Saturday, May 23, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: May 24

1968:  The Rolling Stones released the single "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
1969:  The Guess Who appeared on American Bandstand.

1969:  "Get Back" gave the Beatles their 17th #1 song, leaving them just one shy of Elvis Presley's record, despite Elvis being an artist for 14 years and the Beatles just 6 at that time.  They would get that #1 and more the next year.  "Aquarius" slipped only to #2 after six weeks in the #1 spot.  Mercy was in with the giants at #3 with "Love (Can Make You Happy)" while "Hair" from the Cowsills fell off.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Oh Happy Day" moved nicely (12-5) for the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Isley Brothers with "It's Your Thing", Donovan with "Atlantis", Simon & Garfunkel were down with "The Boxer", Ray Stevens placed "Gitarzan" at #9 and the Guess Who remained at #10 with "These Eyes".
1970:  Peter Green announced that he was leaving Fleetwood Mac.
1974:  Olivia Newton-John and Boz Scaggs appeared on The Midnight Special.

1975:  "99 Miles From L.A." by Albert Hammond held down the #1 position on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1975:  "Shining Star" was the first and only #1 for Earth, Wind & Fire.  New entries in the Top 10 were "Bad Time" by Grand Funk and "Old Days" from Chicago.
1979:  The members of Genesis met their fans while manning ticket booths to their benefit show at the Roxy in Los Angeles.

1980:  Bette Midler remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the third week with "The Rose".

1980:  The Spinners made one of the biggest moves of the decade with "Cupid/I've Loved You For a Long Time", which shot up from 67-29 on this date.

                                         L.A.'s Ambrosia with their biggest career hit...

1980:  Blondie held on to #1 for a sixth week with the smash "Call Me".  Lipps, Inc. made their move with "Funkytown", amazingly jumping over "Lost In Love" from Air Supply.  Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes were responsible for song #4--"Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer".  The rest of the Top 10: Dr. Hook's "Sexy Eyes", Ambrosia had a great hit with "Biggest Part Of Me", the Brothers Johnson were back after an extended absence with "Stomp!", Linda Ronstadt enjoyed her eighth Top 10 and 26th hit with "Hurt So Bad", Christopher Cross slipped backwards with "Ride Like The Wind" and Gary Numan had his one and only--"Cars".

1982:  Steve Miller released the single that would be a big comeback hit for him--"Abracadabra".  (Note:  some websites naively say that the single was released May 29.  "Abracadabra" debuted on the Singles chart on May 29.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released by a record company, mailed to radio stations, listened to and added to playlists by the radio station, reported to the trade papers, and the trade papers printed and published, all in one day.)
1982:  An 11-minute film by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr was screened at the famous Cannes Film Festival in France.
1986:  Garth Books married Sandy Mahl.
1986:  Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork reunited as the Monkees without drummer Michael Nesmith.  The three Monkees kicked off their tour at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York.
"Why Can't This Be Love" helped give Van Halen one of the biggest albums of their career...

1986:  Whitney Houston continued to top the Album chart in its 61st week on the chart.  5150 from Van Halen was #2 with Bob Seger's solid album Like a Rock moving up to #3.  The rest of the Top 10:  Prince had #4 with Parade, the Soundtrack to "Pretty in Pink" was #5, Journey's Raised On Radio was #6, Control from Janet Jackson was #7, the Rolling Stones dropped to #8 with Dirty Work, the Pet Shop Boys had a Top 10 album with Please and Robert Palmer was at #10 with Riptide.
1986:  "Greatest Love Of All" from Whitney Houston was #1 for the fifth straight week.

1991:  Gene Clark of the Byrds died of a heart attack in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of 46.
1986:  Whitney Houston spent a fifth week atop the Adult Contemporary chart with "Greatest Love Of All".
1997:  Spice by the Spice Girls was the new #1 album.
1997:  The new single from that album Spice became one of the highest debuting songs of the rock era.  "Say You'll Be There" from the Girls entered the chart at #5.

1998:  Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell proclaimed it "Van Halen Day" in the city.
2000:  Puff Daddy finally settled the last lawsuit that had been filed as a result of the 1991 stampede at a New York charity event in which Daddy, Diddy, P. Diddy or whatever played at.
2003:  Justin Timberlake sold 130,000 tickets to his U.K. tour in two-and-a-half hours.
2003:  More importantly, Sir Paul McCartney had tea with Russian premier Vladmir Putin by day and then played before 20,000 at Moscow's Red Square that night.
2010:  Aretha Franklin was awarded an honorary degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Born This Day:
1940:  Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong ("Earache My Eye") was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

1941:  Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota.

1944:  Patti LaBelle was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1946:  Steve Upton, drummer of Wishbone Ash, was born in Wrexham, Wales.
1947:  Albert Bouchard, singer-songwriter, drummer and founding member of Blue Oyster Cult, was born in Watertown, New York.
1956:  Larry Blackmon, lead singer of Cameo ("Word Up"), was born in New York City.
1967:  Heavy D was born in Mandeville, Jamaica; died of a blood clot in his lung November 8, 2011 in Los Angeles.
1969:  Rich Robinson, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the Black Crowes, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: #480-471

We are proud to feature the third installment in The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, celebrating the 60th birthday of the Rock Era!


I Love A Rainy Night
Eddie  Rabbitt

"Love this song!"

"A true classic!"

"This song is awesome!"

"Love this song. Its the best."

This artist was pulling down all of $37 a week as a staff writer at the music publishing house Hill and Range until Elvis Presley recorded a song of his.  What a thrill that must have been for a struggling songwriter!

Eddie Rabbitt's "Kentucky Rain" became Presley's 50th Gold record in 1971.  Rabbitt got the idea for this song when he was sitting in his apartment on a rainy night.  He came up with the title, but didn't complete the song until he found the tape in 1980.  Rabbitt enlisted the help of Even Stevens and David Malloy to finish writing.  The song contains vivid imagery of thunderstorms and the peaceful feeling it brought the protagonist.  Percussionist Farrell Morris arranged the finger snaps and hand claps that make the song so unique.

Rabbitt recorded the song for his album Horizon.  "I Love A Rainy Night" began climbing the charts in November of 1980, when one could also hear "Lady" by Kenny Rogers", "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen, "Woman In Love" by Barbra Streisand, "All Out Of Love" by Air Supply, "Woman" from John Lennon, "Upside Down" by Diana Ross, "9 To 5" by Dolly Parton, "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon, and "Celebration" from Kool and the Gang.

"I Love A Rainy Night" succeeded Dolly Parton's "9 To 5" at #1, the last time that back-to-back country songs have been at the #1 spot.  After the "rainy night", that's a long dry spell for the country genre.   It spent two weeks at #1, nine in the Top 10 on the Popular chart, and reached #1 on the Country chart, and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart; in other words, a mass appeal smash.  It also attained #8 in New Zealand.

"I Love A Rainy Night" went Gold, has helped sell 3 million albums, and has now gone over the three-million mark in airplay.


 RockN' Me
Steve Miller Band

"Awesome song!"

"This is my favorite song!"
"Steve Miller - Rock 'n Me ! Always loved this song!!!"
"Great American classic."

When Steve Miller was four, Les Paul's wife, Mary Ford, taught him his first chords.  He learned well.  Steve formed his first band, the Marksmen Combo, with his schoolmate Boz Scaggs at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas.  When Miller was just 14, he played guitar for Jimmy Reed in a Dallas nightclub.  

Miller and Scaggs both went to Wisconsin University, where they played in the band the Ardells.  Steve then returned to Texas to write songs before studying at Copenhagen University in Denmark.  Upon his return to the states, he settled in Chicago, playing for artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and the Butterfield Blues Band.  Miller then moved to San Francisco, California and formed The Miller Band, which made its live debut at the Matrix.

A performance at the legendary 1967 Monterey Pop Festival earned Miller a big contract with Capitol Records.  Over the years, he has employed a fluctuating group of over 30 musicians.     

Miller scored his first big hit in 1973 with the #1 song "The Joker", and in 1976, he duplicated that feat with "Rock'N Me".  Steve wrote the song for the album that re-energized his career, Fly Like an Eagle.  "Rock'N Me" debuted in August, 1976, going against songs such as Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine", "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John & Kiki Dee, "Tonight's The Night" by Rod Stewart, "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" by England Dan & John Ford Coley, Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now", "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "More Than A Feeling" by Boston, and "Say You Love Me" from Fleetwood Mac.

To date, "Rock'N Me" has helped sell over 18.5 million albums.


Stay (I Missed You)
Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories

"Still a brilliant song. Singing at the top of my voice and loving it!!"
"Love this song!"
"Sweet and beautiful song.~a bit sad but, pleasing nevertheless...."

There are eight songs from 1994 to make The Top 500*, which is amongst the best for the '90s, but still far short of the best years of the Rock Era.
Here we have an example of why it pays to have friends.  Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb penned and co-produced his great song, but did not have a record deal.  Loeb lived across the street from friend and actor Ethan Hawke in New York City.  When Hawke found out about the song, he submitted it to fellow actor and director Ben Stiller for consideration for the "Reality Bites" Soundtrack.  The song was accepted, and released as the first single from the album.   

"Stay" reached #1 for three weeks in the U.S. and also topped the Canadian chart, and it reached #6 in both the U.K. and Australia.  After its reign at #1, the song impressively piled up seven weeks at #2, and spent 16 of 30 weeks in the Top 10.  It became the first #1 song by an artist without a record deal.  Of course, once the song took off, Lisa had no problem getting a contract, and she signed with Geffen Records.  

"Stay" also peaked at #5 on the AC chart and #7 on the Modern Rock chart--those are some pretty diverse audiences.  Loeb's competition:  "I'll Make Love To You" and "On Bended Knee" by Boyz II Men, Celine Dion's "The Power Of Love", "I Swear" by All 4 One, "All That She Wants" from Ace of Base, "All I Wanna' Do" by Sheryl Crow, "All For Love" by Sting, Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams, and Elton John's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight".  

The single sold over 500,000 copies and was also included on Loeb's Tails album.  Loeb and Nine Stories were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.  "Stay" has been played over one million times. 



Theme From "Mahogany"
Diana Ross

"Beautiful Song!"
"Love this song so much..."
"Such a great diva!"

We're up to #477* and it is one of 12 songs from the year 1975.
Diana Ross was part of the greatest girl group of them all, the Supremes, which rattled off no less than 12 #1 songs.  Seven weeks after she left the group in 1970, Diana made her solo debut in Framingham, Massachusetts.  Ross scored several hits in her first few years, including the smash hits "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Touch Me In The Morning". 

Then unproven songwriter Michael Masser wrote the music to Diana's 1973 hit "Touch Me In The Morning", and teamed with Gerry Goffin to write this song as well.  Masser went on to write several hits for Whitney Houston.
Ross starred in the movie Mahogany, and her theme is featured on the soundtrack album.  In November of 1975, the "Theme From 'Mahogany'" debuted, facing competition from "Lyin' Eyes" and "Take It To The Limit" by the Eagles, "Let Your Love Flow" by the Bellamy Brothers, "Island Girl" from Elton John, "I'm Sorry" by John Denver, Barry Manilow's "I Write The Songs", and "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon, among others.
The "Theme From 'Mahogany'" rose to #1 in the U.S. and spent 7 weeks in the Top 10 overall, was a #1 Adult hit, and also peaked at #14 on the R&B chart.  It also reached #4 in Canada and #5 in U.K.  The song was nominated for Best Song from a Motion Picture at the Academy Awards.




9 To 5
Dolly Parton

"Go, Dolly!" 
"This song truly captures what its like going to work everyday for most people."
"Love this song!  So uplifting!"
"I will always love Dolly!"  


Dolly Parton wrote and recorded this song for the movie of the same name in which she starred, along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

Parton recorded "9 To 5" at the RCA Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. It is one of the few songs of the Rock Era to feature the clacking of a typewriter.  But it isn't a typewriter, it's Parton running her acrylic fingernails back and forth against one another.  Parton came up with the idea in the studio and released the single in November, 1980.
The song encountered competition from "Lady" by friend Kenny Rogers, "Another One Bites The Dust" from Queen, "Woman In Love" by Barbra Streisand, Air Supply's "All Out Of Love", "Upside Down" by Diana Ross, "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Woman" by John Lennon, "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon, and "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. 
Parton became just the second woman to top both the U.S. Country chart and the Hot 100 chart with the same song, the other being Jeannie C. Riley with "Harper Valley PTA" in 1968.  Dolly topped both the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts for two weeks each.  She also reached #1 in Canada, #5 in Austria, and #9 in New Zealand and Sweden. 
Parton won Grammy Awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, and was nominated for Song of the Year for "9 To 5"; she was also nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture.  Parton captured the People's Choice Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture.

"9 To 5" has sold over one million singles in the U.S. alone, and has achieved two million in radio airplay. 

The American Film Institute, in its 100 Years, 100 Songs series, ranked "9 To 5" #78 in 2004. 


Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
Backstreet Boys

" love this band and the song!"
" love their song get Down get down!"
"Absolute fave from the 90s!"
"ohhhh the memories!!!!"

The Backstreet Boys began recording this song June 22, 1995 at Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, but it wasn't completed until September of 1996, when final recording was done at Battery Studios in New York City.  Up to that point, the second verse of the song was not considered satisfactory.  Part of the delay was that the label wanted to release "If You Want It (To Be Good Girl)", but the band hated that song and pushed for "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)".  The group released the single June 10, 1997 in the United States. 

"Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) found the #2 spot for 2 weeks, and spent 18 weeks in the Top 10.  It also reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart and
#1 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, #2 in the U.K., #3 in Canada, #7 in the Netherlands, and #10 in Ireland.

The Backstreet Boys also recorded an Italian version of the song, "Non Puoi Lasciarmi Così".



My Prayer

"The chord change at the end gives me goose-pimples every time I hear it. Sung  straight and with sincerity this is perfection."
"Absolutely timeless."
"Excelente música....."
"Tony Williams was one of the greatest tenors of his time. What a marvellous voice! They don't sing like that any more!"

Georges Boulanger wrote the music and Jimmy Kennedy wrote the words to this next incredible song, originally written by Boulanger with the title "Avant de Mourir" in 1926.  Kennedy added the lyrics in 1939.  Glenn Miller recorded the song and reached #2 that year, and the Ink Spots hit #3 with it.
The 4 Seasons, the Righteous Brothers, Brenda Lee, Pat Boone, Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Vee, Tom Jones, Patti Page, Gene Pitney, Jay and the Americans, Jimmy Dorsey, Shelley Fabares and Vikki Carr have all recorded this song, but the version that ranks at #474 all-time belongs to the Platters.
Manager, producer and vocal coach Buck Ram took an R&B group in Los Angeles, got them signed to Mercury Records, and made superstars out of them.  The group had already enjoyed success when "My Prayer" was released, and it became a hit in July of 1956.
Not only did the Platters reach #1 for five weeks, but they did it against substantial competition.  "Heartbreak Hotel", "Don't Be Cruel", and "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley, and "Singing The Blues" by Guy Mitchell were all out at the same time.  




Mariah Carey

"This is the Mariah I miss...before she took control of her career her videos had a story line and made sense. Back then she was not all about her image, she was all about the music." 
"Classic Mariah!"
"Perfection at it's finest."
"The time when Mariah was Mariah..."

Mariah Carey and Ben Marguiles teamed to write this smash.  It was one of the songs on Carey's demo tape that resulted in her getting a recording contract.  She released the single in December of 1990. 

The toughest competition for "Someday" came from Carey's own "Love Takes Time" and "I Don't Wanna' Cry".  

Mariah achieved her third consecutive #1 with "Someday", reaching #1 for two weeks overall, and hitting #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. and #1 in Canada.  

Carey captured the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R & B Female Artist, and Billboard Awards for Hot 100 Singles Artist, Top Female Album Artist and Top Female Singles Artist.  

 "Someday" sold half a million singles and helped Carey sell over 15 million albums, and the song has topped the one-million mark in radio airplay. 



Paul Simon

"Gran gran canción de Paul Simon."
"This song makes me feel great every time I hear it."
"Outstanding..even after all these years!"
"Love this tune, always come back for a lift................"

Here we have one of the greatest songwriters in music history.  He was the genius behind Simon & Garfunkel, writing exquisite compositions that bowled over everyone in the '60s and early '70s. 
After that hugely popular duo broke up, Simon taught a class in songwriting and record making for a semester at New York University, before getting to work on his self-titled album in 1972.  Paul enjoyed the hits "Mother And Child Reunion" and "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard".  In 1973, he set out to release his next solo release, which contains the #472 Song* of the Rock Era.  Simon named the song after the Kodak 35mm film.

Paul was the first major artist to record at the now-famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama.  He sought out the musicians there after finding out that they were the sound behind the Staple Singers hit "I'll Take You There".  Simon needed to record just one song, "Take Me To The Mardi Gras", but when he finished it with plenty of studio time left, he also recorded "Kodachrome", as well as "Loves Me Like A Rock".

The song debuted on the charts in May of 1973, and featured on the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon.  Songs out at the same time included "Daniel" by Elton John, "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence, "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree" from Tony Orlando & Dawn, Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye, "Love Train" by the O'Jays, "My Love" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Stevie Wonder, "Touch Me In The Morning" by Diana Ross, and "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk, among others.

"Kodachrome" slid up to #2 for 2 weeks, and spent 7 weeks in the Top 10.  The song is a favorite of the Rock Era, having been played over three million times. 


Hey! Baby
Bruce Channel

"The good stuff becomes timeless."
"This is The Greatest 2 Minutes in Rock N Roll."
"This NEVER  gets old!!! "
"Love this song so much!"

When this artist was a teenager in Grapevine, Texas, he learned to play guitar.  His father soon gave him a new Gibson guitar and took him 200 miles to Shreveport, Louisiana, the site of the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show.  There, his father asked producer Tillman Franks to listen to his son.  Back then, people took the time to do things, and it paid off in a big way.  Franks liked what he heard, and Bruce Channel was on the show for six months.
Bruce Channel wrote this song in 1959 along with Margaret Cobb, and had been performing it at shows for two years before recording it in a series of demos for LeCam Records.  Channel co-produced it (with Major Bill Smith, owner of LeCam Records).  Delbert McClinton, who went on to have the 1981 hit "Giving It Up For Your Love", played harmonica on the song. 
LeCam was a small label in Fort Worth, Texas, and Smith took the song to a disc jockey convention in Nashville.  When it got good response, Smith drove back to Fort Worth and pressed copies on LeCam Records.  He sent it to Mercury Records but got no response.  But when the song began to get airplay, Smith got a phone call from Irwin Steinberg of Mercury, parent of Smash Records.  A deal was made, and the record was passed on to Smash Records for national distribution.
"Hey!  Baby" reached #1 for three weeks and spent 8 of 15 weeks in the Top 10 overall and also reached #2 on the R&B chart in the United States and #2 in the U.K.  Along the way, it encountered competition from Chubby Checker's "The Twist", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens, "Big Bad John" from Jimmy Dean, and "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley, among others.
"Hey!  Baby" has been played over two million times.

Be sure to join us tomorrow as the songs continue to get better and better.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Louis Johnson Has Died

Louis Johnson, that great bass guitar sound behind the Brothers Johnson has died, Inside The Rock Era has learned.

In addition to being a part of hits like "Strawberry Letter 23", "I'll Be Good To You" and "Stomp!" with the Brothers Johnson, Louis also played bass for Michael Jackson ("Billie Jean" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"), George Benson, Herb Alpert, Jeffrey Osborne, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Michael McDonald, Grover Washington, Jr. and Earl Klugh.

Johnson was 60.

This Date in Rock Music History: May 23

1960 - "Cathy's Clown" reached #1 in its sixth week of release for the Everly Brothers.  Elvis Presley was resigned to #2 with "Stuck On You".  
1962:  The Elvis Presley movie Follow That Dream opened in theaters.
1963:  The Beatles toured with Roy Orbison at the Odeon Cinema in Nottingham, England.

1963:  Paul Revere & the Raiders from Boise, Idaho signed with Columbia Records, becoming the first rock group to sign with the label.
1964:  Marvin Gaye performed "You're A Wonderful One" on the popular television show American Bandstand.

                                       America hadn't seen anything like the Beatles...

1964:  Mary Wells was #1 for the second week in a row with "My Guy".  The Beatles had the runner-up spot with "Love Me Do" while Louis Armstrong was on his way down with "Hello, Dolly!".  The Dixie Cups moved from 14 to 4 with "Chapel Of Love".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Ray Charles Singers all got together for the song "Love Me With All Your Heart", the Dave Clark Five dropped to 6 with "Bits And Pieces", the Reflections were at #7 with "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet", the 4 Seasons fell to #8 with "Ronnie", Roy Orbison was at #9 with "It's Over" and Peter & Gordon had the fast rising (30-10) "A World Without Love".
1964:  The count was now 15 weeks in a row at the top of the Album chart for the new band from Liverpool, the Beatles.  Meet the Beatles spent 11 weeks at #1 and now The Beatles' Second Album was #1 for the fourth week in a row.
1970:  The Grateful Dead performed outside the United States for the first time at the Hollywood Rock Festival.  No, we're not saying Hollywood, California is outside the U.S.--the Hollywood Rock Festival was in Leycett, Staffordshire, England.

1970:  Eric Burdon's great singing sparked the Animals on their way to becoming one of the top acts of the 1960's.  Now, Burdon formed a new group and on this date, War debuted on the chart with the first single of their career, "Spill the Wine".
1970:  "Everything Is Beautiful" by Ray Stevens was #1 on the Adult chart.
1970:  The album McCartney by Paul reached #1 in its third week of release. 

"Up Around the Bend", one of an incredible 10 smash hits in a two-year period for CCR...

1970:  The Guess Who's double-sided hit, "American Woman"/"No Sugar Tonight" held on to #1 for a third week with "Vehicle" from the Ides of March close behind.  Tyrone Davis moved from 8-3 with "Turn Back The Hands Of Time", Ray Stevens was next with "Everything Is Beautiful" and Simon & Garfunkel stalled at 5 with "Cecilia".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Beatles with "Let It Be", the Moments jumped in with "Love On A Two-Way Street", CCR's double-sided smash "Up Around The Bend"/"Run Through The Jungle", the Jackson 5 tumbled with "ABC" and the Marmalade remained in the 10 spot with "Reflections Of My Life".
1971:  Iron Butterfly announced that they had broken up.
1973:  Jefferson Airplane were prevented from presenting a free concert in Golden Gate Park after authorities in San Francisco passed a resolution banning electronic instruments in the park.  The group later wrote the song "We Built This City" about the experience.
1974:  George Harrison started his own record label, Dark Horse Records.
1974:  The Supremes released Anthology, the best of their greatest hits packages.
1975:  Earth, Wind & Fire and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes appeared on The Midnight Special.
1976:  Bob Dylan's concert at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado was taped by NBC-TV and later shown in the special Hard Rain.

1977:  Linda Ronstadt was at Sound Factory One in Los Angeles to begin work on her album Simple Dreams.
1978:  Bruce Springsteen started his tour at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York.  (Note:  some websites refer to the venue as Shea's Buffalo.  The correct name of the facility is Shea's Performing Arts Center, according to the newspaper 'The Buffalo News'.)
1979:  ABC-TV aired The Third Barry Manilow Special.
1979:  The film The Kids Are Alright, featuring film clips of the Who, debuted in New York City.
1979:  Tom Petty filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
1985:  It was "Aretha Franklin Appreciation Day" in the state of Michigan.
1986:  AC/DC released the album Who Made Who.
1987:  The Doobie Brothers reunited for a Vietnam Veteran's benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
1987:  Roy Orbison appeared on Saturday Night Live(Note:  some websites claim the show was on May 22.  In 1987, Saturday fell on May 23.)
1987:  Swingout Sister had the #1 U.K. album with It's Better To Travel.

1987:  The Joshua Tree from U2 was #1 for the fifth week on a row on the Album chart.
1990:  Nick Mason, drummer of Pink Floyd, married Annette Lynton in London.
1992:  Iron Maiden had the #1 album in the U.K. with Fear of the Dark.
1992:  Freddie Mercury's attorneys announced that the late Mercury had given the majority of his estate ($17 million) to long-time friend Mary Austin.
1997:  Fleetwood Mac recorded a show at Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California for a special on MTV that would air on the site that was formerly a music channel in the summer of that year.  (Note:  some websites claim the concert was recorded for MTV's 'Unplugged' series, and some websites say the show was recorded May 22.  It was recorded for Fleetwood Mac's 'The Dance' special on MTV on May 23.)
1998:  Hanson sold out their concert in Detroit at the Pine Knob Amphitheater in less than 20 minutes.

1998:  Mariah Carey had the #1 song with "My All".
2000 - Eminem released the Marshall Mathers LP on Interscope Records. 
2000:  Noel Gallagher walked out on his group Oasis during the middle of a European tour.  The band replaced him with Matt Deighton and the music played on.

2002:  Dido won Songwriter of the Year honors at the Ivor Novello Awards.
2005:  Two members of Bobby Brown's entourage were stabbed during a brawl at Justin's Restaurant and Bar in Atlanta, Georgia.  Why anyone would want to marry someone that chose an entourage like that is beyond me.  Oh wait, someone did.
2006:  It was "Sammy Hagar Day" in San Bernardino, California.

2006:  The Eagles played Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain as part of their Farewell I tour.
2006:  The king of Sweden presented the surviving members of Led Zeppelin with the Polar Prize Award, recognizing them as "great pioneers in rock music".
2006 Music promoter Ian Copeland, brother of former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, died of skin cancer at his home in Los Angeles.  Ian discovered the Average White Band and helped the careers of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Charlie Daniels Band and the Allman Brothers Band get off the ground.  Copeland was 57.

2007:  Paul Simon was given the first Gershwin Award by the United States Library of Congress honoring his contributions to music.
2008:  Shirley Bassey was rushed to a hospital in Monaco for emergency stomach surgery.
2010:  Paul Simon was awarded an honorary doctorate from Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Born This Day:
1943:  "General" Norman Johnson, lead singer of Chairmen of the Board ("Give Me Just A Little More Time") was born in Norfolk, Virginia; died October 13, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Note:  some websites claim Johnson was born in Huntersville, Virginia.  According to the newspapers 'The New York Times' and 'The Guardian', Norman was born in Norfolk.)
1946:  Danny Klein, standup bassist and harmonica player of the J. Geils Band, was born in New York City.
1947:  Bill Hunt, who played horns and keyboards for ELO, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.
1952:  Jim Mankey, guitarist of Concrete Blonde
1953:  Rick Fenn, guitarist of 10cc
1957:  Thereza Bazar of Dollar, who had the underrated song "Shooting Star", was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1967:  Junior Waite of Musical Youth
1967:  Phil Selway, songwriter and drummer of Radiohead, was born in Abingdon, Berkshire, England.  (Note:  some websites naively say Selway was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England.  This is impossible, seeing as Abingdon was not included in the county of Oxfordshire until 1974, seven years after Phil was born.  You will never see Oxfordshire listed as the county of birth on Selway's official birth certificate.) 
1973:  Gerald Rivera, also known as Maxwell ("Somebody's Watching Me") was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1974:  Jewel was born in Payson, Utah.  (Note:  some websites report that Jewel was born in Homer, Alaska.  According to her official website, she was born in Payson.)
1983:  Heidi Range of the Sugababes was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England.

Joni Mitchell Not Being Well Served

A few weeks ago, we heard reports that Joni Mitchell was in a coma.  Her handlers hastily responded that "no, she was fine and was about ready to go home."  Now, we have another report that Joni is unresponsive and unable to respond to anyone.

Since Joni obviously can not talk for herself, for whatever reason (if she could, we would have heard from her by now), it is important that those speaking for her do not lie.  It isn't fair to her millions of fans, and it isn't fair to Joni herself.  If she isn't doing well, and is in a downward spiral, what good is it going to do to tell the world that she is doing well?

Joni deserves better.  She deserves for the truth to be told on her behalf.

The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: #490-481

You've found it--the home for The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  If you're here through the suggestion of a friend, welcome!  You'll be thanking that friend time and time again, probably around 500 times!

We are featuring ten songs per day, to properly salute each of the outstanding members of this elite group.  The special will run through July 9, which will be 60 years to the day that "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets became the first Rock song to reach #1, kicking off the Rock Era.

We started the list yesterday, so please catch up on those ten songs before you listen to these:


Blue Velvet
Bobby Vinton 

"Que olhos tem este cantor!Amei a música!"
"Awesome song."
"Lovely song and lyrics."


Bobby Vinton formed a group at Duquesne University for teenage dances around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.  After serving in the U.S. Army, Vinton formed a group that performed on a variety program on NBC-TV.  Pittsburgh DJ Dick Lawrence made some demos of Vinton, which led to Bobby being signed to a recording contract with Epic Records.  Vinton scored a big hit in 1962 with "Roses Are Red (My Love)".  But then he went six releases without another Top 10 song.
In 1963, Bobby Vinton scored a big hit with "Blue On Blue".  Bobby got the idea to record an album featuring only songs that had the word "blue" in the title.  Publisher Al Gallico suggested "Blue Velvet", and he sent his secretary to a music store to buy sheet music for the song.  An hour later, Vinton recorded the song in two takes.  Despite the ease, Bobby wasn't happy with the song and preferred his version of "Am I Blue?" as his next single. 

Tony Bennett enjoyed the first hit of "Blue Velvet", a song written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris, in 1951.  Four years later, the R&B group the Clovers covered it before Vinton recorded the definitive version.  Famous musicians such as pianist Floyd Cramer and saxophonist Boots Randolph played on the track.

Despite Vinton's reservations, Epic Records released the song as a single.  "Blue Velvet" debuted on the charts in August of 1963 as the title song from Bobby's album. 

 "Sugar Shack" was the main competition for "Blue Velvet".  There were plenty of other good songs out at the time, but none that rank high in The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era*. 

"Blue Velvet" gave Vinton a #1 song for 3 weeks overall, and it was also #1 for 8 weeks on the Easy Listening chart.  "Blue Velvet" has been played over three million times. 



Rhinestone Cowboy
Glen Campbell

"One of the greatest songs of all time!"
"I love this song so much!"
"This another GREAT SONG that needs some Tributes, what a cowboy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In 1975, Glen Campbell achieved much-deserved success.  He had been a part of the Champs and the Beach Boys, but didn't play a direct role in either group when they achieved #1 songs.  Campbell played guitar for Frank Sinatra on "Strangers In The Night", another #1 smash, but Glen had never scored a #1 hit of his own until Song #489*.
Larry Weiss wrote and originally recorded "Rhinestone Cowboy", and Glen Campbell heard it in Los Angeles.  Glen immediately called his secretary and told her to find out who recorded the song.  Within days, Al Coury at Capitol Records obtained a copy and played it for Campbell.  Weiss, meanwhile, was depressed that his album was a failure and was ready to go into the furniture business.  He had renewed hope when he learned that Campbell was going to record his song.  But when Campbell completed his own album and Capitol did not release "Rhinestone Cowboy" as a single, Weiss figured that was the last he would hear of it.

But then Campbell sang "Rhinestone Cowboy" on a telethon.  Paul Drew, program director at legendary radio station KHJ in Los Angeles, watched the telecast, and called Capitol and asked if Campbell had recorded it.  Drew then obtained his own copy of the song and KHJ began playing it, thus forcing Capitol to release the song as a single.  "Rhinestone Cowboy" quickly became a big hit, reaching #1 for two weeks and spending nine weeks in the Top 10. 
"Rhinestone Cowboy" competed against songs such as "Island Girl" by Elton John, "When Will I Be Loved" from Linda Ronstadt, "I'm Not In Love" by 10cc, and John Denver's "I'm Sorry".
In addition to its strength in the U.S., "Rhinestone Cowboy" climbed to #1 in Canada and Ireland, #2 in New Zealand and South Africa, #3 in the Netherlands, and #4 in Belgium.
"Rhinestone Cowboy" went Gold and was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male at the Grammy Awards.




My Eyes Adored You
Frankie Valli

"Beautiful :)"
"Great song sung by an artist with a great voice."
"A musical and romantic masterpiece!"
"One of my very favourite's, now and forever...."

Bob Crewe, whose songwriting was a key component of the success of the Four Seasons, teamed with Kenny Nolan to write this song for Valli.  Barnegat Bridge and Bay, mentioned in the song, are located on the New Jersey coast.  Although the song was credited to Frankie, his mates in the Four Seasons sang backing vocals.

The Four Seasons originally recorded the song for Motown Records, but the label held onto it for a year and a half without releasing it.  But Valli believed in it, so when the group left Motown, Frankie bought the rights to the song for $4,000 and shopped it around the other labels.  Several labels turned him down, until Larry Uttal heard it.  Uttal was let go from Bell Records when Clive Davis came aboard, and was starting his own label, Private Stock Records.  Uttal agreed with Valli about the song's worth, and signed him to a recording contract.

"Larry sat down and listened to it, and rewound the tape in the middle of the song," songwriter Nolan said.  "He did that five times, and on the fifth play he said, "I want that song."

Valli released the song late in 1974 from his album Closeup.  "My Eyes Adored You" reached #1 and accumulated 8 weeks in the Top 10, and was also a #2 Adult song.   

Ironically, "My Eyes Adored You" was knocked out of the #1 spot by another song that Crewe and Nolan wrote, "Lady Marmalade" by LaBelle.  Nolan went on to score a big solo hit with "I Like Dreamin'".

Other songs out at the time were "Best Of My Love" by the Eagles, Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", "I Honestly Love You" and "Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John, "You're No Good" and "When Will I Be Loved" by Linda Ronstadt, "Love Will Keep Us Together" by the Captain & Tennille, and "Mandy" by Barry Manilow.

"My Eyes Adored You" not only gave Valli his first solo #1 song; it also revived the career of the Four Seasons, which scored their fifth career #1 a year later with "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)".

"My Eyes Adored You" went Gold and has achieved over three million in radio airplay.



Just You 'N' Me
"Great breath of fresh air. For ever and ever."
"Loved this song.."
"I think Chicago was an incredible band. To hear what they did with horns and arrangements and yet be in the mainstream was a rare feat.. in awe of what they accomplished."
"Give me your own special smile.............. ahh =)  I love this song!"

This legendary group made its live debut on May 22, 1967 at the Stardust Lounge in Rockford, Illinois.  Manager James William Guercio had them relocate to Los Angeles and helped them sign a worldwide contract with Columbia Records.  James Pankow wrote this song for the Chicago VI album. 

We first heard this song in September of 1973, when "Just You 'N' Me competed against Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand, "The Most Beautiful Girl" by Charlie Rich, "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver, "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra, "Live And Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye, "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks, "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" and "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band. 

"Just You 'N' Me" reached #4 for two weeks, and #7 on the Adult chart.  The song went Gold, and helped Chicago sell over 9.5 million albums. 

Chicago is one of four artists from the state of Illinois to combine for 11 songs in The Top 500*



"My Guy"
Mary Wells

"My song!!!!"
"Classic early motown song!"
"One of the best Motown songs ever delivered by the legendary Mary Wells--she was a great one for sure!"
"I'd trade this for ANY and ALL of the music being played on our radios today!"

Song #486* was a #1 song for Mary Wells, but the fact that it achieved that status in the height of Beatlemania makes it that much more impressive. 

Wells began singing in a Detroit, Michigan church at age three, and by the time she was in high school, Mary was the featured vocalist at Northwestern High School.  When she was 17, Wells was introduced to producer Berry Gordy, Jr.  She sang a song for Gordy that she had written herself called "Bye Bye Baby".  Gordy was impressed, and signed Wells to a contract on the spot.  But the contract was not with the hot label Tamla Records, which Mary was familiar with, but rather with a new label that Gordy was starting called Motown Records.  Mary's optimism subsided when she found out she was being signed to an unknown label.

Wells was the first artist to record on Motown Records, and the first Motown artist to score a Top 10 hit ("The One Who Really Loves You").  Wells continued the success with two more Top 10's--"You Beat Me To The Punch" and "Two Lovers".  However, the next several releases did not do well, and Gordy assigned the team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland to her.  But even that didn't work as two singles fell far short of the Top 10. 

"My Guy" was written and produced for Wells by Smokey Robinson in Smokey's debut as a writer and producer for another artist.  The Andantes sang backing vocals and the Funk Brothers provided instrumentation. 

Wells became Motown's first female star, yet except for some duets with Marvin Gaye, "My Guy" was Mary's last song for Motown.  20th Century Fox stole her away with an advance offer of $200,000 and potential movie roles. 
"My Guy" debuted in April of 1964, and faced a lineup that included "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Can't Buy Me Love", "And I Love Her", "She Loves You", "Twist And Shout" "Please Please Me", "Love Me Do" and "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles, "Where Did Our Love Go" by the Supremes, "I Get Around" and "Fun, Fun Fun" from the Beach Boys", and "Chapel Of Love" by the Dixie Cups.  Yes, this song was there when the Rock Era was really kickstarted, and those of you who grew up in this time period may look at the competition above and be amazed that this song still found a path to #1.  

But that is exactly where Mary Wells took "My Guy", for not just one week but two.  It spent eight weeks in the Top 10, and also topped the R&B chart for two weeks.



Little River Band

"The first song my husband and I ever danced to!! 33 years ago - now I am reminiscing!"
"This song has a jazzy feel to it, which I love.  Cool song, timeless!"
"OMG! I love that song!"
"Incredible Musicians and GREAT SONG!  Does wonders for my emotions, puts me in a place about my loved ones!"


This is one of those songs that, like fine wine, improves with age.  While many former members of The Top 500 Songs Club* have fallen, this hit by the Little River Band has never been in the elite list until recently.  Continued strong airplay across multiple formats (now exceeding five million radio airplays) have earned "Reminiscing" a spot in the list.
When the English group Mississippi broke up, three of its members, guitarist Graeham Goble, Gerard Birtlekamp, and drummer Derek Pellici met lead singer Glenn Shorrick and fellow Australian Glenn Wheatley.  The five reformed in Australia as Mississippi, with Wheatley as manager.  Criticized for having an American name, though, they chose The Little River Band, named after a small community 30 miles outside of Melbourne. 

Goble wrote the song for their 1978 album Sleeper Catcher.  He mused about a couple which reminisced about the past, using songs by Glenn Miller and Cole Porter to stir up memories. 

 Released on Harvest Records, "Reminiscing" was limited from even better things by competition from "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty, "Three Times A Lady" by the Commodores, "Too Much Heaven" by the Bee Gees", Billy Joel's "My Life", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb, "Kiss You All Over" from Exile, Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park", "You're The One That I Want" by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, and "Hopelessly Devoted To You" by Newton-John.

Still, "Reminiscing" remarkably hung in there, becoming a hit in July, and it rose to #3 for two weeks.  LRB also achieved a peak of 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.


Groovy Kind Of Love
Phil Collins

"It is a beautiful song."
"Swoon , swoon , swoon ...... nobody does it  like Phil . PERFECTION ...."
"This one is a favorite ..beautiful song .."

22-year-old Carole Bayer Sager and 17-year-old Toni Wine combined to write this song while both worked at Screen Gems Publishing.  Sager was teaching high school at the time, and Wine was still a student at high school.  Wine explained the song's origins to Songfacts:


 Carole came up with "Groovy kinda… groovy kinda… groovy…" and we're all just saying, 'Kinda groovy, kinda groovy, kinda…' and I don't exactly know who came up with "Love", but it was 'Groovy kind of love'.  And we did it.  We wrote it in 20 minutes.  It was amazing.  Just flew out of our mouths, and at the piano, it was a real quick and easy song to write.

Jack McGraw at the London office of Screen Gems thought the song would be perfect for the British group the Mindbenders.  They indeed had a big hit with it, reaching #2 in 1966 in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Sager wrote many songs for the stage as well as the big screen, including "Arthur's Theme" for Christopher Cross.  Wine sang vocals on "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies, and later wrote "Candida" for Tony Orlando & Dawn and sang backing vocals on many songs, including "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson.

Flash forward to 1988, when Phil Collins had been collaborating with Stephen Bishop (of "On And On" fame).  Collins envisioned Bishop recording a remake of "Groovy Kind Of Love" for a comeback with Phil producing the song.    However, when Collins, who was a child actor, was hired to play the title role of Buster Edwards in the movie Buster, he recorded the song himself for the movie.

Collins released the single August 27, 1988 from the soundtrack album, which competed against "The Living Years" by fellow Genesis member Mike Rutherford with his group Mike + the Mechanics.  Other songs out at the time included "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses and "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys.  "Groovy Kind Of Love" registered two weeks at #1 in the United States, and it was a #1 Adult Contemporary song for three weeks.  It also went to #1 in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands, #2 in Australia and Norway, #3 in Germany and New Zealand, #4 in Finland, #5 in Sweden, and #6 in Austria.

"Groovy Kind Of Love" sold over one million singles and helped sell five million albums.  The song earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.



George Michael

Great song!
I have always loved his song ... Coz i gotta have faith... ....
Love love love!!!


With the breakup of the duo Wham!, George Michael signaled that he had moved on, both into a solo career as well as a serious recording artist.  There was considerable anticipation and speculation as to what Michael would do now that he was on his own.

For starters, George wrote, arranged, and produced every song on the album.  The title song on his album Faith was recorded at Puk Studios in Denmark and Sarm West Studios in London.  Since Faith was one of the first to be recorded digitally, it allowed Michael the ability to record each song piece by piece.  He wrote lyrics in the studio while at the microphone, then recorded them immediately.  Michael recorded his vocals line-by-line, and sometimes even word-by-word.

"Faith" begins with Chris Cameron on church organ playing a slowed-down version of the Wham! song "Freedom", then moves into a rock and roll rhythm, featuring guitar strumming, finger clicking, hand claps, tambourine and hi-hat.

Michael strove to be taken more seriously as an artist and appeal to an adult audience, a challenging task after Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".  So in the music video, Michael appeared with a stubble and biker jacket.  However, in the song "Freedom 90", Michael later denounced the image he had created with his debut.

Michael released the single October 12, 1987 as the second single from the album Faith.  George explained why he chose the song as the title track:

  It represents the way I feel at the moment. It's kind of another word for my hope and optimism. You know, faith to me is just really such a strong word and the more I got into the idea of the song being the single, the more I liked the idea of using it as the title track.

"Faith" began receiving airplay in October of 1987.  It competed against "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett, and Michael's own "Father Figure", but by then, the quality of music was fading fast and that greatly diminishes "Faith's achievements.  The song raced to #1 for four weeks in the U.S.  It also hit #1 in Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, #2 in the U.K. and Ireland, #3 in Norway, #4 in Austria and Switzerland, #5 in Germany, and #9 in Sweden. 

"Faith" became the top-selling single of the year, and it helped the album go to #1 for six weeks and sell 10 million units in the U.S., 20 million worldwide.


Sunshine Superman

"so Groovy..."
"The music from this time was so solid and holds up.  I keep going back and listening to 60's music and its like discovering buried treasure." 
"GENIUS   yes!"  
"Great song, this zooms me back to my childhood."

Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan moved with his family to England when he was 10.  But five years later, he dropped out of school to travel around England.  He met Gypsy Dave, and Donovan played guitar while Gypsy Dave played kazoo.  The two passed a hat for money throughout the Continent before Donovan returned to London. 

There, he earned money playing at nightclubs, where Peter Eden saw him.  Eden became Donovan's manager and scheduled time for him to record some demos.  This set off a series of events that launched Donovan's career.  The producers of the popular television show Ready Steady Go heard the demos and signed Donovan to make an appearance on the show.   From the beginning, Donovan fully embraced the innocent optimism of the flower-power movement.   Audience reaction was so great that the producers brought him back the following week. 

Executives at Pye Records saw the second show, and signed Donovan to a recording contract.  And while folk songs such as "Catch The Wind", "Colours", and "The Universal Soldier" did well, Donovan was concerned that he had been tagged with the label of being a Bob Dylan imitator.  He went to see producer Mickie Most, who later became famous for producing the group Hot Chocolate. 

Donovan's only #1 of his career is this classic.  He wrote it for his future wife, Linda Lawrence.  In addition to mentioning Superman, Donovan also included the DC Comics hero Green Lantern in the lyrics.  Donovan played "Sunshine Superman" for Most.  Mickie brought Donovan into the famous EMI Studios in London (soon renamed Abbey Road Studios) at two o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, and by five the song was finished.  Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones, then just studio musicians, played on the song.  Easy enough.    


But legal wrangling kept "Sunshine Superman" in the can for seven months.  Donovan had left his previous manager, Eden, and negotiations between American business manager Allan Klein and Most stalled several times.  Pye Records deleted the song from its release schedule because of the ongoing legal entanglements.   
Lost at the time was how innovative this song is, being one of the first examples of psychedelic rock.  Donovan recorded the album of the same name on Pye Records, but before it could be released, Donovan moved to Epic Records, which prompted a seven-month delay in its release.  In the interim, several artists, such as Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experienced captured the imagination of the public.  Had "Sunshine Superman" been released on time, it likely would have been more appreciated.
"Sunshine Superman" competed against classics such as "Cherish" by the Association, "Paperback Writer" and "Eleanor Rigby" from the Beatles, "Strangers In The Night" by Frank Sinatra, "You Can't Hurry Love" by the Supremes, Bobby Hebb's "Sunny", "Paint It, Black" by the Rolling Stones, "Summer In The City" by Lovin' Spoonful, and the Four Tops' great song "Reach Out I'll Be There".  Donovan landed at #1, and spent 7 of its 13 weeks in the Top 10.  The song also reached #2 in the U.K., Canada, and Australia, #4 in Ireland, #5 in the Netherlands, #7 in Germany, and #9 in France.
"Sunshine Superman" has now topped three million in radio airplay.


Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) 
Billy Ocean
"I looooooove this song!"

"Love this song! feel like dancing!"
"Expectacular una canción extraordinaria."

Born in Trinidad, Billy Ocean and his family moved to London when he was seven.  Billy took a course in tailoring after high school, and worked on Savile Row during the day.  At night, though, Ocean sang with groups such as Shades of Midnight and Dry Ice.  When Billy was fired from his tailoring job after just one year, he decided to focus full-time on music.
Billy Ocean's first foray onto the charts was "Love Really Hurts Without You" in 1976, which reached a peak of #22, albeit an underrated one.  So when his 1984 release "European Queen" from his album Suddenly went nowhere in the U.K., Billy wasn't too disappointed.
He changed the title to "Caribbean Queen", simply singing the new title in the appropriate places.  American executives, aware of the failure of "European Queen", chose to release "Caribbean Queen" instead.  The song not only gave Ocean his first hit in eight years, but it did not stop until it reached #1 for two weeks, and served to launch him into the limelight.  The song also topped the R&B genre for four weeks and peaked at #7 among Adults.  
Ocean competed against "What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner, Madonna's "Like A Virgin", "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince, Chicago's "Hard Habit To Break", "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder, "Careless Whisper" by Wham, "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner, "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon, Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams, "Stuck On You" by Lionel Richie, and "Missing You" from John Waite.
"Caribbean Queen" sold over one million singles, helped sell over three million albums, and has achieved the two-million mark in radio airplay.  The song earned Ocean the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.