A Faux Show Bonus
The Radio Faux Show began in March 2021 as a simple way for me to discover new music, and by the summer of 2021 had evolved into the combination blog/playlist it has now become. March 7, 2022 marks the one-year anniversary of that first playlist. In honor of that anniversary, I have put together this bonus Faux Show using one of our favorite Faux Household playlist techniques – a Top 40 Fantasy Countdown.
Welcome to the Radio Faux Show one-year anniversary edition.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
What is a Top 40 Fantasy Countdown?
Everyone is familiar with the American Top 40 Countdown that was originally produced by Casey Kasum. Each week’s show would countdown the biggest hits of the week, starting at #40 and working down to #1. In this fantasy version, every song that ever charted on the Billboard Top 40 is eligible for inclusion. Using the peak position of each song, a fantasy Top 40 simply selects one song from each position and presents them in order from #40 to #1.
I hope you enjoy one of our favorite Fantasy Top 40 creations, which spans the decades and includes a wide variety of Top 40 hits.
40 Blue Oyster Cult “Burnin’ For You” (10/3/81): Songs that peaked at #40 on the Billboard Charts is a favorite theme of the Faux Show and this is one of the best of all of them.
39 Roy Head “Just a Little Bit” (12/4/65): This is the follow up single to Head’s #2 hit “Treat Her Right.”
38 Jimmy “Bo” Horne “Dance Across The Floor” (6/24/78): This is a one-hit wonder that was written and produced by KC (Sunshine Band). I didn’t count, but Horne must sing “Let’s do it, let’s dance, let’s dance across the floor” at least fifty times. The vocals are pretty weak, but the song is a great groove.
37 Buddy Holly “Rave On” (6/9/58): This is my favorite Buddy Holly song and it is amazing that it only reached #37 on the charts.
36 JoBoxers “Just Got Lucky” (11/5/83): This is one of the best one-hit wonders of the ’80s.
35 Manu Dibango “Soul Makossa” (7/21/73): This is one of the all-time great one-hit wonders. The song was used without permission by Michael Jackson for the Thriller album opener “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount that is believed to have been a very nice payday for Dibango.
34 Jackie Wilson “I Get The Sweetest Feeling” (8/31/68): This was the final Top 40 hit for Wilson. It is wonderful.
33 Michael Stanley Band “He Can’t Love You” (1/10/81): This band only had two minor hits, but in the late ’70s and early ’80s they were the most popular band in the midwest, especially around Cleveland. During their peak, they regularly played coliseum concerts to audiences ranging from 20 to 75 thousand people.
32 Liz Phair “Why Can’t I” (5/5/2003): This song from Phair’s self-titled fourth album is her only Top 40 hit.
31 Shaun Cassidy “Do You Believe In Magic” (4/22/78): This cover of the great Lovin’ Spoonful song was the last hit for Cassidy.
30 The Strangeloves “Night Time” (2/5/66): The Strangeloves had three hits in six months between July 1965 and February 1966. They were presented as a Beat group from Australia, and they are the band that originally recorded “I Want Candy,” the ’80s classic by Bow Wow Wow. The truth is that they were a group created by a songwriting team in New York. They wrote some girl group hits, including “My Boyfriend’s Back,” before cashing in on the success of groups like The Beatles.
29 Everclear “Santa Monica” (3/2/96): This was the first of two hits for this Portland, OR grunge/pop act.
28 Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” (8/8/98): This was the last hit for this groundbreaking rap group.
27 Utopia “Set Me Free” (3/29/80): Todd Rundgren’s ’70s prog-rock band are a one-hit wonder for this song. The vocals are by bassist Kasim Sulton.
26 Tower of Power “Don’t Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)” (8/24/74): They are one of the greatest funk acts, but they only scored three hits. This was their final one.
25 James and Bobby Purify “Shake A Tail Feather” (5/13/67): This soul duo’s most famous song is “I’m Your Puppet,” but this track is important for being the song that Ray Charles performs in the film The Blues Brothers.
24 Electric Light Orchestra “Do Ya” (3/5/77): This remake of a song originally recorded by Jeff Lynne’s first group, The Move, is the first of three 1977 hits for this great band.
23 The Clash “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” (4/26/80): This is the first hit for The Only Band That Matters.
22 Dave and Ansel Collins “Double Barrel” (7/3/71): This was the second reggae song to hit the Top 40 (the first was “Israelites”). It is the first song to feature drummer Sly Dunbar (of Sly and Robbie). This is one of the greatest one-hit wonders ever recorded.
21 Fiona Apple “Criminal” (10/4/97): This is, unbelievably, the only hit for this very under-rated singer/songwriter. It still sounds brand new twenty-five years later.
20 The Fixx “Saved By Zero” (7/9/83): This was the first hit for one of the best bands of the New Wave era.
19 Jackson Browne “Boulevard” (7/26/80): Although he still hadn’t released his biggest hit yet (“Somebody’s Baby” in 1982), Browne’s run of classic albums ended with Running On Empty in 1977. This hit from his next album, Hold Out, stands out on a record that is fairly uneven.
18 Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and Sam Butera & The Witnesses “That Old Black Magic” (11/24/58): Their version of this song made famous by Glenn Miller is the only Top 40 hit for Prima and Smith, although Prima had a second hit as a solo artist. Hits or no hits, the albums that Prima and Smith released in the late ’50s are highlights of the early years of rock and roll.
17 Big Country “In a Big Country” (11/12/83): It is hard to believe forty years later that this song only reached #17. It is now an iconic recording from the early days of MTV.
16 Duran Duran “Save a Prayer” (2/16/85): By 1985 this band was so big that they could delve into their 1982 album Rio for a hit and release it three years later. It is amazing that it only peaked at #16 considering it was released in between four songs that all hit #1 or #2.
15 Squeeze “Hourglass” (10/17/87): It is astounding that the band that recorded “Tempted” and “Black Coffee in Bed” didn’t have a Top 40 hit until this song. The video was great, so that probably helped.
14 The Pretenders “Brass In Pocket” (4/12/80): This is the first hit for the band and it still sounds as great today as it did over forty years ago.
13 The Babys “Isn’t It Time” (10/29/77): This is the first of three hits for John Waite’s forgotten pop band. A year after this song, Jonathan Cain joined the group for two more hits before leaving to join Journey.
12 Sam Cooke “(What A) Wonderful World” (5/23/60): This song was the tenth hit for Sam Cooke, but it started a three-year run of hits that defined the early ’60s, from this one through “Another Saturday Night.”
11 The Fiestas “So Fine” (4/27/59): This is the only hit for this doo-wop group from Newark. It is one of the last hits of its type. Rock and roll can be simple. A beat, a hook, and some good vocals.
10 Beck “Loser” (3/5/94): Unbelievably, Beck is a one-hit wonder. Don’t trust anyone who tells you they can tell what will be a hit because Beck should have had at least ten of them.
9 The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding” (6/6/70): So, based on this, The Pipkins were more successful than Beck. That is why it is so much fun to explore Joel Whitburn’s Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. This song is definitely one of the most unique Top 10 hits ever recorded.
8 The Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” (6/20/70): Just wonderful. This song never gets old.
7 Jerry Lee Lewis “Breathless” (3/10/58): This song hit just before his career was derailed by some questionable personal decisions, but it still stands as a highlight of early rock and roll.
6 Seals and Crofts “Summer Breeze” (10/21/72): This was the first hit for one of the acts that invented yacht rock.
5 Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway “Where Is The Love” (6/24/72): The story of Donny Hathaway is tragic and ended with his death in 1979 at the age of 33, but his work with Roberta Flack is some of the best soul music of the ’70s. If you don’t know Hathaway’s records you should search them out. Every one of them is wonderful.
4 Stevie Wonder “Higher Ground” (9/1/73): Stevie Wonder is famous. This is a good song.
3 The 5th Dimension “Stoned Soul Picnic” (6/22/68): Laura Nyro wrote several hits for this group, including this one.
2 Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” (3/10/56): There is probably a path to understanding the complexities of the universe to be found in the fact that Elvis Presley has 114 hits and Carl Perkins has one.
1 The Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love” (3/28/64): This is Ms. Faux’s favorite Beatles song. It was their third of twenty #1 hits.