Monday, February 11, 2008
When I was compiling the list of Number One hits that didn't contain the title phrase in the lyrics, the one that struck my copy editor's eye as the most unusual was George Harrison's "Give Me Love - (Give Me Peace on Earth)," which hit Number One in May of 1973. That's how it's listed on the Billboard charts, which means that if you drop the parenthetical, you're left with "Give Me Love -." Nobody would name a single like that, would they?
Well, sort of. I found that copy of the single sleeve, and as you can see, there's no hyphen in sight. But that's not the end of the story. I also found another copy of the single showing the inner label. It's awfully tiny, but as best as I can make it out, the label reads "Give Me Love - " on the top line, with "(Give Me Peace on Earth)" underneath. That would certainly give Billboard leeway in printing the title so awkwardly, but someone should have known better. You can't end a song title with a dash.