LISTENING PROJECT: THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL: DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER MADE #779 TO#770

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#779- “Til I Kissed You’- The Everly Brothers 1959. Cadence Billboard #4. Backed up by Buddy Holly’s old back up band The Crickets-  it even sounds like a Holly song. One of the most swinging of the Everly Brothers singles-as Marsh points out and one of their best. I am a big fan of The Everly Brothers work- a number of their songs would make my 1001 list from them.

#778- “You Lost The Sweetest Boy”- Mary Wells 1963 Motown Billboard #22. Mary Wells is best remembered for the Smokey Robinson written “My Guy”-w[ the first #1 Motown hit single } which doesn’t match The Temptations “My Girl”- this song here was written by the Holland-Dozier- Holland team and I agree with Dave Marsh- it is a much better song than “My Girl” was. I had heard this song before and its a fine single but not 1001.

#777-“Stop! In The Name Of Love”- The Supremes- 1965- Another of the #1 hits written for The Surpeme’s by Holland -Dozier- Holland. One of their best singles. I need to get out my Supreme’s box set and determine a Top 10 list of favorites from them. These songs were great singles and sound great but it’s hard to distinguish one from the other sometimes they are so formula.

#776 “Heaven Must Have Sent You”-  The Elgins- 1966- V.I.P.  Billboard #50. Guess who wrote this song? Correct- Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. I don’t know if shown a picture of these three men that’s I’d be able to identify them. I know I’ve seen their pictures but they have always stayed pretty low key. All totaled they produced and wrote 25 #1 songs.  Bonnie Pointer would take this song to #11 in 1979 but I like the original here which wasn’t a hit.  The Elgins would place four singles into the Top 100 but this is the closest they came to having a hit. I hadn’t heard it before, like it but not in my 1001.

#775-“Fools Fall In Love”-The Drifters 1957  Atlantic  Billboard #69. This was a top 10 hit on the R&B chart but failed to do much damage in the Hot 100- this was before The Drifters would have their big pop hits. I am certain no group has had as many members and line up changes over the years- in looking at the lists it is mind boggling.  This song written by the great team of Leiber and Stoller certainly should have been a hit. I am going to have to get out my Drifters box set maybe before I get out the Supremes. Love the single but I don’t know if it has a place ahead of other Drifters singles in my 1001.

#774- I Wanna Love My Life Away- Gene Pitney- 1961. Musicor Billboard #39. I had never heard this song before and its another good single that wouldn’t be considered for my personal 1001. Dave Marsh has ten years on me and he understandably likes a lot more songs from the 1958-63 era in which he was hearing these songs as they came out- to me who either wasn’t alive or too young.

#773- Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing- Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure 1965- Checker Billboard #33. Her big hit was the Aretha sounding “Rescue Me” which reached #4 in 1965- she had a total of three Top 40 hits in 1965 and that was it for her career. This is a good single. I hadn’t heard it before. Not on my 1001 list.

#772-“Fast Car”-Tracy Chapman 1988 Elektra Billboard #1. After hearing this song one time I went out and bought the album that it was on- Tracy Chapman’s fine debut. I could listen to this song every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it { which is my definition of a great song- one that you never get tired of- one that you never get enough of} A song with a lot of mysteries -why are they running? what are they running away from? How did it all turn out? This would rank a lot higher than #772 on my 1001 list.

#771-“Never Give You Up”- Jerry Butler 1968- Mercury Billboard #20 Produced and co-written by the team of Gamble and Huff who would hit it big in the upcoming years. I had heard this one before- I like it but like so many others- there is only so much room on a 1001 greatest singles list. I wouldn’t turn it off if it came on the radio though.

#770-“What Have You Done For Me Lately?”- Janet Jackson 1986 A&M  Billboard #4. As Marsh points out- while for decades now there has been much written about the Jackson’s being such a musical family- they all basically rode the backs of Michael- except for Janet. Its easy to forget how her Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 albums ruled the charts for years- this one was on her Control album which had singles on it that peaked at #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 and another #14. This is probably my favorite Janet Jackson single. Would it make my 1001 greatest singles list? probably not.

 

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