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I owe my fellow music geeks some AT40 updates. So a couple items from the last two weeks are below.


Last week’s show was from 1986. I only caught the last 15 songs or so, and it was a rather unremarkable collection of music. Sure, I loved a lot of the songs at the time, but with the exception of The Dream Academy’s “Life In A Northern Town,” none are songs I still have any fondness for.

It was an interesting show, though, because it is one I remember listening to when it originally aired. How can I be sure? Easy. Before Mike And The Mechanic’s “Silent Running,” Casey shared the story of how they decided to use that as the song’s title. It comes from an early 70s movie that Mike Rutherford apparently liked. Anyway, I remember sitting in my living room, reading for sophomore English class (in a chair that is up in our bonus room right now), listening to that same explanation 23 years ago. Wacky, wild stuff.

Casey informed us that the movie Silent Running was supposed to take place in 2008, when the earth has been ravaged by pollution. Bruce Dern is in charge of a space barge that holds plant life that is to be returned to earth when the environment can sustain it.

Thank goodness things aren’t that bad, yet. But what is crazy is that in 2008 another movie came out about an earth covered in garbage and people being sent out into space until the planet was again capable of supporting them. Serendipity!

Wall-E rocks, by the way.

This week’s show was from February 23, 1980. Think about that date for a minute. Does it seem significant to you at all? If you were anything like me, on Saturday, February 23, 1980, you woke up with a gigantic smile on your face after what had happened the night before. Seriously, if you’re my age, a guy, and you had to click the link to remember why that date is significant, I don’t want you reading my blog anymore. I’m through with you.

Anyway, I listened to the entire countdown and was impressed with myself for being unable to place only two songs. Perhaps my favorite part of the countdown was when Michael Jackson and Prince were back-to-back in the 30s with “Off The Wall” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” A sign of things to come in the decade.*

* I love this blurb about “I Wanna Be Your Lover” on Wikipedia: “The song explains that although he may not be as financially successful as other men, he will please her like no other.”

What stuck with me about the show was Rupert Holmes. Not ringing any bells? I wouldn’t have known the name either. But if I say “The Pina Colada Song” do you know who I’m talking about?** I thought so.

** Of course the song is officially called “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” a classic case of the subtitle overwhelming the main title. Thanks to the Wikipedia, I now know that “Escape” was the last #1 song of the 70s. Cool. I also know that the song dropped from #1, then ascended back to #1 after the New Year. Thus, Holmes is the only artist to ever hit #1 with the same song in two different decades.*** Very freaking cool.

*** Jim Lampley would point out that there was no year zero, therefore decades officially begin with years ending in one, and to assert otherwise would be intellectually dishonest. One of the great Jim Rome Show rants of all-time.

So we all know “The Pina Colada Song.” However, Holmes also had another song in that week’s countdown, the follow-up called “Him.” In “Him” he sang of his lady’s mysterious man friend who seems to be hanging around an awful lot. So in one song he sings about wanting to find a little something on the side, only to rediscover the things he has in common with his old lady. In another he sings of his old lady’s dalliances. Sounds like someone was having some relationship issues when they sat down to write their album.

Check out his Wikipedia page, though. The guy has had quite a career.

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