a city boy's guide to the south

Welcome, friend, to the ramblings of a southerner by choice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Top 10 One Hit Wonders

My Top 10 One Hit Wonders:

10) Edison Lighthouse: “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes”

To be honest, I wouldn't have thought of including this song if it hadn't accidentally ended up the top listing in one of those middle of the pack, “Next 20”, Top 100 bests lists. On the one hand, you could say typical hippie love warbling. On the other hand, not many people have written a song with
“rosemary” in the title. There was just something that drove this song, a really heavy and catchy back beat.

9) Devo: “Whip It”

The first time I saw Devo, they were the special guests on Saturday Night Live. Though a bit quirky, I was intrigued by their electro, quick jerk movements as they launched into their eponymous , “We Are Devo, D E V O “. When they came back out for their second number, they countermanded with what I consider their biggest hit: “Mongoloid”. “Mongoloid” had some Jethro Tull “Aqualung” overtones. Both songs were sung in an embracing baritone with just a little too much vibrato, but touching on the subject of humans who have fallen below many folks' radar.

8) Blue Suede: “Hooked On a Feeling”

Ooga Shaka Ooga Ooga, Ooga Shaka Ooga Ooga. Having these words blare out at you for the first time while trying to put the moves on the new honey in the student union is an experience you'll cherish. Somebody at tech central had forgotten to pull the plug on the all male chorus and their burgeoning hormones gone completely side-step whacko. You could tell the lead singer was putting his all into it; he had to.

7) Lynn Anderson “Rose Garden”

Most folks today would classify this as country. But, remember, it debuted in the era of AM Top 40, and Casey Kasem. One minute you would be listening to Steppenwolf , the next: the Jackson 5, followed by Lynn Anderson, and Napolean XIV. Good times.

6) Napolean XIVThey're Coming to Take Me Away'

... ho ho to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see my friends in their pretty white coats and they're coming to take me away! Ha ha. Yes, people actually bought $0.79 plays of this insanely catchy ditty. At least the vinyl discs the plays came on could be used as frisbees when you tired of the song.

5) Brewer & Shipley: One Toke Over the Line

The top entry on the list of songs from the “Love” era where the artists claimed, “Oh no! It doesn't mean that!” Well, what you talking about? Of course, it does! The only one of those songs I'm willing to give a pass to is “Puff, the Magic Dragon”. Being “one toke over the line” is apparently a loose interpretation of a Damascan expression, used in Europe during the spice trading days. And it means being a bit beyond where you thought you were. Which is exactly what we've been saying.

4) Iron Butterfly:In A Gadda Da Vida”

17+ minutes of non-stop, inter-orgasmic, stoner pipe organ. So majestic, it was even featured in its own skit on a Simpson's TV episode.

3) Mountain:Mississippi Queen”

The original cowbell song. It inspired Will Ferrell enough to get the Mark Twain Award for his sterling performance in the beloved “More Cowbell” skit on Saturday Night Live.

2) Buffalo Springfield:For What It's Worth”

Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Messina and they only managed one hit between them? I kind of like Neil Young's “Mr. Soul”, and “Broken Arrow” equally as well as the song they are most well known for. Still, the band made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so they must have been doing something right.

1) Norman Greenbaum:Spirit in the Sky”

Enough with the jokes about the guy with the Jewish name writing the ultimate Jesus song. What drove this song was the same ambitious and horny bass line that drove ZZ Top's “La Grange”. Just good old American blues played with enough sass to cut through 13 shots and a beer.

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