Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Time Machine week #64

Was anyone else bored this day in 1979?  According to Google, the only thing noteworthy that happened was Adam Levine, soon to be leader of Maroon 5, was born.  Everyone else was watching Buddy Baker win the Atlanta 500, or an NCAA tourney game.

Don't matter WHAT you like.  It's me or nothin'!

In that case, let's move on to the teaser!  This week, one of the tighter Panel races ever; the mystery behind what it is Jeff Lynne actually sings in Don't Bring Me Down; and on the M10-  three fall out, three drop at least 4 notches, three make statistical breakthroughs, and something I told myself I'd never do on the M10 happens- not once, but twice- in a week I could only subtitle The St. Patrick's Day Massacre!  Who lives?  Who drops?  Hop in and let's find out!


The Panel this week consisted of:  WBJW (I won't say it) Orlando; CKLW Detroit; WRFC Athens (not Greece, Georgia); KFRC San Fran; CIHI, Frederickton, New Brunswick; the two Springfields- WCVS (Illinois) and WHYN (Massachusetts), WEFM Chicago, WDRC Hartford, WAVZ New Haven, WHB Kansas City, and WPGR Washington DC.  This august assemblage (you don't have to capitalize august as an adjective) put together a meager 17 different songs, with the lowest coming from our Canadian contestant- they had at #5 Burton Cummings of the Guess Who with I Will Play A Rhapsody- a song that never charted here and only made #20 there.

"But I was Top five in New Brunswick, so NYAH!"

The Panel combined for 6 different #1s, including Detroit having the Village People's YMCA and Orlando having Peaches and Herb's Shake Your Groove Thing.  (Those were the first two stations I looked at; they combined for a whopping 5 points the rest of the way).  The race afterwards was back and forth, ending with a 38-36 victory for the winner.  The list, please...

With 25 points and the #1 from Springfield MA, the national # 3, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive.

With 28 points and the #1 from DC, the national #6, the Doobie Brothers and What A Fool Believes.

With, well, you know, and the #1s of the other Springfield as well as Chicago, Hartford, and New Haven, Rod Stewart's Do You Think I'm Sexy, the national runner up as well.

And the winner... if you're impatient, scroll down!  Otherwise, hang in there, fun stuff awaits.


Next up, I have a M10 debut, at #10 on this week's countdown.  I just learned that they are from a hop and a skip away in Indianapolis, and that they are sisters, last name, Jurkowicz.  They go by Lily and Madeleine, and their tune is called Hourglass...


And now, a few words from Sir Walter Raleigh:

"The fancies of men change, and he that loves today, hateth tomorrow."

Boy, I almost feel I should save that quote for the upcoming M10 instead of...

  This week has a whopping six songs that never made it here- as well as 2/3s of the Top Three!

10- Punk rockers Skids were at the opening slot with a tune called Into The Valley.

9-  Thin Lizzy had a nifty rocker at the 9-hole called Waiting For An Alibi.

8- The first tune that charted here is a club tune by Gary's Gang, the typical long, drawn out disco affair called Keep On Dancing.  It was a week away from it's peak at #41 in the US of A.

7- Later to be a top ten in the States as well was Chic's I Want Your Love.


5- Soul act The Real Thing were at this spot with Can You Feel The Force?  No, not THAT force.

4- Bloody hell, it's the Sex Pistols with the double sided Something Else/Friggin' At The Riggin'.

3- New wave expat Lene Lovich was here with Lucky Numbers.

2- And a song that I actually knew previously- Elvis Costello with Oliver's Army.

And, the top dog in the UK this week-

-why, it's Gloria Gaynor with the panel's #4, I Will Survive!!!!!!


In the song Don't Bring Me Down, one of the parts that sucked for me was when Jeff Lynne hit the chorus and sang what seemed to be, "Groose."  WTH is GROOSE, I thought.    Does he actually have a GF with that abominable name?  Well, on the way to the six degrees this week, I got it straight from the groose's mouth.  From a 2013 interview with Goldmine, here's Jeff:

That’s all a misunderstanding. I was in Musicland Studios in Germany, and I was putting a lead vocal onto the song and there was a gap (sings “Don’t Bring Me Down”), and I just sang “Groose.” I was doing it just to fill a hole up, I wasn’t gonna use it. Then the engineer, Mack, who is German, suddenly got on the talkback and said, “How did you know that word?” And I said, “What word?” And he said, “Groose. It means ‘Greetings’ in German.” I said, “F**king hell, I never knew that.” (Laughs.) Anyway, I said, “Let’s leave it in, then, it sounds all right, ‘Groose.’” Of course, when we started playing it on the road, everybody’s singing “Bruce!” (Laughs.) And I’m going, “Oh, shit.” I’m not gonna go about explaining every night that it’s not “Bruce,” it’s “Groose.” (Laughs.) So I said, “Oh, f**k it; I’ll sing Bruce.” and I’d sing it that way during shows. But it was really “Groose.” Mystery solved (laughs). 

I found this on the way to trying to determine if it was indeed the lovely Ellie Greenwich who did the echo-vocal towards the end of my favorite ELO tune, Strange Magic (answer: probably, but I cannot prove it.)  I got to Ellie because she- as you might remember from previous TMs (assuming you pay attention to such things) - was married to prolific songwriter Jeff Barry.  He ran the gamut of comps, from Tell Laura I Love Her to I Honestly Love You.  He also had a finger in Pablo Cruise' big hit Love Will Find A Way from the lp Worlds Away.  The second single from that tune was I Go To Rio, a composition of Peter Allen.  Allen had a long writing association with Carole Bayer-Sager; one of those tunes was given to Melissa Manchester, who hated it (as do I).  But her producer was trying to get her back on the board after she'd hit with bupkis since Midnight Blue.  So she recorded it, and this week it was the national #10- but had no love from this week's Panel.  The song?  Don't Cry Out Loud, one of the worst pieces of advice I ever had a song give me.  (Worst:  "Imagine there's no heaven...")


And now, the Martin 10...

You've heard #10, and #s 9 and 8 you know well by now.  Brooke Annibale celebrates her 8th week on the M10- a feat only three others have done so far- by slipping to #9 with Remind Me- a 6-notch fall.

Brian Fallon, on the other hand, slips four to #8 and claims his 7th chart week- only the 7th to do that (two of 'em last week)- with Nobody Wins.

The Knocks and their entourage of vocalists move a strong 3 to #7 with last week's newbie, Classic.

And putting up it's own 8th week, and becoming only the third tune in M10 history to amass 60+ points, Flo and Eddie drop to #6 with the three-time #1, Keep It Warm.

Moving up a pair to #5, Nada Surf and Believe You're Mine.

And up one to #4, Best Coast and Feeling OK.

Now, one of the things I don't like about today's real world charts is that a song will debut at the very top, then slowly fall.  In the old days, a song had to build an audience, but no one's got patience for that now.  But I have prided myself in avoiding that on the M10.  When Alvvays debuted at #4 with Archie Marry Me, I told myself, "This far and no farther."

But this week, I break that rule.  Twice.

The first is at #3.  Fronted by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, here is the band Lucius:

And the second comes in at #2.  From Wales, fronted by Rhiannon 'Ritzy' Bryan, here's my new pick for coolest band name ever- The Joy Formidable:

Laurie asked me what drove these two to the top so fast.  As usual, I just know what I like, and how hard it hits me.  For Lucius, I think it is how the chorus screams out of an otherwise placid song that drew me; for TJF, I can only say that if somebody went out of their way to "tick all the boxes" and make a song with everything I like, they would come really close to that song right there.


And at the top?  Panel says...

...what, them AGAIN?  The Bee Gees with Tragedy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And on the M10, if but barely...

...for a third week, Eleanor Friedburger with Two Versions Of Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can Eleanor hang on and do what's been done but once before- capture a fourth week at the top?  I'm seeing a coin flip in my future!  What you will be seeing in the future, though, is... 1969!  And the one year anniversary of the only time I have pleaded too sick to do the Time Machine!  Hopefully THAT won't happen again!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Little known fact: I was an original member of The Village People ("the tap-dancing sailor"). 1979 was the year when the world finally got fed up with Disco and demanded change. That September I saw Peaches and Herb perform "Shake Your Groove Thing" on the grandstand of the York Interstate Fair in a show with Sister Sledge. By that time even I, a Disco lover since 1974, was Discoed out. Gary's Gang is typical of the long, overindulgent and overproduced recordings of the period. I can't stomach The Bee Gees' Disco phase and I cannot and WILL not listen to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" - ever ever again. (Forcing detainees at GTMO to listen to that record over and over again is a torture technique recently banned on the grounds that it constitutes a cruel and unusual form of punishment.)

    On the other end of the spectrum, The Doobies' "What A Fool Believes," is cool and Rod's "Do You Think I'm Sexy" was one of the main anthems of my Rumspringa period - my wild bachelor years living among the Amish in Lancaster County, PA.

    I enjoyed L & M and the hourglass FX throughout the video. If they are based in Indy, there's a very good chance that you and Scrappy will run into them on one of your walks in the woods. Me also likey Lucius very much - great sound! Ditto for the Welsh act the Joy Formidable. Don't look now, but it seems like your ears are matching mine more often lately (except on John Lennon) - imagine!

    The day that Mrs. Shady and I got hitched, the Sex Pistols' "Friggin' At The Riggin'" was our wedding song. I love that back story about the ad lib "Groose" in "Don't Bring Me Down." Quite a few good recordings became great when imperfections and mistakes were left in the final edit. It's fascinating!

    1969 was a berry berry good year and I look forward to going there with you next week. Have a Scrappy weekend, Chris!

    1. I may have to require you to split your comments into "BS" and "No BS" sections, lol!

      I felt the way you do about Gaynor back in the day... I've mellowed a bit on her. Loved the BeeGees disco era back in the day, but very little of it has staying power now. I love your perfect description of Gary's Gang. I enjoyed In The Bush better than that!

      Did the Amish change the words to "If you love my horsie..."?

      I still have to listen to the Sex Pistols... I find it hard to swallow wedding cake to, though..

  2. Chris:
    I will confess that I DID root for Buddy Baker back in those
    ---Heh, of ALL the Rod Stewart songs to pick.
    ---HOURGLASS - not too bad.
    ---HA! "Spoilers"...nice meme from Prof. Song.
    ---"I Will Survive" seemed to be one of those WORLDWIDE hits.
    ---And now, I furthered my German vocab...!
    ---Interesting stuff about "Miss Ellie".
    ---Excellent point made about people and their LACK of patience. Seems to follow that it would track over into the MUSIC realm as well.
    ---Lucius - GREAT vocals (imho).
    ---"When the feeling's cone and you can't go one, it's TRAGEDY!"...nice choice.

    Very good ride this week.
    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.