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US and UK Songs that flopped at Home but HIT in Other Countries

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One thing that's always intrigued me is how a song can be a massive Hit in some countries, sometimes even in just one, but flop in others. Of course this depends a lot on how much airplay it gets; well, it used to anyway. Probably the "Idol" type TV shows and other electronic media produce more Hits than radio play now.

This thread is about pre 1980 songs, before, to quote the song - Video Killed The Radio Star.

We've all heard of Payola - DJs getting paid to 'push' a song - but sometimes a DJ would just take a liking to a particular song and play it over and over.

You might remember some in your home town ?

I'd like to share here some songs that Hit in my home, Australia, but flopped in their home country. Here's a U.K. song from 1979. It didn't chart there but made #15 in Australia, and #2 in my home State of Queensland. The DJs here were generally more adventurous than their Southern counterparts in New South Wales and Victoria; i.e. they were more ready to depart from their 'set' playlists - or given more freedom by their Station Managers.

So Long - Fischer Z

Any feedback is most welcome. :headphones:

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Thanks Elena, it's a nice song. :thumbsup: I'd never heard it until you recently nominated it.

I wonder if it was it released as a single in the U.K (where he'd moved to from Jamaica by then)?

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You were probably too young to be listening to Pop songs on the radio then Zab. :)

It just never got any airplay here. If the Jocks had , I'm sure it would have been a Hit.

Did you listen to So Long - Fisher Z ? It's a great little Rock song. Great lyrics, great vocal, great bass and drums.

fz1.jpg

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Not too many takers ! Well I'll persist with this for a little while - see if there's any interest. This time I'll go for a better known artist, ROY ORBISON.

This song didn't even make the Hot 100 in the U.S. It peaked at #133 in Billboard's "Bubbling Under" Chart.

It was his biggest Hit in Australia topping our Charts for 4 weeks in 1969. Penny Arcade - Roy Orbison (1969)

pa.jpg

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I have a question for you. ;)

I once researched this for a DJ here in Brisbane.

How many 1970s songs do you think were #1 in all three of the U.S., U,K. and Australia ?

And what do you think they were ?

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Thanks for taking part Kenne. :) The Chart source I use had the Bee Gees At #1 in Australia with both How Deep Is Your Love and Stayin' Alive in 1978. Neither of those was #1 in the U.K. though.

That was a nice try. There were 10 songs in the 70s that were #1 in all 3 countries.

Anybody else have thoughts as to what they were ?

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Well I'll tell you. :D I only know because I researched them years ago.

My Sweet Lord - George Harrison (1970)

Maggie May - Rod Stewart (1971)

Without You - Nilsson (1972)

Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree - Dawn (1973)

Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks (1974)

Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas (1974)

If You Leave Me Now - Chicago (1976)

Dancing Queen - Abba (1977)

Don't Give Up On Us - David Soul (1977)

You're The One That I Want - Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta (1978)

...............................................................

So those of us from America, Britain and Australia who were around in the 70s liked those. Well, most of us anyway.

...............................................................

I'd like to share another U.S. song that was #1 for 4 weeks in Australia in 1963, but only 'Bubbled Under' at $101 on the U.S. Charts. I did read that it was a local Top Ten Hit in Chicago !

Tamoure - Bill Justis (1963)

tam.jpg

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In 1973 Singer/comedian Vicki Lawrence had a big worldwide Hit with "The Night The Lights Went out In Georgia", written by her then husband, Bobby Russell.

In Australia she followed that up with "He Did With Me" reaching #8 (U.S. #75)in 1973 and this one - her biggest Australian Hit - which got to #2 in 1974.

It failed to chart in the U.S.

Ships In The night - Vicki Lawrence (1974)

vic.jpg

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Thanks for the info Mark. :thumbsup: I have both the original and Sweet's cover (although I was afraid that nobody would know it !) on my 'Top Ten Lista songs to nominate'.

It reached #2 here in Australia, their second biggest Hit after 'Fox On The Run'.

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Thanks for the info Mark. :thumbsup: I have both the original and Sweet's cover (although I was afraid that nobody would know it !) on my 'Top Ten Lista songs to nominate'.

It reached #2 here in Australia, their second biggest Hit after 'Fox On The Run'.

Yeah - was a strange choice for a single, being a cover (I also have the UK original), but fits nicely on the album, actually! :guitar:

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It's hard to believe that Gene Pitney's been dead for over 7 years. He surely must be one of the greatest U.S. Artists never to have a U.S. #1. He had 2 #1s in Australia and reached our Top Ten on 9 occasions compared to 4 in the U.S. He was a frequent visitor here and we loved him.

Here's a couple of his U.S. 'B' sides that became big Hits in Australia.

If I Didn't Have A Dime (To Play The Jukebox) 1962 Australia #3, U.S. #58

Who Needs It 1964 Australia #7, U.S. #131

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This catchy little Instrumental by Bill Haley & His Comets was an unexpected #1 in 1959. Different Oz Charts have it placed at the Top for 4 to 6 weeks. It reached #46 in the U.S. Bill's fortunes were on the wane by this time after his many Rock Hits from 1954 to 1957, of which I have most on 45s. They used to drive my Mother crazy. "TURN IT DOWN" ! Please have a look at the pic below. In how many 'Rock' bands would you expect to see an accordion ?

Joey's Song - Bill Haley & His Comets (1959)

bh.jpg

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