With the goals of reaching even more fans of all kinds of music and finding busy work for our volunteer intern, the Incredible HERC, we proudly introduce our new feature: <working title> Songs Casey Kasem Never Played on American Top 40 (because they peaked at #41 or below on the Billboard charts), but B100.FM Does Play. Kind of a long title so we’ve cut it down to Songs Casey Didn’t, (but B100.FM Does) Play.
We have nothing but mad love and great respect for Casey Kasem (Rest In Peace) but AT40 only played the chart hits 40 to 1. So for those of you who led a sheltered life like HERC, you may have never heard the gazillions* of other, sometimes great tunes lurking in the 60% of the chart that Casey never counted down.
This new monthly series will feature these shoulda-woulda-coulda-been hits from the bottom half of the charts, a few at a time, as determined by the B100.fm Research Department (yes, it’s HERC again). This solidifies the truth of our rarely used yet never more timely slogan “All the Hits That Fits” e.g. a few hits blended with numerous great songs that peaked at mid-chart (at best) or never charted (at worst). All are bitchin’ tunes you will hear on B100.fm. Like these three from April 1983:
“Love My Way”, the follow-up to the Psychedelic Furs 1981 single “Pretty In Pink”, was released in July 1982 and the music video entered regular rotation on the not-yet-a-year-old MTV shortly thereafter. Despite making the Rock and Dance charts, the single would not appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 until March 1983. It was the highest of the seven debuting singles that week and six weeks later, the Todd Rundgren-produced single stalled at number 44 for two weeks before falling off the Hot 100 altogether just three weeks later. “Love My Way” recently enjoyed a surge in popularity after it was featured in a scene from the acclaimed 2017 film Call Me By Your Name.
Trivia: That’s Rundgren playing the marimba parts heard in the song, given it a unique sound. Quick, name another song heard on B100.fm that features the marimba.
Wall of Voodoo’s 1983 single “Mexican Radio”, a tribute to the powerful AM stations south of the
wall border, also landed on the Hot 100 in March of that year as the lowest of nine debut singles for the week. The filmed in Tijuana on a shoestring budget music video could also be seen on MTV as well. There are several unique differences heard in the 3:56 single/video version when compared to the 4:11 album version. (Full Disclosure: Here on B100.fm, we play a specially remastered edit of the latter.) When “Mexican Radio” peaked at number 58 during the last week of April, “Love My Way” was just ahead of it at number 52 and both songs would hit number 94 on their respective final weeks on the chart.
Trivia: Legendary radio jock Wolfman Jack could be heard all across the United States on two Mexican radio stations (XERB and XERF) during the Sixties. Can you name another movie besides American Graffiti that Wolfman Jack appeared in?
The adrenaline rush that is “I Melt With You” debuted on the Hot 100 and had a disappointing run, peaking at number 78 in its third week before spending four weeks climbing down the bottom tenth of the chart, hitting 91, 95, 93 and 98 along the way before exiting. (Only to return in 1990 via a re-recorded, watered-down version for another ten weeks, this time peaking all the way up at number 76.) The original, never second best music video was in Heavy Rotation over on the MTV by the end of April 1983, helping the track make the Rock and Dance charts. Both “Love My Way” and “I Melt With You” can be heard in the 1983 film Valley Girl though neither was licensed for the scarce six-song soundtrack EP issued here in the US. In 1994, Rhino Records issued Valley Girl (Music From The Soundtrack) on CD and cassette, featuring four of the songs from that original EP along with eleven other songs heard in the film and followed it up with Valley Girl (More Music From The Soundtrack) featuring the two Bonnie Hayes and Wild Combo tracks from the EP that were not featured on the first CD as well as five additional songs heard in the film and nine other songs that sound like they could have been on the film’s soundtrack.
Trivia: In addition to being heard on Bobby’s B100.fm, all three songs above can be found on the two volumes of Rhino’s excellent series Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the ’80s pictured above as well as the two volumes of Time-Life’s almost as excellent Modern Rock series also pictured above. However, there is one 1995 album that has all three of the songs on the first disc/tape of a two-disc/tape set. The cover art has been given the Lego® brick treatment below. What album is it?
This week’s trivia challenge in review:
- Besides “Love My Way”, name another song heard on Bobby’s B100.fm that features the marimba.
- Name a movie, one without American Graffiti in the title, that Wolfman Jack appeared in.
- What is the title of the 1995 double-album, whose cover has been Lego®-tized above, that features “Love My Way”, “Mexican Radio” and “I Melt With You” all on the first disc/cassette?
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*By our count, in Casey’s original AT40 run from July 1970 through August 1988, he played over just over 5,000 different songs. In that same time period, just over 8,600 singles made Billboard’s Hot 100 chart or an average of 472 songs per year. So, in this case, at least, the exchange rate for gazillions is approximately 3,600 songs.