When one hears the name Gilbert O’Sullivan, the melody to “Along Again Naturally” instantly appears in our memories. That is, of course, if you were alive in the early 1970s. If you were, that was a song you heard all the time. Even if you were not, chances are you have still listened to that song somewhere along the line. SiriusXM radio plays it all the time on multiple channels on the satellite network. It’s constantly played on FM oldies stations. Our Top 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan Songs looks to cover more than just “Alone Again Naturally.” Gilbert O’Sullivan had other hit songs along with many great album tracks he released throughout his career. As we were going through his catalog, we had to stop so many times to listen to these songs over and over as we had forgotten how much great material he released. The list became more challenging to write as there were so many more we wanted to include on it.
This Gilbert O’Sullivan songs list looks to present 10 of our favorite Gilbert O’Sullivan songs. A little bit Broadway, a little bit Beatles, and throw in a side of Randy Newman. In the end, Gilbert O’Sullivan delivered an incredible catalog of music that was probably underappreciated in the United States. Yet, not from this writer and not from many millions of fans from around the globe.
# 10 – Where Did You Go To
We open up our Top 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan songs list with a song from his latest album, released in 2018, entitled simply Gilbert O’ Sullivan. Yes, that’s right. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s new album. After all these years since his debut album in 1971, Gilbert O’Sullivan is still releasing excellent pop music. From 1971 to 2018, Gilbert O’Sullivan has continued to release new records. As of this writing in 2020, we look forward to the next one.
# 9 – Matrimony
As we continue our look into Gilbert O’Sullivan’s songs, we go from his latest album to his first. The great song “Matrimony” was released on Gilbert O’Sullivan’s debut album released in 1971 entitled Himself. This exciting piece of music changes tempo and feel throughout the song, enticing the listener to wonder what’s next. Gilbert O’Sullivan plays piano and sings lead vocals on the track. The song also featured Chris Spedding on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass. Gilbert O’Sullivan wrote every song on the album. This is a fascinating debut album that we highly recommend to pick up.
# 8 – Out Of The Question
Gilbert O’Sullivan’s song “Out Of The Question” was released on the album Back To Front. The album was released in 1972 and served as the follow-up record to his debut a year earlier. The song “Out of the Question” was released as the album’s second single and follow-up to the LP’s initial single “Claire.” The song was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 17. The song performed exceptionally well on the Billboard Easy Listening charts as it went all the way to number 2.
# 7 – We Will
Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “We Will” is a beautiful ballad the singer-songwriter released in 1971. “We Will” was released as a stand-alone single. The song was a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 17. The song did not appear on the original LP pressings of his debut album Himself. However, it was released on the CD issue of the album released in 2011.
# 6 – Nothing Rhymed
As we continue our top 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan songs list, we now focus on a really big one. The song “Nothing Rhymed” was Gilbert O’Sullivan’s first charting single. It also remains a favorite among fans and musicians. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including ex-Guess Who singer Burton Cummings’ excellent cover version. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Nothing Rhymed” was a smash hit when it was released in 1970. The song was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom. It also hit number two in Ireland and went all the way to number one in The Netherlands.
# 5 – Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day
During Gilbert O’Sullivan’s early years, he commonly released non-album singles just like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones did, as well as many other British rock bands. It was very common to release music throughout the year by many songwriters continually. Even Elton John continued that practice into the mid-seventies. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s song “Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day” was released as a non-album single in 1972. The Irish loved Gilbert O’Sullivan and helped him reach number one on the Ireland music charts with this very cool and fun song.
# 4 – What’s In A Kiss
One of our favorite Gilbert O’Sullivan albums was an LP he released in 1980 entitled Off Centre. It was an excellent record produced by the legendary Gus Dudgeon, who had produced all those brilliant Elton John 1970s albums. The fantastic song “What’s In A Kiss” was released as the album’s first single. It would become one of the first songs Gilbert O’Sullivan ever released that had chart success. The song hit number four in Ireland in 1980. It would also become the last song Gilbert O Sullivan ever charted in Ireland, a country in which he enjoyed the most success in the charts. “What’s In A Kiss” would also become a top 20 hit in the UK. However, it failed to chart in the United States. Despite success or non-success on the charts, in the end, it is simply a fantastic recording and stands as one of our favorite Gilbert O’Sullivan songs of all time.
# 3 – Get Down
When I was twelve years old, I heard this song on the radio and instantly rushed to the store to buy the single. I asked the clerk if he had the song Bad Dogg, and he told me to go to the pet store to find it. Eventually, I found the single on my own in the store. It was just one of those songs that was incredibly addicting, and so many people never knew the song’s name even though it was a top 10 hit in the United States. The song hit even bigger in the United Kingdom, where it topped the chart at number one. The song also hit number one in Ireland, Canada, and West Germany.
# 2 – Alone Again Naturally
As we close in on the number one spot on our top 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan song list, we turn to one of the most popular songs of the 1970s. I always found the success of this song fascinating. The song’s melody feels so uplifting and beautiful, yet the lyrics are as depressing as it gets. “Alone Again Naturally” was Gilbert O’Sullivan’s only number-one single in the United States. You could not go an hour without hearing this one on the radio back in 1972. Interestingly, the U.S. was the only country where it hit number one.
# 2 – Clair
There are not many sweeter songs in pop music history than this one. “Clair” was Gilbert O’Sullivan’s biggest hit of his career. It’s just one of those 1970s gems that put a smile on your face every time you hear it. The song hit number one in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It just missed the number one spot in the U.S.A., peaking at number two. The song was released on the excellent Back To Front album in 1972.
Updated November 2, 2023
Top 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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