Saturday, June 25, 2016

Song #364: "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"--Yes (1983)

Another one of my favorite groups, "Yes", returns with, by far and away, the most well-known song from their "90125" album, which I proudly owned.

As this countdown unfolds, you will find that this became a signature album to my high school years, especially as I navigated uncharted and definitely uncertain waters in the summer after my junior year as my Dad began his long, long road back from brain surgery after an aneurysm. There were songs that spoke to me and our family's situation. Loudly. And they are still to come.

But it wasn't hard to give a slot to this, the one song you still hear on the radio to this day once in a while, from the great "90125".  :)




Friday, June 24, 2016

Song #365: "Ballroom Blitz"--Sweet (1973, U.S. Release 1975)

1975 was a good year for the group "Sweet" in the United States.

After enjoying success with today's song on the charts across the pond in 1973, finally, Ballroom Blitz hit American radio in '75. So did "Fox On The Run", thus explaining their success that year.

"Love Is Like Oxygen" would come a few years later, and then, Sweet went sour. But today, we enjoy a song that screams "Crazy!!!", except during the early parts of the verse.  :)

As the song says, "Alright fellas, let's go!"


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Song #366: "65 Love Affair"--Paul Davis (1981)

Also known for his hits, "Sweet Life" and "Cool Night", Paul Davis makes an appearance on our countdown with this, another single from his "Cool Night" LP, which released in 1981.

The song's chart success actually occurred in 1982, peaking at #6 in April, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Edmonton Oilers were both beginning runs to the NBA Championship and Stanley Cup, respectively, and I was counting down the days to the end of ninth grade.

Davis is one of several vocalists of this era (late 1970's to mid 1980's) gone too soon, including Bob Welch from earlier this week, and one of my favorite artists, Gerry Rafferty. Davis passed of a heart attack a day after turning 60 years old.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Song #367: "You And Me"--The Moody Blues (1972)

Finally......

It's the first appearance of my favorite group in the Rob Witham 500.

We're over a quarter of the way to the number one song, which gets revealed one year from tomorrow, and this is the first of twenty appearances by the Moody Blues, by far and away the most songs by one artist in our musical journey.

Now, whether a Moody Blues song tops the list or makes say, the Top 20 is another story for next June. :)

In the meantime, their first entry, interestingly, though a staple in concerts to this day (including my seventh journey with the Moodies last March 25 here in Richmond), it was not released as a single from their "Seventh Sojourn" album in 1972. That honor was given to two other powerful Moody Blues songs: "Isn't Life Strange" and "I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)".

And while I enjoy the original version, this song just gets stepped up another level live, and thus, today's video is from a live concert in 2014 up in New York. Getting to hear this right next to the stage, wow.

More of my concert stories with the Moody Blues down the road. For now, enjoy the first of their twenty contributions to the Rob Witham 500.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Song #368: "(What A) Wonderful World--Art Garfunkel with Paul Simon, James Taylor (1978)

Not to be confused with the Louis Armstrong classic, "What A Wonderful World", today's song is, too, a remake, originally written in 1960 and first performed by Sam Cooke, hitting #12 on the charts.

Nearly two decades later, Garfunkel and the gang hit the Top 20 with their version, a wonderful collaboration that added the unmistakable vocals of James Taylor to the already Hall of Fame duo of Simon and Garfunkel. Brilliant work.

And, we can all relate to "I don't know what a slide rule is for....".....well, most of us.  :)

If you've never heard this version of the song, take a few minutes and treat yourself.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Song #369: "Ebony Eyes"--Bob Welch (1977)

It's the first of two Top 500 appearances from the former member of Fleetwood Mac who got to enjoy some solo success after leaving the band. This song, the second released to radio from "French Kiss", followed the more mellow hit, "Sentimental Lady", which, in a hint, is not the other song that will later appear here.

This is yet another great sing-along song, especially the chorus. Don't know it? Hit play below! :)

By the way, this Welch is not to be confused with the other Bob Welch of the late 1970's, who burst onto the scene around this time as a pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers.




Sunday, June 19, 2016

Song #370: "Got To Be Real"--Cheryl Lynn (1978)

Back in the late 1970's, many people set up in either one of two camps, "Disco Fans", or "Death To Disco". Though I thought the latter category was cool, there was no doubt that I was jamming, to lots of disco tunes.

Cheryl Lynn was part of a group of several artists who were able to have hits thanks to the huge disco wave. I mean, you couldn't get ready for school without having disco dance lessons thrown at you on television. Remember the "Disco Break"??

I think of Lynn, Alicia Bridges, Anita Ward, GQ, Heatwave, and others in this category. Nothing wrong with riding the wave, no pun intended, just as many artists would be doing in the early 1980's when New Wave took over for a time.

The radio version of this song was good, but the extended version is the preferred mix, and thus, what is presented below. Now, where's that old disco ball?