A piano sits alone upon the stage of our imagination. In a dream world where everything is possible, a man two years gone comes back for us. As the lights go down, Larry Knechtel begins the notes of a song that brings the audience to a hush, and the show begins.
250- Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel, 1970, PP #1. I actually learned this song from Roy Clark doing it on Hee Haw. But once you hear the power of that last verse, you know which one you will remember.
249- Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow, 1978, #9. The fourth single off the lp Even Now, a cover of Helen Reddy's hit (which we'll see later on. The first time I heard it, it was one of those "I can name that tune in 2 notes" moments.
248- 25 Or 6 To 4, Chicago, 1970, #4. What it was- a really good horn-powered song about the creative muse. What it was "made into"- a song about doing drugs. Yeah, anytime I sit cross-legged on the floor, that means I'm high.
247- Gypsy Woman, Brian Hyland, 1970, #3. Certainly seems to be 1970 week so far. I was surprised to see that this song was composed by Curtis Mayfield.
246- We're All Alone, Rita Coolidge, 1977, #7. Boz Scaggs recorded the original (which we'll hear later on) on Silk Degrees. Frankie Valli then did a decent cover that flew under the top 50, before Rita's version first taught me to love this song. Which is a bit surprising, considering how much I disliked her Your Love (Is Lifting Me Higher) a few months before.
245- It's A Miracle, Barry Manilow, 1975, #12. Barry's second hit; for years, Barry for me was the "big four"- Mandy, I Write The Songs, Could It Be Magic, and this one (his first four hits).
244- Vehicle, The Ides Of March, 1970, #2. Any one out there name the band that lead singer Jim Peterik founded after Ides split up? That's right, Survivor! I saw this dud at a BTO show at Pierres years back. Great guitarist.
243- Tears Of A Clown, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, 1970, #1. The run of 1970 rolls on with Smokey's all time best.
242- Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee People), Paul Revere And The Raiders, 1971, #1. Back in my "Daniel Boone" days, this was the ONLY song I wanted. Never did get it.
241- Midnight Blue, Melissa Manchester, 1975, #6. Sadly, the best memory I have of this song was on Dickie Goodman's parody Mr. Jaws, when the announcer protests as the shark he's interviewing tries to eat him and the shark's "answer" is the clip from this song: "Wouldn't you give your hand to a friend?"
240- The Closer I Get To You, Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway, 1978, #2. Seems like the only songs of Roberta's I really liked were the duets with the late Mr. Hathaway.
239- It's Over, Electric Light Orchestra, 1978, #75. This song, which like anything by ELO charted higher in Ft. Wayne, was playing as I drove home from my last day of High School. I know that the tears in my eyes made me blow off at least one stop sign that morning.
238- My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli, 1975, #1. Actually a Four Seasons group effort, it was REJECTED by their label, it was sold to Valli for $400. He shopped it around till he found a SENMI-intelligent record exec (Larry Uttal at Private Stock), who none the less wouldn't release it unless it was just Frankie's name on the label. Dr. Phil, if you would...
"Of course, Chris. All together now... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!??!"
237- Dirty Work, Steely Dan, unreleased, 1972. Sung by David Palmer, who sung lead at early SD concerts because of Donald Fagen's stage fright, and went on to write Carole King's Jazzman. Off the first lp by Fagen and Walter Becker, former members of touring Jay and the (F***ing) Americans, whom Jay described as "the Manson and Starkweather of rock 'n' roll", referring to cult leader Charles Manson and spree killer Charles Starkweather.
236- This Masquerade, George Benson, 1976, #10. My first foray into jazz vocals. Just plain smooth.
235- Love So Right, Bee Gees, 1976, #3. Just now slipping down the charts over on Time Machine.
"Ah, I could take it in my stride, start living for the moment/ maybe half the things we sought were never there/ simply open up our eyes and break it down to size, it isn't really fair. "
234- Fire And Rain, James Taylor, 1970, #3. The power of this song is in its biographical nature, especially the last verse and its "sweet dreams and Flying Machines".
233- Your Own Special Way, Genesis, 1977, #62. Ther was pre-Duke Genesis and post-Duke Genesis. For me, the best was pre, when they were the most famous progressive rock band who nobody knew a song from. This was their first US chart single, from Wind And Wuthering.
232- Hopelessly Devoted To You, Olivia Newton-John, 1978, #3. The long, hot summer of Grease. Incomprehensible to me that this wasn't #1.
231- An Everlasting Love, Andy Gibb, 1978, #5. The first time Andy didn't hit #1. Not exacty sure why, this was a great song.
And just to make this all flow together..
230- After The Gold Rush, Neil Young, 1970, unreleased. And we end the show much the way we began it; a lone man walks up to a lone piano and begins to play a song from 1970...