Number One Song For 20 May 1973: ‘Frankenstein’

by Norm Gregory on May 20, 2014

in 1973, Music

The number one song on the Billboard Top Singles chart on May 20 1973 was by The Edgar Winter Group.

Frankenstein is an instrumental by The Edgar Winter Group from their album “They Only Come Out at Night”. I played the hit single over and over at KJR and, later, at KZOK (Both in Seattle WA USA) The song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week starting in May 1973, and sold over one million copies.

In live performances of the song, Edgar Winter further pioneered the advancement of the synthesizer as a lead instrument by becoming the first person ever to strap a keyboard instrument around his neck, giving him the on-stage mobility and audience interaction of guitar players.

The song’s title, coined by the band’s drummer Chuck Ruff, derives from the fact that the original recording of the song was much longer than the final version, as the band would often deviate from the arrangement into less structured jams. The track required numerous edits to shorten it. The end result was pieced together from many different sections of recording tape using a razor blade and splicing tape. Winter frequently refers to the appropriateness of the name also in relation to its “monster-like, lumbering beat”.

Winter played many of the instruments on the track, including keyboards, saxophone and timbales. As the release’s only instrumental cut, the song was not initially intended to be on the album, and was only included on a whim as a last-minute addition. It was originally released as the B-side to “Hangin’ Around”, but the two were soon reversed by the label when disc jockeys nationwide in the USA as well as in the Canada were inundated with phone calls and realized this was the hit.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bob Orndorff May 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I saw Edgar Winter with Ringo’s All Starr Band twice He just blew everyone away what a talented artist

2 lalo neltner May 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Just wonderful! Jr. Cadillac did 3-4 shows with this band when the song was a hit. They were amazing. Edgar had them all running those scales in the dressing room before the show. That’s Dan Hartman on bass and the guy from the McCoys on git. They had another ‘famous’ git man for that tour. Name??? escapes me….

3 Norm Gregory May 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Ned . . Ned . .. that “guy” is Rick Derringer!! Hahaha.

Who has made a living off of Hang On Sloopy for 50 years. I caught him on the web doing the song last November.

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