In the late 1960s and early 1970s, very few rock bands were as popular as Three Dog Night. From 1968 to 1974, they had three songs make it all the way to #1 on the Billboards Hot 100 in the U.S. They also had a number of near misses.
What was so intriguing about this band was their focus on issues related to social consciousness and justice in songs like “Out in the Country and “The Family of Man.” They also introduced a number of upbeat light-hearted classics like “Joy to the World” and “Celebrate.”
From the hearts of Three Dog Night fans everywhere, here is a list of the 10 best songs by Cory Wells, Chuck Negron, and Danny Hutton (TDN) brought to the music charts.
Top Songs by Three Dog Night
“Joy to the World”
While the artistry of this song might not measure up to the artistry found in other TDN songs, the popularity of this song was undeniable.
Release in 1971, this song hit the charts and ran all the way to #1 against the backdrop of significant social issues plaguing the U.S. With Chuck Negron leading the way, this light-hearted song was simply the right song at the right time.
“Easy to Be Hard”
This was a remake from the hit Broadway Musical “Hair.” The song represents a commentary on how people were becoming increasingly more divided as social changes were taking hold in the U.S.
The song reached #4 on the charts in 1969 behind the eery vocals of Chuck Negron. It was a great follow-up to the band’s first big chart hit “One.”
This is the song that woke the world up to what TDN had to offer.
As the first track from their debut album in 1968, “One” showcased the vocals of all three lead singers (Wells, Hutton, Negron). The song was written by Harry Nilsson, reaching #5 on the charts in early 1969.
If Three Dog Night ever released a single that didn’t seem to mesh with the rest of the band’s playlist, this is that song.
With Danny Hutton taking the lead on this one, it was a stark contrast as a follow-up to the band’s monster hit “Joy to the World.” If nothing else, “Liar” gave the music world evidence that TDN was not a one-dimensional band.
The song was released in 1971 and made it to #7 on the charts.
“Out in the Country”
At a time when turmoil was filling the streets in major cities throughout the U.S., this beautiful song, written by Paul Williams, reminded people there were places where escape from the hustle and bustle was possible.
With all the lead singers sharing the vocals, “Out in the Country” only made it to #15, but the quality of the song is undeniable.
“Mama Told Me Not to Come”
This was the first TDN song to hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Written by the incomparable Randy Newman, the song did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the drug culture in 1970 America.
With Cory Wells applying a whimsical style to the vocals, Billboard pegged this as the 11th best song in the U.S. for 1970.
“An Old Fashioned Love Song”
Released in 1971, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” was one of the band’s best-loved songs throughout the world.
It only hit #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, but it did make it to #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, #2 in Canada, and #3 in New Zealand. The critics saw it as a quirky love song for the ages.
“Eli’s Coming” represents the finest in harmony from a band that never got enough credit for its vocal abilities.
The song only reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it was very much a fan favorite at concerts due in large part to the rocking bridge that brought fans to their feet.
“Black and White”
In the early 1970s, there was a lot of racial unrest in the U.S. Strangely, this song was written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson.
However, TDN applied its great vocals to give the song the relevance it deserved coming out of the Civil Rights Movement. This one made it all the way to #1.
“The Family of Man”
At a time when the environment was starting to get a lot of focus, TDN was very much on board with the fight against what man was doing to the planet.
This song showcased the powerful vocals of the band with each lead singer taking and delivering a verse.