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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Various Artists - Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 25 (1996)


Disc 25 of 25. This disc contains singles that peaked on the charts between April 1978 - September 1979, including an unusually high number of songs that peaked at #13.  You'd think that might be a bad omen, but there's plenty of soft rock goodness here.  It took me a while to figure out the cover photo is of an 8-track tape carrying case.  Groovy.

Here's the Allmusic review from Michael Gallucci:
The final 12-song set in this recap of '70s AM radio's biggest hits appropriately ends things with tunes from its last two years. Of course, things here aren't much better here than they were on the previous 24 volumes, unless you really dig Toby Beau's "My Angel Baby" or Maxine Nightingale's "Lead Me On."
Well, I got news for you Mr. Gallucci, I do indeed dig those tunes.

Tracks:
  • Love Is Like Oxygen - Sweet: Peaked at #8 in June 1978. I always liked this one because it sounds like it could be an ELO single.  My youngest son prefers The Ballroom Blitz.  Go figure.
  • How Much I Feel - Ambrosia: Peaked at #3 in November 1978. One of the best soft rock groups of the late '70s.  Catchy melody, smooth background vocals, tasty piano and string arrangements - it's like a soft rock blueprint.  As I've written before, "I always enjoyed hearing this band on the radio; I'm surprised I've never picked up a greatest hits package."
  • Shake It - Ian Matthews: Peaked at #13 in February 1979.  Below-par soft rock (no, that's not redundant) with perverse lyrics.  Entirely appropriate lyrics for a song featured in the 1980 movie Little Darlings starring Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal, which (I'm told) is about 15 year-olds losing their virginity.
  • Falling - LeBlanc & Carr:  Peaked at #13 in April 1978. I remember singing along to the chorus of this country pop tune as a youth.  It's not a great song, but that chorus is certainly memorable.  In any case, I like it better than this guy.
  • I Just Wanna Stop - Gino Vannelli:  Peaked at #4 in December 1978.  Four soft rock tunes in a row!  This one is classic with the requisite sax solo and Fender Rhodes.  To my young mind, this song was the ultimate in sophistication.  I would have purchased the 45 single of this one back in '78, but the program director of my fave AM station must have liked it, too because it seems like it was played hourly that winter.  Still, I never got tired of it and continue to enjoy it.
  • 5.7.0.5. - City Boy:  Peaked at #27 in October 1978. Oh geez.  I don't remember this one and I'm thankful for that.  Another ELO knock-off, but this one's terrible. Evidently British phone numbers at the time just had four digits?  The lead singer is the drummer? This one is good only for its historical significance:  it was the first U.S. hit single produced by ├╝berproducer Mutt Lange.
  • New York Groove - Ace Frehley: Peaked at #13 in February 1979. I was never much for Kiss because I thought they were all sizzle and no steak.  But this cover of a 1975 glam rock tune as a disco stomp is ok.  I have to confess that I'm more familiar with the '75 version by Hello because of its inclusion on one of the Grand Theft Auto video games. 
  • My Angel Baby - Toby Beau:  Peaked at #13 in August 1978.  Texas soft rock represent!  As you could probably guess, this was all over the Houston airwaves in '78, so I got an earful of it and can still sing along.  My only beef is the harmonic solo.  There's no harmonica in soft rock - these guys need to follow the rules.
  • Love Takes Time - Orleans: Peaked at #11 in May 1979.  Good, but not as good as the group's other Top 40 hits, Still The One and Dance With Me.  This one has a definite Pablo Cruise vibe to it, but the middle eight is definitely lacking.
  • Get Used To It - Roger Voudouris: Peaked at #21 in June 1979. Now we're treated to some West Coast stylings.  Roger has a singing voice than reminds me of Elton John.  Writer/producer Michael Omartian put out much better West Coast releases later in his career.  Not a great song; I can't manage anything more than a meh.
  • Lead Me On - Maxine Nightingale: Peaked at #5 in September 1979.  Oh yeah!  Another one of those hook-filled ballads with raunchy lyrics that I would sing around the house much to my mother's dismay.  This good stuff goes down smooth.
  • Oh Well - Rockets: Peaked at #30 in September 1979.  I didn't recognize the band name or the song title, but there's no mistaking that bluesy guitar riff on this cover of an early Fleetwood Mac tune. I enjoy the song now, but the Soft Rock Kid didn't care much for it back in the day.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  When I was 12 years old, my family moved from the West Texas desert to the humid Gulf Coast.  I like to think I handled the move fairly well for a preteen, in great part due to my growing infatuation with the radio (more on that here).  As a result, I tend to categorize songs into pre-move and post-move categories.  It is normally an easy thing to do, but this disc confuses me because it contains songs that straddle the move, which occurred in August 1978.  To confuse me even more, the songs here aren't presented in chronological order.  Ah, well.  I'll survive.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3
Volume 6Volume 9Volume 12
Volume 14Volume 15   Volume 16
Volume 17Volume 18Volume 19
Volume 21   Volume 22

2 comments:

  1. Fifteen year olds TRYING to lose their virginity. Have you really not seen Little Darlings? It's actually sweeter than it sounds. And it gets bonus points for featuring the piano breakdown of Supertramp's "School" on the soundtrack.

    I like this volume in the series more than most of the others and the standout track is "My Angel Baby" which is SO MELLOW. The fact that they were/are Texas-based just makes it sweeter.

    "Fallin'" is another super smooth one and while it would be easy to get all snarky about it like that guy, I prefer to just enjoy it. The chorus is a predator - it will stalk you for days!

    My last big move occured in August 1981 when we moved from Illinois to Arizona. The music from that time is among my all-time most favorite and cherished, especially the stuff from 1982 - THE GREATEST YEAR IN MUSIC EVER!

    If you'll excuse me, I'm going to screen Little Darlings. Soundtrack also includes Bellamy Brothers ("Let Your Love Flow"), Blondie ("One Way Or Another") AND John Lennon (title escapes me)!

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    Replies
    1. No, I haven't seen Little Darlings. Yes, I've been singing the chorus to Falling all day.

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