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


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Step into my time machine week forty-one

As you might have noticed, OT at work is back, so if you still need your time machine fix every Friday, you'll have to try using your own time machine to go forward one day . I'm not sure if there are a lot of addicts out there, TM's numbers remain highly skewed by the European fascination with Silver Convention. I mentioned on an earlier post that I'm puzzled by the sheer number of people who visit my blog only looking for that picture of SC I posted on the Nov. 19 TM. Out of all my recorded keyword searches all-time, "Silver Convention" and "photos" thereof combine for 29 searches; the only subject more searched are the whackjobs at, which in 3 spellings have totalled an annoying 113 searches. The rest of the top ten had 17 between them.

ANYway, it's time for TM now, so let's go wandering through time and discover what banapple gas is, discover who Robert Ford was, and deal a glancing blow to the connection between the Tennessee Waltz and Japan.

11 songs debut this week in the Hot 100, and I'll make mention of 5 of them. First, at 97 comes January, the second follow-up to Pilot's hit from last summer, Magic. A far bigger hit in the UK than here, I happened across it and burned it to CD. Very worth a listen. At 96 the country-flavored Bellamy Brothers debut with Let Your Love Flow. At 79 is Freddy Fender with You'll Lose A Good Thing. At 70 is the curiously named Banapple Gas by Cat Stevens, which I had never heard or heard of. The song was okay; the term describes what we used to call "Rush"- a jar of amyl nitrate that you take a big whiff of to get a very short, very concentrated buzz. Not available in the USA anymore, to my knowledge. And at 58, the Bay City Rollers hit with Money Honey.

The big dropper contest started out slow, but picked up towards the end, with the winner (or loser) being Winners And Losers by Hamilton Joe Frank And Reynolds (who got 3 keyword search votes), dropping from 20 to 46. The big jumper is (IN THE TOP 40-AGAIN).

Let's look at the 1's in our bop around the top songs of other years. Sometimes I think I only put the 90's in this to remind me of how badly music collapsed, since I very rarely know (or like) any of them. Anyway, this week in 1991, C&C Music Factory was at the top with Gonna Make You Sweat. Blondie was on top in 1981 with The Tide Is High, which also hit the top on the chart I kept back then. 1971's top dog this week was Lynn Anderson's Rose Garden (which is on our CD carousel at work). In 1961, this week was topped by the Shirelles' Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

This reminds me- a fond farewell to Gladys Horton, who died the 26th of last month at the age of 65. She was just 15 when as the lead singer for the Marvellettes, she hit #1 with Please Mr. Postman, the first Motown #1. She also had hits with songs like Don't Mess With Bill and Beachwood 45789.

In 1951, the top dog for 9 weeks was Patti Page's version of The Tennessee Waltz. Originally the back side of a Christmas tune called Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, Wikipedia claims that as of 1974, this was the biggest selling song ever in Japan, of all places. Now I could find no corroborating evidence on this claim (if any fans out there have any, send it my way), but along the way I learned that the biggest selling foreign song in Japan IS Beautiful Sunday by Daniel Boone, of all things. As Johnny Carson used to say, weird, wild stuff.

Entering the top 40 this week are 4 tunes. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody enters at 37, up the standard 5 notches. Aerosmith's Dream On, in its 17th week spread over 2 releases, jumps from 44 to 33. The Big Jumper this week is actually the flip side of the song at #19, Elton John's Grow Some Funk Of Your Own. It's called I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford), and it climbs from 58 to 30, a 28 notch jump. Robert Ford was the man who cut a deal with the government for a full pardon if he killed Jesse James (which he did, but they almost didn't- he was actually sentenced to hang, but was let off at the last minute). Now, the song has nothing to do with him, just an analogy on a failed romance. (Sorry, no "Ringo" redux here.) And finally, jumping from 43 all the way to 25, the Captain and Tenille hit with one of my faves, Lonely Nights (Angel Face) .

Our almost but not quite this week is Paul Anka with his Kodak moment Times Of Your Life. You all know the story of TV jingle makes good; the part you don't know involves the song's writer, one Roger Nichols. Roger had started out as a singer; his debut album was co-written by Tony Asher, the wordsmith who worked with Brian Wilson on seven of the tunes on Pet Sounds, including Wouldn't It Be Nice and Caroline No. It wasn't a big seller, but it got him a job as a staff songwriter and an intro to Paul Williams. These two started off by pulling the same exact trick with the Carpenters' #1 We've Only Just Begun. They would also combine for the Carpenters' Rainy Days And Mondays and Three Dog Night's Out In The Country. For Paul Anka's part, it's worth noting that he actually did make it on the Billboard chart, peaking at #7; it hit the top on the Easy Listening (now known as Adult Contemporary) chart. However, here on the Cashbox chart, the journey ends at 17.

2 songs into the top ten, two come out. Falling are Walk Away From Love (8 to 11) and Fly Away (6 to 16).

Our tour of the #1 albums of the Seventies has crossed into 1974, where we find the first week held down by The Singles: 1969-1973 by the aforementioned Carpenters. This greatest hits collection contained (as a testament to their greatness) a #12, a #7, 2 #3s, 4 #2s, and 3 #1s, and included re-recorded versions of Top Of The World (since Karen didn't like something on her vocal track on the single) and Ticket To Ride ( the lone song that wasn't a big hit, reaching # 54). While Singles only topped the chart one week here, it spent 17 non-continuous weeks at the top in Merry Ol'.

The next 5 weeks were held down by Jim Croce's You Don't Mess Around With Jim. His second album, it contained the title track (#8), Operator(That's Not The Way It Feels) (#17, and PLEASE explain to me how this beautiful song didn't chart any higher), and the #1 ballad to his newborn, Time In A Bottle.

This takes us to February 16th, and Bob Dylan's first #1 album in 14 tries, Planet Waves. A collaboration with his old partners in The Band, Planet Waves had no singles and really shot up there more due to advance orders than actual point of purchase sales. Despite that, it would spend 4 weeks at the top. Noteworthy are two versions of the song Forever Young, which Bob said "I've had playing in my head for the last five years and I don't know how to do it." This is the song you hear redone by on the Pepsi commercials from last summer.

All right, we've reached the business end of our trip! At #10, up 2 notches, the incredible Electric Light Orchestra, from the album Face The Music, and Evil Woman. Also up 2 to #9 are the Miracles sans Smokey and Love Machine (OOO HOOHOOOYYYEAH!!). Up 2 to #8 is the re imagining of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Neil Sedaka; and another two-notcher at #7, Earth Wind And Fire with Sing A Song. The Ohio Players fall a spot to 6 with Love Rollercoaster. Moving up (you guessed it!) 2 to #5 is the breathless Donna Summer with Love To Love You Baby. Hot Chocolate remains stuck on #4 with You Sexy Thing. Barry Manilow slips a spot to #3 with I Write The Songs; so does last week's top dog (or hog), CW McCall's Convoy. And that means we have a new #1 song! Climbing from 3 to 1 this week isssssss....

Paul Simon's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover!

Okay, that's it for this week! Fly, robins, fly!

1 comment:

  1. CWM:
    It amazes me the way you put ALL of this together...

    ANd it REALLY has that nostalgic air...when songs were a LOT better than today, and the artists had STAYING POWER.
    (even like those one-hit wonders)

    Fantastic post.

    Got me humming these tunes all week (when I'm not plkaying them on the old TURNTABLE...LOL.

    Keep those hits coming.

    And saty safe out there.