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


Friday, April 15, 2011

Step into my time machine week fifty-one

Boy am I glad to be here today!  I woke up this morning with one of the songs they play at work- Chris DeBurgh's The Lady In Red- and I'm not too pleased that it's there.  One of the whiniest songs of all time, particularly when you consider his first single was the rocker Don't Pay The Ferryman.  When your hits go from being on Rock104 to being on 1250 The River, you know you have an audience identification problem, eh?

Anyhow, today we have some of my favorite songs of all time (duh), more cause for Silver Convention fans to roost here, the longest reigning #1 instrumental in history, and class #2 of the Martin Hall Of Fame.  Hey, all you lurkers out there, put in some nominations!  I've had some very good ones from Laurie, and one from KCthemainevent which, had he been paying attention, he would have seen was actually IN the first class.  I'll announce whether any of them make the cut in the class #3 installment next week.

We kick things off as usual with this week's (April 15th, 1976) debuts on the Hot 100.  Out of 8 debuts, we look at 3 of them. At 92 is Starbuck's Moonlight Feels Right- a song that was hot when I went with my brother Tom's family on my first trip to Florida.  "We'll play the radio on southern stations/ 'cause southern belles I hear tonight..."  At 87 is Gary Wright's follow up to Dream Weaver, Love Is Alive.  This song took a while for me, mainly because it was keeping one of my faves out of the top slot on the nightly WMEE countdown (I was loyal like that- had the same problem with 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.)  Finally, at 82, Rhythm Heritage breaks in with Baretta's Theme (Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow) at 82.  (I wonder if I'll ever spell rhythm right the first time w/o spell check!)

The big dropper this week is a tie between former top 40s Tangerine (51 to 73) and Love Fire (47 to 69), both at a 22 notch fall.  The big mover... sigh... is in the top 40.

Our #1 albums of the seventies countdown is closing in on where we're at- March of 1975.  On the week of the 15th, Olivia Newton-John spent one week on top with Have You Never Been Mellow.  Containing the #1 title track and the #3 (top dog on Cashbox) Please Mister Please, this album struggled outside the USA and Canada; in fact, the album peaked at #37 in Jolly Ol', and the single never even charted.  However, it did much better in Japan, of all places- the album hit #4, and the single #26.
The next six weeks, till the end of April, were ruled by Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti.  This album was held up at the beginning when stressed-out bassist John Paul Jones nearly quit the band to become (wait for it) choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral!  Finally returning, they found that the album ran too long for one disc; so instead of cutting songs as they did on Houses Of the Holy, they added songs that didn't make previous lps (such as the squeezed out title track from Houses) and made it a double lp.  Described as the album that made Zeppelin respectable musically, it made #70 on Rolling Stone's 500 best albums of all time.  Included were the single Trampled Under Foot (#38), along with, Kashmir and the instrumental Bron-Yr-Aur (another of the former outsqueezes.  In addition to the USA, Graffiti hit #1 in Canada, #2 in Austria, Australia, Spain, and France, and #3 in New Zealand.
It finally gave way to Chicago VIII the weeks of May 3-10. Considered by critics one of Chicago's weaker albums as they moved towards a more pop sound, it gave us the songs Harry Truman (#13), Brand New Love Affair parts I and II (#61), and the all-time great Old Days (#5).

Four songs enter Airplay Alley this week, starting with the week's big mover. Silly Love Songs jumps 26 from 65 to 39 for Wings, which gives Paul his 15th top forty outside the Beatles.  Up 7 to #35 are our friends at Silver Convention (who made the Nov. 19th Time Machine my most viewed post, with over 400 view of that celebrated picture of the girls, and climbing every day) with the second of their 3 hot 100s and 2 top 40s, Get Up And Boogie (That's Right).  Kiss climbs 9 to #34 with Shout It Out Loud, their 4th hot 100 and second top 40.  And at 33, up a dozen, is Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win). Despite their popularity in the UK ( 8 top 40s including the wonderful instrumental Albatross hitting #1 in 1968 and #2 five years later), this is only their 2nd top 40 and third hot 100 in the USA.

Our weekly look at the #1s of other years is back to the 0s this week.  In 1990 the top dog was Taylor Dayne's Love Will Lead You Back (which I decided NOT to listen to for fear it would be as screechy as the annoying Tell It To My Heart).  In 1980 Blondie is on top for the first of their 7 weeks with the disco/rock fusion hit from the American Gigolo soundtrack, Call Me. In 1970, the Beatles were in the last of their 4 weeks at the top with Let It Be; they would have just 2 weeks at #1 remaining to them.  1960's #1 song this week was the Theme To A Summer Place by Percy Faith's Orchestra, in the last of its 8 weeks on Cashbox.  Its nine weeks at #1 on Billboard make it the longest #1 instrumental of all time (you didn't think it was going to be Bron-Yr-Aur or Albatross, did you? Well, did you??).  One of my all time faves, I love this song so much I read the book twice- and it's not nearly so good.  Percy did two remakes of this song, one a disco version that came out, well, soon on time machine.  I also loved the Lettermen's version which hit #16 (of course, I love about anything by the Lettermen).  Finally, in 1950 this week we have Teresa Brewer's first hit, the ragtime-y Music! Music! Music!  This means that by sheer dumb luck we've now featured both of her #1s on this segment.  Long time readers will remember we had Till We Waltz Again a while back.

Two songs join the top ten, two fall out.  Action drops from 10 to 15; Sweet Thing slips from 6 to 13.

An almost but not quite salute this week to the Carpenters with their penultimate (KC, this means "second-to-last") top 40 hit, There's A Kind Of Hush, which peaks at 12 last week and this.  Originally released as a single i n 1966 by an Ohio band called Gary And The Hornets in 1966, it was co-opted both by Herman's Hermits (and became their last big hit, hitting #4) and the New Vaudeville Band of Winchester Cathedral fame. (What are the odds of two "Winchester Cathedral" mentions in ANY time machine?)  the NVB competed around the world with the Hermits with their version, actually beating them in South Africa.  The Carpenters version was the first time that a lead single from an album missed the top ten since their first album in 1969, and Richard later said that they probably should have stayed away from covers after Please Mister Postman hit #1.

Okay, we're gonna split the top ten again this week to bring the second class of the MHOF.  Kicking things off at #10, up one notch, is the Commodores first top 10, Sweet Love.  Up 5 to #9 is the song of the summer, Peter Frampton's live Show Me The Way.  Dream Weaver slips from 5 to 8 this week; while Queen moves up from 9 to 7 with Bohemian Rhapsody.  Closing the first half of this week's top ten is Dr. Hook, moving up 1 with Only Sixteen.

All right, time for the second class of the Martin Hall Of Fame!

From cat 1:  With 34 top forties and 3 #1s, Chicago.  With 13 top 40s, the Moody Blues.  With 36 top 40s and 4 top dogs, the Beach Boys.  And with 31 top 40s and 5 #1s, what would a time machine be without the Four Seasons?

From cat 2: With 23 top 40s and 2 #1s, Roy Orbison.  And with a solo mention, 34 top 40s and 4 #1s, Sir Paul McCartney.

From cat 3:  With 26 top 40s and 5  top dogs, Olivia Newton-John.  And With 15 top 40s and 2 #1s Petula Clark.

From cat 4-6:  With 27 top 40s and one number one, Andy Williams.  With 14 top 40s and 1 #1, the Guess Who.  And with 14 top 40s and one ridiculous #1, Chuck Berry.  There you have it, class #2!!

The Sylvers move up 3 to #5 with Boogie Fever.  Former top dog Lonely Nights/ Angel face slips 2 to #4.  The Bellamy brothers move up one to #3 with Let Your Love Flow.  Maxine Nightengale edges up into the runner up slot with Right Back To Where We Started From.  And #1 for the second straight week... Johnny Taylor with Disco Lady!!!

Since we looked at Johnny's mug last week, let's see if we can get a lot of pageviews for this week by putting up a DIFFERENT Silver Convention picture, okay?


That's it for this week.  Get yer Nominations in for next week's big first birthday finale!!!!!

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