Hideaway 100 of 1979: 80-61

How many of you remember the great (and not so great) television shows that were on the air in 1979? From 1976 through 1984, I was obsessed with TV Guide's Fall Preview Issue. (That's the 1979 issue to the left.) When I moved out on my own, my well-read collection was unceremoniously tossed into the huge trashcan in the alley we shared with our neighbors. Thanks to the interwebs, here's what I "remember":
Among my favorite shows that debuted that year were The Dukes Of Hazzard, Supertrain and Hart To Hart. Returning favorites from 1978 were Battlestar Galactica, M*A*S*H, WKRP In Cincinnati, Happy Days, Wonder Woman, Laverne & Shirley, The Rockford Files, Soap, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Charlie's Angels and CHiPs. It amazes me that I can still find all of these shows (all except Supertrain, that is) on channels such as MeTV, Cozi TV and Antenna TV. But you didn't come here to ramble on about old TV shows - let's continue on with our countdown.
Though it has been dismissed by others as boring, I really like "Hold On" - acoustic guitars, sax flourishes and a pretty good beat with a spacey guitar solo as well. And it's on the Stiff label! This song isn't on many of my playlists but its on the Yacht Rachk and Nights by the Pool, which are essentially the same though Nights by the Pool has more junior high slow jams and songs by Pink Floyd. (Don't ask.)
Ms. Khan had already released a solo album to some success but she returned to Rufus for the Quincy Jones produced Masterjam album under the newly negotiated moniker for the group, Rufus and Chaka. Q smooths out the band's rougher, funkier edges but they still jam on this track, a duet between Chaka and guitarist Tony Maiden. Those of you with an ear for such things probably noticed the distinctive hand claps of the Brothers Johnson on the backing track.
This song sounds simply divine through headphones. (Go ahead and try it - I'll wait.) Very warm, soft and plush. This track relaxes me and if it comes on at just the right time of day, it will put me to sleep. Ordinarily, saying a song puts one to sleep is an insult but in this case, I mean it as a high compliment. Honest.
Gerry Rafferty's City To City has always been one of my favorite driving albums and just last year I fell in love with the follow-up Night Owl, which now has a prominent place in my library of driving music. Raphael Ravenscroft even returns from "Baker Street" with more tasty sax work  on "Get It Right The Next Time" which has become my favorite track from Night Owl. Don't recall ever hearing this song before last year, though, and that's kind of a shame.
Another track I just picked up on recently was "Prime Time" by The Tubes. With production from Todd Rundgren, this song snuck up on me while I was listening to the highly recommended compilation, Going Underground earlier this year. As you can see by it's ranking on the Hideaway 100 (pronounced "hun-dred"), I have grown to like "Prime Time" very much.
While I prefer my Wilson Sisters at full bore, like on "Barracuda" or "Crazy On You" or "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You", I have grown to like the gentle acoustic ballad that is "Dog and Butterfly" with Nancy's soaring vocals and Ann's tender strumming on the gee-tar. It's a folksy reprieve from the chugging chords, thundering drums and Valkyrie vocals that made them famous but still a long ways from the bland ballads they would put out later, in the Eighties about those dreams and such. If I recall, "Dog & Butterfly" even got a few spins as a slow dance number at school dances.
"Big Shot" was the second single off Billy Joel's 52nd Street album. Dad owned the album - I think if you were a member of Columbia House back then you automatically received every Joel album about nine months after their release - and I sloppily dubbed it onto cassette one day after becoming somewhat paranoid I was sneaking it out so much I was gonna get caught. I say sloppily because I recorded the album straight through, not even pausing to flip the record over. I think Side One followed by the sounds of me flipping the record over and then recording the first two songs of Side Two before stopping the tape, flipping it over and rewinding to the beginning and then recording Side Two of the album again, so two songs repeat. Newb.
King's "Shame" is one of my favorite disco jams and while this song doesn't even come close to that one, there is something I've always found irresistible when she sings the chorus. I'm sure her parents were cheering her up from the sidelines saying trust your gut, it's not right and you shouldn't. Still, I last listened to this song two weeks ago and just seeing the title has got that chorus playing in my head.
Maxine Nightingale last rocked my world in 1976 and if I didn't see her name on the record label, you'd have a hard time convincing me she's the same lady who wanted me to get right back where I started from. Good for her. While I had no idea what it meant to lead her on and tease her all night long as a thirteen year old boy, as a somewhat knowledgeable fifty year old man I'd have to beg off for other reasons. Like being married, for one.
WLS was big on Zeppelin but I don't think I ever heard "Fool In The Rain" on the station - "All My Love" is the last Zep song I heard on WLS. Shortly after school started in the Fall of 1980, WLS began teasing upcoming Led Zeppelin concert dates in Chicago later in the year. A couple of weeks into their promotion, drummer Bonham died and all future plans were cancelled. While a couple people had been wearing Led Zeppelin t-shirts all along, after Bonham's death, they became the official uniform for certain students. I acquired a lovely blue tie-dyed Led Zeppelin Swan Song logo shirt in the mid-90s and wore that thing until it was thread-bare. My wife assured me it went to live on that farm with all the other clothes I liked but wore too often. Fun fact: More than once I have been a fool in the rain.
How was I to know this was a John Cougar song when I fell for it on Pat Benatar's In The Heat Of The Night album first if I didn't check the label or liner notes on the sleeve? And even if I did that, would I have any idea who this John Cougar was? Was I supposed to know that Cougar had released his song first on an album that wasn't even released here in the States? Or that "I Need A Lover" was a huge hit Down Under so it was tacked onto his next record, a self-titled album that was actually released here in the US? Was I supposed to not like Benatar's version cause the truth is I'd rather hear her complaining about needing a lover than Ol' John if you know what I'm sayin'? And was it wrong of me to drop Benatar's version immediately after hearing Cougar's scorching, rocked out original that recalled the Springsteen-ish pomp of Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell?
Speaking of scorching rockers, April Wine's "Roller" is a fine example. There was a guy in high school, an upperclassman when I was a freshman, that could do that screeching, echoing "Yeah" heard at the beginning of the song which made him something of a celebrity at our township high school which drew kids in from the smaller farm communities that surrounded Rantoul. This is one of the very first songs I remember hearing coming from a muscle car in the school's student parking lot which never had more than seven or eight cars in it - most kids, even those old enough to drive, were bussed in.
What exactly is country about this song? Eddie Rabbitt is on record saying that his label did not want to put the single out because it wasn't country. "Suspicions" is 100% pure uncut soft rock to my ears with a gentle groove courtesy of David Hungate's bass, pleading jealous vocals from the smooth pipes of Rabbitt and a super sweet flute solo from Ernie Watts. Nevertheless, it was a Number One Country hit while hitting number 9 on the AC chart and number 13 on the Hot 100. Country superstar Tim McGraw even took a whack at "Suspicions" in 2007 and though it rocks a bit harder than Rabbitt's original, McGraw's vocals can't hold a candle to Eddie's. Mom was the first Eddie Rabbitt fan in the house and it may have been a combination of his songs and his swarthy good looks but I definitely picked up my love for Eddie Rabbitt's music through osmosis. Well that and what, a dozen or more pop radio hits?
From pure soft rock to pure disco, we have the effervescent Hi NRG of Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" in all its remixed glory. As the story goes, the song started off as a slower, gospel style song before producer Patrick Cowley heard it and remixed it to become the song we've grooved to all these years. The second song on the Step II album, immediately following "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" is another disco classic "Dance (Disco Heat)" making for a killer 1-2 album opening punch.
This song meant very little to me in 1979 even though I've always been intrigued by falsettos. But somehow "Sad Eyes" found a spot in the old memory banks and one late night in 1987, while up with my absolutely inconsolable newborn daughter I started humming "Sad Eyes" to her after going through the baby checklist (hungry? diaper? gas?) and she responded by quieting down and falling asleep there on my chest, which is one of the greatest feelings ever if you have never experienced it. Now it could have just been the vibrations she was feeling as I hummed but I like to think it was some brilliant parenting. The song worked a few more times on different nights but then I had to expand my repertoire. The magic of music.
Coming out as it did over budget and behind schedule after the mega selling Rumours, the grand experiment of Fleetwood Mac's Tusk was considered a colossal failure. Dad heard the single on WLRW and bought the double album home from the BX the very next day so I grew up immersed in Tusk and while I can't say I've always been a fan of Tusk, the album, I've always liked "Tusk", the single. The album has grown on me and the recent Deluxe Edition of the album is still growing on me. (Ugh, that didn't sound right.)
For most people, this song calls to mind the image of a young, pantsless Tom Cruise sliding across a wooden floor in his socks before doing a spastic dance all over his parents living room furniture. It's an iconic scene from Risky Business, an otherwise wonderful film, with an interestingly diverse soundtrack from the likes of Tangerine Dream, Prince, Phil Collins, The Police, Journey, Muddy Waters, Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen and Talking Heads, made before he became TOM CRUISE. When I hear this song, the first thing that flashes in mind is the last time I heard it on the Cow Talk jukebox - it was the last time I actually remember being in Cow Talk. My Grandparents either quit or were let go from their respective jobs as manager and cook of the venerable steak house between Navasota and Anderson, Texas. I wanna say it was in 1981 or 1982, the last Summer I spent with them.
For the last 48 years, "No More Tears" was the only Barbra Streisand song I could listen to without complaint. I just never liked her voice or her songs. Then last year, her "Woman In Love" song came on late one night and it was like a switch was flipped - suddenly, I couldn't get enough Streisand. "No More Tears" features the best the two divas have to offer in a united front against their boring lovers who turned to be like every other man. (Ouch!) The song is available in three sizes, depending on your dancing or karaoke needs: the 4:42 single length, the 8:21 Wet album cut or the 11:43 On The Radio cut.
While Streisand was never my thing, Olivia Newton-John has always been my thing. In 1978, her character Sandy gave in to her "dark" side in Grease and that same year, Olivia did the same musically when she released an album that said it all - Totally Hot though "A Little More Love" probably isn't the brazen come-on I thought it was back in 1979. (Or maybe it is?) Olivia continued to stoke my adolescence with Xanadu and then Physical over the next few years. And that climaxed with Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2, which collected all of her sexy songs from 1978-1981 in one very nicely packaged album. Has she done anything since then? I just don't know.
France Joli's "Come To Me" sounds comfortably familiar to me from the beginning - it calls to mind Donna Summer's "I Love You" among others. Sure it's a prototypical disco song, recorded famously by a fifteen year old Joli - that's the song's writer and producer, Tony Green, handling the brief male vocals. The lyrics are innocent enough, suitable for a teenager not yet old enough to drive but the breathy vocals set against the thumping disco beat make the song seem hotter and heavier than it actually is I guess.


  1. Lots of good memories in this batch as well. For me, I'll take the On The Radio version of "Enough Is Enough" any day of the week.

    Oh, and about all that classic TV - it was a great time for us guys who loved shows like those you listed. Good stuff.

  2. Although it wouldn't make Dirk's "Hun-dred" of '79, Ian Gomm's "Hold On" is a song I 'digg' quite a lot, but had no memory of hearing prior to acquiring it on Vol. 22 of Rhino's "Super Hits Of The '70s" series. It's one of the many revelations I've had over the years; collecting CDs and finding songs here & there that I thought I knew only from Whitburn books, but upon hearing them, realizing that, "Holy cow, I know that song! I've heard THAT before!!" Other examples of this phenomenon I've encountered along my musical travels include Sneaker's "More Than Just The Two Of Us", Cliff Richards' "The Only Way Out" & Kim Carnes' "Does It Make You Remember", etc.... I could go on with more non-'79 examples, but I digress.

    Hey, now that I'm already strollin' down memory lane, howza' 'bout I drop some more random observations on ya'? Fantastic... And awaaaay we go:

    • Evelyn "Champagne" King's "I Don't Know If It's Right" will never not remind me of K-Tel's "Hot Nights & City Lights".

    • Similarly, Robert John's "Sad Eyes" & Maxine Nightingale's "Lead Me On" will always be joined at the hip with Elton John's "Mama Can't Buy You Love"; as they jump-started another classic in the "K-Tel Kollection", "Starflight". Did not own that beauty at the time, but 'round-a-'bout early 1980, I brought my newly minted little tape recorder (w/ built-in microphone!) over to my buddy Steve's house and recorded his vinyl copy of "Flight". Along with K-Tel's "Wings Of Sound", it was undeniably my favorite/most listened to albums of the new decade.

    • Big fan of Led Zeppelin's "Fool In The Rain" years after the fact, but like you, the only song from "In Through The Out Door" I heard on the radio was the polarizing "All My Love". That's still the bigger fave for me to this day, even though "Fool" grew mightily in stature during my junior high & high school years.

    • Not sure if either would make my "'79 Hundo", but Johnny Coug's "Lover" & April Wine's "Roller" are big giddy-up songs for Dirk. Incidentally, quite a little Blues renaissance rockin' the airwaves at the time, don't ya' think?: "Roller", Blackfoot (Highway, Train), Rockets (Oh Well), Pat Travers (Boom Boom), The Inmates (Dirty Water), Blues Brothers (Soul Man, Bisquit), and even stalwarts like J. Geils Band ("One Last Kiss"), Bad Company ("Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy") & The Allman Brothers ("Crazy Love")...

  3. And since I got an error message stating "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters"... I had to split my comments up. Here is Part 2 of my long & winding comment:

    • Remember hearing Eddie Rabbit's "Suspicions" on a fairly regular basis back in the Early-'80s... Most memorable was on our 3rd or 4th family trip to Mackinaw City/Mackinaw Island in the Summer of '83. Young Dirk had not yet turned 14. And as if to prove my love for 'suspicious rabbitts', I even included it on "Radio Daze (Revisited): Pop Hits Of The '80s, Volume One"!

    • Plain and simple, they don't make disco anthems much better than Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)". All-time classic, if ever there was one.

    • Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" was used to great effect in the pilot for FX's "The Americans"... Elevated the song in my eyes. Conversely, Seger's "Old Time" is just old, no thanks to the iconic "Risky Business" scene. Love the movie, but that song's 2nd lease on life played that song the hells out for me.

    • "The Main Event/Fight" is my Paul Jabara penned, '79 Streisand song of choice, over the (likewise) Jabara penned alternative you cite. It is a "choice" tune, just not Dirk's preferred floor-filler.

    • Even though I owned (and still own) Olivia's Newton-John's "Totally Hot" album, "A Little More Love" was the only song I ever liked, or even heard on the radio back then. Didn't even know 'til years later that "Deeper Than The Night" had been a hit, as well. (Thanks again for the info, Whitburn.) By the way, gotta' love this Livvie TV spot that is indeed "Totally Hot"!

    • Funny that you point out the similarities of France Joli's "Come To Me" to Donna Summer's "I Love You", but I've always considered it a dead ringer for another Donna Summer classic; the definitive DS, as far as I'm concerned... "Last Dance". Not vocally comparable by a long-shot, but you get the drift.

    All righty, then... I've done enough damage for one post. Dirk is out.