For those of you out there who consider this post a matter of life and death (anybody?), tis the season to get used to later episodes- the dreaded spectre of OT reared its head for the first time today. A half-day, to be sure, but nonetheless. From overtime to back in time, now, as we look back at Earth Wind, And Fire, War, and- Lorne Greene?
13 songs made their debut this week in 1975, and quite a few are of some note. Donnie and Marie, that lovable couple of kids, hit at 99 with their cover of Deep Purple (which I really like, but could do without the Marie voiceover in the middle. At 97 a country singer named Kenny Starr charted his version of The Blind Man In The Bleachers; noteworthy because his country version hit #2, an accomplishment because the former Loretta Lynn protege would never be seen again on the pop chart, and crack the top 30- barely- just 2 more times on the country chart. Needless to say, his cover didn't stack up very well against David Geddes' version (which is at 22 this week and slowing down...) chartwise.
Farther on up, Foghat makes its entrance at 81 with its most famous song, Slow Ride. That entrance alone topped its previous chart peaks outside of Fool For The City. Three notches hence at 78 we find former Raspberry Eric Carmen with the title single from his first solo album, appropriately titled All By Myself. A great album to listen to if you're not a depressed, angst-ridden teenager who can't get a girl to look at him that way; if you were, well...
At 75 we rejoin Mr. David Bowie and his follow up to Fame, Golden Years (wop, wop, wop). The best, however, we save for yet higher up. Neil Sedaka hits with his prozac remake of his 1962 smash Breaking Up Is Hard To Do clear up at 62; and at 61, here comes Rhymin' Simon (Paul, that is) with 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. He said it had nothing to do with Marvel comics, but "sneak out the back, Jack (Kirby), make a new plan, Stan (Lee), no need to be coy, Roy (Thomas)", methinks we stretch coincidence a bit thin here.
Our big dropper falls to 55 from 19- Natalie Cole's This Will Be. One way to get mentioned one last time. I struggled to find a big Mover higher than a 16-spot jump - until our second highest top 40 debut this week. Again, needless to say, we'll let that bird out of the cage a bit later.
Let's do a "specials slam" this week. First, our continuing countdown of the #1 albums of the 70's. We are at the end of 1972 and the beginning of 1973, and overlapping both for five weeks was Seventh Sojourn, the first #1 disc for the Moody Blues. No doubt propelled a bit by the third re-release of Nights In White Satin which peaked #1 Cashbox and #2 Billboard right inbetween the album's two singles: Isn't Life Strange (29) and I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock'N'Roll Band) (12). This would be the last album for the Moodies for some time, as they went on hiatus and solo projects after the tour for this album. Sojourn ended its reign the week of January 6th, 1973, replaced by Carly Simon's No Secrets. This album was headed by Right Thing To Do (17) and of course You're So Vain (1), a song made more controversial not only by A) her refusing to name who it was about, B) one of the candidates thereof singing backup on the tune, and C) having so many candidates to mention for the title. In addition to the previously hinted-at Mick Jagger, and Cat Stevens, who got his due last week on TM, you also have Warren Beatty (widely believed to be the winner), Kris Kristofferson, and the man she married just the November before, James Taylor. No Secrets was followed by War with The World Is A Ghetto. Led by the #2 Cisco Kid and the #7 title track, War held the top spot for the 2 weeks of February 21-27, 1973.
In our looks at the #1s of other years, we are back in the 4s this time. Number one this week in 1994 were those sure RNR HOFers Boyz II Men with On Bended Knee. 1984 sees Chaka Khan, with some help from Grandmaster Mellie Mel and Stevie Wonder's harmonica with I Feel For You. 1974's #1 this week were the Three Degrees and When Will I See You Again. In 1964, we have the curious rock'n'roll phenom Lorne Greene, taking full advantage of his TV fame as Ben Cartwright on Bonanza to place his spoken word hit Ringo at #1. He actually had to say on the album that the song had nothing to do with "the Beatles' wonderful drummer". In fact, it also had little to do with its real life subject, western owlhoot Johnny Ringo (as apparently, neither did his appearance in the movie Tombstone). Finally, we whizz past 1954 long enough to hear the gentle tones of the Chordettes with Mr. Sandman at the top. On with the show.
Seven, count 'em, seven top 40 newbies this week, and they don't all wait their turn. Rising 11 to #40 is the Average White Band with a funky little number (that, alas, I did not recall) called School Boy Crush. At 39, up 15 (and a contender for the big mover for a few more seconds), a song we talked about a few weeks ago when it first came in, Bob Dylan's Hurricane. Up from43 to 36, Paul Anka's Kodak moment, Times Of Your Life. I don't care if it was a commercial first, it still makes my eyes go moist. Knowing me, that was probably a contributing factor. Kiss finally breaks into airplay alley for the first time with their live version of Rock And Roll All Nite, also up 7 to 35th. EWF blast their way up from 41 to 27 with Sing A Song; and any other week, that jump would surely win the high debut, and maybe the biggest jump. BUUUUUT... the big mover goes to John Denver; you might say he flies away with it, with Fly Away rising 49 notches from 69 to 20. Keep reminding me to tell that funny story involving that song when it goes top ten. And the week's high t40 debut goes to CW McCall (nice initials) with Convoy trucking all the way from 49 to 19. Ten-four!
A dual almost but not quite this week. Pete Wingfield (whose song was 18 with a bullet on Billboard two weeks ago) ends his climb with (all together now), needless to say, 18 With A Bullet. In addition we salute Wings with Venus And Mars/Rock Show, which peaks here at 16. Oddly enough, this marked the first time that any former Beatle's single release did not chart in Jolly Ol'. (Bit of a prude about the long hair and "scoring an ounce", I suppose) And one more note whilst we are in the neighborhood. (Oh, I know, this is going to be another "Feelings" update, isn't it?) Why yes, yes it is. Feelings is still in the top 40 at 37 this week, its 27th in the hot hundred. This is its 16th week in the TOP 40- let's put this in perspective. In the 33 weeks we've rode the time machine, only 47 other songs have topped 16 weeks IN THE HOT 100. Only 30 of those made 18 weeks; 19 made 19 weeks; 8 of them saw 20 weeks. Six of those made it to their 21st week on the hot hundred, and only 2- Johnny Wakelin's Black Superman-Mohammed Ali (which never made it higher than #23) and Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy- made it as far as 23 weeks on the hot 100.
Two songs into the top 10, 2 go out. The Way That I Want To Touch You sinks from 9 to 15; and Island Girl drops from 5 to 12.
The O'Jays hit the top ten for the fifth time- an apparently glancing blow, from 11 to 10, with I Love Music. Rolling up 4 spots to #9 are the Ohio Players with Love Rollercoaster. Barry Manilow climbs two notches to 8 with I Write The Songs (or, at least, Bruce Johnston does). Simon and Garfunkel hold at 7 with My Little Town. Jigsaw climbs 2 to #6 with Sky High. The Bee Gees move down one to 5 with Nights On Broadway. The Bay City Rollers move up 2 to #4 with Saturday Night. Silver Convention drops 1 to 3rd with former top dog Fly Robin Fly. The Staple Singers move up to the runner up spot with Let's Do It
Again. And you're getting a picture of them because one thing I won't do again is post another picture of this week's #1 song. For the 3rd straight week, KC And The Sunshine Band with That's The Way (uh-huh uh-huh) I Like It.
I'd have to say that's SOME improvement over Harry Casey...
OKay, see you right here next week!