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


Friday, May 27, 2016

Time Machine week 75

Today we lurch into May 27th, 1979.  John O'Connor was just consecrated a Cardinal;  Rick Mears wins his first Indy 500, while DW took the checker at Charlotte; and Orlando's Tangerine Bowl was host to Rock Super Bowl VI ( a semi-annual event), featuring Boston, the Doobies, AC/DC, and Poco.

"Pass me the milk!  I gotta make a plane to Orlando!"

Yes, it's Time Machine, stranded back in that WON-derful year of 1979, and this week we have:  The replacement of the UK ten for a week by something that really sucks; One M10 record tied, two more go down; How we get from Elton John to the Village People without being politically incorrect; and a tight 2-way race for the Panel #1!  Gentlemen and ladies, let me start the engine!

Our Panel this week is WBBQ Augusta, WCVS Springfield IL, WDRC Hartford, WEGP Presque Isle ME, their neighbors at WGUY Bangor, WYSL Buffalo, WKAP Allentown, WAVZ New Haven, WHB Kansas City, CHUM Toronto, KFRC San Francisco, and KTKT Tucson.  They managed 15 different songs in the first 4 stations, but only 8 the rest of the way.  They included Styx's Renegade, which was #1 in Bangor, and the Bee Gees' Love You Inside Out, which was on top in Allentown.  Our lowest charter this week was a song we will be discussing in a bit- Anita Ward's Ring My Bell, which was at #59 on the Cashbox national chart this week;  however, a song that dropped off the chart this week Roxanne by the Police, was still #5 in Buffalo.  Better late than never, I suppose.

And the Panel picks?

At #4, with no #1s and 11 points, another song we will discuss further in a bit, Randy Vanwarmer's Just When I Needed You Most, the national #8.

At #3, with the top dog from Buffalo and 18 points, the national #10, Supertramp with The Logical Song.

At #2, with 5 #1s (Springfield, Hartford, Kansas City, Toronto, and P.I.) and 35 points, the national #1, Peaches and Herb's Reunited.

And at the top with the other 4 #1s and 40 points, the national #2... in a bit.


This week's M10 was a cause for consternation.  Wednesday at work, I wrote down a ten that had a new #1, three debuts, and it lasted for about 6 minutes.  I modified it to two debuts before I got home, went back and forth on the #1, and finally ended up with two debuts- and one of those was NOT one of that original three!  Here it is at #9:

M83 is a dance band, and as such usually has guests to do vocals or various other things.  The lady singing, for example, is a French mademoiselle named Mai Lan (which, I am told, is pronounced "mesh lane").  Also on the record is guitarist Steve Vai, ranked the 11th best guitarist in the world.  He was asked to contribute something appropriately "space-y", sent the band three demos, and they combined two of them in the final song.  Vai might be most famous for being David Lee Roth's guitarist on his solo lps.

Before Shady can ask, Mai Lan is entered...


One of the things that caught my ear as I researched this particular section of 1979 was the fact that this was a time when, to me, music really sucked.  I mean, REALLY sucked.  I remember doing a early version of my M10 back in the day, right around this time frame in which I could only find FOUR songs I liked- Our Lips Are Sealed and We Got The Beat by the Go Gos, and Dust In The Wind and Point Of Know Return by Kansas.  So I decided to look down the list, and I came up with this week's top I SUCK songs that were charting on Cashbox.  This is not to say that there were NO songs I liked this week, and there were some underrated, underplayed gems out there, like the Beach Boys' Good Timing and Tycoon's Such A Woman, and others that would come to later prominence as the band's fandom grew, like Journey's Just The Same Way.  But there were tunes that made me wish I could just beat my transistor to death, and here are the bottom-feeder ten, with where they charted this week:

10- You Can't Change That, Raydio, #50 on Cashbox.  Now this song doesn't TRULY suck; but frankly, I never much cared for anything Ray Parker Jr did outside of Ghostbusters.  He had a tremendous talent and a great voice, and wasted it on crap like Jack And Jill and The Other Woman.

9- Dancing Fool, Frank Zappa, #45.  Now I realize Frank was likely trying to poke fun at disco with this awful song, but I never did get the fascination with him anyhow.

8- Shakedown Cruise, Jay Ferguson, #42.  This would be a fine song with better lyrics.  Or even modified lyrics.  One of the worst lines I have ever heard is in this song- "The captain says, you boys want some sex?  You can squeeze the sails, you can lick the deck."  He'd have been better served shoehorning that line in to Lou Reed's just as disgusting Walk On The Wild Side.

7- Take Me Home, Cher, #26.  For once I think I would have rather listened to Sonny.  The only thing worse than the song than the costume she was in on the lp:

6- He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge, #41.  Lame lyrics and a clunky chorus.  We Are Family much the same, just not as clunky.

5- Ring My Bell, Anita Ward, #59.  Now we get into the meat of the suckage.  This was one of two songs that our local station played as if they only had two discs and a rackful of ads.  And the other, you ask?

4- Knock On Wood, Aimee Stewart, #14.  I tried knocking on wood.  And metal, plastic, human flesh, whatever was available.  Nothing helped.

3- Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris, #25.  The single biggest (but not only) thing that annoyed me about this song was towards the ending, when he starts singing, "You better get used to... oh, my love.  PLEASE..."  NOW he says, please?  I realize you throw stuff in at the end that sounds stupid just to fill time, but this might be the worst example to me of how NOT to do it.  Second place: the end of Styx's Mr Roboto, where Dennis DeYoung mewls, "I want to thank you... PLEASE, thank you..."  Do any of these idiots know how to properly use the word please in a song?

And now, the two songs that I had no choice but to rank 1A and 1 B...

1B- Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer, #8.  For a very brief moment I kind of liked this song.  Until the whiny just drove me nuts.

1A- You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith.  I offered her money TO take his breath away, but got no response.

Ahhh.  Cleansing rant done, I feel so much better.  On with the show.


I had to laugh when I saw who was going to be the six degrees victim this week.  But more on that later.  Did you know Elton John was the piano player on the Hollies' big hit He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother?  I found that out during my last minute, hurried because I forgot again 6D research.  That song was co-wrote by Bob Russell, who was dying of leukemia at the time.  He also wrote the English lyrics to a song I know has been around the Time Machine before, the Ritchie Family's Brazil.  Now, the original tune was composed in 1939 by Ay Barroso, before the creation of composer producer team Jacques Morali and Henry Belolo hit with it many decades later.  Belolo and Morali also have another, more dubious reference on their resume- they created the Village People, whose hit In The Navy was at #4 this week but got no panel love.


And now, the M10!

Much as I hated to do it, somebody had to move down, and Charles Bradley was elected.  He slips from his peak at #5 to 10 this week with Changes.

You heard #9; at #8 is the other debut, straight from Eurovision, I give you the Australian champ, Korean-Aussie Dami Im:

Among other things, I learned that Dami's last lp was a disc of Carpenters covers- and she did a damn fine job!

Number seven is a three notch riser for the Jayhawks, Lovers Of The Sun.

And at number six is the song that screwed the three-debut plan.  I found I couldn't drop it; I couldn't even BUDGE it.  The Jayhawks and Quiet Corners are now the longest lived song in M10 history, holding at 6 in their 10th week.

Ruth B does the electric slide this week; she slides down a notch to 5 with 2 Poor Kids, and one to #4 with Superficial Love.

The Justad sisters and Tangerine shoot from 9 to 3 with You'll Always Be Lonely.  See, Bob?  I told you "up" and "big".

Or at least in a coma, as Telekinesis drops one spot with Lean On Me at #2.

So a new #1 on the M10 ties a record for five straight weeks with a different #1... and the one that does it sets a mark for the longest road to get there!  The number ones, please?

M10 says:

...Emi Knight and the Strawberry Runners with When We Were Good, at the top in its SEVENTH week on the M10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel pick?

...Donna Summer and Hot Stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, we won't have to do a suck chart next week, because we'll be going to...1971!  Well, maybe Shady will have a suck chart for us, but that's close to my own wheelhouse.  So tune in, and we'll see what grows where Rosemary goes!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Right off the bat, you and I agree on at least two things - Mai Lan (the future Mrs. Shady) and the fact that, in the year 1979, "music really sucked. I mean, REALLY sucked."

    Truth be told, I have scrolled down and down and down the page all the way to your Songs That Suck list and still haven't found any songs that didn't suck except for M83 and Mai Lan (pronounced ho-LEEEEE!)

    I would like to comment on a few of the songs on your SUCK list. I didn't like anything by Ray Parker including "Ghostbusters." I liked Cher's "Take Me Home" when it was a club favorite in 1979, but the recording hasn't stood the test of time. The song and the production style sound dated and stale today. Even so, I plan to include "Take Me Home" in a future series that will include disco biggies. Anita Ward's bell ringer and Amii Stewart's wood knocker will also be used in that series. Please try not to unfriend me. I didn't mind "Ring My Bell" at the time but it was overexposed on the radio and I got sick of it. The full length extended version of the song has reportedly replaced waterboarding as the primary torture method used at Guantanamo. I don't have a problem with Amii Stewart's "Knock On Wood" but much prefer the Eddie Floyd original. I wasn't very fond of Sister Sledge, but my girlfriend at the time loved them and dragged me to see them perform live on the grandstand at the York Interstate Fair in September 1979. The other live act that day was the latest incarnation of Peaches & Herb who sang "Reunited," "Shake Your Groove Thing," "We've Got Love" and "Roller-Skatin' Mate" (the latter recently replacing the Beatles' "Yesterday" as "The Greatest Song of the 20th Century.")

    I didn't know that piece of trivia about Elton John. Me no likey Elton John. "In The Navy" by the Village People is a guilty pleasure that I am very guilty... of.

    HOLY CRAP! Dami Im is my Pick To Click for the whole post. "Sound of Silence" is a sensational recording, just my kinda thing at this point in time, and I think Dami should be in the Beauty Contest, too! I gotta hear those Carpenters covers.

    Me no likey Donna Summer! 1971 is fairly safe territory to avoid a suck list and I am eager to be here for it. Have a safe and Scrappy weekend, good buddy!

    1. The thing for me with Ring My Bell and Knock on Wood, like you said, was the overexposure plus the over-disco of the era. I might have really liked RMB in another place and time.

      Dami's Sound of Silence really grows on you. It is so powerful. I have another from the Eurovision I think you'd like too, if Viacom would ever put the damn thing in public domain instead of being a-holes.

      My pick on the carpenters covers was Yesterday Once More. The bad thing is they are almost TOO faithful to the originals, except for Kind Of Hush, which I wasn't real happy with the somewhat changed arrangement.

      Have a great Memorial day!

  2. Chris:
    Better late than never - had to watch the Memorial Day Concert on PHS.
    ---May 1979 - talk about event-filled!
    ---Randy Vanwarmer...always loved that song (was he a 1-hit wonder?)
    ---Always like Peaches and Herb (got my reasons)
    ---That first pick - sounds like the girls from ABBA are kinda back.
    ---I agree. That year wasn't one of "my" personal best...and the music seemed to be in a state of "flux".
    ---LOL - Knock on YOUR take on that song.
    ---Other than the Vanwarmer song...that list does kinda suck. (to me).
    ---I can EASILY see that Korean-Aussie, Dami singing the title tune for the NEXT BOND FLICK!
    ---NICE move w/ the Justads.
    ---While Shady and I see thigns a bit differently, I like Donna Summer.
    What I wouldn't give to hear HER music being played instead of the (c)rap we constantly hear.

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

    1. Vanwarmer: if your standard is top 40, yes a one hitter. If you throw in the songs that charted lower and you'll prolly never go looking for them, then a three hitter.

      I too like Donna for the most part. Got sick of Hot Stuff and Bad Girls, and not much into the moaney stuff, but loved On The Radio.

      You'll note I didn't have Reunited in the suck list- I liked it. Shake Yer Groove Thing, though, was lucky it wasn't charting that week.

      Dami Im, a Bond themer? Be jake with me. She's got a powerful voice.