Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame

I liked this ballad when I heard it in the mid-80s… I could relate to it at the time. The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #16 in the UK Charts in 1985. Howard Jones had 5 top twenty songs and 2 top ten songs in the 1980s. Altogether he had 11 songs in the top 100.

From Songfacts.

This song is about being attracted to people who you can’t be with. In our interview with Howard Jones, it was revealed how the idea for the song came about: “Well, I think we can all relate to the main theme of the song. But I was in San Francisco, and I was doing a promotion with the local record company guy, and we were crossing the street to go to the radio station, and he said to me, ‘Howard, what do you think of all the amazing women here in San Francisco?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, they’re great, they’re fantastic.’ And he said, ‘Well, you can look at the menu, but you don’t have to eat.’ And I’ve never actually heard anybody say that before. And so that was it, a good spark for a huge idea coming for a song.”

No One Is To Blame

You can look at the menu, but you just can’t eat
You can feel the cushion, but you can’t have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim
You can feel the punishment, but you can’t commit the sin

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame
You can build a mansion, but you just can’t live in it
You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win
Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can’t reach it
It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just can’t make it fit
Doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

No one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame

Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open The Door

Loved this song from the first time I heard it. Let My Love Open the Door peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #46 in the UK Charts in 1980. The song was off of his first solo album Empty Glass. This is Townshend’s only top 10 hit in Billboard.

Simon Phillips drummed on this record and he would tour with the Who in the late 80s.

From Songfacts.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine just after this song became a hit, Townshend referred to it as “Just a ditty.” He went on to say that he preferred another song from Empty Glass, “A Little is Enough,” which only reached #72 on the US charts.

Pete Townshend has been a follower of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba (1894-1969) since 1968 and this appears to be a devotional love song to his religious guru. However in the liner notes of Townshend’s Gold (Remaster)CD, he refers to this song as “Jesus sings.”

Among the films this has been used in are Look Who’s Talking (1989), Mr. Deeds (2002) and Along Came Polly(2004). A different version was recorded for Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and It was also the end credit song for Jersey Girl (2004). The song played a prominent role in the 2007 movie Dan In Real Life, where Steve Carell and Dane Cook perform the song to Cook’s girlfriend, whom Carell has deep feelings for.

Two of the musicians on this track, the bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, became part of the Scottish rock quartet Big Country a few years later.

Townshend released a slower version of this song in 1996 that he called the “E. Cola mix,” which he remixed with Jack Hues of Wang Chung along with Chris Hughes and Tim Oliver. This version was used in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank and appeared on the soundtrack. In 2017, this version of the song was used in the “So Swayze It’s Crazy” episode of The Goldbergs, and also in a Walmart commercial titled “Christmas Like a Rock Star,” where families open the door to find items delivered by the store.

The Christian rock-pop band Audio Adrenaline remade this song on their 1999 Underdog album. In their case, the “my love” was referring to God’s love.

Let My Love Open The Door

When people keep repeating
That you’ll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can’t seem to get enough

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When everything feels all over
Everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all worry out of your mind

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart, to your heart

I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today you’ll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say

Let my love open the door
It’s all I’m living for
Release yourself from misery
There’s only one thing gonna set you free
That’s my love
That’s my love

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door

When tragedy befalls you
Don’t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You’re so luck I’m around

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story

This is my favorite song of Rod Stewart. It’s an acoustic driven rocker with Rod never relenting on the lyrics. The song has a stream of conscious feel to it. Every Picture Tells a Story was written by Stewart and Ron Wood. From Songfacts. This song recounts a series of misadventures endured by Stewart’s globetrotting protagonist, culminating with his torrid romance with a “slit-eyed lady.” (Political correctness has never exactly been Rod Stewart’s calling card). In the May 1995 issue of Mojo, Stewart said of the song: “I can remember the build up. You know what the song’s about – your early teenage life when you’re leaving home and you’re exploring the world for yourself. Ronnie (Wood) and I rehearsed round my house at Muswell Hill and recorded it the next day. That whole album was done in 10 days, two weeks, about as long as it takes to get a drum sound right nowadays.” The song’s title doesn’t appear in the lyrics until the end… where it is repeated 24 times! (“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”) 
Every Picture Tells a Story Spent time feelin’ inferior standing’ in front of my mirror Combed my hair in a thousand ways, but I came out lookin’ just the same Daddy said, son, you better see the world I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to leave But remember one thing, don’t lose your head to a woman that’ll spend your bread So I got out Paris was a place you could hide away, if you felt you didn’t fit in French police wouldn’t give me no peace, they claimed I was a nasty person Down along the left bank, minding my own Was knocked down by a human stampede Got arrested for inciting a peaceful riot, when all I wanted was a cup of tea I was accused I moved on Down in rome I wasn’t getting enough Of the things that keep a young man alive My body stunk, but I kept my funk at a time when I was right out of luck Getting desperate, indeed I was looking like a tourist attraction Oh, my dear, I better get out of here for the vatican don’t give no sanction I wasn’t ready for that, no, no I moved right out east, yeah On the peking ferry I was feeling merry, sailing on my way back here I fell in love with a slant-eyed lady by the light of an eastern moon Shanghai lil never used the pill, she claimed that it just ain’t natural She took me up on deck and bit my neck Oh, people, I was glad I found her Oh, yeah, I was glad I found here I firmly believed that I didn’t need anyone but me I sincerely thought I was so complete Look how wrong you can be The women I’ve known I wouldn’t let tie my shoe They wouldn’t give you the time of day But the slant-eyed lady knocked me off my feet God, I was glad I found her And if they had the words I could tell to you To help you on your way down the road I couldn’t quote you no dickens, shelley or keats ‘Cause it’s all been said before Make the best out of the bad, just laugh it off You didn’t have to come here anyway, so remember Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it?  

David and David – Welcome to the Boomtown

I’ve always liked the lyrics to this song and the overall sound of it. I liked all of the singles released off of their one and only album Boomtown. Welcome to the Boomtown, It Aint So Easy, and Swallowed by the Cracks. I was really looking forward to the follow-up album which never came.

Welcome to the Boomtown peaked at #37 in the Billboard 100 in 1986. Per Wikipedia, the two are planning to make a follow-up album. Over 30 years later…but better late than never.

Welcome to The Boomtown

Miss Christina drives a .944
satisfaction oozes from her pores
she keeps rings on her fingers
marble on the floor
cocaine in her dresser
bars on her doors
she keeps her back against the wall
she keeps her back against the wall
so I say
I say welcome
welcome to the boomtown
pick a habit
we got plenty to go around
welcome to the boomtown
and all that money makes such a succulent sound
welcome to the boomtown

Handsome Kevin got a little off track
took a year off of college
and he never went back
now he smokes much too much
he’s got a permanent hack
deals dope out of Denny’s
keeps a table in the back
he always listens to the ground
always listens to the ground
so I say
I say welcome to the boomtown
pick a habit we got plenty to go around
welcome to the boomtown
and all that money makes such a succulent sound
welcome to the boomtown

Well the ambulance arrived too late
I guess she didn’t want to wait….

Welcome to the boomtown

Zombies – She’s Not There

The Zombies were a bands band. They were very talented musicians who had the respect of other bands. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, and #12 in the Uk in 1964. They sounded like no other band at the time with a jazz/pop feel.

From Songfacts.

The group signed to Decca Records, and their keyboard player Rod Argent came up with this song for the session. It tells the story of an alluring woman who won’t be tied down to one man – the singer wants to tell us all about her, but he can only use words since she’s not there.

This was The Zombies first single. The band also recorded a cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime” for their first album, which was considered for the band’s first single, but “She’s Not There” got the nod. Boosted by radio play on New York powerhouse WINS, the song became a hit in the US.

 

She’s Not There
Well, no one told me about her
The way she lied
Well, no one told me about her
How many people cried

But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know? Why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there

Well, let me tell you ’bout the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool
Her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there

Well, no one told me about her
What could I do?
Well, no one told me about her
Though they all knew

But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know? Why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there

Well, let me tell you ’bout the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool
Her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there

But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know? Why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there

Well, let me tell you about the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool
Her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there

The Outsiders – Time Won’t Let Me

I’ve always liked this song with its garage band sound. The Outsiders were a band from Cleveland Ohio that had a hit with this song in 1965. They had 4 top 40 songs. Time Won’t Let Me peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100. It does get played occasionally on oldie radio stations. Jimmy Fox, who was the drummer on the Outsiders’ first album, later formed The James Gang with Joe Walsh.

From Songfacts.

The lineup on “Time Won’t Let Me” was vocalist Sonny Geraci, rhythm guitarist Tom King, lead guitar Al Austin, bass Mert Madsen, baritone saxophone Mike Geraci and drummer Ronnie Harkai. (Jimmy Fox was the stickman on some of the Outsiders’ other tracks). Mert told us the story of the song: “It all started in 1958 when I joined Tom in his new band called The Starfires, which started a few months before I joined the band in late 58. It took us seven hard working years to get to the time in the fall of 1965 where we cut ‘Time Won’t Let Me’ at the “Cleveland Recording” studio.” 

“We could sense that this was not just any tune, but a tune with great hit potential,” Mert continues: “So we got hold of the East Coast Manager for Capitol Records, Roger Karhsner, and played the master record for him over the phone. He said right away, ‘Hold on, I do believe you guys got a hit on your hands, but I am coming to Cleveland in a few days, and then we will defiantly talk some more.’ The rest is history – all the guys on the record made up their own parts music ways, and I arranged the background singers. — The horns were added on afterwards.”

Time Won’t Let Me

I can’t wait forever
Even though you want me to
I can’t wait forever
To know if you’ll be true
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me wait too long

Can’t you see I’ve waited too long to love you
To hold you in my arms
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me aw
Oh

I can’t wait forever
Even though you want me to
I can’t wait forever
To know if you’ll be true
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me
Time won’t let me wait that long
It won’t let me wait that long
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)
(Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait that long)

The Delfonics – Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)

Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in the UK  in 1970. I’ve always liked the song and liked it even more when it was on the Jackie Brown soundtrack. Not only on the soundtrack but became part of the plot in the movie.

Great song from a  great period.

From Songfacts.

“Didn’t I (blow your mind this time)” is the second-highest-charting hit by R&B/Soul sensations The Delfonics, on their third studio album which happens to be their self-titled one. Like many of their hits on the Philly Groove label, it’s a slow, passionate love song. It was written by producer Thom Bell and founding frontman William Hart.

It’s also been covered extensively, by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Regina Belle, Jackie Jackson, Millie Jackson, The Trammps, Maxine Nightingale, Patti LaBelle, and… a pop version by New Kids on the Block, on their self-titled debut album. Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?

Thom Bell, who produced for the Delfonics, also produced for The Stylistics, Chubby Checker, and Elton John. But his main focus was the “Philly sound,” which is soul music characterized by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements. “Didn’t I (blow your mind this time)” is the perfect, textbook example of Philadelphia Soul.

Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)

I gave my heart and soul to you, girl
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

Gave you the love you never knew, girl
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

I’ve tried so many times and that’s no lie
It seems to make you laugh each time I cry

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Listen

I thought that heart of yours was true, girl
Now didn’t I think it baby, didn’t I think it baby

But this time I’m really leavin’ you, girl
Hope you know it baby, hope you know it baby

Ten times or more, yes, I’ve walked out that door
Get this into your head, there’ll be no more

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I

Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

Ten times or more, yes, I’ve walked out that door
Get this into your head, there’ll be no more

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
I got to live you, baby

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I