1 I Don't Need You No More-J. Geils Band (Atlantic 45-2843) 1971
Upon their MTV hit years, their more grittier R and B driven early 70s stuff for Atlantic were better and harder rocking. First album showed them working with Dave Crawford better known for his work with BB King and a love of John Lee Hooker as well. Second album has them working with Bill Szymczyk (James Gang, B B King), who at that time was behind the scenes and later became the Eagles' choice producer. I don't AM radio played this very much, if they did you would have heard it more in Chicago via WLS, or KIOA Des Moines, although the Peoria station played it before the top of the hour. A nice rocker, but Atlantic provided more promo power to the next single Looking For A Love which can be found as Atlantic Single number 2844. Which meant that Don't Need You No More got dropped in favor of the other song. And Looking For A Love managed to make it to number 39, in late December 1971.
2. Pretzel Logic-Steely Dan (ABC 12033) 1974 #57
They have been the most sophisticated bunch of guys who ever hit the top ten, giving us perhaps the best introduction to a song in Do It Again, making Elliot Randall a guitar god on Reelin In The Years or making us remember Horace Silver in Rikki Don't Lose That Number but this followup to the number 4 Rikki turned out to be a disappointment. Radio loss' anyway, I always enjoyed the super cool blues of Logic with Donald Fagen's off the wall lyrics about hoping to meet Napoleon if he could find the time. Mr. Fagen has not had the best of luck lately, especially seeing his marriage coming to an end. But then again it's been a rough year for everybody involved in music it seems. Except for Kayne West which we all wish he would go away as well. I've no interest in he comes up on the autotuner or seeing his wife's butt on the internet every other day. We didn't have to deal with this back in 1974. (the good old days)
3. In The Midnight Hour-Cross County (The Tokens) (Atco 45-6934) #30
For some reason the guys known as The Tokens decided that a name change and a more country sound would help their image. Last time they came across our radar was their second top 100 Warner Brothers single It's A Happening World before another label pit stop at Buddah gave them two more meandering top 100 afterthoughts. I recall seeing them as Cross Country on some In Concert show in the mid 70s, they could have been on The Midnight Special for that matter. Anyway, this countrified version of the old Wilson Pickett soul burner was a pretty good song, enough for me to buy the single in my last summer vacation in Lincoln Illinois back when all of my grandparents were still alive and still like to see their grandson for a week or two. And Lincoln had a Woodworths and a specialty record store too to which used 45s could be brought cheap. The LP reviews of Cross Country were not so inviting, in fact one local crank gave them a D grade and said that they made Crosby, Stills Nash and Young sound like Crosby and Young. Which BTW, the same Crank reviewer continues to review more world music and rap artists then he does rock acts. But then again rock acts are so 1973 anyway.
4. Kings Of Speed-Hawkwind (Atco 45-7017) 1975
In the blink or you miss it department, Hawkwind after making a few sides for United Artists decided to pack up and go over to Atlantic for one album (Warrior On The Edge Of Time), which came out on Atco and Kings Of Speed was printed up on a few DJ promos and thrown in with a bunch of other 45s to dump on people at drive ins during special promotions nights to win. Atco/Atlantic was a very interesting label to be on in 1975, where else could you share the roster with the likes of Black Oak Arkansas, The Tokens (who went back to that name after the Cross Country novelty wore off), Clint Holmes, Blue Magic, and even The Easybeats Stevie Wright, whose Hard Road was Atco 7016, one ahead of Dave Brock and company. And Atco 7018 was Roxy Music The Thrill Of It All. No wonder the 70s were the golden age of classic rock and roll, especially 1973-1976. Kings Of Speed was probably the better of the songs off the prog rock influenced Warrior On Edge Of Time, however the stock copy remains the holy grail of Hawkwind, the B side is Ian Kilmister written Motorhead, which blew the rest of the album away to the point that it was left off as a b side, plus Dave Brock didn't care for Kilmister's love of speed on said song. Good luck trying to find that ATCO single now that Lemmy has departed from this world.
5. Rock And Roll High-Duke And The Drivers (ABC 12152) 1975
Next to J. Giels Band, Duke The Drivers were one of the more harder rocking R and B dudes out there, but they could never get that proper push that J Geils gotten while being on Atlantic. The guys in J Giels wrote better songs and did better covers although Duke and Drivers did win out on What You Got, the old Soul Brothers Six cover, and managed to get all the way up to number 95 on the charts. For their reward, ABC chose the album lead off track Rock and Roll High as the next single, which flopped. A rather pedestrian type of rocker, the song really doesn't build up much in terms of getting people excited about getting out on the dance floor, and even with Eddie Kramer behind the control boards, he can't find the right sound to get people off their seats and boogie. One album later and Duke and The Drivers went back to the bars.
6. Sixteen Tons-Don Harrison Band (Atlantic 45-3323) 1976 #47
A definition of a one hit wonder but there is an connection to CCR. Sixteen Tons, a cover of the old Merle Travis/Tennessee Ernie Ford classic, Don Harrison hooked up with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford of CCR fame and made a fairly decent first album and this song did get ample airplay in 1976. No denying of Cook/Clifford's playing they make everything sound so CCR without John Fogerty in the way. This was a short lived victory lap, the followup, the likable Rock And Roll Records (ATL-3348) flopped.
7. It's No Secret-Jefferson Airplane (RCA Victor 47-8769) 1966
Upon the passings of both Paul Kantner and Siege Anderson of the Airplane it seems a good reason to include a song from the Airplane and from their first album. But if you think about it, it was fifty years ago that Jefferson Airplane did take off with this debut single this month to regional chart action but not on the regular top 100. But it was a whole different world back then. And wish we could return to those days once again too.
8. Rock And Roll Queen-Mott The Hoople (Atlantic 45-2749) 1970
In the history of butchered edited songs, this rare 2 and half minute version would make Lizzy Borden happy and perfect for AM radio had AM radio even had a copy. But then again Mott The Hoople has a few other cases of butchered edited versions of their songs. One Of The Boys came out as a 2:48 edit version, although Columbia did put it out in it's full 5:35 glory. But then again Atlantic didn't pay too much mind to this song anyway, since there has not been any regular stock copies of this forgotten single although if there is one the B side is probably Road To Birmingham. Germany Island issued a 3:17 edit and I'm guessing that was the one used for a very early Mott The Hoople best of that came out on Island UK years ago. Make no mistake, there's no substitution for the whole 4:58 that I have come to know and love. Opinions do vary.
9. Paranoid-Black Sabbath (Warner Bros. 7437) #61 1971
In the spiffy pop world of AM radio, Black Sabbath was nothing like The Candy Man or Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes. Even for more hard rock of Steppenwolf, Paranoid was simply too much for AM radio to be played at, although KCRG would eventually play the followup Iron Man which managed to snake up to number 52, it made top 10 here via KCRG. But for 2 minutes and fifty seconds you get to hear the ravings of Ozzy Osbourne spilling out his troubles. 45 years later Black Sabbath is out to make their "final" tour, once again without Bill Ward on drums and forever on the sidelines unless something of a miracle comes and they can be on stage when the final curtain comes down. B side is The Wizard. Thus making Paranoid/The Wizard one of the all time best 45s ever made. Or least I think it is.
10. Get Out Of Denver-Eddie And The Hot Rods (Island IS-082) 1976
One of the more rare 45s out there was this speed rocker cover of a Bob Segar song sped up all the way to 100 miles an hour down a highway with no brakes and a be dammed attitude. Yet another edit of a song, this was recorded live and eventually found on the US edition of Teenage Depression, to which the title song was the B side. Now on some college radio stations and a handful of FM stations, they did flip the record over to play as a A side. I discovered this track as a cut from the Rock And Roll High School Soundtrack featuring the Ramones. And it's a shame that Marion TV and Records didn't have this record in stock. I would have bought five copies.
Reference on these singles came from 45 cat. http://www.45cat.com/