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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.