(Pictured: ABBA on The Midnight Special, deep in the 70s.)
Here’s the second part of my completely arbitrary and therefore highly debatable list of the best #13 hits of the Hot 100 era, the first part of which appeared on Friday the 13th.
1972: Rod Stewart’s “You Wear It Well” is the pick by by the thinnest of margins over “Roundabout” by Yes and “Anticipation” by Carly Simon.
1973: Only two songs peaked at #13 in this year. I’m going with King Harvest’s “Dancing in the Moonlight” over Pink Floyd’s “Money” because of course I am.
1974: Here I’m going off the board again, ignoring Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” and “Skin Tight” by the Ohio Players in favor of the Pointer Sisters’ “Fairytale.” That’s one you’re gonna want to click if you’ve never heard it.
1975: In yet another close call, I’ll take Al Green’s “L-O-V-E (Love)” over Chicago’s “Harry Truman.”
1976: “Fernando” by ABBA gets the call here, as much for the associations I have with the song as for the song itself, but you should be used to that line of thinking by now.
1977: “Livin’ Thing” by the Electric Light Orchestra.
1978: “Turn to Stone” by the Electric Light Orchestra.
1979: “Suspicions” by the Electric Light Orchestra—er, Eddie Rabbitt—for its sultry summery vibe.
1980: The much-beloved-around-here “Pilot of the Airwaves” by Charlie Dore, about which I have written before.
1981: There are only two to choose from in this year, “Somebody’s Knockin'” by Terri Gibbs and “Cool Love” by Pablo Cruise. I’m going with “Somebody’s Knockin’,” but you could talk me out of it.
1982: “Waiting on a Friend” by the Rolling Stones.
1983: “Lawyers in Love” by Jackson Browne. (Off topic: The Mrs. and I got married in 1983, and we had a giant poster of the Lawyers in Love cover hanging over the couch in one of our first living rooms. Even though neither of us is a particularly big Jackson Browne fan, we really loved that cover.)
1984: I’m not wild about any of the seven records that peaked at #13 in this year, but Culture Club’s “It’s a Miracle” is the most distinctive of the bunch.
1985: One way to play this game is to ask yourself, “Which of these songs would I like to hear right now?” Answer for 1985: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
1986: Three to choose from, and I’m going with Jeffrey Osborne’s “You Should Be Mine” over Bob Seger’s “American Storm” and “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora, because that “can you woo-woo-woo” hook is too big to ignore.
1987: “Back in the High Life Again” by Steve Winwood.
1988: Any list of “world’s most boring” that doesn’t include Glenn Frey’s solo work is incomplete. “True Love,” in which he gets his Detroit soul man on, is a bit of an exception.
1989: “Sacred Emotion” was part of Donny Osmond’s off-the-wall late-80s comeback, and is better than it has any right to be.
1990: It’s probably cheating, but I’m going with the Righteous Brothers’ reissue of their 1965 hit “Unchained Melody,” from the Ghost soundtrack.
1991: “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn.
1992: “Would I Lie to You” by Charles and Eddie is a classic one-shot, reaching #1 or #2 in nine countries around the world without resulting in a successful followup.
By 1993, I had grown so unfamiliar with the current music scene that I don’t recognize a lot of songs that charted far higher, let alone the #13s. So that’s where we’ll bring this thing to a close.