Monday’s Music Moves Me: Spotify Randomness

When I first deal with Spotify, I couldn’t stand it. The more I use it, the better I like it. Funny how that works sometimes. Anyway, I decided to choose a random song, in this case Pablo Cruise’s “Love Will Find A Way,” and let Spotify build a playlist around it. Realizing that Spotify demands that you be a subscriber to listen to one of their playlists, I then built a YouTube playlist with the ten songs in it. Hope you like it!

  1. Pablo Cruise, “Love Will Find A Way” I never realized these guys were from San Francisco. Anyway, they released 8 studio albums and had 5 singles that reached the Top 25. This came out in 1978 and reached #6 in the US, #5 in Canada, and #8 in Australia.
  2. America, “You Can Do Magic” Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley formed America in London while their fathers were stationed there by the US Air Force. They were a big commercial success in the early and mid ’70’s, before Dan Peek left the group in 1977. This was their one successful single after then, released in 1982; it reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the AC chart. Bunnell and Beckley now ply their trade on ’70’s cruises, while Peek died in 2011.
  3. Steely Dan, “Hey Nineteen” From their 1980 album Gaucho, this reached #10 in the US and #5 in Canada. Dennis Fagen and Walter Becker then took a 20-year hiatus.
  4. Ambrosia, “Biggest Part Of Me” This Southern California band formed in 1970 and had five Top 40 singles between 1975 and 1980, with “How Much I Feel” and this song reaching the Top 5.
  5. The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” The Cars emerged from the late ’70’s “new wave,” and while they didn’t have much chart success, their music was a staple of the FM dial. This is from their eponymous 1978 debut and reached #35 that year.
  6. Robbie Dupree, “Hot Rod Hearts” This was the follow-up single to “Steal Away” in 1980. It reached #15 and earned him a Grammy nomination in 1981 for Best New Artist, which he lost to Christopher Cross. He’s making the rounds with other “yacht rock” acts, including the 2013 “Sail Rock” tour with Cross and others, and the 2018 “Rock The Yacht” cruise with John Ford Coley.
  7. Chicago, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” Interesting that this song made it to this list, as it’s older than nearly all the other songs, having appeared on Chicago’s debut album in 1969, but that’s OK. This is the full album track, complete with a couple of minutes of free-form piano at the beginning.
  8. Loggins & Messina, “House At Pooh Corner” From their 1971 album Sittin’ In, so named because it started out as a Kenny Loggins album, but Jim Messina, who was producing it, joined Kenny on several of the tracks, and before they knew what was happening Loggins & Messina was born.
  9. The Doobie Brothers, “Minute By Minute” In 1975, when Steely Dan decided to focus on studio work, Michael McDonald and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter joined the Doobies, who had lost guitarist and lead singer Tom Johnston, and transformed the band’s sound. This was the title track from their 1978 album, the second single from the album, which reached #14.
  10. Pablo Cruise, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” And we come full circle with this, from 1977, their first single from the 1977 album A Place In The Sun. It reached #6 in the US and #1 in Canada.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 26, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: More Randomness

Did this a couple of weeks ago, and I got good feedback on it, so I’m doing it again. I start with the first song that comes to mind, and just let YouTube dictate the rest of them.

  1. David Essex, “Rock On” I had this song on my mind for whatever reason, so I figured it was a good place to start. This was his lone US hit, from 1973, when it reached #4.
  2. Steely Dan, “Do It Again” From their 1972 debut album Can’t Buy A Thrill, it reached #6 on the Hot 100. Steely Dan gradually backed off the Top 40 thing.
  3. Sugarloaf, “Green Eyed Lady” A favorite of mine from 1970. It reached #3 on the Hot 100, and they wouldn’t have another hit single until 1974, with “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You,” which oddly enough was about their struggles to get another record on the chart.
  4. Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Spooky” It stands to reason that a band made up mostly of former members of Classics IV would try to cover one of their early hits, and they tried in 1979. While the original reached #3, ARS’s version only got as far as #17.
  5. Al Stewart, “The Year Of The Cat” This was the title track from Stewart’s seventh studio album in 1976, which is considered his masterpiece. The song helped the album reach #5, though the song only reached #8.
  6. Gerry Rafferty, “Baker Street” For some reason, I always get Gerry confused with Al, but anyway… This is from 1978, when it reached #2 on the Hot 100. You might recognize Gerry’s voice from the Stealer’s Wheel hit “Stuck In The Middle With You,” on which he also provided lead vocal.
  7. 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” This was their 1975 worldwide breakout hit, from their third album The Original Soundtrack. It reached #2 in the US.
  8. Double, “The Captain Of Her Heart” We take a sudden ten-year leap, to 1986 for this, by the Swiss duo Double (pronounced “doo-BLAY”). It only reached #16 on the Hot 100, but #4 on the AC chart, and is still a staple of “lite rawk” radio.
  9. Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” From Simply Red’s 1985 album Picture Book, it was released in 1985, when it went nowhere. Reissued the following year, it reached #1 in the US. Timing is everything, or so they say.
  10. Spandau Ballet, “True” Title track from their third studio release in 1983, it reached #4 in the US for their only Top 10 hit here. Two subsequent releases barely reached the Top 40 in this country.

I’m the guest conductor on this musical journey, and unfortunately I can’t show you who all is participating this week, but I can share this:

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That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 12, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

The Friday 5×2: Randomness, More Or Less

I have these sort of magpie tendencies where I collect things I think I might want in the future or that are shiny or whatever, put them away, and never look at them again. Then, one day I find my little stash and start going through it, and don’t quite remember why I saved it, but finding it makes me happy. There were especially difficult times in my life when I would collect YouTube videos and save them in a folder on my hard drive, then forget I had them. Well, I turned up a trove of them today, and saw that many were song videos. I chose ten of them and built a playlist, for your listening enjoyment. There’s no rhyme nor reason to the choices, no theme to tie all of them together, just songs I liked enough to want to save.

  1. Vincent Bell, “Airport Love Theme” I’ve never seen the movie Airport, but I’ve read the book by Arthur Hailey and heard the music by Vincent Bell, who invented the “guitar under water” sound. (Or, at least, perfected the technique…) He sold quite a few records with this one back in 1970.
  2. The Intruders, “Cowboys To Girls” Often I’ll go out to YouTube with the idea that I’m going to look for a song that I think I remember but can’t say for sure if it was real. This is one of them. The Intruders took this Gamble and Huff song to #1 on the R&B chart and #6 on the Hot 100 in 1968. I guess it was real.
  3. Jerry Reed, “Eastbound and Down” From the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit, the second highest-grossing movie that year after Star Wars, which should tell you something. Jerry Reed wrote this song under his real name (Jerry Hubbard) and plays the hot guitar solo in the middle. It reached #2 on both the US and Canadian Country charts, but only rose as far as #103 on the Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart.
  4. Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames, “Yeh Yeh” I talked about Georgie back when I was covering the British Invasion artists on Two for Tuesday. It was #1 for 2 weeks in the UK in 1965.
  5. Nilsson, “Everybody’s Talkin'” From the soundtrack of the 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy, which received an X rating back then, not so much for what happened, but for what the censors believed happened in the film. Under further review, it received an R rating, and given some of the R-rated movies today, even that might be a little restrictive. The song reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart and earned Nilsson a Grammy in 1970.
  6. Hedgehoppers Anonymous, “It’s Good News Week” Originally known as The Trendsetters, the band adopted the name The Hedgehoppers in 1964 and added “Anonymous” when Jonathan King took over as producer. The song reached #5 in the UK but only #48 in the US, which surprises me, because I remember hearing this all the time.
  7. Keith, “98.6” Keith took this to #7 in the US and earned a gold record for his efforts. “98.6” refers to human body temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; in those countries that have gone metric, the name of the song is “37.5”…
  8. The Kinks, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” I enjoy the music of The Kinks for the satire inherent in their songs. For all the fun that this record poked at the whole Carnaby Street scene rampant in England in those days, it did surprisingly well, reaching the top 5 in the UK, topping the chart in The Netherlands and New Zealand. It only got to #36 in the US. Guess we didn’t get the joke, although I’m willing to bet the censors kept it off the air.
  9. Maria Muldaur, “Midnight At The Oasis” I was seventeen when this song came out, so this song had a profound effect on me. ‘Nuff said. The guitar solo in the middle of the song is played by Amos Garrett, who was a member of Paul Butterfield’s Better Days with Maria’s ex-husband Geoff. It reached #6 in the US and #2 in Canada and resulted in a lot of intimate evenings.
  10. Ray Stevens, “Misty” You wouldn’t think that a country version of this song would sound that good, but Ray Stevens took this to #14 and made it sound perfectly normal.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for January 26, 2018.

Christmas Randomness

Oh, Lord, it’s already starting: The Christmas music, the Christmas comercials on TV, everybody talking about Black Friday this and that…

This Christmas season marks the 50th anniversary of the first time Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated special narrated by Burl Ives, was shown on TV. That was the first time I ever heard this song.

I never got tired of hearing the story about Rudolph and Hymie and the Island of Misfit Toys. The last time I saw it, however, they replaced Burl Ives singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the end with a stop-action of Destiny’s Child singing it while Snowman Burl leered at them. Talk about a way to ruin a great Christmas special. I mean, Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle did a fine version of the song, but it just didn’t fit. I guess there were good reasons to do it, but man…

Someone on Facebook found an article the other day that noted the passing of Arthur Rankin, Jr., on January 30 of this year. He and Jules Bass, his business partner, made hundreds of stop-action features like Rudolph, as well as the Peabody Award-winning The Hobbit in 1977. That would have been something that I would have liked to have noted, but this was the first I had heard of it.

I Googled Rankin’s name, and found out that the folk singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin, who used to appear frequently on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the 1970’s, had also died, over five years ago. He was the author of the song “Peaceful.” It was Helen Reddy’s followup hit to “I Am Woman” in 1973, and Georgie Fame had a hit with it in 1969. Here is Kenny singing the song on his 1972 album Like A Seed.

Kenny wrote his own songs and also interpreted the songs of others. He did a version of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” that was so beautiful Paul McCartney asked him to play it when he and John Lennon werre inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kenny was good friends with Carson, who wrote the liner notes for his debut album, 1967’s Mind Dusters. He was also good friends with George Carlin, who also recorded on the Little David label. Rankin would open shows for Carlin, and reportedly George got Kenny re-addicted to cocaine.

On Christmas of 1972, I got George Carlin’s Class Clown album, and played it until I wore the grooves out. (Admit it, you were wondering how I was going to get back to Christmas, didn’t you?) 1972 was the year he was arrested in Milwaukee for performing his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television.” My mother was at that performance, and said he was a “goof.” That was Mom’s favorite put-down. “Oh, for God’s sake, what a goof!” She said that about everyone. We could all do an impression of her saying it.

So, I guess all of the kids’ Christmas shows are getting pulled out of mothballs and being tested to make sure they won’t break, although I’m almost positive they’ve been ripped down and digitized for years. I have no idea when any of them will be played, or for that matter where. The big networks have hundreds of cable stations and will probably farm the shows out to them so they don’t have to pre-empt any of the shows that the 18-49 set is interested in.

In a way, it’s a shame, but times are different. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, I don’t know.