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


Friday, March 18, 2011

Step into my time machine week forty-seven

Okay, it's that time again, and this week we deal with subjects scattered from Portugal to Vietnam, from young to old, and everywhere in between. Let's kick off this week at the bottom of the Hot 100 where we find 11 debuts. Three of them were memorable: at 83 is the Andrea True Connection with the hit More More More; at 80, a song that just might be up Bob G.'s alley, so to speak, CW McCalls' There Won't Be No Country Music (There Won't Be No Rock'n'Roll)- and amazing it is that while the apocalypse he predicted is still coming slowly towards us, nobody worries about it anymore. Finally at 72, hang on for more searches from Germany as Silver Convention is back with Get Up And Boogie.

The big movers take care of that "young and old" that I mentioned previously. Falling 24 notches to 67 is Wake Up Everybody (Wake up all the doctors make the old people well/They're the ones who suffer an' who catch all the hell/But they don't have so very long before their Judgement Day/So won'tcha make them happy before they pass away); and the big climber was Bad Company's Young Blood, up 21 to #63.

Not meaning to be neglectful, but I'm unsure about my previous intention of mentioning the old man of the countdown award, because it doesn't change all that much when a song refuses to fall. For example this week we have 5 songs who have held on 20 weeks or more. You Sexy Thing just (and just barely) dropped out of the top forty after 23 weeks, and Dream On, for reasons I went into 2 weeks ago, is also at 23 weeks. Love Machine (which will play a role later on), Love To Love You Baby (fallen to 31), and I Write The Songs (58) all are at 20. Three more, including Baby Face- which just finally fell out of the top 40 for the second time- are waiting in the wings.

We are at the 6's in our look at #1s from other years this week. Brandy was on top in 1996 with Sittin' In My Room (which I didn't recognize, naturally); 1986 saw Heart on top with These Dreams (making me miss their days of Dreamboat Annie);1976 - sorry, no peeking; 1966 was another I would imagine is a Bob G. fave, The Ballad Of The Green Berets by SSgt. Barry Sadler. Sadler led an interesting life. Lost his father at the age of 36. Dropped out in his sophomore year and spent a year hitchhiking across the country. Enlisting at the end of those journeys in the USAF. Wounded by stepping on a punji stick in Vietnam in 1965, and nearly dying of the ensuing infection. Switched from music to writing fairly successful novels. In 1978 he killed the drug-addicted ex- boyfriend of his then-girlfriend,in a case of self-defense and on appeal ended up serving just 21 days for manslaughter. He moved to Guatemala City then, and was believed to be facilitating supply of the Contras when he himself was shot in the head. After about a year in a coma, he died in 1989. "pin silver wings on my son's chest..."

1956 still remains, and the top song 55 years ago today was Nelson Riddle Orchestra's Lisbon Antigua, Nelson's only top ten hit. Riddle is probably most associated with his 1980s collaboration with Linda Ronstadt on her easy-listening lps such as Lush Life shortly before his passing in 1985.

Four songs work their way into the top 40 this week. Up five to #39 is Jigsaw's follow-up to Sky High, called Love Fire (Didn't remember, listened to it, wasn't overly impressed). Up 4 spots to 37 comes Waylon and Willie with Good Hearted Woman. Shooting up 17 is Peter Frampton with the live Show Me The Way at 34. And yet another I had to listen to to try and recall- John Denver's Looking For Space, which jumped from 45 to 28. I didn't really remember it, but Laurie did. Of course, she has a slew of John Denver tapes, so she cheated. Back then, I was just beginning my transition from WOWO to WMEE, so perhaps I lost it in the cracks.

Almost but not quite nods go out to two songs this week. Foghat peaks at 20 with their biggest hit, Slow Ride. This is where the airplay component failed them; in 2009, VH1 named Slow Ride the 45th best hard rock song ever. Also peaking this week at 24 is Roxy Music's one US hit, Love Is The Drug. Having never really heard any of their other songs, I can't judge whether Roxy Music was underplayed or overrated, but a lot of that 70s-80s New York scene never did much for me.

The countdown of the #1 albums of the 70's, stuck in that nine week long pattern of one week wonders, finds us in October of 1974. On the 12th, Olivia Newton-John took the top spot with If You Love Me Let Me Know. A compilation of her previous UK albums Long Live Love and Olivia, this was a North America only release, and besides the #5 title track, contained I Honestly Love You. This song, Olivia begged MCA to release, but they refused, citing that it only hit #22 in the UK. But after the album came out, thousands of letters from fans inundated the record offices, and they relented. Soon later, it hit number one. Have I mentioned that A&R guys can be idiots? Anyway, also notable on this lp was a cover of the Beach Boys' God Only Knows.

Olivia found herself replaced the next week by BTO with their great album Not Fragile. With a name said to be a reply to the Yes album Fragile (which was also great) and a lead song which was accused of being a cribbing of the Who's Baba O'Riley ( You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, which was recorded as a Randy Bachman joke on his brother, and he had to be begged for three weeks by the record company to release it) Not Fragile ruled the roost the week of October 19th. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet took a fairly normal path to #1 and out on Cashbox; but on the sales and airplay figured Billboard chart, it took two weeks to drop from 1 to 34, then went right back up to 8 for two weeks when people found out that the b-side, an instrumental called Free Wheelin', was a tribute to the late Duane Allman. Also hitting the charts from Not Fragile was the #14 Roll On Down The Highway.

Following Randy and the boys on October 26th was Bedroom Barry White with his lp Can't Get Enough. This record had the #1 Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby and the #2 You're The First, The Last, My Everything (Barry was obviously an attentive student of the BJ Thomas School For Long Song Titles).

One song into the top ten this week, one drops out. The Theme From SWAT speeds away, falling from 6 to 14.

Aw, crap! I'm supposed to have a special in this slot, but I've done them all!

One of our old Man Award winners, the Miracles' Love Machine, drops from 5 to 10 this week. Nazareth hangs on to the #9 slot with Love Hurts for a second week. Jumping in from 11 to 8th are the Bay City Rollers with Money Honey (which when I burned this to CD, Laurie didn't remember it, so it's a wash with John Denver). Aerosmith climbs one notch to #7 with Dream On; so does Rufus featuring the well-endowed Chaka Khan with Sweet Thing at #6.

Eric Carmen yields the top spot after one week, falling to #5 with All By Myself. Johnny Taylor has another big week with Disco Lady; his 6-notch jump takes him from 27 to 10 to 4 in just three weeks. The Captain And Tenille move up one spot to #3 with Lonely Night/Angel Face. Sliding up one to the runner-up slot is Gary Wright and Dream Weaver. Somewhere I read that Wright wasn't going to release it as a single, thinking it silly, but his wife convinced him- however, I don't remember where I saw that and can't find it now, so we'll list that story under "apocryphal" for the time being. And now, this week's #1 song in 1976-

December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) by the Four Seasons, featuring the "sound" of Frankie Valli!

That's it for this week, gang. See you next time!

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