Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How much of your youth can you still stomach?

Apparently, the game is this:

The instructions are: Go to, and do a search on the most popular 100 songs from the year you graduated high school. (You can do this by searching on the year you graduated). Bold the ones you actually like. (Understand that the word "like" in this case means, at the very least, "wouldn't immediately change the radio station from.") Pick a favorite. Underline that favorite. And Strikethru the ones you loathe. Italicize the ones you consider to be guilty pleasures.

Well, I never actually graduated High School. I was granted sufficient credits to graduate from the Catholic school I had been attending on a part-time, casual, not-enough-money-to-play-pool-today basis at the end of the 12th grade in 1978, but without merit and on the condition that I continue elsewhere. You see, in my day, and in the province of Ontario, there was still a year to go if you wanted to attend University. I took three maths and three sciences in grade 13, but dropped out of Chemistry with a month or so to go in the year due to irreconcilable differences with my teacher (who, by the way, taught my kid brother the same analysis technique I was failed for inventing some years later, so although my year remains incomplete, I feel somewhat vindicated). I would have graduated in '79, along with Ben and Gregg, though, so here's my list:

  1. My Sharona, The Knack
  2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer
  3. Le Freak, Chic
  4. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart
  5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb
  6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
  7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer
  8. Y.M.C.A., Village People
  9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward
  10. Sad Eyes, Robert John
  11. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees
  12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer
  13. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr. Hook
  14. Makin' It, David Naughton
  15. Fire, Pointer Sisters
  16. Tragedy, Bee Gees
  17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John
  18. Heart Of Glass, Blondie
  19. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers
  20. Good Times, Chic
  21. You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
  22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart
  23. Stumblin' In, Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman
  24. Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale
  25. Shake Your Body, Jacksons
  26. Don't Cry Out Loud, Melissa Manchester
  27. The Logical Song, Supertramp
  28. My Life, Billy Joel
  29. Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer
  30. You Can't Change That, Raydio
  31. Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches and Herb
  32. I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwick
  33. Love You Inside Out, Bee Gees
  34. I Want You To Want Me, Cheap Trick
  35. The Main Event (Fight), Barbra Streisand
  36. Mama Can't Buy You Love, Elton John
  37. I Was Made For Dancin', Leif Garrett
  38. After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind and Fire
  39. Heaven Knows, Donna Summer and Brooklyn Dreams
  40. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
  41. Lotta Love, Nicolette Larson
  42. Lady, Little River Band
  43. Heaven Must Have Sent You, Bonnie Pointer
  44. Hold The Line, Toto
  45. He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge
  46. Sharing The Night Together, Dr. Hook
  47. She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers
  48. In The Navy, Village People
  49. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills
  50. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band
  51. Gold, John Stewart
  52. Goodnight Tonight, Wings
  53. We Are Family, Sister Sledge
  54. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy, Bad Company
  55. Every 1's A Winner, Hot Chocolate
  56. Take Me Home, Cher
  57. Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire
  58. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, Andy Gibb
  59. What You Won't Do For Love, Bobby Caldwell
  60. New York Groove, Ace Frehley
  61. Sultans Of Swing, Dire Straits
  62. I Want Your Love, Chic
  63. Chuck E's In Love, Rickie Lee Jones
  64. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges
  65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, McFadden and Whitehead
  66. Lonesome Loser, Little River Band
  67. Renegade, Styx
  68. Love Is The Answer, England Dan and John Ford Coley
  69. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
  70. Born To Be Alive, Patrick Hernandez
  71. Shine A Little Love, Electric Light Orchestra
  72. I Just Fall In Love Again, Anne Murray
  73. Shake It, Ian Matthews
  74. I Was Made For Lovin' You, Kiss
  75. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli
  76. Disco Nights, G.Q.
  77. Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt
  78. September, Earth, Wind and Fire
  79. Time Passages, Al Stewart
  80. Rise, Herb Alpert
  81. Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra
  82. Promises, Eric Clapton
  83. Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris
  84. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia
  85. Suspicions, Eddie Rabbitt
  86. You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith
  87. How You Gonna See Me Now, Alice Cooper
  88. Double Vision, Foreigner
  89. Every Time I Think Of You, Babys
  90. I Got My Mind Made Up, Instant Funk
  91. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson
  92. Bad Case Of Lovin' You, Robert Palmer
  93. Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow
  94. We've Got Tonite, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
  95. Dance The Night Away, Van Halen
  96. Dancing Shoes, Nigel Olsson
  97. The Boss, Diana Ross
  98. Sail On, Commodores
  99. I Do Love You, G.Q.
  100. Strange Way, Firefall

Not exactly a great year. Then again, some of these songs don't seem to belong at all. I'm pretty sure that "Pieces of Eight" was a very early '78 release — I distincly remember it blaring on the 8-track in a Pacer belonging to a friend at the aforementioned Catholic school — so "Renegade" shouldn't be there. "Parallel Lines" was a mid-'78 release, so "Heart Of Glass" should have come and gone before the new year. (Okay, it should have gone much sooner than that. I liked Blondie the punk band; that disco album was more than a little disappointing. And "Autoamerican" did nothing to make me feel better.) I have a feeling that the release and promotion schedule in Canada is/was significantly different than in the US; there are a lot of songs I remember from different years from my American friends, sometimes by quite a few years. "Sunshine On Lieth" was everywhere in Canada in '88; I hear it didn't get any non-college airplay in the 'States until after Benny And Joon was released.

I won't apologise for "Chuck E's In Love". Rickie Lee Jones' eponymous album is one of my all-time favorites and still gets heavy rotation in my listening list. Song 1, side 1, may not be the best song on the album, but it was the song that got me to listen to the rest.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to apologize for w/r/t Rickie Lee Jones. Idiosyncratic, and very cool. As for the timing, I was just starting out as a college DJ in late '78. My recollection is that Blondie was huge on college and progressive FM radio in late '78, and broke out big on commercial AM radio in early '79. It often took six months to a year from an album's release before AM radio paid any attention to it in those pre-MTV days, and you didn't make the top 100 without heavy AM play.

-rich schwartz

Stan Rogers said...

Things seemed to happen a lot quicker up here. That could have been the market I grew up in -- I mean, did Devo's Jocko Homo get any non-college air time in the US? I have a feeling that our market was still being driven, to a large extent, by John Peel of the BBC, and nobody ever accused him of being behind the times. There were advantages to growing up in a small market back in the days when there were actual DJs creating their own playlists. Most of them were trying to build a coolness factor so they'd be picked up by stations in bigger markets, and that meant introducing new music. And working around CanCon regulations at the same time (small releases often qualified because of the number of Canadians working in production and as sidemen in the US). I miss those days. There are a lot more stations to listen to now, but there seems to be less music. That's probably a result of splitting the market into genre stations. We had them when I was a kid, too. There was the C&W station, and the two that didn't play country. Hearing Blue Rondo A La Turk between Watching The Detectives and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap wasn't jarring in the least. I can't imagine saying "I listen to death metal, and only death metal".

Anonymous said...

Jocko Homo definitely got college airplay. Quite a bit, actually, in 1978 and into 1979. As for non-college, there was some on WNEW-FM in New York, which was probably the leading "progressive" station back then. Can't say whether it got any other airplay, because WNEW was pretty much the only station that I could bear listening to when I was in high school or home on vacation from college ;-) I got my introduction to acts like Talking Heads, The Ramones, Plastic Bertrand, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Nick Lowe, Ian Dury, Graham Parker, Lene Lovich, Rachel Sweet, Eddie & The Hot Rods, The Tubes, Tom Robinson Band and quite a few other new wavers from WNEW. The Cars were the huge breakout band on college radio in late '78, especially in New England, but our station had DJs with all sorts of different tastes. I distinctly remember one DJ who fell in love with Toto about a month before they broke out into massive over-play nationally. Others that I remember being hot in my very first few months in college radio included The Motors, Boomtown Rats, George Thorogood, Squeeze (actually known as "UK Squeeze" at first), Tuff Darts, Joe Jackson, The Police... but it's hard to say exactly which ones were on the air in late '78 as opposed to early '79.

Howard said...

Great link for filling in the gaps in the cd collection. It's kinda neat browsing the years and seeing names like Bob Welsh :-) The list is definitely American tho, no Rush, no April Wine... :-)

Anonymous said...

You crossed out Blondie and left Supertramp alone? You is a crazy man. :)

Stan Rogers said...

No, I crossed out "Heart of Glass" and left "The Logical Song". There's a difference, boychik. Had it been "One Way or Another" versus "Breakfast in America" or even "11:59" versus "Take the Long Way Home", things would have been different. Unfortunately, most of the stuff I was listening to (which was either punkish, like, say, Patti Smith's "Easter" or jazzy, like, say, Tom Waits' "Blue Valentine") wasn't there. More's the pity.