Don’s Top 10 From March 10, 1977
Back into time as “The Time Machine” lands on Thursday, March 10, 1977 with these top tunes, from the local survey.
“Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band
(#14 last week) Third single from the album of the same name, it came close to being a back-to-back #1 single with “Rock ‘N Me”. The main guitar hook in the song was borrowed by Steve from his own earlier track, 1969’s “My Dark Hour”, which featured Paul McCartney. To hear the album version, buy the “Fly Like An Eagle” CD. To hear the top 40 radio single edit, buy the “Greatest Hits 1974-1978″ CD.
“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Wings
(Re-entry) The original studio version of this classic, on Paul debut solo album “McCartney”, was never released as a single, but this version, from the “Wings Over America” live LP, was. McCartney wrote the song in 1969, just before the Beatles breakup. He dedicated it to his new wife Linda, crediting her for helping through a difficult time professionally.
“Year Of The Cat” by Al Stewart
(#8 last week) One of my personal all-time favorites, the album version of this wistful slice of folk-pop clocked in at 6:40, while the American single was 4:38. Another short version sent to radio was as brief as 3:30.
“Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston
(#7 last week) This may be a “disco” song, but, dang, the lady could SING! Listen to her live here. It truly is live, but sounds really close to the recording. Not too many performers could pull that off. She should have had more than one big pop chart hit. Houston was discovered by the manager of the 5th Dimension, Marc Gordon, & none other than Jimmy Webb wrote & produced her entire debut album. Her chart debut was Laura Nyro’s “Save The Country”, but the 5th had the bigger hit version. This time, it was her volcanic remake of a Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes album track that finally put her on the hit track. It’s one of the most enduring songs of the “disco era”.
“New Kid In Town” by The Eagles
(#2 last week) The first single from the “Hotel California” album. Don Henley explained the meaning: “It’s about the fleeting, fickle nature of love and romance. It’s also about the fleeting nature of fame, especially in the music business. We were basically saying, ‘Look, we know we’re red hot right now but we also know that somebody’s going to come along and replace us-both in music and in love”.
“Blinded By The Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
(#4 last week) Very hard to believe, but this is Bruce Springsteen’s only national #1 single as a songwriter! (“Dancing In The Dark” made it to #1 locally, #2 nationally). Manfred Mann’s recording of the song features several changed lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen’s “cut loose like a deuce” is replaced with “revved up like a deuce”.
“Dancing Queen” by Abba
(#6 last week) Abba wasn’t a group name that thrilled the members of the band (it was chosen by their manager, mixing up their name initials). Turns out, it’s very similar to the name of a well-known brand of pickled herring in Sweden!
“Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen)” by Barbra Streisand
(#5 last week) First song Streisand ever wrote, along with Paul Williams (the short blond Paul Williams), & it won the Oscar. In fact, it was the only Academy Award nomination for the movie, a box office hit that took a critical drubbing. Not the song, though.
“I Like Dreamin'” by Kenny Nolan
(#3 last week) Kenny likes dreamin’, all right. His eyes adored you, Ms. marmalade. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Yes, the man wrote or co-wrote all three hits. Nolan also is the falsetto-voiced lead singer on “Get Dancin” by Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes!
“Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary MacGregor
(#1 last week; 5th week at #1) Co-written by Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary). Oh, the irony. Mary MacGregor HATES her only hit. Why? It broke up her marriage. When this unexpectedly hit big, her career became her “other lover”, & her husband couldn’t stand Mary suddenly being away all the time. If he had just waited a year or two…… Hey, what was in the water in 1977? Another big hit just a few months later: “Tryin’ to love two….sure ain’t easy to do”.