Tuesday 22 January 2019

Hot 100 #55

Aussie retro-rockers Ol' 55 welcome back out Hot 100 Countdown. If you're new to the feature, it's simple. Every week I choose a song to represent one number, counting down, from 100 to 1. Most weeks it's in the song's title, but occasionally we'll go for a lyrical '55 if it's a belter. I am helped along the way by you guys. Which brings us to your pre-Christmas suggestions...

C started the ball rolling by suggesting Precious by the Pretenders ("such a good song", she assures us):

"East 55th and Euclid Avenue was real precious..."

Brian seconded C's suggestion too.

Martin, meanwhile, is desperate to get some Zager & Evans into this countdown... but if you ask me, he's 5500 integers too high for this week...

In the year 5555
Your arms hangin' limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin' to do
Some machine's doin' that for you

(As he points out though, those lyrics seems pretty apt for 2019, never mind 5555.)

Martin also realises that the way to my heart will always be via Huey Lewis & The News... Who Cares?

Dimwits on the freeway stay alive at 55
Politicians speeding, just trying to survive

Lynchie then suggested an absolute classic... "Surely the main contender HAS to be the 1956 chart-topping hit by The Auctioneer by Leroy Van Dyke?"

45 dollar 50 now 50 dollar 50 dollar
50 dollar 50 dollar give me a hollar 50 dollar
Who will bid it at a 50 dollar bill?
50 dollar 55 55 make it 55 and a 55 make it 55 and
Sold that horse for a 50 dollar bill!

Works for me, Lynchie - particularly as my dad used to be an auctioneer when I was growing up.

And then came Rigid Digit. And he came to ROCK!

Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55

It's worth sharing the album cover of that beauty too...

If only all problems at The White House could be solved by Sammy Hagar parachuting in with a red guitar.

Meanwhile, we can always rely on The Swede to parachute in with some totally out-there suggestions... and this week, he doesn't disappoint.

"German jazz-infused prog anyone? I give you 'Huchen 55, A', 'Huchen 55, B', 'Huchen 55, C' & 'Huchen 55, D' by German band Out of Focus, from their 1972 LP 'Four Letter Monday Afternoon'."

Couldn't find a link to that particular track... but here's the full album if anyone has a spare 95 minutes,...

The Swede also returned to trusty old Mr. Zimmerman, with a suggestion that might spark deja vu for some readers...

"Also for your consideration, 'Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence' by Bob Dylan, which includes the lyric '...I paid one thousand, two hundred twenty-seven dollars and fifty-five cents to see my bulldog bite a rabbit and my hound dog's just sittin' on a barbed-wire fence..."

Finally there was Alyson, with a hallowed offering from The Man In Black...

Johnny Cash - I Corinthians, 15:55

But in the end, this week's winner (as correctly identified by Martin) should have been obvious. We could have had the Eagles version, but apparently the original artist was never particularly enamoured with their cover, and who I am to argue with Mr. Waits?

54 next week. Your suggestions, as always, will be gratefully received...


  1. Ah, a welcome return!

    How about Toots and the Maytals, 54-46 Was My Number?

    Or Harry Nilsson, Take 54 - maybe not his finest moment, but includes the line "I sang my balls off for you, baby" which never fails to raise a smile.

    And not really my bag but Aphex Twin had this, 54 Cymru Beats, recorded in Wales, perhaps?

  2. Can't beat Martin's Toots suggestion. I can't think of anything with the number in the title, but can offer 'Listen to Louie' by Richie & The PS 54 Schoolyard.

  3. Bit of a different take on the Toots song there was a song called 54 46 That's my Number by Partners Rime Syndicate, dance tune from the late 80's early 90's. Or if you are looking at Lyrics then Le Freak by Chic, Just come on down to 54, find a spot up on the floor, ahhhh

  4. Loved Le Freak but had no idea at the time what 54 was. We had to make do with the nightspots of rural Aberdeenshire!

    Sea Level had an instrumental called Fifty Four.

    Aswad also did a version of 54-46 (Was My Number)

  5. Toots would be my first choice.
    But as a n alternative Reggae Ska thing, try The Ethiopians - Engine 54

    Lyrically, The Clash - Ivan Meets GI Joe
    "Anything we should know about your change?
    So you're on the floor at 54"

    and Chic - Le Freak
    "Just come on down, to 54
    Find a spot out on the floor"

  6. The Ethiopians - Engine 54 is a contender, although nothing beats "54-46 Was My Number"

  7. Another song about Studio 54 is "Dario, Can You Get Me Into Studio 54?" by Dana and Gene. Whoever they may be! But the writer/producer behind it was the future Kid Creole, August Darnell, who later did a Kid Creole & The Coconuts version too, just titled "Darrio".


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