WLS Music Survey - September 01, 1979 (Part One: The Thirty-threes)

This one, like every other thing I do, is dedicated to her. September 1, 1979, was her 14th birthday and she had her party in her family's backyard, with her older brother's band providing the tunes, some of which are on today's featured survey. Today, the calendar says she is 53 but I know that is a filthy lie because I'm looking right at her and she is still as fresh and beautiful and full of life as she was when I first laid eyes on her in 1983... even though she just became a grandmother! She defies time, gravity and logic. Love her more than I'll ever be able to say in this lifetime.
He's been featured as Jock of The Week so many times, I am running out of things to say about one of my favorite jocks ever but John Records Landecker (one of the coolest middle names ever - it's his Mom's maiden name) recently co-hosted with his daughter Amy for the first time on WGN's Nightside, as seen below. You can listen to the show HERE.
After the mega-success of Frampton Comes Alive!, Peter Frampton released I'm In You, starred in the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band film and was nearly killed in an auto accident in the Bahamas before recording, releasing and touring behind the album Where I Should Be, scoring his final Top 40 hit with "I Can't Stand It No More" although the album and the single would fail to make WLS's Thirty-threes or Forty-fives lists.
Dire Straits was also coming off a huge album with their self-titled debut. Their sophomore album Communiqué was rushed out in less than a year, sounding like a sequel rather than an artistic progression but the group's already established fans seemed to like it (it was falling down this week's Thirty-threes at number 28 after peaking at number 22 for two weeks a month prior) so Knopfler and his Swingin' Sultans hit the road on their Communiqué Tour playing to the converted. 
Little River Band was touring behind First Under The Wire, the third in a series of really good albums from the band, following 1977's Diamantina Cocktail and 1978's Sleeper Catcher. The latest album's first single "Lonesome Loser" debuts on the Forty-fives list this week while the album would first appear on the Thirty-threes list a couple of weeks later, peaking at number 13 the first week of October.
It seems rock of both kinds - hard and soft - rules this week's albums list though disco, soul, country and Rickie Lee Jones are also represented. But what in the heck is Rex Smith doing in the mix?
And although Billy Thorpe's Children Of The Sun made the cut, the title track was apparently too long or too weird or too cool or too hard to make the air on WLS. I don't recall hearing "Children of The Sun" in all of its stereophonic glory until the late Fall of 1981 when an upperclassman roared up to our bus stop in his badass Plymouth Duster, got out and placed two speakers on the roof of his car and blasted it through the cold morning air. I like looking at the four classic hood ornaments pictured on the front cover.
Sounding unlike their previous albums, Chicago 13 was a return to the band's tradition of numbering albums after Hot Streets (aka Chicago 12 or XII) in 1978, debuts on the Thirty-threes chart this week at number 33. The album peaked at number 14 the following week but would be off the chart by the end of October.
There are three live albums on this week's list of popular albums in the Chicago area and one is a classic in the often disappointing live album sub-genre.
Queen's Live Killers was a disappointment to this young fan of the group - even back then the album just sounded a bit off plus many of the tracks were unfamiliar to anyone but hardcore fans - and it's showing on the Thirty-threes list reflects other fans may have felt the same way as it peaked at number 17 a month prior to this week's list where it sat down at number 27 and would be gone by the end of the month of September.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Rust Never Sleeps held no appeal to 13-year-old me but it set the critics falling all over themselves to offer nothing but high praise. The album debuted on the Thirty-threes chart in July, peaked at number 7 and was off the chart by the end of 1979. This week, Rust Never Sleeps sits at number 12 after falling out of the Top 10.
Originally released in Japan in October 1978, At Budokan became one of the largest selling import albums of all-time before CBS issued a seven-song promo sampler From Tokyo To You and sent it out to U.S. radio stations later in 1978 to muster up some airplay and interest before releasing At Budokan here in the States in February 1979. According to ARSA's database of radio charts, the album's first single "I Want You To Want Me" began getting airplay in March 1979 after the album's release though WLS didn't list the single until after it was formally released in April 1979; it was included as an EXTRA on the Forty-fives chart dated May 26, 1979. This week, At Budokan is in the midst of a 23-week stay in the Top 10 of the Thirty-threes at number 4 after peaking at Number One in July.
This week, The Cars are the only artist to have more than one album on the Thirty-threes list simultaneously, with both their self-titled debut and the follow-up Candy-O sitting in the Top 5 at numbers 5 and 2, respectively. The two albums spent a combined total of 70 weeks on the Thirty-threes, both together and apart, and this particular week each album is sitting at its respective peak on the chart as well.
Bad Girls is my album pick this week. While the album does have a few fillers among its 15 tracks, it is laced with some of Summer's finest performances, including the disco-rock thumping twosome that opens the album ("Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls"). Come for those two tracks mixed as one continuous track but stay for "Walk Away", album closer "Sunset People" and a tune Summer said she originally wrote for Rod Stewart, "Dim All The Lights". All of those songs were hugely popular at the skating rink and youth center I frequented back then but if I recall correctly none of them were allowed to be played at our junior high dances thanks to an overly concerned parent. Bad Girls is number 10 this week on the Thirty-threes chart after peaking at number 3 a few weeks prior. It is the second to last of 14 weeks the song would spend in the Top 10 though it would spend an additional three months on the chart.


No comments:

Post a Comment