What are your favorite songs that get played on oldies radio? For my list, I’m going to make a couple stipulations. First, I’m not going to include any Michael Jackson because then that would be most of the list. I’m also not putting any Beatles/Stones on it, because none of my favorite Beatles/Stones songs were radio hits (except maybe In My Life and Wild Horses). I’ll go with:
1. Maggie May — Rod Stewart
2. Got To Get You Into My Life — Earth Wind & Fire
3. Walkin’ on Sunshine — Katrina and the Waves
4. I Wish — Stevie Wonder
5. Heard It In A Love Song — Marshall Tucker Band
What oldies do you hate the most? I’m going to stipulate no Doors songs because otherwise my list would be all Doors. I also decided to have the bad list consist of songs by people who have at least one other song that I do like, with one exception.
1. I Just Called To Say I Love You — Stevie Wonder
2. Do Ya think I’m Sexy — Rod Stewart
3. Hands Across The Water — Paul McCartney
4. If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words — Bread
5. Feel Like Making Love — Bad Company
You wear it well.
Um, you do realize that “Got To Get You Into My Life” is a Beatles song (off Revolver IIRC)? (You do now anyway…)
You Wear It Well is great too. Rod was great when he was young.
Of course I know that but I don’t like their version that much.
I hate all the oldies that play on the station at work. Most of them weren’t all that good when they came out and I’ve heard them, what a billion times since then? Even the mid 20s guy at work feels the same way. Fortunately the boss says that if the radio bothers me to turn it off. We have one guy who has to have the radio on and most of the rest of us can take it or leave it. I think it would be nice for someone to invent some sort of personal electronic device that could play music through some type of personal loud speakers so he could listen to whatever the fuck he wants without bothering the rest of us.
/grumpy old fart.
1. Clash – Lost in the Supermarket
2. Sade – Sweetest Taboo or Smooth Operator
3. Cat Stevens – The Wind
4. Allman Brothers – One Way Out
5. Lloyd Price – Stagger Lee
The songs I loved are not on the radio, because Little Richard’s music was a bit raunchy. Loved “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” and “Long Tall Sally.”
Worst song, hands down, “McArthur Park.”
Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)
Brand New Key
Pretty sure Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line” is on every Amazon Music Station. I was sort of OK with it in the late 70s, but I can’t stand it now.
The one “old standard” that I despise is one I hear Every. Fucking. Week. at the local jazz jam session: “Fly Me To The Moon.” Having chased a PhD in astrophysics might have something to do with that. I went so far as to devise alternate (& far more sensible) lyrics for it, addressed to whatever clown wrote the words (whose body IMHO ought to be dug up, desecrated & thrown back into the open grave):
Amy-Pure Prairie League. I have no idea why.
ETA> That is a song that I love to hear randomly.
Certified Mutant Enemy
I’m going to stipulate no Doors songs because otherwise my list would be all Doors.
You suck ;)
Idiot with the wet cake. I hate that song.
Hard to come up with favorites. There are so many. Easy to come up with hated songs. I’m purposely leaving out all Grateful Dead songs because they sucked harder than any artist ever in history.
1) Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
2) The End – The Doors
3) Trees – Rush
4) Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
5) Mr. Roboto -Styx
@Ruckus: One of the things that should be remembered whenever some Auld Phart starts pissing&moaning about how much better the music was Back Then is that the only stuff that survives from Back Then was at least halfway competent to begin with. I’d bet you good money that if we could resurrect a playlist from a single day in say mid-1965 from say WCAO-AM (the main Top-40s station in Baltimore at the time) & play it for a representative sample of The Greatest Degeneration (i.e., boomers) in a locked room on the 14th floor, most of them will have pried the widows open & jumped by the 3rd hour. (ETA: Windows, not widows. And that’s just an example of Sturgeon’s Law Extended: 90% of everything is crap.)
Certified Mutant Enemy
Um, you do realize that “Got To Get You Into My Life” is a Beatles song (off Revolver IIRC)? (You do now anyway…)
The Earth, Wind, and Fire version was recorded for the dreadful Sgt. Pepper movie…
I should stipulate that I put The Doors, Rush and Elvis all in a close tie for second place as totally shitty in every way, right behind the Grateful Dead. Awful.
We no longer really have oldies radio in the D.C. Metropolitan area so I don’t actually know what gets played anymore. I think my favorites that used to get played are Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison and Reason to Believe by Rod Stewart. I am also partial to I’m Your Puppet (can’t remember the two guys’ names but they are cousins from South Carolina), I’d Like to Get to Know You by Spanky and Our Gang, and Ooh Ooh Child by the Five Stair Steps.
Least favorite — In the Year 2525 (purged “artist” from my mind).
Re: songs that taunt me, this isn’t quite on topic, but Suzanne Vega has a song “I’ll Never Be Your Maggie May” and I’ve never been able to map it to Maggie May.
This may be caused by chronic fatigue – it’s hard to really listen to everything in a song and piece together a logical whole. I can easily miss the killer phrase that turns the meaning of the song around. But Vega’s song starts “I’ll never be your Maggie May; the one you loved and left behind…” and Stewart seems more like “I *can’t* forget you, Maggie!” Now, if my inability to hear entire songs has made this into a laughable thing, I’m going to step out of the room; laugh all you want.
(Yes, I know, there’s this thing called “the internet” and it contains song lyrics. I still feel that there’s something subtle I’m missing that everyone else “gets” and I don’t.)
What is this oldies radio you speak of?
An interview with the author of a new biography of Otis Redding sent me to the YouTubes to listen to “Try a Little Tenderness.”
He may never be able to forget her but he certainly loved her and left her behind.
Ooooo, I love that song!
By adding the stipulation that the bad song be by someone you otherwise liked (some of), you did make it a lot harder. (It would be too easy to include every song by Rush and Styx in a list of crappy songs!)
I suppose Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-a-ling” would count and I like most everything else he ever did. But I have no idea if they play that on oldies radio because I try to avoid oldies radio.
@Omnes Omnibus: My friends and I had our own version of that
I’ve got a brand new pair of hockey skates
You’ve got a brand new puck
I think that we should get together and
You can probably guess where this is going
@geg6: ok, I larfed
JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY
Recently covered by Donald Trump and Vlad “da Man” Putin.
Certified Mutant Enemy
Radio is still a thing?
Rod Stewart Good List – almost everything done with Ron Wood as part of the band
Rod Stewart Bad List – everyone done after Ron Wood joined the Stones
Into The Mystic (Van!!!!!!)
A Song for You (Leon!)
Darling be Home Soon (Cocker!)
You Wear It Well
Every Picture Tells a Story (Stewart)
You’re in My Heart (Stewart, very very sentimental reasons?)
Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits)
What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding (Nick Lowe)
Anything by Steely Dan, Donald Fagan or Weather Report
Anything by Randy Newman (except Short People)
Anything by Al Kooper/Mike Blumfield
Midnight at the Oasis (Muldaur, sentimental reasons)
Should I continue?
Jimmy Webb wrote some nice stuff – but that cake has got to be the single most lamentable metaphor of a really fucked-up decade of rock. Followed closely in the Sweepstakes of Lamentations by
in the same fucking song.
About the only way it could have been more horrible is if it had been covered, say, as a disco song in the 70s by, say, Donna Summer. Oh, wait…..
Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes
Oldies I love:
Levon – Elton John
Take Me to the Pilot – Elton John
25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago
Angry Eyes – Loggins & Messina
Me and Cousin Dupree – Steely Dan
Oldies, eh? You mean like songs from the ’90s?
1. The Sun Always Shines on TV – a-ha.
2. Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
3. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
4. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
5. Take My Breath Away – Berlin
Most music I hate goes in one ear and out the other these days, but I used to work in a store that played an “easy rock” station. They seemed to have a policy of playing three songs from selected artists in heavy rotation no matter how large or accomplished a body of work each artist had. Not surprisingly, I hated many of these songs for years. Haven’t heard them as much lately.
1. One More Night, Another Day in Paradise, Against All Odds – Phil Collins (see also Genesis)
2. That’s the Way it Is, My Heart Will Go On, The Power of Love – Celine Dion
3. Somebody, Summer of 69, Everything I Do I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
4. In Too Deep, Throwing it All Away, Misunderstanding – Genesis (see also Phil Collins)
You hit a number of sweet spots/sore points with your first list:
1. Maggie May — Rod Stewart
2. Got To Get You Into My Life — Earth Wind & Fire
The original reigns supreme. (EW&F”s is okay, but merely so.) Forty years ago, one of the guys I’m playing with now would kill with this song – in a guitar/bass duo.
5. Heard It In A Love Song — Marshall Tucker Band
Forty years ago, this was relentlessly mocked by me and my bandmates as “Purty Little Love Song”. The mockery stands.
All time worst song. That contest, if we were having it, is over.
Seasons in the Sun.
By Terry Jacks? I think.
Eric Clapton Layla (mostly for the piano riff)
Stairway to Heaven
Manfred Mann’s version of Blinded by the Light
The other thing to remember is that “Back Then” is increasingly (and almost infinitely) variable.
One of the few things I like about the comments on YouTube is when some kid says he or she wishes they had been born “back then” when some talking about some recently rediscovered gem.
For example, Van Morrison and “Les Them” performing Gloria on some 1965 TV show. I think this kid did all right later on.
I just realize how many of you make me suddenly feel really, really old. since some of my favorites are by Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Elvis; I heard these people live, and bought vinyls. I lived the 70’s in my 20’s most of your oldies were my buy an album and play
Obviously they mean Elvis Costello.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
So bad it’s good!
are they playing 80s stuff on oldies radio now. To me the “oldies” cut off is some time in the early 70s, but I did hear stuff from Rumors o an oldies station a while back. My first album. Made me want to take a nap and order a couple of cardigans on that newfangled “internet”
I remember that song! I was in Jr.High. OMG, I think I might have the 45. I’m pretty embarrassed now. Please don’t tell anyone. I beg you…..
@Brachiator: I saw the film of the 1967 Monterey Pop festival in a theatre a couple of years after the fact. The one & only performance I remember was Otis Redding singing “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” – filmed from behind him with the lights outlining him like the silver lining of a cloud. Brilliant performance, brilliant cinematography – gave me chills, knowing that just 6 months later Otis died in a plane crash, 26 years old, what a loss.
@The Golux: You mean it’s NOT “Purty Little Love Song”? Illusion dashed.
Wow. Tough crowd. Off the top of my head, these are the songs of my childhood that I miss and will go publicly batshit over whenever I hear them played ANYWHERE, making sure to sing along to them while playing air guitar (yes, I’m here to embarrass you all!). Ready? Here we go, in no particular order, purely stream of consciousness:
1. The Who – The Real Me
2. Fleetwood Mac – Hypnotized
3. The Tubes – What Do You Want From Life?
4. The Doobie Brothers – Jesus Is Just Alright
5. Elton John – I’ve Seen That Movie Too
6. Queen – Stone Cold Crazy
7. Mott the Hoople – All The Young Dudes
8. The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
9. Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf
10. Jethro Tull – Nothing Is Easy
11. Aerosmith – Big Ten Inch
12. Gentle Giant – Nothing At All
13. Nick Drake – Saturday Sun
14. Blue Oyster Cult – Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
15. Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together
16. Atomic Rooster – Death Walks Behind You
17. Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
18. Captain Beyond – Dancing Madly Backwards
19. The Beatles – Helter Skelter
20. Frank Zappa – Cosmik Debris
Shit, I could go on and on.
As for stuff I hate? There’s way too much to list.
I despise Elvis. Love a lot of 50s rock, but I hate, hate, hate Elvis. Chuck Berry, Little Richard…those are my kings of rock and roll.
@Doug!: Rod Stewart’s Mercury box set (his first five albums) is one of my favorites, along with the Faces box set.
Some favorites (changes regularly, also no Beatles/Stones):
Day After Day – Badfinger
Living for the City – Stevie Wonder
Don’t Worry Baby – Beach Boys
Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks (?)
The Pina Colada Song
Me and You and a Dog Named Boo
All from the Seventies. A coincidence? I think not.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes:
You give good list!
@The Golux: Horrible. Country music and the flute go together like sardines and strawberry jam.
@Uncle Cosmo: An example of how things go away: My memory tells me that the Billboard Top 40 listed Pac-Man Fever in the top 20 for at least one week in the early 80s.
I’m not interested in hearing it on the oldies station.
I have a taste for things Alan Tarney left his fingerprints on.
Also, many things which are English male tenor and 80s keyboard, or Scottish male tenor and guitars.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@geg6: I don’t hate Elvis, but I always thought Hound Dog was an insipid song> Then I heard Big Mama Thornton do it, and I downgraded Elivs’s version from insipid to Pat-Boone-covers-Tutti-Frutti.
Kentucky Rain is a guilty pleasure.
@Lapassionara: Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey, both Little Richard’s and the Beatles’ versions.
If Stewart had gone back to football or whatevs after “Every Picture Tells a Story” he’d be revered as a pop god, based on that and his earlier work with Jeff Beck & Faces. Feel similarly about Elton–Yellow Brick Road would have made a great single disk album and he should have just stopped there.
Oh, come on…don’t knock Afternoon Delight…..it still makes me smile when I hear it once every three years…..
The Pogues Thousands Are Sailing
Bowie/Queen. Under Pressure
Talking Heads. The Book I Read
B52’s. Give Me Back My Man
Petula Clark. Downtown
Ebony and Ivory and , yeah, McArthur Park
@Karen: If it’s any consolation. I was born after most of those people died and I adore them. As I tween I bought INXS, Duran Duran, Count Basie & Tommy Dorsey albums
The guy who wrote the Otis Redding biography noted that Redding performed at the Whiskey A Go Go, and a lot of musical bigwigs and others came to see him. Supposedly, this cat named Bob Dylan who had recently ditched folk for electric rock offered Redding a new song called “Just Like a Woman,” but Redding rejected it, saying “too many words, man. Too many words.”
The book is “Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life,” by Jonathan Gould. The interview with Gould is here from Air Talk KPCC.
Saw Jeff Beck a couple of years ago at the Fabulous Fox here in St. Louis….ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS EVER. (20 something neighbor asked me when I was leaving where was I going all dressed up…I said, “Jeff Beck show.” He said, “I think you just say Beck. He doesn’t go by any first name.” True story.?)
My oldies list is based on listening to Solid Gold Saturday Night in the backseat on the drive home from grandma’s house circa 1988. The quintessential songs of that time were:
Ride Captain Ride
Dancin in the Moonlight
Grazin in the Grass
Worst song? In the Ghetto? Do they even play that anymore?
@Brachiator: I can’t think of that song without picturing Tim Robbins singing, “Women get woolly ….”
@Quinerly: There have been worse songs. But they started from mediocre-to-incompetent melody/lyrics/performers & slid stolidly into the sludge. The sheer pretentiousness of MacAP – in length, lyrics, orchestration, & vocalist (Oscar-nominated film star Richard Harris) – It was like an Olympic diver leaping from the 10-meter platform into a pool filled with broken glass & boulders.
(ETA: One of these nights I may try it at the jam session – if I don’t fracture my hard palate on the last note..)
Gold, Jerry, I’m hearing gold!
Janis- me & Bobbie McGee, Ball & chain, piece of my heart
Edited to say these are favorites, and yes MacArthur park is at the bottom.
Long Cool Woman — The Hollies
Itchykoo Park — Small Faces
Under My Thumb –The Rolling Stones (mostly because I heard it last night)
Hah! “Which Beck?” “The non-Scientologist one.”
Totally jealous, by the way, having never seen him.
Talking Heads Life During Wartime
King Harvest Dancing in the Moonlight
Bob Seger Night Moves
Glenn Campbell Whitchita Lineman
John Prine -his entire ouvre.
Tom Waits Old 55
Dusty Springfield Breakfast in Bed
Jimmy Webb The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Nick Lowe What’s so Funny ’bout Peace Love and Understanding
Taj Mahal Linin’Track
Jorma Koukanan Water Song
Any Chilites, Stylistics or AL Green.
That’s a good list. (Brandi!)I still smile when I hear all of them. I mostly listed my favorite songs/artists.
Some favs off the top of my head:
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Cry Baby and Catch Me Daddy – Janis Joplin
Tales of Brave Ulysses and Outside Woman Blues – Cream
Every Time That You Walk in the Room – The Searchers
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – Ramones
Positively Fourth Street – Dylan
Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie
Life During Wartime – Talking Heads
Hear my Train A-Coming – Jimi Hendrix
Please Call Home and Statesboro Blues – Allman Bros.
@ruemara: thanks, so many time what I say I loved: people have no clue it was even played. Like me like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; or remembering listening to Janis and Jimi live. No I don’t go to Woodstock, and I went to Bay Area and decided to stick with Dad rather than live in Haight Ashbury. what a mess, even the communes outside of city were mess: I grew up gardening I knew it wasn’t going to work.
@Quinerly: @trollhattan: Beck is the other one’s first name. Beck Hansen.
Time to revisit “Monterey Pop.” That Otis held his own being introduced to the nation alongside Jimi and Janis and The Who still boggles the mind. “Dock of the Bay” was posthumous and the first such song to go #1. He might could have gone places.
Poco gives that list 4 paws up and a giant sweep of his fluffy tail. Bob S 25 years ago…great show. Taj is wonderful in concert….and then there’s Waits….oh, my!
Not sure what constitutes an oldie, here are my quick choices
Hotel California – Eagles
Lawyers Guns and Money – Warren Zevon
Badge – Cream
Hush – Deep Purple
You Shook me All Night Long – AC/DC
More than a feeling – Boston
Ohio – CSNY
Hold on Loosely – 38 Special
Everybody wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fear
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
Yes…my silly neighbor. He’s gone now.
You said no Beatles, so any Badfinger instead
Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan
The only Nick Lowe song that ever got played on US radio, Cruel to be Kind
I kind of like Donna Summer’s version of MacArthur Park. I do agree the original by Richard whoever is torture-worthy.
I like and hate tons of old songs.
Random fact: anybody who likes Rod Stewart’s Reason To Believe, PLEASE find and listen to the original version by Tim Hardin, the poor talented, tragic artist who wrote it (and a bunch of other widely covered songs). You’ll never want to hear Stewart’s histrionics again, imo.
Conversely, he did better than Cat Stevens with First Cut Is the Deepest, also imo.
Wore out that Back in Black vinyl in college….bought it later on CD. Might just go play it now.?
Positively 4th Street is my all-time favorite Dylan song. Best fuck off, poser song ever.
@Mike J: Bad songs: anything by Journey or REO Speedwagon. I don’t need to hear them ironically now, they were bad the first time around.
@Quinerly: Not sure if it qualifies as a good thing, but that particular one hit blunder and the blissfully short lived variety show it spawned did introduce the world to David Letterman.
What about “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock ‘n Roll?” Overplayed on MTV. Speaking of MTV…has anyone listed J Geils Band?
@glaukopis: I was in Prague in summer 1990 & spent a half-hour listening to a 5-piece combo on the street banging out Czech lyrics to US/UK melodies. The very last one was “Me & Bobby McGee.” Years later as I was trying to learn Czech I said to myself, I’d pay good money to know what those lyrics were.
And just this past winter I found them. Not mentioned in the Wikipedia entry. Remarkably faithful in spirit to the Kris Kristofferson/Foster original (yes, I can puzzle out enough Czech now to vouch for that) even though it mentions no names & no places. (I memorized the words to astonish a Czech friend who was visiting.)
Here you go.
I have a simple criterion: I don’t want to hear any song that I’ve been hearing for the last 40 years. or maybe even 20. Give me new music.
I liked Maggie May the first 100 or 200 times I heard it but I’m done with it now.
to me the songs are old, they are yesterday, today and tomorrow; they were the sounds of poets put to music. they were the beat of life; they were the words of dreams and hopes; they were the pain and sorrows.
what makes the music “old” is that it once spoke to the magic within each and everyone one of us, we were called and we danced.
@Quinerly: I didn’t realise MTV played music. But yes, that’s a great song too.
Rolling Stone used to print lists of Top Hits Twenty Years ago, maybe they still do, I don’t know, but it always surprised me how much dreck there was in with the good stuff
Stones “Tumbling Dice”
Bowtie “Diamond Dogs”
Marvin Gaye “Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Elton John “Tiny Dancer”
Chuck Berry “No Particular Place to Go”
America “Horse with No Name”
Barry Manilow “Mandy”
Whoever’s “Pina Colada Song”
McCartney “Silly Love Songs”
Dawn “Knock Three Times”
It’s the same as any old fart saying how much better anything was back in the day. Like no one else in the history of time has ever turned that age where their memory of the world is always better looking backwards. That age of discovery where they figure out that there is no magic rainbow shitting money, where no matter how much you drink the world is still the same place as when they ran away from it last time, or the first time, where trying to stay healthy is a losing battle and the one thing they have is a memory that wasn’t true then and still isn’t.
@trollhattan: He’s getting recognized more and more, I notice
@Mike J: MTV Classic is now a thing (formerly VH1 Classic). They actually play music videos from the beginning of the channel up through the 90s. Even better, they actually play videos of the era that saw little air play when they were current. A refreshing change from hearing the same things ad nauseum.
I still laugh thinking about it. He always thought I was the one a little nutty. (“You’re so cool, did you make that tie dye? Can’t believe you are older than my mom. You two should meet.”)
Shouldn’t we all be discussing “Kung Fu Fighting?” You know you want to.?
@Quinerly: That is a great story…I too used to play Back in Black in college…roommate and I would have a few drinks and sing along as we were getting ready to go out and scope out guys.
@Quinerly: My 4-years-younger brother brought home a vinyl copy of Truth when I was in college. One of the few discs we agreed was brilliant. I can still recall Jeff Beck’s liner notes for “You Shook Me”:
(I may have the time wrong but it’s close.)
The next album, not so much. Rod Stewart’s voice should not have gone anywhere near “All Shook Up.”
(ETA: Remember The Yardbirds? Clapton & Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page…jeeheebus cripes!)
Agreed. I love to put it on when I’m doing housework. Reminds me of why I loved MTV back when it first went on the air.
Lovely Day – Bill Withers
Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In – 5th Dimension
Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
Dream a Little Dream of Me – Mommas and the Poppas
The entire Beatles Sgt Pepper album
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
I don’t consider 80’s to be oldies. Am I in denial?
I can’t repeat this enough…SEE JEFF BECK. Think when I saw him he was cruising into 70 years old a few days later. Want to say about this time of year. I’ve been lucky in that I have seen a lot of shows. Would put him in the top 3.
Now that’s an interesting list. I respect your list.?
College dorm mate and I would giggle at “knocking me out with those American thighs.” We were so innocent and thought that was so, so wild. Another song that always elicited giggles…Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender.” the line about the sunglasses…those college daze……
Hands across the water is simply a line of the song Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.
Problem with most classic rock stations is too much Boston. Another song I will bust a knuckle reaching for the tuner dial to change is Key Largo by Bertie Higgins
i really like Mama You Been on My Mind both the Dylan original and Rod Stewart’s cover. One Way Out by the Allman Brothers. There is a lot of stuff I love, too much to mention.
Stuck In the Middle With You — Stealers Wheel so much fun.
Totally agree about BC’s Feel Like Making Love. Guaranteed to make me change the station every time.
@Quinerly: While I was taunted in high school by Short People(I’m 5’4″), I’ve come to like it.
Temporarily Max McGee (Phase II)
Top five, no specific order, and subject to change at any time, all there for purely nostalgic reasons:
Horse With No Name- America
Benny and the Jets- Elton John
Radar Love- Golden Earring
Back Stabbers- The O’Jays
Jet- Paul McCartney & Wings
@Quinerly: Thanks Quinerly. I sing spirit in the sky with a helping of atheist snickering. It’s a catchy song tho!
Steve in the ATL
What I love most about this song is that it’s both ironic and not ironic.
Good (AM and AOR I guess… heavilt tilted towards early teens, when pop seems important)
Who I Can See for Miles
The Rev Let’s Stay Together
Heads Take Me to the River (cover of… I know)
Stewart virtually everything on Every Picture…
Band The Weight
REM Nightswimming (personal reasons, not a ‘hit’ per se)
Jackson 5 I Want You Back
Maria Muldaur Midnight at the Oasis
The Night Chicago Died
Sui generis as both awful and kinda ok
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Randy is so much more than that song. He’s so above it! Nice guy in person. Actually met him in NOLA. Milling through the crowd at Jazz Fest. Stopped and talked. He wasn’t even playing that weekend. Just there. Back when NOLA Jazz &Heritage Fest wasn’t so commercialized and such a clusterfuck.
@Quinerly: Holy S*** I forgot to add Karen Carpenter, pehaps the greatest alto of my lifetime. But, then again, her brother’s horrible arrangements did not age as well as her outstanding vocals.
Steve in the ATL
Damn straight. Now let’s crank some Keith Sykes!
(Memphis thing: would also have accepted Larry Raspberry and, later at night, Tav Falco and the Panther Burns)
@Quinerly: He’s got to be a good guy, he’s a fellow Bruin.
@eemom: I owed you for the constant shit about “Tainted Love.”*
*Said shit will continue of course.
Oldies radio needs to play a hella lot more Husker Du, Sugar, and Bob Mould, especially Black Sheets of Rain, both the album and the title track. Still the best concert I have ever witnessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTlc9iVMYfE
C’mon, Jackson, you’ve penned some great lyrics–
(“Lives in the Balance”)
(“Fountain of Sorrow”)
(“The Late Show”)
–but who the fuck fucks with shades on???
@Quinerly: Not much one for concert-going (now or ever) & he’s not coming within 1500 miles of me this summer…but I will keep it in mind, thx.
So how do those of us of a certain age feel about “Human League” and that chick who was working in that restaurant, that much is true……Wonder if she’s still with him?
@Quinerly: FWIW, I think she was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when she met him.
ETA: Catherall, Sulley, and Oakley are all still members of the band.
I’ve heard both. Prefer Stewart.
Elvis may have had lapses of taste, but he was a singer for the ages.
My college roommate and I loved “The Pretender” as I said….we would grab our sunglasses and throw them on very dramatically at that line. I used my old trick from when I was 5 and wanted to be Nancy Sinatra…Giant spoon with a cord tied to it….belting it out into the spoon.. Yes, I know by the time 1978 had rolled around there were cordless mics and my spoon didn’t need that funky clothesline cord but I went with what I knew. I was shy and didn’t like change.
By golly, I think you are right. Seems everyone knew her!
Love: I Get Around
Oh, and best cover of one of the greatest songs of all time: Otis Redding “Satisfaction”
And to answer the question posed by the Late Show…I know at least two people who did…all because of that song. My college boyfriend was a musician and loved Jackson Brown, but I digress…..
Uh, oh. You hit a nerve. Not only do I loathe that insipid song but – as someone who writes lyrics – the goddamn opening line is not the title or the intent of the song.
Fly Me to the Moon And Let Me Play Among The Stars
Let Me See What Spring is Like on Jupiter & Mars
IN OTHER WORDS, Hold My Hand
IN OTHER WORDS, Darling Kiss Me
Might as well call Summertime FISH ARE JUMPING.
@Quinerly: Late for the Sky is one of the most despondent albums ever made. From the year I spent in grad school at Cornell I recall that the preferred method of suicide there was throwing oneself from the top of one of the deep gorges that cut through campus (“gorging out”). I used to tell people that anyone not quite sure they really wanted to end it all could carry a boombox with a tape of LftS & a copy of the Selected Poems of W. H. Auden & go sit at the edge of Cascadilla Gorge (convenient to the frat house where I’d boarded)…& by page 25 or the third track, whichever came first, they’d have jumped. Yeah, that dark.
Glad to see some Maria love! I’m so old that I remember watching the Carol Burnett Show parody with Tim Conway of Midnight at the Oasis. I still think it is hilarious. Makes me think of of my now deceased father….he laughed and laughed at it. Said, “Here’s some money, buy that album. I want to listen to that camel song.” We ended up having it on 8 track tape….driving down the road in a ’73 Lincoln (very beat up, very used). Singing it at the top of our voices on a Florida trip. He loved that song. Maria puts out about an album a year. Great catalogue. She did a CD of Peggy Lee songs that are fantastic. (A Woman Alone with the Blues….great cover of “Fever.”)
@Ajabu: Well, fuck me, no wonder I could never find it in the songbooks … =;^p
I am half-convinced that the reason somebody at the jam session does “In Udder Woids” every. Fucking. Week. is that they know how reliably it pisses me off.
Temporarily Max McGee (Phase II)
HALP! I IS BEIN’ HELD HOSTAGE BY MODERATION!
I’m pulling from memory….plus at least 4 lifetimes ago….isn’t that the album he did after his wife’s suicide? “Sleep’s Dark and Silent Gate” was on the flip side or am I mixing the albums up?
Maggie May came out when I was in Navy boot camp during our “service week” and we got to listen to the radio for the first time in a month………its one of those “songs that always remind you of where you were and what you were doing….”
Old Broad in California
I love sweet and naive songs wishing for world peace-
Get Together -the Youngbloods
Love Train- the O’Jays
Sway- the Rollng Stones
Season of the Witch- Donovan
Wichita Lineman- Glenn Campbell
Watching the Detectives- Elvis Costello
If I never hear Bad Company, the Doors or Aerosmith again it will be fine with me.
@Quinerly: OK, I’m missing something – I don’t recall any question in “The Late Show.” Maybe you’re thinking of the title cut (“Late for the Sky”) – ?
Jeebus, I hope that you’re not alluding to what I alluded to in #126…I know too many good people who went that route (&FTR one is too many).
Shit I hate:
1) Pretty much everything by the Steve Miller Band.
2) “More Than A Feeling”
3) Fuckin “Don’t Stop Believin'”
Things I love to hear:
1) All of the 80s cheese, like Eddie Money’s “That Me Home Tonight” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr
2) “I Won’t Go For That”
3) The entire catalog of Simon & Garfunkel
4) Anything and everything by Aretha Franklin
Werewolves of London
25 or 6 to 4 – couldn’t believe someone else thought of this
Horse with no Name – probably on someone’s hate list
That terrible Captain and Tenille thing
@Quinerly: I believe “Sleep’s Dark & Silent Gate” is on The Pretender. Be right back… that’s correct.
Just a couple that come to mind:
Still the One – Orleans
If You Wanna Get to Heaven – Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Killer Queen – Queen
It’s one of the all time musical tragedies that Freddy Mercury never wrote a Broadway musical. Seaside Rendezvous? Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon? Good Company? I mean, come on!
@Wyatt Derp: First time in London I went looking for Lee Ho Fook’s…& upon entering saw a guy bent over a bento box looking positively lycanthropic. =8^O
Postings crossed up. There was a joke there about sunglasses and who fucks with sunglasses on. I was copying and pasting on a different device ’cause the phone battery went down. Nothing dark….but the shades. Time for me to quit chatting about music and do some serious listening. I’m late to a neighborhood thang…..Have a great evening!!!! Great thread!!!!!
Summer Breeze, Seals & Croft
Down on the Corner, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Up on a Roof, The Drifters
Summer In The City, The Luvin Spoonful
Crystal Blue Persuasion, Tommy James and the Shondells
Rockin Down The Highway, Doobie Brothers
Looking Out My Back Door, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Blue Bayou, Linda Ronstadt or Roy Orbinson
Take My Breath Away, Berlin
Beautiful Noise, Neil Diamond
They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play), Spinners
Stone Soul Picnic, 5th Dimension
In The Year 2525, Zager and Evans
South City Midnight Lady, Dobbie Brothers
Let’s Stay Together, Al Green
Joy to The World, Three Dog Night
White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, Blood Sweat & Tears
Miracles, Jefferson Starship
Anything by the Temptations
If You Leave Me Now, Chicago
All of the above and more make me happy
So I guess you give no love to “Muskrat Love?”
@Quinerly: She had already dumped his whiny ass in the song’s narrative. Remember? “You’d better take me back or we will both be sorry…”
Hall & Oates. GOD do they suck.
I really like your list. Very carefully thought out. Summer in the City, Summer Breeze, and Up on the Roof are really nice touches. Such wonderful songs.
@Quinerly: Just checked Wiki. His wife’s death occurred after Late for the Sky and before The Pretender, in March 1976.
I went to a Sheryl Crow concert last night and she broke into an impromptu version of Blue Bayou. She messed up the words pretty bad. It hurt my heart!
Drama….I bet they got back together and broke up the next night. Probably went on night after night….endless loop.
@eemom: As a general rule, ohellyeah. With the single exception of “Family Man” IMHO.
But there were those little noises….muskrat noises….I guess that’s what they were…towards the end of the song. Now I will have nightmares….brought this on myself….stayed too long at the blog.
Like: Walk Like A Man, Mama Mia, Bennie & The Jets, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y -NIGHT (BCR), Come a Little Bit Closer
Hate: Hotel California, Cocaine, Stairway to Heaven, Whatever the 3rd country song is when I get stuck listening to a country station.
@SFBayAreaGal: Good list; with the exception of 2525, I like every one of those.
My list? I don’t listen to internet radio, so I’ll just go with my own collection, and stick to the 60s and 70s:
If I Can Dream, Elvis
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore, Walker Brothers
Downtown, Petula Clark
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Dusty Springfield (I prefer her version to Elvis’.)
Canadian Railroad Trilogy, Gordon Lightfoot
Day After Day, Badfinger
Calling America, ELO
Ask the Lonely, Four Tops
Angel of the Morning, Merrilee Rush
Temma Harbour, Mary Hopkin
The Mary Ellen Carter, Stan Rogers
I think I’ll stop there. I’d probably end up with several dozen, if I didn’t.
@Quinerly: Don’t make us cut you.
It might be the best for all concerned. I’m feeling the urge to YouTube Muskrat Love. I’m flashing on those little noises at the end. Not a good thing. Going out to hear a local blues/cover band called “The Alley Mutts.” It would be bad if I destroyed my cred. Fucking ear worm…brought it on myself.
@eemom: Well! I guess they don’t make your dreams come true nor is their kiss on your list. What are you, a Maneater or something?
Love Day After Day.
@Uncle Cosmo: yes. This is what I do in the juke joints, is take over the juke box and play the following, starting with Johnny Cash’s ” Ring of Fire,” then follow up with some of the following, if they are available: “oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz,” or any thing else by the great JJ.
Oldies and classic rockers I like:
1. Doobie Brothers Black Water
2. King Harvest Dancing in the Moonlight
3. Whoever sang Brandi
4. The Who Going Mobile
5. Allman Brothers Ain’t Wasting Time No More
6. Eddie Rabbit. Love a Rainy Night
7. Smiling Faces Undisputed Truth
8. We Are Family
9. Feelin Alright. Joe Coker
10. Reeling in the Years Steely Dan
Songs that have over stayed their welcome:
Lee Greenwood Proud to be an American
Bad Co seconded on Feel Like… , I like Bad Co and Free, Paul Rodgers earlier band, but the radio could drop that from the playlist
Ditto for Led Zep Dyer Maker, Zep’s a favorite rock band but that song never did much for me. Apparently Robert Plant and John Paul Jones don’t care much for the song either
Cocaine Eric Clapton
Walk of Life Dire Straits , although that Internet joke about how many movie endings can be mashed with this song is pretty funny
Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet. Not just the song, but how many people got up at karaoke nights one after another and butchered this song have driven a stake right through its heart
Did you check Trader Vic’s?
I am appalled that I, Mixmaster Steep, missed this thread. Spent the day driving to Rehoboth Beach, lazing by a pool and getting so relaxed that it made me suddenly realize how much stress and tension I’ve been carrying the last few months.
There was a time in the early ’70s when there were no oldies radio stations. I was afraid that a lot of music from the ’60s was going to be lost forever. I haunted the “cutout bins” at every store that sold records.
One lesser song from that period always makes me smile when it pops up on Sirius/XM’s “60s on 6” or in other odd places, like a Wes Anderson soundtrack (Rushmore, I think). Unit 4 + 2, “Concrete and Clay.”
I know this thread is a bit old, and I am but a lowly lurker, but I have to jump in to say that I hate, hate, hate Cat’s in the Cradle. Fuck that song. If necessary I will break things to make it stop.
i would have never suspected that from you
@tybee: Hating Brand New Key? That’s easy.
mai naem mobile
There’s too many:
Blondie Heart of Glass
Blondie One Way or Another
Fleetwood Mac Tusk
Fleetwood Mac Never Going Back Again
The Archies Sugar Sugar
Stevie Wonder Master Blaster
Dire Straits Skate away
Eddie Rabbit Every Which Way But Loose
Eric Clapton Promises
The Crystals And Then He Kissed Me
JD Souther You’re Only Lonely
The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star
Don McLean American Pie
Robert Palmer Doctor Doctor
Pico Hold the Line
Smokey Robinson Cruisin’
Marvin Gaye Heard it Through the Grapevine
Hot Chocolate Everyone’s a Winner
Dusty Springfield Son of a Preacher Man
Beach Boys Sloop John B
Elvis Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Second That Emotion
The Troggs With a Girl Like You
The Beach Boys Good Vibrations
Creedence Clearwater Revival Bad Moon Risin
The Everly Brothers Bye Bye Love
When I do oldies I do oldies.
Anything by the Youngbloods. Esp. Darkness Darkness.
Guilty pleasures I secretly love to hear pop up on oldies radio because I don’t own them and would be too embarrassed to buy (because reasons):
You Shook Me All Night Long, AC/DC
Sweet Child of Mine, Guns N’ Roses
Radar Love, Golden Earring.
Night Moves, Bob Seager
Live and Let Die , Wings (or just McCartney?)
Takin’ Care of Business, BTO (?)
Instant station changers:
Anything by Sting ex-Police
MacArthur Park (of course)
Horse With No Name
Guilty pleasures from oldies radio:
Night Moves, Bob Seger
I Can’t Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon
Take Me in Your Arms, Doobie Brothers
Dance with Me, Orleans
I’ll Be Around, Spinners
Run screaming from the room:
Any Hall & Oates song except “She’s Gone”
Touch of Grey, the Grateful Dead
I Love L.A., Randy Newman
Magic Man, Heart
Anything by Rush
Five more that will make me stop what I’m doing and sing along (one of which is likely to be controversial)
You’re All I Need to Get By, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Easy Lover, Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
Jenny, Tommy Tutone
Tell Me Why, Wynonna Judd
I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman
You’re old, man. Get used to it.
Favorite – Alone Again Or, Love.
Worst – Moonshadow, Cat Stephens.
I don’t think it’s widely known that Karen Carpenter was also a stupendously talented drummer; I read somewhere that she was good enough to impress Buddy Rich, who generally regarded pop and rock drummers as a much lesser breed. But her big brother Richard wanted that magnificent voice at the front of the stage, not sat behind a drum kit.
I’d list some of my favourite radio hits; but almost none of you would have heard of Jamal Abdillah or Sudirman Arshad or M. Nasir or Sharifah Aini, or the “pop yeh yeh” movement (Malay rock’n’roll from the 1960s, lots of surprisingly good drumming and twangy Strats).
Oh! Forgot to hate on Freebird!
I can’t believe no-one mentioned Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Makes me cry!
@Quinerly: I got to meet and have a picture with Tom Waits backstage at the Rolling Stones in 2005, and girl, well stories . . .
Yeah, I almost mentioned that one but they don’t actually play it on oldies radio where I live. When I lived near Atlanta it was on the oldies R&B station though.
What’s with the Doors hate, Doug? Did Jim Morrison piss on your mother in the middle of a concert?
Were they the greatest band ever? Hell, no. But they had a handful of great songs, a decent number of pretty good songs that are still worth listening to, and of course a fair amount of crap. But fifty years later, nobody cares about your crap, unless, like say the Marshall Tucker Band, that was the best you could manage.
There are a lot of songs, good and bad, on the oldies stations. What I’d like to hear is something a little different. Hey, program directors nationwide: Van Morrison did songs other than “Moondance” and “Brown-Eyed Girl.” The Doobie Brothers recorded more songs than “Black Water” and “China Grove.” Please fall out of love with J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold.”
Stranger in a Strange Land Leon Russell (can listen to it on repeat for hours)
Get up Jonah Bruce Cockburn (possibly my all time favorite
I’m not in Love 10cc (somethings are hard to explain)
Life during wartime Talking Heads (or at least a dozen others by them)
any Bob Marley….
I am out if I hear
@Amir Khalid: Just another reason to hate Richard.
How did I leave off 3 Dog Night: Momma Told Me Not to Come?
@gratutious: I had to completely stop listening to ‘Classic Rock’ stations for this very reason. I was burning out on even the really good songs from the 1960s and 1970s that were on the classic-rock playlist, because I’d heard some of those songs just too many freakin’ times. A wider selection of songs from each of the artists they play would have helped, at least for a while.