Top 40 Smash Taps: “Jennifer Eccles”

These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.

The Hollies were a band that formed in Manchester in the early nineteen-sixties. While they had success in their home country almost right away, scoring a Top 40 hit on the U.K. charts with their very first single in 1963, it took them a while to fully capitalize on the Beatles-led British Invasion in the United States. They had some modest chart attention before it, but didn’t managed to break into the U.S. Top 40 until “Look Through Any Window,” their tenth single, in 1965. The real breakthrough came a year later with two different Top 10 hits that happened to have the word “Stop” in common.

That mild redundancy in song titles perhaps instilled in them the value of familiarity. When they initially had trouble following up their next Top 10 song, 1967’s “Carrie Anne,” with a similarly successful single, they quickly found their way back to including women’s names in their song titles. The next song to cop a Top 40 designation was “Jennifer Eccles,” which was Top 10 in the U.K. but only peaked at #40 in the States. The name was drawn equally from the spouses of the two main band members: Jennifer was the first name of the wife of vocalist Allan Clarke and Eccles was the maiden name of guitarist/vocalist Graham Nash’s wife at the time. Jennifer Eccles is also the name of a New Zealander who’s admirable gracious about sharing graphics that measure ocean bottom seismics.

This was one of the last releases that included Nash. By the end of 1968, the year the song was release, he departed the group to join his new pals Stephen Stills and David Crosby in a collaborative effort. The Hollies continued without him, scoring their biggest U.S. hit in 1972. Remarkably, their last Top 40 appearance came much later when they made the chart in 1983 with an unlikely cover of one of the biggest songs from the year almost two decades earlier when the Hollies had their first U.S. hit. “Stop” was in the title again.

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
“Come See” by Major Lance
“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge

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