Songs Casey Never Played, 7/21/79

Before we take a look at some of the songs on this Hot 100 that topped out below #40, here are three nuggets from what was going on in the upper two-fifths of the chart.

–What was to become the #1 song of the year, “My Sharona,” is debuting on this week’s show, at #34. The expansion of AT40 to four hours the previous October was still giving the staff time to spare, so they played the (superior) LP version with the longer guitar solo. I’m wondering now how often that happened during its run;
–“One Way or Another” bounced back into the Top 40 after dipping to #41 the previous week, all the way up at #29. Had their been a reporting or calculation error? My experience over the past three years with songs re-appearing (“Ariel,” “Way Down,” and “As”) had all involved a two-chart hiatus from the 40, so the single week out broke a pattern of sorts;
–Maxine Nightengale and the Bellamy Brothers, both in this show, each had two Top 40 hits (the Bellamys are in their last week on). It’s quite the coincidence that their other hits also rode the charts simultaneously, back in the spring of 1976. Both times, the two acts debuted in consecutive weeks (the Bellamys came on first in 3/76, while Maxine beat them to the punch this time).

And now, as they used to say, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

91. Waylon Jennings, “Amanda”
Waylon’s Greatest Hits was the one cassette all my high school buds and I had for our cars’ tape decks in the early 80s. It had come to market in April 1979, and the then-five-year-old, gentle “Amanda” had been updated a bit and released as a single. This was its last week on the chart, having peaked at #54 the week before.

89. Helen Reddy, “Make Love to Me”
Mom always had the radio in the kitchen tuned to WLW-AM when my sister and I showed up for breakfast. I’m virtually certain that would have been when I occasionally heard this result of Reddy going disco. It’s also about to fall off, having reached #60.

81. Lazy Racer, “Keep on Running Away”
There’s almost nothing on the internet about this band; according to this blog post from seven years ago, they were a five-man, one-woman studio British outfit assembled by producer Glyn Johns. They put out two albums; this is the lead track from the first, the only thing that ever charted over here. It’s not bad at all, though I think I can understand why it didn’t climb any higher than this.

65. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “You Angel You”
Having covered Springsteen to great success, Mann and company elected to turn their attention to Dylan for Angel Station. I didn’t hear this one back then, but I’m pretty sure I would have dug it if I had–I know I’ll spin it at least a couple of times today. It’s heading down from a #58 high.

58. Peaches and Herb, “We’ve Got Love”
Third single from 2 Hot, on its way up to #44. It’s no “Shake Your Groove Thing,” but it should have climbed a few spots higher than it did.

54. The Who, “Long Live Rock”
The release of the ‘rockumentary’ The Kids Are Alright spawned renewed interest in “Long Live Rock,” which was played toward the end of the film. A promo copy of this single was hanging around the WTLX studios when we got back on the air in the spring of 1983; perhaps I gave it a spin a time or two over the years. This was its peak position. (I noticed that songs 53-41 on this chart all had or eventually did hit the Top 40. No idea if that’s unusual or not, but it feels like it might be.)

This is my blog’s 4th birthday. I don’t know if I’m surprised or not at having kept at it this long. It’s turned out to be a great way to reconnect with old friends and make a number of new ones. I truly appreciate the time any and all of you are taking when you choose to visit here; I hope I can continue to make it worth your while.

In the past I’ve embedded the video that appeared in the original Song of the Day post on each July 20, but this year, I’ll just link to the first time it appeared. Thanks again for your support.

Songs Casey Never Played, 4/28/79

Last time I checked in on songs that couldn’t crack the code to get played on AT40, it was all about stuff I hadn’t heard before. We’re pretty much going back to the same well in this episode.

#96. Space, “My Love Is Music”
Nope, it’s not the UK band that struck with “Female of the Species” in 1996–instead it’s a French collective doing ‘space disco,’ already on their third LP. It’s debuting, and would reach #60 in short order.

#95. Liquid Gold, “My Baby’s Baby”
Let’s stay out on the dance floor with another song in its first week, though we’ve moved across the Channel to Northamptonshire. This sextet wound up with a couple of UK Top 10 hits. “My Baby’s Baby” was released only on this side of the Atlantic, would shoot up to #45 by early June and then dive off the chart from that peak position.

#91. The Fabulous Poodles, “Mirror Star”
In my perusal of Stereo Review magazines from this period I’ve seen these Brits featured a time or two; kinda thinking I should do some more investigation. Is this New Wave? I don’t know, but it is a pretty clever meditation on a misfit kid who becomes a rock idol in his bedroom.

#84. Orsa Lia, “I Never Said I Loved You”
Not much out there about Lia (signing to the doomed Infinity label didn’t help); Wikipedia says she’s from Virginia. It’s not a bad little ballad; reminds me of two or three songs from this period (but don’t ask me to try to name them right now). “I Never Said I Love You” was co-written by Hal David and originally recorded by Barbara Mandrell. This would be as high as it would get.

#67. Ian Matthews, “Gimme an Inch”
Penned by Robert Palmer, first appearing on his album Pressure Drop. It’s the lead track from Stealin’ Home and was Matthews’s follow-up single to “Shake It.” Another one that didn’t climb any higher.

#53. Nicolette Larson, “Rhumba Girl”
Shame on me for not learning about this delight until now. “Lotta Love” is one of my absolute faves from the opening months of 1979, and this Jesse Winchester tune is a worthy followup. Somehow only made it to #47.

#49. Ray Stevens, “I Need Your Help Barry Manilow”
We’ll end on a note of levity, one that pretty well hits its target (and I say that as someone who likes plenty of Manilow). I actually did hear this a time or two way back when, and was probably slightly disappointed that it topped out here.

Songs Casey Never Played, 10/7/78

This go-round on SCNP I went casting for tunes I don’t think I’ve ever heard, by artists previously unknown to me. Turns out there were some absolute gems I missed out on forty-two years ago.

#92. The McCrarys, “You”
Wowza. I’m definitely picking up a Staples vibe here. They’re four siblings originally from Youngstown who started out as a gospel group. And yes, that’s Stevie on harmonica. It’s a real shame this had topped out at #45 the week before.

#88. Judy Cheeks, “Mellow Lovin'”
An interesting slice of Eurodisco. Cheeks tried the Donna Summer route by looking to launch her career in Germany. “Mellow Lovin'” did reach #10 on the U.S. Dance chart, but only made #65 on the Hot 100. She did have a couple of #1 Dance hits in the 90s.

#87. ZWOL, “New York City”
This is the first of two minor hits Canadian Walter Zwolinsky had in the late 70s. The other, “Call Out My Name,” is considerably more smooth. “New York City” reached #76 in a two-month run.

#81. Gabriel, “Martha (Your Lovers Come and Go)”
Growing up nominally in the Midwest in the late 70s/early 80s, I have fond memories of hearing songs on the radio by regional bands trying to break nationally, such as Head East, 707, and Shooting Star. I suspect there are guys roughly my age from the Pacific Northwest who dig “Martha (Your Lovers Come and Go)” the way I do “Last Chance” and “Never Been Any Reason.” Based on just a few listens, if I had grown up in Seattle, I totally believe I’d be one of them. Even though this was the highest debuting song of the week (ahead of “Hold the Line,” even), “Martha” stalled out at just #73.

#69. Clout, “Substitute”
This was a #1 hit all over Europe, as well as in New Zealand and South Africa (the homeland of these five women), but it could only reach #67 here. Even though I’m not convinced they’re really playing their instruments, I’m smitten. Originally recorded by the Righteous Brothers during their 70s revival.

#67. Don Ray, “Got To Have Loving”
If like me you’re picking up a hint of “Love in C Minor” from the opening of this one, it might be because Jean-Marc Cerrone co-wrote and co-produced it. Raymond Donnez elected to anglicize his name for recording purposes. Wikipedia says Ray produced Santa Esmeralda’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” “Got To Have Loving” failed by only four spots in making Casey-land.

Songs Casey Never Played, 6/11/77

Here are five songs by artists who hadn’t had Casey call their names as of June 1977. It was just a matter of time…

99. Walter Egan, “Only the Lucky”
Lead track from Egan’s debut album Fundamental Roll. Buckingham’s producing, Nicks is singing backup, and it’s a thorough pop delight–a stronger vocal could have put it over the top. As it is, it’s only gonna climb to #82.

94. REO Speedwagon, “Ridin’ the Storm Out”
That siren sounds, the crowd fires up, and the boys from Champaign start rockin’ live. The studio version had appeared four years earlier, but this is what I heard on the radio in high school. It’s their first charting single and is at its peak.

89. Dave Mason, “So High (Rock Me Baby and Roll Me Away)”
Former Traffic member would finally have a Top 40 hit later in the year with Let It Flow‘s second single, “We Just Disagree” (a much better song, honestly). He’d just missed in 1970 with his “Only You Know and I Know,” a #20 hit the following year for Delaney and Bonnie.

Like the song immediately above, “So High” is at its peak, in its last week on the chart.

86. Chuck Mangione with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Esther Satterfield, “Land of Make Believe”
Someone’s going to have to help me out on this one–is this a single version of the 12-minute title song from Mangione’s 1973 album, somehow released four years after the fact? My attempts to figure this out are coming up dry so far. It’s a cool piece, but also wouldn’t climb any higher.

68. Bonnie Raitt, “Runaway”
Raitt was on her sixth album, Sweet Forgiveness, at this point. Even though she was already highly regarded, it was the first time she charted with a single. Raitt took by far the longest of these five acts–fourteen more years, Casey hosting a different show by then–for him to spin one of her tunes. This cover of the Del Shannon classic would peak eleven slots higher.

Songs Casey Never Played, 3/3/79

Here’s a look at six singles from early-ish 1979 that ran into a serious headwind as they tried to get on AT40. Think I may have known about only one of them in real time, but most are worth giving more than a few spins even today.

#95. Sad Café, “Run Home Girl”
English band with Paul Young (the one who later sang “All I Need Is a Miracle,” not “Come Back and Stay”) on vocals. This is the first of their two Hot 100 appearances, already on the way down from a #71 peak. I’m definitely glad to make its acquaintance–it’s a cool, smooth ride.

#94. Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder, “Pops We Love You (A Tribute to Father)”
Sometimes mega-star power isn’t nearly enough. Berry Gordy, Sr., father of the founder of Motown Records, passed away in November of 1978. This homage to him is pleasant enough, and no doubt heartfelt, but even arguably the four single most important artists in Motown’s history couldn’t propel it past #59.

A couple of years ago I remember hearing Casey tell a story about this song on an 80s rebroadcast–I have a feeling I’m going to spend too much later today trying to research which one it was…

#89. Parliament, “Aqua Boogie”
This George Clinton joint also has a parenthetic element to its title: “A Pyschoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop.” It was the third of four #1 songs on the R&B chart for the Parliament/Funkadelic mothership. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t quite feel the jam as with “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker,” “Flash Light,” or “One Nation Under a Groove.” This was its peak, and its last week on the chart.

#85. Kate Bush, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”
Imagine being able to write like this by the time you’re 17. Bush’s first album, The Kick Inside, had been a big hit in England for some time already when “Man” gave her her first appearance on the US charts (“Wuthering Heights” had Bubbled Under for one week the previous November). This astonishingly beautiful song would climb no higher here, though it did go Top 10 in the UK. I wish it hadn’t taken me eight more years to first hear it.

#69. Kim Carnes, “It Hurts So Bad”
Carnes had finally received a taste of success the previous summer when she and Gene Cotton recorded a duet of her song “You’re a Part of Me.” Then, her fourth album St. Vincent’s Court provided her with her first solo charting single. It would reach #56 in short order before falling off. As with “Run Home Girl” above, this is a pretty awesome song I’m sorry for not discovering sooner than 41 years after the fact…

#62. Desmond Child and Rouge, “Our Love Is Insane”
…but I can’t quite say the same for this. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me, but I do wonder about the dynamics that resulted in Child getting top billing. I guess this track is okay, but the thing that stands out most to me are a couple of good, blart-y bass riffs. It would reach only #51, but please don’t cry for Child; songwriting nirvana would be on its way for him soon enough.

Songs Casey Never Played, 1/16/82

Today it’s a few AC and AOR nuggets that were living on the Hot 100 as 1981 became 1982. Alas, they all fell short of making AT40, to varying degrees.

#92. The Kinks, “Better Things”
Second single from Give the People What They Want; it didn’t fare any better than “Destroyer,” which peaked at #85 in November. “Better Things” spent eight weeks on the chart (including the frozen 1/2/82), managing to climb all the way from #98 to this spot over that span. James bought the album during our college years, and I know many of the songs on it, but this one–the closer– slipped by me then.

#88. Rush, “Closer to the Heart”
Rush went through four cycles of four-studio-LPs-then-a-massive-live-album between 1974 and 1996. Exit…Stage Left came at the end of the second of those, between Moving Pictures and Signals. The studio version of “Closer to the Heart” was their first time on the singles charts, making #76 at the very end of 1977. The live take from E…SL fared a tiny bit better; it’s coming down from a #69 high. It’s plenty true to the original–I don’t mind it at all.

#67. John Hall Band, “Crazy (Keep on Falling)”
Hall was a founder of Orleans, but bailed after their first two hits for what turned out to be a marginally successful solo career. His new band made the charts twice, and this one came mighty close to the promised land, reaching #42 (he went back to Orleans in the mid-80s). Hall was elected to the U.S. House from New York in the Democratic wave of 2007, but was swept back out four years later.

#65. Steve Carlisle, “WKRP in Cincinnati”
Is it possible to have charted in the 1980s and still have virtually no internet evidence of your musical existence? Steve Carlisle is attempting to answer this question in the affirmative. Can’t find any biographical data on Allmusic, though Discogs does have a track listing for one LP. I see a couple of promo singles available via Amazon, too. He appears to have run with the Jerry Buckner/Gary Garcia crowd, even singing backup on “Pac Man Fever.”

On the other hand, we all remember his voice. Even though WKRP in Cincinnati debuted in 1978, its opening theme didn’t chart until now. This is as high as it would climb.

#63. The Carpenters, “Those Good Old Dreams”
Karen and Richard’s Top 40 career turns out to have ended the previous summer with “Touch Me When We’re Dancing,” though they tried three more times to get another hit from Made in America. “Those Good Old Dreams” was the third single released; it got stuck in this spot. I don’t remember hearing it back in high school, but it’s a delight (and the family pix in the video are neat).

#53. Henry Paul Band, “Keeping Our Love Alive”
Henry Paul, like John Hall, had left a band whose name was filed under ‘O’ in record stores and who had their first hit in 1975 (the Outlaws). “Keeping Our Love Alive” was the HPB’s only trip to the Hot 100–it topped out at the halfway point–but they Bubbled Under three other times. Paul also eventually returned to his former bandmates. I must have been starting to tune in more regularly to WLAP-FM in Lexington around this time–I know I heard this a few times as part of their automated playlist.

Songs Casey Never Played, 12/6/86

In December of 86, I was just about to muddle through a grad school finals week for the first time. Checking out the Hot 100 posted at Record Service in Champaign was very much an every week thing for me that fall–what did I see in the bottom half of the chart this time?

91. KBC Band, “It’s Not You, It’s Not Me”
We all like to dunk on Starship, and for good reason: they were the final devolution of a one-time pretty important and pretty good band. They gave Diane Warren her first #1 hit, for heaven’s sake! (Never mind that you might catch me singing along to “We Built This City” every once in a while…)

Anyway, after Paul Kantner departed the scene (taking ‘Jefferson’ with him), he hooked back up with fellow former Airplaners Marty Balin and Jack Casady to record one album. I remember seeing the resulting LP at Record Service and hearing the anthemic “It’s Not You, It’s Not Me” a few times on WPGU. It’s hardly a world-beater, but it’s at least two orders of magnitude better than the almost contemporaneous “Nothing’s Going To Stop Us Now.” Would only get two spots higher.

89. Grace Jones, “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)”
Model, actress, singer–Jones had a long career with varying degrees of success in these fields. I confess I’m more familiar with “Demolition Man” from binge sessions of MTV in the Transy student center. “I’m Not Perfect” is the third and final time Jones hit the Hot 100 (the other two were back in 77). It would peak at #69 in a few weeks.

73. Debbie Harry, “French Kissin”
The second week in a row here at the blog with an appearance from Harry, whose solo career just never got on track (though who could ever un-see the cover of Koo Koo?) This sorta catchy lead single from Rockbird would climb to #57.

69. Paul Young, “Some People”
Just a year earlier, Young had the world on a string, coming off a series of Top 10 hits in the UK and the #1 “Everytime You Go Away” here in the States. A weak chorus in an otherwise decent, shuffling tune doomed “Some People,” the lead single from his next album Between Two Fires. It would get just four positions higher, and seemed to derail Young’s career–the big hits were much harder to come by for him on both sides of the pond after this.

68. Eurythmics, “Thorn in My Side”
Speaking of acts running out of steam… This follow-up to “Missionary Man” would get no higher, the biggest injustice we’re encountering today. “Thorn in My Side” made #5 in the UK, but it was Annie and Dave’s last Top 10 hit there; folks were just moving on, apparently.

64. The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me ’86”
Even though the boys in the Police had parted ways following the Synchronicity tour, they got back together briefly a couple years later to update one of their earlier hits for a GH album. It was not so easy to be the teacher’s pet a second time, though, as ’86 is already coming down off a #46 high. I think this Godley/Creme vid could have been shot without Andy, Stew, or Gordon having to spin ’round the set at the same time.

Songs Casey Never Played, 10/30/82

Lots of nice options here, part of a long stretch of tunage that wound up falling short of getting featured on AT40. Here are six that were in various stages of failure at the end of October 82.

#100. The Motels, “Take the L”
In which we get a spelling lesson from Martha Davis. Was vaguely aware of it at the time; while not as good as other singles of theirs, it’s more than worthy of a listen. In its last week on the Hot 100, down from a peak of #52.

#77. Talk Talk, “Talk Talk”
One of two songs featured today I’m kicking myself over having failed to discover in real time. IMO it crushes about 90% of the songs on this chart. I featured this back in the first six weeks of blogging, but happy to wheel it out again.

Talk Talk couldn’t match Yellow Balloon’s #25 peak with a self-titled song; this got only two spots higher.

#76. Charlene and Stevie Wonder, “Used to Be”
In general, I try to avoid taking the time to write about dreck–life is just too short. I’m making an exception this time, however–this has to be the worst song I’ve blogged in my two-plus years. I’m simply grateful that I managed to avoid it until now.

“I’ve Never Been to Me” is way overdramatic and pretty bad, but I can at least understand it resonating somewhat with the public, even if not as much as it did. Its surprising re-emergence in the spring of 82 after stiffing four-plus years earlier got Charlene a new contract and a duet with Mr. Wonder. It’s terrible. The first stanza goes, “Superman was killed in Dallas/There’s no love left in the palace/Someone took the Beatles’ lead guitar.” These are Kennedy and Lennon assassination references, I guess. It only goes downhill from there. Trust me. Or not. Stunningly, it reached #46.

#69. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message”
I’ve got to cleanse the palate after that, so we’ll finish with three very fine cuts. First, how about a classic old-school track? “The Message” went Top 10 in several countries, but apparently the folks in the US weren’t ready to hear it yet–it would reach only #62.

#57. Missing Persons, “Destination Unknown”
I don’t know how it took almost ten years for me to really catch on to this most excellent cut–I’d been well aware of “Words” back in the summer when it was receiving attention. Like “Words,” this topped out at #42. I think it’s the song that least deserves to be in this post.

#53. Paul McCartney, “Tug of War”
This was the first Macca single to miss the Top 40, not counting “Seaside Woman,” a #59-peaker in the summer of 77 by Suzy and the Red Stripes–aka Linda McCartney and Wings. It’s stalling out here; fantastic piece, though.

“In a time to come we will be dancing to the beat played on a different drum.” If only.

Songs Casey Never Played, 9/27/86

It was a month-plus into my new phase of life in a new city in a new state, probably still feeling my way around. While I was continuing to pay less attention to (and generally enjoy less) what was happening toward the upper end of the Hot 100, that didn’t keep songs which couldn’t crack the Top 40 from being released. Here are six from late September of 86 that were on the tail end of their failed attempt to make the show.

#90. Thompson Twins, “Nothing in Common”
Title song from a Jackie Gleason/Tom Hanks film, the last of Gleason’s storied career. The now-a-duo Twins (Joe Leeway had split earlier in the year) couldn’t sustain their chart magic of the previous two-plus years, reaching only #54 with this one. Tom and Alannah would have two more minor Top 40 hits after this.

 

#89. John Fogerty, “Eye of the Zombie”
Fogerty wasn’t remotely able to replicate the success of Centerfield. This title track of the follow-up album only spent four weeks on the chart, having already peaked at #81. I heard it on the radio a few times around then, and could see why it stalled out.

 

#73. Doctor and the Medics, “Spirit in the Sky”
Hearing the Norman Greenbaum original played on the hi-fi in our living room is among my first musical memories–Dad had bought the 45 when it was riding high on the charts in the early part of 70. This glam, ironic yet also insufficiently ironic remake definitely caught my attention, not necessarily for all the right reasons.  Whether in spite of or due to a low-budget video that features shameless mugging by The Doctor–as well as various Medics–and an homage to the wall-climbing scenes from the original Batman TV series, it had shot to #1 in the UK earlier in the year. Stateside, it was on its way down from #69.

 

#66. The Moody Blues, “The Other Side of Life”
This one and the next are follow-up singles to Top 10 hits by long-standing groups from earlier in the year, but that’s about all they share. I liked this atmospheric piece well enough, I suppose. The Moodies appear to be trying to make some grand statement with the clip, though, and in the end it’s just a bunch of weird stuff featuring a ton of low-fi special effects with no worthwhile payoff. The band doesn’t even seem into the goings-on–definitely a letdown from the charming vid for “Your Wildest Dreams.” The song is falling off a #58 peak.

 

#56. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Wrap It Up”
Decent cover of a Sam & Dave song (it was the B-side to “I Thank You”); the Eurythmics had also taken a shot at it three years earlier. As far as the video goes: talk about indulging male fantasies…  I’ll admit, I was a touch surprised when it only got to #50.

 

#42. Gwen Guthrie, “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But the Rent”
The late Guthrie cuts to the chase: “No romance without finance.” And: “You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me.” Yes, this is its peak position. It would be the only time Guthrie made the pop charts, but she gets full credit for creating a memorable phrase (or two, or three).

Songs Casey Never Played, 8/27/77

This show came right at the time I was beginning 8th grade. WSAI, 1360 AM, was about a year away from flipping formats from Top 40 to country, so I wasn’t yet taking time to explore what Cincinnati had to offer on the FM side of things. Not that I likely would have known more than a couple of these six tunes that fell short of AT40 glory had I been doing so, anyway…

#97: Dr. Hook, “Walk Right In”
I suspect Dr. Hook was trying to duplicate the formula that had resulted in “Only Sixteen” reaching #6 the previous year. However, this cover of The Rooftop Singers’ #1 hit of early 63 is uninspiring at best. Nonetheless, it somehow managed to reach #46.

 

#88: Brownsville Station, “The Martian Boogie”
Now we are talking. I didn’t encounter “The Martian Boogie” until my sophomore year in college, when WTLX began broadcasting Dr. Demento. Warren was previously familiar with it, though, and made sure that James and I got to know it well enough to randomly insert “Eat’s!” and “And I freaked…’cause the guy sitting next to me…was a MARTIAN!” into casual conversation. It’s honestly a bit of a mystery how this gained enough traction to eventually climb to #59, but there are solid jams a-plenty going on.

 

#87: Ramones, “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”
There’s not much I could say about this classic that hasn’t been said multiple times. The Ramones never got especially close to a hit single, making the Hot 100 only three times (“Rockaway Beach” was the most successful, hitting #66 in early 78). “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” spent 13 weeks on the chart but clawed its way just six positions higher than this.

 

#85: Marshall Tucker Band, “Can’t You See”
Isn’t this the most played of their songs now? Seems like it should have gone higher than #75. I’m inserting the album version here, since I know that’s what you want to listen to today.

 

#78: 10cc, “Good Morning Judge”
Okay, I actually did hear this a couple of times back in the day (it’s the “so happy I don’t wanna be free” and possibly that wicked guitar riff that got lodged in my head). This third single from Deceptive Bends was a legitimately funny and solid track, with a decidedly ahead-of-its time video. Definitely deserving of better than a #69 peak. I’ll be humming it the rest of the week now.

 

#64: Celi Bee and the Buzzy Bunch, “Superman”
Herbie Mann re-tooled this song’s lyrics to leverage Superman‘s early 79 domination at the box office and in popular culture. On Mann’s single, the female vocalist is encouraging the Man of Steel to “do it to them,” presumably meaning capturing bad guys. Eighteen months earlier, though, Ms. Bee was perhaps dreaming on some disco hunk and not Christopher Reeve’s character, as the objective pronoun in her cooing of that phrase is first-person singular, not third-person plural (which is what I thought was sung in Mann’s version, to be honest–give me a break, I was fifteen in the spring of 79). The Buzzy Bunch included Bee’s husband (who was also the song’s writer).

“Superman” is on its way down from #41. While Bee and company had some Dance Chart success, this was their only flight on the Hot 100.