Friday, 16 January 2009

Story Songs #2 - Bonzo Dog Band, Bobbie Gentry, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow

Sticking for now, with the 'hits that wouldna been, without a story ' idea... I wonder if Kenny Rogers would have made the top of the charts, both sides of the Atlantic, in 1980; without a great tale of hurt & revenge?.

Coward of the County - Kenny Rogers
7" single - late 1979

Now, I'm not knocking Kenny Rogers by that, he's great; even if the theme's been done to death over the years - it's just such a popular notion. Popular enough to be lampooned perfectly & affectionately (amongst many other styles & shticks), by the Bonzo Dog Band.

Bad Blood - The Bonzo Dog Band
Let's Make up and be Friendly (1972)
wiki | buy
I just love that - one of my most-played songs over many years; having bought a compilation album on a whim in '74


The next nugget only reached 42 in the UK charts on its 1978 release; but I reckon it was way more popular here than sales suggested - a '93 re-release did better. Must say I'd forgotten quite how disco this is.
Copacabana - Barry Manilow
Single (1978) but this is a shorter remix I think


Finally for today, a genuine 100% number one hit, almost unbelievably... The song has a good plotline, ooh! 'unexpected' ending; but the tale is told so badly, don't you think?.
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence
single release (1972)
myspace(!) | buy

hmm perhaps the instrumental by The Ventures woulda been better?
No No NO! - I can't leave it there; let's end on a deserved number one story-song, combining harsh events with matter of fact conversation - sorta Tarantino for the ears, without the uh language.

Ode to Billy Joe - Bobbie Gentry
single release (1967)
wiki | buy

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