As we move into the last few Bottom of the Top posts, where I consider the songs which were at #40 on the Billboard charts during this week in various years, I have decided that one year was enough, and I will not be continuing these posts into 2023. It was fun, and a BIG nostalgia trip, but it isn’t the kind of project I want to continue indefinitely. I will still offer up occasional music posts, but they will be more centered around a single song, or artist, or topic, or memory.
1977: The Steve Miller Band, “Swingtown”
Oh yeah, this song. I probably heard it when it first came out, and on the radio first on contemporary, and then (and now) classical stations. That opening guitar riff. The opening “ooOOOOOOOOOOOooooOOoooo” hits me right in the nostalgias and I don’t recall a time when “Swingtown” was not part of my life. My strongest association is riding the bus, which means it was still on heavy rotation in the years that followed, as in 1977 I was a walk-three-blocks-to-school latchkey kid in our little town of Parma.
1982: Pat Benetar, “Shadows of the Night”
“Shadows of the Night” received a lot of radio play, and I heard it a lot while milking cows, Sunday mornings and afternoons. Also probably on the bus on the way to and from eights grade. However, being thirteen at the time, I was probably so wrapped up in hormone-fed angst that I didn’t pay a lot of attention. Plus at the time, for comfort, I spent a lot of time listening to the local country station and its rotation of about thirty songs.
1987: Michael Bolton, “That’s What Love Is All About”
I never really got into Michael Bolton. I acknowledge his talent, but there is something about his voice and general vibe, at least when it comes to easy-listening music, which grates on my nerves. Or maybe I just associate him with unsuccessful attempts at romance in my late teens. Yeah, that’s probably it.
1992: Bad Company, “How About That”
I first saw this video when putting together this post. I say that with confidence because I certainly would have remembered the dude in the armor. I have no specific memory of “How About That” but I probably heard it somewhere. I get some definite “If You Needed Somebody” vibes, but that’s probably just because Bad Company has such a distinct sound.
1997: H-Town, “They Like It Slow”
I’ve never heard “They Like It Slow” before but, well, I like it, and the video is a lot of fun.