30 years ago this week: Billboard Hot 100, February 28, 1987.

(Above: Whoa-oh, we're halfway there.) Where were you thirty years ago today? New in theaters this week: a quirky film by two guys named the Coen Brothers called Raising Arizona. More people were going to see Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. In the news, Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a treaty that would eliminate both … Continue reading 30 years ago this week: Billboard Hot 100, February 28, 1987.

“Who own the Chiefs?” Maxine Nightingale, “Right Back Where We Started From” (1976)

(Above: Jim Carr, about to be schooled on various hockey penalties.) Forty years ago this weekend one of my favorite films of all time made its premiere.  Slap Shot is, in a variety of ways, offensive.  It's also hilarious. Director George Roy Hill took a cast of legit stars (Paul Newman, Strother Martin) and unknowns … Continue reading “Who own the Chiefs?” Maxine Nightingale, “Right Back Where We Started From” (1976)

Days of future, past: The Dream Academy, “Life In a Northern Town” (1986)

Right about this time in 1986, a catchy song with a simple chorus that - on the whole - wasn't so simple was peaking on the Billboard charts. "Life In a Northern Town" appealed to me when I first saw it on MTV. I had never been to England, which is depicted in the video.  Hell, … Continue reading Days of future, past: The Dream Academy, “Life In a Northern Town” (1986)

Cut loose like a deuce: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By the Light” (1977)

Forty years ago this week - February 19, 1977, to be exact - Manfred Mann's Earth Band dug up an old Bruce Springsteen song and took it to the top of the pop charts. From a pop chart standpoint, that's rarified air for the Boss.  Consider that Springsteen has never had a #1 hit. "Dancing … Continue reading Cut loose like a deuce: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By the Light” (1977)

An overdue Grammy: The Beatles, “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)

(Above: Poster for a movie soundtrack that didn't win a Grammy.) I think it's more fun to watch Twitter during an awards show than to watch the awards show itself.  No matter who wins what, someone's got an opposing opinion, and the preponderance of gadgets allows those opinions to get out immediately. Such was the … Continue reading An overdue Grammy: The Beatles, “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)

Greatest misses: Jon Astley, “Jane’s Getting Serious” (1987)

(Above: Jon Astley's debut album.) Jon Astley is a name that many music fans do not know, but probably should.  In terms of the pop charts, he qualifies as a "no-hit wonder": two singles that failed to make the Billboard Top 40. They both got considerable airplay on rock radio, though, which is why the … Continue reading Greatest misses: Jon Astley, “Jane’s Getting Serious” (1987)