Originally written July 31, 2013.
Good Friday evening once again, and welcome to Top 10 Flashback, where we look back at the most popular songs on this date in a bygone year using local radio station music surveys. This little thing is actually beginning to develop a following, and I thank all of you for your kind words.
This week we will warp back to 1975, when the only president to have gotten into office without a single vote decided it was time to whip inflation now. “Saturday Night Live” debuted on NBC, and the best-selling car in America was the Oldsmobile Cutlass.
Let’s go to Chicago this time and see what they were listening to in that toddlin’ town on Musicradio 89, WLS. Survey dated August 9, 1975.
On with the countdown!
Midnight Blue – Melissa Manchester
Totally forgettable ballad. This was the “sweet Melissa” Barry Manilow sang of.
Why Can’t We Be Friends – War
War was a great group, and I own an original vinyl copy of this album, which also contains the megahit “Low Rider,” which everyone thinks Cheech & Chong did.
Jive Talkin’ – Bee Gees
The song that marked the transformation of the brothers Gibb into a disco group, and their best of that period. You could not avoid this song that summer.
One Of These Nights – Eagles
OK, I know it’s fashionable to bag on the Eagles, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t a perfect laid-back summer song.
Please Mr. Please – Olivia Newton-John
The Hustle – Van McCoy
There’s a station here that replays old episodes of “American Top 40,” and a couple weeks ago I heard Casey tell the story of Van McCoy, a somewhat successful songwriter in the 60’s who never had a hit of his own until this one. Great, I thought – all those years waiting, and you finally hit big with…an instrumental. (“DO THE HUSTLE!” doesn’t count as lyrics.) Another song you could not avoid that summer.
Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John
This is it, ladies and gentlemen – the absolute pinnacle of Elton John’s career. It’s his & Bernie Taupin’s masterpiece. A strong case could be made for “Love Lies Bleeding/Funeral For A Friend,” but this one’s personal, sung from the heart. It was all downhill from here, with only one more good album after this.
Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
Talk about songs you couldn’t avoid that summer. I thought Toni Tennille was hot when I was 13. Looking at that video now, all I have to say is:
I’m Not In Love – 10cc
A common practice among Top 40/CHR radio stations is to play the music a little fast, typically 1-2%, sometimes more, to make it sound more energetic and upbeat. That’s the way I prefer to hear this song, preferably through a tinny portable radio speaker.
And now, ladies and gentlemen:
Tympani roll: http://thebig8.net/tymp.wav
The #1 song on Chicagoland’s WLS, 38 years ago this week:
Man, did this sound good on an AM car radio, especially at night.
Pretty good countdown this week – only two real duds, and all the rest are played regularly on oldies/classic hits stations today. As always, your comments are encouraged.
Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. Tune in again next week!