Butterflies and Evergreens

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(Pictured: Dolly Parton, 1974.)

Instead of the usual look at the Bottom 60 of the Hot 100 that follows an American Top 40 post, I’m gonna go back to a chart I’ve wanted to revisit for a while: the Cash Box Looking Ahead chart, more-or-less equivalent to Billboard‘s Bubbling Under. Both are fine sources of the sort of obscure records we like around here, but Cash Box often seems to cast a wider net. Here’s some of what was on Looking Ahead during the week of November 2, 1974.

103. “Love Is Like a Butterfly”/Dolly Parton. Dolly hit #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box country charts three times in 1974: “Jolene” in January, “I Will Always Love You” in June, and “Love Is Like a Butterfly” in November. A fourth single with her old partner Porter Wagoner, “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me,” was also #1 during 1974, but only in Billboard.

105. “Voodoo Magic”/Rhodes Kids
124. “Careful Man”/John Edwards
The Rhodes Kids were on the GRC label; John Edwards was on Aware. Both labels were run by one Michael Thevis who, at one time, controlled 40 percent of the legal and black-market pornography market in the United States, an enterprise worth $100 million. (The record labels were legitimate businesses used to launder money; before the whole thing collapsed, GRC would score one gigantic hit: “Chevy Van” by Sammy Johns.) The Rhodes Kids, a seven-member family group discovered by Thevis, claimed to have no knowledge of his porn connections, and to have severed their connections with him when they found out. With and without him, they played Vegas, did TV including American Bandstand, and enjoyed some modest success until the late 70s, when the oldest kids decided to go to college instead. There’s more about the Rhodes Kids here. Edwards was in the Spinners from 1977 to 2000, and he’s on their hit versions of “Working My Way Back to You” and “Cupid.” There’s a good overview of Thevis’ career here.

106. “Please Mr. Postman”/Pat Boone Family. Well knock me over with a feather. There is no reason to believe this version of “Please Mr. Postman” would be any good at all, but it kind of is. It catches more of the Marvelettes’ soul than the Carpenters did.

107. “Walking in the Wind”/Traffic
119. “Train Kept A Rollin'”/Aerosmith
125. “Sally Can’t Dance”/Lou Reed
At this time, Looking Ahead and Bubbling Under were sales charts. (Only later did Billboard start incorporating airplay into its big chart calculations.) These songs were far more likely to be heard by, and be of interest to, album fans than buyers of singles. So just how many 45s of each did the record labels have to move in order to make this chart? It couldn’t have been very many.

110. “He Did Me Wrong, But He Did It Right”/Patti Dahlstrom. As it happens, one of the leading experts on the career of Patti Dahlstrom is part of our little circle of nerds, so I refer you to whiteray at Echoes in the Wind.

112. “Evergreen”/Booker T. In 1974, Stax Records had yet to collapse, but Booker T. Jones was already gone. He moved to California and signed with Epic to release Evergreen, which one website calls “a laid-back roots album . . . far from the greasy soul-funk sound of the MGs.” Nevertheless, the instrumental “Evergreen” has that unmistakable Booker T. feel.

115. “Shoe Shoe Shine”/Dynamic Superiors. “Shoe Shoe Shine” not only appears at #115 on the Looking Ahead chart, it’s also at #99 on the regular Cash Box chart in this same week. (Proofreading and fact-checking are hard, a truth proven again and again over the 16-year history of the website you are reading.) The Dynamic Superiors were a Washington, DC-based group on Motown, fronted by Tony Washington, an openly gay man in a time before such a thing became widely accepted. His story and the story of the group, which is mighty interesting, is here.

122. “Roses Are Red My Love”/Wednesday. This group was big in Canada, where their cover of the death-rock classic “Last Kiss” went to #2. It was #34 in the States (in Billboard), but a smash in Chicago, where WLS charted it at #1 for a week in March 1974. The group went back to the well less successfully with “Teen Angel” that summer. “Roses Are Red My Love,” the old Bobby Vinton hit, was their last shot in America.

123. “My Eyes Adored You”/Frankie Valli. In its first week on the Looking Ahead chart, “My Eyes Adored You” would make #1 in both Cash Box and Billboard in the spring of 1975.

A Little Magic

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(Pictured: I’m always happy to have an excuse to post a picture of Linda Ronstadt.)

Here we are below the Top 40 during the week of September 13, 1980. There’s even more yacht rock and urban cowboy country than there was in the Top 40, along with a few records we have never stopped hearing.

42. “Jojo”/Boz Scaggs
57. “Late at Night”/England Dan Seals
62. “Thunder and Lightning”/Chicago
71. “Leaving L.A.”/Deliverance
88. “If You Should Sail”/Nielsen-Pearson
100. “Steal Away”/Robbie Dupree
105. “Givin’ It All”/Player

More yacht rock, although one might argue whether “Thunder and Lightning” is a little too heavy. I don’t know if the various yacht rock stations streaming or on Sirius/XM play “Late at Night,” “Leaving L.A.,” “If You Should Sail,” or “Givin’ It All,” but how could they not? All sound like perfect examples of the form, to the extent that I care about it.

43. “Make a Little Magic”/Dirt Band
45. “Why Not Me”/Fred Knoblock
“Why Not Me” made Billboard‘s country chart, briefly; “Make a Little Magic” did not, although we played it at KDTH. Knoblock’s next hit, a duet with actress Susan Anton called “Killin’ Time,” would make the country Top 10; in the mid 80s, the Dirt Band, back to its original name of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, would reel off a string of big country hits.

47. “You Better Run”/Pat Benatar
54. “Games Without Frontiers”/Peter Gabriel
55. “Misunderstanding”/Genesis
58. “I Hear You Now”/Jon and Vangelis
73. “Turn It on Again”/Genesis
74. “Tulsa Time”/Eric Clapton
93. “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)”/Paul McCartney and Wings
95. “I Can’t Let Go”/Linda Ronstadt

I spent the summer of 1980 on the night shift at an album-rock station. All of these songs were part of that summer. “Tulsa Time” was a live version. “I Hear You Now” was a record I fell in love with and put on our air, trying to make a hit out of it. It peaked at #58, so I must have helped.

49. “Shining Star”/Manhattans
60. “Whip It”/Devo
67. “Little Jeannie”/Elton John
80. “You Shook Me All Night Long”/AC-DC
Yup, there sure is a lot of stuff here that hasn’t been off the radio in 40 years all right.

41. “Take a Little Rhythm”/Ali Thomson
50. “Midnight Rocks”/Al Stewart
Do they let Brits on the boat? I’m inclined to say yes to “Take a Little Rhythm” for its white-guy-dancing vibe, and no to Al Stewart, who is sailing in a different direction entirely.

65. “This Beat Goes On”-“Switchin’ to Glide”/The Kings
101. “Turning Japanese”/The Vapors
If you came in for your show at the college radio station and the person before you had recently played one or the other of these, you might just break format and play ’em anyway. I wrote about “Beat/Glide” in the fall of 2008. The next spring, out of the blue, I got an e-mail from John Picard of the Kings (also known as Mister Zero), and our correspondence turned into a lengthy e-mail interview. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done at this website, and if you want to read the whole thing, all four parts are here: 1234.

51. “The Legend of Wooley Swamp”/Charlie Daniels Band
52. “I’m Almost Ready”/Pure Prairie League
79. “Don’t Misunderstand Me”/Rossington Collins Band
85. “Under the Gun”/Poco
90. “Angeline”/Allman Brothers Band
110. “Longshot”/Henry Paul Band
By 1980, the terms “country rock” and “Southern rock” were ceasing to mean much. Beyond some lead singers with strong Southern accents, there’s not much country or Southern about any of these. I would remind you that “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” is one of the world’s worst songs; the 1980 edition of Pure Prairie League featured Vince Gill on vocals; the Rossington Collins Band was a successor to Lynyrd Skynryd and the most-hyped band of the summer, at least on album-rock radio, where new wave had little impact; Henry Paul had been in the Outlaws during “Green Grass and High Tides” days.

69. “On the Road Again”/Willie Nelson
72. “Could I Have This Dance”/Anne Murray
87. “True Love Ways”/Mickey Gilley
91. “Stand By Me”/Mickey Gilley
97. “Theme From ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ (Good Ole Boys)”/Waylon Jennings
106. “I Believe in You”/Don Williams
The movie Urban Cowboy made pop country trendy in the summer of 1980. Gilley’s two hits had already gone #1 country (and “Stand By Me” had made #22 on the Hot 100); the other four would all make #1 country in the next couple of months.

94. “The Breaks”/Kurtis Blow. Earthquakes start deep below the surface. “The Breaks” would peak at #84, but as the first rap record to be certified gold, its influence would be felt for decades, and down unto the present day.

Hold On

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(Pictured: San Francisco band the Sons of Champlin, best known back in the day among readers of music magazines and browsers of the cutout bins.)

Mid-August 1976 was a busy time in the life of 16-year-old me. My family took a short trip, an overnight in Chicago and then a day at the Wisconsin State Fair in suburban Milwaukee. We got home and watched Gerald Ford hold off Ronald Reagan to win the Republican presidential nomination (because it was all there was to watch in the days of three-channel universe). And I listened to the radio as much as I could before I wouldn’t be able to listen to it as much—we’d go back to school on August 25, nearly two weeks before Labor Day.

Here are some of the songs outside the Top 40 during the week of August 7, 1976.

41. “Getaway/Earth Wind and Fire
42. “Devil Woman”/Cliff Richard
46. “With Your Love”/Jefferson Starship

51. “Still the One”/Orleans
73. “Magic Man”/Heart
74. “Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”/Alan Parsons Project

75. “I Never Cry”/Alice Cooper
83. “Don’t Fear the Reaper”/Blue Oyster Cult
Some of the songs that will take us through autumn and into the winter are already in the Top 40 this week. Some of the rest are lining up outside.

48. “Hold On”/Sons of Champlin. Bill Champlin was a member of Chicago from 1981 until 2009, but he also led this band, formed in mid-60s San Francisco. The Sons of Champlin released their first album in 1969. They split up in 1977 before a new millennium reunion starting in 1997. They were planning another reunion show for this past April, which I presume did not actually happen. “Hold On” is one of two Sons singles to make the Hot 100. It peaked at #47.

54. “Ten Percent”/Double Exposure. Double Exposure was a group of Philadelphia journeymen who signed with the Salsoul label in 1975. Although it was not a big radio hit (#54 Hot 100, #63 R&B), “Ten Percent” is nevertheless an important record in the history of disco as one of the first (if not the first) commercially available 12-inch single, and for its groundbreaking nine-minute remix, which helped it reach #2 on Billboard‘s dance chart. It’s a safe bet that some of the musicians on “Ten Percent” are on many other famous Philly soul joints.

70. “Light Up the World With Sunshine”/Hamilton, Joe Frank and Dennison. Poor old Alan Dennison finally got his name on the marquee after replacing Tommy Reynolds and singing without glory on the #1 hit “Falling in Love” and the group’s 1976 hit “Winners and Losers,” which we recommend you listen to whenever possible.

79. “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”/The Deadly Nightshade. Early in 1976, the Deadly Nightshade, a three-woman country rock and bluegrass group, was doing a live radio performance and waiting for guitarist Anne Bowen to change a broken string. To fill time, bassist Pamela Brandt started riffing that that their next record would be a disco version of the theme from the soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which was a national rage at the moment. The audience response was so positive that the band joked to their manager that they should actually do it. But he took it to RCA Records and the label bit, so now the Deadly Nightshade had to write it for real (although they were forced to sign away their songwriting credit). Jazz player Mike Mainieri, a friend of the band, offered to produce, and he rounded up some major New York studio cats to play on it. Brandt says, “And there we were with our washboard.” Whole story here, song here.

87. “Popsicle Toes”/Michael Franks. I first learned about Michael Franks and his slyly swinging “Popsicle Toes” from a Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders compilation. These sets contained big stars and hits as well as new music by lesser-known artists, were sold exclusively by mail, and generally cost two bucks apiece. (From this list of 35, I count 10 in my collection.) “Popsicle Toes” is from Franks’ first Warner/Reprise album, The Art of Tea. “Popsicle Toes” is his lone Hot 100 hit, although “Your Secret’s Safe With Me” was #4 on the AC chart in 1985.

102. “Rose of Cimarron”/Poco
105. “I Don’t Want to Go Home”/Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
106. “Cherry Bomb”/Runaways
110. “Did You Boogie”/Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids
Behold the glorious variety of pop music in the summer of 1976. “Rose of Cimarron” is an forgotten gem that would jump into the Hot 1oo the next week and then fall right back out again. “I Don’t Want to Go Home” is the title song from the Jukes’ first album. “Cherry Bomb” looks toward rock’s future; “Did You Boogie,” which features the voice of Wolfman Jack, throws back to its past.

And So It Goes

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(Pictured: Linda Ronstadt with Aaron Neville, 1990.)

I was a bit surprised by my visceral negative reaction to the hits from August 4, 1990, earlier this week, although it fits with a half-assed theory of mine. It has always seemed to me that by 1990, pop culture had grown more tolerant of vulgarity than ever before. The change wasn’t evolution as much as a distinct click of the ratchet. All of a sudden, 2 Live Crew is acceptable for radio play; “Tic Tac Toe” refers to girls with “their legs across my shoulders” and brags about “making the bed squeak”; “Poison” is about a girl the singers have gang-banged; “Hanky Panky” is explicitly about rough sex. And it’s not just on the radio: Andrew Dice Clay (see below) becomes a star, and Married With Children obsesses over bodily functions. It would take somebody smarter than me to elucidate precisely why it happened when it did and what it meant.

So here’s some of the Bottom 60, with an asterisk.

49. “Do You Remember”/Phil Collins
62. “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven”/Phil Collins

In the mid-80s, I was in Top 40 radio when the Phil Collins album No Jacket Required produced four giant singles and stayed on the air for a solid year. The album . . . But Seriously (sweet mama I hate that ellipsis) seemed just as big when I got into AC radio in 1990. There were five singles and we played ’em all. The only one I care to hear now, however, is “Do You Remember.”

53. “Oh Girl”/Paul Young. The summer of 1990 was a good one for whoever was collecting royalties on the Chi-Lites’ catalog, between MC Hammer’s “Have You Seen Her” and this faithful “Oh Girl.”

69. “Club at the End of the Street”/Elton John. Elton’s album Sleeping With the Past is a tribute to 60s soul. It produced three solid singles, “Healing Hands,” “Sacrifice,” and this, which, if it’s remembered at all, may be for its animated video.

Now, the asterisk: that’s all I could manage to care about from the Hot 100. So I went over to the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart for the same week, where I found more stuff I was actually playing on the radio in the summer of 1990. (Positions are from the AC chart.)

5. “Take It to Heart”/Michael McDonald
21. “Skies the Limit”/Fleetwood Mac

As I wrote earlier this year, the pop and adult-contemporary charts tracked each other pretty closely for the better part of 20 years, until they didn’t anymore. “Take It to Heart” had made #98 on the Hot 100 in June during a two-week run on the Hot 100. “Skies the Limit” never made it at all.

20. “And So It Goes”/Billy Joel.  According to Wikipedia (so who the hell knows), “And So It Goes” is written in iambic tetrameter, and it has only a couple of rhyming lines. It is also a momentum-killer on the radio. It did not make the Hot 100 until October and got to #37.

29. “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby”/Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
41. “Adios”/Linda Ronstadt
Although she didn’t do much big Top 40 business after 1982, Linda remained a major hitmaker throughout the 80s, thanks to her standards albums with Nelson Riddle and the Trio albums with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind contained her last two big singles, “Don’t Know Much” and “All My Life,” plus the two songs mentioned here. Her career was not over in 1990, however. She would make eight (!) more solo albums, her last one coming in 2004.

34. “Sea Cruise”/Dion. In the pop-culture swamp that was 1990, Andrew Dice Clay’s vile, unfunny stand-up act and repulsive Brooklyn dude-bro persona didn’t stop him from becoming a star. He played the title character in 1990’s Golden Raspberry Worst Picture winner The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, the soundtrack of which contained Dion’s version of “Sea Cruise.” It did not make the Hot 100.

(Digression: Dion, who turned 81 last month, released a new album earlier this summer called Blues With Friends. The friends include Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, and Sonny Landreth. I haven’t heard all of it, but what I have heard is terrific.)

I had started working for an AC station in little Clinton, Iowa, in early 1990, because they had a job open and I needed one. I don’t regret taking the job, or the nearly four years I spent there. What I do regret is the tendency I had back then to let things happen to me instead of making them happen. But I’m not getting into that any further today.

Hot Stuff and Good Vibrations

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(Pictured: Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin on stage in 1976.)

Having spent two posts on the American Top 40 show from July 17, 1976, it’s time to look at the Bottom 60 songs on the Hot 100 for that date. But here’s a spoiler alert before we begin. I mentioned last week that there were two summer-of-76 shows missing from my collection that I have now acquired. One was the July 17 show; the other is the show dated August 7, only three weeks later. I’ll be writing about that show during the first part of August. To keep from repeating myself any more than I already do, I’ve chosen to write about Bottom 60 songs from the July 17 chart that won’t be on the August 7 show.

41. “Framed”/Cheech and Chong. These gentlemen made the Billboard Top 40 three times with “Basketball Jones,” “Sister Mary Elephant,” and “Earache My Eye,” and they just missed at #41 two other times. “Framed” is technically a cover of the Leiber and Stoller song of the same name, but with some new lyrics. As Kurt Blumenau discovered, “Framed” was #1 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for the week of July 17. (Their other single to peak at #41 was “Bloat On,” their parody of the Floaters’ “Float On,” early in 1978.)

49. “Hot Stuff”-“Fool to Cry”/Rolling Stones. During the week of June 19, this record, then listed as “Fool to Cry”-“Hot Stuff” sat at #21 on the Hot 100. The next week, listed as “Hot Stuff”-“Fool to Cry,” it fell to #63. From there, it began climbing again, going to #59 and #53 before hitting #49 in this week. Next week, it will fall to #96, then bounce to #89, and be gone entirely from the chart dated August 7, 1976.

51. “Roots, Rock, Reggae”/Bob Marley and the Wailers. Marley’s album Rastaman Vibration was an enormous hit in 1976, going to #8 on the Billboard album chart. “Roots, Rock, Reggae” would spend three of its six weeks on the Hot 100 at #51.

58. “Good Vibrations”/Todd Rundgren.  As remarkable as it was to have the Beach Boys (“Rock and Roll Music”) and Beatles (“Got to Get You Into My Life”) back in the Top 40 during the summer of 1976,  “Good Vibrations” was there too, for three weeks. Rundgren’s album Faithful was intended as a tribute to 60s rock, but the covers on the first side are not covers as much as they are note-for-note recreations of songs by the Beach Boys, Beatles, Yardbirds, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix.

74. “Hell Cat”/Bellamy Brothers
78. “Gotta Be the One”/Maxine Nightingale
These two artists had ridden the Top 40 together to #1 and #2 back in the spring with “Let Your Love Flow” and “Right Back Where We Started From,” but neither’s followup had the power to do it again. It would be 1979 before either act got back into the pop Top 40.

88. “Ode to Billie Joe”/Bobbie Gentry. The 1967 hit was in its first week back on the charts on July 17, 1976, thanks to the success of a theatrical movie based on it. A new recording of the old song, also by Gentry, would chart in two weeks.

91. “Hey Shirley (This Is Squirrely)”/Shirley and Squirrely. Over the years, I have written about several records inspired by the CB craze. I have always forgotten to mention “Hey Shirley,” but that’s OK because it’s awful. (America’s thirst for speeded-up rodent voices once seemed inexhaustible.) “Hey Shirley” made #28 on the country chart in a five-week run and #48 on the Hot 100.

93. “You to Me Are Everything”/The Real Thing
94. “You to Me Are Everything”/Broadway
The Real Thing version of “You to Me Are Everything” was a #1 hit in the UK in June 1976 and it’s fantastic, but its impact in the States was blunted by competing versions. And it wasn’t just the group Broadway to do it. On July 31, 1976, a third version of “You to Me Are Everything” would chart, by a group called Revelation, produced by Freddie Perrin and sounding almost exactly like the Real Thing’s recording. The Real Thing would get to #64; Broadway would peak at #86 and Revelation at #98.

Programming Note: This would, in a normal year, be opening day of the Green County Fair in my hometown of Monroe, Wisconsin. I did a podcast episode earlier this year about the fair and the farm I grew up on. It was accidentally yanked from Soundcloud a while back, but I’ve reposted it today. If you didn’t hear it then, you can listen now, at that link or at the usual spots. 

End of the Line

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(Pictured: Charlie T. and Lucky Wilbury.)

After listening to the Shadoe Stevens-hosted American Top 40 show from April 8, 1989, it’s now time to see what was outside the Top 40 in that same week.

42. “Soldier of Love”/Donny Osmond. I am not sure anybody foresaw the 1989 Donny Osmond comeback; he hadn’t charted since 1977, and he hadn’t made the Top 10 since “The Twelfth of Never” in 1973. But “Soldier of Love” would go all the way to #2 on the Hot 100. The video, featuring leather-clad, lip-curling Donny intercut with hot babes dancing, is most of the 80s in four minutes.

47. “Wind Beneath My Wings”/Bette Midler. This song was hugely popular for several years after its 1989 run to #1, a period during which The Mrs. and I were wedding-reception DJs. We enjoyed it a lot; the guy who owned the equipment did the setting-up and the tearing-down, so all we had to do was show up and run the party. I felt like we were pretty good at it; my radio background made me conscious of the need to actually put on a show, instead of just segueing songs one after the other, which is what I often hear when I’m attending a DJ’d party today. But back in that day, “Wind Beneath My Wings” was a popular choice for father/daughter dances, during which Dad, reared on sock-hop music from the 60s and 70s, tried to sway along with his girl at a tempo too lugubrious for dancing. Bette’s version is the most famous, but neither the first nor the best; it should not surprise you that Lou Rawls did it very well.

54. “Let the River Run”/Carly Simon. In the early 00s, the software company I worked for adopted “Let the River Run” as some kind of anthem, and I believe they even paid Carly Simon to appear at a corporate event, or in videos, or something. I don’t remember the details. By the time that happened, I had ceased to care about anything that wasn’t my immediate responsibility, and very little about much of that.

58. “Hearts on Fire”/Steve Winwood. The Roll With It album hit #1 in the States, and the title song was a #1 single. But apart from “Roll With It” and “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do,” the rest of the album is a blur. The songs all sound pretty much the same to me, and whenever it pops up on shuffle, I’m usually ready for it to be over long before it’s over.

62. “It’s Only Love”/Simply Red. This band’s American singles discography is feast-or-famine. They hit the Hot 100 seven times betwen 1986 and 1992. Two of those went to #1: “Holding Back the Years” in 1986 and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” in 1989. Three other singles stalled in the 20s, and two, including “It’s Only Love,” missed the Top 40 altogether.

87. “Come Out Fighting”/Easterhouse. This band had some success in England, but by the time “Come Out Fighting” was released in the States, its original lineup was down to the lead singer alone. The song would spend four weeks on the chart, peaking at #84 despite being pretty good.

88. “Baby Baby”/Eighth Wonder. This British group was more successful in continental Europe and Japan than in either their homeland or the United States. “Cross My Heart” had run to #56 in 16 weeks on the Hot 100 earlier in 1989; “Baby Baby” would peak at #84. Both of them sound more like Madonna than Madonna.

91. “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”/Figures on a Beach. I was today years old when I learned about the existence of this cover of the Bachman-Turner Overdrive original. I think I was a marginally happier person when I didn’t know about it.

95. “End of the Line”/Traveling Wilburys. This and Roy Orbison’s “You Got It” up at #12 are outliers on this chart, throwing back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll and the stars who built it. The balance of the hits of April 8, 1989, put a listener in 2020 much more in mind of pop music’s future than its past. I didn’t hear most of it at the time it was popular. I would learn about it in retrospect when I got out of elevator music and back into mainstream adult contemporary in 1990, but I didn’t love much of it.