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


Friday, January 21, 2011

Step into my time machine week thirty-nine

Geez, it's so cold I had to jump start the time machine! And it's not any better where we're going; the high on this date in 1976 was 11 degrees, though the low only dropped to 7. Plus, ye olde keyboard has decided that the "b" key is no longer functional and I am having to paste the stubborn letter in where I a-solutely have to have it, so bear with.

Winter seems to take the fun out of the music industry. I mean who wants to go out and purchase a 45 in 10-degree weather? And once again it shows on the chart. Out of 11 rookies in the Hot 100, 4 are worth the mention. Frankie Avalon (who'll pop up twice today) comes in with his disco remake of his 1959 #1 Venus. At 94, a release from the 1970 lp Cosmo's Factory from CCR, their cut down from 11-minute version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine- 4 years after the band split up. Way up at 64, the Captain and Tenille set sail again with Lonely Nights (Angel Face). And finally, the unstoppable juggernaut that Elton John had become, with Grow Some Funk Of Your Own at #51. Not a bad song, but 51???

The tops for the other years has spun on to the zeroes this week. 1990 saw Technotronic, a producer-formed project with a fake lead singer a la Milli Vanilli, on top with Pump Up The Jam. In 1980, we find the late Michael Jackson with Rock With You. 1970 saw the opening #1 of the seventies, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, from the master of the long titled song, BJ Thomas. True to my word, I give you Frankie Avalon at #1 in 1960 this week with Why. And in 1950 it was Patty, Maxine, and Laverne- the Andrews Sisters to you young'uns- with I Can Dream Can't I?

The big dropper this week is the Average White band (sorry the disrespect, I don't wanna copy another capital, and then recopy the lower case) with School boy Crush, falling 23 to #65; the highest jumper is Gary Wright's Dream Weaver, flying high through the starry sky to land at 55, up 19. 2 other notes in this neighborhood: 1) Feelings has at LAST left the building; and 2) remember our couple mentions of Let's Live Together from the Road Apples? They hit their peak at 48 last week, and are sliding down at last, pausing at #68 this week.

Our look at the #1 lps of the 70s has reached September of 1973, and the Allman brothers band's classic brothers And Sisters. Recorded after losing Duane Allman in one motorcycle accident and during which they lost berry Oakley in another just 3 locks away, it contained their one big hit, the #2 Ramblin' Man along with the AOR instrumental Jessica (#65). It spent 5 weeks at the top, and was replaced on October 13th by the Rolling Stones' Goat's Head Soup. Recorded in Jamaica "because it was about the only place that would let us all in", this lp contained the #1 ballad Angie and the based in part (1st verse) on a true story Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), which featured billy Preston on the clavinet and hit #15. Here's Keith Richards:

"The problem (with the Stones' mid-70s albums), which I was ignorant of for a long time, was studio musicians and sidemen taking over the band. The real problem with those albums was the band was led astray by brilliant players like Billy Preston. We'd start off a typical Stones track and Billy would start playing something so fuckin' good musically that we'd get sidetracked and end up with a compromised track. THAT made the difference. "

Led astray by brilliant musicians, huh? I imagine that is a line some people would say had never been a problem for the Stones. In any event, Soup topped the chart for 4 weeks. The last eight weeks of 1973 were ruled by that previously mentioned juggernaut, Elton John, and Goodbye Yellow brick Road. This 2-disc lp was recorded as were the last two at Chateau d'Herouville in France- it was to be done in Jamaica as well, but the chaos around the Foreman/Frazier fight drove them to France. The first side featured the classic AOR hit Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies bleeding; the original Candle In The Wind, which hit 11 in the UK, was recorded live and released in 1986 (hitting 5 in the UK and 6 in the USA) and then re-recorded in 1997 in honor of Princess Diana, and we all know how THAT went; and the #1 Benny And The Jets. The other sides included the #6 title track and the #12 Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting.

Coming into Airplay Alley, a meager 2 songs- at 40, up 5, are the Spinners with one I did not know, called Love Or Leave; and at 39, also up five (which makes I think four of the last 6 entrants going in on a 5-notch climb), Cledus Maggert and The White Knight.

Today's almost but not quite is Country boy (You've Got Your Feet In LA) from Glen Campbell. Peaking last week at 17 (it made 11 on billboard), it drops to 28 this week. This was the lead song on one of my favorite lps, Rhinestone Cowboy. This excellent lp, which we had on 8-track up at Snow Lake when I was but young, contained other than the two hits: the prophetic Comeback; a cover of My Girl; my favorite, I'd build A bridge; and a song I
remember more for the memory of how much I liked it than the song itself, called Pencils For Sale. I may have to get this the next time I raid Amazon for cheap oldies.

Two songs actually go into the top ten, so two come out. Falling are The Theme From Mahogany (from 4 to 15) and Saturday Night (from 10 to 25).

Coming into the top ten at 10, up one, is Earth Wind And Fire with Sing A Song. Up 4 to 9 is Paul Simon with 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. #8 and up one is David Ruffin's Walk Away From Love. Also up one are the O'Jays with I Love Music. John Denver holds yet again at 6 with Fly Away; Sweet does the same at 5 with Fox On The Run. Hot Chocolate (pictured) moves to 4 with You Sexy Thing, a 3 notch jump.

The top Three hold in place: Love Rollercoaster at 3, I Write The Songs at 2, and that means that CW McCall remains at the top with Convoy; them hogs is gettin' IN-tense up here!

Okay, we survived a cold, "b" less trip into the past. Stay warm out there!

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