Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manservant Hop-Sing and I are off to Florida, where we'll be doing door to door campaigning for America's Mayor -- hoping, of course, to drum up support for Rudy in the crucial Sunshine State Paranoid Old Jew demographic. As a result (and also because it's Shabbos) posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days.
But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:
BEST HIT RECORD WITH A GROOVE THEORETICALLY PAST ITS SELL DATE
You know -- a song in a style or genre that was supposed to be hopelessly old hat but managed to tear up the charts anyway.
Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Eight:
8. Cher -- Believe
The biggest hit of 1999 was a disco song? Sung through the digital equivalent of a megaphone?
7. Billy Swan -- I Can Help
One of the biggest hits of 1974 was a 50s-style rockabilly song? Excuse me -- didn't anybody tell Swan that the Stray Cats wouldn't become the darlings of MTV for another seven years?
6. Tommy James and the Shondells -- Hanky Panky
A crappy 1963 frat-rock B-side, which makes "Louie Louie" sound like Bach's B-Minor Mass, gets re-released in the heady psychedelic days of "Good Vibrations" and "Eight Miles High" and still sells gazillions. I didn't get it then and I still don't....
5. Beach Boys -- Do It Again
With the world in flames, nothing could have been more unfashionable in 1968 either musically or lyrically than this ode to the halcyon days of pre-Beatles sun and surf. Or so you might have thought....
4. Slim Harpo -- Scratch My Back
A straight ahead swampy blues on the pop charts in 1966? Want to buy some Brooklyn beachfront property?
3. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles -- Tears of a Clown
The instrumental track for the Miracles only number one song was originally done in 1966 (Smokey added the lyrics and vocals in '67) and then the whole thing (just another album cut) was more or less forgotten until 1970, when Motown execs exhumed it even though its sound had practically nothing in common with anything the label had out at the time. I remembering hearing it on the radio and thinking, wow, this has got to be an older song, but boy does it sound great....
2. Tracy Chapman -- Give Me One Reason
A straight ahead Memphis blues on the pop charts in 1996? Yeah, right, and trained sheep will someday pilot the space shuttle.
And the number one song in a supposedly obsolete style is.....
1. Fountains of Wayne -- Stacy's Mom
Adam Schlesinger channels Buddy Holly (the 50s) via the Cars (the 80s) and gets a hit in 2003? It can't be said too often -- Adam Schlesinger is a fricking genius.
Okay -- what similar accomplishment jazzes you guys the most?