WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 4, Song 7

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

I really dug ELO in the late 70s; their 76 release A New World Record was another of the few albums I owned in high school, and it’s a classic. This was the second 45 from it, reaching #24 in Spring 77. It originally scored as a single by The Move, Jeff Lynne’s previous band (#93, late 72).

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 4, Song 6

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

One of my favorite AOR songs in summer 81 was this band’s “No Turning Back.” This one comes from an EP they released the following year. They’re from Australia and were originally named Sherbet.

My worst segue was the one leading into this song; I didn’t fade Rod quite quickly enough, and a note or two of “You’re In My Heart” creeps in after this has already begun.

American Top 40 PastBlast: 8/31/85

In its day this video was considered, if not a technical marvel, at least highly creative. Things advanced fairly quickly, though–the last minute of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” vid was only six years away. And with CGIs now, well…  (Edited to add: Alas, in 2018 it seems that one can’t link to the original video any more via YouTube.)

Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were part of 10cc in its early days, as well as in that band’s predecessor, Hotlegs. They broke from the group in between its two big US hits, and recorded as a duo for a number of years, finally striking gold in the US (getting to #16; it’s #29 here) with this one. Their greatest mark was left in video direction, however: besides “Cry”, their oeuvre includes “Girls on Film,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Two Tribes,” “Rockit,” and “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.”

American Top 40 PastBlast: 8/25/79

Even though I had the radio on a lot in the late 70s/early 80s, there were still plenty of tunes I heard only on AT40. In many, even most, of those cases, they would be on the chart only a very few weeks. Nonetheless, some became very dear to me very quickly–often it would take just a listen or two to know I REALLY liked a song.

This one could be the best exemplar of the phenomenon. Here, it’s in the middle of a three-week, 39-38-37 run. It played in my head from time to time after that but I don’t know that I heard it again until I rescued a copy of the album Strange Man, Changed Man from a cutout bin a few years later. It’s a fabulous power pop tune, criminally underappreciated. And hey, it’s even got Mike Oldfield playing the tubular bells!

WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 4, Song 5

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

I’d like to be able to tell you that this was included at least semi-ironically, but… Like I said earlier, disco was close to untouchable in 85, but I maintained a soft spot for this one. Clearly a ridiculous work, but also pretty darn catchy.


My son grew up terrified of dogs, and we never knew why. He’d insist that his friends put them behind a closed door or gate before going in their home, and encountering one in a public setting would send him scurrying. Then, in one afternoon in August 2013, that all changed.

We were holding a back-to-school event at our church; the local Humane Society was invited to show off their adoptables. Our cat had been put down back in the spring; Ben was asking as we drove there about a kitten, or maybe even two: “My friend told me it’s better if they have a playmate,” he offered helpfully. We made no promises, and a quick look over what our friend from the Humane Society had brought showed there were a few kittens and three or so dogs.

Martha and I were individually busy working games and trying to make sure things in our spheres ran as smoothly as possible. I wasn’t paying any attention to what Ben was doing, and was pretty surprised when Martha came over about halfway through the event to point out that Ben was walking one of the dogs! She grabbed her camera to capture the moment. Before the afternoon was over, he was petting and giving this 60+ pound collie mix all sorts of loving.

Our friends at church knew Ben’s history, and of course many of them were now telling us, “You have to take this dog!” We weren’t convinced, but by mid-week, the idea of taking him on for a couple of weeks “as a trial” began to seem inevitable. Four years ago today, we welcomed Buddy (he came named– a bit unfortunate, since this was also one of our nicknames for Ben!) into our home, and he’s become one of the family. Based on how I know my son, I figured there would be a breakthrough moment of some sort eventually. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to share and enjoy life with the dog responsible for it.


WTLX Mix Tapes: Side 4, Song 4

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

One of EC’s two US top 40 hits (this got to #36 in Fall 83; “Veronica” reached #19 in 89). The extended metaphor of love-as-a-literary-work completely rocks the house.  I don’t recall seeing this video on MTV during my heavy-watching period; I think I would have remembered the Chuck-and-Di doppelgängers.