After many years, I finally collected all 15 volumes of the Rhino Records compilation series, Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s. So, what next? This 25 volume '70s series, also from Rhino. Currently I'm sitting on only 4 of the volumes, but hope to have all 25 in hand by the time I close out this blog.
The songs on this volume were released in 1975 or 1976 which was about the time my young ears started to really listen to the radio. I complained about the short playing times of discs in this collection until an alert reader commented on an earlier volume, "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." That makes sense.
- Wasted Days And Wasted Nights - Freddy Fender: Peaked at #8 in September 1975. Bad country rock, a genre that was played all too frequently on radio stations in West Texas where I grew up. Interestingly, this was originally recorded by Fender in 1959, but his career took a nosedive when he was arrested on marijuana charges. When his career was revived, so was this song.
- Dream Weaver - Gary Wright: Peaked at #2 in March 1976. This is a bizarre piece of synth AOR. Now better known for its appearance in the movie Wayne's World. I prefer the follow-up hit, Love Is Alive.
- Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers: Peaked at #1 in May 1976. More country rock. This catchy hit is a much better song than track 1.
- Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale: Peaked at #2 in May 1976. Disco! I loves me some disco. While the persistent hand claps on every beat are a little much, this has a Motown feel to it and I like the sax parts.
- Falling Apart At The Seams - Marmalade: Peaked at #49 in May 1976. I don't remember this one. It has a 4 Seasons feel to it. Pop fluff, it's easy to see why it didn't crack the Top 40.
- Fooled Around And Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop: Peaked at #3 in May 1976. I always liked this bluesy ballad. Bishop isn't the singer, that's Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship.
- Happy Days - Pratt & McClain: Peaked at #5 in June 1976. Yup, the theme to the TV show. Using a typical I-vi-IV-V7-I progression, this is a harmless '50s knockoff. It is strange to hear the extended version (complete with sax solo) on a quality sound system as opposed to the shorter version on a cheap mono TV speaker.
- Shannon - Henry Gross: Peaked at #6 in June 1976. I barely remember the cheesy falsetto chorus of this ballad. I certainly didn't know that it was about a dog, written about the death of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish setter of the same name (which explains the Beach Boys sound alike background vocals). Who is Henry Gross? He was the original lead guitarist with Sha Na Na. Nuff said.
- Making Our Dreams Come True - Cyndi Grecco: Peaked at #25 in July 1976. This song should have been sequenced immediately following Happy Days since it is the theme song to the TV show Laverne & Shirley. A better song than the Happy Days theme, it just brings a goofy pre-teen grin to my face.
- Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band: Peaked at #1 in July 1976. More bad country rock. Previously reviewed here. Here's what I said then: I had no idea what afternoon delight was back then, so I would just belt out the lyrics. It isn't a very good song, but now I can't listen to it without thinking of the movie Anchorman.
- Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck: Peaked at #3 in July 1976. This band was so good, they named famous coffee shops after them (kidding, of course). I actually think this is a great song which gets bonus points for having a marimba solo. Possibly my favorite on this compilation.
- I'd Really Love To See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley: Peaked at #2 in September 1976. The best example of country rock on the disc. I have to admit liking all the group's Top 40 hits.
Previously revisited for the blog: