Three decades of chart action: '60's/'70's/'80's No. 1's!

(Courtesy of Columbia Records)
(Courtesy of Columbia Records)



11/1/1969 (48 years ago today) - The Beatles score their 13th U.S. No. 1 album with "Abbey Road" -- The music on both sides was perfect, but some stuffy non-Fab-Fans argue that a lot of the LP's sales were due to the fact that the cover contained clues to the mysterious "Paul Is Dead" phenomenon: Why is Paul the only one barefoot? The car number plate 'LMW 281F' supposedly referred to the "fact" that McCartney would be 28 if he was still alive ('LMW' was said to mean 'Linda McCartney Weeps'); and the four Beatles represented symbols of death -- the Priest (John, dressed in white), the Undertaker (Ringo, black suit), the Corpse (Paul, ah, that's why he was barefoot!), and the Gravedigger (George, in jeans and denim shirt). Clever, ridiculous stuff. You believe what you want to believe, indeed...

11/1/1975 (42 years ago today) - Elton John starts three weeks at No. 1 on the singles chart with "Island Girl", his fifth U.S. chart-topper, and undeniable proof that by the mid-Seventies, Reggie could have released three minutes of him defecating and it still would've charted high. Which is pretty much what happened.

11/1/1980 (37 years ago today) - It took awhile, but now we get it: Bruce Springsteen takes over the top spot on the album chart with his fifth studio effort, the double-vinyl set "The River". Originally, Bruce had intended to release a single LP of just 10 tracks under the title "The Ties That Bind", but he felt that something was missing somehow, that it didn't quite connect with how he was really feeling at the time, so he added a batch of songs that were, basically, much darker in tone and presentation. "The River" has since become legendary in the Springsteen canon for its intentional contrasts between the frivolous ("I'm A Rocker", "Ramrod") and the solemn ("Point Blank", "Stolen Car"). It also became his first No. 1 album. Guess he knew what he wanted...

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