Top 40 Smash Taps: “You Thrill Me”

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.

Exile was a band that formed in Kentucky in the nineteen-sixties. They were a group of high schoolers that got together to play and, in true Wonders style, were picked up by the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour to barnstorm around their home state and then nationwide. Success didn’t immediately follow, however, and it was the endurance of the band, as much as anything, that impressed. While they released some music under their original, slightly different name of the Exiles, the proper debut didn’t arrive until 1973. It was another five years before their follow-up album. That release, Mixed Emotions, yielded the single “Kiss You All Over,” which spent about a month at #1 in 1978. The track is one of those quintessential seventies songs: slick but earthy, a touch dirty, irresistibly cheesy, built around a sly hook, and it goes down smooth as lemonade on a summer day.

The follow-up single, “You Thrill Me,” is really more of the same. So much so that it’s a little perplexing that it wasn’t anywhere near as successful, peaking at the complete opposite end of the Top 40 as its predecessor. It was also the last time Exile made an appearance in the Billboard Top 40. Their next disco-infused single, “How Could This Go Wrong?” topped out at a feeble #88, and that was the last time they’d enjoy time in the double-digits. They did have significant chart success in the eighties, though, once they fully reinvented themselves as a country band, at one point nabbing four straight #1 songs on the country charts. And nearly fifty years after they first picked up their instruments, the band (or some derivation of it) is apparently still kicking.

“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
“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics
“The Bounce” by the Olympics
“Your One and Only Love” by Jackie Wilson
“Tell Her She’s Lovely” by El Chicano
“The Last Time I Made Love” by Joyce Kennedy and Jeffrey Osborne
“Limbo Rock” by The Champs
“Crazy Eyes For You” by Bobby Hamilton
“Violet Hill” and “Lost+” by Coldplay
“Freight Train” by the Chas. McDevitt Skiffle Group
“Sweet William” by Little Millie Small
“Live My Life” by Boy George
“Lessons Learned” by Tracy Lawrence
“So Close” by Diana Ross
“Six Feet Deep” by the Geto Boys

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