Monday, September 1, 2014

The Top 100 Adult Songs of the 70's: #100-91

Welcome to the newest in Inside The Rock Era's rapid succession of specials as we get revved up for the big 60th birthday of rock & roll.  Where would we all be, and how much less are lives would have been, if rock & roll had not caught on in 1955? 

You have tuned in at just the right time.  Today is the opening day of our presentation of The Top 100 Adult Songs of the 70's*.  You are one of the smart ones to get in on it from the get-go.  Over the next ten days, we will feature all the great Adult songs of the decade, from artists such as the Carpenters, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Anne Murray, Helen Reddy, and more.  Each day, we will celebrate ten songs, until we wrap up the special with The #1 Adult Song of the 70's*.

Keep in mind that the rankings and songs to follow are those popular on the Adult chart, not necessarily the Popular chart.  Only the chart performance on the Adult chart factored into the formula, and, since Adult radio got more popular as the decade went on, more weight was given to performance in the late-70's.  More fans, more relative strength.

There were 51 songs all of the same relative strength competing for the final 10 positions.  That's an extremely tough cut.  Some of the songs that were on the cutting edge (literally) are "I Write The Songs" by Barry Manilow, "Laughter In The Rain" from Neil Sedaka, "Danny's Song" by Anne Murray, "Theme From Mahogany" by Diana Ross, "Garden Party" by Rick Nelson, "Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love" by Lobo, and Dave Loggins' song "Please Come To Boston".  Let's get started!


"Feels So Good"
Chuck Mangione

This artist's return to the Eastman School of Music to direct the school's Jazz Ensemble resulted in a concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra that was recorded live.  Shortly afterwards, trumpeter Chuck Mangione had a recording contract.  "Feels So Good" fought hard to gain the #1 position in 1978, going against other #1's like "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again", "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late", and Barry Manilow's "Even Now".


Gordon Lightfoot

"Sundown" earned its place by virtue of a two-week stay at #1 against "I Won't Last A Day Without You" by the Carpenters, "You Won't See Me", and "Annie's Song".


"One Less Bell To Answer"
5th Dimension

This song, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David spent one week at #1 and two at #2 against top Adult songs "Watching Scotty Grow" and "It's Impossible".


"Welcome Back"
John Sebastian
The former lead singer of the Lovin' Spoonful came out with a strong effort in 1976, the theme song to the popular television show Welcome Back Kotter.  Not only did John score two weeks at #1 with it, but he also hung around at #2 for two weeks against songs such as "Shop Around" and "Silly Love Songs".



"Too Much, Too Little, Too Late"
Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams

Johnny Mathis combined with newcomer Deniece Williams for this #1 Adult song.  It also competed against the smashes "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again", "Can't Smile Without You", and "The Closer I Get To You", as well as "Feels So Good", and "Even Now".


"Something Better To Do"
Olivia Newton-John

Here's a song that did its thing, then got outta' there.  Olivia Newton-John reached #1 for three weeks, but only spent four total in the Adult Top 5.  Its main competition came from "The Way I Want To Touch You" and "My Little Town".


"Lotta' Love"
Nicolette Larson

Nicolette Larson got her start singing backup on two albums by Neil Young.  This great song written by Young earned #1 against Billy Joel's "My Life" and Barry Manilow's "Even Now", and showed its strength by also placing at #2 for three weeks and #3 for another.


"My Little Town"
Simon & Garfunkel

This beloved duo came back strong when Paul Simon joined his old friend Art Garfunkel for this winner from 1976.  It had staying power, remaining in the Adult Top 5 for seven weeks, including two at #1.  And it did it against major competition from Olivia Newton-John's "Something Better To Do", "The Way I Want To Touch You", "Theme From Mahogany", and "Lyin' Eyes".


"Morning Dance"
Spyro Gyra

Spyro Gyra reached #1 for one week and spent seven weeks in the Adult Top 10.  Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra plays a nice alto sax on "Morning Dance", which firmly placed the group among the leaders of contemporary jazz in the next decade.


"Everything Is Beautiful"
Ray Stevens

Stevens scored the surprise hit of 1970, and perhaps the surprise hit of the Rock Era with this #1 song of three weeks.  Outside of "Let It Be", however, he faced much less competition than songs later in the decade did, yet only remained in the Top 5 for six weeks.

Be sure to join us tomorrow, and every day for the next ten days to hear the cream of the crop!

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