Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Grading the Top 100 singles of 1974 (per Billboard)

1. The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand: B-
This song illustrates the conundrum I face when grading. I hated this song when I was a kid. So wimpy! Not for me! But I'm 54 now, and wow, Barbra Streisand is a deserved legend -- what a singer! And this is a well-crafted weeper, co-written by Marvin Hamlisch with Alan and Marilyn Bergman. So I appreciate the song more than I did then. But it's still not something I'd listen to by choice.

2. Seasons In the Sun - Terry Jacks: C-
This song has quite the pedigree. It was written by the legendary Jacques Brel, and the lyrics were translated into English by poet Rod McKuen. In the hands of former Poppy Family member Jacks, it's pretty insipid, even with the catchy chorus. I mean, it's a tearjerker, but there has to be a way to honor the lyrics and not sound so icky.

3. Love's Theme - Love Unlimited Orchestra: C-
This is the biggest thing Barry White ever did, as he wrote it and arranged the orchestration. One of the major TV networks eventually used this as bed music for golf tournaments. And that really tells you all you need to know about this instrumental.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020 CHIRP Radio show (Show #474)

9:02 AM Jamila Woods • ZORA • LEGACY! LEGACY! • Jagjaguwar

9:05 AM Split Enz • One Step Ahead • Corroboree • Mushroom

9:08 AM Nadia Reid • Other Side of the Wheel • Out of My Province • Spacebomb

9:16 AM Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding • Last Flight Out • Last Flight Out • Kernel

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #473)

9:01 AM Liz Phair • Strange Loop • Exile in Guyville • Matador

9:04 AM Solomon Burke • Up to the Mountain (with Patty Griffin) • Nashville • Shout Factory

9:08 AM Soccer Mommy • night swimming • color theory • Loma Vista/Concord

9:15 AM The Flat Five • The Raven • single • Bloodshot

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Grading the top 100 songs of 1973

1. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree - Tony Orlando and Dawn: B-
Someone told me I was too easy of a grader, and these ratings will confirm it. This is a cheesy, overplayed song, but it's really well-crafted, and that's enough to charm me, to an extent.

2. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce: A
I love Jim Croce. He was a fabulous songwriter who was just getting started when a plane crash took his life. This song was an instant standard, getting covered almost immediately after it rose up the charts. It's catchy as heck and easy to sing along to.

3. Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack: A+
Early '70s Roberta Flack is just so, so good. She managed to retain her jazzy sophistication, even on a pretty straightforward pop song, making it very special.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

March 21, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #472)

9:00 AM John Prine • Sam Stone • The BBC Sessions The Lost Broadcasts 1971-1973 • Sutra

9:04 AM Julia Holter • Everytime Boots • Have You In My Wilderness • Domino

9:08 AM Nadia Reid • High & Lonely • Out of My Province • Spacebomb

9:17 AM The Haden Triplets • Say You Will • The Family Songbook • Trimeter/Thirty Tigers

Friday, March 20, 2020

Rating the Top 100 songs of 1978

1 Andy Gibb Shadow Dancing: A-
Andy allegedly turned down the chance to become the fourth Bee Gee, so be a solo artist who did Bee Gee-esque songs with his brothers writing the material. In 1978, the Bee Gees could do no wrong, and this song is no exception.

2 Bee Gees Night Fever: A
It doesn't seem like this should be the biggest hit off of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but here it is. What is interesting about this song is the verses are at a higher emotional pitch than the chill chorus.

3 Debby Boone You Light Up My Life: D+
I may be overrating this song that spent months at number one, but didn't top the year end chart, since it's run came between 1978 and 1979. This is a rendition of a theme song from a movie no one saw (someone else sang it in the movie - hat tip to my friend Tom Borsellino), it's sappy dreck, but Debby Boone's singing is A-OK.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March 17, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #471)

10:02 PM Thao & The Get Down Stay Down • Meticulous Bird • A Man Alive • Ribbon Music

10:05 PM RUN-DMC • I'm Not Going Out Like That • Tougher Than Leather • Profile

10:10 PM ROOKIE • Hold On Tight • Rookie • Bloodshot

10:15 PM A House • Why Me? • Wide Eyed and Ignorant • Sentata/Parlophone

Saturday, March 14, 2020

March 14, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #470)

9:00 AM Thomas Dolby • Airwaves • The Golden Age of Wireless • Capitol

9:05 AM Lorraine Ellison • Stay With Me • Stay With Me • Warner Bros./Seven Arts

9:09 AM Jeff Lescher • Do You Remember? • All Is Grace • self-released

9:14 AM Brandy Clark • Bad Car • Your Life Is a Record • Warner Records

Saturday, March 7, 2020

March 7, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #469)

8:58 AM Aimee Mann • Disappeared • Charmer • SuperEgo

9:02 AM Scritti Politti • The "Sweetest Girl" • Early • Rough Trade

9:07 AM Beatrice Dillon • Workaround Seven • Workaround • PAN

9:13 AM Stephen J. Malkmus • The Greatest Own in Legal History • Traditional Techniques • Matador