Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Various Artists - Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 19 (1993)

In the early '90s, Rhino released 25 volumes in this series, which concentrated not on the big hits of the decade, but more on the one hit wonders. Since they are heavy on the '70s soft rock, I love 'em. Inexplicably, I only own this volume and volume 22. The only bad thing about this series is that each volume only contains 12 songs. I'm guessing Rhino was trying duplicate the running time of vinyl records in the '70s, from 38 to 45 minutes long. The songs on this volume hit the charts between October 1976 and July 1977 which is a time that I spent many hours in my bedroom listening to AM radio stations in Odessa.

  • Still the One - Orleans: Peaked at #5 in October 1976.  This is a fun song that yet has tendencies to be an annoying earworm. The group provides some fantastic vocal harmonies.
  • Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang - Silver: Peaked at #16 in October 1976.   I vaguely remember this song. It sounds like much of the country-rock that appeared on West Texas AM radio around this time.
  • Stand Tall - Burton Cummings: Peaked at #10 in January 1977.  Typical overblown '70s ballad from the singer of the group The Guess Who. Ingredients: strings, backing vocals, cheesy lyrics, bombastic chorus, lots of cymbals. Don't bother mixing well.
  • Torn Between Two Lovers - Mary MacGregor: Peaked at #1 in February 1977.  Sounds like an early '70s Olivia Newton-John country-rock tune. I loved this tune as a 10 year old and would sing it all the time. In retrospect, this must have been very disturbing to my mother.
  • I Like Dreamin' - Kenny Nolan: Peaked at #3 in March 1977.  More soft rock, complete with not one but three upward modulations near the end. Barry Manilow would be jealous.
  • Don't Give Up On Us - David Soul: Peaked at #1 in April 1977.  Hutch sings! Admittedly, he doesn't have a bad voice, but he (or his record label) could have picked better material.
  • Jeans On - David Dundas: Peaked at #17 in January 1977.  A fun, pop tune. According to wikipedia, this song was originally an ad jingle for blue jeans written and performed by royalty. That's totally believable.
  • Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold: Peaked at #7 in June 1977.  I was a big fan of this syncopated song in the summer of 1977 even though it's a song about a dysfunctional man who never quite got over the fact that his parents decided to have a second child. Meh, lyrics, schmyrics. If I recall correctly, it makes an appearance in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights because of the song's awesomeness.
  • The Things We Do For Love - 10cc: Peaked at #5 in April 1977.  Another fantastic pop single. One of my 5th grade favs.
  • Couldn't Get It Right - Climax Blues Band: Peaked at #3 in May 1977.  Not a fan. I suspect this group isn't really a blues band.
  • Undercover Angel - Alan O'Day: Peaked at #1 in July 1977.  I have no idea what he's singing about, but I loved the music and effects. I have to admit it is a strange aural experience to hear a clean, digital version of this single after only hearing it previously competing with the static of the AM airwaves.
  • Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky") - Bill Conti: Peaked at #1 in July 1977.  Is there a better song for motivation?!? I listen to it now and I'm ready to go for a ten mile run. I remember my childhood friend Troy having the Rocky soundtrack album and we would listen to it constantly. These days, my youngest son listens to it on the way to every baseball game he plays. It's like musical Red Bull.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: See comments above. I'm certain I purchased this CD solely because it contain two of my guilty pleasures, Lonely Boy and Undercover Angel.

1 comment:

  1. They were supposed to replicate the Ronco and K-Tel records, but the short track list was also a function of the high cost of having to license the songs one at at time from so many sources. When you have one artist doing his/her/their own material you can make a bulk deal on licensing and publishing, but this must have been a logistical nightmare in every way. I think they had to fly to France to negotiate for one song- "Dancing In The Moonlight" by King Harvest, which is why it's on a later volume. The rights owners were supposedly aging hippies who had some kind of quirky restrictions on their willingness to do business.