Ranking #33 singles, U.S. edition: 1975-1978

What do fans hear in “Girls School”? Did Paul McCartney think it was sexy? Did Linda belt him across the face with a haddock? I know a chagrined McCartney didn’t get the mega hit “Mull of Kintyre” released in the States, but I would’ve preferred the British #1 to flop on its own terms or, who knows, gone top twenty than to listen to Wings flail at the simple act of rocking. I’ve heard high school bands who can handle the tempo and chord changes with greater finesse. Cat Stevens might’ve. Bobby Vinton might’ve (then again, don’t ask). And I have not mentioned the gross lyrics, Paul’s attempts at being randy or something.

My top category boasts many sweet, sticky things, not least one of Foghat’s few top forty singles, Johnnie Taylor’s last American top forty, and Springsteen’s vague attempt to prove “it,” whatever it is. I bet Johnnie Taylor knew.

The strain of male rock ‘n’ roll boasts many outlaw myths, especially in the 1970s when Waylon ‘n’ Peckinpah made a lot of money and turned critics’ heads. “Hurricane” is one more. Blowzy, horribly rhymed, it captured a Bob Dylan who for the first and possibly last time in his career recorded a song his audience expected him to sing. A stupid song about a worthwhile subject; “Hurricane” Carter deserved better, of course. Yet when “Hurricane” popped up in Dazed and Confused as poolhall material it made sense too.

The Hague

Wings – Girls School
Cat Stevens – Two Fine People
Engelbert Humperdinck – After the Lovin’
Bobby Vinton – Beer Barrel Polka
Cat Stevens – (Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard

Meh

Paul Anka – Anytime (I’ll Be There)
Olivia Newton-John – Don’t Stop Believin’

Sound, Solid

Bob Dylan – Hurricane
Average White Band – School Boy Crush
Billy “Crash” Craddock – Ruby Baby
Lindisfarne – Run for Home
Gene Cotton – You’ve Got Me Runnin’

Good to Great

Bruce Springsteen – Prove It All Night
Johnnie Taylor – Somebody’s Getting It
Enchantment – It’s You That I Need
The Ohio Players – Sweet Sticky Thing
Foghat – I Just Want to Make Love to You
Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free
Starz – Cherry Baby
Boomer Castleman – Judy Mae

3 thoughts on “Ranking #33 singles, U.S. edition: 1975-1978

      1. Marcello Carlin stated it’s dated. In the sense that woman “can’t break away”. Like, why? Are these the 50s?
        On the other hand, it’s the tale of a woman that will break away the unhappy circle with their children, hence the title. I see it as a tale of a now mature wife who’s telling their grown kids not to commit the same mistakes she’s done. “Don’t be no fool when love really don’t love you”.
        In a sense, she’s breaking away through her children. Isn’t it what all the parents do?
        Those bongoes are something else, too.

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