Saturday, March 9, 2013

"You Better Run" by Pat Benatar

Song#:  0276
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  72
Peak:  42
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Benatar's debut album, "In the Heat of the Night," spun off a pair of Top 30 singles and hit #12 on the album chart. Expectations were high for her follow-up and this first single from "Crimes of Passion" also appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Roadie." Although the rockin' song couldn't quite get to the Top 40, it did well on rock radio.

ReduxReview:  Benatar amps up this old blue-eyed soul stomper (see below) and it sounds great. It's tough and in-your-face and Benatar gets the point of the song across with a hot vocal. Sad that it only reached #42. It should have done a lot better.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a 1966 Young Rascals single. It was the follow-up to their #1 classic "Good Lovin'" and reached #20.  2) Benatar's video for "You Better Run" was the second video played when MTV launched on August 1, 1981.


Friday, March 8, 2013

"You'll Accomp'ny Me" by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

Song#:  0275
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  82
Peak:  14
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

You'll Accomp'ny Me by Bob Seger And The Silver Bulle on Grooveshark

Pop Bits:  The third single from "Against the Wind" came close to following the previous two into the Top 10, but fell just a bit short. This one is slightly more upbeat, but still has that same soft-rock sound that made the other two singles so successful.

ReduxReview:  Not as good as "Against the Wind" and better than "Fire Lake," so ends up being a pretty good tune. Although I will say that sometimes his soft rock ballads kind of bleed into each other. Still, this is solid Seger territory.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Kid Rock struck up a friendship with fellow Michigander Seger that led to them performing together at the pre-Super Bowl shows in 2006. In addition to being the person to induct Seger into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, Kid Rock sampled the guitar part of "You'll Accomp'ny Me" for the basis of his 2007 song "Amen." Rock has said that "Amen" is the best song he has ever written.


"Against the Wind" by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  0274
Date:  05/03/1980
Debut:  54
Peak:  5
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Rock

Note: I knew it would happen sooner or later! I missed a song along the way. Due to the next chart song, I realized in my research that I didn't remember covering the previous chart entry - and I did not! I think maybe because of the high debut position, I may have missed it on the original chart. Anyway, gotta play ketchup and put it in!

Against The Wind by Bob Seger And The Silver Bulle on Grooveshark

Pop Bits:  This title track from Seger's only #1 album easily followed the first single from the album, "Fire Lake," into the Top 10. The easy-rock sound was becoming a trademark for Seger and would be the basis for most of his biggest hits.

ReduxReview:  This is a terrific Seger song. It is easy, breezy, and quite a pretty tune. And as it gets toward the end, it turns quite majestic in a way. You can visualize mountains, lakes, wild horses running, and an eagle flying...and a Ford F-150 speeding down a dirt it!

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The "Against the Wind" album was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1981. The group won a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Group and the artwork won for Best Album Package. They were also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Group as well.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

"He's So Shy" by The Pointer Sisters

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0273
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  83
Peak:  3
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop, R&B

Pop Bits:  Originally a quartet, the sisters had some good success in the early 70s with their campy jazz-driven 40's sound. They would try to update their sound a bit as the decade wore on, but by 1977 the group was splintering. Bonnie left the group for a solo career and June needed a break. Ruth and Anita were also spending time raising families, but the duo wanted to move ahead and decided to change the direction of the group. Out was the nostalgia and in was a fresh pop sound. By the time they got around to recording a new album, June had popped back in the picture and the modern era of the sisters was launched. They hit big out of the gate with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire," hitting #2 in 1978. Two years later, this smash was released and it pretty much duplicated the success of "Fire." The song also got them a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Group. Before the 80s were over, the trio would go on to have another five Top 10's on the chart.

ReduxReview:  This is just terrific pop sung to perfection. Although it sounds a little dated now, I've always loved the keyboard solo in the middle. When the Pointers got the right material, they would hit it out of the park.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In the earlier years, the group was known for their ability to do all types of music. They recorded the song "Fairytale," written by Anita and Bonnie, which was a country-oriented tune. It ended up being a crossover hit in 1974 reaching #13 on the pop chart and #37 on the country chart. Although it wasn't a major country hit, it was enough to earn them a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Group and also get Anita and Bonnie nominations for Best Country Song.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"First Time Love" by Livingston Taylor

Song#:  0272
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  84
Peak:  38
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Taylor, the younger brother of James Taylor, released his first solo LP in 1970. Although a successful musician, his chart career was far less prolific than his sibling's output with his best charting song being 1978's "I Will Be in Love with You," peaking at #30. He has continued to release albums over the years and perform as well as working a faculty member at Berklee College of Music (alma mater alert!) in Boston teaching stage performance. This song from his "Man's Best Friend" album would be his last chart entry.

ReduxReview:  Taylor's voice is similar to his brother's, but different enough to know that it is not James. This is kind of a sweet song. Just like the voices, Livingston's songs are in a similar vein as James', but seem a little more on the sunny side of pop. His music may not have been as popular as his brother's, but that shouldn't discount the quality at all. I've never really explored his music, but after hearing this "I Will Be in Love with You" I'll probably be looking up more of his tunes.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  There is another track on the album called "Pajamas" that was written by Taylor and his wife Maggie. They later adapted the song into a children's book with the same title.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Don't Misunderstand Me" by Rossington Collins Band

Song#:  0271
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  85
Peak:  55
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Southern Rock

Pop Bits:  The Rossington Collins Band was one that was formed out of a tragedy. In 1977, a plane carrying members of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd ran out of fuel and crashed. Three band members (along with three others) were killed in the crash. Instead of trying to carry on as Lynyrd Skynyrd, two surviving members, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington formed a new band in 1979 and brought along their other two surviving band members. To also distance themselves from being Lynyrd Skynyrd, part two, they hired female lead vocalist Dale Krantz. The group's first album, "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," performed quite well hitting #13 on the album chart and going gold. This single from the album would be their only singles chart appearance. The group released one more disc but internal issues brought an end to the band.

ReduxReview:  More cowbell! Meh. As mentioned before, Southern rock is not really my thing. It's an okay song, but I do like the female vocals (Dale Krantz). I listened to a few other songs of theirs and I liked some of those better than this one. But for a single, this was probably the right choice. It's just not incredibly strong, however a lot of Southern rock was more album-oriented than geared towards singles.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) In 1987, the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a concert tour. Allen Collins took part in the reunion, but unfortunately only served as musical director. The previous year, Collins was involved in a DUI car crash that took the life of his girlfriend and left him paralyzed from the waist down. As part of his plea bargain in the case, Collins would take the stage each performance and explain why he was not able to play any longer. He would also talk about the dangers of driving under the influence and drug/alcohol abuse.  2) Rossington and Krantz became a couple and married in 1982 in a brief small ceremony. Krantz didn't get a full-on wedding, so in 2011 the couple renewed their vows in a proper ceremony. Her search for a wedding dress was featured on the TLC show "Say Yes to the Dress."


Monday, March 4, 2013

"No Night So Long" by Dionne Warwick

Song#:  0270
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  86
Peak:  23
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

No Night So Long by Dionne Warwick on Grooveshark

Pop Bits:  Warwick's previous album, "Dionne," was a major success featuring the #5 gold record "I'll Never Love This Way Again." The same songwriting team for that excellent song (Richard Kerr, Will Jennings) gave her this title track to her follow-up album. Although it was not a smash on the pop chart, it hit #1 on the AC chart for three weeks and has become one of her highly recognizable hits.

ReduxReview:  This is good, but not top-notch Warwick. It has a big memorable chorus, but the rest of the song is pretty forgettable. However, it is one of her better vocal performances from her later recording years.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In later years, Warwick became known for her love of psychics - and became the butt of many jokes while she was doing commercials for the Psychic Friends Network. But there was a time she received some bad advice from psychic Linda Goodman. In 1971, Goodman convinced Warwick to add an "e" to the end of her last time. It was supposed to add balance to her name and bring good fortune to her marriage and career. Unfortunately, it did not. Her career stalled and she divorced her husband in 1975. That year she dropped the "e" and said later that the name change was one of the worst things she could have done.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Wango Tango" by Ted Nugent

Song#:  0269
Date:  07/26/1980
Debut:  87
Peak:  86
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  As a member of The Amboy Dukes, Nugent hit the chart in 1968 with "Journey to the Center of the Mind" (#16). By 1975 he fully went solo and started a successful run of hit albums. Although he never had a major hit on the chart (his best effort was "Cat Scratch Fever" in 1977, #30), the albums often had tracks that were popular on rock radio. One of his more easily identifiable songs was this single from his "Scream Dream" album. The song hung out for four weeks and didn't move much, but it's one completely associated with the Motor City Madman. It was his last solo song to hit the chart and his last solo album to go gold. He would find success as part of the supergroup Damn Yankees in 1989, and also spark a lot of controversy with his political views and his pro-gun/hunting stance.

ReduxReview:  One listen and you can tell why a) this didn't make it on pop radio, and b) why it is a concert/radio favorite. It is catchy, crazy, frantic, and a good rock jam and I'm sure scared the crap out of pop radio programmers.

Side Note:  I was a server in one of Michigan's best restaurants years ago and Nugent and his wife came in for lunch. None of the other servers wanted to wait on him - they were a bit scared of him. But I didn't care as I had worked with celebs before and so I took the table. He and his wife were very nice to me. And I'll never forget that he ordered a sushi-style tuna appetizer and when I asked how he liked it, he looked at me and said "you know...there ain't nothing like a good piece of dead fish." I chuckled and said "you are exactly right." I got a very nice tip...

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Nugent has a ranch near Jackson, Michigan (my hometown!). A longtime resident, he developed the ranch area now called Sunrize Acres. Although he no longer is a full-time resident there, he does host organized hunts and other events at the ranch.