Weekly look back at the tracks that charted but you don’t remember….
20 Years Ago – JOE “Don’t Wanna Be A Player ” #21
Even though Cher is widely credited with being the first hit pop song to prominently feature autotune in 1998 – Joe actually beat her to the punch a year earlier…this was not as massive a hit so it doesn’t get the credit (or blame depending on how you look at it). Not a bad song…Big Pun turned the hook into a classic which kind of eclipses the original track…
25 Years Ago – JOE PUBLIC “Live And Learn ” #4
Early 90’s New Jack went all the way to number 4 -tons of samples packed into 4 minutes…James Brown, Steely Dan, Sly & the Family Stone, The J.Bs, Parliament…sounds okay.
30 Years Ago – LEVEL 42 “Lessons In Love ” #25
The band is from the UK but when you watch the video they seem like they are from a lot farther away…like there is some sort of language or cultural barrier – like when the lead singer does an interpretive dance to the lyrics in the first half of the clip.
Not terrible, went all the way to number 12 in the US. As of 2016 the band is still around and touring.
35 Years Ago – ALDO NOVA “Fantasy ” #23
This video is wild. Leather print jump suits…check. Guitars that shoot laser beams….check.
Its a solid Canadian 80’s rock track. Nova is still working behind the scenes producing and songwriting to this day.
40 Years Ago – ANDREW GOLD “Lonely Boy ” #15
Gold plays tons of instruments and worked as a producer or session musician with a veritable who’s who list of 70’s and 80’s rock bands.
Lonely Boy was his biggest hit in the US but most people probably recognize his voice from his second biggest hit “Thank you for being a friend” in 1978, which became the theme song to the golden girls.
“Lonely Boy” was also featured in the movie Boogie Nights -but not included in either volume 1 or 2 of the movie soundtracks (which are great by the way and you should check them out). Also, on this track Linda Ronstadt is on backing vocals. Gold passed away in 2011.
45 Years Ago – LOVE UNLIMITED “Walkin’ In The Rain” #31
Love Unlimited had one hit with “Walkin'” and it sold a million copies. The group was put together by Barry White and he makes an appearance at the end, this was actually the first track he ever appeared on as a solo performer. Barry White ended up marrying one of the gals in the group.
50 Years Ago – WHISTLING JACK SMITH “I Was Kaiser Bill’s batman” #26
Novelty record and there is actually a lot to the story but I just don’t really feel like getting into it, you can look it up.
Whistling Jack Smith aka John O’Neill was a singer /session musician ….and I guess a really good whistler? there is actually some dispute if he is the one whistling on the record, he is not credited. The whistler in the clip below is not him, its an actor or a mime…or , I don’t really want to get into it.
Anyway, I mean, its not really terrible, maybe it’s a generational thing but I really don’t get this track – and I like to think that most of the stuff from them mid sixties on I can usually relate to. Song went all the way to number 20 in 67. O’Neill passed away in 99.