Best #1 single of the year retrospective: 1973

Our survey brings us now to 1973. We’re entering a very tumultuous period in pop history where the top spot was almost constantly in flux; we have 27 #1s this year, with no song spending more than four weeks at the top. We more rock & roll sneaking back in, another ex-Beatle making it to the top, and a wide variety of styles to choose from (though not as great a batch overall as '72, IMO.)

You know the drill. What’s your fave?

Previous polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 2012 2013

I took Stevie Wonder just a hair ahead of Edgar Winter.

Conversely, “Frankenstein” got my vote - it’s the best rock instrumental of all time, IMO, and responsible for the invention of the wearable keyboard.

Didn’t even have to look past “Superstition” to determine my vote. I did check the rest of the list for fun, but didn’t discover any surprise competition for the winner.

Time In A Bottle

Easy choice for Stevie’s Superstition. Musically brilliant, funky, great horns. How the awful Crocodile Rock ever made it to #1 is one of the mysteries of music. It’s one of the few songs that makes me turn off the radio.

To show how old I am, back in 1973, I remember hearing Stevie’s “Superstition” on free form FM rock radio stations. In the Seventies, New York rock staions like WPLJ and WNEW regularly played black artists like Stevie, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations.

In the backlash against disco in the late Seventies, such radio statios purged their playlists of almoist ALL black artists not named Hendrix.

Man, and I thought 72 was bad.

Stevie Wonder wins this one by a light year.

I added to the Stevie “Superstition” stack, but I also enjoyed these:

Carly Simon - “You’re So Vain”
Billy Preston - “Will It Go Round In Circles”
Jim Croce - “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”
Gladys Knight & the Pips - “Midnight Train to Georgia”
Jim Croce - “Time In A Bottle”

Yeah, that’s what it boiled down to for me, as well, but there’s a number of good songs on that list, more than I was expecting. I think Marvin Gaye would take third, and then, in no particular order, the Stones, Gladys Knight, and Jim Croce (“Time in a Bottle” is the one I’m thinking, but I like Leroy Brown as well.)

Marvin Gaye. Pure sex appeal.

Carly Simon, followed by Jim Croce, Charlie Rich, and Diana Ross.

I can’t listen to “Superstition” without thinking of Little Stevie Byner on Bizarre. :cool:

I thought I was going to be the only one to vote for Jim Croce, and now I see there are 3 others already ahead of me.

(bolding mine)

Dang, can I change my vote to “Top of the World” now?

Nah, just kidding. It’s really one of the greatest, even if it is the grandfather of the keytar.

I voted for Diana Ross. I loved that song so much and can sing it note for note to this day.

Went with “Love Train” because I love that Gamble and Huff Philly Soul sound, but could’ve gone for “Killing Me Softly” or “Crocodile Rock” or “Superstition”. I admit I cheated and looked at the voting prior to casting my vote, and when I saw that “Superstition” was winning handily, felt like I could give a “shout-out” vote. :slight_smile:

Stevie Wonder, just a question of which one. I gave “…Sunshine…” some love.
This kind of split isn’t fair. It’s like a third-party candidate spoiler effect!

Esp. given Elton’s discography of the time-I can easily think of a dozen better singles of his during 70-73. It ain’t on my current Elton rotation…

Stevie it is-pretty easy. I listened to Top 40 radio a lot during this time, so most of these are familiar to me, some of which I had bought back then (Elton of course, Croce, even Tony <gag> Orlando-hey I was 11), but 40 years of musical and personal growth means almost none do anything for me now. I do have a soft spot for “Killing Me Softly” & “Top of the World”, tho.

First part of your statement is a matter of opinion, of course, but the second part is untrue.

Al Kooper was using two different models of a wearable keyboard with The Blues Project back in 1966-67. One was the tubon, and IIRC the other was a portable ondioline.

Can’t find any photos via a quick GI search, but I know I saw him on several TV appearances playing one or the other of these.

I like “Superstition,” but I figured it would win anyway, so I voted for George’s song, which I like quite a lot and is mostly forgotten now.

I was blown away by “Killing Me Softly” the first time I heard it, and it’s still a good song, but hasn’t worn as well.

Some of the other choices here are truly dreadful. It’s wrong to make blanket statements about any era in music or any particular year. Still, you can sort of understand where some of them come from!