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  #1  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:01 AM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Weirdest songs to ever hit the Top 40

My choice for second place would be "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac. Odd drumming throughout, McVie & Nicks chanting like two of the Manson girls, Buckingham's manic screaming, cryptic title and lyrics, culminating in a spastic drum solo and marching band!

But first place, bar none, would have to be "Some Velvet Morning" by Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra. Creepy psychedelic-ish music with odd changes in time signatures (is that what they're called? Or tempo?) Hazlewood sounding like a Jim Jones-esque faux-preacher/pervert, followed by the disembodied voice of Nancy droning on about God knows what. How this hit #26 on the Top 40 in the mid-60's no less is unfathomable.
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:12 AM
Weirddave Weirddave is offline
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Timothy by The Bouys. (Written by Rupert Holmes, believe it or not. I guess "If you like Pina Coladas, and snacking on a left foot" just wouldn't work lyrically lyrics) Not many top-40 songs about cannibalism.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:14 AM
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What about "Whip It" by Devo, and "Amadeus" by Falco. Actually I nominate all 80's music.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:14 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Bairn
My choice for second place would be "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac. Odd drumming throughout, McVie & Nicks chanting like two of the Manson girls, Buckingham's manic screaming, cryptic title and lyrics, culminating in a spastic drum solo and marching band!

But first place, bar none, would have to be "Some Velvet Morning" by Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra. Creepy psychedelic-ish music with odd changes in time signatures (is that what they're called? Or tempo?) Hazlewood sounding like a Jim Jones-esque faux-preacher/pervert, followed by the disembodied voice of Nancy droning on about God knows what. How this hit #26 on the Top 40 in the mid-60's no less is unfathomable.
John Lennon's Cold Turkey gets a little manic, as well.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:16 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clare. Nothing like a song about pedophia & incest to get into the Top 40.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:22 AM
fishbicycle fishbicycle is offline
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I'd love to know how you derive pedophilia and incest from the lyrics of a song about babysitting the boss' daughter. Would you care to go into detail on that? Please?
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:25 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Plenty of novelty tunes:

"They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha," by Napoleon XIV -- Essentially, just a tuneless chant.

"The Flying Saucer" by Dickie Goodman -- set up like an interview, with Goodman as a reporter asking about the flying saucer; the "answers" were snippets of popular songs of the time. Goodman had a few other top-40 hits using the same technique.

"Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa -- musically very advanced, and certainly not top-40 material, but made a hit because of the Valley Girl slang spoken over the music.
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:30 AM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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I always that Clare could be taken either way- either Gilbert is a total perv, or the nicest guy on the planet. Keep in mind this is a guy who had another big hit, Get Down, which is not about dancing but about getting his dog down off of the furniture- how quaint is that? But I must say some of the lines from Clare "you're more than a child" "when you leave I feel I could die" "will you marry me Uncle Ray"- do strike me as creepy in a Micheal Jackson sort of way. If Gary Glitter had recorded the song, we would know for sure.
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:32 AM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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And yes, most lyric sites have the "Clare" lyrics wrong, it isn't "will you marry me oh hurray" its "will you marry me Uncle Ray", Ray being Gilbert's real name.
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:36 AM
One And Only Wanderers One And Only Wanderers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clare. Nothing like a song about pedophia & incest to get into the Top 40.
No incest here. Clare was his manager's daughter.....
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:40 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I don't find this song even mildly creepy. Jeeez...pedophelia-phobia much?
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2006, 09:41 AM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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I nominate Don't Worry, Be Happy.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:04 AM
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I'm not sure if it cracked the Top 40, but I do remember David Essex' "Rock On" as being pretty popular. And pretty strange.

A thudding bass line, no real percussion to speak of, synthesized strings, horns playing off-key at times...and the weird echo-ey lyrics delivered in a sort of slow chant. References to James Dean and blue suede shoes and a "blue-jean baby queen (prettiest girl I've ever seen)."

At a time when Top 40 could accomodate all kinds of genres, along came this, and nobody knew quite what to make of it. But it became popular.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:15 AM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One And Only Wanderers
No incest here. Clare was his manager's daughter.....
Gilbert O'Sullivan was intentionally perverse with his lyrics; his other big hit was a catchy little pop tune which, upon closer inspection, is about suicide. I totally buy that, with "Claire," he was pulling the same kind of perverse joke on his audience, and the implications of pedophilia are intentional, but deniable.
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:36 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Don't Cry for Me Argentina.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:47 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons
I'm not sure if it cracked the Top 40, but I do remember David Essex' "Rock On" as being pretty popular. And pretty strange.

A thudding bass line, no real percussion to speak of, synthesized strings, horns playing off-key at times...and the weird echo-ey lyrics delivered in a sort of slow chant. References to James Dean and blue suede shoes and a "blue-jean baby queen (prettiest girl I've ever seen)."

At a time when Top 40 could accomodate all kinds of genres, along came this, and nobody knew quite what to make of it. But it became popular.
I love this song, and it was really before its time in 1973. When I first heard it, as a kid listening to classic radio, I found it to be very mysterious and even ominous. It has a great bass line.
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:58 AM
ddgryphon ddgryphon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons
I'm not sure if it cracked the Top 40, but I do remember David Essex' "Rock On" as being pretty popular. And pretty strange.

A thudding bass line, no real percussion to speak of, synthesized strings, horns playing off-key at times...and the weird echo-ey lyrics delivered in a sort of slow chant. References to James Dean and blue suede shoes and a "blue-jean baby queen (prettiest girl I've ever seen)."

At a time when Top 40 could accomodate all kinds of genres, along came this, and nobody knew quite what to make of it. But it became popular.

And to this day it is still one of my favorite songs ever to receive airplay.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:00 PM
Reloy3 Reloy3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons
I'm not sure if it cracked the Top 40, but I do remember David Essex' "Rock On" as being pretty popular. And pretty strange.

A thudding bass line, no real percussion to speak of, synthesized strings, horns playing off-key at times...and the weird echo-ey lyrics delivered in a sort of slow chant. References to James Dean and blue suede shoes and a "blue-jean baby queen (prettiest girl I've ever seen)."

At a time when Top 40 could accomodate all kinds of genres, along came this, and nobody knew quite what to make of it. But it became popular.

Not to mention that it hit the charts twice more as remakes - the first time (I am aware of) in the 80's as part of the soundtrack to a "Cory's" teen-flick. More recently, it was covered by Def Leppard and hit the charts (within the last year).
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:05 PM
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2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps please

Shaddupayaface

The Birdy Song


WTF were we thinking?
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  #20  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:13 PM
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I first started listiening to Top 40 radio in the early, pre-Beatles, '60s, and the playlists were full of bizarre songs, many of which show up on Dr. Demento today. We had, besides the already mentioned "They're Coming to Take Me Away," Monster Mash, Purple People Eater, Witch Doctor, The Name Game - and I'm not even counting Purple Polka Dot Bikini.
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  #21  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:26 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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I too nominate any and all novelty songs, like:

"Monster Mash," which hit #1 in October of 1962 and then made back up to #10 ten years later in May of 1972.

"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," which peaked at #1 in August of 1960.

"Come on-a My House," which hit #1 sometime in 1951.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Thriller by Michael Jackson.

Lyrics, theme & a voice-over by Vincent Price. In a musical genre dominated by love songs.

The artist's later problems only making things stranger.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:30 PM
fishbicycle fishbicycle is offline
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"Tennessee Bird Walk" was another outta-left-field radio hit.

"...oh remember me, my darling, when spring is in the air
and the bald-headed birds are whispering everywhere
When you see them walkin' southward in their dirty underwear
That's the Tennessee Bird Walk (chirp chirp)..."
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:41 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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Two more ultra-weirdies from right around the same time as "Rock On": Hocus Pocus by Focus, and Blue Swede's version of Hooked on a Feeling (Hooga-chacka, hooga hooga!).
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:04 PM
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No mention of Muskrat Love yet? Now THAT is weird...
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:16 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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On WMOT, JAZZ 89, I just heard a Jazz version of the old Spiderman TV show theme.

Some info--
Quote:
Spiderman (04)
Name: Frank Vignola & Joe Ascione
Name of CD: 33 and a Third (04)
Track Label: Hyena
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  #27  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:53 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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King Missile's "Detachable Penis" was a brief enjoyable hit on mainstream radio in the '90s In fact, I'm humming it right now, and can't get it out of my head....
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  #28  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:58 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Loudon Wainwright -- Dead Skunk in The Middle of The Road.
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  #29  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:00 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
Don't Cry for Me Argentina.

Just out of curiosity, what do you find weird about this song? Is it because of the souped up disco version that Madonna did?
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  #30  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:02 PM
Governor Quinn Governor Quinn is offline
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Before I post any nominations, one question:

Are these weird songs, or songs that are weird relative to the popular music trends of the era?
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  #31  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:07 PM
Sonia Montdore Sonia Montdore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clare. Nothing like a song about pedophia & incest to get into the Top 40.
And then there's Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's "Young Girl."
"My love for you is way outta line..."

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gary.ha...csu/union.html
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  #32  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:07 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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My Name is Mud, by Primus. The bass is practically a drum, the guitar squeals, there's a dialogue excerpt from "Deliverance," and the lyrics are about a self-described "boring sonsabitch" - an unemployed, mentally unstable alcoholic who wears only navy blue clothing. And he's telling us the tale of how he beat a friend to death with a baseball bat for informing him that his name is really Alowishus Devadandner Abercrombie, not Mud.
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  #33  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:23 PM
phungi phungi is offline
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For me, it has to be YMCA by The Village People

It never ceases to amaze me when people celebrate, en mass, a wedding or even little Nathan's Bar Mitzvah by dancing and singing to the glorification of anonymous gay sex at the mother of all boarding/bath houses:

Young man - there's a place you can go
I said - young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.


I believe it made it to #2 but never #1, but definitely held a Top 40 spot for a while.
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  #34  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:34 PM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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White Rabbit. Jefferson Airplane.
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  #35  
Old 10-10-2006, 02:58 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Good call on Gary Puckett- "Young Girl" makes "You're Sixteen" look like "Ava Maria".
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  #36  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:07 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Governor, my OP wasn't clear, but what I originally had in mind were songs that didn't sound like your usual top 40 hit- for example, if one of Zamfir's pan flute epics made the top 40 (one did in the UK IIRC), or a cut from Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Some have followed with nominations that are weird musically, others lyrically.
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  #37  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:13 PM
Ins&Outs&What-have-yous Ins&Outs&What-have-yous is offline
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The strangest one that I can immediately think of is "Mmm mmm mmm mmm" by the Crash Test Dummies which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 (cite). It's certainly an usual ditty in the context of top 40 pop tunes.
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  #38  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:23 PM
Caridwen Caridwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons
I'm not sure if it cracked the Top 40, but I do remember David Essex' "Rock On" as being pretty popular. And pretty strange.

A thudding bass line, no real percussion to speak of, synthesized strings, horns playing off-key at times...and the weird echo-ey lyrics delivered in a sort of slow chant. References to James Dean and blue suede shoes and a "blue-jean baby queen (prettiest girl I've ever seen)."

At a time when Top 40 could accomodate all kinds of genres, along came this, and nobody knew quite what to make of it. But it became popular.
That'll Be The Day was on TV the other day. Great movie.
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  #39  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:30 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Another one I just thought of, "Mother's Little Helper" by the Stones- an upbeat ditty about recreational pill popping, featuring sitar as the lead instrument- at least I think it's a sitar.
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  #40  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:33 PM
CJJ* CJJ* is offline
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Hands down, 1972's "My Ding-a-Ling" by Chuck Berry, his only #1 hit in the US. Yes, the man who wrote and performed such rock classics as "Johnny B. Goode", "Roll over, Beethoven", "Rock and Roll Music", and "School Day", scored his only #1 with an audience sing-along novelty that relies on the double entendre "playing with your own ding-a-ling".

Second place: Sister Janet Mead's 1973 rock-n-roll version of the Lord's Prayer. #4 in the US, 3 million copies sold worldwide. Religious questions aside, you'd have to admit that's unusual.
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  #41  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:43 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Bairn
Governor, my OP wasn't clear, but what I originally had in mind were songs that didn't sound like your usual top 40 hit- for example, if one of Zamfir's pan flute epics made the top 40....
Along these lines, I also seem to recall that in about 1971 or 1972, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (a bagpipe band) had some success on the charts with "Amazing Grace." Note that I'm unsure just how much success they had, but I do recall that they got a lot of airplay on my local Top 40 station.
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  #42  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:45 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Didn't the actual theme from Star Wars enter the top 40 in the 1970s? I'd also add the theme from Chariots of Fire.
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  #43  
Old 10-10-2006, 03:47 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Spoons- #11 on the US Top 40- not sure in Canada.
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  #44  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:05 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phungi
For me, it has to be YMCA by The Village People

It never ceases to amaze me when people celebrate, en mass, a wedding or even little Nathan's Bar Mitzvah by dancing and singing to the glorification of anonymous gay sex at the mother of all boarding/bath houses:

Young man - there's a place you can go
I said - young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.


I believe it made it to #2 but never #1, but definitely held a Top 40 spot for a while.
In The Navy you can sail the seven seas
In The Navy you can put your mind at ease...

And War's Why Can't We Be Friends
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  #45  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:23 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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Song apparently no one remembers but me:

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
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  #46  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM
Reloy3 Reloy3 is offline
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Rick Dees' "Disco Duck"
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  #47  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:26 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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One Night in Bangkok made #1
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  #48  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:37 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is offline
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And who could forget "Gimme Dat Ding" by the Pipkins.
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  #49  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:58 PM
jsc1953 jsc1953 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons
Along these lines, I also seem to recall that in about 1971 or 1972, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (a bagpipe band) had some success on the charts with "Amazing Grace." Note that I'm unsure just how much success they had, but I do recall that they got a lot of airplay on my local Top 40 station.
Shoot...I bought the album!

There was that period in the early '60s of morbid death songs: Teen Angel, Last Kiss, Tell Laura I Love Her, Leader of the Pack. And we think kids then were so wholesome...

Werewolves of London. Unusual subject matter.
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  #50  
Old 10-10-2006, 05:21 PM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42
Didn't the actual theme from Star Wars enter the top 40 in the 1970s?
What's even stranger is that Meco's disco version did better on the charts than John Williams's original.


My personal favorite Top 40 oddity: Jim Henson's Rubber Duckie, #16 in 1970. Yes, the song from Sesame Street.
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