Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Top 100 Adult Songs of the 70's*: #10-1

These ten songs stand out from the crowd as The Top 10 Adult Songs of the 70's*.  They each dominated their respective time periods to earn a spot in the coveted Top Ten:



"We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again"
England Dan & John Ford Coley

This duo met when they were classmates at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, Texas.  England Dan & John Ford Coley prevailed for six weeks at #1 and logged ten weeks in the Adult Top 5.  There were five other Top 100* songs out at the same time:  "Can't Smile Without You", "(What A) Wonderful World", "Feels So Good", and "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late".  That is an impressive lineup to face to earn six weeks at #1.



"Song Sung Blue"
Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond was inspired by "Piano Concerto no. 21" to write this song.  "Song Sung Blue" registered seven weeks at #1 against great songs like "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Alone Again (Naturally)", and "Where Is The Love".  It spent a total of nine weeks inside the Top 5.



"Just The Way You Are"
Billy Joel

Billy Joel wasn't convinced that this song was a hit, thinking it was a "chick song".  But producer Phil Ramone completely believed in it, and brought Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow into the recording studio to hear the song.  When both Ronstadt and Snow said how much they loved it, that was good enough for Billy.  "Just The Way You Are" has a lot going for it--four weeks at #1, another four at #2, and 11 total weeks in the Adult Top 5.  It was out the same time as Adult smashes "Can't Smile Without You", "(What A) Wonderful World", "How Deep Is Your Love", "Blue Bayou", and "How Can I Leave You Again".  "Just The Way You Are" won Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.



Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand wrote this song with Paul Williams who said, "She sat down and played on a guitar, the melody for 'Evergreen' that she'd written. It was just such a beautiful melody. I said, 'There's your love song.  The theme from A Star Is Born rolled to #1 for six weeks and spent ten total weeks in the Top 5.  "Evergreen" was out the same time as "Muskrat Love", "Southern Nights", "Weekend In New England", and Olivia Newton-John's "Sam".  "Evergreen" won the Oscar for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture.



"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Simon & Garfunkel

Paul Simon wrote this song about providing comfort to a person in need.  It started out as a modest Gospel hymn, but became more dramatic as he progressed.  In the documentary The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon said, "I have no idea where it came from.  It came all of a sudden."  (Read:  from God)  Here is another of the all-time classics that was not quite as popular on the Adult chart as it was overall.  Simon & Garfunkel remained at #1 for six weeks and spent eight weeks in the Top 5.  It faced competition from "Let It Be" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again".  "Bridge Over Troubled Water" captured Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Engineered Record, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, and also helped the album win a Grammy for Album of the Year.



"(They Long To Be) Close To You"

This song was originally given to Herb Alpert to record as a follow-up to this #1 smash "This Guy's In Love With You", but he decided to give it to a new act he had just signed to his label, A&M Records.  Karen & Richard Carpenter placed eight songs in The Top 100*, far and way more than anyone else--they were dominant.  Another Bacharach/David composition, the Carpenters took it to #1 for six weeks in the summer of 1970, and spent ten weeks in the Top 3 and 11 in the Top 5.  "Close To You" and "Snowbird" battled each other, but the truth is that other than those two, Adult radio was weak at the time.  "Close To You" earned the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. 


"Time Passages"
Al Stewart

We want to again reiterate that this special is a countdown of the top Adult Songs of the 70's*, only going by the Adult charts and not the overall Popular chart.  This song, for example, was far more popular with Adults than it was on the Popular chart.  Song #4* dominated its time with 10 weeks at #1, more weeks than any other song of the decade.  It faced competition from "Right Down The Line", "My Life", "Love Is In The Air", and "Lotta Love".  The one downside is that after it enjoyed that long reign, "Time Passages" dropped all the way to #8.  That indicates that perhaps it spent too many weeks at #1 and listeners were tired of it, thus a total of 11 weeks in the Top 5. 


"Crazy Love"
Rusty Young, founding member of Poco, wrote this song.  He says he learned greatly from working with Richie Furay, also of Poco, and Neil Young and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield.  The distinction of #1 Adult Song of the 70's* was a tough one.  One the one hand, Adult radio had far more listeners in 1979 when this song came out than it did in 1970.  "Crazy Love" was #1 for seven weeks, it was in the Top 3 for ten weeks, and the Top 5 for 12 weeks.  Poco went against "I Just Fall In Love Again", "Just When I Needed You Most", and "Love Is The Answer". 


"We've Only Just Begun"
Paul Williams originally wrote this song in 1968 for Crocker Bank, which was trying to attract young people and newlyweds as clients.  The Carpenters then took it and turned it into Solid Gold.  This popular duo had to fight off "Snowbird", itself a #1 song of six weeks, and also competed against Perry Como's "It's Impossible".  "We've Only Just Begun" spent seven weeks at #1 on the Adult chart and ten in the Top 5.  It's the biggest of eight Carpenters songs in The Top 100*--#2 for the 70's*.



"How Deep Is Your Love"
Bee Gees
We're up to #1, and it's the final song to the outstanding movie Saturday Night Fever.  The Bee Gees topped the Adult chart for six weeks, and spent four more in the Top 3.  "How Deep Is Your Love" remained in the Top 5 for 14 weeks, tied with "Lead Me On" for the most in the decade.  The song achieved those numbers going against great songs like "Just The Way You Are", "Nobody Does It Better", "Blue Bayou", John Denver's "How Can I Leave You Again", and "Just Remember I Love You". 

So there you have the ten most popular Adult songs of the decade.  In case you missed any of the ten segments, we will provide a handy guide shortly which contains the links to all the songs in The Top 100*.  We will also permanently place a link to the guide in the Charts and Lists Tab at the top of the website so you can listen to the great music contained therein at any time.

And don't forget beginning October 1 on Inside The Rock Era--the major music special The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*.  Don't miss it!

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