Considering how much people liked my first blog about #11 hits, I've decided to go ahead and list another batch of them. Let's get serious here, it isn't like that first batch is better than this latest one. It's all just me staring at charts and saying, "Ooh, I remember that song!" and then making comments so stunning that other bloggers say to themselves, "I hate that guy!"
Yeah, well, my mother wasn't so impressed with my career choice, either. "Why don't you write speeches for the President or something, if you're supposed to be a writer?"
Sorry, Mom. I'm just not that good. Just be glad I haven't landed in the clink, ok?
25) Real Love -- The Beatles: #11 isn't bad for a track John Lennon recorded as an acoustic demo back in 1979 that was later played on top of by the remaining Beatles and Jeff Lynne. Let's be honest. John Lennon could fart -- and often did -- and it was more interesting than many other popular brands. Let's break out that Wedding Album and enjoy the hits!
24) Just Remember I Love You -- Firefall: Firefall made the kind of soothing, feel good music that one could easily consider "womb music." It's so safe and warm, comforting in the way it requires you to do nothing but exist. It's a big bad world out there. Come in, I'll give you shelter from the everything.
23) Going Up The Country -- Canned Heat: I guess not everyone wanted to get back to the land! Only #11? There are more mosquitoes, I have to warn you. Also, contrary to popular notion, huge outdoor rock festivals do not happen every weekend. But we've got high speed internet and our cable TV selection is acceptable. Pizza is average, but the traffic is much less. Things to think about before you contemplate your next move!
22) There Is A Mountain -- Donovan: If I had to pick one song to base an entire philosophy of life on, it would be this one. You got yourself a mountain, then you don't. Then you do! Maybe I'm a simpleton, but that sounds pretty deep to me.
21) Baby, Now That I Found You -- The Foundations: I'm not going to say the Foundations were the most important rock 'n' roll band of their era -- hey, maybe they were to somebody -- but even if they were just a goofy, throwaway hit-makin' machine, they were pleasant enough and rockin' enough to these ears to qualify this tune and a handful of others as completely noble attempts at making life better for all of us! Quick! Take away their health coverage!
20) Suzie Q (Part One) -- Creedence Clearwater Revival: Dale Hawkins' "Suzie Q" is an old school bar-band favorite. It got there most likely based on Creedence Clearwater Revival's edited and non-edited version, which true to what would be Creedence's future chart dalliances, failed to go to the very top. Something tells me Billboard wasn't counting those jukebox plays!
19) Love Her Madly -- The Doors: For all the deep hokum about Jim Morrison and his life "on the edge, man," he was also a credible popmeister. Sure, he celebrated lizards in his spare time, but when the game was on, he knew to sing to the little girls who understood. Anyone who can't get behind the sound of a man bellowing from the bathroom, "Oh, don't you LOVE her??" must think everything's supposed to be about art and stuff.
18) Running On Empty -- Jackson Browne: Sadly, J-Bro has become synonymous with the sensitive school of songwriting that should really be James Taylor's alone. J-Bro was far more literate and avoided the embarrassing Marvin Gaye-lite moves of North Carolina's in-their-mind favorite son. J-Bro could rock on occasion and he owes it and he knows it to David Lindley.
17) Take Time To Know Her -- Percy Sledge: Percy's known, of course, for his legendary take on that future Michael Bolton classic, "When A Man Loves A Woman," but he was much more than a one-hit wonder. In many ways, this track, while less iconic, is just as good if not better than what everyone knows. Don't believe me? Listen. It's not an overnight thing is all I'm saying.
16) Perfect Way -- Scritti Politti: Green Gartside to courtesy. Green Gartside to courtesy. OK, so he's not a household name in most people's households. But then if you're a music fan, you're likely used to feeling out of step with the world. Most people think they like music, but really they just like entertainment.
15) Spirits In the Material World -- The Police: Naming yourself after law-enforcement was a pretty daring idea at the time. And who hasn't heard the joke of the Rolling Stones dumping their drugs down a toilet upon hearing "The Police are here!"? If their music had been a tad less professionally-organized, it might've sounded like rock 'n' roll instead of art-pop. Then again, maybe that's just the Curved Air influence.
14) Baby Hold On -- Eddie Money: Now starring in automobile insurance commercials as the owner of Eddie Money Travel, who serenades customers with "Two Tickets To Paradise" (which only made it to #22!), E-Mo probably should've thrown in a two-fer-Tuesday and done this fine song. If you manage to catch E-Mo singing this on Saturday Night Live back in the 1970s you'll hear what all-night drinking can do to a man's voice. And to Marianne Faithfull's!
13) Body Language -- Queen: While "Death Don't Have No Mercy," it does help potential icons reach iconic status. Queen's Freddie Mercury, who sang of "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke" (sorry, folks, I just report the facts), has become hot property in the years since his sad demise. What was often ridiculed as over-the-top and even silly in its day is now considered the body language of a man who knew how to enjoy his stardom. Lesson learned: just do whatever you do and stick to it. Those who make fun of you now, will one day be wearing Night Ranger t-shirts, ironically, or something.
12) Til I Hear It From You -- Gin Blossoms: Two things to consider here. The Gin Blossoms' main songwriter, Doug Hopkins, got kicked out of the band and killed himself. Marshall Crenshaw's window of being a legit pop star were over almost before he started. (Sorry, dad!) Besides, GB's singer, Robin Wilson, sounded like he meant pop music to be something more than a theoretical exercise. Which is important to people who don't give a damn about the "craft" of anything.
11) Two Out of Three Ain't Bad -- Meat Loaf: NJ Governor Chris Christie, I mean, Meat Loaf is the perfect person to sing Jim Steinman's wickedly around-the-bend, welcome-to-Broadway lyrics. I have always wanted to believe that Steinman initially wrote it as "Three Out Of Seven Ain't Bad," for a baseball team's failed attempt at winning the World Series, then tried four out of nine, five out of eleven, four out of twelve, before lucking into the magical two out of three. You could say I'm interested in the craft!
10) Power To The People -- John Lennon: Upthread, I think I mentioned something about gladly listening to John Lennon farting? Yeah, this is kinda close. I'm all for power to the people! But if I had a hammer, I'd take it out of my hands and learn to work more lightly.
9) Cold Rock A Party -- MC Lyte: I have to admit, I feel a little like Michael Scott championing this fine sentiment. I don't mean to be racist or nothing, but there are certain phrases that white people can't lay claim to. And we shouldn't try. Seriously, when we dance, we look like we're hanging up laundry. I know. I've seen my video.
8) I Won't Last A Day Without You -- The Carpenters: I never realized the name of this song was so direct. I assumed it was "(There's No Getting Over That) Rainbow" or something more poetic. But that's the thing about soft rock. No one actually knows anything about it, except that it was always on and was pleasant enough that you could dig it while waiting for the dentist to drill your teeth. Do they have an app for root canals yet?
7) Edge of Seventeen (Just Like The White-Winged Dove) -- Stevie Nicks: OK, folks, what did YOU think Stevie was singing? I'm so lazy I just assumed she was singing "Like the lone ranger," but then it's not like I need to research facts or anything.
6) Going To A Go-Go -- The Miracles: Yes, I'm sure most of you remember this as the highlight to the Rolling Stones' fourth live album, Still Life, back when the group were still making a go-go of it in 1981. But you really do owe it to yourselves, folks, if you haven't already, to scrounge up the original versions of any song the Rolling Stones covered. If they liked them, you might like them, since you like them. Get it?
5) Electric Youth -- Debbie Gibson: Every kid in high school is a culture warrior. Some wage the good fight in favor of the silly, pre-fab pop music they love, while others wage the good fight against anything that reeks of non-serious, inauthentic artistry. Then there are others who sit on the fence and chuckle politely. Those are the 40-50 somethings who make obscene amounts of cash writing about the fads and the phenomenons. My professional opinion? Debbie Gibson was cute!
4) Good Girls Don't -- The Knack: Turns out the Knack had this one for years before they unleashed it on a public hungry for some suggestive material that sounded as clean and harmless as those pre-sex 1960s. These New Beatles were awesome!
3) Mockingbird -- Eminem: As someone who always wholly admired Em's hair, I can't say enough about Em and his obvious greatness. Is it poetry? It is if he says it is! Crap, I've met people who just want to see other people naked, so they call themselves photographers. Young girls like artists and making art! You learned it here!
2) Peg -- Steely Dan: We definitely met these guys in the last blog! Whatever I said then goes double now! I've always attributed their charm to Donald Fagen's oddly chosen orthodontic work. I mean, I think it's cool as hell, but I'm a guy. What do I know about picking pop stars for their looks? I picked these guys because punks hated them, so I figured anything that annoyed people that much must have something good about them. And they do! Find out for yourself! And see your dentist regularly!
1) Shapes of Things -- The Yardbirds: Realistically, the far-out quality of this tune is small potatoes to a younger generation weaned on computer-automated flash. That's just how it is. Fact is, to an untrained ear, this tune sounds pretty old and dated. And if you think we need to be training ears to hear old pop music, well, then, I have to wonder if you ever really enjoyed this music at all. I understand computers are fun. From a personal standpoint, I just wish they sounded better to my ears. Maybe I'm the one in need of training.