Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: #190-181

Inside The Rock Era is celebrating the 60th birthday of the Rock Era with our updated presentation of The Top 500 Songs*.  We began on May 21, and are featuring 10 songs per day.  If you are just now discovering the special, we strongly encourage you to go back and listen to all the songs in order before checking these out.

The special is timed to conclude on July 9, which will be 60 years to the day that Bill Haley & the Comets reached #1 with "Rock Around The Clock".  On that day, the group became the first act to hit #1 with a rock & roll song, thus ushering in what has become known as the Rock Era.

We want to again give a major shout out to the sources we used for biographical information:

American Hit Radio by Thomas Ryan
The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson
The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul by Irwin Stambler
The Guinness Book of Rock Stars by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton
The Rough Guide to the Rolling Stones by Sean Egan
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock, edited by Michael Heatley
Who's Who In Rock & Roll, edited by John Tobler

We thank the above for helping make The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* what it is.  Enjoy these next 10 classics!




Candle In The Wind '97 
Elton John

"A perfect song--beautiful!"
"Very touching."
"Absolutely love it."
"Great song."
"Great song--a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady."
"An amazing song--I knew it was an instant classic the day we all heard it."

This touching tribute to Princess Diana ranks next in The Top 500*.  Longtime Elton John fans will remember his great song included on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973, "Candle In The Wind".  At the time, lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote it as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, and, although it was never released as a single then, it was one of the most popular album tracks from the LP.
Twenty-four years later, Princess Diana of Wales, one of the most beloved public figures certainly of our time and probably of all-time, died in a tragic car crash.  Mourners paid tribute to the late Princess in a myriad of ways that transcended national boundaries. 

Diana was just 20 years old when she was thrust under intense media scrutiny after marrying into the Royal family of England.  But despite the pressure and the difficulties she experienced that made her human, Diana spent time visiting the homeless and the terminally ill.  Her energy was infectious in its capacity to lift up people.  She played a major role in destigmatising perceptions about people who were HIV positive.  At a time when there was a fear that HIV could be passed on via touch alone, Princess Diana allayed these prejudices by being photographed touching people who had the disease.  Diana had a passion to ban landmines, which very often kill young children, and her fight is considered by many to be a key step in the passing of the Ottawa treaty banning the use of landmines.  Diana had a real and unique connection to people in general and a steadfast desire to help those less fortunate than herself.      
When she died on August 31, 1997, Sir Elton John was called upon to play at her funeral, and when he did, he played the new version of his 1973 song (which would come to be known as "Candle In The Wind '97").  John, who was good friends with Diana and had fallen into a depression upon her death, contacted Taupin about adapting the lyrics of "Candle In The Wind" to convey feelings about the loss of Princess Diana.  Elton conveyed his feelings about writing the song:

I thought it was very important to project it from a nation's standpoint.  I wanted to make it sound like a country singing it.  From the first couple of lines I wrote [which began "Goodbye England's Rose"], the rest sort of fell into place. 

Viewers from around the world were touched by the song, and Elton added a string quartet and woodwinds, and recorded it at Townhouse Studios in London.  "Candle In The Wind '97" was released in September of 1997 as a single. 

The single sold 658,000 copies on its first day of release in the U.K., and over 1.5 million in the first week.  It went on to sell nearly five million copies, breaking the 13-year-old record held by "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid as the best-selling single of all-time in the U.K.  Sir Elton stipulated that all royalties and record company profits were to be donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. 

The Memorial Fund raised 34 million pounds from donations from the public, with sales of "Candle In The Wind '97" contributing another 38 million pounds.  A further 66 million was raised through investments, partnerships, and other events.  The Fund was dedicated to support people on the margins of society and the charities that work on their behalf.  By the time the Fund closed in 2012, it had awarded 727 grants to 471 organizations and spent 112 million pounds on charitable causes. 

The song faced great competition from "You're Still The One" and "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain, "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, "The Boy Is Mine" by Monica & Brandy, Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", "Macarena" by Los Del Rios, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden, "You Were Meant For Me" by Jewel, and "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" by the Backstreet Boys.  

"Candle In The Wind 1997" quickly reached #1 in every major country in the world, and became Elton's ninth #1 song in the United States.  The song dominated the charts for 14 weeks, and also hit #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart.     

"Candle In The Wind 1997" has been played over five million times.  It went on to become the first Diamond-selling single (over 10 million units) in history.  The song topped the U.K. chart for five weeks, the German chart for seven weeks, the Australian chart for six weeks. 

Elton won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Billboard Awards for Special Merit and Single of the Year, American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist and a World Music Award for Legend Award. 

Sir Elton's tribute has now sold 11 million singles and helped sell 3.5 million albums in the U.S. alone.  

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) states that "Candle In The Wind 1997" is the best-selling single of all-time in the United States since music charts per published.  In just a little over three months, "Candle In The Wind 1997" sold over eight million copies, to far outdistance everything else that year.  The Guinness World Records indicates that the popularity of the song is worldwide; it is the biggest-selling single since U.K. and U.S. Singles charts began in the 1950s, with worldwide sales of 33 million.  "Candle In The Wind 1997" is the eighth-best-selling song in the history of German, the top-selling song in the history of Finland, and one of the top sellers of all-time in Australia.
 Guinness also concluded that after careful research that "Candle In The Wind 1997" is the second-best-selling single in history after Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", which according to Guinness has sold over 50 million.    





The Rose
Bette Midler

"A wonderful heartfelt song written by Amanda McBroom & beautifully sung by the lovely Bette."
"Amazing song."
"Truly beautiful."
"I love this song.  One of my favorites."
"Awesome song."

"One of the best tear jerker songs of all-time."

"Perfection.  Absolute perfection."



Amanda McBroom penned some amazing lyrics when she wrote this song.  She wrote it after hearing a song on the radio:

A song came on the radio.  It was 'Magdalena' by Danny OKeefe, sung by Leo Sayer.  I liked it immediately.  My favorite line was, "You're love is like a razor.  My heart is just a scar."  I thought, "Ooh, I love that lyric, but don't agree with the sentiment that love is a razor."   As I continued to drive down the road the thought came, "What, then, do I think love is."  Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head.  Words came pouring in.  I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldn't forget them.  I screeched into my driveway, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano.  Ten minutes later, "The Rose" was there.

About a year later, a songwriter friend of McBroom's told her about a movie coming out based on the life of Janis Joplin called The Rose.  The producers of the film were looking for the title song, and McBroom's friend submitted the song on her behalf.  The producers hated it--it wasn't rock & roll and they thought it dull.  Paul Rothchild, who was Joplin's producer and was now the music supervisor for the film, asked them to reconsider.  Again they said no.  But Rothchild mailed it to Bette Midler, the star of the movie.  She liked it and lobbied for it, and that is how the song got into the film.
"The Rose" was released as a single from the soundtrack.  Review the song's competition beginning in March of 1980 with us, and you should be able to see how it might have come to get stuck at #3:   Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Another Brick in The Wall" from Pink Floyd, "It's Still Rock & Roll To Me" by Billy Joel, "Call Me" by Blondie, "Rock With You" from Michael Jackson, "Upside Down" by Diana Ross, "Coward Of The County" by Kenny Rogers, Air Supply's "Lost In Love" and "All Out Of Love", "I Can't Tell You Why" by the Eagles, "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" by Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes, and "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. 
The pertinent question that should confront any organization who ranks songs across eras is this:  "Would another song reach #3 against that lineup?"  Or, would it be higher or lower?  As we have stressed throughout the special, gauging competition is crucial in comparing anything, whether it be football teams, songs, movies, or anything else.  Without factoring in competition, you are merely comparing apples to oranges.
"The Rose" peaked at #3 for three weeks on the Top 40 format, but it dominated the more-important Adult Contemporary chart with five weeks at #1.  At that time, radio stations were just beginning to realize that their audience of teeny-boppers in the '50s and '60s had grown up.  AC stations capitalized on this fact by playing songs with more mature lyrics that were more appropriate for aging Rock Era fans.

Midler, who had won Best New Artist seven years previous, captured her second Grammy with "The Rose", winning for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.  Midler also won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song--Motion Picture.
The song has sold over one million singles and helped sell over three million albums.  To date, "The Rose" has chalked up over five million radio airplays, making it one of The Top 100* in that department. 
The rose has shown up as the title of many big hits, but the flower is interpreted different ways by different people.  There is "Roses Are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton, "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, "Bed Of Roses" by Bon Jovi, and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison.

"The Rose" finished #83 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs series representing the best songs in American cinema history.




How Will I Know
Whitney Houston


"This song is so amazing."
"One of my all-time favorites."
"Whitney sings it with her amazing voice and beautiful spirit."
"This song brings so much joy."
"EPIC song."

"I love this song sooo much."


"Timeless classic."


This legendary superstar began her career in a gospel setting at The New Hope Baptist Junior Choir in New Jersey.  Within four years, at age 12, she was in demand for backing vocals for artists such as Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.  She also sang with her moth, Cissy, at nightclubs and concerts. 

Simultaneously, Whitney Houston began pursuing a modeling career, and she was featured in the magazines Glamour and Seventeen, and she appeared in the television shows Silver Spoons and Gimme A Break. 

In 1983, Whitney performed for Clive Davis, head of Arista Records, and Davis saw the amazing potential she had and signed her to a worldwide contract.  Davis nurtured his prodigy while enlisting the help of songwriters such as Michael Masser, Peter McCann, Linda Creed and Gerry Goffin, and producers Narada Michael Waldern, Masser and Kashif in looking for the perfect songs for Houston's debut release. 

Enter this song, written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam.  Merrill and Rubicam recorded as Boy Meets Girl, enjoying their biggest hit in 1988 with "Waiting For A Star To Fall".  They had written the song for Janet Jackson, but Jackson passed on the song, thinking it was to weak compared to her other material.  Big mistake.  Gerry Griffith, director for R&B at A&M and Arista Records, heard the song and, as he was putting together songs for a promising new singer's debut album, felt it would be perfect.

Griffin received permission from Merrill to let Houston record it.  Producer Narada Michael Walden changed the key and tempo of the song before Houston recorded it.      
Whitney released the single November 22, 1985 on her self-titled album.  Other songs out at the time included "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits, "Greatest Love Of All" from Whitney, "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick and Friends, and "Take On Me" by A-ha.

"How Will I Know" reached #1 for 2 weeks, #1 for 1 week on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 for 1 week on the R&B chart.  It also peaked at #1 in Canada, #2 in Austria, Norway and Sweden, #3 in Ireland, #5 in the U.K. and Finland.

The song sold over one million singles, helped sell 18 million albums, and has posted over two million in radio airplay in the U.S. alone.

Merrill and Rubicam went on to write another Houston smash, "I Wanna' Dance With Somebody".




That's The Way Love Goes 
Janet Jackson
"I love this song!"
"This song is so smooth and laid-back.  Beautiful."
"Great music."
"This STILL gives me goosebumps."
"Lovely classic."
"This track just hypnotizes me."
"Epic jam."
"A true classic."

Here's one of nine songs from 1993 that is fortunate enough to make The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.
In 1973, Jackson 5 fans were delighted when little sister Janet appeared in her brothers' stage show for the first time at age 7 at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Those fans followed her remarkable career ever since. 
In 1977, Janet starred in the CBS television sitcom Good Times.  That led to other roles in Different Strokes, Fame and A New Kind Of Family.  Jackson wanted to sing, however, and eventually, she landed a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982 and recorded her self-titled debut album. 
Jackson recorded another album in 1984 (Dream Street), but it wasn't until she took Control that her career took off.  We apologize for the pun, but in this case, it completely describes the transformation of her career.  Once she demanded to have a say in writing and producing her songs and selecting which ones would appear on her albums (beginning with her album Control in 1986), Jackson became a superstar.
Control featured five huge hits, as Janet became the first artist in music history to have five Top 10 hits from an album, and she enjoyed a wildly successful U.S. tour.  Janet was no longer just the Jackson 5's little sister.
She followed that album up with one even more successful.  Jackson one-upped Control with her album Rhythm Nation 1814 in 1989, when she became the first artist to achieve 7 Top 5 hits from an album.  She had reached the stratosphere, and her first world tour cemented her status.
In 1991, Jackson left A&M for the most lucrative recording contract in history to that point, a $32 million deal with Virgin Records.  That record would only last about a week, however, as brother Michael was simultaneously negotiating an even higher package ($50 million) with Sony.
Janet naturally had a good deal of pressure to deliver after Virgin agreed to pay her all those Benjamins.  But she came upon just the song to deliver.  Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Janet Jackson wrote and produced our next song. 

James Brown demanded that he approve the lyrics before he allowed Janet to sample his song "Papa Don't Take No Mess" because Brown was angry at rap group for splicing his material with foul language.  Aren't we all?  Once he heard Jackson's song, Brown gave swift approval.

Jackson recorded "That's The Way Love Goes" in January of 1993 at Flyte Tyme Studios in Santa Monica, California.  Jennifer Lopez, then a dancer on the television show In Living Color, appeared in the video and spoke a line of dialogue.  J. Lo, of course, would go on to superstardom herself in the not-too-distant future.  Jackson released "That's The Way Love Goes" in April from her album janet.

The song faced three of the biggest songs of the last 60 years in "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston and "Dreamlover" and "Hero" from Mariah Carey.  Other competition at the time included Jackson's own "Again", "I Have Nothing" and "I'm Every Woman" from Houston, Toni Braxton with "Breathe Again", "All That She Wants" from Ace of Base, and "I'd Do Anything For Love" form Meat Loaf.

"That's The Way Love Goes" became Jackson's sixth career #1, accumulating 8 weeks at #1 and 14 weeks inside the Top 10.  It logged 9 weeks at #1 on the Top 40 chart, 1 week at the top of the R&B chart, and also received Adult Contemporary airplay.  The song also went to #1 in Canada and Australia, #2 in the U.K., #5 in Finland and the Netherlands, #7 in Sweden, #8 in Ireland, and #9 in Germany and Denmark.
Jackson won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, and she was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.  She also garnered Billboard Awards for Top Pop Album Artist--Female and Favorite R & B Single--Airplay, American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R & B Female Artist and Award of Merit and a Soul Train Award for Career Achievement.
"That's The Way Love Goes" has sold over one million copies in the United States and three million copies worldwide, and helped the album janet go over six million in sales.  The song has one million radio airplays, a very low number for this range. 



Breathe Again
Toni Braxton

"This is the jam!"
"Real R&B music right here."
"Excellent song with great lyrics."
"Powerful, perfect timing and delivery.
"The greatest love song.  One of the classics."
"One of the greatest songs of the 20th century."
"That incredible hook gets me every time!"


This amazing singer attended Bowie State University in the hopes of getting a teaching degree, but decided to pursue a musical career after she was discovered by producer William E. Pettaway, Jr. at a gas station in Annapolis.  Pettaway recognized her from local performances and introduced himself.   

Braxton and her sisters began performing as the Braxtons in the late 1980s, and signed with Arista Records in 1989.  While the group's single, "Good Life", was not successful, it attracted the attention of some very important ears. 

Antonio "L.A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds heard the song, and recruited Toni to record a demo of "Love Shoulda' Brought You Home".  Anita Baker had been slated to record the song for the "Boomerang" Soundtrack, but was pregnant at the time, and suggested Braxton record it. 

Toni was successful, for not only did the song appear on the soundtrack, but Reid and Edmonds, owners of LaFace Records, signed her to a recording contract.  Braxton's first single from her debut album, "Another Sad Love Song", reached #7, and she turned to this song as a follow-up. 

Edmonds wrote "Breathe Again" in a studio at Reid's house in Atlanta, Georgia with Cheryl Clemons ("Coco") of the group SWV.  Edmonds said:


 We were trying to come up with more songs for her record.  It was kind of one of those songs that I kind of sat down and started playing these cords and the words and melodies just kind of floated out.  It was really written quickly; probably a couple of hours.
Braxton released "Breathe Again" in October of 1993 from her self-titled debut album.  The song competed against "Dreamlover" and "Hero" by Mariah Carey, "I Swear", by All-4-One, "The Sign" and "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base, "That's The Way Love Goes" and "Again" from Janet Jackson, "The Power Of Love" by Celine Dion, "I'd Do Anything For Love" by Meat Loaf, and "All For Love" by Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Sting.

"Breathe Again" rose to #3 for 3 weeks with 17 solid weeks in the Top 10.  It also registered at #4 on AC and #4 on the R&B chart.
The song sold half a million singles and helped sell eight million albums.  "Breathe Again" has been played on the radio two million times.

Braxton won Grammy Awards for Best New Artist of 1993 and Best Female R & B Vocal Performance.





Get Off Of My Cloud
 Rolling Stones

"Love this song!"

"Fantastic!  Brilliant!"

"This song is in a class of its own."

"Class song from the Stones."

"What a superb and cutting edge song, certainly ahead of its time, with Jagger's distinctive voice, Watt's expert drum beating, and the well-balanced guitar rhythms emanating from the deft touch of Richards and Wyman ALL flowing together in this nearly flawless, and thoroughly exciting song."

"Awesome sound."

In 1965, the Rolling Stones finally hit paydirt with "Satisfaction", which went to #1.  As a follow-up single, the group chose this number, written by lead singer Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards.

Sean Egan provides some good information about the group in his book The Rough Guide to the Rolling Stones.  But we have to bring some light to one comment he makes in the book:  "['Satisfaction'] proved in one stroke that Jagger/Richards were now the equal of Lennon/McCartney and that the Stones were the equals of the Beatles."  If one song could do that, then "Macarena" proved that the songwriters of that song were equals to the Stones.  It doesn't work that way.

The Rolling Stones began recording in 1963, and have been recording now for 53 years.  And yet by any measure one wants to cite, be it popularity, influence, single sales, album sales, sales in the U.S., worldwide sales, single hits, album hits, #1 songs, Top 10 hits, etc., Jagger & Richards and the Stones have still not approached the Beatles in any of those measures.  If anyone believes they have, we have a math professor we want to introduce you to.

Before the Stones recorded that follow-up to "Satisfaction", they made some changes.  First, manager Andrew Loog Oldham replaced Eric Easton and named Allen Klein as the group's business advisor.  Easton, it seems, had changed the company that he formed to record and lease the group's songs (Impact Sound), and replaced it with a company called Eric Easton, Ltd.  Easton then negotiated a new deal with Decca Records and Eric Easton, Ltd--good for him, right?

Oldham became suspicious of Easton, and upon discovering what Easton had been up to, fired him.  Klein brought in new capital to the group, something the non-songwriters of the group (everyone except Jagger and Richards) appreciated since they didn't get the royalty checks that the two songwriters got.
The group has said that  "Get Off Of My Cloud" is their reaction to their newfound success after "Satisfaction" and their annoyance with expectations that followed that success.  Guitarist Keith Richards, who wrote the song, said:
Get Off My Cloud was basically a response to people knocking on our door asking us for the follow up to "Satisfaction," which was such an enormous hit worldwide. This, to us, was mind-blowing.  I mean not only was it a #1 record but, boom!  We thought, "At last.  We can sit back and maybe think about events."  Suddenly there's the knock at the door and of course what came out of that was "Get Off Of My Cloud".  Because within 3 weeks, in those days hey, they want another single.  And we weren't quite ready for that.  So it was our response to the knock at the door: Get off of my cloud.  And I'm surprised that it did so well.  I mean it has a certain charm but I really remember it as a knee-jerk reaction.  And it came out better than I thought. 
The Stones recorded "Get Off Of My Cloud" September 6 and 7 at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California.  Ian Stewart, co-founder of the group who had been fired in 1963 but retained as road manager, played piano on the song.  The group released the single September 25 in the United States and October 22 in the U.K. from the album December's Children (and everybody's).

In October, the song faced competition from "Yesterday", "Help!" and "We Can Work It Out" by the Beatles, "The Sound Of Silence" from Simon & Garfunkel, "Turn!  Turn!  Turn!" by the Byrds, "Unchained Melody" from the Righteous Brothers, and Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe".
"Get Off Of My Cloud" went to #1 for two weeks in the United States, and #1 in the U.K. and Germany and #2 in Australia and Ireland.
The single did not go Gold, but it was released on albums that have sold 17.5 million copies.  In properly gauging songs across decades, one has to thoroughly research those album sales, and determine how much each song on the albums contributed to the sales.  "Get Off Of My Cloud" has racked up four million in radio airplay.



And I Love Her


"Wow :)"
"My favourite Beatles song."
"So sweet.  Beautiful song."
"One of the best songs ever."
"Absolutely perfect."
"No other song can be more inspired, simple and perfect."
"So simple and so beautiful."

The Quarry Men Skiffle Group successfully auditioned on the television program TV Star Search Show in 1957.  That led to a gig at the Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete in Liverpool, England.  Paul McCartney was in the audience, and met lead singer John Lennon at the end of the show. 
Such was the beginning of the greatest songwriting partnership the world has ever known.  McCartney was brought into the fold, and in August, the Quarry Men made their now-famous debut at the Cavern Club.  The following year, McCartney recruited a schoolmate of his at Liverpool Institute High, guitarist George Harrison, and the group now consisted of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Colin Hanton and John Lowe. 
By 1959, the group was calling itself Johnny & the Moondogs, with Lennon, McCartney and Harrison joined the following year by bassist Stuart Sutcliffe.  At this point, they were without a full-time drummer, but in 1960, first Tommy Moore and then Pete Best assume that spot in the group, now known as the Silver Beetles (after a brief spell as the Beatals).
Sometime between June 6 and June 11, 1960, the group changed its name one final time to the Beatles.  We know that because on June 6, there was an advertisement in the newspaper The Wallasey News for a concert featuring the Silver Beetles and Gerry and the Pacemakers.  Later in the week, the same newspaper advertised a show Saturday night at the Grosvenor Ballroom in Liverpool featuring "the sensational new group the Beatles."
Best provided the beat during the group's first sojourn into Hamburg, Germany.  On October 15 of that year, Ringo Starr, drummer for Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, filled in for Best as the Beatles backed Rory Storm guitarist Wally Eymond in the recording studio.
Brian Epstein became aware of the group as the first ripples of Beatlemania hit his record store.  He went to see the group, and soon after, became their manager.  Two decisions were made in the next year that greatly affected the Beatles' fortunes.  First, Epstein immediately changed the dress of the group from blue jeans and leather jackets to sweaters and then finally to suits, and he had the group introduce the synchronized bow after each song.  In short, Epstein demanded professionalism in their live appearances.
The next change took longer to implement.  The group was dissatisfied with Best for quite some time, and on August 16, 1962, he was dismissed from the group with Starr replacing him.  The lineup was complete and magic was about to happen. 
From the moment that the Beatles traveled to America and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in January of 1964, there was no hiding.  The sensation they caused led to an incredible 30 hits that year, including 6 #1 songs.
Paul McCartney wrote most of Song #184*, with John Lennon helping out with the middle portion, in the basement of the house on Wimpole Street in London belonging to Jane Asher's parents.  McCartney was Asher's boyfriend at the time, and he and Lennon wrote many of their mid-period songs at that house.  "And I Love Her" is one of the first song titles to start in mid-sentence.  Said McCartney in an interview with Barry Miles for the book Many Years From Now:

It was the first ballad I impressed myself with.  It's got nice chords in it, 'Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky...' I like the imagery of the stars and the sky.  It was a love song really.  The 'And' in the title was an important thing.  'And I Love Her,' it came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it.  The title comes in the second verse and it doesn't repeat.  You would often go to town on the title, but this was almost an aside, 'Oh... and I love you.'  It still holds up and George played really good guitar on it.  It worked very well.

 The Beatles recorded the song February 25-27 of 1964 at the EMI Studios in London after returning from their historic trip to the United States.  McCartney was the only Beatle to sing vocals on the song; like "Yesterday" the following year, "And I Love Her" was one of a handful of Beatles songs to feature just one vocalist.  The group released the single July 10 from their album A Hard Day's Night.
The song battled for airplay against songs such as their own "A Hard Day's Night" and "Twist And Shout", "Oh Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison, "The House Of The Rising Sun" by the Animals, "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys, and Mary Wells' "My Guy".
The Beatles won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.  "And I Love Her" has helped sell 37 million albums in the U.S. alone.  The song has achieved five million in radio airplay.

"And I Love Her" is second to "Yesterday" in cover versions of Beatles songs with 392 recorded by other artists by 1972.





You Make Loving Fun 
Fleetwood Mac

"It doesn't get any better than listening to this at maximum volume."
"I'm in tears now; this song is perfect."
"Classic song from an iconic album."
After all these years...the magic remains."
"A sweet wonderful song."

"Classic feel-good song."

"One of the best."

At #183*, another group with a long history of lineup changes and turmoil before they finally struck gold.  Sometimes when supergroups such as the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac have great success, it is portrayed as easy.  But as you can tell from studying the groups, it was anything but.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarists John McVie and Peter Green formed an alliance while all were part of the historic group John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in 1967.  Green and Fleetwood were fired from the group, and fate took hold from there.  The two were introduced to guitarist Jeremy Spencer, and Fleetwood Mac was formed with Fleetwood, Green, Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning.

It took but a few weeks for Fleetwood to convince McVie to join the group, and he replaced Brunning for the group's live debut at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival.  Fleetwood Mac released their first self-titled album, and set out on their first U.S. tour in 1968.  Within the year, Mac added a third guitarist, the excellent Danny Kirwan.  Up to this time, the group was primarily a blues band, but the great instrumental "Albatross" in 1969 established the group throughout Europe.

But Green liked just being part of a blues band, and in 1970, unable to handle the pressures of stardom, quit the band he co-founded.  McVie's wife, Christine, who had lent her keyboards in the recording studio before but to this point had been with the group Chicken Shack, joined Fleetwood Mac full-time.  A new great singer and songwriter was part of the group, and now the band was ready to move ahead--right?  Wrong.

One album and six months later, while the group was on another U.S. tour, Spencer left the band's Los Angeles hotel, saying he was "just popping out for a bit to buy a newspaper".  It was the last time the other members would see him for two years.  As they found out later, Spencer too had trouble dealing with pressure, and he gave up his career to join the religious cult The Children of God.

Fleetwood Mac had lost two great guitarists and key songwriters in Green and Spencer.  They were fortunate to find guitarist Bob Welch, who joined the group in April of 1971.  But the following year, Kirwan refused to appear on stage one night and was fired.  Enter guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker.

After a couple of albums, Fleetwood Mac set out on tour again.  But Weston chose to have an affair with the co-founder's (Fleetwood) wife.  Weston was fired, and it forced the group to cancel the tour.  Manager Clifford Davis, angered that the group canceled the dates, then proceeded to assemble a new lineup and promoted them in live performances as Fleetwood Mac.

It took a year to resolve a bitter legal dispute that allowed the real Fleetwood Mac to get their name back.  That great news was balanced with the departure of yet another guitarist, Welch, who later went on to score a big solo hit with "Sentimental Lady".  It was once again back to the proverbial drawing board for the members of Fleetwood Mac.

Now based in California, Fleetwood visited Sound City studios in Van Nuys as a possible future recording site.  As part of the demonstration at Sound City, producer Keith Olsen played for Mick a track from an album by a duo called Buckingham and Nicks.  Lindsey Buckingham, part of that duo, happened to be in another part of the studio, and he and Fleetwood struck up an immediate rapport.

Sorely in need of a guitarist, especially the kind that will stay in his band for more than a year or two, Fleetwood offered the position to Lindsey.  Buckingham accepted, but only on the condition that his partner, Stevie Nicks join the band as well.  After some thought and finagling, Fleetwood agreed, and just as in the example of the Beatles above when Ringo Starr joined, the final piece of the puzzle for Fleetwood Mac was solidly in place.

Keyboardist Christine McVie wrote this classic song and sang lead vocals.  It was one of four songs that McVie wrote for the legendary Rumours album, but when the group began work on the LP, McVie did not have any new material.  As she told Q magazine:

I thought I was drying up.  I was practically panicking because every time I sat down at a piano, nothing came out. Then, one day in Sausalito, I just sat down and wrote in the studio, and the four-and-a-half songs of mine on the album are a result of that.


Gauging the popularity of "You Make Loving Fun" goes far beyond the chart numbers you see published all the time.  Officially, it peaked at #9, but those "Singles" charts make a critical mistake--they do not take into account album sales.  While Billboard and other organizations were getting cross-eyed adding up the sales of 45's, they didn't realize that the public had long since preferred albums, and lo and behold, Rumours was selling albums almost faster than stores could stock them.  Those album sales have to be figured into the equation of any song's popularity, and we will get to those in a moment.
In October of 1977, the song faced "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, "You Light Up My Life" from Debby Boone, Fleetwood Mac's own "Don't Stop", "Just The Way You Are" from Billy Joel, "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb, "Lay Down Sally" by Eric Clapton, "We Are The Champions" by Queen, Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou", "If I Can't Have You" from Yvonne Elliman, "Best Of My Love" by the Emotions, "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill, and "Baby Come Back" from Player, a formidable list indeed.
But as mentioned above, tough competition wasn't the only reason "You Make Loving Fun" stalled at #9.  Neglecting to factor in album sales that have now topped 20 million in the United States is a major reason for that low number.  The Inside The Rock Era Top Songs Database* factors in those album sales, as well as dozens of other factors important in credibly ranking songs of the Rock Era. 
"You Make Loving Fun" helped Fleetwood Mac win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and to date has logged over five million airplays to rank as one of The Top 100 Most-Played songs in history.



Tell Her About It 
Billy Joel

"This song is great and the lyrics are brilliant."
"Great song from a legend."
"A classic."
"This man is my hero; this song is just another one of his genius moves."
"I love this song!"
"This is one of those that magically sings the innermost petitions of my heart...kind of a biblical experience for me to hear this song."
"Amazing song."


In 1983, Billy Joel enjoyed his best album since The Stranger with An Innocent Man.  But the album, in fact all of his albums, almost didn't happen.  While Billy was pouring his heart and soul into his album The Nylon Curtain, his motorcycle crashed into a car on Long Island in New York.  Joel lived to tell this and other stories, but he had several fractures that required major surgery. 

"Right before I hit," he said, "I had a flood of images, jumbled up thoughts.  I thought I was going to die and I thought, 'You can't do this to me; I'm not ready to die." 

Joel had just gone through divorce and the accident and was coming out of that low.  Billy wrote this song about the joy he was experiencing being with Christie Brinkley, realizing for the first time that he could have  a soul mate.  In his biography The Life and Times of an Angry Young Man, Joel talks about when he first started dating Brinkley.  He says that Christie was the first person he could ever just talk to, and they would spend hours just talking.
Joel, who was unique in that he was one of the only artists to always come up with a new sound so that none of his songs sounded alike, strived to pay homage to the Motown Sound on this great song. 
"Tell Her About It" began its chart run in July, when Rock Era fans at the time could also hear great songs such as "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, Irene Cara's sensational "Flashdance", "Beat It" by Michael Jackson, "Islands In The Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie, Joel's own "Uptown Girl", "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" by Elton John. 
"Tell Her About It" recorded one week at #1 overall and #1 for two weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart.  The song also went to #2 in Ireland, #4 in the U.K., #5 in Canada, and #9 in Australia.
But the story of Song #182* is similar to that one Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun" above.  Again, chart numbers alone don't tell the whole story.  "Tell Her About It" not only sold one million singles; it has helped sell over 33 million albums in the U.S. alone.  To date, the song is approaching three million in radio airplay. 




Heartache Tonight 

 "Classic song from the greatest group of the '70s."
"Great song.  Timeless."
"Awesome tune."
"Classy music.  This is a great song."
"Great song from one of the best groups ever."
"Amazing song."
"Best song!"

"Great rocker!"
Eagles Don Henley and Glenn Frey co-wrote this song with Bob Seger and J.D. Souther.  "Heartache Tonight" resulted from a jam session between Frey and Souther, who would visit Glenn at his home in Los Angeles whenever he was in town.  Frey phoned Seger and sang him the first verse that he and Souther had written.  Seger immediately came up with the chorus, and Frey, Souther and Henley finished the song. 
Souther recalled how the song came to be in an interview with Songfacts:
 We didn't get to a chorus that we liked within the first few days, and I think Glenn was on the phone with Seger, and he said, "I wanna run something by you," and sang it to him, and Seger just came right in with the chorus, just sang it and it was so good.  Glen called me and said, "Is four writers okay on this?"   And I said, "Sure, if it's good."  And he said, "Yeah, it's great. Seger just sang this to me," and he sang it to me and I said, "That's fantastic."
It was Seger who took the then 19-year-old Frey under his wing in Detroit, Michigan, and helped him start his career, and the two remained close.  Souther, who scored the biggest hit of his career that same year with "You're Only Lonely", was sometimes referred to as the "Unofficial Eagle".  He would have sounded great in the group, no question.  The Eagles returned the favor by singing backing vocals on "You're Only Lonely". 
The Eagles released the single from their incredible album The Long Run.  By October of 1979, listeners were hearing "Heartache Tonight" on the radio alongside great songs such as "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd, "My Sharona" from the Knack, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You" by Michael Jackson, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, Kenny Rogers' "You Decorated My Life" and "Coward Of The County", "Babe" by Styx, "Still" from the Commodores, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band, and "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg.  Stellar competition.

"Heartache Tonight" became the group's fifth career #1 with 9 weeks in the Top 10 and the Eagles had such mass appeal that their rocker also received airplay on Adult Contemporary stations.  It was part of an amazing run in which the supergroup hit the Top 20 with 11 consecutive releases.  The song also reached #1 in Canada. 
Song #181* won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.  "Heartache Tonight" has sold over one million singles, and is featured on albums that have now gone over 24 million in sales in the U.S. alone.  "Heartache Tonight" has now registered over 3 million in radio airplay.   
You won't find the greatest songs back-to-back anywhere else in the world.  We've already checked.  Savor the moments and the memories, and join us tomorrow for #180-171...

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