Originally written January 31, 2014.
Greetings, loyal readers! It’s Friday night, and as long as you’re hanging around here, why not sink your Cheetos-stained teeth into a Top 10 flashback?
Here’s a sentence few people utter: Let’s go to St. Louis! (Admittedly, “Let’s go to Detroit!” is even less common, like, it never happens. At least STL has an arch.) 630 KXOK can stand toe-to-toe with any station for Top 40 heritage, in fact they were one of the pioneers of the format, but, like virtually all other AM music stations, it had seen better days by 1978, the year we’re visiting this week. So had the music itself, as you’ll see. I often say that by this time, you would only listen to a station like this if your car had an AM-only radio, but with a few of the songs featured here, you might have just turned the damned thing off in disgust. Aftermarket car stereos really came into their own around this time, and no wonder. Even a cheap-ass Sparkomatic rig was preferable to sitting through some of this dreck. But as you’ll also see, it wasn’t all bad, and some of it was pretty good.
So kick off your high heel sneakers, it’s party time! Survey dated January 30, 1978.
Player – Baby Come Back
Remember what I said above about the music blowing goats? N/A here. This is a great song that’s usually placed in the soft rock genre, but I say it’s blue-eyed soul. I went with the album version because the single omits the very good guitar solo at the end.
Linda Ronstadt – Blue Bayou
Gee, as much as I built this up to be a shitty countdown, it’s sure starting off strong. This is a fine cover of the Roy Orbison classic, and there were few female singers in the 70’s I wanted to shag more than Linda Ronstadt.
Bob Welch – Sentimental Lady
Maybe I need to rethink this whole “this countdown’s gonna suck” thing. “French Kiss” was a terrific album from this former member of Fleetwood Mac, who left the group just before they changed their sound and became superstars. He committed suicide in 2012.
Dolly Parton – Here You Come Again
All right, here we go. This sounds like a children’s song. Reminds me of Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train” from a few years later. If this was supposed to be country crossover, it should have stayed on its side of the line.
L.T.D. – Back In Love Again
Fun and funky, this was most people’s introduction to Jeffrey Osborne. L.T.D. didn’t stand for a gas-guzzling Ford, but Love, Togetherness, and Devotion. Awww…
Leif Garrett – Runaround Sue
No wonder he became a druggie.
Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love
You’re probably expecting me to trash this one. Prepare to be disappointed. This is one of the finest love songs of my lifetime, and certainly the best from the brothers Gibb. Of course, I couldn’t admit that when I was 16…
Shaun Cassidy – Hey Deanie
Shaun Cassidy had a greatest hits album? That’s rich. I see from his Wikipedia entry that he later covered David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel.” I wonder what that sounds like…
Holy FUCK, that’s bad. Stupefyingly bad. We’re talking swallow a bottle of pills, slit your wrists, and chomp on a gun barrel while piping exhaust gas into your car as you drive it off a cliff bad. Couldn’t SOMEONE have stopped this, or at least destroyed the master? And would you believe Todd Rundgren is responsible for this travesty?
Queen – We Are The Champions
As if you needed to hear this again.
I had a little trouble finding a worthy candidate for this week’s “oh, wow” song. I finally went with this one, a decent R&B ballad from Motown’s waning years. At #29 this week, here are four fine-looking sistas who called themselves High Inergy with “You Can’t Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On).”
Don’t worry, baby, I won’t stop…
Now we’ve reached the pinnacle, the peak, the top of the mountain. The number one song 36 years ago this week according to KXOK in St. Louis is:
I used to really like this song when I was 16. Now, not so much.
Gee, that didn’t suck as badly as I led you to expect, did it? Or maybe it did…
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