I didn't have the stomach for 1975 this week and 1976 looks even worse - depending on whose version of the Billboard Top 100 you look at, it's either "Silly love songs" (at least agree with me on this one, Malchus...) or "Tonight's the night". (There is a special corner of Hades with your name on it for this one, Rod....)
Not that 1972 is a LOT better.
The mediocrity of the period is just so utterly numbing and if I'm honest, I don't recall a lot of the stuff I've forced myself to listen to.
A psychological or otherwise spring-cleaning appears to have taken place in the grey matter department, for which I'm frequently grateful.
Especially in this case.
Apart from the "Best", there are some gems sprinkled liberally around the nether regions of the chart - Al Green, Derek and the Dominos, Don McLean
As for the rest, it's wall-to-fucking-wall Carpenters, Godspell and the Rick Springfields of this world.
And the Osmonds, of whom Dave Marsh wrote in the first edition of the "Rolling Stone Record Guide" such truths as "Well-crafted garbage - trash is too elevated a description". Or "The only people I've ever heard who deserved Andy Williams. Sometimes I wish they'd learn to ski, and meet his ex-wife"
And then you've got this mob here
#14 Nice to Be with You - Gallery
This is one of those ditties that have the Metrognomes clapping along mindlessly.
"Honey, I've got the notion
That you're causing commotion
In my soul"
Do me a favour, sport...
#42 Beautiful Sunday - Daniel Boone
Up with the lark
I think I'll take
A walk in the park"
I've got better lyrics for you, Daniel.
Up with the lark
Why don't you
Just go and kark"
#56 Bang a Gong (Get It on) - T Rex
Marc Bolan deserves no better for what he did to the gentle, wonderfully sensitive John Peel, who supported him in the early days, taking Bolan and the band along to DJ gigs and kickstarting them on the road to fame and then get dropped. Bastard.
Some people (and this possibly redeems Rod, who was best man at John Peel's wedding) stayed true.
Here's Ron talking about John Peel and here's the Top of the Pops clip of "Maggie May" he refers to.
#71 Joy - Apollo 100
The boy must have got a synthesiser for Christmas and found the sheet music of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".
I wish he hadn't. Puerile stuff, totally lacking in emotion.
(The Byrds do it a sort of justice in the bridge of "She don't care about time". My mate Graham Horne - pictured in 1965, school uniform and all - picked up on that. Well, someone who played pedal-powered church organ - and snuck bits of "Like a Rolling Stone" into the hymns would, wouldn't they?)
#93 I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing - New Seekers
I can live with the real Seekers.
They were deservedly huge in the 1960s. (And wasn't that Judith Durham a cracker....?)
Talk about the Midas touch. When they released a single, it was a question of who was going to be #2.
(I was staying with friends in Whangarei when "The Carnival is Over" was released and another schoolmate, Larry Elliott, who was working as a sound engineer at 1XN - now he's an Acoustician...- got me - the guy from the Big Smoke - on a panel on a radio show to pick the hits of the week.
I trotted out some trivia that had anchored itself in my brain about the Russian folk song melody that they'd nicked bla bla bla and the locals looked suitably impressed at that, so I made a rash prediction that this would be #1 within a matter of days.
The only record they released NOT to make it to #1 in New Zealand. #2. Shows you how much I know...
The New Seekers, on the other hand, were dire - music hall/game show tripe.
My cousin, Dave, was a fan. Even got their autographs. I've worried about him ever since.
Dick H had a pet theory as to how they got the singer to emit that inane high-pitched bleating
"I reckon that have someone stand being him in the studio and grab him by the balls at 2:02 (and 2:08. And 2:15.) I'll show you..."
"Fuck off, Dick..."
"You just look at the credits on the album cover. I bet you they've got "Fred Blogs - Balls Squeezer" there somewhere."
#46 Garden Party - Rick Nelson
Rick Nelson was always one of those Fabian/Paul Anka/Dion/Cliff Richards-clones-to-be-ignored for me, but this one hits all the right buttons.
The Trivia Button, f'rinstance.
Got booed off stage in Madison Square Gardens when he turned up with long hair to play his country music.
Wrote this song.
"If memories are all I sing, I'd better drive a truck"
#50 Hold your head up - Argent
If Jefito were old enough to remember this, he'd have it in his Power Ballad of the Day series. Maybe he can ask his Mum...
#75 School's out - Alice Cooper
You have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of what a kerfuffle Alice Cooper caused in the UK. Defenders of Public Morals demanding his castration, questions in Parliament, that sort of stuff.
I loved him. This blasting in the car on the way to the White Lion of a Sunday evening to listen to the Jug Band was as good as it got.
"We've got got no class
And we've got no principles (principals)
We can't even think of a word that rhymes"
Was he the primeval punk..?
#79 Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone
I'm sure that I was even aware of this song until years later.
What a waste.
It defines groove and coolness for me.
#92 Doctor my eyes - Jackson Browne
I know exactly where I was when I heard the single: Lufthansa Traffic Office at Heathrow.
From that moment on, Jackson Browne could have sold shat in a paper bag and I would have bought it.
(Later, in fact, he did trying selling something distinctly along those lines, but I was older and wiser and didn't fall for the trick)
#26 Song sung blue - Neil Diamond
And then there's Neil Diamond.
Dad used to called him "Yoghurt"
"I don't like yoghurt either..."
When they did Bill Leslie's car and nicked his radio, they left a Neil Diamond cassette on the dashboard.
"Obviously music lovers, Dad" said Cameron.
But I figure that if The Band invite him along to The Last Waltz, he can't be that bad.
#74 I can see clearly now - Johnny Nash
Not that I actually like this one, but any song that wins me 6 bottles of Black Sheep ale is worth a spin.
Famous potter Jane Hamlyn reckoned it was Cat Stevens, I said it wasn't.