Eighteen records ascended to Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1971, and I acknowledged their worthiness by buying sixteen of them. Here’s one I didn’t:
And then we have “One Bad Apple” by The Osmonds.
Gawd, what a piece of crap this thing is. The tune is lame, the production values and “musicianship” are even worse, and the singing is, well, not so great. They’re trying so hard to “out-Jackson” the Jackson 5, you can just feel it coming through the radio. And it just ain’t workin’.
It sounds like some high school project by a bunch of nerdy kids who learned three chords in one major scale on a $99 electronic keyboard. After spending 10 minutes writing a melody. And improvising the words. And trying to sing like somebody else. But sounding worse.
Other than that, though, it rocks!
Oh, the other one I didn’t buy? Thirteen-year-old Donny Osmond’s take on the Goffin/King jailbait anthem “Go Away Little Girl,” in which you have to assume he’s shooing away some smitten fourth-grader. I don’t revile everything in the Osmonds oeuvre — “Sweet and Innocent,” another Donny solo, while every bit as unconvincing for the same reason, eventually grew on me — but you have to figure that this act couldn’t possibly have come to flower in any other year but 1971, where the first new Number One was “Knock Three Times” and the last was “Brand New Key.”