Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Top 100 Adult Contemporary Songs of the 1980's: #50 through #41

We've heard 50 of The Top 100 Adult Contemporary Songs of the 1980's*.  Here are numbers 50 through 41:

50.    "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder

49.    "What Kind of Fool" by Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb

48.    "Suddenly" by Billy Ocean

47.    "Finer Things" by Steve Winwood

46.    "I Wanna' Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston

45.    "Saving All My Love for You" by Whitney Houston

44.    "Separate Lives" by Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin

43.    "This is the Time" by Billy Joel

42.    "We've Got Tonight" by Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton

41.    "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick & Friends

The Hottest Acts in Rock Over a Three-Year Period

There are 56 artists that have been so red-hot over a three-year time frame that they have generated six or more Top 10 songs.  How many can you name?  The answer after the break...

Discography: Doors

The Doors still have a huge following and pick up new converts despite not putting out any new music since 1978.  I was in Paris recently and regret that I didn't get to Jim Morrison's grave.  I have it on my list of "things to do" if I am fortunate enough to make it back to that great country.  Here is a review of the Doors' album catalog:

1967:  The Doors (#2)  Of course, one of the classics of all-time.
           Strange Days (#3)
1968:  Waiting for the Sun (#1)
1969:  The Soft Parade (#6)
1970:  Morrison Hotel (#4)
1971:  L.A. Woman (#1)
          Other Voices (#31)
1972:  Full Circle (#68)
1978:  An American Prayer (#54)
Live Albums:
1970:  Absolutely Live (#8)
1983:  Alive, She Cried (#32)
1987:  Live at the Hollywood Bowl (#154)
1991:  In Concert (#50)

1970:  13 (#25)
1972  Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine (#55)
1973:  The Best of the Doors (#158)
1980:  The Doors' Greatest Hits (#17)--This has everything that the album above has plus "L.A. Woman", "Back Door Man" and "Break On Through".
1985:  The Doors' Classics (#124)
           The Best of the Doors (#32)
1991:  The Doors:  Original Soundtrack Recording (#8)
1996:  The Doors' Greatest Hits
1997:  The Doors Box Set (#65), This has live songs and rarities, but doesn't contain all the great tracks by the group.
1999:  The Complete Studio Recordings--not complete!  Contains six albums and rarities; does not have "Riders on the Storm".
2000:  Essential Rarities
           The Best of the Doors
2001:  The Very Best of the Doors (#92)
2003:  Legacy:  The Absolute Best (#63)
2006:  Love/Death/Travel Box Set
2007:  The Very Best of the Doors (#113)
2008:  The Future Starts Here:  The Essential Doors Hits (#161)
           The Platinum Collection
           The Doors Vinyl Box Set
2010:  When You're Strange:  Music from the Motion Picture

1985:  The Doors Collection - Collector's Edition
1991:  The Doors
1995:  The Doors Are Open
2000:  The Doors Live at the Hollywood Bowl
2001:  The Doors 30 Years Commemorative Edition
           No One Here Gets Out Alive
           VH1 Storytellers
2002:  The Doors Soundstage Performances
2003:  The Doors of the 21st Century:  L.A. Woman Live
2004:  The Doors Live in Europe 1968 DTS
2005:  The Doors' Collector's Edition (3 DVD's)
2008:  The Doors' Classic Albums:  The Doors
2010:  When You're Strange

Hits List: Righteous Brothers

This duo gave us three of the top songs in the rock era with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", (You're My) Soul and Inspiration" and "Unchained Melody".  Bobby Hatfield has gone to "Rock and Roll Heaven" but Bill Medley not only teamed with Jennifer Warnes for the Dirty Dancing hit (I've Had) the Time of my Life" but has a very good solo song called "Don't Know Much".  I'll be featuring it in a future version of the "Underrated Songs" series; it's a hard song to get.

1963:  "Little Latin Lupe Lu" (#49)
           "My Babe' (#75)
1964:  "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (#1 for two weeks)
1965:  "Bring Your Love To Me" (#83)
           "Just Once In My Life" (#9)
           "You Can Have Her" (#67)
           "Justine" (#85)
           "Unchained Melody" (#4)
           "Hung On You" (#47)
           "Ebb Tide" (#5)
1966:  "Georgia On My Mind" (#62)
           "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" (#1 for three weeks) 
           "He" (#18)
           "He Will Break Your Heart" (#91)
           "Go Ahead and Cry" (#30)
           "On This Side of Goodbye" (#47)
1967:  "Melancholy Music Man" (#43)
           "Stranded in the Middle of Noplace" (#72)
1974:  "Rock and Roll Heaven" (#3)
           "Give it to the People" (#20)
           "Dream On" (#32)
1990:  "Unchained Melody" (re-issue for the movie Ghost, #13, #1 Adult Contemporary)
           "Unchained Melody" (newly recorded, #19)

The Top 100 Songs From 1974

The Year 1974 was a good (if not great) year in the rock era.  Here are the Top 100 Songs of 1974* (Keep in mind that these are how the songs rank currently, not where they ranked in 1974):

1.   "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin
2.   "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John
3.   "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John
4.   "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver
5.   "Annie's Song" by John Denver
6.   "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney & Wings
7.   "Best of My Love" by the Eagles
8.   "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks
9.   "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot
10. "Rock Your Baby" by George McCrae
11.  "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John

12.  "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
13.  "Piano Man" by Billy Joel
14.  "The Loco-Motion" by Grand Funk
15.  "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long" by Chicago
16.  "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White

17.  "Radar Love" by Golden Earring
18.  "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
19.  "Feel Like Making Love" by Roberta Flack
20.  "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
21.  "I Shot the Sheriff" by Eric Clapton

22.  "Nothing From Nothing" by Billy Preston
23.  "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB
24.  "Mandy" by Barry Manilow
25.  "Laughter in the Rain" by Neil Sedaka
26.  "You Make Me Feel Brand New" by Stylistics

27.  "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees
28.  "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim
29.  "I Can Help" by Billy Swan
30.  "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace
31.  "Tin Man" by America
32.  "Already Gone" by the Eagles

33.  "Rock the Boat" by the Hues Corporation
34.  "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" by Steely Dan
35.  "Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company
36.  "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" by Gladys Knight & the Pips
37.  "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka
38.  "You Haven't Done Nothin'" by Stevie Wonder
39.  "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas
40.  "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Suede
41.  "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" by Olivia Newton-John
42.  "Please Come to Boston" by Dave Loggins
43.  "Then Came You" by Dionne Warwick & the Spinners
44.  "Waterloo" by Abba
45.  "Wishing You Were Here" by Chicago
46.  "The Bitch is Back" by Elton John
47.  "Sideshow" by Blue Magic

48.  "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan
49.  "Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy
50.  "Dark Lady" by Cher
51.  "Jet" by Paul McCartney & Wings
52.  "The Entertainer" by Marvin Hamlisch
53.  "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone
54.  "I Won't Last a Day Without You" by the Carpenters
55.  "Dancing Machine" by Jackson 5
56.  "I'll Have To Say I Love You in a Song" by Jim Croce
57.  "Everlasting Love" by Carl Carlton
58.  "The Show Must Go On" by Three Dog Night
59.  "The Air That I Breathe" by the Hollies

60.  "Eres Tu" by Mocedades

61.  "Beach Baby" by First Class
62.  "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield
63.  "La Grange" by ZZ Top
64.  "Another Saturday Night" by Cat Stevens
65.  "Mockingbird" by Carly Simon & James Taylor
66.  "Oh Very Young" by Cat Stevens"
67.  "Carefree Highway" by Gordon Lightfoot
68.  "Life is a Rock" by Reunion
69.  "Help Me" by Joni Mitchell
70.  "Jazzman" by Carole King
71.  "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" by Stevie Wonder
72.  "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett
73.  "Be Thankful For What You've Got" by William DeVaughn
74.  "Midnight at the Oasis" by Maria Muldaur
75.  "The Streak" by Ray Stevens
76.  "It's Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)" by the Rolling Stones
77.  "Sweet Surrender" by Bread
78.  "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" by John Lennon
79.  "Boogie Down" by Eddie Kendricks

80.  "Bungle In The Jungle" by Jethro Tull
81.  "Rock And Roll, Hootchie Coo" by Rick Derringer
82.  "Let It Ride" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
83.  "Junior's Farm" by Paul McCartney & Wings
84.  "For The Love Of Money" by the O'Jays
85.  "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" by Al Green
86.  "Back Home Again" by John Denver
87.  "Hollywood Swinging" by Kool and the Gang
88.  "Longfellow Serenade" by Neil Diamond
89.  "My Melody of Love" by Bobby Vinton
90.  "Rock and Roll Heaven" by the Righteous Brothers

91.  "The Lord's Prayer" by Sister Janet Mead

92.  "Hang On In There Baby" by Johnny Bristol
93.  "Wildwood Weed" by Jim Stafford
94.  "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" by B.T. Express
95.  "Clap for the Wolfman" by Guess Who
96.  "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" by Stevie Wonder
97.  "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" by Carly Simon
98.  "Last Time I Saw Him" by Diana Ross       
99.  "Keep On Smilin" by Wet Willie
100.  "Another Park, Another Sunday" by the Doobie Brothers

History of Eurovision Song Contest Winners

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest-running broadcast programs in the world.  The Contest has been held every year since 1956 and gives the winner an opportunity to capitalize on the publicity generated from winning the Eurovision Award.

Twenty-five countries have won the award, led by Ireland with seven.  The most famous award winners include ABBA, which used its win for "Waterloo" in 1974 to launch a career that made them one of the most successful acts of the rock era, and another immensely successful singer, Celine Dion, who represented Switzerland at the time (1988) with her winning son "Ne partez pas sans moi".

The Contest has utilized many different methods to judge participants; the most common are votes received from juries or televoters.  The 2011 competition will be May 14.  Here is the complete list of Eurovision Song Winners:

1956:  Lys Assia with the song "Refrain" from Switzerland
1957:  Corry Brokken of the Netherlands with the song "Net als toen"
1958:  Andrea Claveau from France with "Dors, mon amour"
1959:  Teddy Scholten of the Netherlands with "Een beetje"
1960:  Jacqueline Boyer of France with "Tom Pillibi"
1961:  Jean-Claude Pascal of Luxembourg with "Nous les amoureux"
1962:  Isabelle Aubret of France with "Un premier amour"
1963:  Grethe and Jorgen Ingmann of Denmark with "Dansevise"
1964:  Gigliola Cinquetti of Italy with the song "Non ho l'eta"
1965:  France Gall of Luxembourg with "Poupee de cire, poupee de son"
1966:  Udo Jurgens of Austria with the song "Merci Cherie"
1967:  Sandie Shaw of the United Kingdom with "Puppet on a String"
1968:  Massiel of Spain sang "La, la, la"
1969:  (four-way tie)--Salome of Span with the song "Vivo cantando", Lulu from the UK with "Boom Bang-a-Bang", Lenny Kuhr of the Netherlands with "De troubadour" and Frida Boccara of France with "Un jour, un enfant"
1970:  Dana of Ireland won with "All Kinds of Everything"
1971:  Severine from Monaco sang "Un banc, un arbre, une rue"
1972:  Vicky Leandros of Luxembourg won with "Apres toi"
1973:  Anne-Marie David made it two in a row for Luxembourg with "Tu te reconnaitras"
1974:  ABBA of Sweden with "Waterloo"
1975:  Teach-In of the Netherlands won with "Ding-A-Dong"
1976:  Brotherhood of Man of the UK won with "Save Your Kisses for Me", which was a huge international hit
1977:  Marie Myriam of France sang "L'oiseau et l'enfant"
1978:  Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta of Israel won with "A-Ba-Ni-Bi"
1979:  Gali Atari and Milk and Honey of Israel won with "Hallelujah"
1980:  Johnny Logan of Ireland sang "What's Another Year?"
1981:  Bucks Fizz of the UK won with "Making Your Mind Up"
1982:  Nicole of Germany was the winner with "Ein biBchen Frieden"
1983:  Corinne Hermes of Luxembourg with "Si la vie est cadeau"
1984:  Herreys of Sweden was the winner with "Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley"
1985:  Bobbysocks of Norway won with "La det swinge"
1986:  Sandra Kim from Belgium won with "J'aime la vie"
1987:  Johnny Logan of Ireland was victorious with "Hold Me Now"
1988:  Celine Dion, representing Switzerland, won with "Ne partez pas sans moi"
1989:  Riva of Yugoslavia won with "Rock Me"
1990:  Toto Cutugno of Italy won with "Insieme:  1992"
1991:  Carola of Sweden sang "Fangad av en stormvind"
1992:  Linda Martin of Ireland was the winner singing "Why Me"
1993:  Niamh Kavanagh was another Irish winner with "In Your Eyes"
1994:  Ireland set a record with three straight winners as Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won with "Rock 'n' Roll Kids"
1995:  Secret Garden of Norway won with "Nocturne"
1996:  Eimear Quinn of Ireland won with "The Voice"
1997:  Katrina and the Waves of the UK sang "Love Shine a Light"
1998:  Dana International of Israel won with "Diva"
1999:  Charlotte Nilsson of Sweden was the winner with "Take Me to Your Heaven"
2000:  The Olsen Brothers of Denmark won with "Fly on the Wings of Love"
2001:  Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL of Estonia sang "Everybody"
2002:  Marie N of Latvia won with "I Wanna"
2003:  Sertab Erener became the first Turkish winner with "Everyway That I Can"
2004:  Ruslana of the Ukraine topped the competition with "Wild Dances"
2005:  Helena Paparizou of Greece sang "My Number One"
2006:  Lordi of Finland won with "Hard Rock Hallelujah"
2007:  Marija Serifovic of Serbia won with "Molitva"
2008:  Dima Bilan of Russia was the winner with the song "Belive"
2009:  Alexander Rybak of Norway sang "Fairytale"
2010:  Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany won with "Satellite" 

This Date in Rock Music History: April 9

1963:  Henry Mancini won the Oscar for Best Original Song (for "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's) at the Academy Awards.
1964:  Capitol Records won the rights to distribute music by the Beatles in the U.S. in a settlement out of court with Vee Jay Records.

1965:  Bruce Johnston permanently replaced Brian Wilson in public appearances by the Beach Boys, playing bass and singing Brian's vocal parts.
1965:  The Rolling Stones made their first live performance on the British TV show Ready Steady Go!
1966:  Guitarist Jeff Beck collapsed onstage during a Yardbirds concert in Marseilles, France.

1966:  The Righteous Brothers began a three-week stay at #1 with "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration".  Here is the rest of the Top Ten:  #2 "Daydream" by Lovin' Spoonful, #3 "19th Nervous Breakdown" by the Rolling Stones, "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Cher, SSsgt. Barry Sadler fell from #1 to #5 with "The Ballad Of The Green Berets", the Beatles had #6 with "Nowhere Man", Johnny Rivers was #7 with a fast-climbing "Secret Agent Man", #8 was "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by B.J. Thomas, Gary Lewis & the Playboys had #9 with "Sure Gonna' Miss Her" and the Mamas & Papas were at #10 with their former #4 song "California Dreamin'".

1967:  The Doors and Jefferson Airplane appeared in concert at the Cheetah on the Santa Monica Pier in Venice, California.
1968:  Gene Pitney and Status Quo ("Pictures Of Matchstick Men") gave a concert at the Odeon in Glasgow, Scotland.

1969:  King Crimson made their debut at the Speakeasy in London.
1970:  Pink Floyd began their second tour of North America at the Fillmore East in Manhattan, New York.
1970:  Paul McCartney quit the Beatles.  The news was announced the following day.
1973:  Queen played at the Marquee Club in London.

1973:  Paul McCartney and Wings released the single "My Love" in the United States.  It had been released in the U.K. on March 23.

1974:  Terry Jacks became the first Canadian to hit #1 on the U.K. Singles chart since Paul Anka in 1957 with the smash "Seasons In The Sun".
1974:  The Jackson 5 played the first of 15 concerts at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
1974:  Bruce Springsteen met Jon Landau, who would become his manager and producer, at Charlie's Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Springsteen was performing.
1976:  Stevie Wonder signed a $13 million deal with Motown Records.  (Note:  some websites report the date of signing as April 13.  According to the book 'Motown Encyclopedia' by Graham Betts, Wonder inked the deal on April 9.)

1977:  Shaun Cassidy performed his cover of "Da Doo Ron Ron" on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
1977:  Guitarist Jimmy Page collapsed onstage an hour into Led Zeppelin's concert at Chicago Stadium in Illinois from food poisoning.   
1977:  David Soul had the #1 Adult Contemporary song with "Don't Give Up On Us".
1977:  The top mover on this date?  "Sir Duke" from Stevie Wonder, which moved up nicely from 74 to 48.

1977:  The new Singles chart was out on this date and ABBA had their first American #1 with "Dancing Queen".  "Don't Give Up On Us" by David Soul was #2, "Don't Leave Me This Way", the great song from Thelma Houston, was third, Hall & Oates fell from #1 to #4 with "Rich Girl" and Glen Campbell had #5 with "Southern Nights".  The rest of the Top 10:  10cc with "The Things We Do For Love", the Eagles edged up with "Hotel California", Natalie Cole positioned herself at #8, Barbra Streisand's former #1 "Evergreen" and the Atlanta Rhythm Section celebrated their first career Top 10 with "So Into You".
1979:  Donna Summer took home the honor of "Best Original Song" at the Academy Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for "Last Dance".

1979:  Producer Georgio Moroder also won an Oscar for the score to Midnight Express.
1981:  Not Goody Two Shoes.......the Sam Goody record chain was convicted of selling pirated music.
1982:  Weird Al Yankovic opened for Missing Persons at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in California.

1982:  Tina Turner was in concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
1983:  David Bowie reached #1 on the U.K. Singles chart with "Let's Dance", featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.
1983:  Dan Fogelberg reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Make Love Stay".

                        San Francisco's Greg Kihn Band with their biggest hit...

1983:  Michael Jackson spent a sixth week at #1 with "Billie Jean".  Culture Club had to settle for #2 with "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and Duran Duran was stationary with "Hungry Like The Wolf".  Dexy's Midnight Runners blew in from 11 to 4 with "Come On Eileen".  The rest of the Top 10:  "We've Got Tonight" from Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton, Hall & Oates and "One On One", Journey held steady with "Separate Ways", the Greg Kihn Band had their only Top 10 hit with "Jeopardy" and Michael Jackson's follow-up wasted no time getting in as "Beat It" was #10 after just seven weeks.

                                    "Foolin", one of the early Def Leppard greats...

1983:  The Michael Jackson album Thriller was #1 for the seventh straight week.  Frontiers from Journey came in second with H2O by Hall & Oates behind them.  Men At Work were still in the Top 10 after 41 weeks of release with Business As Usual.  The rest of the Top 10:  Kilroy Was Here from Styx, Duran Duran's Rio, Lionel Richie at #7, the amazing Toto IV, Def Leppard held steady at #9 with Pyromania and Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band held down #10 with The Distance.
1984:  R.E.M. released their second album Reckoning in the U.K.  The album was released on April 17 in the United States.

                     "Take your passion......and Make it happen!"

1984:  Irene Cara won the Oscar for Best Original Song From a Motion Picture with her phenomenal "Flashdance".

Heaven by Bryan Adams on Grooveshark
1985:  Bryan Adams released the single "Heaven".
1986:  The Dave Clark musical Time, starring Cliff Richard, Dionne Warwick, Freddie Mercury of Queen,  Leo Sayer and Sir Laurence Olivier, opened at the Dominion Theatre in London.  (According to the books 'The Billboard Book of Number One Hits' by Fred Bronson and 'The Queen Chronology:  The Recording & Release History of the Band' by Patrick Lamieux and Adam Unger and other reputable sources, the correct date of the opening is April 9.)
1988:  The Pet Shop Boys began three weeks on top in the U.K. with "Heart".
1988:  Whitney Houston spent a second week atop the Adult Contemporary chart with "Where Do Broken Hearts Go".

1988:  Dave Prater of Sam & Dave ("Soul Man") died in a traffic accident at the age of 50 when his car hit a tree in Syracuse, Georgia on the way to his mother's house.

1988:  Brook Benton ("It's Just A Matter Of Time" and "Rainy Night In Georgia" died of pneumonia in Queens, New York at the age of 56.
1989:  Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones announced he was getting married to 19-year old Mandy Smith, saying the two had been dating for six years.  Wyman knew that women with any more intelligence or maturity would have said "No!".

1988:  Billy Ocean roared into #1 with "Get Outta' My Dreams, Get Into My Car".

1990:  Billy Idol released the single "Cradle Of Love".

1991:  Luther Vandross released the single "Power Of Love/Love Power".
1994:  Pantera debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Far Beyond Driven.  Bonnie Raitt almost matched that with a debut at #2 with Longing in Their Hearts.

1994:  Bruce Springsteen had one of his only Top 10 songs not on the Born in the U.S.A. album, "Streets Of Philadelphia", which moved in on this date.
1997:  The members of Soundgarden announced that they were breaking up.
1997:  A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Michael Jackson $2.7 million in damages from Victor Gutierrez of the television show Hard Copy for defamation of character.

1997:  Songwriter Mae Boren Axton drowned in her bathtub at the age of 82 in Hendersonville, Tennessee after an apparent heart attack.  Axton wrote over 200 songs including co-writing "Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis.
1999:  Faith Hill kicked off her first solo tour in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2000:  Craig David topped the U.K. Singles chart with "Fill Me In".
2000:  Moby began five weeks at the top of the U.K. Album chart with Play.

2000:  *N SYNC was #1 on the other side of the Atlantic with No Strings Attached.
2003:  Paul McCartney performed in Manchester, England for the first time in 24 years at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
2004:  There comes a point when you think "It doesn't matter how much I like their music....."  Motley Crue's Vince Neil pleaded no contest to battery charges against a prostitute in Nevada.
2006:  Former Smiths vocalist Morrissey reached #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Ringleader of the Tormentors.
2009:  Randy Cain, founding member of the Delfonics, died at the age of 63 in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey.

Born This Day:

1932:  Carl Perkins was born in Tiptonville, Tennessee; died January 19, 1998 in Jackson, Tennessee after suffering several strokes.

1944:  Gene Parsons, singer-songwriter and drummer of the Byrds, was born in Morongo Valley in the Mojave Desert, California.  (Note:  some websites claim Parsons was born in Los Angeles.  Parson was born on the family farm in Morongo Valey, according to the book 'The Byrds:  Timeless Flight Revisited' by Johnny Rogan.) 
1948:  Philip Wright, vocalist and drummer for Paper Lace ("The Night Chicago Died"), was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England.
1977:  Gerard Way, lead vocalist and co-founder of My Chemical Romance, was born in Summit, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites report Way was born in Newark New Jersey, but according to 'MTV', he was born in Summit.)
1978:  Rachel Stevens, vocalist with S Club 7, was born in London.
1980:  Albert Hammond Jr., guitarist of the Strokes ("Last Night"), and son of Albert Hammond Sr. ("It Never Rains In Southern California"), was born in Los Angeles.
1987:  Jesse McCartney, actor and singer ("Leavin'" from 2008), was born in Ardsley, New York.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Top 100 Adult Contemporary Songs of the 1980's: #60 through #51

We're just getting started in Inside the Rock Era's presentation of The Top 100 Adult Contemporary Songs of the 1980's.  There are a lot of great AC songs in here:

60.    "Never Gonna' Give You Up" by Rick Astley

59.    "No Night So Long" by Dionne Warwick

58.    "Got a Hold on Me" by Christine McVie

57.    "Drive" by the Cars

56.    "Anything for You" by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

55.    "Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton

54.    "Heartlight" by Neil Diamond

53.    "My Love" by Lionel Richie

52.    "More Than I Can Say" by Leo Sayer

51.    "Endless Love" by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

Lineup Changes in the Kinks

Brothers Ray (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Dave (lead guitar and vocals) Davies formed the group in North London's Muswell Hill area.  Bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory completed the lineup in 1964.  The group was known as the Pete Quaife Band, the Bo Weevils, the Ramrods and the Ravens before settling on the Kinks.

In 1969, John Dalton (Bluejacks and Mark Four) took over for Quaife on bass.  Dalton had been a temporary replacement in 1966 when Quaife broke his leg and was with the group through 1978 when Jim Rodford (Bluetones, Mike Cotton Sound and a founding member of Argent with his cousin Rod Argent) joined.  Drummer Bob Henrit (Buster Meikle & The Day Breakers, the Roulettes, Unit 4 + 2 ("Conrete and Clay") and Argent) was brought in to replace Avory in 1984.  The group was relatively stable through 1996 except for keyboards, where a number of players were part of the lineup.  Andy Pyle (Blodwyn Pig and Savoy Brown) started in 1977.  He was with the group a short time, replaced by Gordon John Edwards (Pretty Things).  But Edwards left in 1978 and was replaced by Ian Gibbons (Moonstone, Love Affair, the Nashville Teens).  Gibbons stayed for eight years and was replaced by Mark Haley until the breakup of the Kinks in 1996.

Tribute to Laura Nyro

Laura died on this date (April 8) 14 years ago at the age of 50.  She was a performer but very successful and influential songwriter.  She was born with the name Laura Nigro in the Bronx, New York.  She taught herself how to play piano and wrote her first songs at the eight of eight.

Laura graduated from Manhattan's High School of Music and Art.  She was very interested in Nina Simone, Pete Seeger, Curis Mayfield and Van Morrison and socially conscious songs attracted her attention.  She appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 which was only her second major live appearance.  Rock industry giant David Geffen took over as Nyro's manager shortly afterwards.  He negotiated with Clive Davis at Columbia Records for her new contract. 

Nyro's album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession is widely regarded as one of her best albums for its complex arrangements and rich vocals.  Her fourth album Christmas and the Beads of Sweat in 1970 featured Duane Allman on guitar.  The top tracks on that album are "Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp" and "When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag".

In 1971, she married and resented attempts to make her a celebrity and thus retired from the music business at the age of 24.  She did return for a few albums in the late 70's but made few public appearances after that. 

She wrote several songs for the 5th Dimension, including the #1 song "Wedding Bell Blues", as well as "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Blowing Away".  Nyro also wrote "Eli's Coming" for Three Dog Night, "And When I Die" for Blood, Sweat & Tears and "Stoney End" for Barbra Streisand.  Several artists acknowledge Nyro's influence on them, including Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Melissa Manchester, Steely Dan and Rickie Lee Jones. 

Laura had great insight into the human condition and was a bright light for the world.  She is missed.

The Top Rock Artists from Sweden

Everyone knows that ABBA is one of the most successful artists of the rock era, but let's see what else the great country of Sweden has given us in rock music:


 Had huge hits with "The Sign" and "All That She Wants"

Ace of Base
Cardigans ("Lovefool")

Neneh Cherry
Eagle-Eye Cherry ("Save Tonight")

Europe ("The Final Countdown")
Robyn ("Show Me Love"


Discography: Billy Joel

As I've said before, I try to be open as far as my musical tastes although it's very hard me to like rap, hard rock that doesn't have a melody and twangy country.  On this blog, I'll try to be as unbiased as possible but let's face it, we all have our own favorites and opinions and a blog would be pretty bland without giving some idea of what music I like.  As time goes by, you'll probably be able to pick up on songs or artists that I don't like and those that I do...

I listen to 107.1 K-Hits (KTHI) in Boise.  They used to play great songs from the 60's and 70's and I'm a little perturbed that they recently switched to 70's and 80's.  The two greatest decades without question are the 60's and 70's, when you go out to the 50's or up to the 80's, you lose a lot of quality.  However....this morning I heard "My Life" by Billy Joel.  I had just watched the Biography feature on him last night.  I'm struck by how many times he has bounced back from adversity (you know he started out as a boxer; a pretty good one actually, going 22-4).  To use the analogy, he gets knocked down and just keeps getting up again.  One thing I didn't know about him--his manager, who was his ex-wife's brother, mismanaged his accounts to the point where Billy lost 90 million dollars!  A staggering figure.

Another observation about Joel:  Most artists, even though the songs are different, they sound similiar.  With Billy Joel, however, you can't corner him into a category or say that his songs sound the same because they don't.  He always has a new sound or a new feel for each song that he comes out with.  I've always been impressed by that.

Here is the Discography from one of rock's biggest all-time stars:

1971:  Cold Spring Harbor (#158)
1973:  Piano Man (#27)
1974:  Streetlife Serenade (#35)
1976:  Turnstiles (#122)
1977:  Stranger (#2)
1978:  52nd Street (#1)
1980:  Glass Houses (#1)
1982:  The Nylon Curtain (#7)
1983:  An Innocent Man (#4)
1986:  The Bridge (#7)
1989:  Storm Front (#1)

1993:  River of Dreams (#1)
2001:  Fantasies and Delusions (#83)--a classical music collaboration with his father and half-brother

Live Albums:
1981:  Songs in the Attic (#8)
1987:  KOHUEPT (#38)
2000:  2000 Years:  The Millenium Concert (#40)
2006:  12 Gardens Live (#14)
2011:  Live at Shea Stadium:  The Concert

1980:  Billy Joel Box Set
1985:  Greatest Hits Volume I & II (#6)--If all you want is a GH package, this is the one to get.  But I strongly recommend his "Stranger" and "52nd Street" albums at the very least.
1988:  Starbox
1989:  Souvenir:  The Ultimate Collection
1994:  A Voyage on the River of Dreams
1997:  Greatest Hits Volume III (#9)
           The Complete Greatest Hits Collection:  1973-1997/ Greatest Hits Volumes I, II and III
2000:  The Ultimate Collection
2001:  The Essential Billy Joel (#29)
2004:  Piano Man:  The Very Best of Billy Joel
2005:  My Lives Box Set (#171)
2010:  The Hits
2011:  She's Always a Woman - Lovesongs