Monday, August 29

Like You Didn't Already Know The Soundtrack Of Your Life Sucks

Via Roxanne, the You Graduated In A Crappy Year For Music meme (list Top 100 Pop Hits for your graduating year; hilarity results). Roxanne struck out the songs she hated. I follow her convention only because hunting down everyone involved and killing them slowly is impractical. Riley approved efforts are in bold, comments in italics, hell, it's self-explanatory and too long already:

Top 100 Hits of 1972

1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack
Never got it.
2. Alone Again (Naturally), Gilbert O'Sullivan
Our first candidate for public disembowelment.
3. American Pie, Don McLean
Can't believe chewing on this thing is still a cottage industry.
4. Without You, Nilsson
Great cover of a Pete Ham/Tom Evans song from an enormously talented guy who, when he climbed to the Toppermost of the Poppermost immediately released an album giving Warner Brothers the finger.
5. Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr.
There is absolutely nothing I could say.
6. I Gotcha, Joe Tex
Transitional between his great 60s work and his bad case of the cutes in the 70s.
7. Lean On Me, Bill Withers
Bill was capable of some great work, but his most famous hit ain't it.
8. Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me, Mac Davis
Commercial country has never recovered from Mac Davis.
9. Brand New Key, Melanie
As if Melanie wasn't bad enough, it's Melanie being sexually suggestive.
10. Daddy Dont You Walk So Fast, Wayne Newton
That's it. There is no God.
11. Let's Stay Together, Al Green
Because if there was a God, how could this possibly rank below Wayne Newton?
12. Brandy (You're A Fine Girl), Looking Glass
Ick. Doo-doo doo-doo/ doo-doo-doo doo-doo. No one but Tom Waits should ever sing about sailors.
13. Oh Girl, Chi-Lites
I'm leaving this in neutral. These guys were from Chicago, but the sound is pure Philly, and by the mid-70s the Philly sound was all cream and no Kahlua.
14. Nice To Be With You, Gallery
Tony Orlando wannabe.
15. My Ding-A-Ling, Chuck Berry
Chuck, how could you?
16. If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right, Luther Ingram
17. Heart Of Gold, Neil Young

18. Betcha By Golly, Wow, Stylistics
See #13, though this is closer to bold because the Stylistics were the best of the lot.
19. I'll Take You There, Staple Singers
To the bone.
20. Ben, Michael Jackson
Theme song from a rat-movie sequel.
21. The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Robert John
22. Outa-space, Billy Preston
23. Slippin' Into Darkness, War
24. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), Hollies
Never got this either. I'm surprised to learn it wasn't higher ranked. Tinny Brit-soul vocal from a band that doesn't deserve to be remembered.
25. How Do You Do, Mouth and MacNeal
Hippie bubblegum. "Sounds like Mouth & MacNeal" was one of my favorite insults long after everyone had forgotten who they were.
27. Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond
28. A Horse With No Name, America
"The heat was hot."
28. Popcorn, Hot Butter
Most annoying instrumental ever. Period. My roommate in the dorm had the 45. He played it twice. They still haven't found his body.
29. Everybody Plays The Fool, Main Ingredient
More cream, but a good song.
30. Precious And Few, Climax
31. Last Night I Didn't Get To Sleep At All, 5th Dimension
32. Nights In White Satin, Moody Blues
Ersatz trippy proto-progs in everyone's 8-track collection.
33. Go All The Way, Raspberries
34. Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose
35. Back Stabbers, O'Jays
The Supremes of Philadelphia. These guys got the A material while others were more deserving. How is this all the way down here?
36. Down By The Lazy River, Osmonds
37. Sunshine, Jonathan Edwards
Paving the way for John Denver.
38. Starting All Over Again, Mel and Tim
39. Day Atter Day, Badfinger
40. Rocket Man, Elton John
I didn't hate Dame Elton until later, but this sucks.
41. Rockin' Robin, Michael Jackson
Again with the animals? Michael's gonna wind up in trouble some day, mark my words.
42. Beautiful Sunday, Daniel Boone
43. Scorpio, Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band
44. Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens
I like Cat, but this takes all his worst features and exaggerates them.
45. The City Of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
Barely passable version of a great Steve Goodman song.
46. Garden Party, Rick Nelson
And I like Rick, and I can appreciate the sentiment, but if there's anything worse than a story song, it's a whiny story song.
47. I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash
48. Burning Love, Elvis Presley
The best late Elvis, I think, but please don't make me go over the catalogue to make sure.
49. Clean Up Woman, Betty Wright
50. Hold Your Head Up, Argent
Rod Argent (Zombies) could write a song, and he got away with an excursion into psychedelica, but nobody gets away with that Vanilla Fudge organ stuff.
51. Jungle Fever, Chakachas
52. Everything I Own, Bread
53. In The Rain, Dramatics
54. Look What You Done For Me, Al Green
55. The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A., Donna Fargo
I'd just pass this by without comment, but it's notable for giving voice to the same late-Vietnam, head-in-the-sand fallback position that gave us Happy Talk News.
56. Bang A Gong (Get It On), T. Rex
Like Zeus' own thunderbolt.
57. Mother And Child Reunion, Paul Simon
58. Where Is The Love, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
59. I'm Still In Love With You, Al Green
60. Layla, Derek and The Dominos
61. Day Dreaming, Aretha Franklin
Meaning no disrespect to either, this is a Dionne Warwick song.
62. The Way Of Love, Cher
In a sure-to-be controversial move the judges are leaving this one in neutral, because kicking someone singing what should have been a Leslie Gore song as light opera, through her sinus cavities, seems superfluous.
63. Black And White, Three Dog Night
64. Sylvia's Mother, Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
65. Hurting Each Other, Carpenters
66. Coconut, Nilsson
I know, I know. Neutral's too good for it, but Harry was a music hall guy at heart, and I don't think he imagined this would be a hit. Plus it's a three-minute song with one stupid punchline, yet I don't think anybody actually got it.
68. Puppy Love, Donny Osmond
A cover, no less.
69. You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce
Flying a beat-up single engine plane was the best career move he ever made.
70. Hot Rod Lincoln, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
71. A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done, Sonny and Cher
72. Joy, Apollo 100
73. Anticipation, Carly Simon
Better as a ketchup commercial.
74. Never Been To Spain, Three Dog Night
75. Kiss An Angel Good Morning, Charlie Pride
76. School's Out, Alice Cooper
"We can't even think of a word that rhymes!" Plus this was before he became the Vincent Price of rock.
77. Saturday In The Park, Chicago
78. Drowning In The Sea Of Love, Joe Simon
Which makes the Simons 1-for-3.
79. Use Me, Bill Withers
80. Family Affair, Sly and The Family Stone
81. Troglodyte, Jimmy Castor Bunch
82. The Witch Queen Of New Orleans, Redbone
83. Freddie's Dead, Curtis Mayfield
84. Power Of Love, Joe Simon
85. Ain't Understanding Mellow, Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager
Not my favorite, but The Iceman could do little wrong.
86. Taxi, Harry Chapin
A story song. A fourteen-minute story song.
87. Don't Say You Don't Rememeer, Beverly Bremers
I don't.
87. Sealed With A Kiss, Bobby Vinton
88. I Saw The Light, Todd Rundgren
I think he was being billed as "Runt" when this was released. It's actually a remake of the version he did with the The Nazz.
89. Motorcycle Mama, Sailcat
90. Day By Day, Godspell Soundtrack
Jesus Christ, Superstar, meet Leo Sayer.
91. Roundabout, Yes
There was a chance to strangle them in the cradle, and we missed it.
92. Doctor My Eyes, Jackson Browne
I don't mean to be too harsh, because he was my wife's dream date, but it was all downhill from here for Jackson, the posterboy for sensitive, country-rock California singer-songwriters backed by slick studio musicians with no feel whatsoever.
93. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, New Seekers
I may make an exception to that "hunting down and killing" remark.
94. Vincent / Castles In The Air, Don Mclean
95. Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms), Detroit Emeralds
96. Speak To The Sky, Rick Springfield
I have no memory of this.
97. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, Hillside Singers
God, it's here twice?? Have to hire a hitman, then.
98. Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, Love Unlimited
99. Good Foot, Pt. 1, James Brown
Why was everything "Pt. 1" with James? I had an ongoing feud with my music major neighbor, who thought James' output in the 70s beat his 60s stuff. This is no Cold Sweat, Pt. 1. But it's still James.
100. Pop That Thang, Isley Bros.
Nice to end on a high point.

Per Rox I have to pick a favorite? The Staples.

11 comments:

jackd said...

Not to argue musical taste, especially with those who have it, but I really have to make a plea for the Raspberries. I've got a weakness for power pop, of which Go All The Way is a great example. It's also quite possibly the most blatant horny teenager song ever written.

And Doghouse, this exercise could have been much worse. You could have graduated with me in 1978.

Gavin M. said...

Schoolyard interpolation:

Sun Myung Moon,
Everybody knows one,
Sun Myung Moon,
Everybody blows one.

[etc.]

Cynthia said...

Great, Doghouse, now I've got some ear worms that I can't get rid of. Maybe if I sneak into the bedroom and hum the songs into my sleeping husband's ear...Could I be that cruel? Oh, yeah!

Cynthia said...

BTW, did you know that they're called ear worms in German, too? We have a German exchange student and discovered that just this evening.

doghouse riley said...

Yeah, cynthia, I believe the term was appropriated from German.

And jackd, plea accepted. I actually had a comment to the effect that The Raspberries were more than capable but I just didn't like that song. I'm not sure why it got dropped, except at some point I realized I was talking back to every item on the list.

And I've seen the '78 list--that's KathyR's year. The pop side of the ledger is pretty even, I think, but of course R&B was incinerated by that disco inferno.

KathyR said...

I couldn't remember 1/3 of the '78 ones, but I remember all but six of these.

I had the 45 of Alone Again (Naturally). Shut up, I was 11 and pretty geeky.

Tell Poor Wife that Jackson Browne's mother was my high school creative writing teacher.

The Humanity Critic said...

Just passing through, I'm liking the blog by the way.

handdrummer said...

Per the comment about not remembering a lot of the songs, I think that the actual formative years for our musical taste would more likely be age 12-13. Wonder what we'd think of that music now?

Anonymous said...

Dang, that crack at Croce was pretty harsh, Riley.

I can't imagine any year worse than '92--the evidence:

15. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus

as if that isn't bad enough...
Michael Bolton makes two appearances and Amy Grant three.

I wish I were a baby boomer

Brendan said...

I think my year, 1978, was the nadir of pop music. No exaggeration: I cross out the first 40 straight, except for maybe one or two that I'm not sure I remember. The amount of saccharine ballads on this list is not to be believed. I remember hating the radio as a senior in high school, but this really brings back bad memories.

#41 ("Short People," Randy Newman) was an okay novelty song, and deserves not to be crossed out just for how riled up it got the humorless.

I don't get to bold until #62 ("Peg," Steely Dan). This was far from their best, but on this list, it deserves it. Don't see any other bold-worthy until ...

Lookit that, #100 ("Deacon Blues," Steely Dan). I'll give that one an ibid.

Fortunately, punk rock came along and straightened things out shortly thereafter. Well, maybe not on the Top 100, but at least radio stations started having something else to play.

Brendan said...

Oops. Sorry. Didn't see that others had already mentioned 1978. But I guess I was the only one angry enough to go into detail.