Thursday, December 31, 1970

This month: Bob Marley & the Wailers released Soul Rebels

Soul Rebels

Bob Marley

Released: December 1970

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: reggae


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Soul Rebel (12/70, --)
  2. Try Me
  3. It’s Alright
  4. No Sympathy
  5. My Cup (1970, --)
  6. Soul Almighty
  7. Rebel’s Hop
  8. Corner Stone
  9. 400 Years
  10. No Water
  11. Reaction
  12. My Sympathy

Total Running Time: 33:09


3.237 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings)

About the Album:

“Originally issued in 1970, Soul Rebels was the first album credited to Bob Marley & the Wailers, and it was also the band's first full-length collaboration with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, for whom they had already recorded a string of fairly successful singles.” AZ

“Working with the newly configured Upsetters band, Marley and crew delivered a strange and wonderful set of early reggae that at times plays fast and loose with the already established conventions of the genre — on My Cup the beat sounds inside out, while It's Alright sounds like a slightly Jamaicanized version of Motown soul. Other songs, such as the beautifully harmonized Try Me, show their deep roots in rocksteady.” AZ

“One of the most arresting tracks on the album is the Bunny Wailer composition Four Hundred Years, on which Wailer unburdens himself of some of his typically dread pronouncements in his rich, chesty voice.” AZ

Notes: Tracks 1-11 are all featured on Rasta Revolution as well. That collection also includes “Mr. Brown” and “Duppy Conqueror,” the latter of which is also on Burnin’. The Sanctuary/Trojan 2002 reissue adds 10 bonus tracks: “Dreamland” (2 versions), “Dracula,” “Zig Zag,” “Jah Is Mighty,” “Brand New Second Hand” (2 versions), “Downpresser” and alternate versions of “Soul Rebel” and “My Cup.”

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First posted 3/26/2008; updated 5/6/2021.

Saturday, December 26, 1970

George Harrison hit #1 with “My Sweet Lord”

My Sweet Lord

George Harrison

Writer(s): George Harrison (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 28, 1970

Peak: 14 US, 14 CB, 12 GR, 13 HR, 10 AC, 1 CL, 16 UK, 14 CN, 18 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.94 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 124.1 video, 481.50 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

While George Harrison’s songwriting talents were overshadowed during his stint with the Beatles by bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney, TB he was the first to have a hit as an ex-Beatle. RS500 That song, “My Sweet Lord,” was nearly given away – and it was later claimed to have never belonged to Harrison in the first place.

Harrison originally gave the song to Billy Preston, who was due to release a single of the song in September 1970. When it was withdrawn, Harrison released his own version. FB Harrison had wanted to write an uplifting song and turned to the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ “Oh Happy Day” for inspiration. Wary of committing to a specific religious belief, HL Harrison came up with what he called “a simple idea of how to do a Western pop equivalent of a mantra, which repeats holy names over and over again.’” HL

The result was a “hook…as catchy as anything he ever came up with in The Beatles.” BBC However, publishers of the 1963 Chiffons’ hit “He’s So Fine” felt like the hook wasn’t Harrison’s to use and sued him for copyright infringement. BBC A March 6, 1971 article in Billboard magazine confirmed that Harrison’s royalties had been halted worldwide until the case was settled. FB

It wasn’t until 1976 BBC that a judge ruled that George was innocent of stealing KL but was guilty of “unconscious plagiarism.” BBC Bright Tunes music got more than a half million dollars from the settlement. SF George has responded saying, “I still don’t understand how the courts aren’t filled with similar cases…as 99 per cent of popular music is reminiscent of something or other.” HL


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Last updated 12/24/2023.

Lynn Anderson hit #1 on the country chart with “Rose Garden”

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Lynn Anderson

Writer(s): Joe South (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 7, 1970

Peak: 3 BB, 11 CB, 3 GR, 11 HR, 5 AC, 15 CW, 3 UK, 11 CN, 14 AU, 17 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 33.71 video, 45.19 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The song’s writer, Joe South, first recorded “Rose Garden” as a cut on his Introspect album in 1969. Billy Joe Royal, Freddy Weller, Dobie Gray, and The Three Degrees all soon put their stamps on it as well. As South’s publisher, Bill Lowery, said, “We didn’t have any problems finding people to record it…But none of us expected it to be a huge country hit.” AC However, that’s exactly what Lynn Anderson did with the song.

She had purchased Joe South’s album when it first came out and was drawn to “Rose Garden”. She wanted to record it, but Glenn Sutton, her producer and husband, thought lines like “I could promise you things like big diamond rings” made it a “man’s song”. WK They rewrote some words, made the song more uptempo, and – in a move unheard of for that era’s country sound – added strings. AC

While Sutton still saw the song as nothing more than an album cut, but Columbia Records executive Clive Davis thought it worthy of release – and to both the country and pop markets. AC Not only did the song hit the U.S. country (#1), adult contemporary (#5), and pop charts (#3), but it sold a million copies and has racked up four million airplays. It proved successful internationally as well, topping the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. WK The song also won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was nominated for Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year.

Since 1966, Anderson had hit the country chart 19 times, going top-ten five times. “Rose Garden”, however, was her first trip to the top. She would repeat the feat four more times over the next few years and would rack up a total of sixty country hits over more than twenty years. However, on the pop charts, this was her first and last trip to the top 40.


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First posted 11/7/2011; last updated 10/30/2023.