LISTENING PROJECT: THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL: DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER MADE #729-#716

 

#729- ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”- The Animals 1965. MGM Billboard #15. Eric Burdon a great singer and I love the hits they had- they seem kind of forgotten now- compared to other groups that were part of the English Invasion- maybe because of their shorter career? This is a great song- later covered by Elvis [Costello}. Would be a candidate for my 1001 along with a half dozen other songs by The Animals. I agree with Dave Marsh – Alan Price’s organ is the key to this song. Fantastic. All the songs on this installment by the way I have heard before.

#728 “Lonely Weekends”- Charlie Rich 1960 Phillips International Billboard #22. I am a big Charlie Rich fan and this is one of his bigger hits and one of his best. Odd how the next two songs- Manic Monday and Friday On My Mind look towards the weekend- whereas Charlie’s song- is one of the rare songs that doesn’t, he can make it fine though the weekdays but the weekends- are lonely. On my 1001 greatest singles list.

#727 “Manic Monday”- The Bangles 1986 Columbia Billboard #2. Written by Prince, he was writing so many great songs in the 1980’s- two of his best he gave away- and they were two of the best songs of the decade- Manic Monday by The Bangles- and “Nothing Compares 2 U” which Sinead O’Connor had her huge hit with. The Bangles were on a great run there in the mid 80’s I don’t know what happened- success? They had two excellent albums there. Manic Monday is a sure thing on my 1001 greatest singles list. Their finest moment. I liked The Bangles more than The Go-Go’s and I liked the Go-Go’s- too bad neither had the careers they should have had.

#726- “Friday On My Mind”- The Easybeats 1967 United Artists Billboard #16. A group formed in Australia- this was their only hit in America. Their guitarist by the way George Young- had a couple brothers who later made their mark- a couple of boys named Angus and Malcomb. This is a great upbeat song. Probably not on my 1001 but I like it a lot.

#725 “Tell Me Something Good”- Rufus featuring Chaka Khan 1974 ABC Billboard #3 Written by Stevie Wonder who was on fire during this period of time. I had forgotten Stevie wrote it but it sure does sound like a Stevie mid-70’s song. Not just a throw-a-way either. Stevie couldn’t miss at this point in time. The biggest hit for Rufus and Chaka Khan when they were together. Potentially on my 1001 list.

#724 “It’s Your Thing”- Isley Brothers 1969 T-Neck Billboard #2. I always think of this song as a commercial- as it has been it seems over the years. They sound under the James Brown influence here. Good song, I like it but not on my 1001.

#723 “Skinny Legs and All” Joe Tex 1967 Dial Billboard #10. Joe Tex put a lot of songs on the Hot 100 charts in the mid-60’s and they were all just moderately successful. I think this is my favorite of the bunch. This was a live recording and one of the three top ten singles Joe Tex would have during his career. Really like it but not in my 1001.

#722 “Sir Duke”- Stevie Wonder 1977 Tamla Billboard #1. Stevie’s tribute to Duke Ellington on his double album- Songs In The Key of Life – maybe at the peak of his powers because it started to go downhill after this but Stevie say 1970-77 was as good as anyone albums and singles wise. This song is one of those songs that always puts a smile on my face. Probably on my 1001 list.

#721 “The Mighty Quinn {Quinn The Eskimo}- Manfred Mann 1968 Mercury Billboard #10. When I think of Manfred Mann I think of the Dylan and Springsteen covers that were their biggest hits. This sounds a lot different from the original by Dylan. It’s ok- a pop hit– but I will go with the original.

#720 “Under Your Spell Again”- Buck Owens 1959 Capitol Did Not Make Pop Chart. One of Buck’s first country hits. One of his best songs and Buck is one of my favorites. Both these Buck songs would make my 500 greatest country singles list.

#719 “Act Naturally”- Buck Owens 1960 Capitol Did Not Make Pop Chart. Better known for the cover by The Beatles- sung by of course Ringo. The song was written by Johnny Russell- and at first Buck wasn’t impressed with it but Buck’s right hand man- Don Rich liked it- and convinced Buck to go with it. A wise decision.

#718 “Piss Factory”- Patti Smith 1974 Mer Did Not Make Pop Chart. Patti Smith is a punk pioneer and I can respect and understand that but I was never a big fan. This is a great punk song though- and it came out in 1974. I can’t imagine hearing this on the radio even today. Interesting song. Not on my 1001 though.

#717- “We Are The World”- USA For Africa 1985 Columbia Billboard #1. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Marsh prefers this over the other other big charity superstar project “Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid but I was always luke warm about this song- written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones. I always loved the Do They Know It’s Christmas though. On this song the highlight to me was the contributions of Brother Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.

#716 “Stayin’ Alive”- The Bee Gees 1977 RSO Billboard #1. If you were alive in the late 70’s you had to have heard this song a million times. Even forty years later I have to admit it sounds great and those Bee Gees songs- although I grew very tired of them at the time, hold up well. I wasn’t a fan of disco at the time. I was a teenager- and the fellas I were friends with hated disco- but I did like the Bee Gees and Donna Summer. If I were to make a Disco Mount Rushmore- The Bee Gees and Donna Summer go on- I don’t know after that. I think the key to both those artists -talent. A lot of the disco artists were one hit wonders or one genre artists-not the Bee Gees or Donna. Stayin’ Alive would be on my 1001 greatest singles ever.

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4 responses to “LISTENING PROJECT: THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL: DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER MADE #729-#716

  1. I recognize various songs in this installment, and there are definitely some gems. I’m completely with you on The Animals. Eric Burdon had an ace voice, and I also dig their keyboard sound.

    “Sir Duke” from the fantastic “Songs In The Key of Life” album is one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tunes. He’s just such an extraordinary artist!

    I also like “Friday On My Mind” and “Manic Monday.” After taking a break – I believe because of attempts to launch solo careers – The Bangles still appear to be around. According to Wikipedia, the current lineup includes three of the original members. Their most recent studio album is from 2011. I haven’t heard it. After the “Different Light” and “Everything” albums from 1986 and 1988, respectively, I lost track of them.

    • Same here with The Bangles. I know Suzanna Hoffs went on to a solo career and I have her albums with Matthew Sweet from the past decade covering songs from the 60’s to 80’s-

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