Friday, September 02, 2005

Play That Funky Music

And now for something a little on the lighter side, just to get our minds off all the troubles in the world for a few minutes:

I saw this meme the other day. It has you look back on the music that was popular back when you graduated from high school. My, how music has changed. I find my popular music tastes stuck in the late 60's thru early 80's. I like other kinds of music too: jazz, classical, religious, even a little smattering of country music once in a while.

Anyway, if you would like to do the meme, here's what you do. You go to the Music Outfitters website and type your high school graduation year into the search tool. Select the list of the "100 most popular songs" for your year, and you will get the Raw Material for the next step in the process, which is to look through the list and decide which songs you hated, which ones you liked, and which one was your favorite.

Post the list on your Online Journal, striking through the songs you hated (or still hate) and boldfacing the ones you liked (or still like). Bold and underline your favorite song. No opinion? Leave it as-is.

Here's my list from 1976:

1. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney and Wings (Just too Silly to take Seriously -- and #1 at that! - People must have been on drugs!)
2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee
3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor
4. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons
5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry (Was this the Best 1976 Could do?)
6. Kiss And Say Goodbye, Manhattans
7. Love Machine (Part 1), The Miracles
8. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright
10. A Fifth Of Beethoven, Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band (Disco-ized Classica! -- Oh the heresy!!)
11. Sara Smile, Daryl Hall and John Oates
12. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band
13. I Write The Songs, Barry Manilow
14. Fly, Robin, Fly, Silver Convention
15. Love Hangover, Diana Ross
16. Get Close, Seals and Crofts
17. More, More, More, Andrea True Connection
18. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
19. Misty Blue, Dorothy Moore
20. Boogie Fever, Sylvers
21. I'd Really Love To See You Tonight, England Dan and John Ford Coley
22. You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate
23. Love Hurts, Nazareth
24. Get Up And Boogie, Silver Convention
25. Take It To The Limit, Eagles
26. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
27. Sweet Love, Commodores
28. Right Back Where We Started From, Maxine Nightingale
29. Theme From "S.W.A.T", Rhythm Heritage
30. Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players
31. You Should Be Dancing, Bee Gees
32. You'll Never Find Antoher Love Like Mine, Lou Rawls
33. Golden Years, David Bowie
34. Moonlight Feels Right, Starbuck
35. Only Sixteen, Dr. Hook
36. Let Your Love Flow, Bellamy Brothers
37. Dreamweaver, Gary Wright
38. Turn The Beat Around, Vicki Sue Robinson
39. Lonely Night (Angel Face), The Captain and Tennille
40. All By Myself, Eric Carmen
41. Love To Love You Baby, Donna Summer
42. Deep Purple, Donny and Marie Osmond
43. Theme From "Mahogany", Diana Ross
44. Sweet Thing, Rufus
45. That's The Way I Like It, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
46. A Little Bit More, Dr. Hook
47. Shannon, Henry Gross
48. If You Leave Me Now, Chicago
49. Lowdown, Boz Scaggs
50. Show Me The Way, Peter Frampton
51. Dream On, Aerosmith
52. I Love Music (Pt. 1), O'Jays
53. Say You Love Me, Fleetwood Mac
54. Times Of Your Life, Paul Anka
55. Devil Woman, Cliff Richard
56. Fooled Around And Fell In Love, Elvin Bishop
57. Convoy, C.W. McCall (Breaker! Breaker! 1-9! -- NOT!!)
58. Welcome Back, John Sebastian
59. Sing A Song, Earth, Wind and Fire
60. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Tavares
61. I'll Be Good To You, Brothers Johnson
63. Shop Around, The Captain and Tennille(Oh, Pulleeeease, No!)
64. Saturday Night, Bay City Rollers
65. Island Girl, Elton John
66. Let's Do It Again, Staple Singers
67. Let 'Em In, Paul McCartney and Wings
68. Baby Face, Wing and A Prayer Fife and Drum Corps
69. This Masquerade, George Benson
70. Evil Woman, Electric Light Orchestra
71. Wham Bam, Silver
72. I'm Easy, Keith Carradine
73. Wake Up Everybody (Pt. 1), Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes
74. Summer, War
75. Let Her In, John Travolta (John Revolta!)
76. Fox On The Run, Sweet
77. Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac
78. Got To Get You Into My Life, Beatles
79. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love), Bee Gees
80. Getaway, Earth, Wind and Fire
81. She's Gone, Daryl Hall and John Oates
82. Rock And Roll Music, Beach Boys
82. Still The One, Orleans
83. You're My Best Friend, Queen
84. With Your Love, Jefferson Starship
85. Slow Ride, Foghat
86. Who'd She Coo, Ohio Players
88. Walk Away From Love, David Ruffin
89. Baby, I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton
90. Young Hearts Sun Free, Candi Staton
91. Breaking Up's Hard To Do, Neil Sedaka
92. Money Honey, Bay City Rollers
93. Tear The Roof Off The Sucker, Parliament
94. Junk Food Junkie, Larry Groce
95. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again, Barry Manilow
96. Rock And Roll All Nite, Kiss
97. Disco Duck, Rick Dees (Disco Yuck!!)
97. The Boys Are Back In Town, Thin Lizzy
98. Take The Money And Run, Steve Miller Band
99. Squeeze Box, The Who
100. Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.), Glen Campbell

As I looked over this list, I realized that it was a fairly week year for good songs. I looked at the list for previous years (1970-1975) and found those lists to have more songs that I liked than my official graduation year of 1976. Choosing my favorite was actually kind of tough, because none of the songs on this list was an all-time favorite of mine.

Also, you'll notice in this list the beginning of the bane of popular music - disco! Yuck! The only thing I hate worse than disco music is Rap! It was the beginning of a dark period in popular music. Not until the early eighties was in finally, mercifully, put to death! I remember the "Death Before Disco" T-shirts, which I applauded!

I ended up designating "Play That Funky Music," by Wild Cherry as my favorite, with "That's The Way I Like It," by K.C. and The Sunshine Band as a close the runner-up. "Play That Funky Music" is a little on the extreme hard edge of my music listening range. However I remember having a church dance at the top of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, while I attended BYU. You had to ride a tram up to the top of the mountain to get to the dance.

(Photo of Bridal Veil Falls Ballroom & Tram before 1997)

They had a cool building up there, the "ballroom in the sky" with lots of picture windows that provided great views of Utah Valley below. "Play That Funky Music" was popular then, in the Fall of 1976, and I remember dancing to it on the mountain top. Unfortunately, a few years ago, (1997) the Bridal Veil Falls tram was destroyed by an avalanche and was wiped out. Nowadays, the tram is gone, and you can't get up to the "ballroom in the sky" anymore. It's still a pleasant memory though.

I actually tended to like less funky music most of the time. I liked ballads from artists like James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot, and songs with close harmonies in them, such as performed by Seals and Crofts; Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Simon & Garfunkel.

Unfortunately, none of these artists had a top 100 hit in 1976, so I ended up designating the funky stuff as my favorites for the year.

In the summer of 1977, I left for a two-year mission for my church to British Columbia. We weren't allowed to listen to popular music (except for my first companion that kept his copies of The Rolling Stones' "Goat's Head Soup" album, and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album.) Other than that, all I heard was religious music for 2 years.

When I came home from my mission, I wash shocked to discover that disco had taken over popular music. I went to a young-adult church dance shortly after returning home, and I found it hard to even dance to that stuff! Give me some Doobie Brothers (China Grove) or something with a decent beat!

Eventually, the plague of disco was extinguished, and then we had the punk rock influence in the early 80's followed by the grundge trend of the 90's. By the mid 80's, I wasn't paying much attention to popular music anymore. The last popular artist I paid any attention to was Norah Jones. She has a really sweet voice.

From the early 80's until now, I have listned to more Jazz and classical music, as well as listening to my retro 70's music -- to which I still listen to this day. Rock on!

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hey, I dance with my daughters to some of those songs (they like to dance, both the five year old and the seventeen year old). Didn't realize where all that music at young adult dances was coming from -- the hits of '76. Explains the ones I missed too.