teaching and learning
what i watched last week

friday random ten, 1974 edition

1. Al Green, "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)." Sometimes, people are ubiquitous. Al Green cranked out hit after hit in the first half of the 70s, great songs all of them. He was so good, when he put out a Greatest Hits album in 1975 (one of the best albums ever made, BTW), this fine Top Ten track didn't even make the album.

2. Bob Marley & the Wailers, "No Woman, No Cry." Speaking of ubiquitous ... and still enormously popular. The video has gotten more than 15 million views.

3. David Bowie, "Rebel Rebel." Punk rock was waiting, just around the corner.

4. Freddy Fender, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls." The underrated Fender's greatest ballad.

5. ABBA, "Waterloo." Since I got a full season package to the San Francisco Giants when they opened their new ball park in 2000, I've sat in the general vicinity of the same people, something that doesn't happen when you sit in a different place for every game. Over time, we get to know each other's quirks. Among other things, I am known for adopting certain players as the object of my ire ... guys like Neifi Perez or Pedro Feliz. It's gotten so that each year on Opening Day, someone always asks me who my "new guy" will be. If I ever finally decide to retire my endlessly boring rants against the Carpenters, I think ABBA will be the Pedro Feliz to Richard and Karen's Neifi Perez.

6. Labelle, "Lady Marmalade." Hard to find a video of the original, so you get the Moulin Rouge version. Labelle were the glam rockers of R&B.

7. Electric Light Orchestra, "Can't Get It Out of My Head." They sounded most like the Beatles on songs such as this one, where Jeff Lynne's vocals approximated the sound of a John Lennon ballad.

8. The Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz." Bowie, the Sweet, even Labelle ... Glam Rock may not have lasted very long, but it was all over the place for a bit ... ubiquitous, since that seems to be the word of the day.

9. Kraftwerk, "Autobahn." Meanwhile, this odd song ended up being more a harbinger of the future than all of the other songs on this list put together.

10. Roxy Music, "The Thrill of It All." I've never quite "gotten" Roxy Music, although I like a lot of their music, especially Country Life. But I feel like I'm missing something ... I know there's more than I've taken in. Which is what separates them from, oh, ABBA, about whom I'm pretty sure I'm not missing anything at all.