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Hans Plays His Jukebox 45’S. For the past 30 plus years I have had a box of singles sitting in storage. I thought it was time I got them out and listened to a handful a week. In the late 70’s for a year or so I bought singles until I saw the light and quit splitting my money on buying albums and singles and going with albums. In the 80’s I bought a few but I bought them with a reason- three artists- Bruce Springsteen, Prince and U2 were releasing singles with b-sides that were just that b-sides- not on albums. Since I was really into all three of those artists I would buy up this singles also for the b-sides- which were usually excellent.

When I think of singles I think of a math teacher I had in junior high. He was a great teacher- the only math teacher I ever had who I’d say was a great teacher. I can’t blame my lack of math skills on having bad teachers but I am sure If I had this teacher for a few years I would have come out with more skills. Anyhow- two things I always think of when he crosses my mind. 1- one day during gym class [ now called physical education class I guess}- he walked in and the gym teacher said something to him about shooting free throws. Now this math teacher at the time was in his late 20’s- and not exactly in the greatest shape. His nickname was “Fat Bob” I heard him called that I am sure some believed that was his given name [he later lost a lot of weight} anyhow. To make a long story short- the gym teacher throws him a basketball and he goes to the foul line and makes 25 free throws in a row–after #25 he just smiles and walks away. The second thing is- he was an expert on singles- you throw out a singles A-side and he could tell you the record label, the b-side and what the peak position was on the A-side on the charts. He would nail them from the 1950’s up until the early 70’s [ the present at that time.} Note- I don’t have a jukebox- but I do have all the singles.

Bruce Springsteen: “I’m On Fire”/ “Johnny Bye Bye” “I’m On Fire” was the fourth single released from Bruce Springsteen’s mammoth Born In The USA album. When all was said and done the album had seven singles. “I’m On Fire” was released on February 6, 1985- nearly three years after it was recorded in May 1982. I had the album the reason I bought the single was for the non-album track “Johnny Bye Bye” “Johnny Bye Bye” is credited to Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen. Berry had written a song a song in 1962 “Bye Bye Johnny”- as a sequel to “Johnny B. Goode”- Bruce used the lines “She drew out all her money from the Southern Trust, and put her little boy aboard the Greyhound Bus” from the Berry song. Bruce also name drops Elvis Presley-

There’s party, tonight, down in Memphis town
I’ll be going down there if you need a ride
The man on the radio says Elvis Presley’s died

Bruce at this point was churning out great songs- this as with other b-sides in the Born In The USA era- not on any of the studio albums.

Chris Rea: “Fool {If You Think It’s Over}/ “Midnight Love” The gravel voiced Chris Rea was a one-hit wonder in the US- with this single from his debut album in 1978 Whatever Happened To Benny Santini? He was even nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist on the success of this single- it went to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was basically never heard from again in the United States. But back home in the UK- Rea went on to have a very solid career- 13 Top 40 hits and two dozen albums over the years. He has sold over 30 million albums. “Fool {If You Think It’s Over} was actually a bigger hit in the US than it was in the UK where it peaked at #30. I haven’t heard this song very often in the past few decades but have always liked it.

Paul Davis: “I Go Crazy”/ “Reggae Kinda Way.” I am sure you have had a song that upon first hearing it- didn’t really register but the more you heard it the more you liked it- for me “I Go Crazy” is the best example I can think of. It spent forever in the Top 40 [history below} and every week when I’d listen to the Top 40 I would take a little more notice of it. By the time it entered the Top 20 I loved the song and over the years I’ve never gotten tired of it. Paul Davis would have a bigger hit ” 65 Love Affair” which was alright but run of the mill compared to “I Go Crazy.” The b-side of this single is awful- as awful as the title suggests “Reggae Kinda Way.”

“I Go Crazy” entered the Billboard Top 100 on August 27th, 1977 at #89. It would take over six months before it peaked at #7. It went like this #89 to #78 to #68 to #58 to #47 to #45 to #43 to #41, then it stayed at #41 for a second week, then it made the top 40 coming in at #37, to #34 to #31, to #29 to #28 to #25, it would stay at #25 for a second week then to #23 for two weeks then to #21 -again it looked like it peaked when it stayed at #21 for a second week. Then it jumped up 2 spots to #19 to #18 to #16 to #14 to #12 to #11 to #9 to #8 and then it reached its peak #7 where it stayed for three weeks in late March, early April of 1978. After three weeks at #7 it finally dropped to #28 then to #35 and then out of the Top 40. It would stay in the Top 100 from August 27th, 1977 to May 27th, 1978- a total of 40 weeks. It was a record at the time.

Eric Carman: “She Did It”/ “Someday”[ non-album track} I think I liked this single and bought it because it had a Beach Boys kind of vibe. At the time, 1977 I had no idea that Eric Carman had been the front man for The Raspberries and that I would like Carman’s work with The Raspberries a lot more than I would his much softer rock solo career. This is a song I never hear on the radio. Back in late 1977 it was a moderate hit peaking at #23.

16 responses to “HANS PLAYS HIS JUKEBOX 45’S

  1. I have Chris Rea’s “Road to Hell” album, which is quite good. I bought a hits comp disc for “Working On It” and “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” and was bummed to find that latter was a re-recording and not as good as the original. I think I last bought (or was given) 45s around 1981, and they included The Cars “Shake It Up” and maybe a Go-Go’s song.

    • I will be on the look out for that album in the used record sales. In reading up on him I saw that about the re-recording…that should be illegal!!

  2. About Bruce S. – in ’89 he played the Oakland Coliseum, site of previous Days on the Green… and it was so loud it could be heard as far away as 5+ miles ! Oakland Police got a ton of noise complaints that night

    • If I recall right, it was a weeknight and it went on til about 11:30 when folks were trying to sleep,. It was the first time the music/noise from the venue carried so far out into the city, that’s why I remember it

  3. Awesome story. “Fat Bob” showed him! It’s a lot of fun playing records…I did that a few weeks ago and really enjoyed myself.

    I bought the single for Johnny Bye Bye also. Wonderful song and I like the spin he put on it.

    • I do remember those casette singles. Yes it was the late 80s…I do remember that. By then I was getting casette albums…because of driving in my car….and dubbing casettes

    • Yes same here… vinyl was disappearing… it seemed like one day you walk into the record store and it’s full of vinyl… the next week it’s half and half and then– no vinyl at all..

    • I was doing a mixture of both for a year or two- then realized the error of my ways. I think at the time I started singles were $1 and albums $5. Made more sense to get the album.

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