Category Archives: Record Charts

Get the 45

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At some point during April 1975, I kissed a girl for the first time. As I wrote in 2010, “It was not a hormonally driven assault on a somewhat-willing target; it was, in fact, as magical as you’d like your first kiss to be.” I hope it’s because my memory is full and not failing, but the American Top 40 show from April 12, 1975, doesn’t bring that time back quite as vividly as I’d like it to. But memories aside, there was some interesting stuff on the show.

39. “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You”/Sugarloaf
38. “Autobahn”/Kraftwerk
There has never been anything else that sounds quite like either one of these records.

31. “Tangled Up in Blue”/Bob Dylan
30. “Stand by Me”/John Lennon
Not bad, 1975. Not bad at all. The speedy wordplay of “Tangled Up in Blue” is a little incongruous amidst the pop tunes, but the record always sounds good no matter when you hear it. Meanwhile, Lennon sounds desperate for connection and support, which at the time he recorded “Stand by Me,” he might have been.

25. “The Bertha Butt Boogie (Part 1)”/Jimmy Castor Bunch. Me, 2015: “To make sense of “The Bertha Butt Boogie,” it helps to know a little about the universe Jimmy Castor created on his earlier records, lest his references to the Butt Sisters, Leroy, and the Troglodyte leave you baffled. Or you can just surrender to the absolutely ferocious groove and not worry about it.”

23. “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)”/Tony Orlando and Dawn. This is a remake of Jerry Butler’s “He Will Break Your Heart,” renamed, Casey says, because producer Hank Medress kept calling it “He Don’t Love You” and finally got permission from the publisher to change it. I have a theory that certain songs are helped by the time of the year in which they appear; this would have felt different had it hit in a season other than springtime. And I love the way it starts—so much so that on the radio, I won’t talk over the first five seconds of it.

22. “Satin Soul”/Love Unlimited Orchestra. ABC Sports used “Satin Soul” as a theme for its golf coverage back in the middle of the 70s. One fine night in college, a couple of us used it on a fake golf broadcast we made up, in which various classmates were playing in a tournament and having various misadventures on the course. That tape must be out there somewhere, although I don’t think I have it.

14. “Before the Next Teardrop Falls”/Freddy Fender. This song, which had gone #1 country in March, would spend three weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 in May before hitting #1 at the end of the month, and somebody smarter than me will have to explain its crossover appeal.

13. “Harry Truman”/Chicago. Casey tells the story of President Truman’s 1950 dust-up with a music critic who panned a public performance by Truman’s daughter, and quotes from the letter Truman wrote to the critic as “Someday I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, and a lot of beefsteak for black eyes.” Casey leaves off the last part of that sentence, however: “and perhaps a supporter below!”

12. “Supernatural Thing (Part 1)”/Ben E. King. Introducing King’s first big chart hit since 1963, Casey says it’s one of four “comeback records” this week, but doesn’t elaborate. So let me guess on the other three. Two of the comeback artists must be Frankie Valli (“My Eyes Adored You” #27), who hadn’t been in the Top 40 since 1967, and Shirley and Company (“Shame Shame Shame,” #35); as part of Shirley and Lee, Shirley Goodman hit big in 1956 with “Let the Good Times Roll.” Best candidate for the third one is B. J. Thomas ( “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” #6), who had been absent from the Top 40 since 1972.

3. “The No No Song”-“Snookeroo”/Ringo Starr. “The No No Song” is pretty much what people expected from the funny Beatle by this time. Why “Snookeroo” took off as the flipside, I don’t know. Squeamishness about playing the A-side, which mentions marijuana and cocaine? “Snookeroo” was custom-written for Ringo by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, with Elton on piano and doing the opening count-off, but there’s absolutely nothing to it.

1. “Philadelphia Freedom”/Elton John. The chart action on “Philadelphia Freedom” is pretty interesting. It went 53-35-11-3-2 before its two weeks at #1 in April. Then it went 2-4-7-11-15 before returning to the Top 10 for two weeks in June, about the time the Captain Fantastic album came out. Maybe that’s because it wasn’t on the album, and people discovered that if they wanted it, they had to go get the 45.

Tell the Story of How Great a Love Can Be

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(Pictured: Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, stars of Love Story.)

Honk if you remember how big a deal Love Story was.

The novel, by Erich Segal, hit the top of the New York Times Fiction Bestsellers List in May 1970 and stayed there for 41 straight weeks, into February 1971. Just before Christmas 1970 came the film adaptation of the novel, starring Ali MacGraw as Jenny and Ryan O’Neil as Oliver, with a screenplay by Segal. It topped the grosses for 11 non-consecutive weeks from December to March and got seven Oscar nominations: three for acting, one each for direction, screenplay, and score, and for Best Picture. And in early 1971, the movie’s theme song was inescapable. Four different versions charted on either the Hot 100 or the Bubbling Under chart.

—The first to hit was Henry Mancini’s version, which made the Easy Listening chart on December 19, bubbled under the Hot 100 on 12/26/70 and 1/2/71, and cracked the big chart on January 9, 1971.

—Francis Lai, who had scored the movie, charted with his version of the theme on January 30.

—Andy Williams charted a vocal version of the theme, officially titled “Where Do I Begin,” on February 6.

—Tony Bennett bubbled under the Hot 100 for five weeks in February and March, never getting above #114.

Mancini’s version made the Top 40 on February 6. It climbed swiftly, from #30 in its first week to #21, then #14 for the week of February 27. In that same week, the Francis Lai and Andy Williams versions both cracked the Top 40 for the first time, at #33 and #35 respectively. The three versions rode the Top 40 together for four weeks in all, through the week of March 20.

How did American Top 40 handle this glut of Love Story themes? As it happens, I have the February 27 show in my archives. Introducing Andy Williams, Casey says, “Here’s the first vocal of a song to hit the Top 40 that’s a hit in three different versions. We got two more to go.” Moments later, he introduces Francis Lai, also debuting that week, by saying, “We’ve already heard one version of ‘Theme from Love Story.’ Here’s the second of three versions.” Later on Casey says, “The countdown continues with the third version we’ve heard today of the song from the motion picture Love Story. First, it was Andy Williams with the new vocal version. Then Francis Lai with the soundtrack from the picture. And now here’s Henry Mancini with his arrangement of that same theme.” I also have the March 13 show, and Casey played all three versions on that show too. Based on the cue sheets from the shows, I’m pretty sure he did the same on March 6 and March 20.

According to listings at ARSA, other versions of the Love Story theme got some airplay, including versions by Roger Williams, Peter Nero, and, inevitably, the Ray Conniff Singers. Roy Clark performed a version that’s not very country, and Eddie Holman did an R&B version. I would really like to hear “(The Answer) To a Love Story” by a group called Brand X, which got a one-line mention in Billboard and two weeks of airplay at WAVZ in New Haven, Connecticut, in June of ’71, but the Internet knows nothing apart from those two factoids.

The final Billboard scoreboard: Andy Williams topped out at #9, Mancini at #13, and Lai at #31. America reached peak Love Story during the week of March 20, when both Williams and Mancini were in the pop Top 20, and Williams spent the first of four non-consecutive weeks at #1 Easy Listening. (Mancini peaked at #2 on Easy Listening, Lai at #21.)

Unless I’m missing something (which is always a possibility), I believe it would be 1977 before multiple versions of the same movie theme again charted so high together. For three weeks in May, three versions of “Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky, by Bill Conti, Maynard Ferguson, and Rhythm Heritage, were on the Hot 100 at the same time; in June, Conti and Ferguson would run the Top 30 together. In September, two versions of the Star Wars theme, the disco version by Meco and the main title by John Williams, were in the Top 20 at the same time. In February 1978, the same two artists put themes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind into the Top 30 at the same time.

There have been other instances of multiple versions of the same song running the charts at the same time, especially in the 50s and 60s, but you don’t want to read a 2,000-word post today and I don’t especially want to write it. So we’ll deal with that another time.

Over the Line

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(Pictured: Sammi Smith sings with Johnny Cash, 1971.)

I have written a fair amount about the spring of 1971 at this blog, and I was glad to revisit recently it via the American Top 40 show from April 10, 1971.

38. “Friends”/Elton John. This is one of five debut songs on the show, one of which, Casey teases, is way up at #15.  “Friends,” the beautiful title song for an obscure film, was the followup to “Your Song” and would get only to #34.

(The other debuts besides the one at #15: John Lennon’s “Power to the People” at #40, “Chick-a-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop at #39, and Dawn’s “I Play and Sing” at #30.)

Special: “My Way”/Frank Sinatra. Casey mentions Sinatra’s then-recent announcement that he intended to retire, and he plays this as a tribute. As you read earlier in the week, “My Way” was written after Sinatra told lyricist Paul Anka in 1968 that he intended to quit. He did not quit, of course, but he took a year off before returning to work. In the fall of 1973, he released a new album called Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back.

20. “Temptation Eyes”/Grass Roots. There were few records on the radio in 1971 that sounded better than the Grass Roots’ three big hits that year, this one, “Sooner or Later,” and “Two Divided by Love.”

Special: “Honky Tonk”/Bill Doggett. I suspect that the vast majority of people who heard “Honky Tonk” on the recent repeat of this show couldn’t identify it. Even I had a hard time placing it for a moment until the sax started honkin’. But in 1971, as Casey told his listeners, it was the largest selling rock ‘n’ roll instrumental in the history of the charts, having moved four million copies in two different chart runs, in 1956 (when it went to #2 for three weeks behind Elvis Presley’s unassailable “Hound Dog”/” Don’t Be Cruel”) and again in 1961.

15. “Never Can Say Goodbye”/Jackson Five. After “Never Can Say Goodbye” vaulted to this lofty position after debuting on the Hot 100 the previous week at #57, Casey says it’s headed for #1, and if you were him, you’d probably say the same thing. But “Never Can Say Goodbye” didn’t make it. It went to #13 the next week, then made another impressive leap to #4, and then #2, where it got stuck for three weeks. Read on to find out what stuck it.

14. “What Is Life”/George Harrison. I got my first 45s for Christmas in 1970, but by the spring of ’71 I was buying them myself, 94 cents apiece at S&O TV in my hometown. At some point late in this winter or in the spring I bought “What Is Life” and three others on this chart: “I Play and Sing” and the Partridge Family’s “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” (at #7 this week) because of course I did, and also Brewer and Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line,” about which there’s more below.

13. “Where Do I Begin (Love Story)”/Andy Williams. Multiple versions of this song charted during the winter and spring of 1971, and you’ll read more about them next week.

12. “Help Me Make It Through the Night”/Sammi Smith. If you do not dig this, I don’t think we should see each other anymore.

10. “One Toke Over the Line”/Brewer and Shipley. A couple of songs before this, Casey teased that he would explain what a toke is. And although I was skeptical about whether he’d tell the whole truth, he did: “It refers to a puff of a marijuana cigarette in some places.” But he goes on to explain that it can also mean a ticket, and that if you are in Las Vegas and you ask for a toke, you’ll get a gambling chip. Brewer and Shipley meant “one toke over the line” to be an expression of regret for having gone too far, he says. Perhaps, but the lyrics make more sense if a toke is a smoke.

3. “Joy to the World”/Three Dog Night
2. “What’s Going On”/Marvin Gaye
1. “Just My Imagination”/Temptations
That’s a solid way to end a show. “Joy to the World” had gone from #34 to #11 to #3 this week, and will start at six-week stretch at #1 next week, three of them with “Never Can Say Goodbye” at #2. As for “What’s Going On” and “Just My Imagination,” it’s hard to believe there was ever a time when stuff so magnificent was an everyday thing.

A Piece of the Action

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(Pictured: David Bowie onstage in Detroit, February 29, 1976.)

I have several American Top 40 shows riding with me in the car these days. First up is the one from March 27, 1976. (Bad link fixed. –Ed.) I have written a lot about this season in the past, so I’ll do what I can to avoid repeating myself.

40. “Fopp”/Ohio Players
39. “Lorelei”/Styx
38. “He’s a Friend”/Eddie Kendricks
37. “Livin’ for the Weekend”/O’Jays
36. “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do”/ABBA
35. “You’ll Lose a Good Thing”/Freddy Fender
34. “Looking for Space”/John Denver
33. “Love Fire”/Jigsaw
32.  “Inseparable”/Natalie Cole
The first two segments of this repeat are fine if you’re a pop nerd, but an average listener might get a little impatient. ABBA and John Denver at least sound familiar, and “I Do” did make it to #15. “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” and “Inseparable” are pretty good, but neither “Fopp,” “He’s a Friend,” nor “Livin’ for the Weekend” is remotely close to its performer’s best work. And more people know “Love Fire” from being anthologized over the years than they do from hearing it on the radio in ’76. The best-remembered record of the bunch nowadays is probably “Lorelei,” although it wasn’t a particularly big hit back then, peaking at #27.

31. “Slow Ride”/Foghat
30. “Only Love Is Real”/Carole King
29. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”/Paul Simon
28. “Theme from SWAT“/Rhythm Heritage
27. “Love Hurts”/Nazareth
That’s how the first hour wraps up, and it’s much better. Thank the gods that “Inseparable” and “Slow Ride” were separated by a commercial break, both in 1976 and on the recent repeat. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is weirdly holding at #29 for a second straight week; “SWAT” and “Love Hurts” also on their way off the chart.

23. “Action”/The Sweet
19. “Bohemian Rhapsody”/Queen
11. “Golden Years”/David Bowie
Each of these three was my favorite song of the moment in the spring of 1976, depending on the moment.

22. “Cupid”/Tony Orlando and Dawn
13. “Only Sixteen”/Dr. Hook
A Sam Cooke revival was on and we barely knew it. “Cupid” was the last Top 40 hit for Dawn; they’d scored 14 of ’em since “Candida” in the fall of 1970. Three went to #1, including “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” which was Billboard‘s #1 single for all of 1973.

9. “Right Back Where We Started From”/Maxine Nightingale
8. “Let Your Love Flow”/Bellamy Brothers
Casey says that “Right Back Where We Started From” has the chart action of a #1 record, having gone from #25 to #14 to #9 this week, although he doesn’t say that about “Let Your Love Flow,” which has gone 28-17-8 in the same period. But come May 1, it would be “Let Your Love Flow” at #1 and “Right Back Where We Started From” at #2. And although she would spend eight weeks in the Top 10, Maxine would never get above #2.

1. “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)”/Four Seasons. Casey notes that this record, in its third and final week at #1, is the Four Seasons’ biggest hit since 1963 (when “Walk Like a Man” spent three weeks at #1). Its fall out of the 40, which will begin next week, is weird: it goes from #1 to #8, then to #14 for three straight weeks, then to #16, then to #25, and finally to #44. It will linger below the Top 40 for seven weeks after that, including three straight weeks at #95 and a final week—June 26—at #98. It had debuted on December 27, 1975, and would spend 27 weeks on the Hot 100 in all.

There are some enduring hits on this chart (“Dream Weaver,” “Dream On,” “Take It to the Limit,” “Show Me the Way”), a couple of under-appreciated gems (“Sweet Thing,” “Sweet Love”), and some guilty pleasures (“Lonely Night,” “Money Honey,” “Fanny”), but in the interest of keeping this post from being 2,000 words long, I’m gonna leave ’em un-mentioned. And I could go on: among the indelible 1976 hits outside the Top 40 ready to debut within the next couple of weeks include “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” “Sara Smile,” “Strange Magic,” “Rhiannon,” “Misty Blue,” and “Welcome Back.”

One More Thing: My hometown, Monroe, Wisconsin, briefly had a record label. During the 1920s, a local businessman founded Helvetia Records, which released traditional Swiss, German, and Austrian music. University of Wisconsin folklorist Jim Leary and Archeophone Records searched quite literally the entire world to find 36 Helvetia sides recorded between 1920 and 1924, which Archeophone has released in a collection called Alpine Dreaming. I went home last night to attend a talk about the album given by Leary, whose liner notes were nominated for a Grammy. The talk was held in the same hall where The Mrs. and I had our wedding reception 36 years ago . . . to the day.

Hot Smoke

On Fridays for the last several years, our man Jeff Ash has been tweeting the top 10 singles of the week from Stiller Music in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as they appeared in the store’s newspaper ads 50 years ago. Seeing this chart has become a welcome signal of the impending weekend, and I have been wanting to blog about it for a while. What follows are some quick notes about some of the songs that moved across Stiller’s counter for 68 cents apiece (equivalent to about five bucks today) in March 1969:

“Galveston”/Glen Campbell. With the Vietnam War at its height, a soldier cleans his gun and dreams of his girl at home. I heard it the other day, unexpectedly on shuffle, and I was reminded of how awesomely good it is, not just Campbell’s singing but the Wrecking Crew backing him up, including Hal Blaine on drums and Joe Osborn playing the iconic bass guitar. (Second thought:  that’s Campbell on the low, twangy guitar, although Osborn is on the record too.) I remember hearing “Galveston” on Mother and Dad’s radio stations long before I had a station of my own, and it never fails to make me think of springtime on the farm.

“Dizzy”/Tommy Roe and “Proud Mary”/Creedence Clearwater Revival. It’s widely known that CCR hit #2 on the Hot 100 five times without ever hitting #1. While history has given “Proud Mary” the last laugh, “Dizzy” was clearly the bigger hit back in the day, not just on the Hot 100 but in Green Bay, too, spending four weeks atop the Stiller chart before giving way to Creedence.

“This Magic Moment”/Jay and the Americans. This version of the Drifters’ 1960 hit can’t decide whether it wants to recreate that old soul sound or update it for the bubblegum era, so it tries to have it both ways and accomplishes neither, although it did outdo the Drifters on the Hot 100.

“No Not Much”/Smoke Ring. This is a cover of the Four Lads original by a group from Norfolk, Nebraska, and it did its biggest business on easy-listening radio. “No Not Much” went to #24 on Billboard‘s Easy Listening chart and #85 on the Hot 100. It hit the Top 20 at KHJ in Los Angeles, KOIL in Omaha, WRKO in Boston, and WHYN in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“Pledge of Allegiance”/Red Skelton. I wrote about this record a few years ago: “On a January 1969 episode of his show, [Red] did a bit about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, and expressed the fear that since the words ‘under God’ had been added, schools might consider it a prayer and ban it. At the height of the roiling 1960s, with the counterculture in full flower and the antiwar movement riding high, Skelton’s sentiments had broad appeal to Richard Nixon’s ‘silent majority.'” In addition to being sold in stores, “The Pledge of Allegiance” was also distributed by Burger King on a soundsheet. It made #44 on the Hot 100 and #25 on Easy Listening.

“Baby Let’s Wait”/Royal Guardsmen. For most people, the career of the Royal Guardsmen begins and ends with three “Snoopy” records in 1967, but the group made the Hot 100 five other times, including the shimmering bubblegum of “Baby Let’s Wait” (released in 1966 before “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” and reissued to become their last chart entry) at #35 and the trippy “Airplane Song” as #46.

“Hot Smoke and Sassafras”/Bubble Puppy and “Tobacco Road”/Love Society. In the late 60s, the word “progressive” didn’t mean “obtuse, spacy lyrics and showy instrumental virtuosity.” It meant “heavy guitars, distorted riffs, and some organ mixed in now and then.” Both “Hot Smoke and Sassafras” and “Tobacco Road” would have been called “progressive” 50 years ago. The Bubble Puppy were discovered playing a hippie joint in Houston by a producer who promised them they’d be bigger than the Beatles. (Spoiler: nah.) The phrase “Hot Smoke and Sassafras” is supposedly an expression Granny used on an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. Although the song never made it onto many oldies stations, it did go to #14 on the Hot 100 and was #1 in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Toledo, and a handful of smaller markets. Love Society was from Plymouth, south of Green Bay and west of Sheboygan, and a predecessor of one of Wisconsin’s fondly remembered bands, Sunblind Lion. “Tobacco Road” is the John D. Loudermilk song that a lot of progressive groups covered. Love Society’s version didn’t make the Hot 100, and all but three of its listings at ARSA are from Wisconsin stations.

Jeff’s weekly tweet of the Stiller Music chart is a vestige of his Packers Dynasty Twitter project, which followed the Green Bay Packers through their three consecutive championship seasons in 1965, 1966, and 1967, day by day. Thank you sir.

Classic Rock in the Classic Era

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(Pictured: young Bruce, 1978.)

The excellent Radio Rewinder Twitter feed recently tweeted, in pieces, a list of the Top 43 album cuts of all time, compiled in 1978 by Radio & Records, the now-defunct trade magazine. (Why 43? Just being quirky, as I recall.) As I was digging into my archives to find my copy of the list, I found another interesting one. In late 1979, R&R polled album-rock stations asking them to name their top tracks of the 1970s and created a Top-50 list out of it.

A spreadsheet with the lists is here. The top songs on both lists are exactly the same: “Stairway to Heaven,” “Free Bird,” and “Layla,” and I suspect if you asked classic-rock stations to rank their top songs today, 40 years later, the same three would lead the lists. Also atop both charts are “Roundabout” (#4 Top 43, #6 Top 50) and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (#6 Top 43, #5 Top 50). Twelve songs on the Top 43 wouldn’t qualify for the Top 50 because they were released before 1970. From the Top 10 that includes “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “A Day in the Life,” “Light My Fire,” and “Hey Jude.” One of the Top 43’s Top 10 (this nomenclature is gonna get confusing, isn’t it) doesn’t make the Top 50 at all: “Nights in White Satin.” (Technically, it was made in the 60s but didn’t become a hit until 1972, so I’m leaving it in the 70s.)

Eight songs released after 1970 appear on the Top 43 list but not on the Top 50. Apart from “Nights in White Satin,” none of these exclusions look all that weird to me. In fact, the inclusion of “She’s Gone” (#31 on the Top 43) and “Your Song” (#35 on the Top 43) strike me weirder than anything from the 70s that got left off of the Top 50 list two years later, except maybe “Nights in White Satin.”

Eleven of the Top 50 didn’t qualify for the Top 43 list because they were released in 1978 or 1979. Several pre-1977 songs on the Top 50 didn’t make the Top 43, among them “Brown Sugar,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Smoke on the Water,” “Band on the Run,” “China Grove,” “Magic Man,” and “Slow Ride.” The highest-ranking song on the Top 50 that was available to the Top 43 but not on it is “Dreams” at #17. “Dreams” would have been a relatively recent hit at the end of 1977, but “Hotel California” went to #1 at nearly the same time, and it’s on the Top 43. (The highest-ranking song on the Top 50 not found on the Top 43 is “Miss You,” released in 1978.)

In the archive where I found these lists, I found another list I made myself, sometime back in the early 80s, which is titled “Top Ten Artists From Both Lists Compiled by Me One Afternoon in May.” (Oh for chrissakes, Jim.) They’re as follows: Zeppelin, Springsteen, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers, the Who, Eric Clapton, the Beatles, Bob Seger, and Steely Dan. I noted that the Stones have twice as many songs as any other band on the lists, so why they weren’t #1, I don’t know, because I can’t recall the criteria I used.

Other observations about the two charts:

—“Born to Run” grew in stature as Bruce Springsteen did between 1977 and 1979, from #21 on the Top 43 list to #4 on the Top 50. So did “Hotel California,” going from #40 on the Top 43 to #8 on the Top 50, but it’s the only Eagles tune on either list. “More Than a Feeling” squeaked into the Top 43 at #42, but was #11 two years later.

—“Miracles,” which ranks high on both lists, was considered a lot more “classic” at the end of the 70s than it would be today. Ditto “School,” “Year of the Cat,” “Stranglehold,” and possibly even “Roundabout.” I bet “Just the Way You Are” and “It’s Too Late” aren’t on many classic-rock stations today, either.

—The inclusion of Aerosmith’s “Train Kept A-Rollin'” on the Top 43 list seems really weird now, especially at the expense of “Sweet Emotion” or “Dream On.” Also weird: the complete omission of Aerosmith from the Top 50.

—Other omissions: no “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or anything else by Queen, on either list? No love for Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” or “Whole Lotta Love”? No Allman Brothers?

One thing is for sure: the right crowd would party all night with either one of these lists, and in college, we did. I created a segued tape counting down one list or the other, and when we played it, over five hours pausing only for a single tape-flip, absolutely nobody went home until it was over, because the music kept getting better.

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