Top 40 of Summer ’76: Got to Get You Into My Life

On with the countdown of the 40 most memorable records from your blogger’s favorite summer, the summer of 1976. (Last week’s list, 40 through 31, is here.)

30. “You Should Be Dancing”/Bee Gees. It’s rarely noted, but the Bee Gees’ band was mighty good, and they rarely sounded better than on this record, which was a warning to the world that the eventual kings of disco were going to be three white guys from Australia. (Chart peak: #1, September 4)

29. “Get Up and Boogie”/Silver Convention.
Just as many words in the lyric as “Fly Robin Fly”–six–but not nearly as charming. Nevertheless, the cold opening shout of “That’s right!” got your attention every time the radio played it. (#2, June 12)

28. “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)”/Parliament.
An extremely deep groove by the standards of this weightless summer, and to a white boy from Wisconsin, about as exotic as R&B ever got. (#15, July 31)

27. “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel”/Tavares. Precisely the opposite of “Give Up the Funk,” this is a heap of cotton candy–but lots of people adore cotton candy. (#15, September 4)

26. “The Boys Are Back in Town”/Thin Lizzy. Precisely the opposite of nearly everything on this list. It’s got one of the great opening riffs you’ll ever hear, and a great lyric about the cameraderie of guys out looking for either fun or trouble, and it didn’t matter which came first. (#12, July 24)

25. “If You Know What I Mean”/Neil Diamond. This record sounds just great. There’s dramatic music crashing all over the place as Diamond croaks out portentiously philosophical lyrics in a voice roughened by whiskey and smokes. What the hell it means, I have no idea. (#11, August 7)

24. “Rhiannon”/Fleetwood Mac. Nearly everybody in the Mac gets their moment in the spotlight on this–Lindsey’s ghostly guitar, Mick’s thundering drums, John McVie’s bottomless bass, and Stevie’s mysterious wail. Evidence that while Rumours was bigger, Fleetwood Mac was their true masterwork. (#11, June 5)

23. “Let Her In”/John Travolta. There was no way we were escaping this, not in the biggest year ever for TV stars making records, especially not after Travolta became the biggest TV star of all. The record sounds like they worked on it all day and finally decided it wasn’t going to get any better, so they might as well all go home. (#10, July 24)

22. “This Masquerade”/George Benson.
This summer had everything–including a jazz album going to Number One for the first time in ages. (Breezin’ was more fusion than straight jazz even then, however, and is right out of smooth-jazz purgatory now.) As for “This Masquerade,” in the summer of 1976 it had been a long time since anything so elegant had become a significant hit. (#10, August 28)

21. “Got to Get You Into My Life”/Beatles. One of the best-sounding radio records of the summer because those horns could blast through anything. This was the first single from the Rock and Roll Music rerelease package, and you might think its success proved how much the summer of 1976 needed some really good music. I say its success proved how damn good “Got to Get You Into My Life” was (and is), and that Capitol missed the boat by not releasing it 10 years earlier. (#7, July 24)

Coming next Friday: Numbers 20 through 11. It won’t be R&B nirvana, but it’ll be close.

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