Sunday, January 27, 2019

Superhits 1979, Part 4

Slow chart week. Hang in there; next week will be better (assuming I have time to write it up).

The Captain & Tennille, “You Need a Woman Tonight,” #40, 1/27/79 
Nothing-special third chart hit from the duo’s fourth studio album, Dream. This at least pointed to the future for the pair – romantic releases more aimed at the adult contemporary market rather than cutesy songs that were likely to polarize the audience (yes, that means “Muskrat Love”). This was also the last release The Captain & Tennille would have on A&M Records; they would switch to Casablanca later in the year. Tennille noted in her recent book they were unhappy over A&M’s release of a greatest hits set after only three studio albums (which was a bit strange) and realized the label didn’t think the pair had a future there. They were both a little right and a little wrong – they’d have the one monster hit “Do That to Me One More Time” on Casablanca, but that would be it. Lousy video quality, but it’s from a unique source: Tennille’s one-season talk show from 1980.

Daryl Hall & John Oates, “I Don’t Wanna Lose You,” #42, 1/27/79 
A slice of pure Philadelphia soul among the disco hits of the day – the string parts on this song were arranged by Gene Page, who had worked with everyone from The Temptations and The Four Tops to Barry White and Elton John – “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” kind of got lost in the shuffle at RCA as the second release from the band’s Along the Red Ledge. I guess it’s not a surprise (most of the album is some of the hardest rock they would ever release), but at this point H&O were not the superstars they would become a couple of years later. Still, it’s a relatively straightforward love song for them, and while it’s not in their setlist today, they write of it fondly in the liner notes of their box set.

John Paul Young, “Lost in Your Love,” #55, 1/27/79 
Second and final American hit for Young, who hails from Australia, and it’s an upbeat disco-tinged tune much like his big 1978 song, “Love Is in the Air.” He had 16 chart hits down under (the last, in 1992, was remix of “Love Is in the Air”) and still makes occasional appearances there today. Most recently, he competed on Dancing With the Stars in Australia in 2015 (although he was the first celebrity eliminated, unfortunately – I guess either too much time had passed since he’d last hit in his native land, or dancing’s not his thing).

Yvonne Elliman, “Moment by Moment,” #59, 1/27/79 
Theme song to a movie that was such a stinker it’s never been released on either VHS or DVD here in the United States (if you happen to own a German DVD player, however, you’re in luck). The movie itself starred John Travolta (fresh off Saturday Night Fever and Grease) and Lily Tomlin (fresh off Nashville and The Late Show), but the May-September romantic drama was despised by both movie critics and audiences. Anyway, Elliman’s plaintive ballad at least charted, and it’s still available for download, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

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