Happy Independence Day, to those of you to whom such applies, even if only ironically (I’m lookin’ at you, US of A).
1977: James Taylor, “Handy Man”
Ah, James Taylor. This is the James Taylor song, probably the most ubiquitous of his oeuvre, at least in the mid- to late- 1970s. I certainly heard it when it first came out, though likely didn’t pay much attention, as I really don’t think eight-year-olds are his primary audience.
1982: J. Geils Band, “Angel in Blue”
A repeat from last week, proving that inertia can affect the Top 40 list, no matter where a song appears on the chart. Interesting experiment idea: graph all of the top-40 songs by week, from the beginning to present, and see which songs lingered in which position the longest.
1987: Billy Idol, “Sweet Sixteen”
I have heard Sweet Sixteen before, though I don’t remember when and where. Maybe on MTV, though that seems unlikely. Despite the potential creep factor hinted at by the title, this is not adult Idol lusting after a teenager, but a song inspired by Edward Leedskalnin, who created the Coral Castle in Florida, channeling Leedskalnin’s nostalgia about a lost love from his youth. It’s a beautiful song but apparently never received much air play.
1992: Ugly Kid Joe, “Everything About You”
I listened to this song a lot while working as a prep cook and expediter at the restaurant during and after college. I imagine everyone at that place felt this way about everyone else at that place at one time or another.
1997: Blessid Union of Souls, “I Wanna Be There”
I have no memory of this, though late 1990s power ballads all tended to converge around a specific sound, and my memory of “I Wanna Be There” could be jumbled up with memories of a score of other songs.