Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sneak peek at number **** five

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.


tbrough said...

I think "Overnight Sensation" would be high on my list!!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I am seriously, seriously psyched for your Top 100.

Say, is there a way to post a link to iTunes or Amazon or, what's that thing you found -- lala -- some kind of link so we can buy your picks through your blog & you'll at least get a couple of farthings per purchase?

P.S. really oddball interests is EXACTLY what can make a Top 100 list so worthy. As opposed to picking what you think will impress the hepcats, you name the stuff that actually, sincerely works for you, means something to you. Yes! Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead, Mr. Pleasant!

Alex said...

I'm also seriously psyched for this list... and if that makes me a music geek, so be it!

And of course, it's the defense of the weird and unusual stuff that makes lists like this interesting. Plus, we can prepare for our "how can someone who loves the Raspberries possibly like this dreck" comments...

Mister Pleasant said...

No worries Tim, Overnight Sensation is indeed on the list, and fairly high up there.

Who Am Us Anyway and Alex, thanks for adding some pre-publication excitement. Excellent idea to add some links. I need the check out Lala further to see exactly what is available.

Hopefully the list will go up tomorrow if I can find some time after work.

ssspune said...

oooh, love this! I am a sucker for "Let's Pretend," though still kind of embarrassed when "That's Rock and Roll" comes on, but that's my problem, not Mr. Carmen's. P.S. SO happy to have found your blog! I am a crazy cat lady, but still know a good tune when i hear one.

Mister Pleasant said...

Welcome ssspune - from one crazy cat person to another. I wholeheartedly agree - Let's Pretend is one of Mr. Carmen's loveliest tunes. Thanks for commenting!