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

SOCK IT TO ME BABY!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Step into my time machine week fifty-seven

And now it's time for your regularly-scheduled trip into the mid-70s, courtesy of the big red time machine hiding in the woods out back.  (Not really, but the muse was on a roll.)  This week, we ask- who is Leslie Charles? Who is Bruce Fitzpatrick? Who is Uncle Ernie? Whose turn is it at #1 on the album chart? (Yours? no, I had it last week.  How bout next week?) And who, pray tell, is at the top of our chart for this week in 1976?  Strap in and let's find out!

11 debuts in the hot 100 this week.  Lou Rawls leads us off with his classic You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine at #86.  Admit it, how many times have you caught yourself over the years deepening your voice and going, "Youuuuu'll never fiiiiind..." An oddity only worth mentioning for graduates of the Martin School of the Ironic- Donnie Osmond debuts with a cover of the Four Seasons' C'mon Marianne at 81, followed by the Four Seasons at 80 with Silver Star.  I'll confess I have not listened to Donnie, and Silver Star is very un-Four Seasons- like.  Queen hits at 77 with You're My Best Friend, and ABBA follows at 76 with Mama Mia.  Our big movers are each 20-spot movers:  A Kind Of Hush manages a second biggest dropper award by falling from 54 to 74; and John Travolta's Let Her In climbs from 77 to 57.

I don't have a lot to say that hasn't been (or needs to be) said about our songs on the look at #1s of other years, this time in the 6s.  1996 was Bone Thugs-n-Harmony with Tha Crossroads (and no I did not bother to listen, although I'm sure Bob G. has heard it in the 'hood).  1986 was Whitney Houston's unnecessary remake of another Lou Rawls' tune, The Greatest Love Of All.  1976? Cahmannn!!! 1966 was Percy Sledge's original of When A Man Loves A Woman, a song that Michael (the Antichrist) Bolton makes me sick of everyday at work; and 1955 was headed by Elvis checking out of his 6-week stay at Heartbreak Hotel.

I'm finishing the last four on our #1 albums of the 70s list so that we will be up to date and look at our target week's #1 from here on in.  As a result, I'll do 2 now and two later, okay? Okay!  Our next contestant was number one the week of April 10th, 1976.  And the week of June 24th.  And the weeks of August 14th, 21st, and 28th. And the weeks of September 11th through October 9th- a total of ten weeks in all for Frampton Comes Alive.  The gutsy move of a double live album after four low-selling studio discs paid off for Peter Frampton, as this was not only the #1 album of 1976, but also the #14 album of 1977.  Recorded at Winterland in San Fran and at the Long Island Arena over the course of 4 shows, it featured the recent top ten Show Me The Way (#6 Billboard), Baby I Love Your Way (12), and Do You Feel Like We Do (10).

 After a return to the top by Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-75, Our second contestant was #1 for the week of April 24th.  And May 29th.  And the weeks of June 19th through July 17th- a total of 7 weeks for Wings At The Speed Of Sound.  A rare recording in England due to the hectic touring schedule Paul and mates kept, it featured a song we'll be talking about a bit later in Silly Love Songs, as well as Let 'Em In, a #3 hit.  If you wonder who the heck all those people are that he lets in (and who doesn't), we'll clear that up right now.  "Sister Suzy" Was Linda, who had a single with the band that she sang lead on and was labelled under "Suzy and the Red Stripes". Brother John was Linda's brother John Eastman.  "Martin Luther" was apparently a reference to John Lennon, who was frequently called Martin Luther Lennon by other bandmates. Phil and Don were, of course, the Everly Brothers.  Brother Michael was Paul's brother Mike; Auntie Gin was Paul's aunt, and "Uncle Ian" was her son Ian.  "Uncle Ernie" was The Who drummer Keith Moon, who played the part of Uncle Ernie in the Tommy movie.  And there you have it.

Three songs enter Airplay alley this week.  At 39, up 5 is Cyndi Grecco, who makes it 4 TV themes in the top 40 this week with Making Our Dreams Come True from Laverne And Shirley.  This was a one hit wonder for Cyndi.  Up 12 from 50 to 38 is the Steve Miller Band with Take The Money And Run, the second of their 9 top 40s.  And finally, the last hit for MHOFer Jimmy Dean, who reaches with I.O.U.  His 8th top 40- and first since Little Black Book in 1962- and 17th country hit (including 3 #1s), it moves from 42 to 34.
Three shoutouts on the Almost But Not Quite front.  Boz Scaggs drops from a peak of 43 (he hit 38 on Billboard) to 49 with It's Over, an overlooked song from the great lp Silk Degrees.  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three drop from 41 to 48 with One Piece At A Time, his last #1 country hit (which I was going to dispute, but his cover of Ghost Riders peaked at #2).  Bruce Fitzpatrick of Abernathy Auto Parts actually constructed this vehicle from the names and years mentioned in the song, and presented it to Johnny in April of 1976.

  And Billy Ocean (born Leslie Charles) slips from 16 to 19 with Love Really Hurts Without You, which despite a lot of success on the club and R&B scene was his only hit till 1984's Caribbean (or African, or European, depending on where you were when you heard it) Queen.

BTW, Dream On continues to sit the grampa chair, falling from 56 to 66 in its 33rd week spread across 2 chart runs.

Speaking of falling, two songs enter the top ten, two fall out.  The droppers are Boogie Fever, from 9 to 12; and Tryin' To Get The Feeling, from 10 to 15.

Shocking news- the next album on our countdown had just a two-consecutive week stay at the top, and was the first of two critically panned lps by major groups.  Presence by Led Zeppelin was recorded in just eighteen days at the Musicland studio in Munich (because the next #1 was scheduled to be recorded there next!), by a band dealing with the injuries to lead singer Robert Plant received in a car wreck in Greece.  In fact, it's most notable track, Achilles' Last Stand, was almost called -tongue-in-cheek- "The Wheelchair Song" as a result.  Presence was on top the weeks of May 1st and 8th, and after the first return of Frampton Comes Alive came the album for which Zep had to hurry up and get out of Dodge- er, Munich- for, the Rolling Stones' Black And Blue.  The first lp with Ronnie Wood as a full time Stones employee, B&B was summed up by Lester Bangs of Cream Magazine as follows:  "...the first meaningless album by the Rolling Stones, and thank God...they don't really matter anymore or stand for anything..."  B&B contained the singles Fool To Cry (which currently sits just outside our top 10) and Hot Stuff (which, as it peaked at 49, it apparently wasn't).  B&B would also play revolving top dogs- it was #1 the weeks of May 15th and 22nd, and returned for an encore June 5th and 12th.

All right, we have all questions answered except the top ten.  Debuting at 10, up 2, are Daryl Hall and John Oates with Sara Smile.  At 9, up 2, is the first top ten for Fleetwood Mac, Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win). Down 5 to #8 is the Elvin Bishop Band with Fooled Around And Fell In Love.  Dorothy Moore climbs a spot to #7 with Misty Blue.  Pratt and McLain move up one to #6 with Happy Days.  Henry Gross holds at 5 with Shannon.  ATTENTION GERMAN FANS:  Silver Convention climbs 2 to #4 with Get Up And Boogie.  Diana Ross is up 1 spot to 3 with Love Hangover.  John Sebastian slips to #2 with last week's top dog, the theme to Welcome Back Kotter (our 4th TV theme in the top 40, the other one I didn't mention is Rhythm Heritage's Barretta's theme, which sits at 24 this week).  And that gives us a new #1... his/their 5th top dog...


                                       Wings with Silly Love Songs!!!

Well, that's about enough out of me for one weekend.  See you in June, my friends- and stay thirsty!

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