In the realm of popular music, there seems to be a little something more impressive about songs that make the top ten. A retrospective on an artist’s or group’s career will often include the # of Top 10 hits he/she/it had. In some ways, it’s a quick, possibly unfair measure of success.
I got to thinking about such things when I noticed that this song by the Fortunes stalled out at #15. (It’s #20 on this chart.) I think I heard “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” on the radio plenty throughout the 70s; I suppose that led me to assume it had easily reached that exalted Top 10 status. As I’ve gotten more familiar with AT40 shows prior to the time I started maintaining my charts, I’ve found a number of other songs from the 1970-75 period that felt like top-tenners to me but weren’t. Here are ten of them, along with peak position. I grant you this exercise is wholly subjective and is almost certainly based on some combination of personal appeal and the vagaries of recurrent lists in the Cincinnati market.
–White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin’.” British vocalist Tony Burrows sang lead on several one-off studio pop groups right around this time. Without doing any research, I’m thinking all the other songs climbed higher than this. (#13, Jun 70)
–Cat Stevens, “Wild World.” Beyond this one, “Peace Train,” and “Morning Has Broken,” I’m not that much of a Stevens fan. I’d have thought, though, this would have done as well as those other two, which soon after made #7 and #6, respectively. (#11, Apr 71)
–Grass Roots, “Two Divided By Love.” I’d put this up there with “Sooner or Later,” which made #9 earlier in the year (in fact, the latter is on the show this week). (#16, Nov-Dec 71)
–Raspberries, “I Wanna Be With You.” I got familiar with this from Fantastic, a fun K-Tel album. It totally rocks, and I probably like it better than their #5 hit “Go All the Way.” (#16, Jan 73)
–King Harvest, “Dancing in the Moonlight.” This one is the song that initially gave me the idea for this post. Encountered it a decent amount over the years; just always assumed it made it bigger. (#13, Feb-Mar 73)
–Charlie Rich, “Behind Closed Doors.” I guess I figured any country song that broke through into my consciousness before the age of 10 had to have been a huge pop hit. I nearly included Donna Fargo’s “Happiest Girl in the Whole USA” on the list for the same reason. (#15, Jul 73)
–Edgar Winter Group, “Free Ride.” My impression is definitely shaped by subsequent airplay for this song. Heard this lots more than I ever did “Frankenstein.” (#14, Oct 73)
–Bachman Turner Overdrive, “Takin’ Care of Business.” How did this not get higher? You can hardly avoid it on 70s stations now. (#12, Aug 74)
–Pure Prairie League, “Amie.” Purely a function of PPL having roots near Cincinnati, where it got plenty of exposure. It was decidedly underrated at the time nationally, though. A very different lineup had a #10 song, “Let Me Love You Tonight,” five years later. (#27, Apr 75)
–Abba, “SOS.” This might be my very favorite of theirs; it’s simply magic to me. Would definitely have pegged this as a top 5 song. (#15, Nov 75)
Granted, my impressions weren’t all that far away from reality for the most part, but as I noted, extra weight seems to be given to songs that get at least to #10. Would love to get reactions/hear about other “slighted” hits below (I winnowed mine down from one that was over twice as long initially). I stopped with 75 because the week-to-week encounters that began in 76 allowed me to have an immediate reaction about tunes which I didn’t think peaked high enough.
And don’t feel too bad for the Fortunes. They had four Top 10 songs in their native England, and “You’ve Got Your Troubles,” which sounds just barely familiar to me, made #7 on this side of the pond in 65.