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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Various Artists - Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 1 (1990)

I'm not sure why they did this, but Rhino started their Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day series with a 12 song volume in which half of the songs charted in 1969.  In any case, this debut disc features singles that peaked on the charts between June 1969 and July 1970.  Only 3 of the songs are longer than 3 minutes in length. There's a little bit of something for everybody here, from bubblegum pop of More Today than Yesterday to the awesome give-me-more-cowbell opening of Mississippi Queen.

  • More Today Than Yesterday - Sprial Starecase: Peaked at #12 in June 1969.  Awesome pop number with some Blood, Sweat & Tears horns.  If you haven't been head-over-heels in love with somebody and can't relate to the passion and lyrics of singer Pat Upton, I feel sorry for you.
  • Baby It's You - Smith: Peaked at #5 in November 1969.  A great bluesy soul version of a Burt Bacharach song that was also recorded by the Beatles and the Shirelles.  The Beatles version appeared on their debut album; this version by Smith appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.
  • Smile A Little Smile For Me - The Flying Machine: Peaked at #5 in November 1969.  The liner notes describe this song as "lightweight and dopey."  They got that right; it doesn't do much for me. The Flying Machine were a one-hit wonder.
  • Cherry Hill Park - Billy Joe Royal: Peaked at #15 in November 1969.  I don't remember hearing this song before buying this CD, but it just has that "sound" of a late 60s pop song (if that makes sense).  I'm surprised that all the double entendres got by the censors - its a song about a girl who goes trolling for sex at Cherry Hill Park.
  • Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam: Peaked at #1 in December 1969. Yeah, you know this one.  There really wasn't a band named Steam, just a bunch of studio pros put together by songwriter/producer Paul Leka.  One of the great sing-along songs of all time.
  • Venus - The Shocking Blue: Peaked at #1 in February 1970.  As a child of the '80s I obligated to prefer the Bananarama cover, right?  Not so fast.  When you hear this classic original by the Dutch band The Shocking Blue, you realize the later version was more of a remake than an innovative cover.
  • Early In The Morning - Vanity Fare: Peaked at #12 in January 1970.  Sounds like The Association got wasted and recorded a poorly written harpsichord piece.
  • Arizona - Mark Lindsay: Peaked at #9 in February 1970.  I don't remember this one, but imagine a Jimmy Webb-ish sounding political protest song recorded by a former member of Paul Revere & The Raiders.  It's really catchy.  I'll be humming this one later today, I'm sure.
  • The Rapper - The Jaggerz: Peaked at #2 in March 1970. Written by Donnie Iris who would go on to record one of my favorite '80s songs, Ah Leah.  The verse isn't much, but I dig the chorus.
  • Come Saturday Morning - The Sandpipers: Peaked at #17 in June 1970.  This song is from the soundtrack of the 1969 film The Sterile Cuckoo starring Liza Minnelli.  It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  It is full-on easy listening.  It sounds like a TV show theme to me, so it makes sense that it's from a movie.
  • Tracy - The Cuff Links: Peaked at #9 in October 1969.  Another band that didn't exist - this is Ron Dante from top to bottom.  Still, this is forgetten light fluff that doesn't engage me now.
  • Mississippi Queen - Mountain: Peaked at #21 in July 1970.  Shout out to Blake.  Tell Will Ferrell this cowbell part is better than Don't Fear The Reaper.  A rock classic.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I was 3 or 4 years old when these songs hit.  I'm not sure if I knew what Top 40 radio was back then as I was listening to Disney records on a Fisher Price plastic turntable.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Volume 18
Volume 19
Volume 21

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