Top 5: All Those Years Ago

(Before we begin: This feature is appearing one day early because this blog is going on hiatus. After this one, there will be no new posts here until Tuesday July 7 at the earliest, and next week is liable to be a little light on new material as well. Go play outside.)

Since at least one of you liked the quick Top 5 format from two weeks ago, here it is again. Let’s do some charts from 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 years ago this time.

Cash Box, week of July 1, 1995:
1. “Have You Every Really Loved a Woman”/Bryan Adams
2. “Water Runs Dry”/Boyz II Men
3. “Total Eclipse of the Heart”/Nikki French
4. “Scream”-“Childhood”/Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson-Michael Jackson (double-A sided single)
5. “Waterfalls”/TLC

Comment: The strangest story I heard in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death was this: The afternoon he died, fans started putting flowers and other tributes on what they thought was his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Except it was the star of Los Angeles talk-radio host Michael Jackson. The King of Pop’s star, elsewhere on Hollywood Boulevard, was covered by a red carpet for a movie premiere.

Cash Box, week of July 2, 1988:
1. “Dirty Diana”/Michael Jackson
2. “Foolish Beat”/Debbie Gibson
3. “The Flame”/Cheap Trick
4. “Make it Real”/Jets
5. “The Valley Road”/Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Comment: I got my CD player for Christmas in 1987. Most of the CDs I bought at first were back-catalog albums. Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s Scenes From the Southside may have been the first current-hit CD I ever bought.

WLS/Chicago, week of June 27, 1981:
1. “Bette Davis Eyes”/Kim Carnes
2. “Stars on 45 (Medley)”/Stars on 45
3. “All Those Years Ago”/George Harrison
4. “I Love You”/Climax Blues Band
5. “Tom Sawyer”/Rush

Comment: I like “I Love You.” Sue me. It’s pretty cool seeing “Tom Sawyer” here, and it was extremely cool hearing it on AM radio. And “All Those Years Ago,” coming only a few months after John Lennon’s murder, was a bittersweet interlude every time it came on.

WHYN, Springfield, MA, week of June 28, 1974:
1. “Sundown”/Gordon Lightfoot
2. “Billy Don’t Be a Hero”/Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods
3. “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)”/Olivia Newton-John
4. “You Make Me Feel Brand New”/Stylistics
5. “Rock the Boat”/Hues Corporation

Comment: Over at Shhh/Peaceful, Kinky Paprika covered June of 1974 not long ago while breaking down an old American Top 40 broadcast, and I don’t have much to add, except to say that “You Make Me Feel Brand New” is one of the great love songs ever recorded—although it almost never saw the light of day. (Begin Casey Kasem voice.) Producer/co-writer Thom Bell thought that the words “God bless you” were inappropriate for a pop song, and wanted collaborator Linda Creed to change the lines, “God bless you/You make me feel brand new.”  She wouldn’t, and the result was an enormous hit.

Now, on with the countdown.

WLOF/Orlando, week of June 24, 1967:
1. “Step Out of Your Mind”/American Breed
2. “Try It”/Standells
3. “The Airplane Song”/Royal Guardsmen
4. “Brown Eyed Girl”/Van Morrison
5. “Society’s Child”/Janis Ian

Comment: We’ve noted the adventuresome playlists at WLOF before (although we haven’t heard from its onetime music director Bill Vermillion in a while), and the top of this one is vastly different from the rest of the country during this particular week of the Summer of Love. “Step Out of Your Mind” was the American Breed before the more famous “Bend Me Shape Me”; the Standells had scored with “Dirty Water” in 1966, and “Try It” sounds pretty good, too. “The Airplane Song”  was probably better if you were stoned, and in 1967, many were.

“Step Out of Your Mind”/American Breed (out of print)
“The Airplane Song”/Royal Guardsmen (buy it here)

2 thoughts on “Top 5: All Those Years Ago

  1. Shark

    The remake of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Nikki French was 14 years ago? Wonderful….now, some other lame American Idol wannabe will think it’s about time to record yet another re-make of that song.

  2. Mikelj3

    Your last 4 or 5 posts have been great! The last 2 are items I totally forgot about but was elated to run across again. As usual, your work and site is excellent & the writing brings me back to the daze I did radio… Thanks!

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