EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by alphanguy, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    "Babe"

    I've just never been able to get into Styx the way I like other late 70s/early 80s AOR like Boston, Journey, or Foreigner. Friends are always surprised I don't have any Styx in my collection. "I thought they'd be right up your alley..." Kansas is in the same boat as Styx, even though I can deal with "Carry On Wayward Son." I don't think it's the high pitched vocals per se--Boston has them, as do other bands I like such as Yes and Rush.

    Maybe it's the pomposity of trying to merge AOR, prog, and Broadway. Like a bad imitation of Queen? Or maybe it's the jumpsuits and/or tuxedos...
     
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  2. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    This is an OK song, but whenever I think about it I recall the parody lyrics all the kids sung: 'This is s**t/make no mistake about it". Kinda writes itself! :cool:
     
  3. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Styx have been my favorite band since I was a kid. Always loved 'em and even loved Babe at one time. But if I never hear it again that will be OK. Cornerstone was the one that started to splinter the band. First Babe and then the follow up First Time... If First Time was released Tommy said he was quitting the band so they picked another track. I do love Dennis's stuff and his voice holds up well today (as does Tommy's). They are a touring monster and put on a fantastic live show these days and do not play Babe. If you want to hear that you have to go to a Dennis solo show, which is also fantastic. I know they are not everyone's cup of tea but I've liked them since I first discovered them
     
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  4. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Paul released a second single from Back to the Egg in August of 1979: Arrow Through Me. I always liked this one (although I like Getting Closer better). A bit of a different sound from Macca, definitely Stevie Wonder inspired I think. It peaked at 29, even worse than Getting Closer.



    Fun rumor: this song inspired ABC's Poison Arrow. Apparently there are similarities to the two videos as well, but the rumor is just that. Nothing more than a coinkidink.

    Fun fact: This song was in the opening credit sequence of the notorious Chevy Chase turkey Oh! Heavenly Dog (co-starring Benji as the dog). In the movie, Chevy comes back to life as a dog, and... oh, do you really care? :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  5. Victor/Victrola

    Victor/Victrola Makng shure its write

    I don't care for Styx much, I think the only CD I have is one of those A&M 25th Anniversary purple comps which I got for practically free at a library sale and a couple vinyl albums that were used. Maybe a 45 if I still have it. They sure were popular here in the Midwest, almost inescapable, but I never really got into them. I fully agree that DeYoung has only one way of singing - FORCEFULLY - no matter what the song calls for. No nuance, no conveyance of emotion just loud loud loud. Like a machine, Mr. Roboto. I did like the intros to their songs but once the main tune started, it went downhill quick. That was kind of their trademark. I recall hearing "Lady" and thinking WOW - these guys are great and going to be huge, etc. - but by the time the song ended, I had lost interest.

    I feel the same way about Journey (although I really like the Infinity album and the pre-Perry stuff is pretty good pop prog). For all the power that Steve Perry possesses, his nasal tone makes me shudder. However, I'd never include Kansas (at least when fronted by Steve Walsh) into this category. Kansas had a lot of influences in their material - all prog-leaning, sure, but at least they gave us songs with some deeper philosophical meanings than "I love my baby and wanna party all night" kinds of things. I like Boston for their perfection in the studio and Brad Delp was a talent beyond belief (his multi-tracked harmonies are amazing) and to listen to that first album and realize it was all done analog, well, it's still a sonic wonder. The thing that bothered me about Boston is that they put all of their eggs in one basket and by the time the second album came out, it was all they could do to stay relevant. Don't Look Back was just "the debut part two" (as my sarcastic friend called it). The thing I dislike about Boston is they are the epitome of "I love my baby and wanna party all night" bands (well, they tie with KISS in that regard.)

    Agree that the high-pitched guy in Air Supply knows how to sing. I'm not a fan, but I can appreciate what they do. (I bought that first album with "Lost In Love" on it, but that's as far as I went.)

    Now Supertramp? Nah, I love Supertramp. Impeccably recorded, superbly produced and eloquently written. I get a lot of meaning out of their lyrics and the message of cynicism may be the only one they convey, but they do it well. They don't always hit the mark, but I still consider the album "Crime Of The Century" a landmark recording of paranoia, distrust of the ruling class and amazing sonics. Roger Hodgson may have had a high-pitched voice, but he inflected it with a lot of feeling. I understand they're not for everyone, and the prog aspect turns a lot of people off, but Supertramp is one of my favorites.

    I'll defend my love of YES until the day I die.

    Foreigner I can take or leave. I like the first two albums a lot even if "Hot Blooded" is one of the stupidest things ever written. After that, meh.
     
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  6. Don' t care about Chevy whatsoever but ' Arrow Thru Me ' may be McCartney's most underrated, underappreciated song.It 's great.
     
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  7. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Speaking of Journey . . . they had something of a hit in this period with "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " . . .
     
  8. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And his father ended up living another four years after this. This seems to have done the trick.
     
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  9. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Speaking of Stevie . . . he came out with a new one round this time, "Send One Your Love," the only major hit from his Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants album. It would be the beginning of his music becoming more - well, synthetic.
     
  10. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    "Babe" is not a favorite but I can stand to hear it from time to time. I love the chorus but I agree that DeYoung's "ready for Broadway" voice overpowers the track.
     
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  11. SomeCallMeTim

    SomeCallMeTim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rockville, CT
    I put "Babe" in the arena band road angst category - gee, it's hard touring the country in a big party bus, miss ya, sweetheart. Even as a 13-year-old, I had a hard time identifying with such a problem...or even terming it a problem at all.
     
  12. AppleBonker

    AppleBonker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    No More Tears (Enough is Enough)

    ... or, as I call it, the Johnson's Baby Shampoo song. :)

    [​IMG]

    I remember when this one came out; it was played a LOT on the radio. Like many of Barbra's songs, it seems to have disappeared from the airwaves.

    Barbra was going through a phase of superstar pairings with no small amount of success (Paul McCartney would pull the same stunt in a few years time). Of course there was You Don't Bring Me Flowers, her #1 with Mr. Diamond that we talked about previously, but there also is another one we'll be getting to shortly featuring a rather higher pitched duet partner.

    Donna Summer pairing with Barbra Streisand reminds me of that classic commercial where the guy walking down the street eating our of a jar of peanut butter (who does that by the way?) bumps into a guy eating a chocolate bar. The two foods mix, and they huff angrily 'You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!' 'Well, you got your peanut butter on my chocolate!' But then it turns out to be rather tasty. This song? You got your Streisand in my Summer! And yet, surprisingly, it turns out tasty!



    My mom was a big Streisand fan at the time, and I was into Donna Summer, so this was a perfect match as far as we were concerned. I like the song, although listening to it now, it does get a bit monotonous in the disco portion. The first part is OK, and it nicely gives Donna a chance to do something a bit different, but I always get impatient for the endless note that triggers the dance portion. That's the real meat of this sandwich, even if it drags on a tad too long.
     
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  13. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    I always thought this one deserved to do better.
     
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  14. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    I notice some of you have expressed an intense dislike of high-pitched male voices throughout this thread. Is it because you guys cannot hit those kinds of notes, or do you associate it with females? I just don't understand the hatred.
     
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  15. alphanguy

    alphanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    I can tell you exactly why. Because when some men reach that high for notes, many times is sounds forced and shrill. There's a brittle edge to these singers' voices. Other men, however... sound fabulous hitting those high notes, such as Freddie Mercury. With Barry Gibb... I LOVE that breathy downright effeminate half voice he would use, but the screaming falsetto... just NO. Rick Perry, De Young, et al... just lack nuance and sensitivity, and couple that with a high voice, you get ca-ca. Other male rock vocalists that possess a high voice, but know how to use it in an enjoyable way, I'd point to Marty Balin and Burton Cummings.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  16. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    For me, I like lots of high male voices like Rob Halford, Jon Anderson, Brad Delp, Freddie Mercury, and Prince (when he does his falsetto, which was a lot in the early years). I don't like Dennis DeYoung's because, as someone else here put it, he doesn't seem to have a lot of nuance to his voice. It's kind of robotic, technically on pitch but with no genuine emotion. But with Styx, to me the bigger problem is just their lack of songs I like, other than out and out rockers like "Renegade" and maybe "Blue Collar Man."
     
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  17. Jo B

    Jo B Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    A song I can easily go without ever hearing again, actually anything by Styx falls into this category.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  18. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    I guess I just don't hear it like you two do.
     
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  19. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Well, aside from most on this forum you are in good company. They were unbelievably popular, and really, the album with Babe on it (Grand Illusion?) isn’t bad. It just hasn’t aged well at all imo.
     
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  20. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Old Dude Who Knows Things

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Even though, at the time, I was down on mainstream rock, I did enjoy the “Back to the Egg” LP quite a bit. It’s a bit of a mess, and I never understood the “concept” of the album. But it rocks far more than any McCartney album until Run Devil Run. “Getting Closer;” “Arrow Thru Me;” “Old Siam, Sir;” “Winter Rose;” “So Glad to See You Here;” and Denny Laine’s “Again and Again and Again” - good tunes.
     
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  21. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I don't hate 'em, but I think they're cheezy as hell. Cheezier than ELO (who I loved, and still like - an upcoming ELO album was my fave in the world for awhile as a kid, and hearing it as an adult I think it holds up incredibly well and is way smarter than I gave it credit for as a 20-40 something). Styx is also far more annoying, and not as smart. Also, more than occasionally pretentious and even ponderous, which I don't think ELO ever were, even with their classical affectations.

    I like a lot of Styx songs. I laugh at "Come Sail Away", but it's as catchy as it is silly, and the synth break is epic '70s cheeze and I love it.

    It's all that and more. Much, much more. :laugh:

    They're annoying. Especially at high volumes, which rock tends to be played at. I could handle the Bee Gees, although the falsetto harmonies on some of Spirits Having Flown are over the top and annoying even to a fan like me, but this other stuff? Awful.

    And I think the bigger problem was it was omnipresent on the radio. You could not escape the screeching. I was just a kid and way more accepting of everything musical before 1980, but by 1981 I was definitely getting sick of some of this ****. I don't think I consciously realized why. When Air Supply broke I was down with their big debut hit, but then immediately turned on them and that screeching and all of the other screeching white guys bands. Just over that whole entire sound - pompous overblown vaguely proggy but now light rock cheeze with screaming male vocalists who sounded like their balls were being clamped in a vise. No. No. Hell no. STFU.

    Commercially, that whole screamin', screechin' choir from hell went from nuclear hot to liquid helium cold in a matter of months. They were cool, multi platinum selling and seemed like they'd be around forever, and then - like disco - over the course of about a year they became pure commercial poison. I don't think they spawned too many #1 singles (they were all over the radio but were more album acts and AOR acts) so we may not really get to them again in this thread (especially once they're on the decline commercially), but hopefully if they crop up again we can revisit and look at their past vs. future commercial success. You'll see a massive dropoff in this whole subgenre right around the time MTV hijacks the airwaves - it's pretty dramatic. It seems like a lot of people had the same reaction I did - when they got sick of this ****, they got good and sick of it.

    Yeah, Balin did it and I never found him annoying. Then again, he typically wasn't screeching over oceans of bombastic, prog-tinged hard rock (at least not on any singles). He also vanished for good around the same time as his helium-voiced peers, though.
     
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  22. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    Now I find Marty Balin annoying! I like the songs he does lead on, but his high voice...
     
  23. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    "Babe" is on "Cornerstone". I thought you once ran a record store.o_O
     
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  24. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I liked "This Is It". The arrangement and playing on this one is stunning.



    Are the guys from Toto playing on this one? Because it's crazy tight and that intro is truly inspired.

    Also, Michael McDonald is on it. If Toto is on it as well this would be like a Yacht Rock singularity.
     
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  25. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yes, it came out in November of '79, and I remember hearing it on the countdown - it got to #4. Love this one, beautiful song.



    Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants is a truly bizarre record. It's Stevie's Tusk. I finally picked up a copy a few years ago - I had a friend in the early '90s who told me I'd love it - and it definitely clicked with me. Critics and audiences didn't know what to make of it. It's a little pop, a little world music, a little New Age (before that was even a term). Bits of it sound like old Vangelis. Definitely a preview of things to come, although not necessarily on the mainstream pop charts. Stevie was certainly ahead of the curve adopting samplers - we'd be hearing a lot more from those gadgets starting the next year or two.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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