Thursday, October 11, 2007


While I was in the record store recently, snuffling through the bargain bins like a pig chasing a tasty morsel around the trough, I came across a series of CDs based on the music of individual years. The first one I came across was from 1962, and it contained songs like 'Twistin’ the Night Away' by Sam Cooke, 'Good Luck Charm' by Elvis and 'Love Me Do' by The Beatles.

“Cool!” I thought. “I wonder what they have for my birth year of 1968? It’d be great to play at birthday parties and such.”

It took a while, but I eventually found 1968… and it was dire. Nothing but inane novelty songs, awful earnest American prog-folk, and 'Hair'.

This got me to wondering what it was that happened between 1962 and 1968 to make popular music turn so rancid. Checking a little further into the early 70s, I found that the decline had continued. It was only around 1979, as disco perked music up and the world shook off the nihilism of the previous decade, that things started to turn around. One could even argue that we never fully regained the sense of fun and optimism embodied by the music pre-dating 1965.

I did a little research and came up with what I believe to be a convincing thesis on The Decline of Western Culture as expressed through pop music - 1963 to 1973.

From 1963 –

Surfin' Safari – The Beach Boys
This is what pop music is supposed to sound like.

Wipe Out – The Surfaris
Hot damn, could this tune be any more iconic?

He's So Fine – The Chiffons
What beehive hairdos would sound like if they could sing.

Heat Wave – Martha & The Vandellas
What beehive hairdos would sound like if they could sing and had a ton of sass.

Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Nice to know that all the surfer boys and girl groups were offset by a little Man in Black.

Dream A Little Dream Of Me - Ella Fitzgerald with Count Basie
Ella, The Count and a hammond organ. Well, I’m happy.

The Pink Panther – Henry Mancini
Dispel any associations with pink cartoon felines, because this is the coolest, sexiest, swingingest piece of jazz to come out of the 60s.

and at least two songs by Buddy Holly

Beatles Status – The Mop Tops and Sharp Suits Era

From 1968 –

Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
Too bad she never finished her follow-up single, ‘The Park County Meals on Wheels Service’.

Little Green Apples – Roger Miller
“God didn't make little green apples, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime”… and more sickening, infantile drool in the same vein.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips – Tiny Tim
Sweet merciful crap, people of 1968, why? Why?

Do You Know The Way to San Jose? – Dionne Warwick
Behold, the most inane line Burt Bacharach ever wrote.

and at least two songs by Fleetwood Mac.

Beatles Status – The Psychedelia and Sgt Peppers Outfits Era

From 1973 –

Cum on Feel the Noize – Slade
I’d rather not, thanks all the same.

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn
The musical equivalent of the sludge resulting from two dozen Readers’ Digests and Hallmark cards fed into a blender full of sugar syrup.

Delta Dawn – Helen Reddy
“Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on, could it be a faded rose from days gone byeeeeeeeeeee?” No it couldn’t. Now go away.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
From his ‘Playing the Piano While Wearing a Donald Duck Costume’ period.

I Am Pegasus – Ross Ryan
“I am Pegasus, my name means ‘horse’”… no it doesn’t Ross, you pathetic hippie loser.

and at least four songs by Gary “Want some candy, little boy?” Glitter.

Beatles Status – The Drugs and Yoko Ono Era

I rest my case.


Blogger URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

Ha ha, you used disco and music in the same sentence. 1972 was actually the best year for music since the early 1750's. Go look it up. It's true.

I'm a new to the Blandwagon and I'm happy I ran into you. You're a hoot, as we say way over here in Canada.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Shicho said...

d00d(ette) -

you've got The Beatles in The Drugs in 1973.


if so, it is only because they hadn't WORN OFF FROM 1968!

jes because, ya know, they hadn't for the rest of us...

10:04 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I take it you're referring to a 1972 from an alternate dimension, Urban Pedestrian. Here we just had Neil Young whining his way through 'Heart of Gold', Michael Jackson singing about a rat in 'Ben', America lowering the bar for prog-folk losers everywhere with 'Horse With No Name' and Elton John releasing 'Crocodile Rock' onto an unsuspecting world.

Shicho, I suppose I could have written "The Inevitable Devastating Effects of Drugs and Yoko Ono", but that's not very snappy. Also, is it that hard to work out from previous posts that I'm a man?

11:46 AM  
Blogger URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

Yes, Canada. We only just got electricity in 1971.We so
awed and amazed by the wonderful sounds coming out of those stereophonic gadgets that we didn't pay much attention to quality.

8:27 PM  

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