Don’s Top 10 From November 9, 1970
Back...back...back into time, to Monday, November 9, 1970. These were the local top 10 singles:
(#6 last week) Neil's love song to wine. What is it with he and wine? Of course, he wrote and recorded "red, Red Wine" in 1968. In this case, Diamond heard a story about a native Canadian tribe while doing an interview in Toronto--the tribe had more men than women, so the lonely men of the tribe would sit around the fire and drink their wine together – which inspired him to write the song.
(#8 last week) There are four different lengths of this song out there, the 6:50 album version, and three single versions: 5:58, 2:58 & 3:33. The original single release was a 5:58 version with no edits but an early fadeout, almost immediately after the last verse. This was later trimmed down to 2:58 (for radio airplay only) in which the entire organ and guitar solos are edited out. When "Green-Eyed Lady" started climbing the charts, the single was reworked one last time to include a shortened piece of the organ/guitar break; this became the common 3:33 version used by radio stations today. Aside from other minor edits, the two shorter tracks begin with the opening's third bar and also end with early fadeouts. All three versions were released under the same catalog number.
(#15 last week) Perhaps the only hit song to detaIl an encounter with a trasnsgender person. Ray Davies said in a book that he was inspired to write this song after the band manager Robert Wace had spent the night dancing with a transvestite. The song also generated a dispute between Ray and his brother Dave, also in the group. Dave said that he came up with the music for what would become "Lola". After Dave had shown his brother the music, Ray came up with the lyrics. Dave went on to say his brother took all the credit for the song. The original song recorded in stereo had the word "Coca-Cola" in the lyrics, but because of BBC Radio's policy against product placement, Ray Davies was forced to make a six thousand mile round-trip flight from New York to London and back—interrupting the band's American tour—to change those words to the generic "cherry cola" for the single release.
(#7 last week) Bread's 2nd hit after "Make It With You". Such a wistful ballad. They don't make 'em like this anymore. The song was on both their first and second albums, but the 2nd was the single version, recorded after the first album bombed. Guess they knew they had a winner. Lead singer David Gates, by the way, wrote the 1964 hit "Popsicles & Icicles" by The Murmaids.
(#10 last week) An almost-forgotten (unjustly) one hit wonder. Such sweet soul! Produced by Van McCoy, who later had the #1 hit "The Hustle". Little isk nown about this 3-man group. It seems like they were from Washington, D.C., but some sources say they were from Philly. They only released 4 singles while on Sussex Records, then changed their name to Anacostia, with non-charting music released into the 1980s.
(#3 last week) From Taylor's 2nd solo album, this was released in February, 1970 but took over six months to chart. When it did, though, it reportedly sold over a million singles (it was never certified). Some songs are pure fiction, but not this one. JT explained that the song was written in three parts. The first part was about Taylor's friend Suzanne Schnerr, who died while Taylor was in London working on his first album. The second part details Taylor's struggle to overcome drug addiction and depression.The third part deals with coming to grips with fame and fortune, looking back at the road that got him there. It includes a reference to James Taylor and The Flying Machine (NOT the "Smile A Little Smile For Me" group), a band he briefly worked with before his big break with Paul McCartney, Peter Asher, & Apple Records. James's pal Carole King plays the piano on this classic.
(#11 last week) As you've heard, the only members of the TV cast to actually perform on this huge hit were David Cassidy & his real-life stepmom Shirley Jones. The rest of the vocals & instruments were performed by the famous studio folks known as "The Wrecking Crew". It was written by Tony Romeo.
(#4 last week) Taylor was a Canadian singer-songwriter who had already been working with Motown for several years as a successful songwriter. Among his hit credits: "Love Child", "I'll Turn To Stone", "All I Need" & "I'm Livin' In Shame". This one was released on Motown rock label, Rare Earth. The police siren sounds at the start of the record were removed from some copies supplied to radio stations after complaints that drivers hearing the song on the radio had mistakenly pulled over, thinking that the sounds were real.
(#1 last week; was #1 for 5 weeks) The J5's fourth straight #1 single, this was written & produced by "The Corporation" (Berry Gordy Jr., Willie Hutch & Hal Davis). It was Motown's all time biggest seller up to this point (it was surpassed by "Endless Love" in 1981).
(#2 last week; 1st week at #1) The legendary Paul Williams (the long-haired blond guy with glasses who was frequently on TV in the 70s) wrote the beautiful lyrics for this perfect wedding song. Hard to believe, though, it actually debuted as a TV commercial for a bank in California!