A whole bunch spoiled

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.”







6 comments

  1. Brian J. »

    25 January 2008 · 9:23 am

    I once bought a Donnie Osmond single, and I was born in 1972.

    The single: Soldier of Love. On 45. In 1988 or 1989.

  2. Don Mecoy »

    25 January 2008 · 11:50 am

    “Go Away Little Girl” holds a special place in my pantheon of songs I never again wish to hear. When I was 11, my clock radio went off at the same time every morning and for several weeks the song that was playing EVERY SINGLE DAY was “Go Away Little Girl.” It was truly a “Groundhog Day” moment (except “I Got You, Babe” would have been a tremendous improvement).

    I assume the radio was tuned to WKY or KOMA.

  3. Andrea Harris »

    25 January 2008 · 10:40 pm

    Hey! I liked “One Bad Apple.” (Full disclosure: I used to be a real Donny Osmond fan back in the day. Okay, I was only seven.)

  4. Brian J. »

    26 January 2008 · 12:42 pm

    Oh, geez, Charles, are you going to let this happen? Suddenly, there are “real Donny Osmond fans” and “people who bought Soldier of Love” and then a Donny Osmond flame war erupts between the authentics and the posers.

    Soon, someone evokes a corollary to the Godwin rule and compares opponents to Jimmy Osmond and it all goes further downhill from there.

  5. CGHill »

    26 January 2008 · 12:44 pm

    I don’t have a dog in this hunt: I liked “Soldier of Love.” And I still think Marie is sorta hot, or at least warmer than the norm.

  6. ms7168 »

    28 January 2008 · 4:54 am

    I worked in the music department of TG&Y Store #410 in Edmond in 1973 and into 1974. Hands down and without any question whatsoever the record we sold the most copies of was “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn. It didn’t matter how many of them we ordered we sold out in a few days. We only sold an occasional Osmond record.

RSS feed for comments on this post