Ted Nugent may be known for his super-conservative political views and rants, but way before he was an intolerant activist, Nugent was singing his lungs out in 1977. This heavy metal tune called “Cat Scratch Fever” talked about venereal diseases, which is not surprising when you know it’s Ted Nugent singing.
For those who don’t know, “Cat Scratch Fever” is what people used to call STDs. Classy, right? Anyway, Nugent’s 1977 hit single rose to number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The worst part was that the man in the song claims to have had his first STD at 10 years old! No wonder Nugent’s success was a one-time hit.
"Ça plane pour moi" by Plastic Bertrand
Plastic Bertrand is a bizarre, quirky man from Belgium who 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, and 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.
"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 The family-sized vehicles that may seem outdated today were an absolute hit back in the day, and Chevy was one of the most popular van makers.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.
"Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward
Even though Anita Ward didn't write the song, she brought it to life and made it the hit it still is today. Famous R&B singer Frederick Knight actually wrote the song, drawing inspiration on the teenagers of the time that were constantly talking on the phone. Knight wanted the song to be sung by Stacy Lattisaw, a known singer of the time. But, as it turns out, she signed with another label at the last minute. And then Anita Ward came along.
This couldn't have been a better turn of events since Ward's 1979 version of "Ring My Bell" made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list and the Soul Singles chart. Ironically, many people thought the lyrics of the song had a double meaning -implying its suggestiveness. Anita didn't like this one bit, as she was a devout catholic. Regardless, the song made it to the top and became a timeless hit.
"The House of the Rising Sun" by Frijid Pink
Everybody knows the legendary song "The House of the Rising Song". A traditional folk song about a life gone wrong in New Orleans, it was covered by many bands around the world, the most successful being the famous 1964 version of The Animals. However, Detroit-based band Frijid Pink also released a version in 1970 that went straight to the top of the charts.
A worldwide success, Frijid Pink's version of the song was a psychedelic blues and heavy metal rendition that was still catchy enough to be loved by any type of listener. The distorted guitar and frantic drumming were an interesting take on the folksy song. Friid Pink's version was certified gold in the US, and then they kind of faded in the years that followed.