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Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – another four-pack of the best of the best from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.
Since it began this year in early January, 172 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have been featured – with hundreds more to follow.
They’re all part of a permanent archive that’s being built at HouseoftheHits.com which will ultimately feature ALL 837 different number one singles as listed in 2,080 weekly national music charts published by Billboard® within that 40-year timeframe.
Fortunately, HouseoftheHits has every one of those charts – plus secondary data – as published in the essential Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series (CD-ROM and eBook edition formats).
Everything is stored digitally on a HouseoftheHits computer – as are all 837 number one singles (in high-quality audio) from the music vault.
With the availability of precise data and the HOTH song files – together with some amazing technology – approximately 600 – 700 of those Billboard® chart-toppers will be presented this year – with the remainder to follow into the first half of 2017.
As the archive grows you will have continual free access to the accumulating repository, indexed by Decade, Month and Year. Plus, EVERY Title and Artist will be (blue) hyper-linked for smooth, easy navigation from song to song – with more great features to be added along the way.
Again, it will contain every #1 single in America, plus interesting commentary about each song (written by yours truly) and presented with a crystal clear High-Definition audio version of the complete original hit to instantly play as often as you wish.
The ever-expanding library is found HERE and you can bookmark this link for future instant access.
Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets and connected devices. A PC, Mac or laptop may be required.
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#1 / April 26th, 1990
NOTHING COMPARES 2 U
Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced: I’LL BE YOUR EVERYTHING / Tommy Page
Succeeded by: VOGUE / Madonna
Singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor held down the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 on this date in 1990 – something very incongruent, given her often bizarre and contentious behavior.
Her recording of Nothing Compares 2 U was a cover version of a number from the catalog of Prince and had spent 5 weeks in the pole position of the UK song charts before debuting on America’s premier weekly music listing 5 weeks later.
Controversy abounded during Sinead’s two-year period of popularity, including a last-minute cancellation of an appearance on NBC’s venerable Saturday Night Live (stating a dislike of the guest host, Andrew Dice Clay) and refusing to have The Star Spangled Banner played before a concert she was giving in New Jersey.
Later, O’Connor, from Dublin, Ireland, mysteriously – and hypocritically – boycotted the Grammys. This, after having just taken in both the MTV and American Music Awards festivities. The beef there stemmed from her view that the recording industry was based on “false and destructive materialistic values.”
She once claimed the composer of this hit – Prince – beat her, and denied her request for a ride home from his compound (he refuted the incident had even occurred).
It’s why I assert that the four weeks during which Nothing Compares 2 U (or to O’Connor, for that matter) became a huge commercial success at #1 in America were strange days indeed.
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#1 / April 26th, 1980
The audio production phase of producer Paul Schrader’s 1980 blockbuster movie starring actor Richard Gere, ‘American Gigolo,’ became a very exciting time for the group Blondie – especially lead singer Deborah Harry.
First of all, she was selected to sing the film’s theme when Fleetwood Mac‘s ‘whirling dervish’ Stevie Nicks turned down the initial offer for the gig from the soundtrack’s producer, Giorgio Moroder – who scored the entire movie.
Secondly, when Harry was tapped by Moroder to add words to the music he’d already penned to Call Me, she was given carte-blanche with the lyrics, and naturally, a co-writer’s credit.
Moroder’s original working title for the song was either Machine Man or Metal Man. Regardless, Harry wisely changed it to Call Me.
[Trivia Bits] Call Me by Blondie became a six-week long distance phone affair, a mini marathon at the top which copped Billboard’s ‘Top Song of the Year’ honors for 1980.
As author Fred Bronson points out in ‘The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits,’ Call Me was only the third single from a film’s soundtrack to attain that distinction. It joined 1967’s top tune, To Sir With Love by Lulu, and Barbra Streisand‘s 1974 nostalgic gem The Way Were Were in that very select circle.
Two other ‘Singles of the Year’ were indirectly connected to highly successful motion pictures: 1960’s The Theme from “A Summer Place” by Canadian orchestra leader Percy Faith and Roberta Flack‘s tender tune heard in the 1972 Clint Eastwood psychological thriller ‘Play Misty For Me,’ The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, share that mantle.
Other #1 Singles by THE BLONDIE (4)
• 1979 / HEART OF GLASS
• 1980 / THE TIDE IS HIGH
• 1981 / RAPTURE
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#1 / April 26th, 1970
A B C
The Jackson 5
By this date in 1970, one of Motown’s (then) new generation of recording acts, The Jackson 5, had already scored their second of four singles to hold the Hot 100’s prime position that year.
The first three, I Want You Back, A B C and The Love You Save were all penned and produced by the same team of four Motown staffers collectively known as The Corporation: Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, Deke Richards and company founder Berry Gordy, Jr.
Despite the inclusion of his name, however, Gordy, Jr. allegedly had minimal writing and production input. Rather, it likely was a perfunctory perk to personally collect a portion of the song’s publishing royalties.
A long-held belief was that Motown diva Diana Ross had discovered the young quintet of singing siblings in their hometown of Gary, IN and brought them to the attention of her boss, Gordy, Jr.
However, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she set the record straight by flatly stating – “No, I didn’t discover them.” Nonetheless, Ms. Ross was very instrumental in orchestrating their careers after the fact.
It’s now more widely acknowledged that it was Motown stars Gladys Knight and Bobby Taylor (Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers) who significantly helped pave the way for the J5 from Gary to Gordy, Jr.’s company headquarters at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.
[Trivia Bits] Exactly one-third of Billboard’s 21 number one singles during 1970 came from Motown recording artists – including this week’s chart-topper and three more from Michael and the brothers (as listed below).
That year’s other top-shelf winners from ‘Hitsville U.S.A.’ were Edwin Starr‘s War, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough from Diana Ross (her first solo #1) and The Tears Of A Clown by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. All occurred during the final four months of 1970.
Only five #1 singles in Billboard chart history have had just three letters in their titles – a trio of which Jackson was a part: A B C, plus his solo hits Ben (1972) and Bad (1987). Why by Frankie Avalon (1959) and the above-mentioned War by Starr are the others.
Other #1 Singles by THE JACKSON 5 (4)
• 1970 / I WANT YOU BACK
• 1970 / THE LOVE YOU SAVE
• 1970 / I’LL BE THERE
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#1 / April 26th, 1960
STUCK ON YOU
Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires
The King‘s top song on this date in 1960 contained a couple of significant ‘firsts.’
After his nearly two-year stint in the United States Army had ended (Private Elvis Presley #53310761 was inducted on March 24th, 1958 and discharged on March 5, 1960) rock ‘n roll’s perpetual monarch was in the studio just 15 days later to record his first post-military single for RCA, Stuck On You.
Also, electronic technology had advanced to where recording in ‘true’ stereo was possible, so this was EP‘s initial foray into that realm.
The two-day studio session produced not only Stuck On You but five other songs which became his debut recordings in that mode – which RCA promoted as ‘Living Stereo’ on their record labels and jackets.
[Notes] Often mentioned in my blog posts, ‘true’ stereo means that across the audio spectrum, when listening, a recording’s various instruments, back-up vocals, etc. will be heard on both the left and right channels; some elements just on the left, others only on the right, or even some on both channels.
But the most noticeable feature of ‘true’ stereo is the lead vocals, which are heard in the very middle of the stereo array – as if the vocalist is performing directly front row-center, and, in a sense, right between your ears. The exact arrangement of the elements is different from recording to recording and at the discretion of the session producer.
[Trivia Bits] RCA Records received advance orders for his first post-army single that exceeded 1.2 million, and due to that urgency to meet the anticipated demand for a new single from Elvis, the company had discs pressed and shipped within two days of its recording.
Stuck On You first appeared in LP form on Elvis Presley’s Gold Records, Volume 3, released on August 11th, 1963.
Other #1 Singles by ELVIS PRESLEY (18)
• 1956 / HEARTBREAK HOTEL
• 1956 / I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU
• 1956 / DON’T BE CRUEL
• 1956 / HOUND DOG
• 1956 / LOVE ME TENDER
• 1957 / TOO MUCH
• 1957 / ALL SHOOK UP
• 1957 / (Let Me Be Your) TEDDY BEAR
• 1957 / JAILHOUSE ROCK
• 1958 / DON’T
• 1958 / HARD HEADED WOMAN
• 1959 / A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE
• 1960 / IT’S NOW OR NEVER
• 1960 / ARE YOU LONESOME TO-NIGHT?
• 1961 / SURRENDER
• 1962 / GOOD LUCK CHARM
• 1969 / SUSPICIOUS MINDS
Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter / HouseoftheHits.com
Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.
Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)
References: The Archives of RollingStone.com
The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
1000 UK Chart Hits (Kindle Edition) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (Kindle Edition) by Ernst Jorgensen
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat
Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE