In any case, during the next few days I'll be trying to lower my blood pressure over this whole business, so further posting by moi will be sporadic as a result.
But in the meantime, here's a fun little project for us all:
Best Post-Breakup-of-the-Beatles Pop/Rock Single That Should Have Been a Huge Fricking Hit But Wasn't!!!
Self-explanatory, I think -- records that should have been chart toppers in a sane world -- and no arbitrary rules, except that we're not talking album cuts; they have to be tracks that were actually released to radio as singles in the United States of America AFTER early 1970. Of course, given that they haven't made any of those little seven inch records with the big holes in the center for quite some time now, I realize this puts some of our younger readers at a disadvantage. So if you care to nominate, say, some piece of crap by Creed that was actually sent out to deejays in some format or another, I'm not going to object.
And yes, I'm absolutely positive we've done this category (or something nearly identical) before, but I for one am certifying that all my choices are first-timers.
And that said, my totally top of my head Top Eight is:
8. The Subdudes -- All the Time in the World
This got so much play on New York rock radio in 1996 that I always assumed it was a worldwide smash, but apparently no, it wasn't. A great Rolling Stones by way of New Orleans slice of blues-rock, in any case; the guy on slide guitar is a mofo, as the kids say.
7. The Capris -- Morse Code of Love
The last great doo-wop record? Well, maybe; it was recorded in 1982 when somebody at CBS(!) decided it might be fun to do a series of albums featuring some of the surviving first-generation vocal groups. The Capris (of "There's a Moon Out Tonight" fame) actually wrote the tune themselves, and it took awhile for it to impinge on the public consciousness; Manhattan Transfer did a cover that got a fair amount of airplay in the 90s and most people still think it's an actual oldie from the Golden Age. Whatever -- a perfect song and performance, I think.
|Capris - Morse Code Of Love|
|Found at bee mp3 search engine|
6. Billy Bremner -- Laughter Turns to Tears
From 1984, one of those terrific Stiff singles that, er, deserved not to stiff. Written and produced by the great Rockpile guitarist along with Will Birch of The Records; I recently discovered that the Hollies did a more or less note for note cover in 1985, but that wasn't a hit either. Pity.
5. Stevie Wright -- Hard Road
From the former Easybeats lead singer's solo debut album, and as infectious a piece of guitar-driven rock-and-roll as could be heard anywhere in 1974. Produced and written by the great Vanda-Young team, obviously, and frankly I can think of like fifty Vanda-Young records that could have made the list; Rod Stewart covered this one, unmemorably, on one of his last decent solo albums.
4. New York Dolls -- Dance Like a Monkey
From their 2006 comeback album, and for my money maybe their best song ever. Great guitars, a Bo Diddley beat, and a hilarious skewering of Creationism -- what the hell more could you want?
3. Pere Ubu -- I Hear They Smoke the Barbecue
On balance, my favorite song from their two late 80s "commercial" albums, although I almost nominated "Breath" instead. David Thomas' voice may be an acquired taste, but this track is a complete natural under any circumstances.
2. Shocking Blue -- Serenade
These guys had broken up by the time (1974) this European album cut got released as a Stateside single by Buddah -- I actually owned a promo copy, a treasured possession for many years -- and it remains one of my all time obscure faves. The lyrics are gorgeous, despite the fact (or perhaps because) English is composer Robbie van Leeuwen's second language, and the interplay between the dry, scratchy electric guitar strums and the acoustic finger-picking is just great. And then, of course, there's that lead vocal by actual gypsy front woman Mariska Veres...it is, as I am wont to say, to swoon.
And the Numero Uno after-the-dream-was-over single that should have done it but clearly didn't is...
1. Dion -- And the Night Stood Still
Anybody who knows me knows that I consider Diane Warren, who wrote this, not just the worst songwriter in the history of music, but quite literally the spawn of Satan. That said, this goddamn song works like gangbusters, and between Dave Edmunds' production (those tremolo guitars, or whatever the hell they are) and Dion's utterly convincing vocals I lose any vestige of critical objectivity whenever I listen to it. An absolute apotheosis of New York City street corner romanticism.
Alrighty, then -- and what would your choices be?
[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: best performance by a reptilian performer (animal or otherwise) -- is now up over at the new and weird Box Office site here. As always, if you could see your way to going over there and leaving a comment I'd be your best friend; you have to sign up to be able to do that, but it seems a small inconvenience.]