"So now you've seen the progression, from songs that just sounded neat, to songs attached to certain places, events, and sometimes people, to those that began to symbolize the early teenage angst of the day,"says the Host. "More of the window into me. And now we come to the end of our journey- the songs that meant the most from the time that meant the most. I am reminded of the immortal words of Baz Luhrman in the classic Wear Sunscreen: Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
And with that, we move on one last time.
10- (They Long To Be) Close To You, the Carpenters, #1, 1970. I have vivid memories of listening to the light music of what was then WFWR at Dr. Dahling's office. There were two songs that I always counted on hearing while I was there. This was one. Also, I remember that there was one of those Ronco lps out there that featured Ed Ames doing this song. Ed was Mingo on the Daniel Boone show, and that explains that.
9- We've Only Just Begun, the Carpenters, #2, 1970. And this was the other. So far above the commercial for a bank that this song began life as.
Okay, I'm tearing up already, thank you.
8- Shannon, Henry Gross, 1976, #6. By 1976, I had this thing in my mind that "the next Beach Boys" would soon arrive and make beautiful music for us again. Not surprisingly, the best two examples (the other one is coming) both featured vocal assists from- the Beach Boys. You can't do it better than they did, and Henry Gross proves it here.
7- Listen To What The Man Said, Wings, #1, 1975. I mentioned a love for Linda McCartney last time. I usually spend my time on this song just trailing her vocals. Here I found a somewhat faster-paced version of this classic.
6- Wishing You Were Here, Chicago, #11, 1974. This is the other Beach Boys-assisted tune. I used to go with my sister's family up to her in-laws place on Snow Lake. This song, playing on the 8-track as we glided through the channel to Lake James in the speedboat is like a pillar that my memories rest on.
5- Superstar, the Carpenters, #2, 1971. These guys again? The oboe and horns at the beginning of this song are the easiest way to bring me to complete silence. Another of those songs that I attach a reverence to.
God, I miss Karen. Don't you?
Okay, now we enter the Holy of Holies, so to speak.
4- Nights Are Forever Without You, England Dan and John Ford Coley, #10, 1976. My favorite memory from the Mike Douglas Show (and there are a lot of them) was watching Dan and John sing this.
Man, I could use a Pepsi right now!
3- Mandy, Barry Manilow, #1, 1974. The first song I ever officially said was my favorite. In a day when 45s were much cheaper, I paid my niece a whole dollar for this. Has there ever been a more powerful vocal, really?
2- Strange Magic, Electric Light Orchestra, #14, 1976. On the original, the ending with the magical keyboard progression, Jeff's vocal, the female vocal, the band's "na-na-na", and everything else going on, I just get lost. "You, walking meadows in my mind... making waves across my time... oh, no... oh, no..." This video is from the Zoom concert, with Jeff and Richard Tandy being the only originals here, and the girl was Jeff's GF at the time.
And now, we come to the end of this journey. No matter if I do every countdown that I can think of, it will never be as good, or so bittersweet to pass, as is this moment. Enjoy, one last time, the number one song.
1- No Time, The Guess Who, #5, 1970. No time for a summer friend, no time for the love you send. Seasons change and so did I- you need not wonder why...
And there you have it. The eighties countdown will be along after while when I'm satisfied I have gotten the kinks all ironed out. But it will never be as good, or as fun, as this one was. Thanks to all of you who have commented and apreciated this labor of love. See you when the world turns back around to our time...