This week 45 years ago, the Ford Pinto was introduced, psychedelic drugs advocate Timothy Leary escaped from a California jail, the first New York Marathon was held, "Five Easy Pieces" topped the box office, and the following songs were the most popular in the United States, according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Spill the Wine," Eric Burdon and War
Memorably used by director Paul Thomas Anderson for the pool party sequence in "Boogie Nights," "Spill the Wine" was War's first hit. You may also recognize Eric Burdon's distinctive growl from the Animals. He was that band's lead singer.
9. "Make It With You," Bread
Although Bread hit soft-rock gold with several hits throughout the 1970s, "Make It With You" became their only No. 1 hit. It's proof that in 1970 people were OK with lines like, "I may be climbing on rainbows."
8. "(They Long To Be) Close To You," the Carpenters
This now-classic track, off the Carpenters' second (and breakthrough) album, was originally recorded in the 1960s by Richard Chamberlain. Yes, that Richard Chamberlain.
7. "Julie, Do Ya Love Me," Bobby Sherman
Sherman's teen-idol status was in full peak here.
6. "Patches," Clarence Carter
I love "Patches." It's like the male version of Reba McEntire's "Fancy" (minus the high-class escort part). Even though he's perhaps better known for the song "Slip Away," it's the Grammy-winning "Patches" that was Carter's highest-charting hit.
5. "Lookin' Out My Back Door/Long as I Can See the Light," Creedence Clearwater Revival
Since it's 1970 and all, it would be easy to assume that this song is about drugs ("tambourines and elephants"? Sure.) But lead singer John Fogerty has repeatedly said it was written for his toddler son, which is all sorts of cute and not acid trip-y.
4. "25 or 6 to 4," Chicago
For some reason, I have a hard time accepting that this song is actually just (albeit weirdly) referring to a time of day. I want it to have some kind of profound message or refer to some special date or something. Am I thinking too hard about Chicago?
3. "In the Summertime," Mungo Jerry
I never realized that one of the sounds in this song was created by a dude raspberry-ing into a glass bottle until I saw this video. BTW: This was reportedly written in about 10 minutes.
2. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Diana Ross
In 1970, Ross split from the Supremes and this was her first solo No. 1. The Ashford-Simpson track was also a hit in 1967 for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (and was also once recorded by Ross and the Supremes as a duet with the Temptations in 1968). Hmm ... I wonder if Ross will perform this Sunday at her show at Pier Six Pavilion?
1. "War," Edwin Starr
Good god, y'all! This anti-Vietnam War protest song was originally recorded by the Temptations (and was a little less emotional than Starr's version). During the three weeks this song was No. 1, the last major ground-troops offensive involving the U.S. was underway in Vietnam and the U.S. and South Vietnamese launched an incursion into Laos.Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun