1976 Billboard Top 100: #50-46

Top 50! Woo.

#50: "Show Me the Way" by Peter Frampton

Repeat artist!

Music is, of course, very strong on the acoustic guitar. Simple beat, but catchy enough. The singing is pretty nice, but it isn't all that impressive in vocal range or power, much like every other Peter Frampton. Of course, there is some talkbox work, which would be unique if this wasn't a Peter Frampton song, and if the talkbox wasn't just thrown in.

I think this song is about being in love with a woman who may or may not feel the same way towards the singer, but it's all mixed up in some weird metaphors, like "When someone drops a cup and I submerge, I'm swimming in a circle".

This is, to me, the least good of Peter Frampton's work. I can't say it's the worst, as that would imply that this is a bad song, which it isn't. However, it doesn't have the same gentle loving feeling of "Baby, I Love Your Way", nor is it as impressive musically as "Do You Feel Like We Do?". The lyrics just make too little sense to be able to understand, and the singing and music isn't quite enough to cover that fact up. Still not a bad song, though.

#49: "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs

I've reviewed him before, for my 1981 list, but that song is still the only song I've heard from him.

Music isn't bad, actually. It starts off with a bass line, which is a bit rare for songs, kicking in with a piano line that is gentle, but not boringly so. Singing is actually not bad. He has a very Earth Wind & Fire tone to his voice, which is fine by me.

Lyrics are fairly dark. Basically, the singer is chastising a guy for basically buying a girl a bunch of gifts, presumably while promising that he really cares about her, but is running around bragging about his new piece of action, with no intention of letting her know that she is just a notch on the bedpost.

This is the happiest song involving users ever, and that's my main issue with the song. The singing works well with the lyrics, but the music just doesn't mesh well at all. It's not even a case of where the music's lack of connection with the lyrics makes those lyrics stand out even more, as in the case of "Pumped Up Kicks". It's one of those songs that you listen to, but realize you don't really know what the song is about once you look at the lyrics. That's a bit of a problem. Still a good song, though.

#48: "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago

Ah, Chicago. Well, this song I've heard, but what do I think of it?

Music doesn't sound too bad, but it is a bit too low key for the song. There is basically a quiet drum beat and a soft keyboard line, with the most boring guitar solo I've ever heard. The singing...I'm not a fan of Peter Cetera, I have to admit. He is one of those people who sings high pitched all the time in a way that just bores into your mind. Not an ear worm, but an ear drill, and about as painful.

As for the lyrics, he's basically begging his girl for another chance, saying that if she leaves him now, she'll be taking away the biggest part of him.

I really don't like this song. I have nothing against the lyrics. They are cliched, to be fair, but they aren't the problem with the song. The problem is the boring delivery. There is no climax. It just drones on for almost 4 minutes. It would be boring for a love song, never mind a "don't break up with me" song. It sounds like he is asking her not to go while distracted by the television or something. Oh, and speaking of boring...Peter Cetera is a freaking dog whistle that can sing. How do you go from "25 to 6 or 4" to this in 6 years?

#47: "Shannon" by Henry Gross

Two of Todd in the Shadows' Worst Hit Songs of 1976 back to back. Can you see why I put off doing this for a bit?

Music isn't horrible, with a nice piano line, but it needs a little more oomph. Singing is the same way for the verse. The chorus though, is a classic case of "be careful what you wish for". He gives more oomph, and in the process gives Peter Cetera a run for his money in the "ow, my ears" category.

This is a gentle, sweet eulogy...to a dog. Specifically, to Henry Gross's Irish setter of the name.

Now, it being a eulogy to a dog doesn't make it bad. After all, sillier songs have been written and actually worked. However, this dude just cannot sing at all. That's a big issue. I mean, the music isn't bad, but I wanted to turn off the song just to stop that goddamn singing. This guy was a one hit wonder, proof that there is justice in the charts, although it was one song too slow to be totally effective.

#46: "A Little Bit More" by Dr. Hook

I am vaguely familiar with the name, but needed to look them up to know that they were an American rock band, mostly notable because when they weren't writing their own material, they had Shel Silverstein do it. Yes, the weird-ass children's poem's writer.

Music is not bad, with a nice slow acoustic guitar and keyboard combo that was big in the 70's. Singing isn't that good, but it is welcome after Henry Gross and Peter Cetera.

The lyrics are...actually pretty good. Basically, he is telling his woman that he is going to love her a lot. Specifically, when she thinks he's loved her all he can, he's going to love her a little bit more.

This is actually not a bad song. Granted, I may just be saying that because of what came before it, but the music is gentle, fitting the singing, and the lyrics are pretty earnest, if a bit cliched. It's the cliched part that really kills it, along with the fact that there isn't a big peak, one of my issues with "If You Leave Me Now". However, I am more forgiving of that problem with a love song than a song that is supposed to be a passionate plea for forgiveness.

Well, that list was bleh. A couple of nice songs, but two really bad ones.

Previously: #55-51

Next: #45-41

 

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