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


Friday, December 3, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-two

The name of the game is status quo this week, with not a lot of top ten movement, a big mover that's big move was so-so, only 3 debuts to speak of, and the strange story of the Singing Nun. Step in and mind the ceiling.

Ten songs debut on the hot hundred this week,but only three are all that noteworthy. At 92 is a song noteworthy because I know it and it is a pretty, mellow tune, called Blue Guitar and sung by Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the temporarily disbanded Moody Blues. If you like the Moodies at all, you will enjoy it. The other two both have the common thread of Olivia Newton-John. First at 69,we have the John Denver hit Fly Away (which I promise I'll tell you a funny story about when it hits the top 40) in which she sings backup; and the woman herself, who hits at 65 with Let It Shine. Our limpy big mover, coming up a mere 17 to #80 is the George Baker Selection with Paloma Blanca. The much bigger dropper is Leon Russell's Lady Blue, tumbling 33 notches to 75.

We're in the threes this week on the look at other years at #1. 1993 was topped this week by Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For Love, which allegedly was #1 for six weeks; however, Cashbox was in its terminal decline already, and two of those six weeks were repeat charts. 1983 saw Lionel Ritchie was at #1 with the Thanksgiving song of '83, All Night Long. The top dog this week in 1973 was the Carpenters' Top Of The World, which was my favorite song through much of grade school due to my warped mind connecting it to a certain young lady. Now we get to 1963, and the top dog for the next 5 weeks was Dominique by a lady we called The Singing Nun, and the French-speaking world knew as Soeur Sourire, or "Sister Smile". She was, at the time, a real nun, from a monastery in Belgium, and thus this was the only Belgian act to hit #1 on the US charts. Lack of reward from her major hit and a pile of issues with the church including views on birth control and her budding lesbianism led her to renounce her vows and attempt (and fail) to build a music career on her own, finally running aground after an attempt at a disco version of Dominique. Saddled with debt and having rejected the Lord who might have helped her, the no-longer-singing no-longer-nun and her "partner" committed suicide by pills and booze on March 3rd, 1985. Sliding on up to 1953, the top dog was Tony Bennett with Rags To Riches.

On the subject of death, I recently learned that former ELO cellist Mike Edwards died a couple of months back in an appropriately unusual way- apparently his van was hit by a massive runaway roll of hay. That's him with the cello in happier times.

Coming into airplay alley this week are 5 tunes. Up 8 to enter at 39 is one of my all time favorites, Hamilton, Joe Frank, and "Reynolds" with Winners And Losers. Al Green comes in at 38, up 3, with a song which I didn't know and was surprised to find wasn't one of his usual Let's Stay Together clones. However, the tune, called Full Of Fire, didn't really stick with me in any other way either. ELO (wow, two mentions on one TM!) comes in at 37, up 14, with Evil Woman. Glen Campbell comes in with Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In LA), up 8 to #35. And coming up 12 spots to #34 is Fleetwood Mac with Over My Head. This is their first US top 40 hit, despite 5 top tens in the UK (which includes the instrumental Albatross, which hit #1 in '69 AND #2 in '73, as well as cracking their hot 100 again in 1990).

The almost but not quite this week goes to Willie Nelson, still getting high at the age of 77, with Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain. Despite a long career on the country side which had seen 15 top 40's and 2 top tens, this song gave him his first #1 country and first top forty pop. In a side note, this is the last song Elvis Presley was known to have sang before he died- make of that what you will. Blue Eyes peaks at 25 this week.

One song enters the top ten this week, one song exits- Natalie Cole's This Will Be, down from 9 to 19.

In our look at the #1 albums of the '70s, we are up to August of 1972. Chicago V, fueled by the pre-release of Saturday In The Park, hits #1 and stays for 9 weeks. This album featured Saturday ( another side note: the "Italian" that the man singing Italian songs sings are Italian sounding nonsense words. Urrgy Burrgy Burrgy.) which hit #3 as well as Dialogue Parts 1 & 2, which reached 24. Chicago V was followed in late October by Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack. The album, dealing with social issues such as drug dealing and race relations, was much more serious that the movie, and was compared favorably to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. It had two hit singles- Freddie's Dead, which hit #4 pop and #2 soul, and the title track, which hit #8 pop and #5 soul. On November 18 it was replaced by Cat Stevens' Catch Bull At 4. The unusual name comes from the Ten Bulls of Zen, which (without trying to go too in-depth) are symbolic steps in the path on a Zen follower. Despite the fact that its only single was Sitting, which hit #16 ( and perhaps with a little boost from the relationship he was pursuing with Carly Simon, who wrote Anticipation with him in mind), it was an extremely fast seller going gold in just 15 days. It would hold the top spot into early December.

The top ten this week leads off with Barry Manilow climbing 3 to #10 with I Write The Songs. Dropping from 6 to 9 are the Captain and Tenille with The Way That I Want To Touch You. Up from 10 to 8 is Jigsaw with Sky High. Holding at 7 this week is Simon And Garfunkel with My Little Town. At #6, up 2, are the Bay City Rollers with Saturday Night. Elton John tumbles 2 to #5 with former top dog Island Girl. The Bee Gees move up one to #4 with Nights On Broadway. The Staple Singers edge up one to #3 with Let's Do It Again. Holding at 2 is former top dog Silver Convention with Fly Robin Fly. Which means KC and the Sunshine Band hold onto the top for a second straight week with That's The Way I Like It.

That's all for this week. Thanks for riding along!

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