Today the #AtoZChallenge brings us to the letter V. These three songs were the top ‘V’ songs according to the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End lists.
1970 - Venus - Shocking Blue
"Venus" is a 1969 song written by Robbie van Leeuwen. In 1970, the Dutch rock band Shocking Blue took the song to number one in nine countries. In 1981 it was sampled as part of the Stars on 45 medley. In 1986, the British female pop group Bananarama returned the song to number one in seven countries. The composition has been featured in numerous films, television shows and commercials, and covered dozens of times by artists around the world.
1970 - Vehicle - The Ides Of March
"Vehicle" is the one-hit wonder success for the Chicago-based band The Ides of March. It rose to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of May 23, 1970. It is purported to be the fastest selling single in Warner Bros. Records history.
Written and sung by Jim Peterik, the song features a distinctive horn section riff that is still popular today. The song is often mistaken for the horn driven sound of Blood, Sweat and Tears which was popular in the same time range. Peterik wrote "Vehicle" as a joke.
"I got the idea from one of these anti-drug pamphlets they distributed in a school. It was very tongue-in-cheek."
Peterik has also said that:
In high school, I co-founded a band called The Ides of March. We did it because we loved music, not because we thought we’d be successful. At the time, I was madly in love with this girl named Karen. I had a souped-up 1964 Plymouth Valiant, and she was always asking for rides. I drove her to modeling school every week. I was hoping flames would ignite—but they didn’t. I came home one day, dejected, and thought: all I am is her vehicle. And I thought: Wow! Vehicle! I came up with this song, taught it to the band, and the next thing I knew, we were recording in a CBS studio. The song—called “Vehicle”—became a world-wide hit in 1970. “I’m your vehicle baby/I’ll take you anywhere you wanna go!”
Peterik had an on again off again relationship with Karen after the song came out. Eventually they married and have been together for years. Fourteen seconds of the completed "Vehicle" master tape (primarily the guitar solo) was accidentally erased in the recording studio. The missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take.
"I remember that kind of feeling of experimentation. I also remember 14 seconds of the master of Vehicle being erased! We were doing background vocals and suddenly 14 seconds were gone from the master. No way to retrieve it. The second engineer had hit the wrong button. We spent two hours thinking our career is over, because at this time we knew we had something. Luckily, there was a Take One. They inserted 14 seconds of Take One and I redid the vocals. And now I hear it every time. From the second 'Great God in heaven' all the way up to the guitar solo--when you hear how abrupt that first note of the solo sounds, that's an edit."
Jim Peterik later went on to be the founder of the group, Survivor
1974 - A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich
"A Very Special Love Song" is the title of a 1974 song by country music singer Charlie Rich. The song was written by Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, songwriters who had also written Rich's 1973 hit, "The Most Beautiful Girl". The song is included on Rich's 1974 album, Very Special Love Songs.
"A Very Special Love Song" nearly reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974, peaking at #11. The song was able to top two other Billboard charts that year, as it spent three weeks atop the country music chart and two weeks at the summit on the adult contemporary chart. This was the second of four chart-toppers Rich achieved on the Billboard AC chart.
Songwriters Sherrill and Wilson won a Grammy Award for "A Very Special Love Song" in the category Best Country Song at the 1975 ceremony.
Be sure to follow the 2017 AtoZ Challenge playlist for all of the songs featured in this years challenge.
Did you listen to any of these tunes in the 70's? Would you like to know more about these artists in future posts? Let me know in the comments.
What does tomorrow bring?Tomorrow brings us the letter 'W'.
Any guesses as to which Billboard Hits from the 70s will be showcased?