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The Next 100 Songs from 1975, aka Sanbornpalooza. #1: Black Friday (1 Viewer)

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
43. Last Train -- Allen Toussaint (from Southern Nights)

New Orleans producer/songwriter/arranger Allen Toussaint is best known for the songs he wrote/records he made for other people, but in his prime he would put out an album of his own every few years. 1975 was one of those years, gracing us with Southern Nights, the title track of which would become a major hit for Glen Campbell 2 years later. 

The opener Last Train strikes you with its brilliance within the first 10 seconds. The horns* punch in right as Toussaint changes his vocal inflection, giving the listener a hair-raising experience right off the bat. The groove the bass and guitar start around 0:30 is an incredible foundation, and Toussaint's piano work dances around it beautifully. Toussaint wasn't known for his singing (and didn't really like singing), but here he wrote something very well-suited for his limited range. 

I was fortunate to see Toussaint live with Elvis Costello in 2006 when they were touring for their collaboration The River in Reverse. I was invited the day of (or maybe the day before) by a friend who had an extra ticket, and went in having no idea what to expect. The night was mindblowing. More details on that can be found in @krista4's solo Beatles thread. 

Tomorrow: Stuff we might have expected Tim to pick, but he didn't. 

* - none of which were played by David Sanborn

 
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wikkidpissah

Footballguy
44. Last Train -- Allen Toussaint (from Southern Nights)

New Orleans producer/songwriter/arranger Allen Toussaint is best known for the songs he wrote/records he made for other people, but in his prime he would put out an album of his own every few years. 1975 was one of those years, gracing us with Southern Nights, the title track of which would become a major hit for Glen Campbell 2 years later. 

The opener Last Train strikes you with its brilliance within the first 10 seconds. The horns* punch in right as Toussaint changes his vocal inflection, giving the listener a hair-raising experience right off the bat. The groove the bass and guitar start around 0:30 is an incredible foundation, and Toussaint's piano work dances around it beautifully. Toussaint wasn't known for his singing (and didn't really like singing), but here he wrote something very well-suited for his limited range. 

I was fortunate to see Toussaint live with Elvis Costello in 2006 when they were touring for their collaboration The River in Reverse. I was invited the day of (or maybe the day before) by a friend who had an extra ticket, and went in having no idea what to expect. The night was mindblowing. More details on that can be found in @krista4's solo Beatles thread. 

Tomorrow: Stuff we might have expected Tim to pick, but he didn't. 

* - none of which were played by David Sanborn
one of the true greats

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Pip's Invitation said:
45. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go -- Bob Dylan (from Blood on the Tracks)

I did not set out to follow a Joan Baez song about Bob Dylan with a Bob Dylan song, but that's how it fell. This is another touching song from Blood on the Tracks about the end of a relationship and the resulting self-pity from the narrator. Which includes a verse with some of the most Dylan lyrics ever:

Situations have ended sad
Relationships have all been bad
Mine have been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud
But there's no way I can compare
All them scenes to this affair
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go


&

Next: An artist whom I did not see in concert until 2006, and only then due to a last-minute invitation. 
Have you heard Miley Cyrus do this? I can’t link it from where I am right now but it’s an easy find on YouTube. It’s excellent. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
42. Fool for the City -- Foghat (from Fool for the City)

Fun, chugging hard rock from the same album as Slow Ride, which was on Tim's list. I love the unexpected turn the bridge takes with the acoustic guitar and funky bass. That's then followed by an outstanding guitar solo from Rod Price. I latched onto this in the early '80s, when a live version got regular play in the first years of MTV.

Title tracks in the countdown so far: 11 (of 57), if we count Wind on the Water, which is a section of To the Last Whale

That's a pretty high percentage, almost 1 in 5, given that most '70s (non-jazz or prog) albums had between 8 and 12 songs. I don't think I have a specific bias toward them. More likely, artists might have been inclined to name their album after a song they really liked/thought was important/thought had potential to be a hit. It was also not uncommon in the '70s to follow a successful single with an quickly assembled album named after it (Who Loves You is an example of this).
 
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Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
43. Fool for the City -- Foghat (from Fool for the City)

Fun, chugging hard rock from the same album as Slow Ride, which was on Tim's list. I luck the unexpected turn the bridge takes with the acoustic guitar and funky bass. That's then followed by an outstanding guitar solo from Rod Price. I latched onto this in the early '80s, when a live version got regular play in the first years of MTV. 

Title tracks in the countdown so far: 11 (of 57), if we count Wind on the Water, which is a section of To the Last Whale

That's a pretty high percentage, almost 1 in 5, given that most '70s (non-jazz or prog) albums had between 8 and 12 songs. I don't think I have a specific bias toward them. More likely, artists might have been inclined to name their album after a song they really liked/thought was important/thought had potential to be a hit. It was also not uncommon in the '70s to follow a successful single with an quickly assembled album named after it (Who Loves You is an example of this). 
Foghat is THE perfect example of mid-70's rock - so bad it's ...still not good.*

*ETA:  big qualifier - this applies to top 40 rock - pure album rock was and still is majestic.  

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
41. Bad Sneakers -- Steely Dan (from Katy Lied)

The book on Steely Dan is they make intellectual music sometimes lacking in emotion, but that is not the case here. Donald Fagen turns in one of his most compelling lead vocals, bolstered by powerful harmonies from Michael McDonald. Again, I have no idea what the lyrics are supposed to mean, but the way these are delivered brings out the empathy:

Yes I've gone insane
You know I'm laughing at the frozen rain
I feel like I'm so alone
Honey when they gonna send me home


&

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
40. I'm So Afraid -- Fleetwood Mac (from Fleetwood Mac)

Despite it sharing an album with many better-known songs, this is one of my favorites from Mac's 1975 record. The music and lyrics are matched perfectly, with Lindsey Buckingham's tale of someone who's scared by his innermost thoughts forged by years of emotional isolation backed by haunting, brooding guitars and organ, punctuated by an anguished guitar solo that closes out the album.

Days when the rain and the sun are gone
Black as night
Agony's torn at my heart too long
So afraid
Slip and I fall and I die.


&

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Here are the songs I considered for but cut from the list by artists appearing in entries 49-40. In spoiler text for those who don't want to know what's not on the list. 

Black Sabbath:

Am I Going Insane (Radio) (from Sabotage)

The parenthetical title is apt, as this was the most radio-friendly song Sabbath had produced thus far. With touches of synthesizers and a melody on the verses reminiscent of Friday on My Mind, this certainly makes an appeal beyond the metal audience, but the instrumental breakdown starting around 2:15 has all kinds of subtle touches, and the lyrics deal with mental illness -- a condition three of the four original band members dealt with -- in a non-cartoonish way. 

Allen Toussaint:

Southern Nights (from Southern Nights)

You may know Glen Campbell's cover, a big hit in 1977. Toussaint's own version sounds nothing like that. It's drenched in reverb and the arrangement consists of nothing but piano, harpsichord, synthesizer and minimal percussion. Though Toussaint released this as the second single from the album, he later said he wished his own version sounded more like Campbell's. The lyrics, consisting of various memories from his childhood, are among his best and match well with the dream-like sound of the music. (For his version, Campbell added some of his own childhood memories to the lyrics). 

Country John (from Southern Nights)

A supremely swinging piece of funk, this was the first single from Southern Nights and should have been much more successful than it was. The chorus is such a joy to listen to. First-time listeners to the album were in for a surprise, as the song, which appeared on side 1, ends with a snippet of the title track spliced in, and the full version of the title track doesn't appear until the beginning of side 2. 

Frankie Valli:

Swearin' to God (from Closeup)

This sounds exactly how you'd expect "lounge singer goes disco" to sound, yet it works brilliantly, thanks to a fully committed vocal from Valli and an arrangement that borrows heavily from the kind of stuff Isaac Hayes had been doing. The album version is more than 10 minutes long, I'll let you find that on your own if you so desire. This was not released under the Four Seasons moniker; the difference had mostly to do with record contracts and who was writing the material (Bob Gaudio had no hand in this one.)
 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
39. Old Days -- Chicago (from Chicago VIII)

Of the albums Chicago released when Terry Kath was alive (which are the only ones worth discussing), VIII is my least favorite; I'd have more from them most any other year of their prime. Old Days, written by trombonist James Pankow and sung by Peter Cetera, is the clear standout, opening with slightly distorted power chords you wouldn't expect to hear on top 40 radio in 1975 and closing with a frenzied coda somewhat reminiscent of their earlier Feelin' Stronger Every Day. The rest has the propulsive piano, sweet harmonies and punchy horns that were a hallmark of many of their best songs of the era. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
38. Another Night -- The Hollies (from Another Night)

Here we have another band from the '60s that successfully redefined themselves for the mid-70s. The new Hollies sound first broke through a few years before with Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, and was solidified on the 1975 album Another Night, which had strong songs produced firmly in the 1975 pop style. Hollies lead singer Allan Clarke was an early champion of Bruce Springsteen, and this album includes one of the first known Springsteen covers, a version of 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). This album was released in February and Born to Run wouldn't drop until August, so a lot of the mainstream music audience didn't know who he was yet. 

The record's most successful song artistically and commercially was the title track, which combines a strong guitar riff, neat synthesizer touches and the trademark Hollies harmonies with compelling lyrics about losing in love. 

I open my eyes
My fantasy ends
We're not even friends

&

Damn.

Title tracks in the countdown: 12 (of 61; 19.7%, still about 1 in 5)

 
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FairWarning

Footballguy
40. Old Days -- Chicago (from Chicago VIII)

Of the albums Chicago released when Terry Kath was alive (which are the only ones worth discussing), VIII is my least favorite; I'd have more from them most any other year of their prime. Old Days, written by trombonist James Pankow and sung by Peter Cetera, is the clear standout, opening with slightly distorted power chords you wouldn't expect to hear on top 40 radio in 1975 and closing with a frenzied coda somewhat reminiscent of their earlier Feelin' Stronger Every Day. The rest has the propulsive piano, sweet harmonies and punchy horns that were a hallmark of many of their best songs of the era. 
Didn't realize it was released in '75, thought it was 70-71.  

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
37. Sing a Song -- Earth, Wind & Fire (from Gratitude)

As I mentioned earlier, 1975 was a huge year for EWF. Early in the year, the That's the Way of the World album and its smash single Shining Star (on Tim's list) took the band to a new level of popularity, and their live act that year increased dramatically in scale and venue size. This was captured at the end of the year with the stunning live album Gratitude.

But Gratitude was not merely a showcase for their concert prowess. All of side 4 and one song on side 3 were new studio recordings, two of which were released as singles to keep the momentum rolling. Of those, Sing a Song became another huge hit, and distills everything that they had reaped in '75. The vocals soar, the horns play a countermelody and the rest of the band funks the hell out of things. And the lyrics continued the brimming positivity of Shining Star. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
36. Have a Good Time -- Paul Simon (from Still Crazy After All These Years)

A catchy chorus with luscious harmonies -- plus cowbell! What more could you ask for from pop music in the mid-70s? The message of this one is, it's OK to party because we as Americans are in a great situation, so let's not screw it up. Oops. 

Number of songs in the countdown with Phil Woods on sax: 2

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
37. Have a Good Time -- Paul Simon (from Still Crazy After All These Years)

A catchy chorus with luscious harmonies -- plus cowbell! What more could you ask for from pop music in the mid-70s? The message of this one is, it's OK to party because we as Americans are in a great situation, so let's not screw it up. Oops. 

Number of songs in the countdown with Phil Woods on sax: 2
Seems like the cowbell and the talk box were battling it out for supremacy around these years.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
58. Initiation -- Todd Rundgren (from Initiation)

Power changes hands in the unseen worlds
'Cause in '75 something comes alive


&

Here we go, @Binky The Doormat. Todd was fully on the prog train by 1975, having released the super-spacey first Utopia album shortly before the close of 1974. He carried some of those ideas over to his next album, which he released under his own name. The title track distills ideas from the likes of Yes and Mahavishnu Orchestra but sets them to a hard-driving rhythm, paced by drum tracks from Bernard Purdie and Rick Marotta. It includes spectacular solos from Todd on guitar, Utopia's Roger Powell on synthesizer and, you guessed it, David Sanborn on saxophone, and became a concert favorite for many years. Certain of its elements were first developed in Hall and Oates' Can't Stop the Music, from their 1974 album War Babies, which Todd produced. 
@krista4 Here's a live version without sax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xoJos03M6w 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Discussion has died down in here ever since BobbyLayne got suspended. 😆

This song doesn't have a saxophone to get people riled up, but it does have a fiddle.

35. Fast Buck Freddie -- Jefferson Starship (from Red Octopus)

For the opener of the Red Octopus album, Grace Slick delivers her best vocal since the height of the Airplane days. The lyrics may or may not be about cocaine, but Grace provides passionate and compelling delivery of lines like "What's going on, can I ask you" and "Sing it now while you still have a song." Keeping up with her beautifully are Papa John Creach on fiddle, Craig Chaquico on lead guitar and banjo and session maven Bobbye Hall on congas. 

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
Discussion has died down in here ever since BobbyLayne got suspended. 😆

This song doesn't have a saxophone to get people riled up, but it does have a fiddle.

36. Fast Buck Freddie -- Jefferson Starship (from Red Octopus)

For the opener of the Red Octopus album, Grace Slick delivers her best vocal since the height of the Airplane days. The lyrics may or may not be about cocaine, but Grace provides passionate and compelling delivery of lines like "What's going on, can I ask you" and "Sing it now while you still have a song." Keeping up with her beautifully are Papa John Creach on fiddle, Craig Chaquico on lead guitar and banjo and session maven Bobbye Hall on congas. 
Papa John Creach, BobbyLayne’s in trouble deep.

Also not a huge fan of Starship post-Airplane, but this album is great top to bottom.

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
34. Custard Pie -- Led Zeppelin (from Physical Graffiti)

In the mid '70s, there was a lot of "boogie rock" going on (Grand Funk Railroad, Foghat, etc.). Here, on Physical's opener, the masters showed us how it's done. John Paul Jones' clavinet work and Jimmy Page's guitar solo elevate this far above its silly lyrics and pedestrian basic structure and offer a tantalizing hint of what's to come over the next 90 minutes. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
33. Fight the Power (Parts 1 & 2) -- The Isley Brothers (from The Heat Is On)

Fierce, socially conscious funk. Jam out with your bad selves.

Time is truly wastin'
There's no guarantee
Smile's in the makin'
You gotta fight the powers that be
Got so many forces
Stayin' on the scene
Givin' up all around me
Faces full a' pain
I can't play my music
They say my music's too loud
I kept talkin about it
I got the big run around
When I rolled with the punches
I got knocked on the ground
With all this bull#### going down


&

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
32. Shakey Ground -- The Temptations (from A Song for You)

Serious funk from a band known more for their soul singing. Not surprisingly, there is a P-Funk connection: The song was co-written by P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel (who also plays on the track), and the ridiculous bass part is played by Billy "Bass" Nelson, another P-Funk alum. This was the last Tempts song to top the R&B chart. It has been covered by many, including Phoebe Snow, Delbert McClinton, Etta James and Bob Weir(!). 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
31. Grounds for Separation -- Daryl Hall & John Oates (from Daryl Hall & John Oates)

This song was supposed to be on the Rocky soundtrack. Given the "fly awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" part at the end, it could very well have been intended for the pivotal scene occupied by "Gonna Fly Now" in the final cut. Before teaming up with Daryl Hall, John Oates had played in a local Philly band with Frank Stallone, and through that connection, they landed an agreement to provide a song for a film by Frank's brother, some guy named Sylvester. The thing was, almost nobody had heard of Sylvester Stallone before Rocky came out in 1976. When the movie was delayed in 1975, there was real concern that it would never see the light of day. And so Hall and Oates asked for their song back so they could put it on their new album. 

It's a real winner, no matter its fate. Pumping bass, luscious strings, brief Beatlesque guitar passages, chilling harmonies and that blissful "away-ay-ay-ay" coda make for a smorgasbord of mid-70s pop heaven. 

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
Pip's Invitation said:
32. Grounds for Separation -- Daryl Hall & John Oates (from Daryl Hall & John Oates)

This song was supposed to be on the Rocky soundtrack. Given the "fly awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" part at the end, it could very well have been intended for the pivotal scene occupied by "Gonna Fly Now" in the final cut. Before teaming up with Daryl Hall, John Oates had played in a local Philly band with Frank Stallone, and through that connection, they landed an agreement to provide a song for a film by Frank's brother, some guy named Sylvester. The thing was, almost nobody had heard of Sylvester Stallone before Rocky came out in 1976. When the movie was delayed in 1975, there was real concern that it would never see the light of day. And so Hall and Oates asked for their song back so they could put it on their new album. 

It's a real winner, no matter its fate. Pumping bass, luscious strings, brief Beatlesque guitar passages, chilling harmonies and that blissful "away-ay-ay-ay" coda make for a smorgasbord of mid-70s pop heaven. 
Only vaguely familiar with this one, but I like it. Great backstory there. And I’ve always found that album cover to be,  um, interesting.

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Only vaguely familiar with this one, but I like it. Great backstory there. And I’ve always found that album cover to be,  um, interesting.
It's a great album. Their 73-76 run was quite impressive. About the album cover, Wiki says:

The album's cover shows an androgynous-looking Hall and Oates, both appearing to wear makeup, against a silver background. It was designed by Pierre LaRoche, a makeup artist who was responsible for much of the androgynous look of glam rock artists at the time, including creating the appearance of the Ziggy Stardust persona for David Bowie. The cover came about after Hall and Oates happened to meet LaRoche, who like the two was living in New York City's Greenwich Village at the time; LaRoche told the two, "I want to do an album cover with you guys. I will immortalize you!"

In a 2019 interview, Oates said that the cover had confused listeners, because it seemed unrelated to either Hall & Oates' musical style or their public persona. However, he noted that it was in keeping with other androgynous-looking album covers of the time, including The Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup and Rick Derringer's Spring Fever. He also noted that it was "pretty much the only album cover [of theirs] that anyone ever talks about, so in a way, if you just look at it in a purely analytical way, I guess it was very successful." In an interview for VH1's Behind the Music, Hall joked that the cover made him look like "the girl I always wanted to go out with".

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
30. Don't Cry No Tears -- Neil Young and Crazy Horse (from Zuma)

A throwback rocker (based on a song Neil wrote in 1964), this no-nonsense stomper was the first thing Neil fans heard from him with the new lineup of Crazy Horse. It's incredibly fun and must be extremely easy to play because there are TONS of covers on Youtube by roots rock bands and bar bands. 

What strikes me about listening to Neil's 1975 stuff compared with everything else in this countdown is that it seems to exist completely independently of what else was going on. He just DGAF about musical trends at all. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Here are songs I considered for but cut from the countdown by artists appearing in entries 39-30. In spoiler text for those who don't want to know what's not on the list.

Chicago:

Oh, Thank You Great Spirit (from Chicago VIII)

The theme of Chicago VIII was nostalgia, as evident from #39 entry Old Days. Terry Kath contributed to this by giving us a song extremely influenced by his old friend Jimi Hendrix. Swipe in a vocal from Hendrix and you could drop this on Axis: Bold as Love and no one would suspect anything. Hendrix became a champion of Kath after seeing Chicago play in LA; he told the band, and others, that he thought Kath was a better guitar player than him.

Daryl Hall & John Oates:

Gino (the Manager) (from Daryl Hall & John Oates)

This was written about/for their actual manager at the time, Tommy Mottola, who would go on to become a powerful record label executive and eventually an ex-husband of Mariah Carey. The lyrics about his real and hypothetical duties can be pretty funny ("pay off the guru"). And the melody sticks with you, especially the "no-no-no" part and the bridge with high harmonies. Hall and Oates had a crack touring band (that the label wouldn't allow to play on their records), and they would absolutely obliterate this one in concert.

The Hollies:

You Gave Me Life (with That Look in Your Eyes) (from Another Night)

You wouldn't expect the Hollies to churn out thick blues riffs, but here we go. The harmonies on the chorus and the sitar solo are more what you might expect. IMO this is one of Allan Clarke's best vocals.

Jefferson Starship: 

Play on Love (from Red Octopus)

From the rollicking piano to the fluid guitar solo to another strong Grace Slick vocal, this was another highlight from an album that was fantastic all the way through. I'm pretty sure this one is not about cocaine. 

There Will Be Love (from Red Octopus)

The Red Octopus closer neatly encapsulates that which had come before it. It fuses the smooth romanticism of Marty Balin with the cosmic orientation of Paul Kantner (I suspect this was fused together from songs they wrote separately). The instrumental passage starting around 2:10 is just gorgeous.
 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
29. I Love Music -- The O'Jays (from Family Reunion)

Another song that was clearly pointing in the direction of disco but didn't lapse into cliches. One of the crowning achievements of the Philadelphia International label/Philly soul sound, this song has stellar percussion, piano and guitar work, and all three of Eddie Levert, Walter Williams and William Powell turn in strong vocal performances. The 6:55 album version is linked because you can't have too much of this kind of thing. 

Music is the healing voice of the world
It's understood by every man, woman, boy and girl

&

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Someone hinted that this might be coming. They were right.

28. Fox on the Run -- Sweet (released as a single)

Like Ballroom Blitz, this appeared on the US version of Desolation Boulevard in late 1974 but wasn't released as a single in the US until 1975. Unlike Ballroom Blitz, it was recorded not long before its US release, and thus sounds much less glam and much more AOR/boogie rock, in accordance with how the trends had shifted in less than 2 years. But it's a hell of an example of that. The guitars crunch, the bass and drums stomp and Brian Connolly's vocal growls anthemically. Love the way he bellows "I!" or "You!" at the beginning of each verse. And there is just enough analog synthesizer to further distance it from the hordes of boogie rock that was crowding the airwaves at time. 

All those brand names on the album cover -- would they allow that today? 

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
Someone hinted that this might be coming. They were right.

29. Fox on the Run -- Sweet (released as a single)

Like Ballroom Blitz, this appeared on the US version of Desolation Boulevard in late 1974 but wasn't released as a single in the US until 1975. Unlike Ballroom Blitz, it was recorded not long before its US release, and thus sounds much less glam and much more AOR/boogie rock, in accordance with how the trends had shifted in less than 2 years. But it's a hell of an example of that. The guitars crunch, the bass and drums stomp and Brian Connolly's vocal growls anthemically. Love the way he bellows "I!" or "You!" at the beginning of each verse. And there is just enough analog synthesizer to further distance it from the hordes of boogie rock that was crowding the airwaves at time. 

All those brand names on the album cover -- would they allow that today? 
I was the one who hinted at it awhile back. 🦊

Brings back a lot of memories as a little kid - had this on 45.

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
27. Wake Up Everybody -- Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (from Wake Up Everybody)

Another of the biggest achievements of the Philadelphia International label/Philly soul movement, this song was that empire's equivalent to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Co-written by Gene McFadden and John Whitehead (who would later have a huge hit of their own with Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now), the song features a chilling lead vocal from Teddy Pendergrass* and lyrics calling attention to the decay of our society, which are relevant more than ever today. 

* - yes, the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes was not Harold Melvin. 

Title tracks in this countdown: 13 (of 72; 18%, still about 1 in 5). 

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
33. Shakey Ground -- The Temptations (from A Song for You)

Serious funk from a band known more for their soul singing. Not surprisingly, there is a P-Funk connection: The song was co-written by P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel (who also plays on the track), and the ridiculous bass part is played by Billy "Bass" Nelson, another P-Funk alum. This was the last Tempts song to top the R&B chart. It has been covered by many, including Phoebe Snow, Delbert McClinton, Etta James and Bob Weir(!). 
Who did the original?

I always thought it was a Phoebe Snow tune.

Shakey Ground

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
28. Wake Up Everybody -- Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (from Wake Up Everybody)

Another of the biggest achievements of the Philadelphia International label/Philly soul movement, this song was that empire's equivalent to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Co-written by Gene McFadden and John Whitehead (who would later have a huge hit of their own with Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now), the song features a chilling lead vocal from Teddy Pendergrass* and lyrics calling attention to the decay of our society, which are relevant more than ever today. 

* - yes, the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes was not Harold Melvin. 

Title tracks in this countdown: 13 (of 72; 18%, still about 1 in 5). 
seen Maahvin Gaye live, seen Teddy Pendergrass (pre-accident) live. Maahvin elicited more noise but Teddy melted more draws, and it werent particularly close...

 

DocHolliday

Footballguy
Pip's Invitation said:
Someone hinted that this might be coming. They were right.

29. Fox on the Run -- Sweet (released as a single)

Like Ballroom Blitz, this appeared on the US version of Desolation Boulevard in late 1974 but wasn't released as a single in the US until 1975. Unlike Ballroom Blitz, it was recorded not long before its US release, and thus sounds much less glam and much more AOR/boogie rock, in accordance with how the trends had shifted in less than 2 years. But it's a hell of an example of that. The guitars crunch, the bass and drums stomp and Brian Connolly's vocal growls anthemically. Love the way he bellows "I!" or "You!" at the beginning of each verse. And there is just enough analog synthesizer to further distance it from the hordes of boogie rock that was crowding the airwaves at time. 

All those brand names on the album cover -- would they allow that today? 
Favorite Sweet song.  It’s so fun and I love fun music.  

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
I honestly don't remember the Temps with that tune.  My reference was always Phoebe.  Did the Temptations version chart well?
32. Shakey Ground -- The Temptations (from A Song for You)

Serious funk from a band known more for their soul singing. Not surprisingly, there is a P-Funk connection: The song was co-written by P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel (who also plays on the track), and the ridiculous bass part is played by Billy "Bass" Nelson, another P-Funk alum. This was the last Tempts song to top the R&B chart. It has been covered by many, including Phoebe Snow, Delbert McClinton, Etta James and Bob Weir(!). 

 
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