Slightly Drunk Guy joins the program from June 26, 1976, somewhere in the second hour.
24. “If You Know What I Mean”/Neil Diamond.
Here’s to the songs we used to sing
Here’s to the times we used to know
It’s hard to hold them in our arms again but
Hard to let them go
HELL YEAH MAN SING IT
23. “Get Closer”/Seals and Crofts. Slightly Drunk Guy (hereinafter SDG) remembers hearing this song a few years back on some perfect summer day and feeling like the portal that could take him back to 1976 was very close, but he couldn’t find it. Would he have walked through it without a moment’s thought or a second’s regret? Was Lincoln a car?
22. “You’re My Best Friend”/Queen. SDG finds himself compelled to admit that there are only like six Queen songs that leave any impression on him, and they’re almost all on A Night at the Opera.
21. “Shannon”/Henry Gross. DAMN this is cheesy, but SDG is from Wisconsin, and his father fed, clothed, and educated him as a youth with a herd of dairy cows whose milk went for cheese. 10/10 can handle.
20. “The Boys Are Back in Town”/Thin Lizzy.
19. ”Rock and Roll Music”/Beach Boys. Casey says this is the biggest mover of the week, up from #40 last week, but then he says it’s up 19 from last week. It seems to SDG that 40 to 19 is 21 spots, but he won’t vouch for his math skills sober, either.
18. “Got to Get You Into My Life”/Beatles. The Beach Boys and Beatles back to back, how the 60s sounded on Top 40 radio in real time, and SDG is HERE FOR IT.
17. “Take the Money and Run”/Steve Miller Band. SDG tips his hat to a long-ago colleague at a classic rock station who once teased the story of Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue thusly: “Coming up next, two kids with four names and plenty of cash for their road trip.” Has stolen for use on his radio show before, will steal again.
16. “Moonlight Feels Right”/Starbuck. SDG has a big stupid smile on his face because this record makes him happy, although there’s another feeling behind it also, a thing he’s written about before, the way certain songs let you see your life whole, everything that was, everything that is, and everything that is going to be. We never know what songs are going to do it.
Slightly Drunk Guy goes to the bathroom and then to the kitchen and gets distracted on the way back.
10. “Kiss and Say Goodbye”/Manhattans. SDG’s falsetto cannot break glass, but it scares the cat.
9. “I’ll Be Good to You”/Brothers Johnson. SDG loves this song but hates the 45 edit with the fire of a thousand suns. Album version or GTFO.
8. “Love Hangover”/Diana Ross
7. “Afternoon Delight”/Starland Vocal Band
6. “More More More”/Andrea True Connection
SDG notices that in this stretch of the countdown, lots of people are having sex, and he further notices that he is not one of them.
The cat that fled the room five songs ago can now be heard throwing up somewhere in the house. Slightly Drunk Guy goes to investigate.
3. “Misty Blue”/Dorothy Moore. SDG is sober enough to be knocked sideways by the emotion Dorothy Moore puts into the first line: “Oh, it’s . . . been such a long long time.” There’s a flash of pain in that “oh,” and that pause says a lot without saying anything at all.
2. “Get Up and Boogie”/Silver Convention. SDG refers you to his comment on “Shannon.”
1. “Silly Love Songs”/Paul McCartney and Wings. Those who know him well will tell you that of the many types of drunks in this world (belligerent, weepy, etc.), SDG is a happy drunk. And so he merrily bops along to this, as he has done many times over these many years since 1976. He has several friends who think it’s a bad song, but he resolves to keep liking them nevertheless, in spite of their wrongness.
7 thoughts on “A Slightly Drunk Guy Listens to American Top 40”
You need to drink more beer. (You can consider that an order if you’ve been looking for one.)
A very enjoyable read, SDG. I like your style. And what you wrote about the first line of “Misty Blue” is bang on.
Hating “with the fire of a thousand suns.” My new favorite phrase.
You can take yer danged suns and put ’em where the earth don’t shine, cuz I love the 45 edit. Mostly because there were two of ’em: the original mix that had a lot of interesting stuff going on underneath, then the one that took out all of that “busy-ness” and neutered it. Some crank from ‘sconsin must’ve complained about the first one, so Herb and Jerry panicked, swore off cheddar forever, and now look: the gummint has one point three nine billion lubs of the stuff warehoused. Take one of yer thousand suns, shine it on the surplus and voila: cheese Fondue Lac. 999 suns left on the wall, 999 suns to go-o-o…
I’m not necessarily condoning excessive drinking, but I love this concept. Great post. Feel free to make the sacrifice of doing it again sometime.
There was a great Steve Miller interview where he said Capitol was reluctant to let “Take the Money and Run” stand as is, with the couple getting away but let the “Joker, smoker, midnight toker” go without alteration. And of course “funky kicks….”
The late, great Greg Shaw of Bomp magazine made that the comment that Queen’s “YMBF” sounded like a lost Partridge Family record.
Not sure if the comment was aimed towards the Beach Boys’ “Rock and Roll Music” but a scribe once wrote in a review that you could hear ferns turning into coal in the background. That’s how the record sounds to me.
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