number while KISS goes for a ballad that was so unlike their other songs that it truly stands out. Cliff warns us about a troubling lady on the song at the number 14 spot.

13. Walk This Way - Aerosmith (11/20/76, 17, 10)
12. Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck (4/17/76, 22, 3)
11. (Don't Fear) the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult (7/31/76, 20, 12)

Two Aerosmith songs scoring so high? Yup. And this one at number 13 would go on to have new life in the 80's when they performed it along with rap pioneers Run-DMC. Everything about Starbuck's song at number 12 was just right for me. Meanwhile, the guys at Blue Oyster Cult delivered a rock classic that always could use more cowbell.

10. Still The One - Orleans (7/31/76, 18, 5)
9. Carry On Wayward Son - Kansas (12/25/76, 20, 11)
8. You Should Be Dancing - Bee Gees (7/4/76, 20, 1)

We hit the top 10 with a pop favorite of mine from Orleans. The Kansas track at number 9 is easily my favorite from the band every. And the Bee Gees return with a signature disco number that would also later appear on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

7. Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John & Kiki Dee (7/4/76, 20, 1)
6. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry (6/18/76, 25, 1)
5. December 1963 (Oh What A Night) - Four Seasons (12/27/75, 27, 1)

Elton and Kiki deliver the duet of the year at number 7, a song I loved long before Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli performed it on an episode of One Day at a Time (though that never hurt). Wild Cherry hits with a definitive funky rock number at number 6 (a song Sheldon Cooper would wonder about in a last year's episode on The Big Band Theory). Oh what a song from the Four Seasons at number 5 - this one I borrowed the 45 from my older brother a lot to play on my own turntable.

4. Turn the Beat Around - Vicki Sue Robinson (4/10/76, 25, 10)
3. Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale (2/14/76, 20, 2)
2. Boogie Fever - Sylvers (2/14/76, 21, 1)

Vicki Sue scored her biggest hit every with a signature disco song at number 4, as did similarly Maxine with her disco hit at number 3. The Sylvers return with a favorite of mine at the second spot (I actually owned the album that this and their earlier hit "Hotline" came from).

1. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love) - Bee Gees (12/27/75, 16, 12)

The number one spot has to go to the Bee Gees with one of my favorite singles from their 1975 album Main Course. While technically the last single from that record and released the final week of 1975, it spent the first four months on the radio of 1976 and thus deserves its top spot. My list - my rules.


HERC said...

Like Gomer Pyle always said:
"Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!"

You finished up your countdown of The Singles of '76 with a song I listed as a runner-up, in part due to my unwillingness to rank more than one song per artist per countodwn. In the Bee Gees category, I opted for "Nights On Broadway" down at #21 which ironically turned out to be the only one of four Brothers Gibb songs that charted in 1976 you didn't rank or even list as an honorable mention.

Which is perfectly understandable because you stated at the beginning of your countdown

"What I did was look at the US Billboard Hot 100 for the fifty-two weeks of the year (and the final week of December 1975 for rollover), writing down any singles that debuted specifically on the chart during that time period that I remember. That gave me a list of one hundred and forty-four songs total to rank as a countdown of my favorites."

"Nights On Broadway" hit the chart back in October 1975 so its a shoo-in for The Singles of '75 along with Rhythm Heriatge's "Theme From S.W.A.T." which debuted on the Hot 100 in November 1975.

Martin Maenza said...

Herc, you are correct about both those Fall 1975 songs - they did not qualify for my list because of the criteria I used. Both will definitely be on my 1975 list.