First Hit #1: January 6, 1979
There have been a lot of charity singles over the years, but Too Much Heaven is an interesting case. It isn’t a song that needs to be a charity single in order to succeed. It’s by the biggest hitmakers of the previous year, it’s a bit of soft rock that is popular for people who might want a quiet song between the disco, and it’s a song that stands on its own. The themes are certainly appropriate for a charity single, this one seeing its profits go to UNICEF, since it’s a sentimental love song with a chorus that can be read in many different ways. It’s actually a pretty selfless work of philanthropy by the Bee Gees, since they know they’re constant hitmakers and they know it’s going to move units – it’s a new Bee Gees single. It’s not like they went cheap on the production either, putting together an absurdly complex vocal track with all sorts of multi-tracking and layering.
Unlike a lot of big charity singles – I’m thinking specifically of Band Aid right now – there’s a reason to buy it outside of it being simply a good cause. It’s a nice sentimental song, and it’s a classy way to kick off 1979.