1976 Billboard Top 100: #55-51

Almost halfway there!

#55: "Devil Woman" by Cliff Richard

I recognize his name, but I can't think of any songs by him.

Music is not bad. The guitar work is simple, but sounds nice, and the drums aren't bad. However, the keyboard is a bit annoying. As for the singing, Cliff Richard has a pretty good voice, but it isn't anything special for rock singers at the time.

The lyrics are not exactly gentle. Basically, he is accusing the woman of using her charms to manipulate people for her own needs, describing it as if she is using witchcraft.

This isn't a bad song, but it's not really my thing. The music is pretty good, and the singing is solid, but if you listen to the lyrics, Cliff Richard does a good job of showing how he feels, but not why he feels that way. Judging from the lyrics, he could very well be just an ex trying to paint himself as the wronged party, regardless if it is true. Doesn't make the song bad, I just didn't feel any connection to it.

#54: "Times of Your Life" by Paul Anka

I actually do know who his is. He's a swing artist who was most popular in the late 50's and 60's, although he is still making music, including collaborating with Michael Jackson on "This Is It" in 2009 and having an album called Songs of December chart in Canada in 2011.

Music is about what you'd expect from his pedigree. It's slow, but with nice piano music and some occasional strings. As for the singing, Paul Anka's always made me think of an Italian Frank Sinatra, but without the mob connections. That's definitely not a bad thing.

The lyrics are fairly sad. Basically, he is encouraging the listener to gather memories while they can, so that they will be able to look back and remember their favorite moments, presumably when things go downhill.

This is a pretty good song. I know I'm supposed to hate crooners, but this song is solid. His singing is pretty good, the music is gentle enough to get you in the mood, and the lyrics are dark, but at the same time meaningful. I approve of this song.

#53: "Say You Love Me" by Fleetwood Mac

Repeat artist!

Fun beat. Very strong on the piano for a Fleetwood Mac song, but it gives the song an upbeat feel. As for the singing, Christine McVie definitely has a different sound than Stevie Nicks, being quite deep in pitch for a female, but her voice is still pretty strong.

The lyrics are basically the girl describing her relationship with the man. Basically, it is not entirely a happy relationship, with her realizing that the man is using her, but still letting herself be convinced and wooed by him.

What is with the downer songs? I'm not saying that this song is bad. It doesn't sound like other Fleetwood Mac songs, but the music is fun to listen to, and Christine actually has a pretty solid voice, but those lyrics just don't match the tone of the song at all. Sometimes something like that can work, but usually it just makes it sound like the band didn't read the lyrics when they made the song, as happens here.

#52: "I Love Music (Pt. 1)" by The O'Jays

Who? *research* Ah, an R&B group.

Song opens up with a decent drum beat, with the other instruments kicking in as the vocals start, which is a nice idea. The music itself is quite upbeat, and very fun. As for the singing, it is solid, but I can't think of anything unique about the singer that doesn't sound like a lot of soul singers.

As for the lyrics, you can tell what this song is about from the title. Basically, he is singing about how great music is, both in terms of expression and in terms of the joy you get from listening to it. That is, as long as it is "groovin'".

This is another song that is hurt by its length. The song isn't that bad, but 6 minutes is too much to stretch out a song with as basic of a message music as this. It is still fun to listen to for those six minutes, thanks to the music and the decent singing, but it started to lose my interest at about the 4 minute mark, which isn't good when I was only 2/3rds of the way through the song.

#51: "Dream On" by Aerosmith

If you don't know this song and band, I don't think you are human. I'm pretty sure "Dream On" is one of those songs you are born knowing.

Music is mostly slow throughout the song, but it does pick up a bit near the end. Not that the slow music is a bad thing, as the guitar work is still pretty complex at times, and it sets the tone well. As for the singing, I've never been a big Steven Tyler fan, but he really shows his skill here, with quite a bit of range, including some notes near the end that are crazy high in pitch.

As for the lyrics, Steven Tyler is basically encouraging people to dream on, working on making their dreams come true rather than just dismissing them as dreams and working towards what's "realistic".

The lyrics aren't that deep, but this is hands-down my favorite Aerosmith song. It's a safe choice, but the music is slow while still being interesting, picking up at just the right time, Steven Tyler's voice is as good as it has ever been here, rather than perpetually high-pitched, and the lyrics are actually pretty encouraging. I'm putting up two videos, the second as much as to prove that THAT note near the end is hittable as to actually promote the performance (which was, in my opinion, the best performance ever on that show by a contestant).


That was a solid list. No songs I really disliked. There were songs that I didn't like that much, but that's still a good result.

Previously: #60-56

Next: #50-46

You know the only way i learned about Dream On was from Glee... haha Dr Hook in the next 5.. the guys who looked like they stumbled out of a REALLY seedy bar :D

 

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