The 2016 Top 77 Final Results - 19th Annual Edition

With commentary and analysis by Board Moderator Mike Riccio.

We're off and running...with the results of the 19th annual Top 77 survey, a yearly tradition I started in memory and tribute to

WABC Radio in New York and EVERY station that helped shape our memories of the greatest hits of all time.

Here are the songs you voted for as the GREATEST of all TIME!

As a bonus, we're starting off with the "extras"...the songs that just missed the top 77 on the list.

From #100 to #78...here are the results

 

(Asterisks {*} indicate a former #1 song on WABC or nationally.)

100 *The Rain, The Park and Other Things – Cowsills – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2)
99     I Only Have Eyes For You – Flamingos – 1959 (Peaks: WABC – Pre-dates Survey, Nat’l #11)
98    The Wanderer – Dion – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #5, Nat’l #2)
97    Cara Mia - Jay & the Americans – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #4)
96    Everything That Touches You – Association – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #13, Nat’l #10)
95   *Get Back - Beatles – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
94    Things I'd Like To Say - New Colony Six – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #5, Nat’l #16)
93   *Nights In White Satin - Moody Blues – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2)
92   *Save The Last Dance For Me – Drifters – 1960 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
91   *The Long And Winding Road – Beatles – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #1)
90    Something – Beatles – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #7, Nat’l #3)
89   *The Sounds Of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
88   *Sister Golden Hair – America – 1975 (Peaks: WABC #6, Nat’l #1)
87   *I Feel Fine – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
86   *Theme From A Summer Place - Percy Faith & His Orchestra – 1960 (Peaks: WABC – Pre-dates Survey, Nat’l #1)
85    *Let's Hang On - Four Seasons – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1)
84   *Hello Goodbye – Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
83   *You Can't Hurry Love - Supremes – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
82    *Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #4)
81    *Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu) - Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)
80     Out In The Country - Three Dog Night – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #17, Nat’l #15)
79     Too Late To Turn Back Now - Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #3)
78     Please Please Me – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #3)

***AND NOW, HERE ARE THE SONGS YOU VOTED THE CREAM OF THE CROP…

THIS YEAR’S TOP 77***

77 – Morning Girl – Neon Philharmonic – 1969 (Peaks: WABC, Did Not Chart, Nat’l #17)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This is a song that perseveres after all these years despite only minor chart success. The bad news? Five of six singles released after this record failed to chart. And the one that did chart only got to #94, causing Neon Philharmonic to disband in 1975.

76 – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #6, Nat’l #19)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was one of seven charted records that Marvin had with Tammi Terrell out of 11 credited to this team. The bad news? Due to poor health, Valerie Simpson actually had to sing Tammi’s part on the last three efforts together with Marvin. Tammi died from a brain tumor on March 16, 1970 at just 24 years old, sending Marvin Gaye into seclusion from depression for months.

75 – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen – 1976/1992 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – After an initial chart run that brought the song to #9 in 1976, a revival of this hit - thanks to the movie “Wayne’s World” - landed the record at #2 on the national top 100 in 1992. The bad news? Rock icon and band leader Freddie Mercury never got to see this revival of his hit. He died the previous November of AIDS.

74 - *Honky Tonk Women - Rolling Stones – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – With four weeks at #1, this was the band’s longest running chart-topper since “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in 1965 and their first #1 hit in over 2½ years. The bad news? Less than four months after this song topped the chart, a Stones concert-goer was murdered by a member of Hell’s Angels acting as security at the rock band’s Altamont concert.

73 - *Penny Lane – Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song became their longest running #1 (at three weeks) in nearly two years. As part of an extended play single it got to #2 in England. The song was one of six included in the “Magical Mystery Tour” LP in the U.S. The bad news? The “Magical Mystery Tour” film was a disaster, both in the U.S. and in England, Initially aired in the U.K. as a made-for-television film, George Martin, the band's producer, was quoted as saying "…It looked awful (as a color film showed in black and white)". Hunter Davies, the band's official biographer, said that "It was the first time in memory that an artist felt obliged to make a public apology for his work”. And Paul McCartney added. "We don't say it was a good film. It was our first attempt. If we goofed, then we goofed.”

72 - *Sugar Sugar – Archies – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The Archies became the most successful cartoon character chart act since The Chipmunks. This song was one of the biggest hits of the year, staying on top for four weeks. The bad news? “The Archie Show” which was the genesis of this fictional band was off the air by the time this song got to #1. The show debuted on CBS in September 1968 and lasted for one season, until the end of August, 1969.

71 - Won't Get Fooled Again – Who – 1971 (Peaks:  WABC #21, Nat’l #15)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was one of eight top 20 hits for the band, and it became one of their signature hits. The bad news? “Lifehouse”, the science fiction rock opera for which this song was written by the Who was intended to be a follow-up to Tommy, but was abandoned as a film project and was never completed.

70 - Taxi - Harry Chapin – 1972 (Peaks: WABC - #9, Nat’l #24)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song along with 1980’s “Sequel” provided perfect bookends to the tale of “Taxi”, with the sequel actually charting higher than the original, when it reached #23. The bad news? Harry’s brilliant career was cut short when he died in a car crash on his native Long Island at the age of 38.

69 – *A Hard Day’s Night – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

and 68 - *Help! – Beatles – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The film “A Hard Day's Night” set records at the London Pavilion by grossing over $20,000 in the first week, and eventually was nominated for two Academy Awards. By 1971 the film was estimated to have earned $11 million worldwide. And the movie “Help” is regarded as being influential in the subsequent development of music videos The bad news? The Beatles never replicated the success of the film “A Hard Day’s Night”. The movie “Help!” was not thought of as being on the same high level as “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Magical Mystery Tour” was considered a failure as a movie.

67 – Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #4)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - The song went platinum for sales of one million singles and has sold over two million digital downloads in the United States alone. The bad news? Neil has shifted his story about this song to fit the occasion. After claiming that the song was about Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the American president John F. Kennedy, Diamond revealed that Caroline gave him the idea for the name, but had nothing to do with the song's inspiration. In fact, the song is about his second wife, Marcia Murphey. He needed a three-syllable name to fit the melody, and the name Caroline fit the song perfectly.

66 - Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners - 1959 (Peaks: WABC - Pre Dates Chart, Nat'l #12)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – One of the most spectacular soprano notes ever heard in pop music ended this song. It was delivered by Janet Vogel. The bad news? Racked by depression and a downward-spiraling home life, Janet committed suicide on February 21, 1980. She was 37.

65 – Precious and Few – Climax – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – After having four top 40 hits including a #5 smash called “Time Won’t Let Me” with The Outsiders, lead singer Sonny Geraci peaked even higher on the chart with this ballad. The bad news? Sonny would never again repeat that chart success with this group or any other.

64 – *He’s a Rebel – Crystals – 1963 (Peaks: WABC - #2, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Darlene Love, the vocalist on this hit, has seen her popularity soar from the 1990’s through today, culminating with her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The bad news? Darlene never received credit under her own name for this hit, and throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, her talent was largely ignored.

63 - *Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James and the Shondells – 1969 (Peaks: WABC#1, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Tommy James and The Shondells were voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2006. The bad news?  Four of their songs were voted “Legendary Michigan Songs”. But “Crystal Blue Persuasion” wasn’t one of them.

62 – Elusive Butterfly – Bob Lind – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #6, Nat’l #5)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song was a big international hit, going to #5 in both the U.S. and the U.K. The bad news? The single might have done even better on the UK Singles Chart had there not been competition from established Irish recording artist Val Doonican, who released a cover version of the song and also peaked at #5.

61 – Gimme Shelter (from the LP “Let It Bleed”) – Rolling Stones 1969 (Peaks; WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – To this day, Merry Clayton’s vocal contributions remain the most prominent contribution to a Rolling Stones track by a female vocalist. The bad news? Merry suffered a miscarriage after the recording session, attributed by some sources to her exertions during the session.

60 - *Sherry – Four Seasons – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - According to writer and group member Bob Gaudio, the song was named after the daughter of his best friend, New York DJ Jack Spector. The bad news? Before the group arrived at that title, they had to go through alternate titles that included "Jackie Baby" (in honor of then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy),  "Terri Baby", and "Peri Baby," which was the name of the record label for which Bob Crewe worked, named after the label owner's daughter.

59 - *Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The song was an international hit, going to #2 in Billboard and #1 in Cashbox in the U.S. and #5 in the U.K. The bad news? Andy Williams, not Frankie Valli, had the hit version in the UK, which peaked at #5 in 1968. In 2002, he redid the song as a duet with Denise Van Outen, this time peaking at #23. Other UK hit versions were recorded by Boystown Gang (#4 in 1982) and The Pet Shop Boys in a medley with "Where The Streets Have No Name" (#4 in 1991). Frankie Valli’s version never clicked in England.

58 – Lola – Kinks – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #8, Nat’l #9)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This single was their first top ten hit in nearly five years and became a classic, one of their signature songs. The bad news? Despite 23 top 100 songs in the U.S., this band never cracked the rarified air of the top five.

57 – *Daydream Believer – The Monkees – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - This song, their second biggest hit behind “I’m a Believer”, was so popular that it charted twice, the second as a remix in 1986 when it got to #79. The bad news? Davy Jones always sang lead on this song, but once he passed away on February 29, 2012, the group refused to sing it, letting the audience lead on it as a tribute to their late singer.

56 - *A Horse with No Name – America – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD -  The group, although all Americans, was formed in England and ended up with this song going to #1 in over five countries. The bad news? Although formed in England, this song never made it to #1 there.

55 – You Really Got Me – Kinks – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #7)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was the first of six straight top 40 hits for the band, three of which made the top ten. The bad news? The group would have two consecutive top 40 hits only once more in over 20 years on the chart. And they would be totally absent from the top ten from 1971 to 1982.

54 – A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #5)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Every one of this act’s three charted songs made the top 40. The bad news? A huge amount of personnel changes (22 members through the years) led a tumultuous dynamic. In July 2009, past member Matthew Fisher won a British court judgment awarding him 40% of the music royalties from 2005 onwards for "A Whiter Shade of Pale", which had previously gone to two original members, Gary Brooker and Keith Reid.

53 – Nowhere Man – Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was The Beatles sixteenth double-sided hit, with the flip side, “What Goes On”, getting to #81. The bad news? This was the group’s lowest ranking “A” side since 1964’s “Matchbox”, which only got to #17.

52 – Layla – Derek and the Dominoes – 1971/1972 (Peaks: WABC #7, Nat’l #10)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song was one of the few in music history to chart three times in three different versions. The first was a 2:43 version in 1971 that peaked at #51. The more familiar 7:10 version climbed to #10 in 1972, and an acoustic version of the song made it to #12 in 1992. The bad news? Clapton went into a drug-filled depression when the single tanked in 1971. He couldn't understand why it wasn't a hit.

51 – Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #8, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The song proved to be one of the highlights of the movie “Blue Hawaii” after Elvis insisted it be included in the soundtrack. The bad news? Neither the movie producers nor Elvis' associates liked the song, and Elvis had to insist on its inclusion before the higher-ups agreed.

50 - *Runaround Sue – Dion – 1961 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Ellen, the girl who inspired this song at a basement party in the Bronx, was thrilled with the record, hugging Dion and saying, “Wow, what a birthday gift to watch that song come together.” The bad news? At first, the friends at that party thought Dion ruined the feel of the song.

49 – Midnight Confessions – The Grass Roots – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #5)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – A signature hit for this act, it led to ten more top 40 hits over the next seven years. The bad news? Steve Barri, who was looking to produce a song for the Grass Roots that would be a "West Coast" version of a Motown-style production, didn’t allow the band to play on this record. Instead, he brought in veteran musicians from ”The Wrecking Crew” conglomerate to provide the instrumentation.

48 - *I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The Four Tops had 45 top 100 songs and this was one of only two that made it to #1. The bad news? This would be the first time one Motown act displaced another (The Supremes, “Back in My Arms Again”) at the #1 spot.

47 - *Incense and Peppermints – Strawberry Alarm Clock – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The record achieved gold record status and was a #1 hit in both the U.S. and Canada. The bad news? The band hated the lyrics so the lead vocals were sung by a friend of the band, Greg Munford. The regular vocalists in the group were relegated to providing background and harmony vocals on the record. Munford never sang with the band after the recording session was completed.

46 - *Lightning Strikes – Lou Christie – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Lou managed to launch and relaunch his career three times. In 1963, “The Gypsy Cried” went top ten. In 1966, “Lightning Strikes” led the revival. Finally, in 1969, “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” got to #10. The bad news? On “Lightning Strikes, label head Lenny Shear threw it in the wastebasket and said it was “a piece of crap”. Lou had to put up his own money to get it played around the country.

45 - *California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #4)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The group had nine top 30 hits and six top ten songs within just two years. The bad news? After those two years were up, the group never charted higher than #51.

44 - *One Less Bell to Answer – 5th Dimension – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The group received a platinum record for this hit, their fifth top ten song. The bad news? The song was written for Keely Smith, Louis Prima’s ex-wife, but Keely never got the hit record of the song that could have revived her career.

43 – Piano Man – Billy Joel – 1974 (Peaks: WABC #19, Nat’l #25)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song achieved “Digital Gold” status, meaning it achieved 500,000 downloads. The bad news? The song only achieved mediocre results when released as Billy’s first single.

42 - *Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley and the Comets – 1955 (WABC – Pre-dates Chart, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Widely considered to be the song that brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world, it stayed at the top of the chart for 8 weeks. The bad news? Although many consider it the first rock and roll record, it was not, nor was it the first successful record of the genre. Bill Haley himself had American chart success with "Crazy Man, Crazy" in 1953, and in 1954, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" sung by Big Joe Turner reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

41 – Earth Angel – Penguins – 1955 (Peaks: WABC (Pre-dates Chart, Nat’l #8)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The act was the second doo wop group to make the top ten, behind only The Chords’ “Sh-Boom”. The bad news? This group never charted again on the top 100.

40 – Can’t Find the Time – Orpheus – 1969 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l #80

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song, although never a big hit nationally or in many major markets, became a classic despite that lack of chart success. The bad news? Because the song peaked in different markets at different times, it was never a national top ten hit.

39 - *Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin – 1959 (Peaks: WABC – Pre-Dates Chart, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song helped Bobby achieve major hits in four different music genres, pop, top 40 rock and roll, country, and rhythm and blues. The bad news? Just 14 years after the success of this hit, Bobby died of heart failure at just 37 years old.

38 – *House of the Rising Sun – Animals – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song started off their career with a bang, staying at #1 for three weeks. The bad news? While their 14th top 40 hit was on the chart, the band broke up in July, 1968. And even after reuniting two times, that initial spark never again ignited.

37 - *Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Following the song's release in 1972, "Brandy" increased in popularity as a girl's name in the United States. According to data from the Social Security Administration, "Brandy” was the 353rd most popular name in 1971, 140th in 1972, and, in 1973 (the first full year after the song's popularity), 82nd. The bad news? As the popularity of the name grew, the popularity of the band shrunk. By 1973, they had their second, and final, top 100 song.

36 - *You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ - Righteous Brothers – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was the first song to have eight million performances according to BMI publishers. The bad news? Bobby Hatfield died in 2003, 63 years old, just hours before a scheduled Righteous Brothers concert. In January 2004, a toxicology report concluded that an overdose of cocaine had precipitated a fatal heart attack.

35 - *To Sir With Love – Lulu – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song was the #1 hit of the year for both WABC and the national charts. The bad news? In Lulu's native U.K. it was only a “B” side to her #11 hit "Let's Pretend."

34 – Strawberry Fields Forever – Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #34, Nat’l #8)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Only four Beatles “B” sides charted higher than this one. The bad news? John Lennon wanted this to be the “A” side. His opinion did not prevail.

33 - *Downtown – Petula Clark – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – After 33 years in show business, she finally became a star in the U.S. with this breakthrough hit. The bad news? Although she had six more national top 20 hits over the next three years, this would be her only #1 song on WABC.

32 - *Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures)  - The 5th Dimension (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This stayed at #1 for seven weeks on WABC, which tied a record for longevity at the top at the time. The bad news? 26 additional members joined the group through the years, yet the many turnovers could not come up with the right combination for another hit song once Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. left in 1976.

31 – Dawn (Go Away) – The Four Seasons – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – 15 top ten hits and five #1 songs helped make this group one of the top acts of the 1960s. The bad news? The following year, bass singer Nick Massi left, opening up the door to group turnovers to the point where NONE of the originals appeared with Frankie Valli by 1973..

30 – Because – Dave Clark Five – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #60 in August, and peaked six weeks later at #3, becoming the band's fifth US single to sell more than one million copies. The bad news? Epic Records, the group’s label, was initially resistant to releasing this song, believing the ballad strayed too far from the hit-making formula that had proven successful with the band's previous upbeat singles. When Dave Clark insisted that "Because" be released as an A-side in the U.S., the label eventually agreed.

29 – Mr. Dieingly Sad – Critters – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #5, Nat’l #17)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Three of the groups four top 100 national hits were top 10 songs in New York. The bad news? Nationally, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” was the only Critters record to crack the top 20.

28 – A Day in the Life (from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) - Beatles – 1967

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This track is one of the most popular Beatles LP cuts. The bad news? Many radio stations, including WABC, refused to play this song in 1967 due to the “suggestive drug lyrics”.

27 - *Will You Love Me Tomorrow – Shirelles – 1961 (Peaks: WBC #1,Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD –The Shirelles are the second most successful “girl group” of the 1960’s, behind only The Supremes. The bad news? The “B” side of this record, “Boys” was later covered by The Beatles and released as a “Capitol Starline” single in 1965, but never charted.

26 - *Runaway – Del Shannon – 1961 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was his first and biggest hit, staying at #1 for a month in March of 1961. The bad news? Del shot himself to death at the age of 55 in 1990.

25 – Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – After nine chart entries achieved only mediocre success, Glen finally made it with this breakthrough #3 hit, putting a name on a face that had been so important behind the scenes on hit records since the 1960’s. The bad news? Glen would have to wait nearly another seven years before he’s reach the top three again with the #1 hit, “Rhinestone Cowboy”.

24 - *Hotel California – Eagles – 1977 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – "Hotel California" went to #1 for one week in May 1977, In addition, it reached #10 on the Easy Listening and was certified Gold and Platinum (Digital Sales Award) by the Recording Industry Association of America. The Eagles won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for this song, and the song's guitar solo was voted the best solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine in 1998. The bad news? The record company was reluctant to release it as a single because of the length of song - over six minutes long. The band took a stand and refused the label's request to shorten it.

23 - *Cherish – Association – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Original Association member Jim Yester said the record label claimed the song sounded "too old and archaic", but quipped that the song's success "just showed we can have archaic and eat it, too." Now THAT’S a bad pun that’s VERY good! The bad news? There’s an intentional lie on the label! The single release of the song was slightly edited by removing one of the two "And I do cherish you" lines near the end of the song to keep the track from exceeding the three-minute mark many radio stations demanded. But even with the edit, it still ran over. Instead of editing further, producer Curt Boettcher intentionally listed "3:00" on the label as the song's running time.

22 - *Be My Baby – Ronettes – 1963 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The bad news? Phil Spector sabotaged the group’s success shortly after “Walking in the Rain” hit the charts by refusing to release records the group was contractually obligated to release. Many attributed this to his insecurities and love for the group's lead singer, Ronnie. Spector didn't want the Ronettes to become too popular, afraid that they would outgrow him. Their biggest loss could have been "Chapel of Love”. Ronnie recalls, "We practically begged Phil to put it out. When the Dixie Cups' version came out and it was a smash, it was so depressing."

21 – Imagine – John Lennon – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #3)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - Rolling Stone described "Imagine" as Lennon's "greatest musical gift to the world" and ranked it as #3 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. In 1999, BMI named it one of the top 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. Also that year, it received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The bad news? Not everyone loved the song. Authors Ben Urish and Ken Bielen criticized the music as overly sentimental and melodramatic, and the lyrics as nebulous and contradictory, offering no practical solutions. Author Chris Ingham indicated the hypocrisy in Lennon, the millionaire rock star living in a mansion, encouraging listeners to imagine living their lives without possessions.

20 - *Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was Elvis’ first #1 song in over seven years. The bad news? This was Elvis’ last #1 song.

19 – Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was Dylan’s first major top 40 hit. 21 more top 100 entries followed. The bad news? Hard-core fans started pulling away from him, bemoaning his use of electric guitars as trying to appease the commercial masses and calling his music “the watery pap of pop music”.

18 – Waterloo Sunset – Kinks – 1967 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Despite minimum exposure in the states at the time, the song persevered to become one of the group’s signature tunes. The bad news? After appearing on a Dick Clark special without paying their to the American Federation of Television and Recording Artists dues, the Federation blacklisted them and the Kinks could not return to the U.S. for over four years. Years later, lead singer Ray Davies mused, “…that ridiculous ban took away the best years of the Kinks’ career…”.

17 - *My Girl – Temptations – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was the group’s first #1 song. Three more would follow. The bad news? In New York on WABC, the song never even cracked the top three.

16 - *Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – With only her second single release after leaving The Supremes, Ms. Ross made it to the top with this hit, and would eventually end up having a #1 song for eight consecutive years, either solo or with her former group. The bad news? For the next ten years, Diana’s songs either went to #1, or didn’t make it into the top ten at all, a very odd accomplishment.

15 - *Let It Be – Beatles – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was the tenth time of eleven that the Fab Four had back to back releases get to #1. Elvis only did it three times. The bad news? This disastrous recording session with its bickering and ill feelings essentially represented the end of The Beatles as a group.

14 - In The Still Of The Nite - Five Satins – 1956 (Peaks: WABC – Pre-Dates Chart, Nat’l: #24)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – It’s considered by many to be the all-time #1 doo-wop song. The bad news? Not only did this song never enter the top 20, but this talented group only had one other top 40 song, “To the Aisle”, which peaked at #25.

13 - God Only Knows - Beach Boys - 1966 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l - #39)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Even though only three Beach Boys appear on this (Brian and Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston), Paul McCartney called it his favorite all-time record. The bad news? WABC in New York never played this song, supposedly because it mentioned “God” in the title, a controversial practice in 1966.

12 - *She Loves You – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The good is VERY good…the final note. George Martin, the Beatles' producer, questioned the validity of the major sixth chord that ends the song. George suggested it, and Paul loved it. It’s considered a classic piece of harmony to this day. As Martin put it, “It was just like a Glenn Miller arrangement.". The bad news? Capitol Records didn’t believe in the group at first, so Epstein, who needed a record label to release "She Loves You" in the US, was forced to go to Swan Records with a contract for only "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" – and the rights for only two years.

11 - *Rag Doll - Four Seasons – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD - This song leaped from “Pick Hit of the Week’ to #1 in one week on New York’s WABC and helped establish the act as an American super-group. The bad news? They would only make the top 3 three more times, and it would be almost twelve years before they had another #1 hit.

10 - MacArthur Park - Richard Harris – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #2)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – The good news was the left-field success of this song by a singer previously known for his Shakespearian acting ability.The bad news? Despite the poetic homage paid to it by lyricist Jimmy Webb, MacArthur Park became known for violence after 1985 when prostitution, drug dealing, and shoot-outs became commonplace. Gang-on-gang violence still occurs occasionally in and around the park.

9 - Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen – 1975 (Peaks: WABC #36, Nat’l #25)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – Bruce’s first hit became his signature song.  The bad news? The song never even made the national top 20, despite all the accolades and awards it’s amassed through the years.

8 - *I Want To Hold Your Hand – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This was the song that made them international superstars.  The bad news? “I Saw Her Standing There”, a song that on its own could have very likely been another #1 Beatles hit, only got to #14 as a result of being relegated to the flip side of the single.

7 - Stairway To Heaven  -  Led Zeppelin – 1971 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This classic was voted #3 in 2000 by VH1 on its list of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs and was #31 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the U.S.in the 1970s, despite never having been released as a commercial single initially.  The bad news? The group was sued by a member of Spirit, who claimed that “Stairway to Heaven” was a rip-off of their song “Spirit”. Led Zeppelin prevailed, but it took two years in court to do so.

6 - * Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song spent six weeks at #1. Record and Song of the Year awards for 1970 topped the good news. The bad news? This was their last #1 song and effectively led to the end of the act as a duo.

5 - *Light My Fire – Doors – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO, THAT’S BAD – This turned into a million selling #1 hit, staying on the chart for nearly six months and launching the band to super stardom. The bad news? After Ed Sullivan demanded they change the lyrics on this song from “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better” for their TV appearance, Jim Morrison sang the offending lyrics anyway, and as a result the group was permanently banned from the show.

4 - *Good Vibrations - Beach Boys – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song continued a string of three straight years that “The Boys of Summer” would have a #1 hit.The bad news? Their next and final #1 would not appear until 22 years later, when "Kokomo" made it to the top.

3 - *American Pie - Don McLean – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This song exploded onto the music scene and established McLean as a hot commodity overnight. This hit stayed at #1 for four weeks. The bad news? It would be almost ten years before Don made the top ten again, with a final total of only two more top 20 songs after “American Pie”.

2 - *Satisfaction - Rolling Stones – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO, THAT’S BAD – This was the first of eight #1 songs for this band, and it became a signature song for them as part of 11 consecutive top 20 records released between 1964 and early 1967.The bad news? They would only muster up one more top ten hit from the fall of 1967 until early 1971.

AND NOW, THE SONG YOU VOTED #1…FOR THE 18th TIME!

1 - *Hey Jude – Beatles – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

OH THAT’S GOOD…NO THAT’S BAD – This became the biggest Beatles hit of all time, staying at #1 for nine weeks.The bad news? "Jude" is the German word for "Jew." When an employee scrawled the words "Revolution" and "Hey Jude" to promote the new Beatles single on the window of the retail store the group owned and recently had closed, the words were taken out of context by some Jewish residents, who read it as hateful graffiti.

***THE BEST OF THE BEST!


THESE ARE THE SONG YOU LOVED THE MOST THIS YEAR ON THE 19TH ANNUAL TOP 77.
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