Thursday, September 29, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 27

There are some great songs in this group by artists who landed their biggest career hit with their first one:

Gene McDaniels
"A Hundred Pounds Of Clay

This artist sang in choirs and went to the Omaha Conservatory of Music in Nebraska.  His first hit rose to #3 in 1961.  Later in the year, he also scored the #5 song "Tower Of Strength" and had a Top 10 hit the next year.  But he is known for this gem, his first.

Bobby McFerrin
"Don't Worry Be Happy"

This artist vaulted to #1 in 1988 with one of the year's biggest hits.  But he never could reach the Top 100 again.

Maureen McGovern
"The Morning After"

Although this version doesn't appear in the classic movie The Poseidon Adventure", Maureen McGovern's voice is the one you hear (the actress in the movie lip-syncs the vocal sung by McGovern).  She recorded a different version for the single release and it is that one which went to #1 in 1973 and sold over one million copies.  Here next-best song is a worthy song in its own right, the #1 Easy Listening hit "Different Worlds".  

Barry McGuire
"Eve Of Destruction"

This former member of the New Christy Minstrels came up with one of the top anti-war songs of all-time with this one in 1965.  He was backed by the original members of the Grass Roots on "Eve Of Destruction".  But Barry never found the Top 40 again.

Scott McKenzie
"San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)"

Scott McKenzie once sang with John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas fame in the group Journey man.  After that, Scott released this solo effort, not only a #4 smash but one of the anthems of his generation.  He only made it to #24 afterward, but he did co-write "Kokomo" for the Beach Boys in 1988.

Don McLean
"American Pie"

The introspective singer-songwriter Don McLean also set an impossible standard with his first hit.  There is no denying it is one of The Top 20 Songs of the Rock Era*; some say it is the best song ever.  McLean reached #5 with Crying and a very underrated #12 with "Vincent" and had several other worthy songs, but nothing could ever come close to that.

"Star Wars"

The Star Wars franchise has become one of the tops of our lifetimes, but Disco producer Meco Monardo came up with his version of the theme to the first movie in 1977.  It went to #1 and sold over two million copies.  He wasn't a One-Hit Wonder* as he reached #18 with the medley to the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back.  But Meco's first one set the pace.

Men Without Hats
"The Safety Dance"

Montreal, Canada gave us the nucleus of this techno-rock group that scored a #3 smash in 1983.  Their next-best shot was #20, leaving this one by far as their career-best.

"TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)"

In 1974, this group of over 30 musicians combined for another of Rock's great instrumentals.  It was the theme to the popular television show Soul Train and went to #1 for two weeks.  But MFSB could never hit the Top 40 again.

"Game Of Love"

This group from Mancester, England went to the top with this #1 in 1965.  They scored another big hit the next year with the #2 "A Groovy Kind Of Love", but this one still is ranked as their biggest and most popular song.

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