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All Right Now – Free

All Right Now – Free

Free’s heavy metal credentials are tenuous; “All Right Now” would not have been included in our history of metal one-hit wonders were it not for the Bad Company connections of two of this group’s members, plus The Firm, another one-hit wonder featuring Paul Rodgers and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page with their one hit, “Radioactive.” “All Right Now’s” six-minute album version featured one of the most expressive guitar solos in rock history and played by the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Rock

The Americans – Byron MacGregor

The Americans – Byron MacGregor

“The Americans” by Bryon MacGregor may be one of the most bizarre one-hit wonders ever. It’s essentially a patriotic testimonial from a Canadian news anchor who applauds the pluck and moxie and charitable nature of Americans compared to many other countries across the world. It’s a spoken-word piece with “America the Beautiful” as the background. And it was a huge hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1974. That made Bryon MacGregor a … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Rock On – David Essex

Rock On – David Essex

You know your song has made an impact when a band like R.E.M. song-checks your lyrics and melody in one of their biggest hits, “Drive” from Automatic for the People. Frankly, I’m a little surprised the song has become such an enduring hit. It definitely doesn’t rock in terms of how you would expect a song with a title like “Rock On” to, well, rock. It’s slow. It’s mysterious. It barely features any guitar, instead … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace

The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace

“The Night Chicago Died” was one of my favorite songs as a young kid. I had no idea who Al Capone was. The hardest thing I had ever tasted in my life was sour orange juice. I had no idea what prohibition was or how it was related to Al Capone or how Al Capone and the Chicago cops were connected. I had no clue that the East Side of Chicago, the same East Side of … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Beach Baby – The First Class

Beach Baby – The First Class

The Beach Boys aren’t the only act who hit Top 40 gold with songs about the beach and babys. First Class did a first-class job with their 1974 hit “Beach Baby” that reached #4 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1974 making The First Class a one-hit wonder. The Beach Boys sang “Don’t Worry Baby” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” First Class essentially combined the two titles and concepts, added soaring three- and four-part harmonies in the background, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William DeVaughn

Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William DeVaughn

Gratitude. It’s a theme you don’t hear often in one-hit wonders, unless that song is a love song where the guy or girl is thankful for the guy or girl and is so overwhelmed with joy, they simply must sing about it. But William DeVaughn added his soulful groove to the gratitude canon with “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got,” a song that reached #4 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1974 making William DeVaughn … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s