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


Friday, February 25, 2011

Step into my time machine week forty-four

I tried getting to work this morning and actually made it out of the addition before taking the better part of valor at the first available (if not visible) turn around. So as long as I was up, I said, hey, there's no snow in time travel, so here we go. Today, Tony Bennett, the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Donnie and Marie, John Denver (hey, chocolate angel, are ya listening?) and a song that had a brief appearance as a studio single comes roaring back as a live cut.

We had a ten-debut week, but only two songs I knew, on the hot 100, and back to back at that. At 75, the re-appearance of Peter Frampton's Show Me The Way. This was on time machine not that long ago as the studio single, which stalled out. This, however, is the live version, and brings the promise of the coming summer in which Frampton Comes Alive! became the unofficial soundtrack. In the meantime, a song that carries more wintry memories for me comes in at 74- the Carpenters with A Kind Of Hush. Our big dropper this week is Walk Away From Love, which is running away from its former top 10 home, falling 34 spots to #76. The big mover looked for a while (as I searched from the low end up towards the top) like it would be an at-least 4 way tie at 11 notches; then Johnny Taylor lept from 60 to 41, 19 spots, with Disco Lady.

I've got such fun on the specials I don't know where to start. Let's go with our look at #1 in other years, this week featuring the "4s". In 1994 this week, Celine Dion was at the top with The Power Of Love, which is a pretty good song that I occasionally hear on our work carousel (not that it occasionally plays, but since I'm stuck in packing/shipping right now, I'm just in areas that I often can't hear the music). In 1984, Van Halen went pop and lost all interest for me when they hit the top with Jump. In 1974 it was Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra with the oft-heard on golf telecasts Love's Theme.

Now comes the fun. In 1964, The Beatles were on top with I Want To Hold Your Hand, the 5th of its 8 weeks on top. In fact, it was the 5th of a 16-out-of-17 week run with 4 separate songs. Let's look at this further. The first two weeks of this run, Bobby Vinton was at #2 (at least it was after his turn at #1) with There I've Said It Again; the next two weeks, it was Leslie Gore's You Don't Own Me that was kept out of the top spot. The remaining month of Hold Your Hands' reign, it was the Beatles themselves at 2 with She Loves You; Gore held third the first week, the next three it was the Four Seasons with Dawn (Go Away). And the three weeks after that, there were FOUR Beatles songs at the top, with Dawn holding on as the highest non-Beatle record at #5. After that, it was 5 Beatles followed by Satchmo's Hello Dolly. Louie Armstrong moved up a notch a week from then on until he finally got #1, only to be knocked out- by the Beatles- after one week.

And before you think the Beatles took it over too, we find Tony Bennett at #1 in 1954 this week with the lovely Stranger In Paradise. From the musical Kismet, Strangers was the last of Bennett's 4 #1's on Cashbox, although when it finally hit the UK charts the next year it was his debut single there. I guess nobody over there ever misplaced their heart in Frisco, eh?

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, the top 40 debuts this week. Three of them, in fact: Natalie Cole's Inseparable climbs 5 to #39; Those lovely Osmond kids, Donnie and Marie, hit 36 with Deep Purple, a ten spot jump (and a song I always link in my mind as playing at the same time as the aforementioned A Kind Of Hush); and that frisky Maxine Nightengale zaps up 18, one shy of the big mover, with Right Back To Where We Started From.

At this point, I'm going to make a group of call outs for our almost but not quite feature. The Who peak with the slightly-naughty Squeeze Box at 11 this week; The previously featured Somewhere In The Night by Helen Reddy stopped last week at 20, and drops this week to 31; Another song I've boosted in previous TM's, Art Garfunkel's Break Away, has finished its meandering between 36 and 39, and drops to 40 this week; and Linda Ronstadt will stop at 25 (HOW DID THIS SONG GET NO HIGHER???) with Tracks Of My Tears, which Smokey and the Miracles took to #16 (HOW DID THAT SONG GET NO HIGHER???) Sometimes I really have to doubt the sanity of the record-buying public.

A vastly changed top 10 has three songs move in, so 3 songs drop out. ELO slips from 9 to 13 with Evil Woman; Hot Chocolate drops from 6 to 17 with You Sexy Thing; and Barry Manilow at long last drops from 8 to 20 with I Write The Songs, after 12 weeks in the top ten.

Our look at the seventies' #1 albums takes us to the second week of July, 1974, and Elton John's Caribou. Named after the famous Caribou Ranch recording studio, the lp was recorded in just 9 days, so that the band could rush of to an extended tour in Japan. Famous, you ask? Acts from Joe Walsh and Rick Derringer, to the Beach Boys and Chicago, even Amy Grant (both Age To Age and Unguarded) recorded there from 1971 till it burned in 1985. The Album? It contained the singles Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me ( a #2 hit with backing vocals by Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys and Toni Tennille) and The Bitch Is Back (the topper of the recent doggie top ten that Scrappy did, and hit#4). Caribou held the top spot for 4 weeks, into the first week of August.

August 10th saw the ascension of John Denver's Back Home Again. This album contained Annie's Song (#1, written for his then-wife, Annie Martel Denver), the title track (#5, and one of my misty-eyed favorites) and Sweet Surrender (#13, and I'll admit not remembering it so well), as well as the studio version of the big live hit Thank God I'm A Country Boy. For all this, John got just the one week at the top.

He was knocked out on August 17th by 461 Ocean Boulevard, the first album by Eric Clapton after kicking his heroin addiction. Featuring a band that included backup vocalist (and one of my great crushes) Yvonne Eliman, 461 featured the #1 cover of Bob Marley's I Shot The Sheriff (a song Clapton had to be talked into putting on the album). 461 Ocean Boulevard was #1 until September 7th, a 4-week tour at the top.

Drum roll, please: At #10, up 2 spots, are the Bee Gees with Fanny (Be Tender With My Love). Moving up a notch to #9 is Sir Elton's Grow Some Funk Of Your Own. (its B-side, I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford) has slowed down a bit, sitting at #22.) Flying high through the starry sky, Gary Wright rockets 8 spots to land at #8 with Dream Weaver. Shooting up 6 spots to #7 are the Captain And Tennille with Lonely Night/Angel Face. Donna Summer moves down 3 to #6 with Love To Love You Baby. The Eagles move from 7 to 5 with Take It To The Limit. Paul Simon has finally chosen one of his 50 ways and is leaving the chart, dropping from top dog to #4. Eric Carmen moves up 1 to #3 with All By Myself. The Love Machine churns up 3 notches to #2 for the Miracles. Annnnnd... storming the top to take the top spot, up one...

Rhythm Heritage with the Theme From SWAT!!!!

Okay, guys, stay safe and out of the snow.

1 comment:

  1. CWM:
    I've really coem to look forward to these time-trips!

    Maybe, 'cause I like humming ALL the songs you mention over the weekend, if not digging through my VINYL and slappin' 'em on the turntable (some technology NEVER goes outta style, thank God).

    I can see myself in many of those songs...special places, people...times in high school.
    All that...and more.

    You have a rare flair for mostalgia.

    Keep those hits comin'.
    (And as Kasey Kasim used to say: "Keep shooting for the stars".)

    Stay safe up there.