If you were born
you have a
And in that year there’s a list of hit singles that go a long way to define the zeitgeist of that era–or at least is a list of the songs most people were listening to at the time, which may or may not be the same thing. My Billboard Birth Year is 1975, which upon close inspection is a year with a handful of high highs and a whole lot of low lows. It’s a year best summed up by the fact that the only hit that stayed at number one for four weeks was:
Turns out I was born in a pretty uncool year for music. The only iconic musician with a #1 hit that year who people are legally allowed to praise without apology or irony is David Bowie (whose “Fame” hit #1 on September 20, was beaten out for top spot on September 27 by John Denver’s “I’m Sorry/Calypso” before returning for one more week on October 4), while the rest of the year is a Who’s Who of the kind of “mom” music most people namecheck specifically to mock: Barry Manilow (“Mandy”, January 18), The Carpenters (“Please Mr. Postman”, January 25), Olivia Newton-John (“Have You Never Been Mellow” March 8), B.J. Thomas (“(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” April 26), Tony Orlando and Dawn (“He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)”, May 3 – 17), Denver (“Thank God I’m a Country Boy”, June 7, plus above) and Glen Campbell (“Rhinestone Cowboy”, September 6 – 13).
That said, I’m pretty cool with it. I like that classic disco tracks like Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade” (March 29) and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” (May 24) are up there, along with slightly cheesier dance floor hits like The Bee-Gee’s “Jive Talkin'” (August 8 – 16) and KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight” (August 30). But it does seem slightly weird that the artist who truly dominated my Billboard Birth Year wasn’t Elton John (who with three different songs stayed at #1 for seven weeks), but instead the grandmommest of all mom music rockers, Neil Sedaka.
Counting his songwriting duties on the Captain & Tennille track embedded above with his own two singles, Neil Sedaka was the king of 1975, staying at #1 for eight weeks out of the year. In fact, the day I was born, this was what America was listening to:
And I can’t figure out why. I guess you had to be there and not a baby who’d have to wait six months for the first Ramones album to come out.
What’s your Billboard Birth Year like? Does it features songs you actually like or is it alien & foreign to you?
And what’s your #1 Birth Song?
Don’t be embarrassed! There’s no way it can be as bad as mine is!
Updated: Here’s what Twitter has to say this morning!
— Ed Button (@edb87) October 14, 2014
@HouseofGlib YEAH I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY— WITH SOMEBODY WHO LOOOOOVES ALLAN.
— Jenna Lång (@HistoryJenna) October 14, 2014
— MyKILL Powell (@Mpowelljr) October 14, 2014
@HouseofGlib Phil Collins’ One More Night
— JMacFEARlane (@otherjmac) October 14, 2014
@HouseofGlib "Love is Blue" – Paul Mauriat
— Mike (@buddhatree) October 14, 2014