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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Various Artists - Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 22 (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. The songs on this volume hit the charts between October 1978 and October 1979 so we get the end of disco and the beginning of New Wave all on one disc. This volume is a mixed bag that falls apart at the end, just like a Casey Kasem program from that same era.

  • Every 1's A Winner - Hot Chocolate: British soul/funk. Peaked at #6 in February 1979.  Not as good as the group's You Sexy Thing, but it's got a great guitar lick and horn parts.
  • Hot Child In The City - Nick Gilder: Peaked at #1 in October 1978.  Coming from an androgynous glam-rock background, it's hard to tell the gender of the singer. With catchy bass line and arrangement, it's as good as a song about child prostitution can get.
  • Love Is In The Air - John Paul Young:  Peaked at #7 in October 1978.  Disco meets adult contemporary for a big hit. I have to admit that I like how the song builds from the beginning to the chorus. From the liner notes: "Those twisted minds at Rhino wanted to sequence 'Love Is In The Air' right next to 'Love Stinks' by The J. Geils Band, but we talked them out of it. Honestly, they're such cynics!"
  • Lotta Love - Nicolette Larson:  Peaked at #8 in February 1979.  This song was written by Neil Young? Go figure. Larson had a great voice and Ted Templeman's production is spot on.
  • Dancin' Shoes - Nigel Olsson: Peaked at #18 in March 1979.  Bad soft pop from Elton John's drummer. This slow shuffle doesn't make me even want to go find my dancin' shoes, much less put them on.
  • Stumblin' In - Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman: Peaked at #4 in May 1979.  I don't know who Chris Norman is, but Suzi Quatro is better known as Leather Tuscadero from Happy Days. Leather Tuscadero!! She was awesome and of course I had a big crush on her back in the '70s, but her voice really isn't that great and this song is just downright awful.
  • My Sharona - The Knack:  Peaked at #1 in August 1979.  And here's the new wave entry and it is sorely out of place on this compilation of mostly soft pop. A great song from a great album (which I'll get to later on the blog). I like to tell people that my wife's nickname is Sharona and that the song was written about her. Apparently, the real Sharona is a real estate agent in L.A.
  • Gold - John Stewart: Peaked at #5 in August 1979.  Stewart was more known for his songwriting than his singing. With production by Lindsey Buckingham and background vocals by Stevie Nicks, this sounds like a mid-'70s Fleetwood Mac hit.
  • You Take My Breath Away - Rex Smith:  Peaked at #10 in June 1979.  A swooning, sweeping soft pop classic sung by a teen idol. It's not as bad as I remember and it's certainly not as bad as it could have been.
  • Driver's Seat - Sniff 'N' The Tears: Peaked at #15 in September 1979.  Meh. A few years ago, I heard this used in a car ad. I would say that's where it belongs, but the ad people missed the point of the lyrics and just focused on the title. Most ad people are idiots so what do you expect?
  • Sad Eyes - Robert John: Peaked at #1 in October 1979.  This is painful. I remember the girls in 8th grade loved this sap, so I was forced to listen to it if I wanted to be near them. Of course, 8th grade girls are only interested in is high school boys, so why did I even bother?
  • Hold On - Ian Gomm: Peaked at #18 in October 1979.  Not much in this song that I find interesting. Not a great way to end a compilation CD.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: The music here reminds of listening to Top 40 AM radio (most likely KILT 610 in Houston) during the first few years after I had moved to the Gulf Coast. There was a lot going on in music at that time and Top 40 radio would move effortlessly between Kenny Rogers to The BeeGees to The Cars to Supertramp to Barbara Streisand to Eddie Rabbitt, followed by ads for Joske's and Allied TV Rental. For many years, I listened to the radio on a Marantz clock radio, but then I got a Panasonic radio with cassette player about the time most of the songs on this CD were popular. That boombox wannabe is long gone, but it looked very similar to the one below.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Volume 19

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