Last week, Premiere Networks ran the first half of American Top 40’s Top 100 of 1977, ending with mega-hit “You Light Up My Life” at #51. This was because the 12-month period for compiling the chart was November 76-October 77; if it’d been shifted just one month later, Debby Boone would easily have been in the top 10. As it was, she wound up at #3 in the 1978 year-end show.
Now, it’s time for #50-#1. Here’s what I wrote down 40 years ago:
What stands out to me now compared to Top 100 surveys in the 80s is how well songs that peaked outside the top 3 fared relative to the #1 songs (and there were tons of chart-toppers in the first seven months of 77, most for only one week). “Tonight’s the Night” would have been #1 for the year if they’d shifted their year back one month.
The music of 76 will always be special to me, since that’s when I first became hooked on AT40, but 77 just might top-to-bottom be my favorite year for popular music.