Friday, October 15, 2004

Top 5: Just Can't Stop It

As I wrote earlier this week, I am all about the month of October. It's the weather and the football and the metaphorical, philosophical underpinnings of the season--the indescribable peak of beauty that nature brings itself to just before the whole thing turns brown and dies. So that's probably why the music I was listening to in various Octobers of the 1970s has stayed with me more vividly than the music from most other seasons. Monday, I wrote about 1974; today, it's five records on the charts this week 29 years ago that sum up how the autumn of 1975 sounded, and felt.

"Miracles"/Jefferson Starship. Light-years removed from the shrill Jefferson Airplane of the 1960s, "Miracles" is an elegant, erotic love song that vibrates with sensuality. Dave Marsh noted it as one of the best songs ever to sneak by the censors, thanks to the lines, "I got a taste of the real world (just a drop of it)/When I went down on you (oh never stop it)."

"Lyin' Eyes"/Eagles. In 1980, I heard Glenn Frey say from the stage that he couldn't imagine getting tired of this song. I thought then, "Me neither," and while his opinion might have changed in the intervening 24 years, mine hasn't.

"It Only Takes a Minute"/Tavares. An excellent radio record with an introduction that's s fun to talk over. (I still do it whenever I'm in the car and this comes on, and I haven't done a DJ show in seven years). You want the long version of this, with the last verse: "For what I've got in mind girl/Give me 60 seconds, no more."

"They Just Can't Stop It (Games People Play)"/Spinners. One of the last gasps of great Philadelphia soul, a wonder of musical construction, impossible not to sing along with. This is, in fact, my favorite song of all time.

"Who Loves You"/Four Seasons. One of the great forgotten hits of the 1970s, this features an amazing disco break in the middle that sounds like it was dropped in from some other record by mistake. And the vocal bridge coming out of the break, with all the "baby-baby"'s and "doot-doot-doo"'s before the refrain comes back in again ("Come to me/baby you'll see") is one of the most thrilling Top 40 moments ever.

And five more:
Bad Blood/Neil Sedaka and Elton John
Ballroom Blitz/Sweet
Dance With Me/Orleans
Heat Wave/Linda Ronstadt
Lady Blue/Leon Russell


At 6:55 PM, Blogger Willie said...

I've always enjoyed one-hit wonders and strange, quirky groups. One that comes to mind is a British pub group formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1980 called the Fabulous Poodles. My favorite tune from them is Tit Photographer Blues. It was on their third album, Mirror Stars.

Not as raunchy as Star, Star by the Rolling Stones. The lyrics were on the cutting edge for that period in time.


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