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AT40 - This Week In 1977 (1 Viewer)

39. "The Greatest Love Of All" - George Benson

The lyrics are often quoted ironically and it's true they'd never be confused with Dylan, but this is a beautiful song. I like this version better than Whitney Houston's because - as over the top as this goes - it's still relatively underplayed.

37. "You & Me" - Alice Cooper

Vince was a surprisingly good balladeer. The arrangement is good for what he's trying to do here. 

Unfortunately for the rest of us, numbskulls like White Lion & Poison missed the point.

36. "Do Ya Wanna Make Love" - Peter McCann

Summer of '77, I worked days at a marina and nights washing dishes at a local dive bar in bum-**** Maryland. I never did the math, but this damned record HAD to have been the most-played on that jukebox. I saw more infidelity getting ready happen to this song than all of the movies I've ever watched.

35. "Way Down" - Elvis

His last release while he was alive. He still had a bit of that Elvis-holler left here.

34. "Hard Rock Cafe" - Carole King

Not sure I recall this one, but it's Carole and she's got some fun hooks here. Two Orcs up from me.

33. "You Made Me Believe In Magic" - Bay City Rollers

The media tried SO hard to make these guys the New Beatles. They were fine for what they were, but no. Just no.

Was this their last hit?

32. "So You Win Again" - Hot Chocolate

This was a truly weird band. None of their hits sound like they were made by the same group. 

Proto-New Wave of the highest order.

31. " It Was Almost Like A Song" - Ronnie Milsap

This dude is incredibly talented. He can sing any damned thing - blues, country, gospel, rock&roll, you name it. He was on a major roll here. His days backing Elvis show on this record.

30. "Boogie Nights" - Heatwave

Not their best dance record (that would be "Groove Line", which will rock you damn near to death), but their biggest.

I saw them in one of those Summer Fun mega-concerts earlier in '77 at the old Cap Centre near DC. KC & The Sunshine Band was the headliner, just after The Trammps. Heatwave got off, man. 

26. "Edge Of The Universe" - Bee Gees

They were big when this came out (btw, this particular record sounds like an outtake of one of their '60s records), but they were about to go nuclear.

25. "Christine Sixteen" - KISS

They were running on fumes here, though they'd make a nice sideways last gasp with "I Was Made For Loving You". They'd bounce back in the '80s when most of the hair bands stole their shtick.

24. "Don't Worry Baby" - BJ Thomas

Pointless remake that also got played to death by drunken rednecks looking to cheat on that jukebox I mentioned above.

22. "I'm In You" - Peter Frampton

This was a massive hit. The melody annoys the hell out of me, but Pete always seemed like a good guy so I begrudgingly will allow him to get rich off of this record.

21. "Keep It Coming Love" - KC & The Sunshine Band

I wonder if there was supposed to be an apostrophe in there somewhere?

They were as hot as any band in the world when this record hit.

19. "On And On" - Stephen Bishop

I've heard this song in states straight, stoned, drunk, or tripping. It sounds the same either way, which I don't think has ever happened to me before.

16. "Cold As Ice" - Foreigner

This kicked off  - what? - an eight year run? That ain't bad. I like Foreigner, though this one isn't my favorite.

15. "Give A Little Bit" - Supertramp

Never got these guys. This one's no worse than any of their other stuff to me. Ain't any better, either.

12. "Smoke From A Distant Fire" - Sanford Townsend Band

Another genetic experiment that came out of the test tube as Yacht Rock

10. "Telephone Line" - ELO

Jeff Lynne made a killing rewriting Abbey Road over and over and over again. I'll give him credit for knowing melody and arrangements and helping his buddies (whose coattails he skated on for years).

9. "Strawberry Letter 23" - Brothers Johnson

There are those who will tell you Shuggie Otis' original is better. Those people are wrong. This is one of the few Quincy Jones productions of the '70s where his sheen works and doesn't overpower the record. Everything works here and it's one of the best-sounding records of the decade.

8. "Don't Stop" - Fleetwood Mac

Another great-sounding record. I guess the punks were rebelling against stuff like this, but I think they were missing the point.

7. "Just A Song Before I Go" - CSN

Their "coke" hit, which is saying something considering David Crosby's history.

6. "Float On" - Floaters

The most Quiet Storm-iest Quiet Storm song ever. It's almost a parody - dudes reciting their astrology signs to get laid - except they MEAN it. If aliens cam down today and asked me to define the '70s in this country, I'd play this record.

5. "Handy Man" - James Taylor

James did a lot of covers and did well with a bunch of them. I think this is his best.

4. "Easy" - Commodores

An absolute classic. It's one of those songs like "Here Comes The Sun" or "Drift Away" that gets me right when I need it. Look, I KNOW Lionel Richie is a hack. I don't care. This one's burnt into me.

3. "Higher & Higher" - Rita Coolidge

Here's another I saw people cheating to in that damned bar I worked in. It's schlock, I guess, but she's the Delta Lady and gives it a little oomph. The best thing Rita did was not try and match Jackie Wilson's original and its energy. Music's ok, but the vocal is sultry as hell.

4. "Easy" - Commodores

An absolute classic. It's one of those songs like "Here Comes The Sun" or "Drift Away" that gets me right when I need it. Look, I KNOW Lionel Richie is a hack. I don't care. This one's burnt into me.
Cant say Sunday morning without at least thinking, if not saying, easy.

2. "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" - Andy Gibb

How freaking long was this on the charts? You'd have had to hibernate for two years not to hear it every hour on the radio. Bee Gees strike again, and they were just getting warmed up.

1. "Best Of My Love" - Emotions

The better of the two songs that hit #1 with that title in the '70s. Not to sell the Emotions short, but this is basically Earth, Wind, & Fire with The Crystals out front. EWF was also on a helluva roll at this point.

That's it, folks. Keep your ears to the stars and your eyes to the ground.

I always remember radio at that time being really bad - this is such a great example.  Disco was in full force - great place to get the sex, but not for listening enjoyment. 

Album play at the time was even down that year as I look back on the innerwebs - except for several monster albums.  

oops. missed it. good one for me to miss tho - had just moved to NM and was homesteading a miner's shack in the mts above Santa Fe at the time. didn't get power til just before the Denver-Dallas Super Bowl later that year. radio in the car was all there was and we had to go down a fire road to go anywhere which limited drive time. didn't know a lot of these and, other than my intense love for Supertramp & Leo Sayer & Star Wars, not a lot to comment  on.....


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