Friday, September 26, 2014

Playlist of Billboard Adult Contemporary number one singles, 1976-85

From 1976-85, 204 singles topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart (which, in one of those rare cosmic coincidences, is also the exact number that topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart during that time period).  92% of those songs are currently available on Spotify.  So here's a playlist of those 187 songs, presented in chronological order.  Perfect for your next 11¾ hour trip to the dentist office.

Billboard's "Easy Listening" chart was changed to "Adult Contemporary" in the April 7, 1979 issue of the magazine.  Later, on October 20, 1984, it was renamed "Hot Adult Contemporary."

Before putting this thing together, I thought the playlist might gather steam as we approached 1980, make a slight downward turn, then fall apart at the end.  Unfortunately, I was right.  Still, it's a heckuva playlist, especially in the middle.  Click on the year below to see a list of that year's number ones.  Some years are stronger than others, so I'll give each year's collection of number one songs a letter grade.

Year#1 SongsGrade

During this time frame, Barry Manilow led the pack with ten #1 singles, followed closely by Lionel Richie with nine (ten if you count his #1 with The Commodores). Rounding out the top 5 are: Kenny Rogers with 8 chart toppers followed by Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand with 6 apiece. Enjoy.


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    1. This reaffirms my belief that, as Top 40 radio was shoved aside in tghe le Seventies, it found brief sanctuary on formerly conservative Adult Contemporary stations in 1978-1981. Pop, R&B, Country and even the occasional Jazz single all heard on one station. That is the dream.

      MRS. HERC is gonna love listening to this playlist on our road trip next week. The Soft Rock Kid­™ is rapidly becoming her in-car DJ of choice.

      Just one question:
      Who is Orsa Lia?

    2. Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Orsa Lia!