I really enjoyed this past weekend’s 79 show–there were so many songs among the first two dozen played I still absolutely love. When I took a look at the rest of the 10/27/79 Hot 100, though, I noted several gems that didn’t quite gain enough momentum to make AT40. Why don’t we take a look at six of them?
#80: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)”
Not to be confused with “My My, Hey Hey (Into the Blue),” which I seem to hear much more on the radio these days. Casey didn’t play Young again after “Old Man” hit in the late spring of 72. This is in the middle of a five-week run on the charts and would climb just one position higher.
#62: Cars, “It’s All I Can Do”
One of three, count ’em, three songs by the Cars to stall out at #41–there’s just no justice sometimes. All are great (the others are “Good Times Roll” and “Since You’re Gone”), but this one is the best of them. Earlier this year, jb went back and ranked the tracks on Candy-O. “It’s All I Can Do” came in at #2, which is where I’d put it, too (I’m definitely on board with his top 3).
#60: Steve Dahl, “Do You Think I’m Disco”
Okay, this is not a gem; in fact, I’d never heard it until I started researching this post. I know about Dahl and some of his antics from my grad school roommate John, who grew up listening to Steve and Garry on WLUP in Chicago. Dahl gained broad notoriety when he organized Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Field in July 79. I’m assuming that exposure led to “Do You Think I’m Disco” hitting the national charts for seven weeks in the fall. I’m already on the record that the song being lampooned is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I confess that I’m finding this parody pretty funny. It no doubt helps that I’m pretty much the right age to appreciate it fully. It had peaked at #58 the previous week.
Oh, and is it just me, or did Dahl nail Valspeak three years ahead of its time?
#56: Records, “Starry Eyes”
Power pop classic from Britain. Greg turned me on to this one when we roomed together my last year at Illinois. I missed out on so much great stuff coming out of the UK back then; I guess/hope I’ve caught up a little bit. “Starry Eyes” is at its peak position.
I learned through the comments in this video that John Wicks, the leader/singer of the Records, died at age 65 earlier this month.
#54: Sports, “Who Listens to the Radio”
Another amazing power pop tune, this time from Australia. More than a little Elvis Costello and Van Morrison influence going on here. This video takes film from a pretty cool demo version of “Who Listens to the Radio” (found here) and lays the final studio take over the visuals. It reached #45; if only it’d gotten five slots higher, just for one week…
#46: Who, “5:15”
Quadrophenia was originally released in 73, but a film of the same name, based on Townshend’s work, came out in 79, leading to a renewed interest in the album. “5:15” would also get to #45. It’s one of many classic tracks on the double LP; I’d probably pick “Love, Reign O’er Me” as my favorite.