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The Most Beautiful Girl

“The Most Beautiful Girl” is a song recorded by Charlie Rich and written by Bill Sherrill, Norris Wilson, and Rory Bourke. The country & western ballad reached #1 in the United States in 1973 on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart (two weeks); the country chart (three weeks); and the adult contemporary chart (three weeks),[1] as well as in Canada on three RPM charts: the RPM 100 Top Singles chart, the Country Tracks chart, and the Adult Contemporary chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 23 song for 1974.[2]

The song was originally recorded as “Hey Mister” in 1968 by co-writer Norris Wilson. The song also uses a part of “Mama McCluskie”, also by Norris Wilson.

Rich’s B-side, his own I Feel Like Going Home, was later covered by Rita Coolidge and was released on her 1974 album Fall into Spring. British Pop star Engelbert Humperdinck included “The Most Beautiful Girl” on his 1973 album Engelbert: King of Hearts.

“The Most Beautiful Girl” was also recorded by Slim Whitman in the 1970s. Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, The Way We Were. In 1975 ABBA singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad recorded a Swedish-language version called “Vill du låna en man?” (with Swedish lyrics by Stig Anderson) on her solo album “Frida ensam”. Sergio Franchi recorded the song in his 1976 DynaHouse album 20 Magnificent Songs.[3] Country music boy band South 65 recorded an updated version of the song, titled “The Most Beautiful Girl (2001 Version)”, on their 2001 album Dream Large.

The song receives a very brief airing by Brenda Fricker in the film So I Married an Axe Murderer. Jason Alexander also offered a rendition as his character George Costanza on the Dec. 16, 1992 episode of the sitcom Seinfeld titled “The Pick,” where he bemoaned the loss of his girlfriend, Susan.[4]

Top of the World (The Carpenters song)

“Top of the World” is a 1972 song written and composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. It was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit in 1973 for The Carpenters. Originally intended to be only an album cut for them, country music singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and was the first to release it as a single. Her version nearly topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Country singles chart, reaching No. 2.

Originally recorded for and released on the duo’s 1972 studio album A Song for You, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in late 1973, becoming the duo’s second of three number one singles, following “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and preceding “Please Mr. Postman.” Karen Carpenter re-recorded the song for the band’s first compilation as she was not quite satisfied with the original.

In Japan, the song was used as the opening theme song for the 1995 Japanese drama Miseinen. In 2003, it was used for another drama, this time as the ending theme song for Beginner. It appeared on the 2010 soundtrack of Shrek Forever After when Shrek enjoys being a “real ogre” and terrifying the villagers, as well as in a prominent scene of the 2012 film Dark Shadows, with a performance by the Carpenters seen on a television screen.

Photograph (Ringo Starr song)

“Photograph” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr that was released as the lead single from his 1973 album Ringo. Starr co-wrote the song with George Harrison, his former bandmate from the Beatles. Although the two of them collaborated on other compositions, it is the only song officially credited to the pair. A signature tune for Starr as a solo artist, “Photograph” became an international hit, topping singles charts in the United States, Canada and Australia, and receiving gold disc certification for US sales of 1 million. Music critics have similarly received the song favourably; Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic considers it to be “among the very best post-Beatles songs by any of the Fab Four”.[2]

The lyrics are a reflection on lost love, whereby a photograph is the only reminder of the protagonists’ shared past. Starr and Harrison began writing the song in the South of France in 1971, during a period when Starr was focused on developing his acting career. They first recorded “Photograph” late the following year, along with the single’s B-side, “Down and Out”, during sessions for Harrison’s Living in the Material World album (1973). The officially released version was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Richard Perry, and it incorporates aspects of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound through the presence of multiple drums and acoustic guitars, as well as an orchestra and a choir. Aside from Starr and Harrison, the musicians on the recording include Nicky Hopkins, Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner, and Spector’s musical arranger, Jack Nitzsche. Starr made a promotional film for the single, shot at his and wife Maureen Starkey’s home, Tittenhurst Park.

“Photograph” has appeared on Starr’s compilation albums Blast from Your Past (1975) and Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr (2007), and live versions have featured on releases recorded with his All-Starr Band and with the Roundheads. In November 2002, a year after Harrison’s death, Starr sang “Photograph” at the Concert for George – a performance that was an emotional highpoint of the event. Engelbert Humperdinck, Camper Van Beethoven, Cilla Black and Adam Sandler are among the artists who have covered the song.

Keep on Truckin’ (song)

“Keep on Truckin'” is a 1973 hit song recorded by Eddie Kendricks for Motown Records’ Tamla label. The song was Kendricks’ first major hit as a solo artist, coming two years after his departure from The Temptations. “Keep On Truckin'” reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles Chart upon its release, and was Kendricks’ only number-one hit.[1]

By 1973, Eddie Kendricks was two years deep into a solo career following his bitter split from The Temptations in 1971. While his former bandmates went on to record hits such as “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)” (which was a reported jab at Kendricks and fellow ex-Temptation David Ruffin), and their seven-minute opus, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, Kendricks had begun to reach a cult R&B fan base following his last two albums.

Working closely with Frank Wilson, who was the main producer in most of Kendricks’ solo efforts, the duo worked on a song that would aim at the dance floor rather than the serene ballads that Kendricks was used to recording. His earlier single, “Girl You Need a Change of Mind”, was a cult favorite for club fans. With co-writers Anita Poree and Leonard Caston, Jr., Wilson created a song rivaling that of the Temptations’ Norman Whitfield-produced cinematic soul that had become commonplace among the group’s recordings, but instead of instigating drama, the song’s grooves were clearly aimed at the dance floor.

Midnight Train to Georgia

“Midnight Train to Georgia” is a 1973 number-one hit single by Gladys Knight & the Pips, their second release after departing Motown Records for Buddah Records. Written by Jim Weatherly, and included on the Pips’ 1973 LP Imagination, “Midnight Train to Georgia” won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus and has become Knight’s signature song.

The theme of the song is how romantic love can conquer differences in background.[citation needed] The boyfriend[citation needed] of the song’s narrator is a failed musician[citation needed] who left his native Georgia to move to Los Angeles to become a “superstar, but he didn’t get far”. He decides to give up, and “go back to the life he once knew.” Even though she is settled and secure in herself, the narrator decides to move to Georgia with him:

“And I’ll be with him
On that midnight train to Georgia
I’d rather live in his world
Than live without him in mine.”

The song was originally written and performed by Jim Weatherly under the title “Midnight Plane to Houston,” which he recorded on Jimmy Bowen’s Amos Records. “It was based on a conversation I had with somebody… about taking a midnight plane to Houston,” Weatherly recalls. “I wrote it as a kind of a country song. Then we sent the song to a guy named Sonny Limbo in Atlanta and he wanted to cut it with Cissy Houston… he asked if I minded if he changed the title to ‘Midnight Train to Georgia.’ And I said, ‘I don’t mind. Just don’t change the rest of the song.'” Weatherly, in an interview with Gary James, stated that the phone conversation was with Farrah Fawcett and he used Fawcett and his friend Lee Majors, whom she had just started dating, “as kind of like characters.”[1][2]

Gospel/soul singer Cissy Houston recorded the song as “Midnite Train to Georgia” (spelled “Midnight …” on the UK single) released in 1973. Her version can also be found on her albums Midnight Train to Georgia: The Janus Years (1995), and the reissue of her 1970 debut album, Presenting Cissy Houston originally released on Janus Records.

Weatherly’s publisher forwarded the song to Gladys Knight and the Pips, who followed Houston’s lead and kept the title “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The single debuted on the Hot 100 at number 71 and became the group’s first number-one hit eight weeks later when it jumped from number 5 to number 1 on October 27, 1973, replacing “Angie” by the Rolling Stones. It remained in the top position for another week, thus attaining two weeks at number one. It was replaced by “Keep On Truckin’ (Part 1)” by Eddie Kendricks. It also reached number one on the soul singles chart, their fifth on that chart.[3] On the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number ten.

In her autobiography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory, Gladys Knight wrote that she hoped the song was a comfort to the many thousands who come each year from elsewhere to Los Angeles to realize the dream of being in motion pictures or music, but then fail to realize that dream and plunge into despair.[4]

In 1999, “Midnight Train to Georgia” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It currently ranks #432 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Angie (song)

“Angie” is a song by the rock band The Rolling Stones, featured on their 1973 album Goats Head Soup.

Credited as most Rolling Stones songs to both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but acknowledged to be almost completely written by Richards, “Angie” was recorded in November and December 1972, and is an acoustic-guitar-driven ballad considered to be characterizing the end of a romance. The song’s distinctive piano accompaniment, written by Richards, was played on the album by Nicky Hopkins, a Rolling Stones recording-session regular. The strings on the piece (as well as on another song, “Winter”) were arranged by Nicky Harrison.[3] An unusual feature of the original recording is that singer Mick Jagger’s vocal guide track (made before the final vocals were performed) is faintly audible throughout the song (an effect sometimes called a “ghost vocal”).[4]

Released as a single in August 1973, “Angie” went straight to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 5 on the UK singles chart. The song was also a No. 1 hit in both Canada and Australia for five weeks each and topped the charts in many countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Because of the song’s length, some radio stations made edits to shorten it to 3 minutes, omitting the longer coda and the second instrumental section of the song.

There was speculation that the song was about David Bowie’s first wife Angela,[5][6][7] the actress Angie Dickinson,[8] Keith Richards’ newborn daughter Dandelion Angela,[8][9] and others.[8] In 1993, in an interview for the liner notes to the Rolling Stones’ compilation album Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones, Richards said that the title was inspired by his baby daughter.[10] However, in his 2010 memoir Life, Richards said that he had chosen the name at random when writing the song — before he knew that his baby would be named Angela or even knew that his baby would be a girl — and that the song “was not about any particular person.”[11] According to NME, Jagger’s contributions to the lyrics referred to his breakup with Marianne Faithfull.[6]

The Rolling Stones have frequently performed the song in concert; it was included in set lists on their 1973, 1975, and 1976 tours, and they have performed it on every tour since their 1982 European tour.[12] Concert renditions were released on the albums Stripped and Live Licks.

In the documentary Protagonist, the former German terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein remarks that the song inspired him to adopt “Angie” as the moniker he used during his militant activities in the 1970s.[13] In 2005, the German political party CDU used the song in its election campaign for Angela Merkel, although the Rolling Stones had not given them permission to do so.[14]

Half-Breed (song)

“Half-Breed” is a 1973 song recorded by American singer-actress Cher with instrumental backing by L.A. sessions musicians from the Wrecking Crew.[1] Recorded May 21,1973 at Larrabee Sound in Los Angeles, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 89 on August 4, 1973, and on October 6, 1973, it became Cher’s second U.S. solo #1 hit.[2] The single was certified Gold in the US for the sales of over 1 million copies.

It was the first international release from Cher’s album Half-Breed. It was meant to be sold to the American market. It tells the story of a young woman who is half white and half Cherokee and describes the troubles faced by the main character. The song offers a scenario in which whites often called her “Indian squaw” and Native Americans never accepted her as one of their own, telling her that she was “white by law”.

In 1973, “Half-Breed” topped the United States Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, becoming Cher’s second solo and third overall #1 hit, and second Gold certified solo single for the sales of over 1,000,000 copies. It was a #1 hit in Canada and New Zealand, and a Top 10 hit in Australia and Norway respectively.

We’re an American Band (song)

“We’re an American Band” (from the album of the same name) became Grand Funk Railroad’s first #1 single[2] on 29 September 1973, Mark Farner’s 25th birthday. Written by Don Brewer and produced by Todd Rundgren, its huge chart success broadened Grand Funk’s appeal. It was sung by Brewer rather than Farner, who usually took lead vocals.

It is the 99th song on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.[3]

Delta Dawn

“Delta Dawn” is a song written by former child rockabilly star Larry Collins and songwriter Alex Harvey, best known as a 1972 top ten country hit for Tanya Tucker[1] and a number-one hit for Helen Reddy in 1973.

The co-writer more often goes by the name Alexander Harvey today, not to be confused with Glaswegian rocker Alex Harvey.

The song draws its melody from the traditional Scottish song The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond.

Let’s Get It On (song)

“Let’s Get It On” is a song and hit single by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released June 15, 1973, on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. The song was recorded on March 22, 1973, at Hitsville West in Los Angeles, California. The song features romantic and sexual lyricism and funk instrumentation by The Funk Brothers. The title track of Gaye’s landmark 1973 album of the same name, it was written by Marvin Gaye and producer Ed Townsend. “Let’s Get It On” became Gaye’s most successful single for Motown and one of his most well-known songs. With the help of the song’s sexually explicit content, “Let’s Get It On” helped give Gaye a reputation as a sex icon during its initial popularity.

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