We often wonder how many die hard Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Kiss fans who fell in love with those bands as teenagers in the mid 1970s were listening to music that was rather very different in elementary school. The answer depends on who else was living in the house with them at the time. If your were eight or nine years old in 1970 but had older brothers or sisters in their teens at the time, you were possibly hearing the sounds of Yes, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues or any other classic rock sounding band. Maybe even your parents were playing the music of the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly.
However, for those of us were between the ages of 7 and 1o and stood as the oldest child and had parents that were still listening to Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra, our first musical experience for many of us was the Partridge Family. It may have been embarrassing to admit in our later teen years. but looking back now, it’s a time to remember fondly. The fact is those were songs written by top songwriters, played by the Wrecking Crew and in the end were really good pop songs.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the musical act or we should say fictional family musical act .The Partridge Family was a group that was part of a television series based on the life of a musical family and loosely based on the real family band of the 1960s called the Cowsills. While not getting to deep into plot lines or episodes, the show was a comedy that centered around a single mother played by well-known actress Shirley Jones who was raising a family. That family would also play concerts in the show as they were famous in the fictional comedy. The group’s manager named Reuben Kincaid also played a key role in the television series. Each episode would also serve as a launching pad for a new song that would eventually be released as a single or find it way onto the albums that would be released.
The star of the television series was a young singer and actor named David Cassidy who would become possibly the biggest star in show business in 1970 and pretty much defined the term teen idol for the 1970s. While the rest of the family members all faked playing instruments on stage, David Cassidy had convinced the producers of the television series to let him actually sing the vocals. It was a smart move by the producers to let him do so because the group would have a nice run of hit singles starting with the number one song “I think I love You.”
Our Top 10 Partridge Family songs list looks back fondly at the songs that were among the most popular for the millions of fans of the television show and the music that was written and recorded by all of those involved with the cultural phenomena that they had become for a brief period of time in the early 1970s. In the end, when listening back to these songs, its pretty easy to understand why they were so popular. These are all really good songs, pure pop gems, take a listen, you will remember.
# 10 – C’mon Get Happy
We open up our Top 10 Partridge Family Songs list with the group’s main television theme entitled “C’mon Get Happy.” Yes, there once was a time where full songs were used as television themes instead of just a droning note that is used now. Great tv themes were a very popular medium in the 1960s and 1970s. This was definitely one of them. The song was written by Wes Farrell and Danny Janssen. If you don’t like this song, well……..I guess you don’t like this song.
# 9 – One Night Stand
The Partridge Family had some serious songwriters composing music for the television show. We are talking the likes of the legendary Paul Anka who composed this great song with Wes Farrell. The song “One Night Stand,” was released on the album entitled Sound Magazine. The album was released in 1971. It was the third album released by The Partridge Family. The song was never released as a single but it did serve as the album’s opening track.
# 8 -It’s One of Those Nights
In the number eight spot on our Top 10 Partridge Family Songs list we present the song entitled “It’s One of Those Nights.” We opened this list with the great song “One Night Stand,” which was actually the b side to this groovy single. The song was written by Tony Romeo who wrote so many fantastic songs for the television series. The song was released on the album entitled Shopping Bag. The album also featured the legendary guitarist Larry Carlton who gained fame playing many killer guitar solos on Steely Dan albums like AJA and Gaucho as well as being one of the premier studio guitarists in classic rock histly and a noted jazz artist himself. They didn’t fool around on these albums.
# 7 – Summer Days
Talk about a perfect single. It would have been interesting to see h0w the life of a song like this one which is just so good would have continued if it had been recorded by a band like The Turtles or the Rascals. It’s such a well written and addicting song. How this was never released as a single, I don’t understand. One of the lost pop gems ever released. The song was composed by Tony Romeo. It was released on the Sound Magazine album.
# 6 – Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque
Landing in the number six spot on our Top 10 Partridge Family Songs list we present the song “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque.” How many times in life did you think of this song whenever your heard the city of Albuquerque mentioned anywhere. This was one of those songs that was very much connected to the story of the episode it appeared in. What an amazing chorus. Once again, another great song written by Tony Romeo.
# 5 – Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted
The next five songs on our Top 10 Partridge Family Songs list were all very big time hits and stand as the most famous and loved songs that were ever released from the Partridge Family gang of musicians and songwriters. One could tell it was all hands on deck when this machine began turning out big hits one after another. This one was all about Danny in the episode. “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” became a top 10 hit in 1971. David Cassidy always said he hated the song especially because of the spoken word midsection that he fought over having to do. Regardless of David Cassidy’s complaints, they had another huge hit on their hands. The song was written by Wes Farrell, Jim Cretecos and Mike Appel.
# 4 – I’ll Meet You Halfway
At the number four spot on our Top 10 Partridge Family Songs list we present the song entitled “I’ll Meet You Halfway.” The song was released on the album entitled Up To Date. The album was released in 1971. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a top hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Its stands as one of the most popular songs ever released from The Partridge Family. “I’ll Meet You Halfway” was composed by Wes Farrell and Gerry Goffin.
# 3 – I Woke Up In Love This Morning
They loved the sound of the clavichord in the studio on so many of these big hits from the Partridge Family. If there is one thing that any songwriter could learn from these legendary songs is how to write a killer chorus that just blew away audiences. This one is a perfect example of a great transition from verse to a smoking chorus and a very dynamic bridge included. Pop Songwriting 101 is all here in this marvelous song. The song was composed by L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine. The band Weezer did a cover version of this song.
# 2 – Echo Valley 2-6809
This one is the sleeper song on the list. The song was never released as a single, but ask anyone who grew up with these songs to pick one of their favorites and this one will always come up among the hardcore fans. It has such a breathtaking hook and stunning chord changes that makes it such a wonderful pop song. The song was released on the band’s great third album entitled Sound Magazine. It was composed by Kathy Cooper and Rupert Holmes who wrote “Escape “The Pina Colada song.”
# 1 – I Think I Love You
If your around the age of 60 give or take a couple of years there is a good chance that the first single you ever purchased was the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You.” Its difficult to explain how big this song was in a mass cultural perspective in 1970. The song “I Think I Love You.” was released as the debut single from the television series. The success was immediate. The song went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for almost a month. It turned David Cassidy into a teen heartthrob and assure the success of the television series. It stands as one of the biggest selling singles of the 1970s and for all of us who grew up back then, a song we will never forget.
Top 10 Partridge Family Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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