Features the inspirations and fascinating facts behind 500 pop hits from 1955-2000.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Queen) (1976)
EMI was reluctant to release the song as a single until heavy airplay from Kenny Everett on London’s Capital Radio caused a sales demand. It spent 9 weeks at No 1 on the UK chart. At one point the song features 180 vocal overdubs.
BOMBORA (Atlantics) (1963)
The title is a surfing term meaning “large waves breaking over a submerged reef or rock shelf.” The Australian recording charted in Holland and West Germany.
BONY MARONIE (Hush) (1975)
Robie Porter (aka Rob E.G.) was the one who insisted that Hush revive this 1957 Larry Williams hit. At first, none of the band were keen to record it. This single was their biggest hit and made No 1 in Australia.
BORN TO RUN (Bruce Springsteen) (1975)
This was his first hit single and was featured on his third album Born To Run. Before recording the song Springsteen said it was his goal to sing like Roy Orbison, with words like Bob Dylan’s and a sound like Phil Spector’s early-’60s productions.
BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY (Phil Collins) (1993)
Some of the lyrics were inspired by dialogue from the movie Grand Canyon (which starred Kevin Kline and Danny Glover).
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (Simon & Garfunkel) (1970)
Paul Simon was inspired to write this ballad after hearing a gospel song by the Swan Silvertones who sang – “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust my name.”
BROTHER LOVE’S TRAVELLING SALVATION SHOW (Neil Diamond) (1969)
It was originally titled Mo Getta Mo. His wife Marsha hated the title and convinced him to change it.
BROWN EYED GIRL (Van Morrison) (1967)
Morrison says he wrote the song originally as Brown Skinned Girl but producer Bert Berns changed the lyrics. It was recorded in two takes.
BROWN SUGAR (Rolling Stones) (1971)
The song was created by Mick Jagger during a visit to Australia when he was playing around on an acoustic guitar.
BURN FOR YOU (John Farnham) (1990)
Farnham wrote the words which relate to the times that he’s absent from his wife Jillian.
BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX (Glen Campbell) (1967)
It was written by Jimmy Webb and inspired by his former girlfriend Susan. (He also had her in mind when he wrote MacArthur Park.) It was first recorded by Johnny Rivers as an album track. Glen Campbell heard Rivers’ version and decided to cut it as a single.
BYE BYE BABY (Col Joye) (1959)
Recorded when Col had a bad head cold. The producer had to edit out quite a few wheezes and coughs. The song was given to Joye by Sydney radio announcer John Burls who discovered the song amongst some US demo records.
BYE BYE LOVE (Everly Brothers) (1957)
29 singers turned down the song before the Everly Brothers agreed to record it. Elvis Presley was one of the artists it was offered to.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ (The Mamas & The Papas) (1967)
It was written by John Phillips in Manhattan’s Earle Hotel in 1963. At the time John’s 19-year-old wife Michelle Phillips had been complaining about New York’s cold, grey winter and those words inspired the song’s lyrics. It was first recorded by Barry McGuire as the follow-up to Eve Of Destruction but the Mamas & the Papas decided instead to release it as a single and so Barry’s version wasn’t released.
NOTE: Two volumes available. Each book features 500 fascinating facts and interesting trivia regarding various Top 40 pop music hits from 1955 -2005.
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