American Top 40 PastBlast, 7/3/82: Kansas, “Play the Game Tonight”

Ten days before this countdown, I had all of my wisdom teeth extracted. My dentist recommended they be removed under general anesthesia at a local hospital (they were getting ready to grow in at a fearsome angle). The surgery went fine, but I experienced incredible swelling; I was reduced to a liquid diet for quite a number of days, the only upside of which was getting to enjoy many more milkshakes than normal.

One of the songs I almost certainly heard on the radio while I languished on the living room couch that week following my procedure was Kansas’s first (and only) hit with then-new vocalist John Elefante. “Play the Game Tonight” is at #17, its highest position. As large as “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind” loom over the 70s and classic rock landscapes, you’d think that Kansas had other major hits, but this is actually their third-biggest if you rank by Hot 100 peak (I like “Game” plenty, but I’d take “Point of Know Return” over it).  Doesn’t seem to get much airplay these days, though.

There’ll be much more about the summer of 82 in the last week of this month.

Speaking of the future:  Weekend blogging will be lighter, with very brief entries, over the next fortnight.  I’ve got several posts queued up in the coming days, so while it might not look like it, I’m going to be taking a little time off.

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