(Before we get to the music, what do you think of the new Mixtape Monday logo? It took about an hour and a half using Canva. I think we might put it in regular rotation with the main one our good friend, the soft rock kid, designed which is the one you usually see at the top of Mixtape Monday posts.)
You remember Mixtape Monday posts? I grab a tape off the shelf, scan the jcard and cassette itself, listen to the songs on the tape and then write about them. I also use album covers and label scans closely-resembling those of my source material some thirty-four years ago to further illustrate the post. These scans are from my fellow contributors at 45cat.com, discogs.com, and albumartexchange.com.
Like most of the tapes on the shelf, today's tape NN is from the legendary Somewhat Alphabetical Mixtape series and was recorded on a TDK SA90 blank. Titles and artists were not written on the jcard and the tape features the letters NN scratched onto it somehow so it kind of looks like it says ANN or rather A NN.
- Side A kicks off with the sound effects that open "Jungle Love" from The Steve Miller Band. They make a great ringtone if anyone still has ringtones. Great song to open the tape with as it opens Side 2 of Book of Dreams though I am 99% positive I dubbed it off Greatest Hits 1974-78 where it is the second track of the compilation.
- We keep rocking with Bryan Adams and the legendary Tina Turner on "It's Only Love", probably one of my Top 3 Adams songs. According to Mediabase, it was the 14th most played Bryan Adams song on radio in 2018 with 643 spins across 77 stations, with more than a third of those plays (234) coming from just two stations: WTBD (Delhi, NY) and KKOL (Honolulu).
- The guitars of "Message Of Love" come in as track 3 and I'm proud to say a local station played it more than a dozen times in 2018 - only ten other terrestrial stations and two SiriusXM channels (Spectrum and Underground Garage) played this great Pretenders song more than KLPX. The station is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and I've been listening to it a little more lately.
- Ratt is next up with two tracks from their Invasion Of Your Privacy album, confirming my suspicions that there was a theme running through the songs on NN: songs with the word love in the title. I make no apologies for loving both Invasion Of Your Privacy and the breakout album that preceded it, Out Of The Cellar. Good tunes and good performances on both of them.
- The hard-rockin' good times continue with Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" from their self-titled debut album. The song was the fifth most played track from their debut album in 2018 and eleventh most played overall of the 144 VanHalen songs played on the radio in 2018.
- ZZ Top comes charging in with "Gimme All Your Lovin'", the first single from their blockbuster Eliminator album. Great song to listen to on the open road. "Gimme All Your Lovin'" is the second most streamed song from Eliminator on Spotify and the third most played on radio from the album. The music video has more views on YouTube than the song has streams on Spotify.
- The bass-heavy, bonkers US Remix - Dub Version from ABC's "The Look of Love" twelve-inch single is the eighth song on Side A of NN. A personal favorite in both the studio and remix forms, I'm pretty sure I've included it on other mixtapes and even written about it at least once. The "love" theme continues to hold up but I'm wondering whether the next track will continue on in remix club mode or return to the rock of the first seven songs. Only one way to find out...
- Sting! The always happy-to-hear-it song known as "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" from the former Police-man's first solo album. This is a rollicking track, right? In the same vein in my book as Steve Winwood's "Roll With It" though with maybe a little more jazz than soul. "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" is Sting's second most-played track at radio, getting half the plays of the leader "Fields Of Gold" though the former song gets more spins at the 80s and Urban than the latter. The only way is down from here I'm afraid.
- "Is It Love" is that other Mr. Mister single, the third single from Welcome To The Real World. It got, on average, five spins a month on radio stations across the nation in 2018. I liked it in 1985 and I like it now. Saw the band open for Don Henley in 1985.
- Led Zeppelin's pretty ballad "All My Love" returns the music to somewhat rock-ier waters and based on the running clock may be the final song of the first side of NN as its starting around the 38-minute mark of the 45-minute side. The song was the twelfth-most played Zep song in 2018 with many more spins than the cumulative total of the previous songs on this tape by a factor of 10-15.
- But nope, here comes Dr. Hook galloping in with "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman" to close out the tape, pushing it beyond its stated limits to a hair over 46 minutes. That was a good listen, I thought. Will Side B continue the theme or did I lose interest? Let's review Side A and then flip the tape over and hear what we hear.
- Side B of NN starts quietly but soon I recognize the opening beats of "To Know Him Is To Love Him" from Phil Spector and friends calling themselves The Teddy Bears. All the way from 1958, this track was most definitely dubbed from American Graffiti Vol. III. Dad bought the album and More American Graffiti (the compilation not the soundtrack album) when they came out and I got my own copies of the two albums about a decade later. Sixty years after the release of "To Know Him Is To Love Him", it got 27 spins on the radio in all of 2019 - about once every two weeks.
- The good time oldies and "love" theme continues with "Teenager In Love" from Dion and the Belmonts, dubbed form the aforementioned More American Graffiti compilation.
- Then the immortal Wolfman Jack can be heard dedicating the next song from Kurt to the unknown woman in the white T-Bird. This cut isn't from the American Graffiti motion picture soundtrack album but was recorded for that More American Graffiti double album.
- It is immediately followed on the album and this tape by "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" from The Shirelles. I could listen to this song a dozen times in a row.
- We return to American Graffiti Vol. III for "Mountain of Love" by Harold Dorman, who gets all of two and a half lines of biography in Norm N. Nite's Rock On (1974). Dorman wrote his only hit which has been covered many times since it was first released in 1960.
- The next song breaks the oldies cycle as we move into the Seventies with England Dan (Seals) & John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight". Great, non-committal ("I'm not talking about moving in") and upbeat tune about wanting to be with the one you love.
- The gentle "Love Rules", more than likely an outtake from recording sessions for Don Henley's 1982 debut solo album I Can't Stand Still, was scooped up by his manager Irving Azoff, shoehorned into the film with tunes from other classic rockers under his guidance and included on the soundtrack album he was executive producing for Fast Times At Ridgemont High. The track features Tommy Edwards, a former Stone Poney on bass; Henley's Eagles bandmate Timothy B. Schmidt on harmony vocals; Toto's keyboardist David Paich and riffmaster Waddy Wachtel on guitar. This is a night time under the stars favorite here at The Hideaway and one of the first songs my wife and I considered "ours" when we were dating.
- We get back to the rockin' with Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love", the 8th track on Side B of NN. It seems out of place here on the second side of the tape and I was actually a little surprised to find it was the most-played Bad Co. song on radio in 2018.
- Howard Jones asks "What Is Love?" on the next track and it is a wonderful listen, its happy tone betraying the genuine confusion and discontent of the lyrics. The song was radio's fourth most-played HoJo tune in 2018.
- The "love" theme gets a little tenuous (or a little clever, depending on your take) with Martha Davis and The Motels' passionate "Take The L" from All Four One. The song has been all but forgotten by today's music directors, mustering only 10 plays in all of 2018 across five stations. Even in 2008, "Take The L" logged only 29 spins at ten stations. Anyone reading this a fan of the song?
- New Edition "A Little Bit Of Love" is a squiggly little slice of funk from All For Love, which is probably my favorite New Edition album. What, you don't have one?
- Since the "love" theme of NN had been established 2-3 songs in, I'd been waiting for REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Loving You" to make an appearance and here it is, thirty-four minutes into Side B. Amazingly, it was not the most popular REO song played on radio throughout 2018. That honor belongs to another track from Hi Infidelity, "Take It On The Run" while "Keep On Loving You" was runner-up by less than 600 spins. I've never tired of both songs as Side One of the album is one I've played repeatedly over the past 38 almost 39 years.
- "Tender Love" by the Force M.D.'s is a love ballad and a favorite of my lady love. I used to pair it with the break-up ballad "All Cried Out" for maximum effect when we were listening to records. I honestly have no idea how this tape is going to end.
- And there it is, Prince moaning over a serpentine guitar riff and simple rhythm, the opening notes of "Anotherloverholenyohead" the penultimate track on Parade - Music from the motion picture Under The Cherry Moon. Sixty stations, nearly all of them Urban AC, played "Anotherloverholenyohead" 413 times in 2018, making it Prince's 27th most-spun record on US radio, according to Mediabase monitors.
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