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


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-six

Hey, we reach the new year a few days early here at Time Machine- it's already January 3rd, 1976. And you're test for today is: What was originally written by a Beach Boy, first recorded by the Captain and Tennille, first released as a single by David Cassidy? Answer coming up later. In the meantime, we'll stop off and see the Beatles, Lady Diana, and Dick Clark.

First up, we have 7 hot hundred debuts, and 4 of them we know. Coming in at 89 is Dr. Hook's cover of the Sam Cooke classic Only Sixteen; at 88 is Larry Groce with a song we can all commiserate with, Junk Food Junkie. Aerosmith takes its second shot at hit land with Dream On- it had already stalled once after an 11 week tour of the lower reaches of the chart, peaking at 43, and returns after a 25 month absence starting at #86. Finally, we say hello to Jay Huguely, an ad exec ambushed by the developing CB crazy to become Cledus Maggard and the Citizen's Band, hitting with The White Knight at 85.

Remember last week when I made the joke about the Pointer Sisters song Going Down Slowly? Well this week it becomes the double-butt of my puns as it is now going down quickly, 31 notches to 85 to be the week's big dropper. The less than impressive big mover had to clear 4 songs that went up 14 spots- and did, just barely. Or Barry-ly, as the singer is our good friend Barry White with a song in which he's actually doing something besides popping the cork on the Ripple in the boudoir, Let The Music Play. He climbs 16 (wooooo...) to #54.

Around the tops of the other chart years, skipping the 7's to avoid featuring the same songs two weeks in a row, we find that in 1998, the top dog was the second-highest selling single worldwide of all time- Elton John's Lady Di tribute, Candle In The Wind 1997. It was in the last week of its 14-week run. Still on the far side of the aisle, we have former Whammer George Michael on top in 1988 with Faith. 1978 opened with the song that opened the disco siege, the Bee Gees' How Deep Is Your Love. The Beatles top the chart this week in 1968 with Hello Goodbye. And in 1958, Danny And The Juniors were at the top with At The Hop, a song Dick Clark talked them into changing the name to from "Do The Bop". Good idea, Dick.

I was going to announce that we would celebrate the new year by having the first Feelings-less chart since June 14th. But NOOOO... Morris Albert slams into forward yet again, climbing two notches to 45 with the song that will not die, in its 30th week.

Only two songs join airplay alley this week- that's got to be a TM record so far. The Dynamic Duo are: Eric Carmen climbing 6 notches to 36 with All By Myself; and the Eagles' classic Take It To The Limit, rising 11 spots to 35. In the meantime, Fleetwood Mac's first salvo into the top 40 reaches its peak . Over My Head, written by Christine McVie, stops at 18 the next two weeks to capture the far from coveted almost but not quite salute this week.

Our tour of the #1 albums of the 70s takes us this week to May of 1973, where we find Led Zeppelin on top with Houses Of The Holy. Houses, whose title is a reference to the stadia and venues in which the band plays, is probably unique in the rock world in that its title track got bumped off the album in the final cut and wouldn't show up until the next one, Physical Graffiti. The cover, featuring a couple of naked kids in various shots of climbing a hill, was the second idea submitted by a designer from the art company Hipgnosis for the album. The first artist from the outfit submitted a design that featured a tennis racket. Understandably cheesed at the insinuation that their music was racket, that dude was fired on the spot and the next guy came up with the Blind Faith-ish second effort. Making it actually onto the album were the singles D'yer Mak'r (which is supposedly a phonetic spelling of the way Englishmen say "Jamaica", and hit #20) and Over The Hills And Far Away (which might have made it higher than 51 if they'd have chosen a title that one could identify with the song, a constant Led Zep problem IMHO), along with the popular AOR hit Dancing Days and the title track from their film The Song Remains The Same. Houses held the top slot for two weeks before yielding to the Beatles. Their second greatest hits compilation, 1967-1970 (also called "the Blue Album") spent Memorial weekend at the top. As it says, this double album was their greatest hits in that 4-year period, including the #1's Penny Lane, All You Need Is Love, the aforementioned Hello Goodbye, Hey Jude, Get Back, Somthing In The Way, Come Together, Let It Be, and The Long And Winding Road. It was knocked out, ironically enough, by Paul and Wings with Red Rose Speedway, which came to the top on the strength of the #1 single My Love. Recorded live, Hugh McCullough changed the McCartney-written guitar solo to the one we know and love at the last minute, to Paul's enthusiastic approval. Speedway held the top spot the weeks of June 2-16, 1973.

Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out- both former top dogs. That's The Way I Like It tumbles from 7 to 11; Let's Do It Again from 5 to 13.

Former Temptation David Ruffin moves up 2 to take this week's #10 slot with Walk Away From Love. After 3 weeks of sitting at 10, the O'Jays move up 1 spot to 9 with I Love Music. Hot Chocolate, who I learned did the original to the Stories' Brother Louie (and hit #7 in Jolly Ol' with it), jump 3 to #8 with You Sexy Thing. John Denver climbs from 9 to 7 with Fly Away. Sweet roars up from 8 to 6 with Fox On The Run, while the Ohio Players climb just one to 5 with Love Rollercoaster. Last week's top dog, the Bay City Rollers' Saturday Night, slides down to #4. Up one to #3 is CW McCall's Convoy; also up one is Diana Ross' Theme From Mahogany. And now we answer our test question: It was written by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston; the first recording of it was on the Captain and Tennille's Love Will Keep Us Together lp; David Cassidy released it from his album The Higher They Climb in Jolly Ol', where it climbed to #11 in August of 1975. It was shown to our subject singer, who almost declined it because if you misinterpreted the lyrics (as so many idiots did) the singer comes off as a huge egotist. Finally talked into it by Clive Davis of Arista Records, Barry Manilow recorded it on his Trying To Get The Feeling lp, and this week it hits the top. It is, of course... I Write The Songs.

That's it for this time... we'll all be in a different year when we meet again next time!

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