Joel Goldenberg: The 1970s top-10 hits review part 16

The Delfonics perform on the 1970s show Soul Train.

And now we resume our survey of the top-10 hits of the 1970s, in alphabetic order artists-wise:

Paul Davis: This Mississippi artist had one mildly pleasant top-10 ballad in the 1970s, I Go Crazy. But his '80s top-tenner '65 Love Affair is a lot more fun.

Sammy Davis Jr: Yes, The Candy Man and Davis's Vegas-style performance of it is widely derided. But the song does originate from my third favourite movie of all time (after the first two Godfathers), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And the lyrics do activate my inner sweet tooth.

Tyrone Davis: Turn Back the Hands of Time, from 1970, is a nicely slinky and funky soul song. Highly recommended.

Dawn/Tony Orlando and Dawn: This group was also derided by the rock critic class, and some of their hits have indeed not dated well. Their first two, Candida and Knock Three Times, were bouncy and wonderful derivatives of the Latin-esque sound of the mid-1960s sound of the soul group The Drifters. Things went a little dry after those two 1970 songs, and then they went all novelty — Tie A Yellow Ribbon is widely mocked, but its former prisoner being accepted back into his family with "100 yellow ribbons" does have emotional resonance. On the other hand, Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose was part of an album that revived the 1920s and 1930s sound, which was also attempted by Cher on her Bittersweet White Light album (which was unsuccessful), by the one-hit wonder A Wing and a Prayer with a disco version of the song Babyface (which was). All of that has not aged well. Next for Dawn were the weak disco song Steppin' Out and a cover version of the Jerry Butler hit He Will Break Your Heart, but here renamed He Don't Love You (Like I Love You). The version is just okay, but I resent the renaming.

Deep Purple: Smoke on the Water has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs of all time, but I prefer the later Woman From Tokyo — it's far more exciting.

Rick Dees: Disco Duck is one of the most annoying songs of all time, but it's still bested for annoyance by the likes of Convoy by C.W. McCall (more on that later) and Morris Albert's Feelings.

DeFranco Family: This was Canada's version of the Jackson 5, or the Osmonds, or any group that had a big-voiced youngster (in this case Tony DeFranco) on lead. Heartbeat — It's a Lovebeat is absolutely pure pop, and fun.

The Delegates — Convention '72 is yet another one of those many novelty songs of the decade, this one in the tradition of Buchanan and Goodman's hits in which an interviewer is responded to with a song clip. This one is pretty fun, as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's then-playboy image is represented by a clip from Jimmy Castor's hit Troglodyte — "Gotta have a woman! Gotta have a woman! Gotta have a woman!"

The Delfonics: Of the groups Thom Bell produced, I prefer the Spinners and Stylistics to the more roughly recorded Delfonics, but Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time) is still an anthemic soul song, so much so it was chosen as the title of a multi-volume Rhino Records' '70s soul compilation.

John Denver is going to take some thought, so we will start with him next week.

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