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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Various Artists - Radio Daze: Pop Hits of the '80s, Vol. 3 (1995)

Disc 3 of 5. Songs here peaked on the charts during the spring and summer of 1980 as I transitioned from junior high to high school.  This CD is the first of this series that I obtained and is the strongest compilation of the five.

  • Tired Of Toein' The Line - Rocky Burnette, released April 1980, Pop #8.  It's not quite rockabilly, but it certainly has a '50s feel and the basic rock-and-roll I-vi-IV-V7-I chord progression.  I had forgotten about this gem until I came across the book 99 Red Balloons and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders which included this song at #46.  It's not a great book, but when I read about this song, I couldn't remember it just from the title.  Thank goodness for YouTube - I found the song and immediately remembered listening to it during that summer on the radio.  That was the summer of Glass Houses and this song fit right in.
  • Steal Away - Robbie Dupree, released March 1980, Pop #6, AC #5, R&B #85.  Yes, it's a complete rip-off of The Doobie Brothers' What A Fool Believes, but no matter.  Still a sweet tune.  I had the 45.
  • Take A Little Rhythm - Ali Thomson, released May 1980, Pop #15, AC #4.  Another song I didn't recognize by title alone.  Driven by relentless acoustic guitar chugging, it's a catchy little thing.  Just enough country influence to remind me of Pure Prairie League or England Dan & John Ford Coley.
  • Fire In The Morning - Melissa Manchester, released January 1980, Pop #32.  I either don't remember this or I've blocked it out of my memory.  It's not bad, there's just not much to it.  The record company must have agreed as it didn't appear on Manchester's 1983 greatest hits compilation.
  • Only A Lonely Heart Sees - Felix Cavaliere, released January 1980, Pop #36, AC #2.  Yet another song I didn't recognize by title alone. I remembered the intro and chorus, but since it peaked at #36, it probably wasn't on the radio for long.  Sounds like Olivia Newton-John's mid-70s Ĺ“uvre and fits perfectly here.  Recently, Cavaliere has recorded a couple of albums with Steve Cropper.  I've got the first one, Nudge It Up A Notch.
  • Into The Night - Benny Mardones, released May 1980, Pop #11, AC #20.  I always thought this was Steve Perry!  Go figure.  The rare ballad about a grown man hitting on a 16 year old girl (the video is particularly disturbing in a child predator kind of way).  In 1989, a "Where Are They Now?" radio show played the track, curiously putting the song back onto the national charts, peaking this time at #20.  This additional chart run makes this song the record holder for the longest-charting single of the '80s by a solo artist.  I like it fine, but also expect Mardones to break into Oh Sherrie at any moment.
  • Let Me Love You Tonight - Pure Prairie League, released April 1980, Pop #10, AC #1.  Now that there is one hook-filled pop/country shuffle.  With David Sanborn on alto and Vince Gill on vocals, no less.  Right in my soft-rock wheelhouse.
  • Midnight Rocks - Al Stewart, released August 1980, Pop #24, AC #13.  I wouldn't consider myself a Stewart fan, but there's something about his smooth, laid back vocals that made me like all three of his top 40 hits, including this one (although my favorite is Time Passages).  The saxophone tone is grating, but not so much that I'd hit the skip button.
  • Why Not Me - Fred Knoblock, released June 1980, Pop #18, AC #1, Country #30. And here we have the true treasure of this CD.  It's a sad-sack, self-pity country ballad sung from the point of view of a man attending the wedding of his former girlfriend, wondering why he's not the groom.  But it reminds me of Michael Johnson's Bluer Than Blue and I loved it back in '80.  Somehow I forgot about this plum until this CD showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago.  Since then, I've listened to this track an embarrassing number of times.  I can't believe how many lyrics I remembered.
  • Who'll Be The Fool Tonight - Larsen-Feiten Band, released June 1980, Pop #29.  A poor man's Toto.  Meh.
  • Angel Say No - Tommy Tutone, released May 1980, Pop #38.  So I guess this group wasn't a one-hit wonder.  I don't remember this power pop song, but it sounds enough like The Cars and The Knack that I'm surprised it didn't hit bigger. 
  • You're The Only Woman (You & I) - Ambrosia, released June 1980, Pop #13, AC #5.  Loved this smooth blue-eyed soul song then, love it still.  Complete with Hammond organ solo.  I always enjoyed hearing this band on the radio; I'm surprised I've never picked up a greatest hits package.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I played a lot of tennis and water skied in the summer of 1980.  I also swam for the local summer team (I'll spare you the pics of me in a Speedo.  You're welcome).  That was also the summer of "who shot J.R.?"  I had fun, but I sure was nervous about moving up to high school.  There were guys there with facial hair who smoked, drove Trans Ams, and could legally buy beer.  Too much for the soft rock kid.

Also on the blog:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 4
Volume 5

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