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


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Time Machine Christmas Special

'Tis the season for a countdown of the fifty biggest hits since we started time machine (IOW the time period from late May to Christmas 1975). This is a warped just for fun hybridization of the year-end Cashbox and Billboard charts, with just a hint of author's discretion. But I will tell you this much- whatever else was disagreed on, #'s 1 & 2 were the consensus picks. Here we GO!

Suprising me to come in at #40 is Sammy Johns and Chevy Van. Though he was a one-hit wonder, he wrote the great country song Common Man that John Conley made famous. At thirty-nine is the first of the "mythical top ten" to make it, Orleans' Dance With Me. For what I mean by the "MTT", you'll have to go back to an earlier TM and look it up. England's Ace featuring Paul Carrack gets #38 with How Long. Melissa Manchester, Barry Manilow's "Sweet Melissa", is at 37 with Midnight Blue. Did you know that Toni Tennille joined the Beach Boys' Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston as the backup vocals on Elton John's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me? Toni and Daryl Dragon aka the Captain are at 36 with The Way That I Want To Touch You, a song that they had released twice before on 2 different labels in 1974 before it finally became a big hit in 1975. Linda Ronstadt has the 35th hit on our countdown with You're No Good. The Eagles hit twice on this countdown; the first is Lyin' Eyes at 34.

The next 2 spots belong to KC And The Sunshine Band; Get Down Tonight at 33, That's The Way I Like It at 32. Another of the "MTT", America's Sister Golden Hair, is in the 31st spot. Michael Martin Murphey, whose 5 top 40 hits pale beside his 12 top ten country hits, is at 30 with Wildfire, which he wrote based on a dream he had involving the stories of a ghost horse his grandfather told him about when he was a child. Silver Convention takes #29 with current top ten Fly Robin Fly; besides That's The Way I Like It, the only song with that distinction. Linda Ronstadt gets her second mention with When Will I Be Loved at 28. Tom Scott, who was a member of the studio version of the Blues Brothers, blows the soprano sax on Wings' Listen To What The Man Said, our third member of the "MTT" and holder of the #27 slot.

Major Harris makes our list at 26 with Love Won't Let Me Wait. The second half of our countdown begins with Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds and Falling In Love at 25. Taking a look at the year 1975 in music, some of the acts getting their start this year were Aussie giants Air Supply and the Little River Band; funk ensemble Heatwave; the Boomtown Rats, who gave us the hit "I Don't Like Mondays"; and Ritchie Blackmore (from Deep Purple) formed Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio, breaking into the music scene with the roar of The Man On The Silver Mountain. Passing at least temporarily from the scene were the Faces, with Rod Stewart concentrating on his solo career and Ronnie Wood joining the Rolling Stones; the Guess Who, as Burton Cummings found himself just as popular in Canada solo; the Raspberries, as Eric Carmen hit with the album whose title was a double entendre- All By Myself; and one hit wonders Stealers Wheel, whose frontman Gerry Rafferty would soon become much bigger with the release of City To City. Acts like 50 Cent, Lil' Kim, Michael Buble, and American Idol's Bo Bice were born in 1975; Peter Ham of Badfinger committed suicide this year, and country music lost pioneer Lefty Frizzell.

Olivia Newton-John takes the #24 spot with Please Mister Please; BJ Thomas was at 23 with (here we go one more time) (Hey, Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song. Barry Manilow salutes Melissa Manchester and cribs from Chopin with Could It Be Magic at 22; and Tony Orlando And Dawn are at 21 with He Don't Love You. Brazillian Morris Albert, originally Mauricio Alberto Kaisermann, is at 20 with the oft-mentioned Feelings. 10cc, who tried awfully hard to make the chart twice with the same song (but I caught my boo boo), settle for one time at 19 with I'm Not In Love. Wikipedia tells us about the Ozark Mountain Daredevils," It is mentioned in the book about the band "It Shined," by Michael Granda, that the band name was derived from "Cosmic Corn Cob & His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils," a name that John Dillon came up with at a Kansas City "naming party" after the band was told that the name they had previously been using, "Family Tree," was already taken. The band shortened the name because none of the band members at the time wanted to be called "Cosmic Corn Cob," and they did not want the name to sound similar to The Amazing Rhythm Aces." The former corn cobs hit at #18 with Jackie Blue.

The Bee Gees have the 17th song in our list with Jive Talkin'. Ballroom Blitz by Sweet, which was released and hit#2 in the UK and #1 in Australia, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland in 1973, was finally released in North America in 1975, where it hit the top in Canada and lands at 16 in our countdown. The Spinners come in at 15 with Games People Play; the female vocal was the late Barbara Imgram, whose Spinners connection included her husband Sherman Marshall writing their hit Then Came You. The next 2 spots belong to Freddy Fender; he puts Before The Next Teardrop Falls at 14 and Wasted Days And Wasted Nights at 13. Another gone but not forgotten figure is Van McCoy, who lands The Hustle at 12. War captures the #11 slot with Why Can't We Be Friends.

Along the way, I've mentioned several songs that I knew but never made it into the top forty. Here's the top ten of the below-top-40s, arranged by their peak on the Billboard charts.

10. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You- the Statler Brothers(93)

9. Never Been Any Reason- Head East(68)

8. Nice Nice Very Nice- Ambrosia (63)

7. Long Haired Country Boy- Charlie Daniels Band (56)

6. Mexico- James Taylor (49)

5. Por Amor Viveremos (the Spanish version of Love Will Keep Us Together)-Captain and Tennille (49)

4. Sail On Sailor- the Beach Boys (49)

3. Welcome To My Nightmare- Alice Cooper (45)

2. Make The World Go Away- Donnie and Marie (44)

1. Katmandu- Bob Seger (43)

The top ten leads off with Janis Ian, who said she was At Seventeen but actually ended up 10th. #9 is Pick Up The Pieces by the Average White Band. #8 is the Eagle's second song on the list, One Of These Nights. Sir Elton John, joining Sir Paul McCartney as nobility on the list, is 7th with Island Girl. John Denver comes in at 6 live from the Universal Ampitheatre in L.A. with Thank God I'm A Country Boy. The 5th-biggest song on our list comes from (and what would our countdown be without) Frankie Valli and the uncredited Four Seasons with My Eyes Adored You.

Earth Wind And Fire are the #4 act with Shining Star; David Bowie, accompanied by the screaming John Lennon at #3 with Fame. And now, the top 2, agreed by both charts. the #2 song of 1975 belongs to...

Glen Campbell, with Rhinestone Cowboy!

And the #1 song- surprise, surprise- issssss.........

The Captain And Tennille, with Love Will Keep Us Together!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed our special journey. See you later this weekend on our regular trip.

1 comment:

  1. CWM:
    God, now I really feel old...LOL

    I remember playing those tunes in my car back in those days.
    (on the under-dash-mounted FM "converter", because most cars ONLY had AM radios as standard equipment) really did some homework on this...Very impressive.
    And a damn fine tribute to some really good music.
    (I'll be humming most of them the rest of the week, now)

    Stay safe.