Mixtape Music Vault/#1’s Edition

By Patrick DeMarco

Since Philly Mixtape opened the ‘Mixtape Music Vault’ last month, we’ve revisited a buffet of memorable music moments-remembering Selena 20 years after her death, THAT Metallica/Napster lawsuit, 30 years of Madonna concert tours, and we also reveled in Mariah’s last good record, “The Emancipation of Mimi,” which just turned a decade old. One thing we haven’t gotten lost in yet are all those #1 singles that burned down the charts many music moons ago. As much as albums and events make up the coveted Mixtape vault, it’s those #1 singles that took over our very existences-and Walkmans-that we can’t ever forget because they certainly shaped up what you hear blasting on the airwaves today…

Kicking off your Mixtape Music Vault #1’s edition (there will absolutely be others), is a list of top-charting singles so unique, so classic, yet each so historic in their own special way. Read on to see how Blondie’s Debbie Harry remembers working with legendary music wizard Giorgio Moroder on their 1980 smash #1, “Call Me.” There’s also USA for Africa’s “We Are The World,” which still holds its historic music value today. And do you remember how you did it on the floor to Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It?” Philly Mixtape thinks you do. Are you guys ready to step inside the Mixtape Music Vault? The vault is now. 

35 years ago…..Blondie’s “Call Me” was ringin’ all over #1 spot….

If there was a song in the spring of 1980 that simply rocked our music worlds, it was Blondie’s bulldozing #1 hit, “Call Me.” The Giorgio Moroder penned tune from ‘American Gigolo’ was originally written with Stevie Nicks in mind, but when she turned Mr. Moroder down, he went straight to Ms. Harry. In a chat with Billboard, Harry recalls working with the iconic Giorgio, stating, “He’s very nice to work with, very easy, (but) I don’t think he has a lot of patience with people who fool around or don’t take what they do seriously.” The music pairing of Moroder and Harry certainly payed off, as “Call Me” would dial up on top of the charts for 6 weeks,  also going on to become the top song of 1980. 

30 years ago….USA for Africa’s “We Are The World” was in the middle of its historic run on top…

Dionne Warwick, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Steve Perry, Stevie Wonder. Those are just a few of the many, many, many big-named music artists who came together under Quincy Jones’ direction as USA for Africa, producing the massive hit, “We Are The World.” The creation of this blockbuster tune came when the idea of an American benefit single was brought forth by activist Harry Belafonte, after the success of Band Aid’s charity hit, “Do They Know it’s Christmas.” Released in mid-march 1985, the song was a global success, selling 30 million copies worldwide and it is still one of the all time singles to have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide. The explosive ’80s track also went on to win numerous awards including a Grammy and American Music Award, and who can forget the epic “We Are The World” video that, as well as the song, still holds its music power even three decades later…

Nothing compares to Sinead’s #1 single from 1990….

If there’s a song from the ’90s that still has the power to rip your heart out with every listen, it’s certainly Sinead O’Connor’s remake of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Recorded for her second album, ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,’ the song spent 4 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, launching Ms. Sinead to superstardom, and also to THAT whole ripping-up-a-picture-of-the Pope on ‘SNL’ ordeal that caused a teensy bit of controversy. Although Sinead wasn’t able to further capture the chart success of “Nothing” stateside, girlfriend certainly made her mark. Oh, and about her trademark shaved head? In a music tea with Billboard, Sinead said record label execs wanted her “..to wear high-heel boots and tight jeans and grow my hair. And I decided they were pathetic that I shaved my head so there could be no further discussion.” Enough said. 

This is how Montell Jordan did it…..all over the #1 spot 20 years ago….

If we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again….oh, the ’90s. Remember when R&B and Hip-Hop absolutely ruled the airwaves back in the day? Montell’s ’95 hit was one of the biggest monster radio singles of them all, spending seven weeks on top and becoming THAT mid-’90s party anthem for all ages. A little fun fact about Montell’s jam is that you know those crowd noises you hear on the track? Mr. Jordan actually invited 30 people into the studio, “I told everybody, ‘Have a good time. Talk and do whatever you’d normally do at a party.’ And they most certainly did….as well as all of us. 

Santana was calling Maria’s name at #1….for 10 weeks!!

Exactly 3 months after Santana’s late-’90s hit with Rob Thomas, “Smooth,” ended its perch in the top spot, its follow up, “Maria, Maria,” began its monstrous 10 week run in the pole position 15 years ago. The sex-laced track, off of Santana’s blockbuster ‘Supernatural’ album, featured The Product G&B and took over all things radio in the spring of 2000. Also, Santana’s blockbuster hit was a breath of fresh air amongst a radio playlist that catered to all those the tween hits that ruled the earlier part of the decade. Santana’s “Maria, Maria” got us all moving back then, and it most certainly still does today…

Then there’s ‘Candy Shop’ by 50 Cent which was the #1 single 10 (!) years ago this week….

It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Jackson….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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