You feel like the "American Top Forty" jingle should be playing, and the next voice you hear should be Casey Kasem? Well, it's that time in the countdown, and this has become to me like a really good novel- you want it to last, and want to race ahead to the end at the same time. Which is a good seque for...
40- Paperback Writer, the Beatles, peak position #1. Somehow, this and Nowhere Man (along with a couple other songs we'll be hitting shortly) have never lost there newness for me. Like having a car where the "new car smell" doesn't wear off.
39- In The Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus), Zager And Evans, pp #1. Time has only slightly tarnished the eerieness of this dystopian future. There are a handful of songs that really made my childhood self wonder at if the world would last for me to get this old, and this is one. Some of the others you might find odd to be on that list (such as What The World Needs Now from last week; another one will be coming up in mere moments.
38- A Lover's Concerto, the Toys, pp #2. Adapted from a work (Minuet In G Minor) that Bach gave to his wife and everyone thought he wrote, we have to put up with a prozac Spanish version at work which still isn't terrible. No song crescendos better than this one.
37- Eve Of Destruction, Barry McGuire, pp #1. There are those that think that this song is no longer pertinent, that it's meaning was overblown and couldn't have never happened. Watch this well-put-together video and see if you still feel that way.
36- Good Vibrations, the Beach Boys, PP #1. The ultimate expression of Brian Wilson's vision that he was able to force from the fog of all the drugs. The most well-crafted song of all time.
35- Let's Hang On, the Four Seasons, pp #3. See the Paperback Writer comment. Just takes me back to a much more innocent and happier time.
34- Soldier Boy, the Shirelles, pp #1. The ultimate girl-group song.
33- Working My Way Back To You, the Four Seasons, pp #9. See me down and out, but I ain't about to go livin' my life without you...
32- Walk Away Renee, the Left Banke, pp # 5. Can you believe that keyboardist Michael Brown wrote this at the age of 16? The single best example of Baroque pop.
31- Love Can Make You Happy, Mercy, pp #2. Maybe the second most obscure song we have left to play, but these are the songs that I remember. BTW, the lp cover you see was from an lp that had "the original single'- but the rest was fake, and the makers got sued out of existence. Weird, wild stuff.
30- Badge, Cream, pp #60. Gets its name from Ringo Starr walking in while George Harrison and Clapton are writing it, drunkenly reading the word "bridge" written at the central part of the song, and wondering what they wrote "badge" for. Another one of those songs I'll always scratch my head over how it charted no higher.
29- Downtown, Petula Clark, pp#1. Fills me with visions of Christmas shopping at Wolff and Dessauers back before Fort Wayne let downtown go to rot. The thought of this being a world we'll never see again puts it in that category of "end of the world" songs for me (see # 39).
28-Rubber Ball, Bobby Vee, pp #6. Another of the 45's we played the grooves off of all through my childhood.
27- Duke Of Earl, Gene Chandler, pp # 1. C'mon, you didn't think I would leave the Duke out, didja?
26- Shape Of Things To Come, Max Frost and the Troopers, pp # 22. Here is obscurity's poster child. A fictional band from a movie called Wild In The Streets, in which Richard Pryor played the drums (but that's not him on the song), we had the 45 to this one too. At 1:55, probably the shortest song on the countdown.
25- California Nights, Leslie Gore, pp #16. A good song for her last big hit, and also an odd member of my "end of the world" club, which we have 5 members of on this week's countdown.
24- Runaway, Del Shannon, pp #1. When I got here, I said, wow, hard to believe that this one ended up this low. From 26 on, we have truly reached the top tier of my favorites.
23- Roses Are Red, Bobby Vinton, pp #1. Bobby found this song in a reject pile at Epic records. A&R men, whatcha gonna do? Another of "Mom's greatest hits".
22- Red Rubber Ball, the Cyrkle, pp #2. What's up with rubber balls all of a sudden? Written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley (of the Seekers), we had this 45 too. Speaking of Paul Simon...
21- Mrs. Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel, pp#1. So many good moments in this song. The candidate's debate always puts me to the Nixon-Kennedy debates, though the timing's off. The best part, Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Joltin' Joe has left and gone away... I feel obligated (though they might not want me to) to mention that the Lemonheads did a great job on their cover.
Next week we do top 20, part one, and the next will be the final ten. Prepare for surprises and great tunage. To take us out, let's end it like Leslie did...