...And AT40 counts 'em down.
So I'm driving home last night from watching Maryland give away a perfectly winnable game to Clemson, of all schools. And I'm listening to the radio. And I hear Kasey Kasem and I'm thinking they popped him out of his cryogenic chamber. My glasses suddenly become enormous and round, my hair kinks up into a really bad perm, and I have the urge to write really dark, terrible poetry with an Erasermate pen.
Then I realize they're playing old countdowns.
I was an addicted Kasem's American Top 40 countdown listener for years. I loved his random rambling about songs and the long-distance dedications, because I was already a sucker for a sob story, especially that which would culminate in the playing of "Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You." I recorded such things on cassettes in my pink Sony BOOMBOX, man.
First of all, go Peabo, and second of all, file this whole thing under "things that are gravely wrong with me."
This is the section of the countdown I caught before I went in the house to make sure I had a snack before sinking shamefully headfirst into "Rock of Love", and you can just snap up the "second of all" from the preceding paragraph again. Go ahead.
18. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues, Elton John
I love this song. Love it. It's one of the sexiest songs in pop history that isn't a slow groove. I just made that up off the top of my head and it sounds really dumb but I think it really is true. The way Elton sings "I simply love you/more than I love/life itself" is very sweet and is one of countless examples of how he gets inside a song and owns it so you feel like you do too.
A bit of a fan, yes.
17. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
Totally harmless, a lot of fun. Also do not break this man's stride because he is totally fierce and will strike you down in the wake of his mad striding. He is not being worked over or dragged under or forced to go to China only for you to blow him off because you have to do laundry. I GOT TO KEEP ON MOVIN'. Alrighty, dude, apparently you did. Move along.
16. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
Rock. I love to sing this song. It also may well be the only song to hit the top 40 that includes the word "slop". And it's okay if you totally thought he was saying "evening clock" or "flock" all these years. She is clearing up the evenin' slop. I kind of want to reach into the song and take her with me for a spa day, away from the interstate in the front yard and this man who tells her she USED to stop a clock. Now it just rhymes with "slop". Way to go, dude.
"Lord this must be my destination" is my favorite line in this song, bar none. And not just because it doesn't include slop.
15. Think of Laura, Christoper Cross
With apologies to anyone who's lost someone named Laura for whom this song is meaningful, I have to say that it is one of the worst songs ever recorded. This song makes me make retching noises by myself in the car the whole time it's on. I hate it. I hate it worse than "From a Distance," which is really a difficult race to lose. I would rather sing "You Light Up My Life," 30 times over than listen to this dreadful, depressing song even one time.
"A friend of a friend, a friend til the end?" No sense does it make, none, none at all. I hate that it's even similar to my name. And that said, please don't laugh at me if I die. Cry a little bit, okay? Because given that I've probably cried enough in my lifetime to irrigate a small village, that just seems appropriate. Cry first, then rent PeeWee's Big Adventure and drink every time he goes "HAHA!" Thanks. But if you go anywhere near this dreck I will reject you from the great beyond. God this song sucks. How you can put out something awesome like "Never Be the Same" (yeah, I said it. I'll totally stay in my car to finish singing that song) and "Arthur's Theme" and then this is beyond me.
14. Wrapped Around Your Finger, the Police
Kasey went berserko over Sting's mythological metaphor mash-up - seriously, Scylla (been there! Italy!) and Charybdis (and no I did not have to look that up because spelling is my FAVORITE THING!), faces turning to alabaster, servants, masters, apprentices. Jesus it's like the whole Harry Potter series in three minutes.
Kasey kept calling Charybdis a "HWhirlpool," with that big old aspirant H on the front of the W. Annoying. It's an okay song, not in my favorite Police songs, for sure.
13. Innocent Man, Billy Joel
Not a high point in BJ's career, as far as I'm concerned. Never liked it. Also it's a damned dirty lie, lyrically, like Faith Hill singing her stuff about waitressing in a diner and having her heart broken when she's really at a Prada fashion show with Tim McGraw, who is completely lovely to look at.
This is when I went in the house because if I don't get my dose of hair metal trash on Sunday night I just don't feel right for my hellish 12-hour day on Monday. I also have no idea what week in the 80s this countdown was from, and haven't made any attempts to find out. I think I like it for its randomness, the fact that it's a slice of musical life from a random week in the 80s top 40. That kind of sums up the decade for me, I don't know about you. (And if I attend school with you and you weren't born yet, or you think Kasey Kasem is the guy who hosts the new year's eve show: Shut. Up. You're fired.) And also that Ryan Seacrest is not the host, as he is now which is information I have trouble dealing with so I won't, just won't.