Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)
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"If You Don't Know Me by Now" is a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by the Philly soul musical group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which became their first hit after being released as a single in 1972 topping the US R&B chart and peaking at number three on the US Pop chart.

The song was originally written for Labelle (a trio led by Patti LaBelle) but they never recorded it. Much like the issue with "I Miss You" and The Dells passing on it, the song's composers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff gave the song to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which featured Teddy Pendergrass as lead vocalist. In addition to the single release, the song was included on their debut album I Miss You.

Patti LaBelle later made the song as part of her concert repertoire in 1982. A live version appears on her 1985 album, Patti.

It was later covered by the English pop/soul band Simply Red, also becoming their best-known hit after reaching number one on the U.S. Hot 100 on July 15, 1989 and at number thirty-eight on the Hot Black Singles chart. It peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart. It also topped the Canadian Singles Chart. Seal recorded the song for his 2008 album Soul, and, in April 2009, it became his first top-ten Adult Contemporary hit since "Love's Divine" in 2004; the song was subsequently nominated for the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy.

Rod Stewart also included this song on his 2009 album Soulbook.

The song was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by the RIAA. It was featured at the end of Michael Apted's movie Class Action.

The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star (1979)

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"Video Killed the Radio Star" is a song written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978. It was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club (with Thomas Dolby on keyboards) for their album English Garden, and later by British group The Buggles, consisting of Horn and Downes. The track was recorded and mixed in 1979, released as their debut single on 7 September 1979 by Island Records, and included on their first album The Age of Plastic. The backing track was recorded at Virgin's Town House in West London, and mixing and vocal recording would later take place at Sarm East Studios.

Like all the other tracks from the LP, "Video"'s theme was promotion of technology while worrying about its effects. This song relates to concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts. Musically, the song performs like an extended jingle and the composition plays in the key of D-flat major in common time at a tempo of 132 beats per minute. The track has been positively received, with reviewers praising its unusual musical pop elements. Although the song includes several common pop characteristics and six basic chords are used in its structure, Downes and writer Timothy Warner described the piece as musically complicated, due to its use of suspended and minor ninth chords for enhancement that gave the song a "slightly different feel."

Commercially, "Video Killed the Radio Star" was also a success. The track topped sixteen international music charts, including the official singles charts of the group's home country of the UK and other nations such as Australia, Austria, France, Italy Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the Japanese Oricon International Chart. It also peaked within the top 10 in Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa, the top 20 in Belgium and the Netherlands, and barely in the top 40 in the United States.

The song's music video was written, directed, and edited by Russell Mulcahy, and is well-remembered as the first music video shown on MTV in the United States at 12:01am on 1 August 1981, and the first video shown on MTV Classic in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2010. The song has received several critical accolades, such as being ranked number 40 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the '80s. It has been covered by many recording artists. Trevor Horn has done performances of the song, both at Buggles reunion performances and with The Producers, since 1998.

Starland Vocal Band - Afternoon Delight (1976)

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"Afternoon Delight" is a song recorded by Starland Vocal Band, featuring close harmony and sexually suggestive wordplay. It was written by Bill Danoff, one of the members of the band. It became a #1 U.S. Hot 100 single on July 10, 1976. It also reached #1 in Canada and peaked at #5 in New Zealand. In Australia it was a #6 hit. (Adelaide radio station 5KA was first to pick up the single, making it #1 in South Australia.) In the UK, it reached #18 and was used as theme to a weekly show of the same title on London's Capital Radio, hosted by Duncan Johnson.

The title came from the happy hour menu at Clyde's restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where Bill Danoff was eating with fellow bandmember Margot Chapman while his then-wife Taffy Danoff was undergoing surgery for cervical cancer. Danoff enjoyed writing the song and downplayed the somewhat controversial lyrics, saying, "I didn't want to write an all-out sex song ... I just wanted to write something that was fun and hinted at sex."

Nick Lowe - Cruel To Be Kind (1979)

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"Cruel to Be Kind" is a 1979 single by Nick Lowe, co-written by Lowe and his former Brinsley Schwarz band-mate Ian Gomm, that peaked at No. 12 in both the UK and U.S. charts that summer. It also peaked at No.12 in both Canada and New Zealand. In the U.S., where it is Lowe's most well-known work, it remains his only single to hit the top 40, whereas in the UK "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass" remains his biggest hit after reaching No. 7 a year earlier.

The song was originally written and recorded for the last Brinsley Schwarz album It’s All Over Now, which was never officially released.

It next appeared as a non-album B-side on the single "Little Hitler" off Nick Lowe’s first solo album Jesus of Cool (retitled Pure Pop for Now People in the U.S.). This is now known as the "original" version, as compiled on Lowe’s 1999 Box Set The Doings: The Solo Years, as well as a bootleg based on the unreleased "It's All Over Now", of the same title. (Not to confused with the "Jesus of Cool" version).

It was finally released on Nick Lowe’s first solo album Jesus of Cool (1978) but was then re-recorded with Rockpile and appeared on Lowe's second (1979) album Labour of Lust, where it became a UK top 10 hit. It was released on the Radar Records label in the UK and Columbia Records in the United States.

The single was backed with the non-album Lowe solo song "Endless Grey Ribbon" which Lowe had originally composed for fellow Rockpile member Dave Edmunds, as seen in the BBC documentary "Born Fighters". Lowe included the Labour of Lust version of the song on the 1984 12" single of "Half a Boy and Half a Man" off his album Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit, as well as the EP version of his single "All Men are Liars" from 1990’s Party of One. It also appears on the 2010 "soundtrack" album "inspired" by the 2006 motion picture The Ant Bully. Live versions of the song appear on Lowe’s 1998 EP "You Inspire Me", off his Dig My Mood album, and on the 2004 live album Untouched Takeaway.

The re-recorded, Labour of Lust, version of the song has been included in many compilations of Nick Lowe’s work, including 1985’s 16 All Time Lowes, 1990’s Basher: The Best of Nick Lowe, 1999’s The Doings: The Solo Years, 2002’s Anthology and 2009’s Quiet Please... The New Best of Nick Lowe. It has also been included on many various artists compilations of hits of the 70s, such as Poptopia! 70’s Power Pop Classics.

The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody (1965)

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"Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained, hence the name. Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. It has since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some estimates having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.

The best-known version of "Unchained Melody" was recorded by the duo The Righteous Brothers for Philles Records in 1965 as the 'B' side of the single "Hung On You". Although the version was credited to The Righteous Brothers, lead vocals were performed solo by Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded other versions credited solely to him. This recording climbed to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965 and reached number 14 in the UK in 1965.

The producer of this recording is uncertain. Original copies of the single did not credit a producer for "Unchained Melody" (as shown in the inset), although Phil Spector was credited as producer of "Hung On You"; later copies of the single (after it became a hit) credit Spector as producer of "Unchained Melody" as well; but Bill Medley, the other Righteous Brother, consistently stated that he produced this recording. Medley, who had produced the duo before they signed with Spector and Philles, said that "Phil came to me and asked me to produce the Righteous Brothers albums because he would have taken too long and it would have cost too much money." According to Medley, "Unchained Melody" was intended solely as an album cut, and so he produced it and played piano on it; Spector only claimed production credit after it supplanted "Hung On You" as the hit. Medley also noted that "if I knew that it was gonna be a hit I certainly would have brought in a better piano player."

"Unchained Melody" reappeared on the Billboard charts in 1990 after The Righteous Brothers' recording was used in the box office blockbuster film Ghost. Two versions charted in the US that year. The 1965 original Righteous Brothers recording was reissued by oldies-reissue label Eric Records, which licensed the original recording from Polydor Records (which had acquired the rights years earlier). This version received a lot of airplay, but sales were minimal since it was only available as a 45 RPM single; it peaked at number 13. Polydor had previously licensed the CD rights for this recording to Rhino Records for a premium-priced 1989 compilation of Righteous Brothers hits from various labels; later in 1990, it issued its own regular-priced Righteous Brothers greatest hits CD that included the recording. However, partially due to the lack of a reasonably-priced CD version at the time the movie was released, The Righteous Brothers re-recorded the song for Curb Records, which released it as a cassette single, a vinyl single, and as part of a budget-priced CD compilation. The re-recorded version received minimal airplay but recorded excellent sales, peaking at number 19. For eight weeks, both versions were on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously.

The Beatles - Anna (Go to Him) (1963)

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"Anna (Go to Him)", or simply "Anna", is a song written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander. His version was released as a single by Dot Records on September 17, 1962. A cover version was performed by English rock group The Beatles and included on their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.

According to Richie Unterberger, music critic for Allmusic:

'Anna' was one of the great early soul ballads, even if its loping groove was closer to a mid-tempo song than a slow ballad. Like several of Alexander's songs, it would come to be more famous in its cover version than through its original release. And it was actually a small hit when it first came out in 1962, getting to #68 in the pop charts and #10 in the R&B listings.

Critic Dave Marsh rates Alexander's "Anna (Go to Him)" as one of the top 1001 singles of all time. He praises the "gently swinging rhythm," the tough, syncopated drumming, and Alexander's vocal, particularly at the beginning of the refrain, suggesting that John Lennon may have learned to sing ballads like "In My Life" by listening to Alexander's performance.

A personal favorite of John Lennon, it became part of the Beatles' early repertoire and was consequently recorded by them for their 1963 début album, Please Please Me. It is the first song released by the group which specifically names a girl. In the U.S., Vee Jay Records released it on Introducing... The Beatles (January 10, 1964) and Capitol Records re-released it on The Early Beatles (March 22, 1965). Vee Jay also released "Anna (Go to Him)" on the EP Souvenir of Their Visit: The Beatles in the US

The band recorded the song on February 11, 1963 in three takes; Take 3 was the master. It was remixed on February 25. George Harrison played the distinctive phrase on guitar; Floyd Cramer played it on piano for the original.

Unterberger praised the Beatles' version in his review, saying:

Ringo Starr faithfully [replicates] the unusual drum rhythm and hi-hat crunches. Lennon's vocal, however, added a tortured pain not present in Alexander's model, particularly when he wailed in his upper register at the conclusion of the bridges. The Beatles' backup harmony vocals, in addition, were superb, and more effective [than on Alexander's version].

Pablo Cruise - Love Will Find A Way (1978)

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"Love Will Find a Way" is a single released by American rock group Pablo Cruise from its album Worlds Away in May 1978. On the Hot 100 "Love Will Find a Way" came very close to matching the group's "Whatcha Gonna Do?" chart run for the seven weeks capping with its identical #6 peak, a year to the week later, from mid-July through August.

The song received a considerable amount of airplay during the summer of 1978, prompting critic Robert Christgau to say, "Hear David Jenkins sing 'once you get past the pain' fifty times in a day and the pain will be permanent", referring to the lyrics of the chorus.

The song was used on CBS' period drama Swingtown, at the end of episode 2, "Love Will Find a Way" (creating something of an anachronism, as the episode was set in 1976, two years before the song was released).

Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way (1976)

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"Go Your Own Way" is a song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released as a single in December 1976. Like many of the singles released off of the previous album Fleetwood Mac, "Go Your Own Way" was very successful. The song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's first top-ten hit in the U.S. In the UK, the single was not as successful, and would only reach No. 38. However, the song became quite popular in the U.K. over a longer period as Rumours received more radio airplay and it re-entered the singles chart on many occasions. This led to the song selling gradually over the years. It has been certified Silver in the U.K. for digital sales of over 200,000 copies. The song also hit the top 40 in many other countries, including the Netherlands, where it hit No. 1.

Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie (1970)

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"Cracklin' Rosie" is a 1970 song written and recorded by Neil Diamond in 1970, with instrumental backing by L.A. sessions musicians from the Wrecking Crew, from his album Tap Root Manuscript. This was Neil Diamond's first American #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1970, and his third to sell a million copies. It became Diamond's breakthrough single on the UK Singles Chart in 1970, reaching #3 in December 1970. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 17 song of 1970. It also reached #2 on the Australian Singles Chart.

The single version released by Uni Records in 1970 was in mono, while the album version from Tap Root Manuscript was in stereo.

Manfred Mann - Do Wah Diddy Diddy (1964)

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"Do Wah Diddy Diddy" is a song written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and originally recorded in 1963, as "Do-Wah-Diddy", by the American vocal group the Exciters.

It was soon covered by British R&B, Beat and pop band Manfred Mann. Manfred Mann's version, which was more commercially successful, was recorded on 11 June 1964, released on 10 July, and spent two weeks No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in August, and two weeks at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in October.

The Bellamy Brothers - Let Your Love Flow (1976)

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"Let Your Love Flow" is the title of a pop song written by Larry E. Williams, a former roadie for Neil Diamond and made popular by the American country music duo The Bellamy Brothers. Diamond was initially offered the opportunity to record the song, but he declined.

The song was a crossover hit in the United States, reaching Number One on the 1976 Billboard Hot 100 charts, #2 on Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, and #21 on Hot Country Singles. It was also an international hit, landing on the charts in the UK, Scandinavia and West Germany, where the Bellamy Brothers' record spent five weeks at #1. In 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart following its appearance in an advertisement in the United Kingdom for Barclaycard, where it peaked at #21.

In other media, it was used in the 1980 Tatum O'Neal film Little Darlings and the 2008 period drama Swingtown.

The song has been covered by numerous other artists, most notably Joan Baez, who included it on her 1979 Honest Lullaby album. Another re-recording by the Bellamy brothers with Gölä is included on the album The Greatest Hits Sessions. "Ein Bett im Kornfeld", a German language adaptation of the song recorded by Jürgen Drews, spent eleven weeks at #1 in West Germany in 1976.

The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (1964)

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"The House of the Rising Sun" is a traditional folk song, sometimes called "Rising Sun Blues". It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the English rock group The Animals, was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Australia.

Like many classic folk ballads, the authorship of "The House of the Rising Sun" is uncertain. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as The Unfortunate Rake of the 18th century, and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting. There is also a mention of a house-like pub called the "Rising Sun" in the classic Black Beauty published in 1877, set in London, England, which may have influenced the title.

The oldest known existing recording is by Appalachian artists Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster, who recorded it for Vocalion Records in 1934. Ashley said he had learned it from his grandfather, Enoch Ashley.

An interview with Eric Burdon revealed that he first heard the song in a club in Newcastle, England, where it was sung by the Northumbrian folk singer Johnny Handle. The Animals were on tour with Chuck Berry and chose it because they wanted something distinctive to sing. This interview refutes assertions that the inspiration for their arrangement came from Bob Dylan. The band enjoyed a huge hit with the song, much to Dylan's chagrin when his version was referred to as a cover. The irony of this was not lost on Dave Van Ronk, who said the whole issue was a "tempest in a teapot," and that Dylan stopped playing the song after The Animals' hit because fans accused Dylan of plagiarism. Dylan has said he first heard The Animals' version on his car radio and "jumped out of his car seat" because he liked it so much.

Dave Marsh described The Animals' take on "The House of the Rising Sun" as "...the first folk-rock hit," sounding "...as if they'd connected the ancient tune to a live wire." Writer Ralph McLean of the BBC agreed that, "It was arguably the first folk rock tune," calling it "a revolutionary single" after which "the face of modern music was changed forever." Van Ronk claims that this version was based on his arrangement of the song.

The Animals' version transposes the narrative of the song from the point of view of a woman led into a life of degradation, to that of a man, whose father was now a gambler and drunkard, as opposed to the sweetheart in earlier versions.

Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around (1976)

Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around (1976) WLCY Radio '70s One-Hit Wonders



"Turn the Beat Around" is a disco song written by Gerald Jackson and Peter Jackson and performed by Vicki Sue Robinson in 1976, originally appearing on her debut album, Never Gonna Let You Go. Released as a single, the song went to #10 on the Billboard pop charts, and #73 on the soul chart. Robinson received a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocal. The track went to number one on the disco chart for four weeks. "Turn the Beat Around" is considered a disco classic and is featured on many compilation albums.

Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music (1976)

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"Play That Funky Music" is a song written by Rob Parissi and recorded by the band Wild Cherry. The performers on the classic recording included the members of the band at the time: lead singer Parissi, guitarist Bryan Bassett, bassist Allen Wentz and drummer Ron Beitle, with session horn players Chuck Berginc, Jack Brndiar, Joe Eckert and Rick Singer hired to play the horn riff that runs throughout the track's verses. The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 18, 1976, and was also number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over 2 million records, eventually selling 2.5 million in the United States alone.

The song listed at no. 73 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.

Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were (1973)

Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were (1973)
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"The Way We Were" is the title song to the 1973 movie The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. The song was written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and Marvin Hamlisch (music) and performed by Streisand.

Billboard named "The Way We Were" as the number 1 pop hit of 1974. Instrumental backing was provided by L.A. session musicians from the Wrecking Crew. The song won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Grammy Award for Song of the Year. In 1998, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and finished at number 8 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema in 2004. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"The Way We Were" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three non-consecutive weeks in February 1974. After its first week at number one it was replaced by "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra; by coincidence, the orchestra, also abbreviated as LUO, did a version of "The Way We Were" on their 1979 album Super Movie Themes: Just a Little Bit Different. It then returned to number one for two more weeks. The song also spent two weeks atop the easy listening chart, Streisand's second single to reach the top of this chart (following 1964's "People"). The track peaked at #31 in the UK Singles Chart in 1974.

The version of the song which was released on 45 RPM single contains a different vocal take than the version which appeared on the original movie soundtrack and subsequent greatest hits compilations. Both versions use the same music track. The difference in the vocals can most easily be heard on the line "Smiles we gave to one another" at approximately 1:15 into the song. The true 45 RPM single version has never appeared on CD. The soundtrack version of the song, a completely different take with alternate music track, appears on Just For the Record, Streisand's 4-CD box set collection released in 1991.

A bootleg of the recording sessions exists featuring Streisand with composer Marvin Hamlisch in a recording studio as they perform various takes of the song. One segment reveals Streisand changing the first word of the song from "Daydreams" to "Memories."

Streisand's version was listed at #90 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Guess Who - American Woman (1970)

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"American Woman" is a song by Canadian rock band The Guess Who, first released in January 1970 on the album of the same name and later in March as a single, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Backed with "No Sugar Tonight," Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 record of 1970.

The song has been covered by many rock artists, including Lenny Kravitz and Krokus. The song was included in Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2.

Harry Chapin - Cat's In The Cradle (1974)

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"Cat's in the Cradle" is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. As Chapin's only No. 1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music.

The song's lyrics began as a poem written by Harry's wife, Sandra "Sandy" Gaston; the poem itself was inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband, James Cashmore, and his father, John, a politician who served as Brooklyn Borough President. She was also inspired by a country music song she had heard on the radio. Harry also said the song was about his own relationship with his son, Josh, admitting, "Frankly, this song scares me to death."