The Pleasant Valley Sunday Top 100 Singles list is prepped and ready for the press sometime this week. I must warn anyone brave enough to continue here that I have some really oddball interests. For instance, I am one of the world's biggest Jimmy Webb fans, so you know what that means - MacArthur Park - you betch'ya. I also get all jiggly inside when I hear those massive bass lines in 70's funk, so the Isley Brothers are on the list too. Seventies acts with songs that sound like the Beatles are here, though maybe not the songs you would expect. For instance Stealer's Wheel makes the list twice, but Stuck In The Middle With You is not one of them.
The Raspberries are another band that carried the Beatle's torch into the 70's. Eric Carmen's lyrics are the band's weak spot, but I give him credit for writing songs that are so hook-filled that I scarcely notice the words. Way, way up on the singles list is a song that did not even crack the top 40. A look at some of the top 15 singles that year leaves me scratching my head:
1. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Tony Orlando and Dawn 2. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce 5. My Love, Paul McCartney and Wings 6. Why Me, Kris Kristofferson 7. Crocodile Rock, Elton John 11. The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia, Vicki Lawrence 12. Playground In My Mind, Clint Holmes 14. Delta Dawn, Helen Reddy 15. Me and Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul
So why did Tonight fail to register on the top 40 charts that year? Can I blame it on the Nixon presidency, or perhaps the Vietnam War? All I know is that Mr. Carmen produced perhaps his finest work, and Wally Bryson anointed it with power chords from heaven. Bryson also layered the song throughout with contrapuntal goodness. Gorgeous lead guitar arpeggios, leading tones, grace notes. Recently Steve Simels at PowerPop listed it at numero uno in his post Best Use of Power Chords. It doesn't get any better than this, folks.