This 1979 disco hit’s success transcends far beyond its time, as it is still making an appearance in countless TV shows, films, and commercials to this day. Cheryl Lynn topped the charts with “Got to be Real”, but many don’t know that she had seen quite the success before that.
Lynn’s music started to gain a major following many years before her hit song came out. Why? Because she had played a part in the stage version of ‘The Wiz’. Interestingly, when “Got to be Real” started to top charts years later, the film version of ‘the Wiz’ with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson had just come out.
"Chevy Van" by Sammy Johns
Even if you didn't live through the 70's, you probably still know that vans were huge back then. The family-sized vehicles that may seem outdated today were an absolute hit back in the day, and Chevy was one of the most popular van makers. So, American country singer/songwriter, Sammy Johns, decided to write a song about them, which he simply titled, "Chevy Van".
Although released in 1973, "Chevy Van" rose to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1975, and sold millions. In fact, the song became so popular that it inspired the 1977 niche film, 'The Van'. Not surprisingly, Johns recorded the whole soundtrack. But that was about it for the singer's short-lived fame.
"Ça plane pour moi" by Plastic Bertrand
Plastic Bertrand is a bizarre quirky man from Belgium that wanted to do a parody of a new genre called punk, and the result was fantastic. Imagine a naughty version of the Beach Boys. And you may think you've never heard it before, but "Ça plane pour moi" has appeared on many big Hollywood films, like 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and 'Eurotrip'. Just google it, you'll be shocked.
Don't worry, even if you understand French, you won't understand a word this odd little man says. The delightfully weird Bertrand topped charts across Europe, and, surprisingly, the U.S.
"Beach Baby" by The First Class
British pop group The First Class topped the charts in 1974 with their hit single "Beach Baby". And it must be said, if for no other reason than irony, that their lead songwriter's last name was Shakespeare. Oddly enough, the band's lead singer had a very American-sounding accent.
As the name suggests, the song is about a girl on the beaches of California, so it wouldn't be surprising if they were merely trying to imitate the Beach Boys. Still, they added their own classic musical style and a lot of brass.
"Indiana Wants Me" by R. Dean Taylor
Another 1970's gem is the hit song "Indiana Wants Me", written and recorded by one-hit wonder, R. Dean Taylor. A Canada native, Taylor wrote the song, which tells the story of a man who murdered someone for insulting their wife and is hiding from the Indiana police, after watching the famous film 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Taylor even added some actual sounds of police officers to the song.
"Indiana Wants Me' rose to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 and number 2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1971. A perfect mix of a folk-rock musician singing about Indiana, on an album produced by Motown Records was just a fusion of styles that could only work back in the 70s. This was Taylor's only smash hit.