Posted by: boromax | September 10, 2018

Random Repeaters: Progress Report #1

I started the Random Repeaters category with this post.

Since then, of course, many songs have arrived at the prescribed threshold; i.e., appeared on the random shuffle playlist five times.

All of the eleven songs listed in that first post as having appeared four times, have long since appeared again (for the fifth time) and been posted to my Facebook timeline.  Below I list the order in which they were posted, and each includes a link to a YouTube video of the song.

As you can see, it took much longer for some of them to get to their fifth play than it did others; and, in the meantime, other songs caught up and passed them.  I guess this more or less demonstrates the true randomness of their places in the repeating shuffle.

[By the way, I recognize that this “game” is probably only interesting to me.  That is okay!  This blog is, after all, called “trivial music silliness.”]

Here are a few more salient measures:

Compilation of the random repeater list has continued now for sixteen months (since 4 May 2017), but capture to the list has slowed considerably.  When I first reported last June, 1,477 songs (out of approximately 3,700) had been played at least once.  As of now, 3,258 songs have played at least once.

Three-hundred-sixty-nine songs have been played at least five times, and most of them have been posted (as a link to a YouTube video) on my Facebook timeline.  Some have not been posted because there is no video for the song on YouTube; others have not been posted because for various reasons I decided my Facebook audience did not need to be exposed to the song (similar to my reasons for rejecting songs in my Nostalgic Dip series).  Some of the songs that did not have a video now have one because I created one for it!  See my YouTube channel.

Four-hundred-fifteen more songs have been played four times and are now awaiting that crucial fifth play to find themselves shared on my Facebook timeline.  Did I mention this is silly?  I like silly.

I find it interesting that there are apparently over 400 songs that have managed to evade selection for play over the past sixteen months.  Of course, I do not (cannot) play songs on this list or capture which songs are played from the list every day.  Lately, it has actually only been a couple of times a month.  Eventually, I will just stop doing it at all. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy all these songs of various styles and provenance.

You can start with these eleven from the introductory report:

#1, “In the Mood,” Glenn Miller – this song has a combined total of more than 20 million views on YouTube.

#2, “Ready,” Third Day – this song has a combined total of about 250,000 views on YouTube.

#3, “Will It Go ‘Round in Circles,” Billy Preston – this song has a combined total of about 2.2 million views on YouTube.

#5, “Behind Enemy Lines,” End Time Warriors – this track has less than 300 views on YouTube.

#7, “Heart with Your Name on It,” Gloria Estefan – this song has a combined total of about 7,800 views on YouTube.

#17, “Unforgettable,” Roberta Flack – this song has a total of about 1,400 views on YouTube.

#29, “Diverse City,” tobyMac – this song has a combined total of over 1 million views on YouTube.

#39, “Pretending,” Eric Clapton – this song has a combined total of about 2.4 million views on YouTube.

#134, “Storm,” Stanley Turrentine – this song has a combined total of about 950 views on YouTube.

#198, “Stardust,” Duke Ellington – this song (as recorded by Duke Ellington and his orchestra) has a combined total of about 20,000 views on YouTube.

#283, “Straight On,” Heart – this song has a combined total of over 4 million views on YouTube.

 

Take it to the limit and give it all you’ve got!

 

NO FEAR!

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Posted by: boromax | September 10, 2018

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1976, Part Two

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting twelve (12) of the ‘second’ fifty songs (51-100) on the 1976 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

 

[[ I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected for my Facebook routine.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face << ]]

 

Here we go!!

 

“Devil Woman,” Cliff Richard ~ This is supposedly a warning against the dangers of getting anywhere near any and all devil women.  Why does it sound and feel like a challenge, a lure, and an enticement?  Also, it is kind of mediocre musically, and I keep thinking I hear/see Cher. Unbidden. That is scary.

 

“Baby Face,” Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps ~ Well, um, wow.  This is a 1926 song remade into a grand orchestral disco hit.  I do not know what else to say.

 

“Got to Get You into My Life,” Beatles ~So, of course, this is one of the many highly successful songs written and recorded by the Beatles.  It was released on the “Revolver” album in 1966, but did not become a hit in the USA until it was included on a compilation album in 1976.  I did not post it on my Facebook page because… it is just weird that a song released when the Beatles were at their hottest did not achieve radio play of note until 10 years later, six years after the band had disbanded.  Also, the Earth, Wind and Fire version from the little-loved 1979 movie “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” is a much more enjoyable version. In my opinion. But… hear for yourself!

 

“Fanny (Be Tender with My Love),” BeeGees ~ I like my share of BeeGees tunes, but the syrup quotient in this one is beyond my capacity for absorption or tolerance.  Maybe it is the tinkly xylophone, the twittery flute, the electric piano, the strings and horns?  Nah.  The whiny, whipped pleading tone of the song.  Do they make something like mouthwash for your ears?

 

“Getaway,” Earth, Wind and Fire ~ Let it be known that I am a huge fan of Earth, Wind and Fire.  For some reason, with this track I feel like Funkadelic highjacked the recording session.  Maybe not quite that strong.  I don’t know.  The funk is real!  And the horns, as usual, are nuts.  Just, if I was making a list of my favorite EWF songs, this one would not make the list at all.  One thing about this song: I will take its advice and Get. A. Way.

 

“Slow Ride,” Foghat ~ OK.  There is a lot to recommend about this song, from a classic rock perspective.  Solid fuzzy guitars, slappy bass, cool instrumental effects, iconic riffs, and tight vocal harmonies.  But, hmm….  I wonder what they are singing about?

 

“Young Hearts Run Free,” Candi Staton ~ I am pretty sure Candi was delighted to get her spot in disco history, and good for her.  This is a ridiculously sad song wrapped up in bright, sparkly dance music.  Nice horns.  Heart-breaking story.  And, like, “self-preservation” is a reasonable message, isn’t it?

 

“Tear the Roof off the Sucker,” Parliament ~ I am not going to lie. This is a fun, funky song. It just is.  But, oh my, they steppin’ SO close to the line, lookin’ right at profane with a smirky attitude.

 

“Rock and Roll All Nite,” Kiss ~ I will freely admit that I have never been a fan of KISS in general.  I never thought their music was much above bubble gum.  Yeah, no thanks.

 

“Disco Duck,” Rick Dees ~ I love a good novelty song.  This one is a tune for the ages.  I am glad someone was able to make fun of the disco fad right at the beginning of the phenom.  But, too silly even for me.

 

“The Boys Are Back in Town,” Thin Lizzy ~ Some pretty standard rock iconicism here.  It is a little repetitive, but…  okay, I am listening to it now, not quite sure why I passed it by.  Sorry, boys.  I blinked at the wrong time, I reckon.

 

“Squeeze Box,” The Who ~ I am not quite sure what the heck they are singing about (!!!), but I don’t care for this track regardless.  I mean, compared to some of their other great hits, this one is drivel.

 

That’s it for now.

 

Sayonara et shalom!

 

Posted by: boromax | September 7, 2018

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1976, Part One

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting fourteen (14) of the ‘first’ fifty songs (1-50) on the 1976 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

 

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected for my Facebook routine.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

 

Here we go!!

 

“Disco Lady,” Johnnie Taylor ~ I have a decidedly lukewarm response to this song.  I believe it is truly all about dancing, and there are some fun aspects to the music itself.  Funky bass lines, wah-wah guitar, jazzy electric keyboards, groovy background vocals, hand-claps, etc.  It just mostly leaves me yawning, for some reason; possibly because the airwaves were so thick with this style of music in those days.

 

“December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” The Four Seasons ~ Do I need to explain?  But, honestly, besides the subject matter, this one is just too cheesy.  Oh, yes, they throw in the horn section, the standard mid-‘70s wah-wah jam, and even some slightly funky bass, along with their signature vocal harmonies, but it is unabashedly about the all-important ‘first time.’

 

“Kiss and Say Goodbye,” Manhattans ~ Sad. Apparently, this song memorializes the end of an illicit affair.  The spoken opening is just so laden with sadness and drama.  “Take my handkerchief and wipe your eyes.  Maybe you’ll find another guy.”  Gag.

 

“Afternoon Delight,” Starland Vocal Band ~ Not sure I need to explain my omission of this one.  I do like the vocal harmonies, and I remember being struck by the concept of a “vocal band.”  But, no.  Yet another nookie song.  Please.

 

“I Write the Songs,” Barry Manilow ~ No denying this is a well-composed ballad, and it is easy to sing along.  Oddly, that is what scares me about it.  It personifies “music” and almost makes it seem like a puppet master.  Music “makes” you do things.  Also, I think this song is the godfather of “We Are the World,” which in my personal anthology of music appreciation is not particularly a good thing, which I will explain when we get to 1985 or ’86 or whenever that was. For the moment, let me just say, I acquired both of these albums (Manilow’s “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling” and “We Are the World”), and listened to these songs many times. I guess… these songs, and others of their type and style, tended to suborn cynicism in me.  It’s easy enough to write, perform, and record grandiose ideas of universal harmony.  What are we actually going to do about it?

 

“Fly, Robin, Fly,” Silver Convention ~ Besides the fact that the only words in this song are “fly, robin, fly, up, up to the sky,” this song is simply one more entry in a dizzying, endless cascade of orchestral disco pablum to which the public was subjected for about seven or eight years from the mid-‘70s to the early ‘80s.  Of course, apparently “the public” was lapping it up as fast as the studios could pump it out, so…  musicians and producers just trying to make a buck, right?

 

“Love Hangover,” Diana Ross ~ Lovely musically; lyrically enticing.  Some pretty great riffs; classic disco – slow intro leading to bouncing funk.  In the end, it is just a bit too formulaic for me.  It is about LOVE, but just a little too steamy and sexy, which is of course why it was so popular.  Listening to it all these years later, I realize the role of the string section.  I think that was lost on my back when.

 

“More, More, More,” Andrea True Connection ~ This one falls flat in so many ways. There is no actual soul in this music, just (barely) technical correctness.  The horn section is bland, even the trumpet solo is nothing to write home about.  The piano is boring.  Lyrics are predictable.  This is, okay, a white girl proving how white she can be while trying to be not-white.  I could not find a listing of the band members to prove my hypothesis further.  Interestingly, this song has been covered by several other artists… all of them white girls.

 

“You Sexy Thing,” Hot Chocolate ~ Alright. I hereby confess. This has always been among my favorites. However, I cannot bring myself to share it on my facebook page in deference to a gigantic portion of my “friend” base who would be shocked and appalled, just by reading the title. So, whatever.  Don’t tell anybody.  In fact, I also really like T-Shirt’s 1997 cover.  Check it out.

 

“Love Rollercoaster,” Ohio Players ~ So, this is not your ‘standard’ disco hit, exactly.  It is all Ohio Players style, all the way.  It’s got some dandy hooks, for real.  The hoots, ha-ha’s, and vocal grinds and hollers, riding along beside the horn section and the funky bass make for some wild musical stew.  Maybe a little too much?  It’s kind of like Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Maurice White had a nightmare together.

 

“All by Myself,” Eric Carmen ~ How do the various YouTube versions of this song collectively have more than 15 million views?  I cannot adequately express how desperately depressing this song is.  From the first time I heard it, I did not make it all the way through.  Had to turn it off.  Listening to it again for this review, I did not even make it two minutes in; and the version to which I had tuned was 7:51!  What?  Almost eight minutes?  I’m out.

 

“Love to Love You, Baby,” Donna Summer ~ All the most-used words: classic, iconic, seminal, quintessential, blah blah blah.  Nevertheless – moan-singing – oy.  “Do it to me again and again.”  Yikes. No thank you.

 

“Deep Purple,” Donny and Marie Osmond ~ Have I mentioned how much I loathe these two and their shudder-inducing covers of perfectly wonderful classic songs?  Well, if you missed that before, now ya know.  I dare you to listen to this drivel and declare it in any way worthy of continuing to exist in the history of popular music, even.  Seriously.  I’m just sayin’. Blech.

 

“Shannon,” Henry Gross ~ Pretty much, refer to my comments on “All By Myself.”  Way too sad.  And just a bit too Frankie Valli meets the Beach Boys.  Look at me.  I am actually rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

 

That’s it for now.

Sayonara et Shalom!

Posted by: boromax | June 20, 2017

Introducing: “Random Repeaters”

I am about to begin a new category of daily posts on my Facebook page. This will be the seventh category.  Currently, I post these six categories:  1) Sniglet of the Day; 2) Ambrose Bierce; 3) Nostalgic Dip; 4) #leadershipquotes; 5) #backhanded; and 6) CCM Memories.  This new one is called “Random Repeaters,” and herein is the story of its origins.

So, I am an unrepentant and unapologetic maker of lists.  I have lists of lists, actually.  This present report is a result of lists begetting lists.

For years now, every day while I work, I have played music “in the background” on my computer.  The music plays randomly from a “list” that has developed across years of uploading music from my private collection.  As of this writing, the list includes more than 3,700 files; i.e., individual songs.  It is a thoroughly diverse conglomeration, and when it plays randomly, it can take me from the sublime to the ridiculous with no transitions.

As my “retirement date” came into view, when I heard a song I wanted to share with others, I would sometimes take a moment to find the song on YouTube and “Like” it.  This would cause that video to be “shared” to my timeline on Facebook.

One day I had one of my stray thoughts about list-keeping.  I decided it might be interesting to monitor my “Random Shuffle Playlist” to see how random it really is.  So, I started keeping a log.  I know this sounds labor intensive, but everyone who knows me knows I am a master multi-tasker.  Truly, this does not take as much time as it sounds like it might.  Anyway, the list grew, and now I have some measurements to share!

The way this playlist works is that it re-starts every morning.  Well, technically, it re-starts every time I close the media player and then open it again.

Eventually, more quickly than I expected, songs began to repeat.  Not on the same day, usually, but sometimes for two or three days in a row.

As a kind of “game” for myself, I decided to monitor the appearance of the songs, and I thought, “When one of them plays for the fifth time, I will find it on YouTube and share it on Facebook!”

I know.  I am weird.  Tell me something I don’t already know.

As of this writing (20 June 2017), the day of the “fifth repeat” has not yet arrived.  I started keeping the log on 4 May 2017.  So far, 1,477 songs different songs have played, featuring 490 different recording artists.

Eleven songs have repeated four times so far.  We’ll see whether one of these becomes the first “fifth repeater.”

“Behind Enemy Lines,” E.T.W. (End-Time Warriors)

“Diverse City,” tobyMac

“Heart with Your Name on It,” Gloria Estefan

“In the Mood,” Glenn Miller

“Pretending,” Eric Clapton

“Ready,” Third Day

“Stardust,” Duke Ellington

“Storm,” Stanley Turrentine

“Straight On,” Heart

“Unforgettable,” Roberta Flack

“Will It Go ‘Round in Circles?,” Billy Preston

I knew that it would take some extensive explanation to my “audience” when this new category of song-sharing emerged.  I also knew I did not want to put all of this explanation directly into a Facebook post.

So, here it is in my “Trivial Music Silliness” WordPress blog.

Take a look around.  You might find some other interesting silliness here!

 

Take it to the limit and give it all you’ve got!

NO FEAR

Posted by: boromax | June 14, 2017

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1975 Part Two

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting twenty (20) of the ‘second’ fifty songs (51-100) on the 1975 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected for my Facebook routine.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

Let’s do this!!

“Only Women Bleed,” Alice Cooper ~ OK, this is an artful song, to a certain extent.  But it is sad.  Stupendously sad.  Is it a protest song?  Is it feminist?  Is it a powerful, strident declaration of a prevailing situation and attitude in our society?  Fundamentally, this is a cry of hopelessness.  It is just too sad.

“Doctor’s Orders,” Carol Douglas ~ Cheese.  How many songs have been written based on the analogy of being SICK with love/lust.  This one is just… cheese.  The full orchestra, the crooning background vocals, the groovy hip guitars…  Next.

“Get Down Tonight,” K.C. and the Sunshine Band ~ MAYBE this song is just about enjoying yourself on the dance floor.  Yeah.  Maybe.  “…do the thing we like to do…”  Definitely a top-notch (and insanely popular) disco dance song, for sure, though.

“One-Man Woman,” Paul Anka and Odia Coates ~ First of all, this is totally a country song, which, in and of itself is not a bad thing, right?  But have mercy!  Too cliché and ho-hum.  Plus, it is about infidelity.  Why?  Why must there be so many songs about cheating?

“Feel Like Making Love,” Bad Company ~ Musically, this is a pretty enjoyable song.  I like the vocal harmonies.  It is a solid entry in the mid-‘70s country/rock genre.  Perhaps he is singing this to his wife.  Nevertheless, his focus is clear.  He is horny.  Hence, no sharing of this song on my Facebook timeline.

“I Don’t Like to Sleep Alone,” Paul Anka ~ Paul must have been having a rough time during these days.  What image is he sharing with us when he says, “my mouth on yours and yours on mine”?  Anyway, the music itself is depressing.  No, thanks.

“Morning Side of the Mountain,” Donny and Marie Osmond ~ Ew.  Just… ew.  Why are a brother and sister singing this song to each other?  And, it is just a silly concept, anyway.  A boy and a girl who never met, so they don’t know what they missed.  How is that so sad?  It’s not.  They don’t know.  They are fine.

“Get Down, Get Down (Get on the Floor),” Joe Simon ~ Clearly, this “getting down” is completely about dancing, thank goodness.  But I am not impressed.  Don’t know what else to say.  Standard phrases, overused rhymes.  The background singers even sound bored.  Don’t call us.  We’ll call you.

“Killer Queen,” Queen ~ I will freely admit that Queen is on my list of favorite bands.  I owned literally all of their albums.  I chose not to share this song on my Facebook timeline because of the cryptic nature of the lyrics.  Fascinating.  Probably nothing terribly crude or profane.  Just close enough to the edge to allow seedy interpretations.  Meanwhile, it was and is musically fantastic.  So, there.

“Shoeshine Boy,” Eddie Kendricks ~ I honestly cannot decide if this song is encouraging, depressing, or exploitative.  Seems like I could write a whole book about the seemingly topsy-turvy nature of societal sensitivities.  We all have perspectives and opinions based on our own personal experiences, and they are valid as far as they go.  This song actually seems to be encouraging a young man to look beyond his present circumstances, but it also seems to be reminding him that his chances are slim.  Rough.

“Do It (Til You’re Satisfied),” B. T. Express ~ This is one of those songs that is cool musically, and the actual message is a good one.  But in the process, there is an underlying, not-so-subtle intimation of sexiness.  The bass voice keeps saying, “whatever it is.”  Oddly, that just leads us to KNOW what IT is.

“Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” Electric Light Orchestra ~ I am a fan of ELO, but this song makes me want to throw something at the speakers.  To me, it sounds almost like it is being played a bit too slow.  Don’t like it.  That’s all.

“Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy),” Al Green ~ I love you, Al.  What?  You needed one more track to complete the album?  Sorry.  No.  It is not really THAT bad.  Not bad at all, I guess, if you like this sort of thing.  It’s just that there were already about seven hundred and eighty-three songs out there that sounded pretty much exactly like this one.  Ho-hum.

“No-No Song,” Ringo Starr ~ Wait.  Is this a Jimmy Buffett song?  It is just a silly song.  On purpose.  Silly.  But I truly cannot tell if it is intended to be rehabilitative or celebratory.  Technically, it is saying, “Don’t do these things.”  But it makes us laugh, and it also makes us want to go out and do everything he is saying he doesn’t do anymore.

“Bad Blood,” Neil Sedaka ~ This one is kind of groovy, musically.  The lyrics are fun, sort of; but they are also a bit stretched.  I don’t know.  I wouldn’t skip to the next song in a playlist, but I also would not deliberately go looking for it.

“I’m on Fire,” Dwight Twilley Band ~ I do not remember ever hearing this song before I called it up on YouTube to listen to it for this project.  Meh.  Doubt I will ever purposely bring it up again.  There is a tiny bit of decent guitar work here, but mostly it is ordinary.

“Only You,” Ringo Starr ~ Sorry, Ringo buddy.  Were you hanging out with Paul Anka in 1975?  This is a pretty morbid cover of this much-loved standard.  Not the version I will be hunting down for a love song playlist.  Too bad, actually.  I am serious.  It is too bad to include in any playlist.

“Third Rate Romance,” Amazing Rhythm Aces ~ I think I remember sort of liking this song a little back in the day.  I thought it was the Eagles.  Also, I thought they were saying, “Third grade romance, golden rendezvous.”  In any case, now I find it a little annoying, AND it is about a one night stand.  I will leave this one on the rack.

“Swearin’ to God,” Frankie Valli ~ All the cool wah-wah, and snappy brass riffs, and disco rhythms in the world will not redeem you from this “Love Boat” horror story, Frankie.  Did some fifteen year old poet win a contest?  And don’t pretend you are really evoking God here.  And, wow.  Putting all those near-holy references into a nifty-keen disco mash-up.  Not really working.  The sax solo is pretty great, though.

“Get Dancin’,” Disco Tex and the Sex-O-lettes ~ I promise I would have put this song in the reject pile based solely on the name of the “recording artist,” and I use that term in the most extremely loose manner ever.  However, the track itself manages to outdo the ridiculousness of the band name.  This could absolutely be the best example of everything that was offensive about disco.  I kid you not.  Ugly.  Boo.  Hiss.  Ptui.

 

That’s it for now,

Sayonara et Shalom!

Posted by: boromax | May 3, 2017

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1975 Part One

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting nineteen (19) of the ‘first’ fifty songs (1-50) on the 1975 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected for my Facebook routine.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

Let’s do this!!

“Rhinestone Cowboy,” Glen Campbell ~ Part of me thinks, “If I have to tell you why I did not include this song, you are well beyond my ability to help you.”  But I accept that people have varying tastes in music.  This song is not horrible, by any means.  It is in the category I call “YMCA,” which means I consider it fun to play around with sometimes but it is not a ‘standard’ in any of my playlists.  There are some songs I cannot listen to at all.  This is not one of those.

“Laughter in the Rain,” Neil Sedaka ~ This one is pretty much in the same category as “Rhinestone Cowboy,” but I will confess that for a few minutes when it first came out, I dug it.  For me, though, it is kind of a goofy distant cousin to Little River Band’s “Reminiscing,” and “I Really Want to See You Tonight,” by England Dan and John Ford Coley.

“Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” John Denver ~ 1975 must be the year for the “YMCA” category.  The song is fun for karaoke, but it will not be on any of my playlists.  Maybe I need to create a “YMCA” category playlist!  Still… who can resist the line, “Life ain’t nothin’ but a funny, funny riddle…”? I ask you.

“Lovin’ You,” Minnie Riperton ~ I really never cared much for this song.  Minnie’s voice did not captivate me.  The “whistle singing” did not excite me.  Seems whiny and pathetic.  Also, it is essentially about having sex, so… I consciously avoid that subject in my musical choices.  As much as possible.  Usually.  If I can help it.

“Kung Fu Fighting,” Carl Douglas ~ Again, “You have to ask?”  This one is not even on the “YMCA” list.  Not even close.  It might be on my “Songs that should never have been so popular” list.  Epitome of goofy.  I am not sure what to make of the fact that the three or four YouTube versions of this have garnered nearly fifty million views.  50 MILLION!  “HUH!” “HA!”

“Ballroom Blitz,” Sweet ~ Not sure what to say.  I have always thought Sweet was trying to be Queen.  They did not quite get there.  At all.  Even a little bit.  Yuck.

“(Hey! Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” B. J. Thomas ~ I am a fan of B. J. Thomas.  I generally prefer him over Neil Diamond, for example.  But, I don’t know, this particular song takes on a little too much of the “country cleverness” in its lyrics, for me, I think.  Plus, it is sad and depressing.  Sorry, B. J.  I love ya, man.

“He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” Tony Orlando and Dawn ~ Well, first of all, poor grammar in lyrics – especially in the title – puts me off every time.  Second, Tony et al are among the few artists that have to work really hard to get past my “thanks, anyway” filters (like Donny and Marie).  I have trouble taking them seriously.

“Lady Marmalade,” Labelle ~ This song was and is wildly popular in its several versions.  If you have been reading these blog entries, you already know that the subject of this song is in my “no fly zone,” (pun not originally intended…).  As this series proceeds along the timeline, there will be many, many mega-popular songs in that zone.  Go figure.

“Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” Major Harris ~ I need to develop a one-syllable code word for these types of songs.  Besides the “obvious” reasons, this song also displays a complete lack of concern for the concept of self-control.  The epitome of the misguided axiom, “If it feels good, do it.”  Worse yet, he is blaming his lack of discipline on “love.”

“Angie Baby,” Helen Reddy ~ Creepy.  The story is straight from a horror film.  In fact, I am surprised no one ever made it into a scary movie!  Helen is definitely on my list of favorite singers; and she does this song really well, but…  ew.

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” Elton John ~ This is a truly worthy cover of an iconic Beatles song.  It’s just that hallucination and psychedelia are not high on my list of favorite things to sing about, or to listen to others sing about, either.

“Mandy,” Barry Manilow ~ I am not afraid or ashamed to admit some appreciation for the much-maligned Barry Manilow.  But, this song?  Meh.  Makes me sad.  Being made sad is not usually a quality I am looking for in my listening choices.

“I’m Not Lisa,” Jessi Colter ~ Have I been talking about “sad”?  This is the poster-song for sadness.  On top of that, it is almost like the singer is confronting a mental patient (no offense to mental patients!).  It is sad for the man she is singing to, and triply sad for her.  Sadness overload.  Also, it is possible that this song rang the death knell for the mid-’70s country crossover phenomenon.

“Could It Be Magic,” Barry Manilow ~ I can never decide if this song is beautiful or maudlin.  There is that hauntingly lovely piano intro, but then he starts singing, and even though the lyrics are describing something wondrous, the chord structure and the style of his vocals sounds so melancholy, I always look out the window to see if it is raining.

“Feelings,” Morris Albert ~ From the first time I heard this song on the radio, my primary thought was, “Really? Someone thought this was good enough to record?”  But then I realize, not only did they write it, sing it, play it, record it – a large segment of the public apparently loved it, bought it, voted for it!  This makes me tend toward belief in alternate realities and parallel dimensions.

“Chevy Van,” Sammy Johns ~ I am not sure any other song glorifies promiscuity quite so thoroughly as this one.    What I find particularly disturbing is the whole “carefree” approach to meeting a stranger and having sex.  I am a prude, I guess.  So, sue me. Now, musically – especially the vocal harmonies – are terrific!  Like, Crosby, Stills, & Nash meets the Eagles.

“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” Barry White ~ It’s Barry White, so it is automatically sexy.  The good thing about this song’s lyrics is that the clear intent is loyalty, devotion, monogamy.  Nevertheless, I find it tedious listening to the “come hither” style.  Sue me some more.

“Please, Mister, Please,” Olivia Newton-John ~ If you had told me I would put an Olivia Newton-John song on this “reject” list, I would have scoffed.  But, come to think about it, there are likely to be a few more of her songs on this list before it is all said and done.  Anyway, this one honestly gets on my nerves in a couple of ways.  The main thing is – talk about “First World Problems”!  I mean, I get it.  Songs evoke memories, and many times the memories that are evoked are not pleasant or happy memories.  Fine.  Somehow the imagery of being in a club (or bar, or wherever the jukebox is) and not wanting other random patrons to play THAT particular song – it is just… well, talk about “spoiled.”  That’s all I’m saying.  It is annoying.

That’s it for now,

Sayonara et Shalom!

Posted by: boromax | April 14, 2017

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1974 Part Two

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting seventeen (17) of the ‘second’ group of fifty songs (51-100) on the 1974 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected for my Facebook routine.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

Let’s do this!!

“Never Never Gonna Give You Up,” Barry White ~ I don’t know.  A little too formulaic and predictable?  For me, I think I may have to be in a particular mood to truly enjoy listening to Barry White’s style.  The groove is legitimate mid-‘70s R&B, near-funk, strings, flute trills, wah-wah guitar splashes.  Just not on my list of favorites, I guess.  Also, I think I personally have a low tolerance for Barry’s signature sexy whisper-talk segments.

“Hollywood Swinging,” Kool and the Gang ~ Too repetitive.  Sometimes repetition can be energizing, but in this case – for me, at least – it is just too much.  Plus, I get the distinct impression Kool and his cronies are trying a bit too hard to sound like Sly and the Family Stone.  No.  Don’t do that.

“Be Thankful for what You Got,” William Devaughn ~  This is one of those songs that is supposed to be encouraging and uplifting – according to the lyrics; but the musical interpretation is melancholy and it actually makes you sad.  It makes you think, “I deserve a great big Cadillac with gangsta white walls…”  Doesn’t make me happy.  I kind of dig the congas, though.

“Hang On In There, Baby,” Johnny Bristol ~ OK.  Maybe I just got a little too saturated with the R&B?  There is actually a lot to like about this track.  Nice groove, wah-wah, strings, vocal harmonies…  but…  did I already use the word “formulaic” in this post?  Hmm.

“Lookin’ for a Love,” Bobby Womack ~ Not crazy about this song musically, to begin with – although there is something contagious about the riff “I-I-I’m lookin’ for a love.”  But really?  Someone to bring me breakfast in bed and do some housework?  What?  Even in 1974 that was an unhealthy perspective.

“I’m Leaving It All Up To You,” Donny and Marie Osmond ~ OK, well, I think I am likely to exclude any and all songs brought to us from either or both of these two.  This song is probably the main reason I don’t actually care to hear any other songs by them.  This is a cover of a perfectly acceptable song from a decade or so prior, but when you know the pair singing this together is a brother and sister, it just makes the whole thing creepy, don’t ya think?  Yeeaah, no.  Thanks, anyway.

“I Love,” Tom T. Hall ~ I remember liking this song back when, but I liked it in the sense that I thought it was basically goofy, and I was usually making fun of Tom T. Hall’s singing voice.  Sorry, Tom.  Bless your heart.  It is good to know what you love.

“Clap for the Wolfman,” The Guess Who ~ The Guess Who are among my favorite bands, in general.  But this track should have been relegated to the obscurity of a filler track on an old-fangled black vinyl LP.  It is OK; just not a song I would eagerly display to friends and acquaintances as a shining example of the musical genius of The Guess Who.  Except for the mysterious popularity of the Wolfman himself, I am not sure how this song made it into the Top 100.

“Trying to Hold On to My Woman,” Lamont Dozier ~ I’d like to just say I don’t care for Lamont’s singing style, but I feel like that is a bit of a cop-out.  Nevertheless, despite the essentially positive moral message of this song, it is actually depressing; to me, anyway.  Ugh.

“A Very Special Love Song,” Charlie Rich ~ I kind of dug Charlie Rich, at first.  This is yet another example of what should be a happy song that sounds like a sad, lonely, “I’m actually pretty bored right now” song.  I’ll pass.

“My Girl Bill,” Jim Stafford ~ In the mid-1970s, it seemed like every Country & Western recording artist had some success on the “Pop” charts.  This is a clever song, rife with country “charm.”  But I have to say, it just does not ring my bell.  In fact, it kind of makes me do a lot of involuntary eye-rolling, and I am usually looking for a way to skip to the next song or change the station or just flat turn it off until this song is over.  Blechh.

“My Mistake (Was to Love You),” Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye ~ Alright.  Two iconic R&B stars singing together.  How could that not be amazing?  Well, it’s nice.  Maybe a little TOO nice.  This song gives me the feeling it might have been performed and recorded by robots.

“Wildwood Weed,” Jim Stafford ~ Goodness, Jim!  You made it on to my “rejected” list twice in the same report.  That is nearly enough to cause me to auto-reject any future attempts.  But, I sincerely take the time and effort to consider each “hit” on its own merits, trying hard not to be biased by previous bad acts.  Sorry.  Songs about smoking dope are not going to make my favorites lists.

“Beach Baby,” First Class ~ These Beach Boys wannabes apparently arrived on the scene about ten years too late.  This is a fun-loving song, I guess; but nothing about it makes it anything more than an average surf music cover.  To tell the truth, I don’t even remember the band or the song.

“Rockin’ Roll Baby,” Stylistics ~ And this group seems to be a tepid replication of the Temptations.  My reaction to this song – which I heard for the first time when I found it on YouTube – was also tepid.  It can remain hidden in the archives.

“Wild Thing,” Fancy ~ This is a reasonably respectable early new wave rendition of a classic rock song (The Troggs, 1966; but it was originally recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965).  Fancy pushes the sexiness into overdrive.  Too bad.  You can definitely hear the rebellious, synth-punk, new wave styles emerging in this recording.

“Mighty Love,” Spinners ~ I would say the Spinners were trying to mimic the Temptations, except both groups were formed in 1961.  This particular song is not a bad song, really.  I would not skip to the next song if it came up in a playlist; but I also would not specifically seek it out so I could play it on endless repeat.

 

That’s it for now,

Sayonara et Shalom!

 

Posted by: boromax | February 7, 2017

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1974 Part One

In this post I will be sharing my reasons for omitting fifteen of the first fifty songs on the 1974 Billboard Top 100 list; i.e., I chose not to share them on my Facebook timeline.

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

Let’s do this!!

“Seasons in the Sun,” Terry Jacks ~ Can I just say, “Ew.”?  Sorry, but I just never cared for this song.  It does exactly nothing for me musically or lyrically.  In fact, it is morbid.  It is a song about death in “bubble-gum” style.  I repeat, “Ew.”

“One Hell of a Woman,” Mac Davis ~ I am not opposed to an occasional Mac Davis tune on my playlists, and a couple of the musical aspects of this track are intriguing.  I think I am just not drawn to this song.  It seems cliché and average.  Plus, although I am really not terribly prudish about such things personally, the use of even a ‘minor’ expletive causes me to react adversely.  ‘s just the way it is, y’all.

“Jungle Boogie,” Kool and the Gang ~ Repetitive. And not in a good way.  I guess the “grunt-scat” counterpoint is… um… amusing.  In general, though, it feels like someone is hitting me in the face with a metronome.

“Spiders and Snakes,” Jim Stafford ~ What can I say? The fuzz-wah guitar is fun.  But this talk-sing novelty is annoying.  AND it is about illicit sex, which is among my top peeves when it comes to popular music.  Call me whatever names you wish to call me.  I am convinced there are plenty of things to sing about without resorting to this topic; especially when you make it all creepy and try to make it acceptable by involving kids.

“Sideshow,” Blue Magic ~ First of all, …zzzzzz….  But not only that, this is one of those songs on the charts where I’m like, “Huh? Who ARE these guys?”  I think I have some vague, peripheral memory of hearing this tune on the radio a few times, but – I know I do not remember the name of the song or the group.

“Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods ~ What I remember about this song is that I totally disliked it from the first time I heard it.  I could NOT understand why anyone was buying the record.  I SO don’t remember “Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods.”  Turns out, in fact, that this song was recorded first by Paper Lace in the UK, as if that makes it any better.  The only other hit by Paper Lace is further down on this same rejection list.

“(You’re) Having My Baby,” Paul Anka ~ Honestly, I almost could not even bring myself to mention this song, even in this rejection post.  I think my discomfort with this song is that – in my view – this is such a personal message, it does not belong on the airwaves, especially being played over and over and over.  And over.  Eeesh.

“Boogie Down,” Eddie Kendricks ~ The orchestral and percussion elements of this track are pretty great, actually.  I think I set this one aside because it is “derivative.”  I mean, it feels like Eddie took a little bit of Stevie Wonder, some Isaac Hayes, a touch of Earth, Wind, and Fire, and a healthy dollop of Temptations, and came up with this commercial for disco-funk.  Of course, I could probably say something similar for about half of the songs that appear on the Top 100 at any given time.  Producers tend to glut the market with what they discover “the kids” are buying.  Alas.  This one doesn’t have anything unique to recommend it.

“Dark Lady,” Cher ~ Musically boring.  Lyrically scary.  Murderous, in fact.  Meh.

“Feel Like Makin’ Love,” Roberta Flack ~ This is a gorgeous song, musically.  I think I could listen to Roberta Flack sing anything.  Roberta.  Free-sing the dictionary, Girl.  I will listen to the whole thing.  This one, very romantic.  She has hit my hot button here, though.  Too sexy.  So, sue me.

“Rock Your Baby,” George McCrae ~ George, meet Roberta.  Y’all go sing about “doin’ it” to your hearts’ content.  I will not be sharing these songs with my Facebook friends.  Not because I think they would truly be horrified, but I try to maintain a certain level of decorum.  Ya feel me?  Is that hypocritical?  Silly?  I don’t know.  Just being honest.

“I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” Gladys Knight & the Pips ~ So, OK.  This is not a bad song.  I probably should have gone ahead and shared it.  It’s GK & the Pips singing a song written by Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg.  How could it miss?  It didn’t miss. It was a verifiable hit.  Nevertheless,  I get tired of the drums and the overuse of the Pips.  Not one of my favorites.

“The Show Must Go On,” Three Dog Night ~ When these guys first hit the scene in the late 1960s (like, five years earlier), they were among my favorites.  I couldn’t get enough of ‘em.  I had their poster on my bedroom wall between Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin.  When this song came along, I realized they had passed into some place I did not care to follow.  This song just, um, how shall I say this?  It’s not good.  Strangely enough, the original version by the songwriter, Leo Sayer, is actually pretty good.

“Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” Brownsville Station ~ This song has a certain rebellious appeal, but I omitted it for a couple of reasons.  First, and primarily, because it is a weak derivation of Alice Cooper’s classic “School’s Out.”  But also, it takes the “I Hate School” anthem to whole new levels of “in-your-face-ness.”  It is catchy.  It is, admittedly, fun to sing along with.  I’m not going to plaster this message on my Facebook timeline, though.

“The Night Chicago Died,” Paper Lace ~ I don’t know.  Do I really have to explain myself on this one?  It kind of reminds me of “The Battle of New Orleans,” for some reason.  Now, Johnny Horton had a legitimate place in his era in popular music.  But I could never figure out why this song was so loved.  I think it is the awkward marriage of dramatic lyrical content and cheesy musical context that throws me off.  It was goofy while it was trying to be taken seriously.  No, thank you.

That’s it for now,

Sayonara et Shalom!

 

Posted by: boromax | January 13, 2017

Nostalgic Dip Rejects, 1973 Part Two

Part One of this series on the songs I rejected for my Nostalgic Dip Facebook timeline is actually included in a previous post, “The Story of the Nostalgic Dip.”

I choose songs for Nostalgic Dip from annual Top 100 Billboard charts.  I could share every song on every list, but for various reasons I choose not to share some of them.  This series of posts is my way of giving at least a modicum of recognition to the songs that I have rejected.  They were legitimate “hits,” after all.  The recognition I proffer here is somewhat back-handed, though, because I am telling you why I snubbed these songs.  You may or may not agree with my reasons, but no worries, they are MY reasons.  Nobody has to agree with them.  >> smiley face <<

When I created the previous post, I had already made it through #59 on the 1973 Top 100 list.  I had shared 36 songs on Facebook, and I had omitted 23 songs.  I gave my reasons, briefly, for leaving them off my timeline.

In this post I will be explaining why I rejected 20 of the 41 songs that remained on the 1973 Top 100 list.  So, let’s get to it!

“Dueling Banjos,” Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell ~ This is a classic, and it is thoroughly artful.  This version became a hit due to its inclusion in the movie “Deliverance.”  Hearing this song evokes unwanted memories of that film. Just sayin’…

“Here I Am (Come and Take Me),” Al Green ~ I am a fan of Al Green, in general.  This song is OK.  Honestly, though, I do not remember it from “my world” in 1973.  When I listened to it so I could decide whether to share it on my Facebook timeline, I still did not remember it, and it just did not ‘ring my bell.’  Oddly, though, I just listened to it again for this post, and I wondered why I skipped it.  Oh, well.

“Get Down,” Gilbert O’Sullivan ~ This is just… a goofy song.  It’s got this super-perky groove – actually, ‘groove’ is way too cool a term for this song, let’s use ‘motif’ – this super-perky motif that is like a bad cartoon theme song.  AND he is calling his girlfriend a “bad dog,” and telling her to “get down.”  Not acceptable.

“Last Song,” Edward Bear ~ OK, so, first of all, I am not sure I am all that amused by a band who names themselves after Winnie the Pooh (‘Edward Bear’ is Pooh’s proper name in the A. A. Milne books).  But I might have been able to overlook that if this song was not an irredeemably sappy break-up song.  Blechh.

“Hocus Pocus,” Focus ~ Let’s just start with the extra few scoops of smirky rhyming in the song title and band name.  Ho.  Hum.  Then let’s move on to the yodeling, screeching, and quack-scat singing… which is where they lost me.  Inventive?  In some people’s universe, I guess.  Not in mine.

“Clair,” Gilbert O’Sullivan ~ I reckon the main thing that causes me not to care much for this song is that it sounds too much like the artist’s biggest hit, “Alone Again (Naturally),” which is WAY too sad.  I mean, “Alone Again” is sad, both in content and musical context; AND it is sad that the two songs sound so much alike.  Then, the subject of the song is obscure, mysterious, and actually a bit weird.  Apparently, the song is about the artist’s manager’s daughter’s babysitter… or something like that.  Just… weird.

“Why Can’t We Live Together,” Timmy Thomas ~ The persistent Hammond-based electronic rhythm track, and the annoying single note ‘melody’ on the organ in the too-long intro, keeps me from being able to focus on the quality and content of the singing.  However, when I force myself to ignore the pesky elements mentioned above, I still do not care much for the lyrics or the vocal quality of Mr. Thomas on this song.  The lyrics are a tired, cliché, re-hashing of approximately eight million other songs written between 1965 and 1975.  At least WAR’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends” was fun to sing along with.  Amazingly, this song has been covered by many estimable artists, including Mike Anthony, Sade, Steve Winwood, Joan Osborne, and Santana!  Here is Sade’s version.

“So Very Hard to Go,” Tower of Power ~ Normally, the simple fact that this is a Tower of Power track would cause me NEVER to avoid sharing it with my friends on Facebook.  I think my reason for omission on this one is that, knowing so many other outstanding and fantabulous other tracks by them, I feel like this one is so far down the list of their music offerings for me, I just can’t share it on purpose.  The song in itself is OK, but it is not particularly representative of ToP’s style and expertise.  It is basically safe and commercial.  Can you say, “Disappointing”?

“Do You Want to Dance?,” Bette Midler ~ I am a pretty big fan of Bette Midler – her singing, acting, comedy.  And this re-interpretation of the classic song from Bobby Freeman is technically a bit more true to the actual message of the song than the original and most of the popular remakes, including the Beach Boys version; but I could just never quite get over the drastic slow-down. Makes me itchy.

“Masterpiece,” Temptations ~ Again, this is from a group that I usually cannot get enough of.  The social consciousness in this song – often the topic in Temptations songs – was, like, almost too much for me.  Not because I think they were lying, or that they personally did not know what they were singing about; but, I think, we were seeing it and hearing it SO MUCH in those days.  Why did it also have to permeate our “entertainment”?  Also, the image of young people dancing to this song (on Soul Train) was somewhat off-putting.  How does one dance to a song about misery and hopelessness in the ghetto?  Maybe I am missing something?

“Peaceful,” Helen Reddy ~ I owned several Helen Reddy albums.  She is definitely on my list of favorite female vocalists.  Admittedly, it is a long list.  I don’t know.  Something about this song makes me roll my eyes.  Like, “Really?”  A song called “Peaceful” should make me feel, oh, I don’t know… peaceful, not somewhere between amused and annoyed by disbelief.

“Funny Face,” Donna Fargo ~ You know that list of favorite female vocalists I mentioned above?  Donna Fargo is not on it.  At all.  Even as a footnote.  But, okay.  There could conceivably be songs she could sing that I would no doubt enjoy, more or less.  This one, though.  This one… well… no.  Seriously?  It is just TOO hokey and cheesy.  Even for me.  Fine.  Her husband called her ‘Funny Face,’ and she called him ‘Fuzzy Face.’  Precious.  There are some things about artist’s private lives we just do not really need to know.  Taylor Swift, I’m talking to you.

“Funky Worm,” Ohio Players ~ Do I really have to explain myself on this one?  I mean… What.  On.  Earth.  Neither funny nor funky.

“Angie,” Rolling Stones ~ Of all the Stones songs in all the world throughout the history of the world, this one is the lamest.  I don’t know what to say.  Boring.  Formulaic.  Makes Mick sound worse than he really is.  Yuck.  Ptui.  Nevertheless, this song has garnered on YouTube a combined total of more than 73 million views.  That is NOT a typo.  I have to believe there is a single disturbed fan out there who has traveled all over the world visiting libraries, computer stores, and internet cafes for the sole purpose of watching these videos on every machine on the planet to register views from different IP addresses.  It is nefarious conspiracy.  I am sure of it.

“Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend,” Lobo ~ Another sad song about breaking up.  This one is based on the old cliché about “being friends” after a couple has stopped being a romantic item.  “I love you too much to ever start liking you.”  So much philosophical malarkey packed into one little sentence.  But cute.  Tres cute.  Cute enough to make lots o’ money for Mr. Lobo (actually his name is Roland Kent LaVoie.  I would call myself ‘Wolf,’ too, I guess.).  At least calling yourself “Lobo” is stronger than a whole band calling itself “Edward Bear.”

“Break Up to Make Up,” The Stylistics ~ Is it just me?  Songs about breaking up are usually just depressing (there are a few exceptions, I am sure).  This one actually gives us that message in a musical motif that would make the listener sad even without the story in words cutting through the string section.  Kind of like being drowned in syrup.

“Daisy a Day,” Jud Strunk ~ OK, I admit it.  I am not a huge Country & Western music fan, per se.  There are many C&W songs I enjoy greatly.  Some artists I have collected most of their recordings.  But this?  I don’t know.  Too slick?  Too cloying?  I will say this:  I found a version of this song recorded in 2006 by D’arcy Broderick.  He takes it to a quite lovely Celtic sea shanty kind of place.  Give it a listen.

“Gypsy Man,” War ~ Maybe it is the context of the greater War ‘body of work’ that causes me to not care much for this track.  I mean, put the radio version in a playlist, I won’t skip past it when it comes up, but this is not a song I will be specifically searching for and playing repeatedly.  Sorry, War.  Can we just be friends?

“The World Is a Ghetto,” War ~ So this is a rarity, I suppose.  Two songs in a row in my reject list by a band that I generally like A LOT.  It happens that these two songs were #93 and #94 on the Top 100 list for 1973.  That is why they are together on THIS list.  This particular song is great musically.  I think, from a personal perspective, I felt so inundated by this type of message that I developed a distaste for hearing my favorite bands belting it out on the radio.  One of my favorite things about War is their vocal harmonies and creative arrangements.  Both of those elements are present in this track, totally.  It’s just that the sense of hopelessness in this song is a bit overwhelming.

“The Twelfth of Never,” Donny Osmond ~ I think I can state with a fair amount of confidence that the twelfth of never will probably arrive before I share a Donny Osmond song on my Facebook timeline.  ANY Donny Osmond song.  Ever. Although, I confess, your attempt to imitate George Michael in this video caused me to keep watching for almost HALF of the video!  But besides all that, Donny, “Really?”  “The Twelfth of Never”?  I get it.  It is a classic.  Everyone and their dog has recorded this song.  It is a beautiful, melodic, lyrical song; especially because it is based on “The Riddle Song” (aka “I Gave My Love a Cherry”).  But, okay, I’m sorry.  Like probably most of the others who recorded this song, you should have left this one to the true minstrels (like Johnny Mathis).  Maybe it gets better further into your recording, but honestly, I could not make it past about thirty seconds. Ouch.

So, that does it for this round of explaining the rejects.  Only a few thousand more to go, give or take.

Sayonara et Shalom!

 

Posted by: boromax | December 28, 2016

Early Music Memories

Musical inputs to my personality and character began while I was still in the womb.  I am fairly certain about this.  I am the youngest of five children.  When my mom was carrying me, she was no doubt already singing and making music with my older siblings.  Pretty good chance when the doctor whacked me, I broke out in song.  Probably “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” but it might have been “Sixteen Tons” or “Amazing Grace.”

Multiple genres surrounded my consciousness during my childhood, but no doubt the most prominent was singing at church.  More often than not, I think my mom was the one playing the piano during the singing.  And my family was singing at every opportunity; morning, noon, and night.  Every time the extended family got together, my mom’s brothers and sisters were playing their various stringed instruments and singing for hours.  I learned what must have been hundreds of hymns, choruses, and children’s ditties.  For example, this one leaps to my memory:

“I am traveling on the Hallelujah Line,

On the good ol’ Gospel Train.

I am on the right track, and I’m never turning back

To the station of Sin again.

I need no fare, I’m traveling on a Pass;

‘Tis the blood for sinners slain.

I am on the right track, and I’m never turning back

To the station of Sin again.”

There were some “HOO-HOO”s in there to make the sound of the train whistle, and you had to pump your hand up and down like the engineer pulling the cord for the whistle.  Sweetness.

But I also remember receiving accolades for my 4 year old impersonations of Elvis (usually “Teddy Bear,” but it could have been any one of ten or more songs of his I already knew by heart at the time) and Kookie (Edward Burns’ character on “77 Sunset Strip”); especially the way Kookie combed his hair; and sing the theme song – emphasis on the snaps.  Or I might be singing the theme songs from “Mighty Mouse” or “The Alvin Show” or any of a dozen or more other shows.  Or commercial jingles from Alka Seltzer to Winston.

One particularly powerful musical memory I have took place on the school bus.  It had to be late 1963 or early 1964.  My family lived on a farm in rural Illinois at the time.  All five of us kids walked down that quarter-mile dirt lane to the road to catch the bus every morning for the ride into town; the town being the bustling metropolis of Sadorus.

Anyway, I distinctly remember one morning when my oldest sister brought her transistor radio to school.  She probably brought it with her most days, I guess; but on this particular day, a song emerged from that little device that, looking back on it now, I realize had a stunning impact on my young heart and mind (I was eight years old).  It was the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  Other favorite songs of mine from that time period, like “It’s My Party” and “Walk Right In” and “Stay” suddenly took a back seat.

Now, don’t get the wrong impression.  I never actually became a truly rabid Beatles fan.  In fact, I’d say I was always kind of a moderate fan of the Beatles.  I liked their music well enough, but I did not lose my mind over them, exactly.  However…  I did have an extraordinary thing happen in 1966.  My family had moved into the city (Champaign), and I had become a paper boy; back when paper boys were actually paper boys; i.e., delivering papers from our bicycles and all that.  I won a “new subscription contest,” and the prize was…  wait for it…  a ticket to the Beatles concert in Chicago!!!  Yes!!!  I was present at the International Amphitheater in Chicago when the Beatles made their final appearance there on August 12, 1966.  I was ten years old, so my ability to appreciate fully what I was experiencing was unfortunately not quite mature.  But, naturally, I have never forgotten that day.

Nevertheless, one would think an experience like that would have pushed my Beatles-appreciation quotient through the roof, but it didn’t.  I think at the time I was enjoying Paul Revere and the Raiders and Tommy James and the Shondells more than the Beatles.  Also, I was a bit more of a Rolling Stones fan.  Within the next few years I would be successively floored by Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Credence Clearwater Revival, Steppenwolf, Chicago, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, and a few dozen other captivating artists.  That train has never stopped.  To this day I still love to experience new sounds, or to be honest even old sounds that I have never ceased to enjoy.  I mean, seriously, I can still listen to songs from those days and marvel at their artistry.

Meanwhile, and simultaneously, I was being exposed to various Southern Gospel and Country & Western artists.  These were my parents’ chosen genres; so, I heard a lot of them; and I liked it, mostly.  Besides Tennessee Ernie Ford and George Beverly Shea, my folks enjoyed the Florida Boys, the Blackwood Brothers, the Happy Goodmans, and many others; especially the Bill Gaither Trio, because I grew up in the denomination from which they emerged.  We sang all of their songs practically every day.  I sang along with everything I could find to sing along with.  My tenor singing voice was honed by singing along with Joe Feeney on the Lawrence Welk Show and with Coy Cook or Tommy Atwood of the Florida Boys as much as by Robert Plant and Chuck Negron.

One of the songs my brother and I would sing together every time we were together is the Blackwood Brothers’ “Heavenly Love.”  My favorite part was going for that high tenor part at the end.  Then, we’d sing “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling.”  He was Bill Medley and I was Bobby Hatfield.  To this day, my heart swells when I hear these songs.  I cannot get enough of music.

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