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


Friday, October 22, 2010

Step into my time machine week twenty-six

As the fall of 1975 rolls in here on time machine, we get lots of debuts, three new top tens, a new top dog, some poetry, the King makes a stop, and the thyird-biggest song in rock'n'roll history gets a nod. Hop in!

8 debuts hit the top 40, and the ones I know, with one exception, are more known from there AOR airplay than their mainstream pop audience. Coming in at 100 is Ambrosia's follow up to Holding On To Yesterday, called Nice Nice Very Nice. At 93 are the rockers Head East with Never Been Any Reason; and at 87 is Alice Cooper's Welcome To My Nightmare. Also debuting on a more upbeat note are the O'Jays with I Love Music at 86. The big droppers (there are 2) this week are former top dogs At Seventeen and Run Joey Run, each of which descend 33 spots, Janis Ian to 64 and David Geddes to 72. Once again, though, we'll see our big jumper in the top 40 debuts.

With 2 good but not quite stopped candidates but none that meet the requirements, there'll be no almost-but-not-quite this week. So let's open with the countdown of the seventies top albums in our specials this week. We're up to May of 1971, where the Rolling Stones claim #1 with Sticky Fingers. Almost everything story wise on this album ended up on the other side of the rude and crude divide, so I'll just note that this album contained the #1 Brown Sugar (see earlier comment) and the #28 Wild Horses, which Mick says was not about Marianne Faithfull like everyone says. Then came an album that regular readers know is one of my favorites- Carole King's Tapestry. It took the top in mid-June and stayed there until the end of September, a 15 week run that crowned its record 305 weeks on the Billboard top 200 ( the most recent week being that of July 17th this year), making it the most weeks for a woman, second-most for a solo artist, and fifth-most overall. In addition to the double-sided #1 It's Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move and the #14 So Far Away, it also contained two of her compositions that other artists had previously took to #1 (You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles) and one that would be taken to #1 by someone else (You Got A Friend by James Taylor). It won 4 grammies and has sold 25 million copies. It was finally knocked from #1 by Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story. This album, considered Stewart's best, contained the #1 Maggie May, the #19 Reason To Believe (which, until 20 minutes ago, I thought was called Someone Like You), along with airplay hits I Know I'm Losing You and the title track. It held the top spot for the four weeks of October 1971.

New into the top 40 this week are 6 songs. Jigsaw enters at 38, a seven notch climb for Sky High. At 37, up four, is Melissa Manchester's follow up to Midnight Blue, a song I didn't know called Just Too Many People. The week's big jumper leaps 33, from 69 all the way to 36, Simon and Garfunkel's My Little Town. A 24-spot jump from 59 to 35 for John Denver and Calypso; from 43 to 34 with a fave of mine, the doo-woppy Eighteen With A Bullet by Paul Wingfield; and the high debut, all the way up at 28, a 24 notch flight for Fly Robin Fly by Silver Convention.

In my countdown of my all time seventies favorites, we crack the top 25 this week. At 25 is recent top dog Fallin' In Love by Hamilton and his amazing friends. At 24 is Nights In White Satin By the Moody Blues, a song that wouldn't have made the list if it had hit when it was first released in 1967, or the second time in 1969. But third time was the charm, and it reached #2 US in 1972. In the UK, it made #19 the first time around, and #9 in '72; it would get released again in the early '80s and hit #14. The poem that is read at the end is a verse composed by band member Graehme Edge called Late Lament; it was only after this was cut off the single for programmers who were deathly afraid of 7-minute songs that it was allowed to make it big. 23 and 22 are a double dip by the Carpenters, an early nod to how much I loved them as a little kid: Yesterday Once More at 23, and (ironically enough) Only Yesterday at 22. 21 is the one big mainstream hit by Chris Rea, Fool If You Think It's Over. This was from the album What Ever Happened To Benny Santini? which was a joke on his record label, as Benny Santini was the stage name they wanted him to change to.

Three songs join the top ten, three fall out. The ones that drop are Ballroom Blitz, from 9 to 19; former top dog I'm Sorry, from 7 to 30; and last week's peeker-in, Brazil, from 10 to 31. A couple of side notes- Nights In White Satin holds the record for longest fall off the hot 100 chart, from #17; and speaking of #17, that's where Morris Albert and Feelings paused last week, presumably on the way out. But guess what? It climbs back 2 spots to 15 in its 20th week on the charts.

Our tour of what was on top in other years has hit the nines again. This week in 1999 ( and it doesn't seem that long ago) the top dog was Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas from the incredible album Supernatural. 1989 saw Miss You Much by Janet Jackson at the top. 1979 this week the #1 was the Commodores' Sail On, one of those songs that I liked so much better in the months and years after its chart run was done. In 1969 Elvis was on top for the last time with Suspicious Minds. And in 1959, the top dog- and #3 on Billboards all-time singles chart, as well as Simon Cowell's "best song ever written"- was in the fifth of its seven weeks on top. Oh, did I forget to mention the name? Why it's Bobby Darin with Mack The Knife.

Here we go! Coming in at #10, up from 13, is War with Low Rider. #9, up from 12, is the Four Seasons with Who Loves You. #8, leaping up from 19, is Sir Elton John with Island Girl. Orleans slips into the cleanup spot, down 2 with Dance With Me. Dickie Goodman's had his laugh, and his Mr. Jaws drops from the top spot to 6th. Helen Reddy moves up one to #5 with Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady, but has lost "the Bullet". Jefferson Starship[ warps into the #4 slot, up 4, with Miracles. The Eagles seem to be hitting their heads on the clouds- Lyin' Eyes moves up just one more, to #3. The Spinners assume the runner up position with Games People Play moving up 1; all of which makes the new top dog... envelope, please...

Neil Sedaka, with Bad Blood.

That's it, and it's time for lunch. See ya next week!

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