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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Step into my time machine week eighteen

So KC and the Sunshine band sat at the top spot last week after an 11-notch jump. Common sense tells us that they would be there again this week, but there's a passel of people behind them who are pissed that they cut in line. Will one of them steak the crown this week? Let's see.

“Hey! No cutting in line kid!”

This week we open with a crop of 11 debuts, but only three that I recognize: at 99, one of my all time favorites, English Keyboardist Pete Wingfield with the doo-wopish Eighteen With A Bullet; at 94, the Four Seasons begin their return to the top with Who Loves You; and way up at 88, the first single for Nat's daughter Natalie Cole, This Will Be. There wasn't a fierce competition for biggest mover this week; Dickie Goodman's Mr. Jaws moves 25 to land at 66. (By comparison, John Williams' main theme from Jaws moves up 16 to sit at 58 this week.) Its only competitor we'll see in a bit. A lot of competition, though, for the biggest dropper; and the winner is former top dog Please Mister Please, which falls from 14 to 40, a 26-spot fall.

Our first special this week is the next five from my favorites of the decade. The Stones hit at 65 with Miss You, the song that re-established them as an ongoing force in rock'n'roll; at 64 I have New Yorker Dean Friedman with Ariel, a song that never played around here at the time, and I only discovered it about 3 years ago (probably something about the line "I took a shower and threw on my best blue jeans/ I picked her up in my new VW van/ she wore a peasant blouse with nothing underneath/ I said, "hi," she said, "Yeah, I guess I am..."). At 63 I put Keith Carradine's I'm Easy; the Captain and Tenille with my favorite of theirs, The Way That I Want To Touch You comes in at 62; and the combine of the Spinners and Dionne Warwicke with Then Came You ends this week's group at 61.

Six songs make it into airplay alley (aka the top 40) this week. Up 6 to 39 are the Osmonds with an old Four Seasons song, The Proud One. My favorite Osmond song, it was not only their first hit on the easy listening chart (where it hit #1); it was also their last chart hit. Up 5 to 38 is Tavares with It Only Takes A Minute; Paul Simon charts at 37 (up 10) along with Phoebe Snow and the Jesse Dixon Singers with one of those songs I just don't recognize, Gone At Last. Morris Albert finally hits the big time with Feelings, up 5 to 36. I knew he got a lot of crap about this song (undeservedly so), but I didn't know he got sued over it:

In 1981 the French songwriter Loulou Gasté sued Morris Albert for copyright infringement, claiming that "Feelings" plagiarized the melody of his 1957 song "Pour Toi". In 1988 Gasté won the lawsuit and was awarded 88% of the royalties generated by the song.[4]
Recordings of the song have credited authorship variously to Albert alone, to Albert and Gasté, to Albert and Michel Jourdan, and to Albert and "Kaisermann". The last of these attributions is redundant, since the singer's real name is Mauricio Alberto Kaisermann.[5]

Thank you, Wikipaedia. At 35, up seven, is Austin Roberts with Rocky; and at 27, up 21 notches (that aforementioned challenger to the big jumper) is Helen Reddy with Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady.

Our almost-but-not-quite salute goes to Ambrosia, which last week peaked at 18 with Holdin' On To Yesterday. From their self-titled debut, produced by Alan Parsons; in fact, only a few months later, they would be part of the first incarnation of the Alan Parsons Project.

Three songs enter the top ten this week, three drop out. James Taylor moves down to 12 with How Sweet It Is; The Eagles continue their stubborn descent, losing only 4 notches down to 14 with One Of These Nights. ( On the stubborn front, Love Will Keep Us Together holds at 26 this week after having started to climb again last time, while the Spanish version climbs 9 to 61.) Not so stubborn are 10cc, who drop 15 to #24 with I'm Not In Love.

Our trip through other years' # 1s takes us into the ones yet again. In 1991, Bryan Adams was near the start of a six week run at the top with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You; in 1981 it was Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross beginning an endless run (well, 9 weeks) with Endless Love; The Bee Gees were tops this week in 1971 with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. In 1961, the folk group the Highwaymen hit with their version of Michael Row The Boat Ashore (which they simply titled Michael). These were the Highwaymen who were going to sue Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon, 'n' Willie for appropriating the name after their big album together; they settled instead for opening for the country stars a few times on their 1990 tour. Finally in 1951, Tony Bennett was on top with his first chart hit, Because Of You.

Onto the top ten. Barry Manilow hits the ten, up 3 with Could It Be Magic. (Side trip here; the "sweet Melissa" in this song was Melissa Manchester, whom he and his partner in crime Bette Midler discovered in 1971 and became part of Midler's back up group, the Harlettes [don't laugh; their first name was the Red Light District.]. The song was originally recorded on Barry Manilow I two years before, but waited until now to be released.) Climbing in at 9, up three, are the Isley Brothers with Fight The Power. The original lyrics had "nonsense" instead of "bulls--t", but were changed in mid-recording by lead singing brother Ronnie, because "that was what the people needed to hear". David Bowie comes in at 8, up from 11, with Fame; and Elton John tumbles four with former top dog Someone Saved My Life Tonight at 7.

War Falls one to #6 with Why Can't We Be Friends; Janis Ian moves up 2 to 5 with At Seventeen. Hamilton, Joe Frank, and the other guy move up 2 as well with Fallin' In Love, at 4. Glenn Campbell rides up one to #3 with Rhinestone Cowboy; the Bee Gees make a case for the stubborn contest, staying a third week at #2 with Jive Talkin'. And that means that Harry Casey and the band remain at number one with Get Down Tonight. Sorry, guys, one picture per #1 song. Until next week, gang!

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