This week 42 years ago, an OPEC oil embargo started the 1973 energy crisis; President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused and resigned, triggering a call for Nixon's impeachment; Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of Vietnam were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (Tho declined); Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" topped the box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Paper Roses," Marie Osmond
Osmond was just 13 (!) when this song was released as her debut single (it was originally recorded in 1960 by Anita Bryant).
9. "Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat," the DeFranco Family featuring Tony DeFranco
Best song title of the 1970s? Well, maybe most 1970s song title of the 1970s. This was the DeFranco Family's first single. By the end of the decade, the group was kaput. Lesson here: Never use the phrase "listen to my love sound." Ever.
8. "Higher Ground," Stevie Wonder
Now we're talking. Wonder's follow-up to "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" was recorded right before a near fatal car crash that would leave the singer in a coma for awhile. The Red Hot Chili Peppers memorably covered "Higher Ground" in 1989.
7. "Keep On Truckin' (Part 1)," Eddie Kendricks
"Keep On Truckin' was Kendricks first big hit after leaving the Temptations. Co-writer/producer Frank Wilson helped craft many, many other Motown hits, including "Love Child" for Diana Ross and the Supremes.
6. "That Lady (Part 1)," the Isley Brothers
You'd think this would be called "Who's That Lady." Apparently, no. Sadly, we also know it now from that unfortunate Swiffer commercial in which cleaning instruments fall in love for some reason.
5. "Midnight Train to Georgia," Gladys Knight and the Pips
Songwriter Jim Weatherly reportedly originally wrote this as "Midnight Plane to Houston," which, just, no.
4. "Let's Get It On," Marvin Gaye
It was time for the 1970s to get seductively funky, and Marvin Gaye didn't disappoint. People were certainly ready for a song like this — it reportedly sold over 2 million copies in just over a month.
3. "Ramblin' Man," the Allman Brothers Band
OK, how great was October 1973? "Ramblin' Man," written by Dickey Betts (the band's main guitarist after the death of Duane Allman), was the Allman Brothers' only top 10 single.
2. "Half-Breed," Cher
Throwback Thursday connection! Two years after "Half-Breed" became Cher's second No. 1 solo hit, she married Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers.
1. "Angie," the Rolling Stones
No. 1 for just one week, "Angie" has elicited debate over the title subject (David Bowie's wife, Angela? A name for heroin, as Keith Richards claimed?). OK, the heroin one rings a bit true. It's Keith Richards we're talking about.