As I think about the songs in this set, it helps me to remember why I was creating these CDs.
I wanted to transfer the songs I already owned on vinyl or tape to digital media:
Such as my iPod…
Or my car’s CD player.
In some cases, I didn’t think the song would be available digitally; in other cases, I simply didn’t want to purchase it again.
Bonnie Pointer’s lesser-known version of “Heaven Must Have Sent You” is an example of the former.
Not the disco dynamite that hit the Top 20 in the fall of 1989, but the 45’s flip side, in which Bonnie covered the Elgins’ original in that Motown doo-wop style, scatting and everything.
Sure enough, that rendition is not on Spotify. But it is available on YouTube, where you can enjoy how effortlessly Bonnie sounds like a girl group – all by herself:
Other tracks I didn’t think would cross the digital divide – but surprisingly did:
The disco hit but AT40 miss “Keep on Dancin’” by Gary’s Gang
And the silly and superfluous but still endearing remake of “He’s So Fine” by Kristy and Jimmy McNichol. (Why the brother is credited on this single remains a mystery to this day.)
In the latter department – songs I wouldn’t purchase again – is the biggest Billboard hit of the ’70s and the most reviled among a large swath of listeners:
Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.”
I have a love-hate relationship with this song.
I like AC songs and big ballads, yet with every week I heard Casey Kasem announce it at the top, I found myself wearying of it. So, yes, I won’t turn it off if it comes up. But I don’t find myself seeking it out, either.
(It didn’t make my “Dirty Dozen” last year only because radio turned its back on the song as soon as it left the Top 40, so it doesn’t have the same level of overkill as, say, “Every Breath You Take.”)
Side note: I like the record’s B-side, “Hasta Mañana.” I didn’t know at the time that it was an ABBA composition, but now it seems obvious.
For whatever reason, the version of David Naughton’s “Makin’ It” on Spotify is a re-recording I find grating, so I’m not including it in the playlist.
Here’s a YouTube link to the original version:
Similarly, Deodato’s take on “Also Sprach Zarathustra” is not available in a single version on Spotify (who wants to listen to eight-plus-minutes of it?)
Here it is on YouTube (and even this version is five minutes plus!)
Of all the songs in this set, Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love…”
…and Lauren Wood’s “Please Don’t Leave…”
…tie for songs whose artists I thought would become much bigger.
In our final installment next week, we’ll find a couple of artists who seemed destined in the ’70s to share the same fate, only to break out in major ways in the following decade.
Here’s the Spotify link for this set:
What ones do you love? What ones do you hate?
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