15 March 2006

'76 crumhorns in the big parade - PART 2 of 2

Let's pick up where we left off on our look at the songs Casey At the Mic played on the October 9, 1976 installment of American Top 40:

Rock ‘n' Roll Maxim #399: Never EVER attempt to sing a ballad when your tongue is long enough to lasso Elizabeth herself, so it won't matter if "he and the boys will be playing."

19) (DON'T FEAR) THE REAPER / Blue Oyster Cult
What this song needs is MORE.....


18) WHAM BAM / Silver
A real "lost hit." One-hit wonder and a rather nice pure pop single, to boot.

17) I ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU / Bay City Rollers
They turned Dusty into dust. Shame on them.

16) MAGIC MAN / Heart
Mama, you've got to like him. He's a magic man, and we're in love. I'm gonna go run away and elope with him. Oh, and by the way, I'm pregnant. And we'll set up in a nice trailer until we both lose our jobs and get evicted. Have another kid. Get nice house. Let it get filthy and overrun with la cucaracha. Get evicted for non-payment on mortgage. Magic Man takes a powder, leaving me in the lurch. Move into another trailer. Magic Man fakes seizure in Wal-Mart parking lot to gain my sympathy. Take Magic Man back. Get big workers-comp settlement, blow it all. Electricity turned off due to non-payment. Magic Man has plenty of cigarettes and Mountain Dew, though. Try try try to understand -- he's a Magic Man.

Oh, listen to me. I'm being just HEARTLESS. No, wait, that's another song.

15) SAY YOU LOVE ME / Fleetwood Mac
Who can resist the honey-sweet vocals of Christine McVie. She didn't have the maiden name Perfect for nothin'....

14) THAT'LL BE THE DAY / Linda Ronstadt
Linda could sing great pop, even greater lush easy listening music, so-so rock 'n' roll and Latin music, and could hold her own with country. But slap-back echo and that Sam Phillips rockabilly sound just does not become her. Won't you consider returning Nelson Riddle's phone call?

13) ROCK'N ME / Steve Miller Band
I always thought the guitar riff sounded a little too close to Free's "All Right Now." So, does it? Only their lawyers know for sure.

12) GETAWAY / Earth, Wind & Fire
The 1970s. Earth, Wind & Fire. Fantastic. Questions?

11) A LITTLE BIT MORE / Dr. Hook
No thanks, I'm full.

10) SHE'S GONE / Hall & Oates
Ha ha, she dumped your ass. Now stop whining and go find another maneater.

9) (SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE) SHAKE YOUR BOOTY / K.C. & The Sunshine Band
Nobody can shake their booty like our dog Puddy. You've got to see her to appreciate it.

8) I'D REALLY LOVE TO SEE YOU TONIGHT / England Dan & John Ford Coley
Sorry, I have other plans. I have to rearrange my perfectly-alphabetized record collection.

7) STILL THE ONE / Orleans
Sounded nowhere near as good sung as it was SPOKEN ... by none other than the late Ernie Anderson. "A! B! C! STILL THE ONE." "THE LUUUUUUUUUUV BOAT!!!"

6) DEVIL WOMAN / Cliff Richard
Five words: "Where's the damned ice machine??!!??!!"

5) IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW / Chicago
The very nanosecond a great brass-flavored rock ‘n' roll band jumped the shark. Peter Cetera was bitten by balladus passthesweetnlowibus ..... recording a slow-n-sappy song, hitting paydirt with it, and then kneejerking the band away from great music and toward more of that sap. I call this malady The Peter Cetera Syndrome®. It would go on to inflict its saccharine venom on Dennis DeYoung and Styx ("Babe") ... as well as Lou Gramm and Foreigner ("Waiting for a Girl Like You").

Yes, Chicago did record ballads before IYLMN — "Colour My World" and "Wishing You Were Here", anyone? Crucial differences: both were great songs, staying sweet without reaching for the pink packets ..... and neither featured Cetera as lead singer!

4) DISCO DUCK / Rick Dees
Over the intro, Casey said, "Disco records keep getting hotter and hotter, even ones by ... ducks!" You've no idea how that made my skin crawl, especially with the wisdom of hindsight. It's like reliving a trip in the minutes leading up to a terrible car accident.

In the interest of fairness, I must note that the popularity of "Disco Duck" began with the late and lamented Birmingham radio station WSGN "The Big 610." They ‘broke' the record nationwide (Dees' first radio gig outside of college was at ‘SGN). Oh well, even the best entities are entitled to their missteps.

3) DIRTY LOWDOWN / Boz Scaggs
A hoppin' Summertime record for 1976. For me, a lot of songs seem to have memories together in pairs, and in this case, "Lowdown" runs in tandem with War's "Summer." It's one of the first songs I'd play as rebuttal to someone who made a claim that all of the 1970s was a vast musical wasteland.

The ultimate source of a lot of misplaced inspiration. White people have no business playing any funky music, unless you're A) K.C. & The Sunshine Band, B) The Average White Band, or C) The Rolling Stones [i.e. "Hot Stuff" or especially "Dance (Part 1)"]

1) A FIFTH OF BEETHOVEN / Walter Murphy
Speaking of classical-songs-remade-for-pop, I'm waiting for one ripping Pachelbel's Canon to shreds. How about a ska/punk reworking, with the title "Loose Canon."

And there you have it, the songs we were listening to on the radio in October 1976. Keep your feet dancing and keep reaching for (but not fearing) the reaper.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "'More cowbell', nothing - I want the whole damn heifer!!" Gleck


bolivar said...

Yes, I know - I am behind in my comments, so here goes...


I said it before, & I'll say it again: KISS is the most overrated rock band of all time.

19. (Don't Fear) The Reaper / BOC

Great song, and the "Agents of Fortune" album is one of the best albums of 1976.

18. "Wham Bam" / SILVER

I totally forgot about this one! If I am not mistaken, I think that Brent Mydland was a member of this band (Brent would join the Grateful Dead in 1979).

17. "I Only Wanna Be With You" / BAY CITY ROLLERS

Next one, please!

16. "Magic Man" / HEART

Ahh, Heart, circa 1975-1981! Doesn't get much better than that. Oh, by the way, this song was written about me - I AM the magic man... Everyone else needs to just hang it up!

15. "Say You Love Me" / FLEETWOOD MAC

Christine McVie is "Perfect"! This song proves that she was just as comfortable making pop music as she was with the blues. Great song.

14. "That'll Be the Day" / LINDA RONSTADT

In all fairness, Talmadge, this isn't the desecration that it could have been. But Linda has done much better than this - go back to her cover versions of "When Will I Be Loved" and "You're No Good" - both conveniently on her "Heart Like a Wheel" LP - by far, her best studio album.

13. "Rock'n Me" / STEVE MILLER

Good song - why isn't he in the rock-n-roll hall of fame??

12. "Getaway" / EW&F

Talmadge said it all.

11. "A Little Bit More" / DR. HOOK

This is where a promising band began its downward spiral.

10. "She's Gone" / HALL & OATES

Originally released in 1973. This song is OK, but they did better than this later.

9. "Shake Your Booty" / K.C. & THE SUNSHINE BAND

To me, the best of the disco genre was this band. Their best-of is absolutely essential. Bee Gees, go home.

8. "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" - ENGLAND DAN & JOHN FORD COLEY

...so, they see each other. Conversation. Alcohol. The inevitable "Come back to my place". Love making. The inevitable "I'm pregnant". "What will I tell my husband?". "Oh, I know what I'll do... I'll keep it a secret from him for 2 years". "Let him think he's the father". "Then I will destroy my husband's life by dropping a bombshell on his ass".
Personal ranting aside, I really hate this song.

7. "Still the One" / ORLEANS

Despite its blandness, this isn't unlistenable.

6. "Devil Woman" / CLIFF RICHARD

I remember this one very well. It's an OK song.

5. "If You Leave Me Now" / CHICAGO

I almost agree with Talmadge. Yes, Chicago started going down with this one. But I disagree with Foreigner and "Waiting...". I think Foreigner's downward spiral started with "I Want to Know What Love Is". Oh, let's add REO Speedwagon and "I Can't Fight This Feeling".

4. "Disco Duck" / RICK DEES

..."AND HIS CAST OF IDIOTS". I had this song on a 45. Played the tar out of it. Good as a novelty item, and nothing more.

3. "Dirty Lowdown" / BOZ SCAGGS

How about this for a topic of discussion? Boz' "Silk Degrees" album (where "Lowdown" is from) is, in my opinion, the best album of 1976. Boz was the hip in cool, & his new album is pretty good.

2. "Play That Funky Music" / WILD CHERRY

I love this song! Always have! Very fond memories of this song & that time in history. Even though the rest of their output was total crap, they got it right on this one.

1. "A Fifth of Beethoven" / WALTER MURPHY

Interesting idea that, in my opinion, worked. Too bad he couldn't follow up on it.

So there you have it. Questions?

nettiemac said...

I too have fallen behind. But here goes!

[i]20) BETH / KISS[/i]
One word: GAAAAAAG! I don't mind hearing it on occasion, and yes, in the 3rd grade, I thought the song was somewhat good. But that was when I was younger and much less discriminating.

[i]19) (DON'T FEAR) THE REAPER / Blue Oyster Cult
What this song needs is MORE.....[/i]

Doink. Doink. Doink. Doink. Gene Frenkle is smiling from heaven on you.

[i]18) WHAM BAM / Silver[/i]
I honestly don't remember this one....

[i]17) I ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU / Bay City Rollers[/i]
I had forgotten. With good reason.....

[i]16) MAGIC MAN / Heart[/i]
Not their best stuff, but beats the pure hell outta "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" --- that one STUNK!

[i]15) SAY YOU LOVE ME / Fleetwood Mac
Who can resist the honey-sweet vocals of Christine McVie. She didn't have the maiden name Perfect for nothin'....[/i]
Hear hear!!!

[i]14) THAT'LL BE THE DAY / Linda Ronstadt[/i]
NOT one of her best. It got worse with her later remakes. Moonbeam shoulda married her.

[i]13) ROCK'N ME / Steve Miller Band[/i]
One that I don't get tired of.... even after Wrangler has worn it to shreds in their commercials

[i]12) GETAWAY / Earth, Wind & Fire[/i]
EWF can do no wrong.

[i]11) A LITTLE BIT MORE / Dr. Hook[/i]
Now, I will agree to disagree with ya. I like Dr. Hook -- but I think that had to do more with Granny's DISLIKE of them! HA HA HA. This wasn't so bad.

[i]10) SHE'S GONE / Hall & Oates[/i]
I love H&O tons. This one isn't so bad, and I do prefer it to the Tavares version. But call me around 1980 for their best stuff.

[i]9) (SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE) SHAKE YOUR BOOTY / K.C. & The Sunshine Band[/i]
Okay, I admit it. I love disco. Yep. I do. There. I said it. And I love KC.

[i]8) I'D REALLY LOVE TO SEE YOU TONIGHT / England Dan & John Ford Coley[/i]
I really don't mind their music. Relatively harmless stuff.

[i]7) STILL THE ONE / Orleans[/i]
Oh yeah ... I remember when ABC had this for their slogan. And I still miss "Barney Miller"! Of course, this was a frightening album cover.....

[i]6) DEVIL WOMAN / Cliff Richard
Five words: "Where's the damned ice machine??!!??!!"[/i]
SNORK!!!!!!!! I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

[i]5) IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW / Chicago[/i]
Okay. Another one I liked when I was a kid. And I still like the melody. And I bet if you put the words to a less-lush arrangement, garage-band style, you'd probably have a hit on your hands.

[i]4) DISCO DUCK / Rick Dees[/i]
Quack me up.

[i]3) DIRTY LOWDOWN / Boz Scaggs[/i]
Silk Degrees -- a damn fine album.

[i]2) PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC / Wild Cherry[/i]
I do love this one. No guilt or shame involved.

[i]1) A FIFTH OF BEETHOVEN / Walter Murphy[/i]
WTF was America smokin' at the time?