Top Albums Released on the Elektra/Musician label, 1982-84

Here’s a list of all 34 albums released on the Elektra/Musician label that reached the Billboard magazine Jazz LPs chart. Albums have been ranked using a formula that takes into account chart peak positions, weeks on chart, and number of weeks at the peak position. Presented below in countdown order, including album’s chart peak and total number of weeks on the chart.


Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
24 John McLaughlin My Goal’s Beyond 34 6
23 Material Memory Serves 32 7
22 Various Artists The Griffith Park Collection 35 12
21 Kevin Eubanks Guitarist 32 10
20 Jimmy Smith Keep On Comin’ 35 13


Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
19 Various Artists Echoes of an Era 2 29 10
18 Bobby McFerrin The Voice 24 10
17 Various Artists In Performance at The Playboy Jazz Festival 35 14
16 Chico Freeman Tradition in Transition 31 12
15 Charlie Parker One Night in Washington 28 10




Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
4 Lee Ritenour On the Line 12 30
3 Lee Ritenour Rio 11 33
2 Steps Ahead Modern Times 11 39
1 Jimmy Smith Off the Top 5 43


Cash Box #1 Jazz Albums of 1978

In 1978 issue, Cash Box magazine published a Jazz Album list weekly.  Forty albums were ranked in each chart. Here’s a chart of the #1 jazz albums for 1978:

Week Ending Album Artist(s)
January 7 Heads Bob James
January 14
January 21 Reach for It George Duke
January 28
February 4 Live at The Bijou Grover Washington, Jr.
February 11
February 18 Weekend in L.A. George Benson
February 25
March 5
March 11
March 18
March 25
April 1
April 8
April 15
April 22
April 29
May 6
May 13 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione
May 20
May 27 Weekend in L.A. George Benson
June 3 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione
June 10
June 17
June 24
July 1
July 8
July 15
July 22 Sounds…and Stuff Like That!! Quincy Jones
July 29
August 5
August 12
August 19
August 26
September 2 Images The Crusaders
September 9
September 16
September 23
September 30
October 7
October 14 Children of Sanchez Chuck Mangione
October 21
October 28
November 4
November 11 Reed Seed Grover Washington, Jr.
November 18
November 25
December 2
December 9
December 16
December 23
December 30 Touchdown Bob James

Charting the Charts: Maynard Ferguson – Conquistador (1977)



Here’s a look at how the Maynard Ferguson album Conquistador fared on various charts:

Date Billboard Jazz (40) Billboard 200 Cash Box 200 Cash Box Jazz (40)
April 2 159 157 17
April 9 18 121 127 8
April 16 110 107 6
April 23 3 91 87 5
April 30 81 81 5
May 7 70 75 6
May 14 6 49 69 6
May 21 40 62 6
May 28 2 37 57 5
June 4 29 52 6
June 11 1 26 49 7
June 18 24 47 6
June 25 3 22 45 7
July 2 22 47 7
July 9 9 45 56 6
July 16 45 67 15
July 23 7 68 80 16
July 30 68 98 17
Aug 6 * 64 102 16
Aug 13 62 121 22
Aug 20 6 62 160 23
Aug 27 58 174 28
Sept 3 78 30
Sept 10 14 103
Sept 17 103
Sept 24 15 195
Oct 1
Oct 8 15*

*In 1977, Billboard published a top 40 Jazz Albums list in the 2nd and 4th issue of every month but one: for some reason, charts were not published in the August 13 and August 27 issues. Instead, one chart was printed that month in the August 20 issue. Also, the October 8 chart was simply a reprint of the previous list of September 24.



Billboard, March 26, 1977, p. 78


Down Beat, July 14, 1977, p. 42


Cash Box #1 Jazz Albums of 1977

In 1977 issue, Cash Box magazine published a Jazz Album list weekly.  Forty albums were ranked in each chart. Here’s a chart of the #1 jazz albums for 1977:

Week Ending Album Artist(s)
January 1 Breezin’ George Benson
January 8
January 15
January 22
January 29 A Secret Place Grover Washington, Jr.
February 5
February 12
February 19 In Flight George Benson
February 26
March 5
March 12
March 19
March 26
April 2
April 9
April 16 Heavy Weather Weather Report
April 23 In Flight George Benson
April 30 Heavy Weather Weather Report
May 7
May 14
May 21
May 28
June 4
June 11 Friends and Strangers Ronnie Laws
June 18 Heavy Weather Weather Report
June 25 Free as the Wind The Crusaders
July 2
July 9
July 16
July 23
July 30
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27
September 3
September 10
September 17
September 24
October 1
October 8
October 15
October 22
October 29 Enigmatic Ocean Jean-Luc Ponty
November 5
November 12
November 19
November 26 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione
December 3 Reach for It George Duke
December 10
December 17 Heads Bob James
December 24
December 31

Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #7: Cash Box Jazz album chart of March 6, 1982

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of late winter 1982 as listed on the Top 30 Jazz Albums chart in the March 6, 1982 issue of Cash Box magazine.



#30: “Baby, Come to Me” by Patti Austin with James Ingram, from the #30 album of the week, Every Home Should Have One. This smooth single was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, the duo that would bring the world Michael Jackson’s Thriller album later in the year. It was released without much impact in the spring of ’82, but was re-released in October after being feature on the soap opera General Hospital and became a huge hit on the pop, adult contemporary and R&B charts. The immediately recognizable voice of Michael McDonald sings back up on the chorus. Patti, the goddaughter of Quincy Jones, was the first signee to his new label, Qwest and this album was one of the label’s first releases. This was the album’s last of 19 weeks on the jazz chart.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top 200 Albums 55 25


#29: “The Man With the Horn” by Miles Davis, from the #29 album of the week, The Man With the Horn. This title track, a tribute to Davis himself (“His music sets the pace but masters never have to race”), features lead vocals by Randy Hall and trumpet work by Miles filtered through some sort of wa-wa synthesizer throughout. The album, Davis’s first new release since 1975 following a six-year reclusive retirement, was not well-received by critics but spent over 30 weeks on the Cash Box jazz chart, peaking at #1 back around September, 1981.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 40 16


#28: “It’s for You” by Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays, from the #28 album of the week, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. Side one of this album features the  epic 20 minute title track; this song from side two, however, became one of the more popular cuts on the album, having later been covered by several artists and appearing in the 1985 Kevin Costner movie, Fandango. The album is notable as one of the few albums in which Metheny, in addition to his signature guitar work, also plays bass. The album had peaked on the chart at #2 in August, 1981.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 61 20


#21: “Telluride” by Spyro Gyra from the #21 album, Freetime. This cut from the group’s 1981 album features mallet work by Dave Samuels and a saxophone solo from band leader/composer/producer Jay Beckenstein. The album, the group’s fifth, had peaked at #3 in early October, 1981.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 40 29


#19: “Segue/There’s a Way” by Ronnie Laws from the #19 album, Solid Ground. The second and third tracks on Laws’ 1981 album. “There’s a Way” features vocals and sax work by Laws. After attending Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, Laws was briefly a member of Earth, Wind & Fire and the influence of Maurice White is evident on this track. This album was Laws’ sixth solo effort and had previously peaked at #5 on the jazz albums chart.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 55 22


#15: “Valdez in the Country” by the Ernie Watts from the #15 album, Chariots of Fire. This cover of a 1973 Donny Hathaway instrumental leads off side two of this album, Watts’ first solo album on the aforementioned Qwest label. In addition to tenor sax work from Watts, the track features a synth solo by Don Grusin and trumpet arrangements by studio legend Jerry Hey. Half of the album’s eight tracks are covers of music from Vangelis’ soundtrack to Chariots of Fire.


Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 156 9


#10: “Sleepwalk” by Larry Carlton from the #10 album, Sleepwalk. This title track is a cover of the instrumental by Santo & Johnny that hit #1 in 1959. The song features Carlton on his  Valley Arts Stratocaster and was released as a single and briefly placed on the adult contemporary charts in ’82.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 88 10


#9: “As” by Jean-Luc Ponty from the #9 album, Mystical AdventuresThe third consecutive cover on this compilation is fusion cover of Stevie Wonder’s “As.” The song features solos by Ponty on electric violin and Jamie Glaser on guitar; Ponty also tries his hand at the vocoder. The bass player on this cut is Randy Jackson, who would go on to become a judge on American Idol.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 68 15


#8: “Time to Say Goodbye” by Angela Bofill from the #8 album, Something About You. The ballad, written by Bofill, closed this 1981 album, produced by Narada Michael Walden. It was selected as the B-side for two of the album’s three singles. Like our previous Ponty cut, this song features Randy Jackson on bass. On this date, the album had been on the jazz album chart for 17 weeks and had begun its descent from a peak at #5.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 66 26


#5: “Twinkle” by Earl Klugh from the #5 album, Crazy for You. This upbeat piece features Klugh on acoustic guitar, Paulinho Da Costa on percussion, and Louis Johnson (of The Brothers Johnson) on bass. Klugh solos on guitar and Greg Phillinganes contributes an electric piano solo. The album, Klugh’s eighth, had earlier peaked at #3 in late January.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 59 26


#2: “Turn Your Love Around” by George Benson from the #2 album, The George Benson Collection. This hit single, the lead track from the 1981 greatest hits 2 LP set was written by Bill Champlin of Chicago, guitarist Steve Lukather of Toto and producer/guitarist Jay Graydon. The song won a Grammy award for Best R&B Song. The album, which earlier spent 5 weeks in the #1 spot, was a compilation of Benson’s best work from the years 1969-1981.

Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 17 30


#1: “Jamming” by Grover Washington, Jr. from the #1 album, Come Morning.  This cover of a 1977 Bob Marley tune smooths out the original’s reggae lilt and opened side two of the album. The album features an all-star cast of musicians including Steve Gadd, Marcus Miller, Richard Tee, and Eric Gale. This chart marked the album’s fifth consecutive week in the top position. The song was released as a single b/w “East River Drive.”


Cash Box Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Top Albums 31 27


As always, thanks to Herc of Herc’s Hideaway for research assistance and support.

Cash Box #1 Jazz Albums of 1976

Beginning with the July 10, 1976 issue, Cash Box magazine published a Jazz Album list weekly.  Forty albums were ranked in each chart. Here’s a chart of the sole #1 jazz album for the latter half of 1976:

Week Ending Album Artist(s)
July 10 Breezin’ George Benson
July 17
July 24
July 31
August 7
August 14
August 21
August 28
September 4
September 11
September 18
September 25
October 2
October 9
October 16
October 23
October 30
November 6
November 13
November 20
November 27
December 4
December 11
December 18
December 25