The Forgotten Hits: 70’s Soft Rock 3

Every era and genre of music has songs that were popular in their day, but whose footprints have been washed from the sand over time. Our goal in this series of posts is to resurrect their memory; to help in a small way to reverse the process of the “top tenning” of oldies formats, which reduce hit makers from previous decades to their most popular song or two and then overplay them until you almost loathe an artist you used to enjoy (think “Sweet Caroline” or “Don’t Stop Believin’”).

I’ll be citing the Billboard pop charts for reference. Billboard Hot 100 charts of the 60′s and 70′s were a much more accurate reflection of a song’s popularity, before there were so many other ways for a song to enter the public consciousness (reflected by the number of pop charts Billboard now uses). It was an era when radio ruled–before a car commercial, social music sharing site, or Glee were equally likely ways for a song to break through.

And now our third installment dedicated to 70’s hits that fell between rock and a soft place…and through the cracks of oldies radio.

The Addrisi Brothers: “We’ve Got to Get it On Again”

#25 in 1972

“Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On”

#20 in 1977

Pop singing/songwriting duo Dick and Don Addrisi are responsible for writing at least one certified classic pop song, that being the Association’s “Never My Love”. As performers they cracked the top 40 twice, with neither song seeing much airplay since the decade of its release. At least one, “We’ve Got to Get it On Again” deserves a better fate. Actually, I’m surprised it didn’t chart higher than #25 at the time.

“Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On” however, is among the cheesier hits the decade produced. This one’s a forgotten hit with pretty good reason. “Wiggle their class”?

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Chris Thompson & Night: “Hot Summer Nights”

#18 in 1979

“If You Remember Me”

#17 in 1979

Night had two top 40 singles with two very different sounds. “Hot Summer Nights” was a cover of a Walter Egan song with Stevie Lange on female lead vocals, and the ballad “If You Remember Me” featured a male vocal from Chris Thompson. (Thompson was the lead singer on Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s “Blinded by the Light” a couple of years earlier.) If you remember it, I bet you haven’t heard it in a while.

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Michael Nesmith & The First National Band: “Joanne”

#21 in 1970

“Silver Moon”

#42 in 1971

Mike Nesmith will always be best known as one of the Monkees, but he was a professional musician before joining them and his songwriting credits include “Different Drum”, which gave Linda Ronstadt her very first chart hit. With The First National Band he released three albums of country rock from 1970-71.

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Ian Gomm: “Hold On”

#18 in 1979

English pop singer/songwriter Ian Gomm is a classic one-hit wonder in the U.S. But he did co-write at least one other hit, Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to be Kind”. The two songs share a prominent strummed acoustic guitar and a catchy chorus.

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Eddie Rabbitt: “Suspicions”

#13 in 1979

Eddie Rabbitt mastered the country crossover hit in the early 80’s with songs like “Drivin’ My Life Away” and “I Love a Rainy Night”. All but forgotten though is this 1979 hit that sounds like the perfect blend of pop and easy listening. Such was the blurring of the lines between genres in the 70’s that this song, which sounds like it could be an Ambrosia hit, was recorded by a nominally country artist.

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Bread: “Hooked On You”

#60 in 1977

Bread’s excellent 1977 comeback album Lost Without Your Love was their first since ’72. It would prove to be a brief reunion and the album was the band’s last. The title track was their final top ten single and “Hooked On You” its less successful follow-up. But it’s a typically lovely David Gates ballad.

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Stephen Bishop: “Save it for a Rainy Day”

#22 in 1977

Although we get the full wrath of Chaka Khan in this song’s final coda, its other featured guest, Eric Clapton, is wasted on a 6-second guitar solo. I know you’re a Bishop but…Clapton is god.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. deux
    Jul 25, 2018 @ 12:49:26

    One hit Wonders of 70s

    Reply

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