Billboard Top 40 Hits 1971: ‘American Pie’- Don McLean. November 27, 1971.
- Single: ‘American Pie’- Don McLean
- Record Company- United Artists
- Genre: Folk Rock
- Written by Don McLean
- Time: 8:26
- B-side: ‘American Pie Part II’
- Album- American Pie
- Grade: A+
- Peaked at #1 19 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.
One of the most famous songs in pop music history. How famous is it- this past summer there was a magazine out- devoted only to the song- how many songs get a magazine? It celebrated the 50th anniversary of the song. Don McLean was born in Rob Petrie country- New Rochelle, New York in 1945. He had 10 Hot 100 hits with 6 making the Top 40. ‘American Pie’ was his first hit- and of course his biggest. Don McLean is still out there touring. I have the American Pie album- great album-also features his hit ‘Vincent’- which to me is just as great as ‘American Pie’- and back in the day I bought the single- which takes up -at 8:26 both the A and B sides. Kind of disrupts the flow of things having to turn the 45 over.
I had access to the single also. It has to be the most if not one of the most dissected songs in history.
While I wasn’t big into music at the time of its release… this takes me back to one of my vacations with my grandfather- it must have been the spring of 1972- and this song was being played on the radio constantly. It was a song I kept waiting for. Didn’t know what it was all about at the time but I knew I liked it…
When I think back…I think of a tire swing and green all around in the country where I lived. I didn’t know what a levy was but I loved it. It was one of the first songs that I remember.
I’ve heard this song at a minimum 100,000 times over the last 50 years. This is an example of a great song that was overplayed.
I agree there hasn’t been a break at all- one of those songs I would think everyone has heard… I’d like to hear “Vincent’ on the radio more often.
That’s a beautiful song. Have you ever heard Chet Atkins’s instrumental cover of it? Absolutely beautiful. Don McLean did a few good songs, but they all get lost behind “American Pie.”
No- I will have to check it out.
I appreciated McLean’s hat tip to the Byrds…
“The Byrds flew off with a fallout shelter, Eight Miles High and falling fast…”
…even though I had no idea what he meant, possibly the Byrds’ decline following the radio ban on “Eight Miles High”?
A true classic. I’m listening to the clip as I’m writing this clever comment. Even though it’s quite a long tune and I must have listened to it hundreds of times, it just doesn’t get boring.
Sometime during my teenage years I borrowed the vinyl record from somebody (assume my brother-in-law) and taped it on MC. In those days, I was taping music like a maniac from both vinyl records (later CDs) and FM radio.
I still got most of these MCs. By now it’s safe to assume they are in poor quality. But I could never throw them out!
I grew sick of it by the end of 1972, and haven’t liked it since.