April 2015

fletmac#17 – Fleetwood Mac – “Say You Love Me” – (1975)

What is great about this, Fleetwood Mac’s second self-titled album, is it is the first of the modern Fleetwood Mac sound. It’s the first album to feature Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the revised lineup. Their sound transformed from blues-y rock to radio-friendly rock – and boy did the band take off. This was one of two #11 singles from this album and it was the start of something really big.

220px-LoveWillKeepUsTogether#18 – Captain & Tennille – “Love Will Keep Us Together” – (1975)

The thing I like about this song is it’s way over-produced synthetic sound. This was the first single from Captain & Tennille and it is their signature song, even though it was written and originally recorded by Neil Sedaka. The Captain (and Tennille) took it to #1, however. Ironically, this married couple was not able to keep it together and divorce papers were filed in 2014.

httpwww.amazon.comsref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_6url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=fooled%20around%20and%20fell%20in%20love%20elvin%20bishop&sprefix=fooled%2Cdigital-music%2C188#19 – Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” – (1975)

Elvin Bishop got his start performing with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Eventually going solo, Bishop released Struttin’ My Stuff in 1975. This would be his biggest hit, charting at #3 on the Hot 100. The blues-ey guitar throughout the song is Bishop, but the vocal is not. It’s actually sung by Mickey  Thomas, who normally sang backing vocals for Bishop. It’s really good.

220px-Gary_Wright_-_Dream_Weaver_-_lowres#20 – Gary Wright – “Dream Weaver” – (1975)

Gary Wright had a few singles get radio airplay, but this is easily his signature song. It’s kind of a very early version of synthpop and was Wright’s biggest hit, climbing all the way to #2 on the Hot 100. Famously, it is used in the movie Wayne’s World when Wayne sees Cassandra performing for the first time.

220px-Blue_Sky_Night_Thunder#21 – Michael Martin Murphey – “Wildfire” – (1975)

I remember seeing Michael Martin Murphey perform this song on Letterman what seemed like a few years ago (turns out it was in 2007… and that was seven years ago, which is insane). This was his biggest pop hit in the U.S., reaching #3 on the Hot 100 – pretty high considering it’s essentially a country song. It’s a sort of cowboy song – telling the story of a woman who died chasing a pony in a blizzard. Yes, that’s a weird subject for a top five pop song. But it’s good.

220px-Continuum_(album)John Mayer – “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” – (2006)

Continuum is one of my favorite albums. It’s full of really good songs from John Mayer right before his sound started to change. I mean, this was a departure from his previous albums as it’s pretty somber and blues-y, but it hadn’t gone folksy just yet. This was the fourth single from the album – but it only just barely made it onto the Hot 100, peaking at #99, which is a shame, because it’s pretty good.

220px-Ozzy_Osbourne_-_No_More_TearsOzzy Osbourne – “No More Tears” – (1991)

This is the title track of Ozzy’s sixth solo album and what I like most about it is the really nice groove it has going with the bass in the background. It actually charted on the Hot 100, peaking at #71. The awesome metal rhythm is broken by this weird and unnecessary Meat Loaf-like piano bit that really tended to mar most rock songs from the late 1980s through the early 1990s. Otherwise, good tune. 

220px-LikeAVirgin1984Madonna – “Into the Groove” – (1985)

Madonna’s second studio album Like a Virgin had its share of hits none more dance-worthy than this track, which wasn’t originally included on the album’s release. It was added for a 1985 re-release after being used in the film Desperately Seeking Susan, in which Madonna stared. It’s a synth-infused 80s dance track and a fine example of early Madonna.

220px-Hotelcalifornia#1 – Eagles – “Hotel California” – (1976)

This is, perhaps, The Eagles’ signature song. It’s chock full of classic, well-known lyrics such as “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” It was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 in May of 1977 and should be on everyone’s list of the greatest songs of all time.

220px-BostonBoston#2 – Boston – “Foreplay/Long Time” – (1976)

Boston’s debut album is sort of their greatest hits album. I’ve heard every one of the album’s eight tracks on classic rock radio. That’s not to say they didn’t have later hits – they did. But this is easily their best song. “Foreplay/Long Time” is one album track (although Boston did release “Long Time” as a standalone single). “Foreplay” is instrumental and it’s pretty awesome on its own. Apparently, Tom Scholz (the very intelligent man behind Boston), recorded “Foreplay” in his basement by himself about six years before this album was released. Scholz is interesting because he has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and was a Polaroid product engineer before becoming a rock legend.

220px-Frampton_Comes_Alive#3 – Peter Frampton – “Do You Feel Like We Do” – (1976)

“Everybody in the world has Frampton Comes Alive. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of Tide” is the great quote from Waynes World 2 about the album that this great song came off of. Peter Frampton originally recorded this in 1973 for a studio album. But then in 1976 he recorded a live version for Frampton Comes Alive – one of the best-selling albums of all time. It’s a 15 minute meandering rock song that includes a number of solos and one of the most famous uses of the talk box. It’s an incredible song from one of the happiest-seeming guys in rock and roll. If you get a chance to see him live – DO IT!

Allthingsintime#4 – Lou Rawls – “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” – (1976)

The voice. The song opens with a great rhythm and then Lou comes in with that deep, soulful voice and that simple piano hit and blows everything away. Somehow this only hit #2 on the Hot 100 (becoming Rawls’ breakthrough hit). If you were to argue about what the best R&B song of all time is, this is certainly a prime contender.

S2s#5 – David Bowie – “Golden Years” – (1976)

This is my favorite David Bowie song. It’s funky – funkier than just about any other Bowie hit. It was the first single from Station to Station and is the best song on the album. Apparently, according to Bowie, he wrote the song and offered it to Elvis, who declined. Good thing.