Sugarloaf – Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You

My sister was a high school student when this came out and would sometimes skip school. I was 8 years behind her and sometimes she would take me where ever she went. I was sworn to secrecy and I thought it was cool to hang around my big sister and her pretty friends who made a fuss over 7-8 year-old me. We would go to a state park and hang out and I would have fun. On one of those adventures I remember this song clearly…it was playing over the AM radio station here that was WLAC at the time. And no…I never gave the secret away to mom or she would have killed my sister.

This group is known for the song “Green Eyed Lady” which hit number 1 in 1970. Don’t Call Us is the song I remember the most. It peaked in 1975 at #9 on the Billboard 100 and #5 in Canada. The song is about frustration in the music business. After Green Eyed Lady it was hard for them to get another record contract which makes no sense.

One of the labels that turned down the band was CBS Records. Sugarloaf got revenge by revealing the unlisted phone number of the label in this song by playing the sound of the touchtones when the number is dialed. Listeners with good ears could identify which tone corresponded to each number and called it to find out where it led. After the song became a hit, CBS changed its number.

Another funny thing was at the end of the song, there is another set of tones… this one led to the main number at the White House. They didn’t change their number, but the band got a visit from a State Department official trying to figure out why they were getting so many calls talking about Sugarloaf.

They actually play the Beatle’s “I Feel Fine” riff in the song and sang the lyric that sounded like John, Paul, and George (And it sounds like, uh, John, Paul and George). Included also is the rift from Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and a Wolfman Jack imitation so they picked a lot from everyone.

Van Halen would cover this song in their early years before they got a record contract.

Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You

A Long distance, directory assistance,
Area code 212.
Say, hey, A and R this is Mister Rhythm and Blues.
He said, “Hello,” and put me on hold.
To say the least the cat was cold.
He said, don’t call us, chil’,
We’ll call you.

I say, “You got my number.”
He say yeah, “I got it when
You walked in the door.”
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

I got your name from a friend of a friend,
Who said he used to work with you.
Do you remember the all night creatures,
From Stereo Ninety-Two?
“Yeah,” I said, “Could you relate
To our quarter track tape?
You know the band performs in the nude?”
He said, “nUh-uh, don’t call us, chil’,
We’ll call you.

Listen, kid, you paid for the call,
You ain’t bad but we’ve heard it all before,
And it sounds like, uh, John, Paul and George.

Anyway, we cut a hit and we toured a bit,
With a song he said he couldn’t use.
And now he calls and begs and crawls,
It’s telephone deja vu.
We got percentage points and lousy joints,
And all the glitter we can use,
Mama, so, uhh don’t call us,
Now we’ll call you.

Listen kid you paid for the call,
You ain’t bad but I heard it all before.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
[Fade.]
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

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Bachman Turner Overdrive – Hey You

As a kid growing up this is one of the first bands that I knew the name of…I knew them as BTO and later found out their full name. Something that I didn’t know…”Bachman” is pronounced “Back-man” not “Bock-man“…I always used the latter pronouncement. An American DJ pronounced it wrong and it stuck for Americans.

Randy Bachman not only wrote this song but also was the lead singer. Turns out there was a purpose to this song…Randy was inspired.

There were rumors that Randy Bachman was directing the lyrics straight out of his old lead singer…Burton Cummings. They were both from The Guess Who. Cummings had said that Bachman would never make it in the music business after leaving their band. Burton was wrong in this case.

Randy did confirm all of the rumors years later. Randy Bachman: “I deserved to gloat a bit after all the mud Burton had slung at me.”

The song was on Four Wheel Drive and that album peaked at #1 in Canada and #5 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1975. There were two singles that were released… Quick Change Artist which charted at #7 and this one.¬†Hey You did as well as the album…it peaked at #1 in Canada and #21 in the Billboard 100.

Randy left the band in 1977 but the band continued as “BTO.” Bachman returned in 1983, and the band has toured and recorded sporadically since.

I remember BTO opening up for Van Halen in 1986 on an 11-month tour. This was Van Halen’s first tour with new lead singer Sammy Hagar, who wanted BTO to blast out hits to get the crowd fired up. Van Halen would take the stage minutes later, leaving no time for the crowd to think about David Lee Roth.

Hey You

Hey you, you say you wanna change the world
It’s alright, with me there’s no regret
It’s my turn, the circle game has brought me here
And I won’t let down ’til every song is set

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Hey you, you say the race is much too fast
It’s okay, with me I’m keeping pace
It’s my game, the music is inside my head
For every one on top there’s one who can’t retrace

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh ooh
The music’s gone now, you’ll find out
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

You realize now, ooh
You could have tried now
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Sha la la la, hey you, hey you, hey you (Woo!)
Sha la la la, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baby, it’s true (Woo!)
Sha la la la, no time, no time left, no time (Woo!)
Sha la la la, don’t let me down, don’t let me down (Woo!)
Sha la la la, you gotta learn to take it easy, baby (Woo!)
Sha la la la, music’s over, it’s over (Woo!)
Sha la la la, too late, too late, too late (Woo!)
Sha la la la, I should have realised it a lot sooner than this (Woo!)
Sha la la la, hey you

Van Halen – Dance The Night Away

Alex’s drum intro and the opening guitar riff is great. The song was a natural hit and opened doors for them.

This was the first top twenty song Van Halen released. They would have more after this… The record company wanted to release this song first against the band’s wishes. Van Halen didn’t think it represented their overall sound but.. the record company released it anyway…and it was a hit.

The original title was “Dance, Lolita, Dance” but Eddie talked Dave into renaming the chorus to Dance The Night Away to make it more accessible.

Van Halen’s tour for this album was the first one that they headlined. It was delayed when David Lee Roth hurt his foot performing a jump at the photoshoot for the album. Needless to say, this song helped them gain more fans by the wide spread airplay they got.

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100 and #28 in Canada. The album Van Halen II and it peaked at #6 in the Billboard Album Charts, #15 in Canada, and #23 in the UK in 1979.

 

Dance The Night Away

Have you seen her?
So fine and pretty
Fooled me with her style and ease
And I feel her from across the room
Yes, it’s love in the third degree

Oh, baby baby
Won’t-cha turn your head my way?
Oh, baby baby
Ah come on take a chance
You’re old enough to

Dance the night away
Whoa-oh (ah) come on g-girl, dance the night away

A live wire, barely a beginner
But just watch that lady go
She’s on fire, ’cause dancin’ gets her higher than-uh
Anything else she knows

Oh, baby baby
Won’t-cha turn your head my way?
Oh, baby baby
Well don’t skip romance ’cause
You’re old enough to

Dance the night away
Oh oh oh (ah) come on g-girl, dance the night away

Oh, oh oh oh oh yeah

Dance the night away hey, hey, yeah
Dance, dance, dance the night away
Ah come on baby (dance the night away) hey, hey yeah
Dance, dance, dance the night away
Uh, come on baby, baby, dance the night away oh, ooh, yeah
Dance, dance, dance the night away ah, ha ow