Our Top 10 Songs from the band The Association takes a look at so many of the legendary bands big 1960s hits. Before we go one step further, we must mention that the Association like many other bands of the 1960s and early including The Grass Roots, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher and others utilized the legendary Wrecking Crew on their recordings. For those unfamiliar with The Wrecking Crew, the name identifies a group of brilliant studio musicians who played the parts on so many 1960s hits. However that’s a an entire story onto itself.
The origins of the Association are very interesting. Lead singer Terry Kirkman actually worked in a band with Frank Zappa before Zappa formed the Mothers Of Intervention in the early 1960s. Kirkman eventually formed a group in Los Angeles called The Inner Tube. The band performed in nightclubs with a carousel of musicians performing on and off with them including David Crosby. The band eventually transformed into a thirteen piece group called the Men. Over time, six of the members would split from the The Men and form the band The Association. In 1967, the band released a single entitled “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,”(Yes, the same song Led Zeppelin covered on their first album). However the song failed to chart.
All it takes is one hit to break a band and The Association got lucky in 1966 when the song “Along Comes Mary” they recorded became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song led to the band’s first album release in 1966 entitled And Then… Along Comes the Association. During that same year in 1966, The Association would become a household name as their single “Cherish,” would shoot all the way to the top peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The Association followed up their debut album quickly with the release of the record Renaissance in 1966.
The Association would sign with Warner Brothers records in 1967 and release their third album entitled Insight Out. Sales of the album went through the roof as it became one of the biggest selling albums of the year. The success of the record was fueled by the massive hit singles “Never My Love,” and “Windy.”
The Association released four more studio albums between 1968 and 1972. Those included the albums Birthday in 1968, The Association in 1969, Stop Your Motor in 1971 and Waterbeds in Trinidad! in 1972. After the release of their third album, the band did not sell as many records with their subsequent releases as their ability to score hit singles dried up. Nonetheless, the band left their mark on pop culture forever with their huge hit 1960s singles.
Our Top 10 Association songs list article takes a look at the band’s biggest hits along with some select album tracks.
# 10 – On a Quiet Night
We open up our Top 10 Songs From The Association list with an album track from the band’s legendary third album Insight Out. The record was released in 1966. The song “On A Quiet Night,” was never released as a single but we have always loved the moody melodic vibe that defined the song. The musicians on the album included the Wrecking Crew’s Hal Blaine on drums, Joe Osborn and Ray Pohlman on bass Mike Deasy, Dennis Budimir, Al Casey on guitars and Larry Knechtel on keyboards.
# 9 – No Fair At All
Continuing with our Top 10 Association songs we turn to the band’s second album Renaissance. The song “No Fair At All,” was the second single released from the record. It only reached the number 51 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. However, we always liked this song better than the album’s first single “Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies” which we always scratched our heads at wondering why the band released it as a single.
# 8 – Enter The Young
The Association’s song “Enter The Young,” was released on the album And Then… Along Comes the Association. It was the opening track on the record. The song was never released as a single but it stands as one of our favorite Association songs. The song “Enter The Young,” was written by Terry Kirkman who also sang lead vocals on the track.
# 7 – The Time It Is Today
Continuing with our Top 10 Songs from The Association we turn to the great track “The Time It Is Today.” The song was released on the album Birthday. The record was released in 1969. It was the fourth single released from the album. It failed to even make the top 100 on the Billboard pop charts. Still, a great song.
# 6 – Time for Livin’
“Time For Livin'” was another great track released on the 1969 Birthday album. It was issued as the record’s second single. It reached number twenty two on the U.S. Cashbox pop charts. It only hit number thirty nine on the US Billboard charts.
# 5 – Everything That Touches You
We continue with our third straight track from the Birthday album in 1969. This one was a top 10 hit. The song “Everything That Touches You,” peaked at number ten on the U.S. Billboard top 100 in 1969. It would become the band’s last top 10 hit of their career.
# 4 – Along Comes Mary
The last four songs on this Association songs list stand as the band’s most successful hits of their career. They also represent four of the biggest hit singles of the 1960s across the board. We start out with the single that broke the band in 1966. The song “Along Comes Mary,” was released before the band issued their fist album. The song was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number seven. “Along Comes Mary,” was written by Tandyn Almer.
# 3 – Windy
If you were alive in the 1960s, no matter what you age, you heard this song at least once a day on the radio or in the streets or in a store or wherever you were. Windy was played constantly on the radio in 1967. The song hit number one on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Canada’s RPM Top Singles charts. This was a big one, and the band’s second number one single of their career.
# 2 – Cherish
Well, since we are on the subject of number one singles by the Association, why not present their first number one single. The band hit number one with their classic recording of the song Cherish. The song has been covered by many artists and there are probably people who are not even sure who wrote the song. “Cherish,” was an original song by The Association. It was written by founding member Terry Kirkman.
“Cherish,” was released on the band’s debut album And Then… Along Comes the Association. It was released as the second single from the album. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The songs also was ranked by Billboard as the seventh biggest single of the entire year of 1966.
# 1 – Never My Love
While many would argue that “Cherish,”is the Associations most popular song based on its commercial and chart success, we just like the song “Never My Love,” better. And as far as commercial success, the song was almost as successful as “Cherish.” “Never My Love,” was a top two hit on the Billboard Hot 100. However it did hit number one on the Cashbox pop charts in 1967. Some would argue that overtime “Never My Love,” has indeed surpassed Cherish as The Association’s most popular song. It is in our book.