Saturday, October 29, 2011

More schlocky #1 hits!

After the overwhelming(?) response 2 last nite's post on schlocky #1 hits from the Golden Age of Classic Rock, I thot I'd post some more Mbarrassing #1's from 1977 & later, just 4 the sake of completeness -- & including a few earlier 1's I overlooked somehow.
B4 I do that, however, a couple attempts at clarity:
* What I call "schlock" is different from what I usually call "Great Trash." "Wild Thing" is Great Trash. "Sugar, Sugar" is Great Trash. "Louie Louie" is ... well, it's 1 of a kind. Like that. "The Night Chicago Died" is just junk.
* I think my buddy Crabby may have a point about the "memorability factor" of old junk such as I've bn listing here. Back in the day, even the worst piece of hackwork -- "One Bad Apple," say, or "Knock Three Times" -- had a nagging chorus or some other hook that would weld the song in2 yer brain, especially if you didn't want it in there. That's why they were big hits. That's why some of us can still recite the lyrics 2 them without the help of cue cards -- even 40 years later. But that doesn't make them GOOD. Just better than today's average hackwork.
See how many of the following members of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame (all former #1 hits according 2 BILLBOARD magazine) you remember....

Sammy Davis Jr. -- The Candy Man (thanx a lot 4 reminding me of this, Crabby!)
Michael Jackson -- Ben.
John Denver -- Annie's Song.
B.J. Thomas -- Hey Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.
Barry Manilow -- I Write the Songs.
Carl Douglas -- Kung-Fu Fighting.

Maybe 1977 was the real Bottom Year 4 schlock. Check these winners out:
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. -- You Don't Have to be a Star to be in My Show.
Barbra Streisand -- Evergreen (Love Theme from A STAR IS BORN).
Abba -- Dancing Queen.
Eagles -- New Kid in Town.
Hall & Oates -- Rich Girl.
Glen Campbell -- Southern Nights.
Leo Sayer -- You Make Me Feel Like Dancin', When I Need You.
Fleetwood Mac -- Dreams.
Bill Conti -- Gonna Fly Now (Theme from ROCKY).
Alan O'Day -- Undercover Angel.
Shaun Cassidy -- Da Doo Ron Ron.
Barry Manilow -- Looks Like We Made It.
ANYTHING by Andy Gibb. (He had 3 #1's -- "Shadow Dancing" topped the charts 4 7 weeks.)
Debbie Boone -- You Light Up My Life (10 weeks at #1!).
Bee Gees -- How Deep is Your Love?

Hold yer stomach, there's more:
Paul McCartney & Wings -- With a Little Luck, Coming Up.
Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams -- Too Much Too Little Too Late.
A Taste of Honey -- Boogie Ooogie Oogie.
Anne Murray -- You Needed Me.
Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand -- You Don't Bring Me Flowers.
Rod Stewart -- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Doobie Brothers -- What a Fool Believes.
Peaches & Herb -- Reunited.
Herb Alpert -- Rise.
M -- Pop Muzik.
Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer -- No More Tears (Enough is Enough).
Rupert Holmes -- Escape (The Pina Colada Song).
Captain & Tennille -- Do That To Me One More Time.
Lipps Inc. -- Funkytown.
Barbra Streisand -- Woman in Love.
Kenny Rogers -- Lady.
Dolly Parton -- 9 to 5.
Eddie Rabbitt -- I Love a Rainy Night.
Kim Carnes -- Bette Davis Eyes (9 weeks at #1!).
Diana Ross & Lionel Richie -- Endless Love (9 weeks at #1!).
Olivia Newton-John -- Physical (10 weeks at #1!).
Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder -- Ebony and Ivory.
Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton -- Islands in the Stream.
Whitney Houston -- Saving All My Love for You.
...That takes us thru Fall 1985. By the way, Whitney's wretched version of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" topped the charts 4 14 weeks in late 1992. 1 of the worst vocal performances ever, used 2 clear birds off runways at busy airports....

...What a rockin list, huh? Some real headbangers there, am I right? Jeez the late '70s & early '80s were flat & boring musically, at least in terms of what the majority of folks were buying....
So again, don't let the Classic Rock fanatics convince you that things were somehow better musically back in the '60s & '70s. They were DIFFERENT, but maybe not that much better. There was still a ton of garbage around, & a lot of it was REALLY popular, as shown by the last 2 lists.
...& when "we" had the discretionary-spending muscle, when we voted with our wallets 2 choose who the big music stars would be ... we messed up big-time. We got a few right -- Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Bruce, Hendrix, U2, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, etc.
But tho great songs come & go, schlock goes on FOREVER. How recently has your local Classic Rock/Oldies station played "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"? Or "Billy Don't Be a Hero"? Or "The Night Chicago Died"? I hear them at least 1nce a week.... & then I change the station....
That ain't what I call rock&roll....

1 comment:

R S Crabb said...

Well TAD rest assured that KMRY has been known to play some of that stuff that you mentioned. Vicky Lawrence and Bo Donaldson...they seem to have it in rotation.

With Top 40 it's always garbage in garbage out. Problem of today's music is actually finding something that isn't total garbage.