Sunday, June 29, 2008


Bananarama's "Venus" hit No. 1 in September, 1986, more than 16 years after Shocking Blue first took the song to the top of the chart. "Venus" is the fourth song in the rock era to hit No. 1 for two different artists, following "Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence, Donny Osmond), "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva, Grand Funk), and "Please Mr. Postman" (Marvelettes, Carpenters).

Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" only reached No. 13 on the Hot 100, but it was probably the most significant single released in 1984. It launched the social consciousness movement which culminated in USA for Arfrica and the "Live Aide" concert.

Bangles' "Manic Monday," which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in April, 1986, was kept out of the top spot by Prince & the Revolution's "Kiss." Prince wrote both songs, making him one of only five writers in the rock era to hold down the top two spots on the Hot 100 simultaneously. He followed Elvis Presley, Lennon & McCartney, the Bee Gees, and Jim Steinman.

Bobby Bare had one of the biggest hits of 1959 with "All American Boy," but no one knew. A label error listed Bill Parsons as the artist.

The Beach Boys' Beach Boys Concert album was the first live album by a contemporary pop or rock act to hit No. 1. It topped the chart in December, 1964.

The Beatles' single which logged more weeks onthe Hot 100 than any other was "Twist And Shout." The song spent 11 weeks on the chart in 1964, and 15 additional weeks in 1986. The runner-up is "Hey Jude," with 19 weeks.

Blondie's Autoamerican is one of only three albums in the 80s to generate two No. 1 singles without hitting No. 1 itself. The others: Starship's Knee Deep In The Hoopla and Peter Ceter's Solitude/Solitaire.

Pat Benatar's Crimes Of Pssion would probably have been a No. 1 album if John Lennon hadn't been murdered in December, 1980. "Passion" logged five weeks at No. 2 behind Lennon's Double Fantasy in January and February, 1981. But with nothing to block its path, Benatar's next album, Precious Time, hit No. 1 in August, 1981.

Brook Benton was the first artist to have a top-five hit in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He was abled to claim that distinciton when "Rainy Night In Georgia" cracked the top five in March, 1970.

Berlin was the second act to hit No. 1 to share the name of a foreign capital. The Kingston Trio, named after Kingston, Jamaica, was the first.

David Bowie has worked with a lot of diverse musicians over the years. He co-wrote his first No. 1 hit, "Fame," with John Lennon, and co-produced his second, "Let's Dance," with Nile Rodgers. He's also teamed for Top-40 hits with Queen and the Pat Metheny Group.

Laura Branigan's "Gloria" peaked at No. 2 in December, 1982, when the entire top five consisted of one-word titles. Lionel Richie's "Truly" was No. 1, Toni Basil's "Mickey" was No. 3, Daryl Hall & John Oates' "Maneater" was No. 4, and Neil Diamond's "Heartlight" was No. 5.

The Brothers Four were no more brothers than the Thompson Twins are twins. If truth-in-packaging regulations are ever applied to the music industry, watch out.

Brothers Johnson were the main beneficiaries of Quincy Jones' production talents in the mid-70s, before he went on to bigger and better things (Off The Wall and Thriller).

Jackson Browne's spiraling popularity in the 70s is reflected in the fact that each of his first six albums climbed higher on the chart than its predecessor. But after that there was nowhere to go but down: that sixth album, Hold Out, hit No. 1.

The Buckinghams' "Kind Of A Drag" did what the Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron," Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" and the Seekers' "Georgy Girl" all tried, but failed to do: It knocked the Monkees' monster hit "I'm A Believer" out of the No. 1 spot.

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