120- Elusive Butterfly, Bob Lind. I grew up playing the grooves off this 45. To my young ears, it had the seeming of a massive #1 hit- and still does. However, I think it might be on a lot of peoples' "I forgot about this one" list.
119- Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Neil Sedaka. Believe it or not, I didn't know that there was a fast version of this until I saw the Partridge Family do it on their show. MUCH better than the 70s Prozac redeux.
118- Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), the Beach Boys. From Pet Sounds, to me this is the most romantic song of all time.
117- Summer In The City, the Loving Spoonful. They did so many laid back, even-tempoed singles, this one is the one that stands out. Makes you wish you could still do all that without getting mugged.
116- Hurdy-Gurdy Man, Donovan. This song is like Ring Around The Rosie to me, in that Ring was built around the actions of children during the Black Death (when a pocket full of posies was intended to keep the death stench from one's nostrils). The hurdy gurdy man was a minstrel who travelled town to town during this very real Armageddon almost as a harbinger of doom- or rebirth. In fact, George Harrison wrote a verse for this song that got cut because of the "three minute limit" that went like this:
When the truth gets buried deep
Beneath the thousand years of sleep
Time demands a turn-around
And once again the truth is found
Awakening the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Who comes singing songs of love
Thus, this song always gives me goosebumps.
115- Dawn (Go Away), the Four Seasons. This and Rag Doll are my favorite Four Seasons sing-alongs. My part is the "Think... think.." while Frankie sings "What a big man he'll be/ of the places you'll see..."
114- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond. Despite the unpleasant (to me) connections to the New York Yankees, this is one of those songs you can't help sing the chorus to. "Good times never seemed so good..." And, at least for a moment, they don't.
113- Help Me Rhonda, the Beach Boys. I also have the Johnny Rivers version burned, and the big diff for me is how much better the original "shattered our plans " works than Johnny's "ruined".
112- Chain Gang, Sam Cooke. You can really appreciate the talent of this man in that stretch in the middle when he sings, "I'm coming home one of these days..."
111- Be My Baby, the Ronnettes. When you can take one vocal line fro m a song and build a great song from it like Eddie Money did with this on Take Me Home Tonight, you know the original had to be a classic. And it was.
110- Little Deuce Coupe, The Beach Boys. Yes, we're getting a lot of Beach Boys today. And, there's still four of theirs left on the countdown!
109- Revolution, the Beatles. It always struck me a little odd that John could sing, "But if you've been carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/ You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow" with a straight face, but whatever. I know I could, and that's sufficient.
108- Have You Heard, the Duprees. The song that HAD to be on the doo-wop cd I bought.
107- Hot Fun In The Summertime, Sly And The Family Stone. Don't it make you want to go back to summer vacations? "I "cloud nine" when I want to/Out of school, yeah/ County fair in the country sun/And everything, it's true, ooh yeah..."
106- That's The Way Boys Are, Leslie Gore. Yep, I have it bad for Leslie.
105- I Saw Her Again Last Night, the Mamas And The Papas. The layered chorus, "it makes me want to cry..."
104- Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, the Animals. The story of my life.
103- It's Not Unusual, Tom Jones. My award winner for "best use of horns in a pop song". Now I'm not going to throw any bras at him, (for obvious reasons) but there's no doubt Tom Jones is one of the coolest dudes on the planet.
102- Lodi, Credence Clearwater Revival. I'll never understand how this charted so low. If I get to hear one CCR song, this is my pick.
101- Laughing, the Guess Who. When I was little and this song was new, I thought the verse "after losing at the game" meant that, on top of losing the girl, he got beat in a football game. Back then you took every song from the perspective of an American high-schooler. For me, it added just the right touch of desperation.
Next week, we enter the top 100 at last. And more than likely I'll be linking more videos (as I did this week) as the songs come to mean more and more. Till then, here's our closer, one you might not otherwise know.