"Just to update you all, " The Host says, "the eighties countdown is progressing... well, as well as can be expected. It will be shorter, and the lineup from 1987-9 is quite... ah, weak... and it will be more rock, and more country, than you've become accustomed to. Still, it should be quite entertaining. And, of course, the tickets are free, so it's a good price. At any rate, back to our countdown."
60- Magic, Pilot, 1975, #5. A song that was overplayed here at the time, but ended up growing on you. Brings to mind memories of camping at Fawn Forest and the bird that bombed my niece's shoulder with blueberry-flavored (or at least colored) poop within 2 minutes of arrival.
59- Stand Tall, Burton Cummings, 1976, #10. You had to know a Guess Who fan like me would have this up here. "Sometimes, late at night... when there's nothing here except my old piano/ I'd almost give my hands to make you see my way..."
58- Me And My Arrow, Harry Nilsson, 1971, #34. If you don't remember the animated ABC movie of the week The Point, which featured this song, do yourself a big treat. You can find it on youtube in about 4 sections. One of the coolest things from my childhood.
57- Love Is The Answer, England Dan And John Ford Coley, 1979, #10. Originally a song from Todd Rundgren's Utopia from the lp Oops! Wrong Planet, this cover proves what you can do with a great song.
56- Winners And Losers, Hamilton, Joe Frank, And Reynolds, 1976, #21. Fell in love with this, as I did many songs, after watching it done on the Mike Douglas Show. God, I miss that.
55- Rikki Don't Lose That Number, Steely Dan, 1974, #4. If you're a long time reader of Time Machine, you've heard me mention the "mythical top ten"- an ever-changing list of songs that were my very favorites. This was a member of that never-enumerated club.
54- Hello Stranger, Yvonne Elliman, 1977, #15. Did I mention the big crush I have on Yvonne?
53- Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels), Jim Croce, 1972, #17. I realize this was just his second single (You Don't Mess Around With Jim was first), but come ON!!! Number seventeen??? What the hell was wrong with you 45-buyers back then?
52- Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Marvin Gaye, 1971, #4. I remember how it was back then. I remember the ads about Lake Erie being "dead" and the Indian asking us to "pitch in, to clean up America." To our credit, we listened for the most part.
51- If You Don't Know Me By Now, Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes, 1972, #3. If nothing else, researching these charts has taught me that the Bluenotes should be numbered among the greatest soul groups of all time.
50- Tapestry, Carole King, 1971, unreleased. The title track to one of the greatest lps of all time.
49- I'm Easy, Keith Carradine, 1976, #17. I think this was top ten in Fort Wayne. He sang this in the movie Nashville.
48- Sail On Sailor, Beach Boys, 1973 (#79) and 1975 (#49). Again, long time Time Machiners know how I felt about the low charting of one of the Beach Boys' best tunes. This is my "when the whole world's against me" song.
47- Top Of The World, The Carpenters, 1973, #1. Another of those songs that found itself wrapped around a certain girl in grade school. Hmm, and most of those songs were Carpenters tunes...
46- The Long And Winding Road, The Beatles, 1970, #1. An appropriate ending for the Beatles, and my favorite no matter what Paul thinks.
45- Bad Time, Grand Funk Railroad, 1975, #4. When I awoke from getting my appendix out, and got ahold of my transistor radio, this was the first good song I heard.
44- Fooled Around And Fell In Love, Elvin Bishop Band, 1976, #3. Our first taste of Mickey Thomas, and a song that still grows on me. Makes me feel summer.
43- Love Will Keep Us Together, The Captain and Tennille, 1975, #1. This was the.. excuse me, THE song of summer '75. Great in Spanish too.
42- It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond, 1972, #5. Did you grow up with this song? You still sing along every time, don't you?
41- Feelings, Morris Albert, 1976, #6. Another star for longtime Time Machiners. Up, down, up, down. The original Grandpa chair-sitter. I always remember the radio ad for the single, which talked about Morris Albert "Conquering South America" with this song.
"The top 40 begins next week," The Host says as the lights come down. "And to send you on your way, here's something soft... and easy..."