Monday, September 19, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part Eight

These artists set the bar so high with their first release that they couldn't match it with successive releases:

"Do You Love Me"

One of the members of this group, Hubert Johnson, was a cousin of Jackie Wilson; another, Hubert Johnson, was married to Georgeanna Tillman of the Marvelettes ("Please Mr. Postman").  The Detroit R&B act rose to #3 on the Popular chart and sold over a million copies of this great song.  They charted eight more times, but never hit the Top 10 again.

Sam Cooke
"You Send Me"

Before he was tragically murdered in 1964, this superstar generated 43 hits with five Top 10's.  He reached #2 in 1960 with "Chain Gang", but never matched the huge success of the #1 classic he began his career with.

Dave "Baby" Cortez
"The Happy Organ"

One of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, this song was the first #1 instrumental of the Era from 1959.  Dave "Baby" Cortez was able to land another instrumental at #10 ("Rinky Dink"), but he never came close to his first hit.

Counting Crows
"Mr. Jones"

This great San Francisco Bay area group gave us a great song with their first release.  They recorded some worthy songs afterwards, but nothing near as good as their first one.


One of the top acts to ever come out of Ireland, this group reached #8 in 1993 with their first release.  They gave us some other quality songs such as "Zombie" and "Ode To My Family", but they never reached the Top 20 again.

"Sunshine Of My Love"

A British group formed by guitarist Eric Clapton, drummer Giner Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, this group was only around two years.  Most people will remember "White Room", "Badge" and "Crossroads", but Cream's first release was their biggest.

"Earth Angel"

In 1955, the Crew-Cuts covered "Earth Angel", and its rise to #3 propelled the group's career.  They scored two other Top 10's, but it was tough to match their debut.

Crowded House
"Don't Dream It's Over"

This group formed after the break up of Split Enz in 1986.  Their debut single is one that seems to get stronger with time--in fact, it's not far away from The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Crowded House were able to reach #7 with "Something So Strong", but still weren't close to their initial release.

Cutting Crew
"(I Just) Died In Your Arms"

This British foursome went all the way to #1 in 1987 with their first release.  Later in the year, they hit the Top 10 again, but could not come up with a song as good as their first one.

"Red Rubber Ball"

While managing the career of the best act ever to record, the Beatles, Brian Epstein also found time to help this group get signed to Columbia Records.  In fact, John Lennon of the Beatles named the group, and their first effort went to #2.  The Cyrkle also gave us "Turn-Down Day", but its peak at #16 was the best the group could do after this.

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