Jackson’s first single for Virgin was based on a sample from a James Brown No. 1 R&B hit from 1974, “Papa Don’t Take No Mess.” On first listen, Jackson wasn’t thrilled with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ track; the producers asked her to take it with her on her two-week Christmas vacation and when she returned she told them it was “the bomb.”
The video for this song was too steamy for MTV, which refused to air it. Within hours of the network’s decision, Warner/Reprise Video announced that “Justify My Love” would be the first commercially released video single. ABC’s “Nightline” then aired the entire video, uncensored.
The 12th entry on the Hot 100 for this female vocal group from Oakland, Calif., it proved to be their biggest hit, with four weeks in the runner-up spot. The song was recorded for the soundtrack to “Set It Off,” starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett.
Alpert sang this Burt Bacharach/Hal David song to his wife on the beach in Malibu on a CBS special. The next day, the network was inundated with calls from viewers asking where they could buy the song. One day later, A&M released a single and it became the label’s first No. 1.
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this song on a rented piano at the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip, inspired by the Four Tops’ “Baby I Need Your Loving.” Their dummy lyrics were “You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’” but producer Phil Spector liked them so much he kept them. The trio completed the song by writing the bridge at Spector’s home.
Wonder admitted that this song was heavily inspired by two previous Motown hits – “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “My World Is Empty Without You,” both by the Supremes. It was his ninth No. 1 and the first single to top five different Billboard charts.
It’s not a surprise that Swift wrote this song based on a real guy she was dating. Her family disapproved, inspiring her to base the song on the most famous “Love Story” of all, “Romeo and Juliet,” but this time with a happy ending.
When this song reached the top of the Hot 100, the Supremes became the first Motown act to have two No. 1s. Just a few months earlier, they were known around Berry Gordy’s company as “the no-hit Supremes,” but that changed when their previous single, “Where Did Our Love Go,” achieved pole position.
The singer from Eureka, Calif. made her chart debut with this song. Although it didn’t reach No. 1 on the Hot 100, it topped the Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs charts and was the No. 1 song of the year on the annual recaps of those two lists.