SotD: Marilyn Whitelaw and Mark Davis, “Jeannie’s Diner”

This is pretty much what you’d expect it to be: a mash-up of the Suzanne Vega/DNA version of “Tom’s Diner” with the theme of/lyrics about I Dream of Jeannie. What may be surprising is that it’s actually quite good/funny; the video, created seemingly years afterward, is very well done.

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 4, Song 1

Note: This series originally appeared on Facebook in a slightly different form, Aug-Sept 16.

This was the B-side of “Middle of the Road” and also appeared on their fine album Learning to Crawl. Breaking news: we’re all getting older. I see that Chrissie turned 65 last year.

It wasn’t by design, but the vocalists on the leadoff songs of sides 2 and 4 were married (to one another) at the time of my recording.

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 3, Song 11

Note: This series originally appeared on Facebook in a slightly different form, Aug-Sept 16.

My recollection is that disco and all its agents and purveyors were still pretty darn uncool in 85. There’s been quite a rehabilitation as the years have passed, at least with music that hit the pop charts (listened to the SiriusXM 70s station lately?).

Rightly or wrongly, the Bee Gees stand out in my mind as the primary exemplar of that era. Of course, disco was their second, comeback act; they’d had more than decent success between 67 and 72.

This was the Bee Gees’ first US hit, reaching #14 in 67. I love the fashions on display in the video.

So why is this here? I like it fine, but on the whole it doesn’t really fit overall. The primary reason: its length, just over two minutes. While I wasn’t tracking times, I was watching the tape and figured I would be able to squeeze one more song in, if it was pretty short. I knew what short songs I had with me; the Bee Gees’ Greatest Hits (pre-disco) was among them, so… That’s also more or less why “Cynical Girl” ended side 1.

American Top 40 PastBlast: 8/22/87

There’s no “Danny Wilson” in this band; they took their name from an early 50s Frank Sinatra flick (in fact, their debut album’s title is that of the movie: Meet Danny Wilson). A Scottish trio, they had only this one success stateside (five spots away from a peak of #23). It’s a sad yet charming tale of regret over throwing away a relationship.

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 3, Song 10

Note: This series originally appeared on Facebook in a slightly different form, Aug-Sept 16.

Huey Lewis and the News was among my favorite bands for a while in the first half of the 80s, but eventually I got just a little burned out on them. This one, from their second album, definitely shows off their fun side. Something I didn’t know until I started doing research for these posts: this was written and first recorded by Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy fame.

American Top 40 PastBlast: 8/19/78

This was the Kinks’ only Top 40 song between “Lola” in 70 and “Come Dancing” in 83. It’s a brutal meditation by Ray Davies, appreciating and yet questioning the time and energy invested by both performer and audience. Amazing track.

The reference to Elvis (the song was written in part as a reaction to his death) given my post earlier this week is purely coincidental yet appropriate. Debuting at #37, it was on its way to #30.

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 3, Song 9

Note: This series originally appeared on Facebook in a slightly different form, Aug-Sept 16.

The scene at the end of this video kinda reminds me of that at the end of “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” This was the B-side of “Keeping The Faith” and originally appeared on The Nylon Curtain. I recently listened to TNC in its entirety on YouTube–how did I not know about “Where’s The Orchestra?” before? That’s a gem.

Also, too: It’s Christmas in August! Look for another song that mentions December 25 on Tuesday.

SotD: Toni Childs, “Walk and Talk Like Angels”

John and I subscribed to Rolling Stone magazine during the years we roomed together in grad school. I faithfully read the album reviews and short features on potentially up-and-coming artists, particularly female singer-songwriters. That’s how I found Toni Childs’ first disk, Union. I wound up really digging on about half of it, and featured some of its songs on tapes I sent to friends later in 88. This is track 2; it’s one of the standouts. If you like it, check out “Don’t Walk Away,” “Zimbabwe,” and maybe especially the hauntingly beautiful “Dreamer.”

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 3, Song 8

Note: This series originally appeared on Facebook in a slightly different form, Aug-Sept 16.

This was released as a single twice, in 82 and 85, getting to #54 the second time; I assume one reason for the re-release was the success of “Missing You” the year before (additionally, it was on the Vision Quest soundtrack). It’s another one of those songs I think should have been a much, much bigger hit.   I’ve long been fond of the video, as well. The visuals dovetail nicely with the lyrics, and I like how that, by the end, you can see they’re not taking themselves too seriously.