Monday, September 22, 2008

The Music Meme

(Yes, my generation dressed funny. So does yours.
You won't realize it until 30 years too late for
it to do you any good, though.)

This is the first meme I have ever voluntarily undertaken; that is, without having been tagged to do so by someone else. I lifted this one from Buck.

The rules:

A) Go to Music Outfitters.

B) In the search function, enter the year you graduated from high school. Get the list of the 100 most popular songs of that year.

C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate, and underline or italicize your favorite. Do nothing to those you don’t remember or don’t care about.

OK, I understand the rules. Please note, however, that I am unable to follow them. I have no idea how to do a strike through. If I did, there'd be big old bunches of these songs struck through. 1974 was a terrifyingly shitty year for music. I spent an inordinate amount of time, during my senior year in high school, cursing at the radio.

It's amazing how few of these songs I like, as well as how many of them I truly despise. Most of the recordings artists I dug back then - Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and others who would fit in with that crew - just plain didn't make it into the top 40 often enough to make any listing of the sort we'll encounter here. Those that did? Well, somebody bought those records. If it was you, more power to you. And no personal offense intended by the comments I'll be making. De Gustibus Non Est Disputadum, as my grandfather used to say in 1944 whenever the neighbors complained about him singing Deutschland Uber Alles at the top of his lungs.

(I would also like it to be noted that, despite my previously held fervent belief, it appears there is no God. That is the only inference I can draw from the fact that Ballroom Blitz didn't make this list.)

(Well, OK, it came out in 1973. But it was too good a joke to pass up and no song actually from 1974 even comes close.)

So, not knowing how to follow the instructions as given, I have instead broken the list into three easy categories:

Songs I Really Like - Easily defined, these are the songs I turn up when they come on the radio. I can listen to them without wanting to jam an ice pick through my eardrums. Most of them I own, since I spent nearly every penny I had in those days buying recordings.

Songs I Really Hate
- Should I end up in Hell, these songs will most definitely be in heavy rotation. They are the spawn of Satan (and that's fairly much the best I can say about them, too.) Given the option, I would probably choose to have my chest hair set on fire rather than have any of these hideous tunes once again assault my aural sensibilities. In the case of the Paul Anka entry, you could chop off my toes and feed them to me as canapes.

Songs I Could Probably Stand To Listen To If Otherwise I'd Have A Red Hot Poker Shoved Up My Ass - Not really my cup of tea, but not so objectionable that the artists responsible should be garroted.

Songs I Really Like

6. The Loco-Motion - Grand Funk Railroad
12. Jungle Boogie - Kool and The Gang
16. Spiders And Snakes - Jim Stafford
(Yeah, I know. Considering what I told you about my tastes in music, and the other songs I'll be giving the finger to here, for me to like this one is just plain unfathomable. What can I say? I like it. There is no reasonable explanation for this state of affairs. It just is.)
17. Rock On - David Essex
20. Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede
(Ooooga-Chucka-Ooga-Ooga, Ooooga-Chucka-Ooga-Ooga. The rest of the song? Feh. That opening, though... Genius!)
44. Smokin' In The Boys Room - Brownsville Station
63. Taking Care Of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
64. Radar Love - Golden Earring
(Easily the best of this sad lot, with the Bachman-Turner taking second prize, and Brownsville Station third.)
66. Keep On Smilin' - Wet Willie
79. Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield
91. Helen Wheels - Paul McCartney and Wings
99. Wild Thing - Fancy
(If you've never heard this one, and you want a cheap thrill, download it. Good hard rock with one of the sexiest female vocals ever recorded. Almost a porn soundtrack.)

Songs I Really Hate

1. The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand
(Babs. Ugh. I learned early on to hate her, as my father owned a couple of her records and played them far too often. However, even if this song were recorded by Led Zeppelin, and I was covered with honey and tied to an anthill, with the threat of staying there for a week if I didn't say I enjoyed this tune, I don't know if I could bring myself to say so. The purest of pure drek.)
5. Dancing Machine - Jackson 5
8. The Streak - Ray Stevens
9. Bennie And The Jets - Elton John
(B-B-B-Bennie... Drives me up a wall. I'd rather have my lips freeze-dried than listen to this again.)
11. Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) - Aretha Franklin
13. Midnight At The Oasis - Maria Muldaur
(This one seemed to play once an hour when I was 17. Purely hideous. Rip off my nipples and play tiddly-winks with them.)
14. You Make Me Feel Brand New - Stylistics
18. Sunshine On My Shoulder - John Denver
21. Billy Don't Be A Hero - Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
26. Let Me Be There - Olivia Newton-John
27. Sundown - Gordon Lightfoot
(I once had an argument with my bandmate, Sean Flaherty, concerning this song. It was my contention that any boob with a week's worth of training could play the solo on this one. He said that wasn't the point. It was coming up with it in the first place that was the talent. I countered that if you call that talent, then you may as well call Mark Belanger a power hitter. Obviously, it helps if you're familiar with 1960's Baltimore Oriole baseball players. If you're not, the subtlety is wasted. But, so was I when I said it.)
28. You're Having My Baby - Paul Anka
(See, here's the thing about this piece of putridity. If Anka had written it and then sung it ONLY to his wife, it would have been a magnificent gesture on his part. Releasing it as a single, to spew its festering wad of stink cheese on the general public? Unforgivable.)
29. Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim
32. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - Olivia Newton-John
33. Dark Lady - Cher
34. Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me - Gladys Knight and The Pips
39. Top Of The World - Carpenters
43. Rock The Boat - Hues Corporation
49. Waterloo - Abba
50. The Air That I Breathe - Hollies
(THIS from the same group that did "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress"? Yikes!)
51. Rikki Don't Lose That Number - Steely Dan
(THIS from the same group that did "Reeling In The Years"? Double Yikes!)
52. Mockingbird - Carly Simon
(I once tried to smoke enough dope to make this song enjoyable. It is an impossibility. As a matter of fact, it almost completely ruined getting high for me permanently.)
53. Help Me - Joni Mitchell
57. You And Me Against The World - Helen Reddy
58. Rock And Roll Heaven - Righteous Brothers
(Right church, wrong pew. The sentiment is nice, but the execution execrable.)
62. Eres Tu (Touch The Wind) - Mocedades
65. Please Come To Boston - Dave Loggins
(No, please don't.)
67. Lookin' For Love - Bobby Womack
71. Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) - Helen Reddy
(Every song Helen Reddy ever recorded could be included on this part of the meme, in case you were wondering.)
73. I've Been Searchin' So Long - Chicago
(The final nail in this once-promising group's coffin.)
76. I Shot The Sheriff - Eric Clapton
(Yeah, I know. Bunches of you might get pissed about this one. Sorry. White reggae rip-offs have never scored high on my list. Marley's original whomps the piss out of this one.)
78. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - Elton John
(If the sun truly went down on him, setting his head ablaze, I would consider it a favor from God.)
80. Love Song - Anne Murray
(THIS from the same woman who recorded "Snowbird"? Yup, sounds about right.)
81. I'm Leaving It All Up To You - Donny and Marie Osmond
82. Hello, It's Me - Todd Rundgren
92. My Mistake Was To Love You - Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye
94. Beach Baby - First Class
97. I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton-John
98. Call On Me - Chicago

Songs I Could Probably Stand To Listen To If Otherwise I'd Have A Red Hot Poker Shoved Up My Ass

2. Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks
(I'm not quite sure why this one didn't make the previous list. I'm not overly fond of it.)
3. Love's Theme - Love Unlimited Orchestra
4. Come And Get Your Love - Redbone
10. One Hell Of A Woman - Mac Davis
15. Show And Tell - Al Wilson
19. Sideshow - Blue Magic
22. Band On The Run - Paul McCartney and Wings
23. The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich
24. Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce
25. Annie's Song - John Denver
30. Boogie Down - Eddie Kendricks
31. You're Sixteen - Ringo Starr
35. Feel Like Makin' Love - Roberta Flack
36. Just Dont Want To Be Lonely - Main Ingredient
37. Nothing From Nothing - Billy Preston
38. Rock Your Baby - George McCrae
40. The Joker - Steve Miller Band
41. I've Got To Use My Imagination - Gladys Knight and The Pips
42. The Show Must Go On - Three Dog Night
45. Living For The City - Stevie Wonder
46. The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace
47. Then Came You - Dionne Warwick and The Spinners
48. The Entertainer - Marvin Hamlisch
54. You Won't See Me - Anne Murray
55. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up - Barry White
56. Tell Me Something Good - Rufus
59. Hollywood Swinging - Kool and The Gang
60. Be Thankful For What You Got - William Devaughn
61. Hang On In There Baby - Johnny Bristol
68. Put Your Hands Together - O'Jays
69. On And On - Gladys Knight and The Pips
70. Oh Very Young - Cat Stevens
72. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
74. Oh My My - Ringo Starr
75. For The Love Of Money - O'Jays
77. Jet - Paul McCartney and Wings
83. I Love - Tom T. Hall
84. Clap For The Wolfman - The Guess Who
(The absolute worst ever recorded by these guys. Other than this, I love them.)
85. I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song - Jim Croce
85. The Lord's Prayer - Sister Janet Mead
87. Trying To Hold On To My Woman - Lamont Dozier
88. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing - Stevie Wonder
89. A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich
90. My Girl Bill - Jim Stafford
93. Wildwood Weed - Jim Stafford
95. Me And Baby Brother - War
96. Rockin' Roll Baby - Stylistics
100. Mighty Love, Pt. 1 - Spinners

There you have it. What a bunch of crappy tunes. I'm ashamed of my graduation year!

As with Buck, I leave it up to you to do this meme or not.

(If you never graduated, or you haven't yet graduated, feel free to use any year you want. I'd suggest the year of some sort of momentous occasion, though. Perhaps the year you first found out that there were actually six Stooges.)

Soon, with more better stuff.


Buck said...

Great job. I was wondering how you were gonna handle such a... ummm... lackluster year. That said... our tastes are remarkably similar. As with anything/everything, I'd have a few nits to pick, but only a few.

Anonymous said...

Dear Suldog..I still don't know what a meme is...and it was obvious from the word go that this post was not aimed in my direction anyway, being far too old in the seventies to enjoy ANYTHING that was 'in' then. I was still in 'swing' mode and thought the only good music was jazzed or crooned. Never-the-less as always, you have entertained me even if you have managed to make me feel really, really old.

lime said...

ok, in 1974 i was 6 and as i read this list i realized it's a miracle i turned out as sane (ok, i know that's debatable) because my mother's tastes rand toward your "hell's heavy rotation" list. therefore i was heavily steeped in this stuff as an impressionable kid. so between that and the serious stooge deprivation of my childhood, it's a wonder i can function at all. i reckon having been weaned on rowan and martin's laugh-in and the smother's brothers helped restore some balance in my life.

all that to say, i largely agree with your lists...though anything by wings and elton would be on my "hell" list. jim croce would be on my top list.

jungle boogie and radar love would tie for first place in my book.

lime said...

ok, i just looked up my graduation year, 1986...ghastly music i swear it beats 1974.

my birth year...1968...well, THAT is definitely a better year for music...though not so much for some other things.

mlh said...

*Rock the boat...don't rock the boat over! Rock the boat...don't tip the boat over! Ohhh-whooo-ohhh!

Suldog said...

Buck - Glad you liked it. I think I notice a trend in responses to your and mine: Most folks think that music was better before the year they graduated.

Moannie - A "meme" is a fun sort of task, usually handed from one blogger to another. In most instances, the completion of a meme includes naming five or six other bloggers to now do the same meme you did. In this case, Buck chose not to name anyone, but just let anyone who wanted to do the meme go for it. And so I did.

For further examples of memes, see:


Lime - You turned out amazingly well, all things considered. As you say, the addition of "Laugh-In" and The Smothers probably helped mitigate the other horrendous deprivations you had to endure.

1986? Not a good year for anything, especially if a Red Sox fan.

Suldog said...

MLH - Are you trying to torture me on purpose? I thought we were friends! I'm taking back your tank!

mlh said...

Okay, I visted the website and the only thing I noticed was that Ace of Base hit the charts over 4 times back in 1994.

Lots of R&B and Rap.

Very little alternative rock or heavy metal except Beck's "Loser" - a song I absolutely despise. But at least the Cranberries made the chart. And Aerosmith if you're into them.

NOOO! Don't take my tank! I'll be good.

Rooster said...

1982 for me. I have such fond memories of music from back then, then I read the top 100 from that year - where are all the good songs? I did have a big (BIG) crush on Olivia Newton John, but to look at, not listen to. She was number one that year!

I agree with much of your breakdown.

For my year, my top couple of favorites:

#3: I love Rock & Roll (Joan Jett)
#88: Pretty Woman (Van Halen)

My least favorit:

#15: I Can't Go For That (Hall & Oates) - Can you believe it?

Shrinky said...

You were into "The Sweet?" I remember hanging out at the fairground with my mates, cadging rides on the waltzers from any loser who would pay for us, singing along to "Ballroom Blitz" at the tops of our lungs. (You can be forgiven anything when you're young and stupid.)

Happy days..

Rich said...

Ah 1974 was a good year for music but I don't see any songs there by " Little feat" or "the Band" That's what I was listening to. and of course pink Floyd.

Hilary said...

I can't say I disagree with many of your choices.. particularly not tagging anyone. I dun like memes.. but have to admit this was a pretty decent one. Still not gonna do it. ;)

Loved your comments after certain songs but you totally ruined any fond memories I might have had about playing Tiddly Winks.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

well you certainly hate more than you like.

l'ma ll over the show with my taste..l couldnt decide on ONE year...but severay '69-75..
l shall go play...

Suldog said...

MLH - OK, you can keep your tank, but only because you mentioned Aerosmith. As a Boston boy, I am under contractual obligation to like them.

(Odd trivial tidbit. When I worked in a warehouse in 1975, I held the same job there that Joey Kramer [Aerosmith drummer] held. I thought this was a sign from God, seeing as how I was a bass player and expecting to make my living from it eventually. Turns out, it was a sign from God that I was destined to work more hours in warehouses than on stage...)

Rooster - Joan Jett can finger my guitar any day of the week. Rowr!

Shrinky - Yes, I was a huge fan of The Sweet, at least for a couple of years. Mick Tucker was one of the best drummers in rock - highly underrated.

Rich - Yes! Good bands, and I could have included them all in my "worth listening to" section.

Hilary - :-) Sorry! It was either Tiddly Winks with my nipples or Pick Up Sticks with... nevermind.

FF&F - In reality, I like many different kinds of music. I'm a huge fan of big band from about 1939 onward. Prior to then, a bit too "roaring 20's jazz" taste to much of it. After then, some of the greatest music ever. I also adore traditional jazz, as well as Be-Bop. Classically, my taste runs to Prokofiev and the more powerful composers of his era. Get right down to it, the least of a song, for me, is the vocal. Any song with good instrumental passages, vibrant solos, interestingly powerful percussion - that's what gets my soul to singing.

Rooster said...

Speaking of Aerosmith, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler live reasonably close to us. One night, my wife and I were at a local pub and Steven Tyler comes in and walks right up to us (all dressed like he was about to film an MTV video). He asks if that is my Jeep out there. His battery is dead and if I give him a jump start, he'd be my best friend forever.

Well, I'm happy to announce, Steven Tyler is officially my best friend (if only he remembered).

That was fun though. His whole family was there (minus Liv). my wife hung out with his wife and kids while us guys did the work (well, I did the work while he wondered what I was doing).

sween said...

Ugh. 1989. Barely 8 songs I even sort of like.

But send me back to the year that I really started listening to music and I jump up to 25 songs. So either '83 was a much better year for music, or imprinting is very effective.


Actually, I just spent far too much time on this. The only years that I can find any that have over 10 songs that I like are 1982-1985. And 1983 is still the tops. So I guess what you first listen to really does make a lasting impression.

ciara said...

i like some of the songs in your hate list and hate some of the songs in your like list...not too sure about the red hot poker up the ass list though.

of course graduating in 74 makes you an old fart lol i may have to steal errr i mean 'borrow' this meme. i think i have a good year LOL

Twinkie said...

Wow, I'll have to do this one, it looks fun. ^.^

You were right. That was a bad year for music. Of course, I've always preferred 80s music over everything, so you can't go by me.

Jenn said...

This whole thing is Time in a Bottle. Judge not, I love that song...and anything by the Stylistics.

Songs I Really Hate
62. Eres Tu (Touch The Wind) - Mocedades

I must disagree purely based on the fact that this song was in the movie Tommy Boy and my love for hilarious and heavy comics singing Spanish ditties runs pretty deep.

Sadly I was born the year before this which means I graduated in 1991. I shudder to think what is on the top 100 because I remember the clothes I wore. Scary but I'm doing it anyway.

Rebecca said...

I love this one; I did it a few years back, but will have to do it again soon. :) Only problem is, mine are super cheesy! They're not even the GOOD 80's songs!

Yours however, you have some of my very favorites. Let's see. I'll share what songs I really like from your graduating year...

17. Rock On - David Essex
20. Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede
44. Smokin' In The Boys Room - Brownsville Station
64. Radar Love - Golden Earring1. 18. Sunshine On My Shoulder - John Denver
27. Sundown - Gordon Lightfoot
(As I mentioned in my post yesterday!!)
28. You're Having My Baby - Paul Anka
(Again, another classic my Dad used to play...)
39. Top Of The World - Carpenters
51. Rikki Don't Lose That Number - Steely Dan
53. Help Me - Joni Mitchell (My MOST FAVORITE Joni song...)
65. Please Come To Boston - Dave Loggins
23. The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich (My Dad LOVED this song!! "Hey...did you happen to see then most beautiful the world?" The next 45 in line was Paul Anka OR Danny's song!)
24. Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce
25. Annie's Song - John Denver
40. The Joker - Steve Miller Band

My god, you had a lot of Helen Reddy who I swear, elicits the same visceral reaction from me when I hear her voice, as when I see Jason Giambi...

tshsmom said...

I KNEW I liked you for a reason! All the best people graduated in '74.

We're almost 100% in agreement, with the exception of Elton John, John Denver, and Jim Croce. I guess I'll have to do this one so you can see how close we are.
BTW, I've repeatedly played Grand Funk's version of The Loco-Motion so many times that my kids have threatened to throw away my record.

tshsmom said...

Wait a minute! I just checked your header. How did you graduate in '74, when you were born in '57?

Sandra Ree said...

I sure don't know what this says about me, but I like every single song you listed in this post. :)

Melinda said...

I-i-i-i i'm hooked on a feeling
I'm high on believin
That you're in love with meeee

This is a very fun song to sing to my guy when he's in the shower. Can't imagine why he doesn't want us to dance to this at our wedding...

Great meme - think I'll steal it!

Anonymous said...

Let's see. I was born in 1960, graduated in 1978 (that's a very scary year, musically) and married in 1986. Had Twinks in 1994.

I can pick a few songs out of each of those years (including 1960) that I really, really love. Most of the rest of them... meh.

And Ballroom Blitz should be on every list. Just because.

And SIX stooges? Seriously?

CrazyCath said...

In 1974 I had just turned 8 (at the end of the previous year). I agree with Lime... it is a wonder we are sane... oh. wait a minute. I am not sane. I am CrazyCath! Stands to reason.

Funnily enough, I actually remember a lot of these songs. I think school discos played them 3 years later than when they were hits. ;0)
I liked Deep Purple and stuff like that but that was '79 - '82 for me. What is wrong with Carpenters?

There wasn't much in '74 for you was there? Your list of dislikes is much longer....

Suldog said...

Rooster - Cool story. Did he at least buy you a drink?

Sween - It's true. First impressions in music are very strong. When I first began truly listening to rock, they were playing Creedence, The Who, The Guess Who, Deep Purple, etc., on and on, and almost all of those I heard then, I still like.

Ciara - Old Fart? Yeah, I guess so. I've called myself that, so I guess it's fair game for everyone.

Of course, my screen name doesn't sound like an erectile dysfunction drug :-)

Twinkie - It was a bad year for Top 40, that's for sure. Most are, really. The good stuff hardly ever shows up on the charts. I bet a lot of your faves never make the heavy rotation playlists. Am I right?

Jenn - I actually have a soft spot for Jim Croce. My putting his stuff in the "eh" list has more to do with how much it was overplayed, following his death, than whether or not it was bad.

Rebecca - It's true. Some singers just grate on my nerves. Reddy was one of them. Hell, I'd rather hear Jason Giambi sing.

TSHSMOM - I was born in March of 1957. I started school when I was barely 4. I slipped in by virtue of a weird deadline in the Boston system at the time. I think my parents thoughts were that, if I didn't do well, I could always repeat. I did well, though, at least early on, and I graduated when I was 17. It was pretty cool, although I was always the youngest in my class.

SR - I think what it says about you is that you're a very nice person. My hating as many as I do doesn't speak well of my forgiving nature :-)

Melinda - I'd love to hear your take on this. This brings to mind a question, though. Would the Canadian (not to mention British, Australian, etc.) charts be significantly different? I expect they would be. I'd like to see what songs showed on those that didn't in The States.

Thim - Yup. Six. There are the three everybody knows - Moe, Larry, Curly. Then there's the one most folks know, Shemp. Beyond that, Joe and Curly Joe. This isn't the place for a Stooges tutorial, of course, but the easy thing to remember is that Moe and Larry were in every incarnation of the group. The third stooge - the "patsy" role - was filled in this order through the years: Shemp, Curly, Shemp (again), Joe, Curly Joe. Someday I'll write a history. I may be - not bragging, just disturbing fact - the foremost Stooges authority in America (at least, outside of actual relatives.)

CC - What is wrong with The Carpenters? It's easier for me to answer what is right. Karen Carpenter had a very good voice. The songs, though! Just too syrupy and sweet for my tastes. To each his/her own.

Janet said...

You're right. 1974 was not a great year for the top 40. I graduated in 1980, and it might possibly be worse. I'm going to take a peek at the list for that year and see if I even need to bother.
And after listening to Elton John in the car EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS, I would love to expunge Bennie and the Jets from all recordings in the entire world.