Thursday, February 17, 2022

Top 40 Entry 1/1/72: The Partridge Family —“It’s One of Those Nights (Yes Love)”

The Partridge Family Featuring Shirley Jones Starring David Cassidy —“It’s One of Those Nights (Yes Love)”. Bell 45160. Top 40 debut: 1/1/72. Peak date: 1/29/72. Written by Tony Romeo. Produced by Wes Farrell. B-side: “One Night Stand.” LP: Shopping Bag. Charts: Billboard Hot 100 (#24), Easy Listening (#2).

Strangely enough, the Partridge Family’s “It’s One of Those Nights (Yes Love)” came and went—peaking in late January ‘72—before its supporting album ever reached stores in March. It was in March, too, when the episode featuring the TV family’s single finally aired (“The Partridge Papers,” about sister Laurie’s stolen diary). It seems like a better synchronized push might have helped it.

What’s significant about this song, though, is that it peaked at #20 on the pop charts, but climbed to #2 on the easy listening charts. This was their most lopsided and therefore most revealing teenage vs. adult audience ratio yet. In spite of David Cassidy and company's so-called bubblegum appeal, the music, in sound and sales tactics, never wavered from targeting the buying power of the mom and dad demographic. None of their music really raged with the kind of adolescent libido that even the Osmonds could summon, and the chart performance of “It’s One of Those Nights” puts this reality into sharp focus. You always wondered why only adults seemed to attend their TV supper club music segments, right?

Partridge staff writer Tony Romeo gets sole credit for “It’s One of Those Nights,” which tapdanced around the essential chord structure of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” (#1, 1966—itself a descendant of “Tea for Two”), from the pantheon of grandparent-friendly hits. Keeping with their tradition of the concept package, the supporting Shopping Bag album—the group’s fourth—included an actual plastic tote decorated with the album cover’s blue, yellow, and bubblegum-pink swirls, along wth the duotone faces of each member.

Also consistent with their recorded products, Shopping Bag’s full billing appeared on labels as “The Partridge Family Starring Shirley Jones Featuring David Cassidy,” and featured the production of future Tina Sinatra hubby Wes Farrell. Along with “It’s One of Those Nights,” the album included one more glaring template song in “Hello Hello,” which nabbed its title, various hooks, and arrangement ideas from Sopwith Camel, whose original “Hello Hello” reached #26 in 1967.

Shopping Bag offered up just one additional single for Hot 100 consideration a few months later, Irwin Levine and Russell Brown’s “Am I Losing You,” which stopped short at #59. Low memorability was as much to blame as was competition from David Cassidy’s second solo album. The still-viable TV group would be back in the Top 40 one more time before the year of ‘72 was over, though, with their version of Neil Sedaka’s “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” from a new album.

The "One Night Stand" b-side came from their previous album, The Partridge Family Sound Magazine, but didn't show up on an episode until March '73 ("Diary of a Mad Millionaire," featuring John "Gomez Addams" Astin as an eccentric, Howard Hughes type). The song's lyrics emphasized the traveling band aspect of the title phrase more than the bedroom one.

Side A: "It's One of Those Nights (Yes Love)"

Side B: "One Night Stand"

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