I’ve said a few times before that as the 70s progressed toward their end, some of the singles that Dad bought earlier wound up in the hands of me and my sister. Thus, to give a full accounting of his 45 collection, I must paw through my stacks of 7″ vinyl in the basement (and as it turns out, the catacombs of my memory). Some of these were mentioned along the way in this series, but hey, let’s assemble them all in one place, by artist in alpha order. Unsurprisingly, I can’t resist commenting, occasionally noting the quality of the single’s flip side. An asterisk (*) means I didn’t find the record a couple of days ago; maybe I let them get away from me, into my sister’s hands?
Badfinger, “Come and Get It” No doubt Dad loved this one for its Beatlesque sound. The B-side, “Rock of All Ages,” is truly epic.
*The Beach Boys, “Surfin’ U.S.A.”/”Shut Down” Yeah, I said last month that I liked “Surfin’ Safari” more, so I can’t explain why only this one migrated over. If Dad ever expressed bemusement when one of the very first 45s I bought, in the summer of 1976, was the Boys’ “Rock and Roll Music,” I don’t recall it.
Jim Croce, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”/”One Less Set of Footsteps” I’m thinking that this one, as well as the Helen Reddy below, may have been purchased in part because Amy and I loved to sing along with them on the car radio.
*John Denver, “Annie’s Song” and “Back Home Again” Dad would have bought both of these for my mother, I’m pretty sure.
*Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline” Mom went by Caroline, her middle name, so this one was an automatic purchase. It took me years to realize it was “touchin’ me, touchin’ you,” not “touch in me, touch in you.” Of course I could make no sense of that, but it’s hard to unscramble a first impression, especially if it comes at the age of five.
*The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in” An inner-circle Hall of Fame song.
Norman Greenbaum, “Spirit in the Sky” Also an all-time classic. However, the B-side, “Milk Cow,” is pretty dumb.
*Elton John, “Crocodile Rock” I would have expected this to be Dad’s top tune from Reg, but he ranked “Philadelphia Freedom” higher on his list of all-time favorite rock songs. The B-side, “Elderberry Wine,” is very good.
Helen Reddy, “Delta Dawn” I grew up thinking that the song takes place at the visitation of the title character after she’d died, and that the man she had been looking for was Jesus (taking her as his bride being only metaphorical, of course). I imagine the gospel-y nature of the arrangement only reinforced that thought.
*Billy Swan, “I Can Help” I imagine this one attracted his favor with its retro sound. The B-side, “Ways of a Woman in Love,” is just okay.
And that’s a wrap. In case you missed one or more of the previous installments, here are links to all of them:
Part 1: Early #1s
Part 2: 50s Greats
Part 3: 1968
Part 4: The Fab Four
Part 5: The EPs
Part 6: Double-Dips
Part 7: Early 60s Minor Hits
Part 8: 1970-71
Part 9: Obscurities
Part 10: Local Legends
Part 11: 60s Miscellanea
Part 12: Back Where We Started