1971 #1s: my first year in college

overly Osmond

Three Dog Night.1972
Three Dog Night.1972

The year 1971 was hugely significant in my musical listening development. For one thing, it was my first year in college, my initial time away from home, meeting new people my age and a little older.

There is a book entitled Never A Dull Moment about that year in music, and I wrote at least ten posts about that tome. Some of these songs are great! And then…

Joy To The World – Three Dog Night. #1 for six weeks, gold record. Was Jeremiah REALLY a bullfrog?

Maggie May Maggie May – Rod Stewart. #1 for five weeks., gold record. From the popular album, Every Picture Tells A Story.
It’s Too Late – Carole King. #1 for five weeks, gold record. From the absurdly popular Tapestry album. If you didn’t own this, then your roommate had to.
One Bad Apple – the Osmonds. #1 for five weeks, gold record. Trying to sound like the Jackson Five.

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – the BeeGees. #1 for four weeks, gold record. Part of that brief resurgence, along with Lonely Days, before falling on commercial hard times. They’d be back.

Knock Three Times – Dawn. #1 for three weeks. Not the dishwashing detergent but the trio fronted by Tony Orlando.
Brand New Key – Melanie. #1 for three weeks, gold record. “Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far.”
Go Away, Little Girl  – Donny Osmond. #1 for three weeks, gold record. Steve Lawrence went to #1 with this in 1963.
Family Affair – Sly and the Family Stone. #1 for three weeks, gold record. I feel stoned every time I hear this.

The #1s for two weeks

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves – Cher. Gold record. Would the first word now be Roma or the Romani?
Just My Imagination – the Temptations. The third #1 for the group, as Eddie Kendrick is going out the door.
Theme from Shaft – Isaac Hayes. Gold record. We can dig it.
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin. The second posthumous #1 pop song.
Brown Sugar – the Rolling Stones. I bought Sticky Fingers and Tapestry on the same day in July 1971. The zipper really worked!

#1s for a single week

Indian Reservation – the Raiders. Platinum record. A very earnest record by the artists formerly known as Paul Revere and… 
The Want Ads – the Honey Cone. Gold record. “Extra, extra!”
You’ve Got a Friend – James Taylor. Gold record. Of course, a Carole King song.
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey – Paul and Linda McCartney. Gold record. From the Ram album. With the Beatles gone, I was always happy to see the solo artist chart.

Parade magazine’s best songs of 1971.

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