The #1 Summer Hits of the Late 1970s! (1977-79)
One of the interesting aspects of this series has been seeing what the years sound like when you only include the top #1 hits between the end of May through the beginning of September. #2 and #3 hits are often more interesting, since some you'd swear made it to #1 while others have something about them that lacks the knockout punch.
Here are the final three years of the 1970s. Where the mid-70s had a nap-like quality to many songs, the late 1970s felt an upsweep in tempo and attitude. Punk rock never made much of a dent in the late 1970s. For a music so immediate, its potential audience took decades to warm up to it. Or you might argue that in the late 1970s, record companies marketed as heavily towards 30 year olds as it did at teenagers. Or maybe I hung out on the wrong side of the playground because no one I knew at age 11 was a Barry Manilow fan until they learned to be later on, ironically.
24) Sir Duke -- Stevie Wonder (1977): Cruising into Memorial Day Weekend comes "Sir Duke" at the top of the charts, which has a hook so catchy and familiar, forgive my younger self for thinking this was from an airline commercial. Yet, that's what the commercialization of pop songs has done to all of us, whether justified or not. We've been burned so many times, we're cynical. The actual song was Stevie's tribute to jazz great Duke Ellington.
23) I'm Your Boogie Man -- KC and The Sunshine Band (1977): Here's a song that has been heard in a variety of movies including the Scary Movie franchise, Roll Bounce, Superbad and Watchmen. The song was later covered by White Zombie, because it's the kind of song that screams to be covered, ironically or not at all.
22) Dreams -- Fleetwood Mac (1977): For some folks 1977 was the year of the Sex Pistols and the punk brigade, but the charts in fully air-conditioned America demanded something smoother, something less angry and the intricate and often subliminal hooks of Fleetwood's most successful album Rumours provided the sedating happiness FM radio listeners were looking for. Ooh, Stevie!
21) Got To Give It Up (Part 1) -- Marvin Gaye (1977): Just as "Dreams" held the #1 position for one week, so went the fate of this truncated track where Marvin, like so many singers in the disco age, located his falsetto range and set about using it while a backing track of people talking ran behind him. The song's cool funk influenced Michael Jackson to sell a kajillion records, as you can hear throughout "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" that clearly has its roots right here.