Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hot 100 #53

I ended last week's post by suggesting there was an obvious choice for this week, which seemed to cause a fair bit of head-scratching across the community. Some of you identified it, but only Swiss Adam seemed confident that it was the undisputed champion.

What else was there?

Lynchie drop-kicked off the suggestions with these...

The Dropkick Murphys - 1953 "Which," he points out, "doesn't mention 1953 at all in the lyrics - only the title." Not that that would stop me.

The National Parks – 1953 "Very wimpy love song," says Lynchie, "I doubt if it's that one." Not that that would stop me.

Finally, he offered Johnny Winter - Riot In Cell Block #9 with the following opening line...

On July the second, 1953
I was serving time in Tahatchopee

…"which you've got to admit," he adds, "is pretty fab." No disputing that.

Remaining in the year 1953, I found these...

Charley Pride - There's A Little Bit of Hank In Me...

"...Cause I caught it in my voice off the radio in '53"

Andrew Gold - Lonely Boy

In the summer of '53 his mother
Brought him a sister

And as usual, a couple of cars that were built in 1953...

Chuck Berry - C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)

They bought a souped-up Jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary

Steve Miller Band - Going To Mexico

'53 Studebaker, going for broke...
I'm pushin' it night and day

Meanwhile, if your motoring experiences are limited to the motorways of the United Kingdom, here's Mansun - Take It Easy, Chicken...

In a trance
Hit a tree
Crashed my car

Oh, and before we get back to your suggestions, here's Loudon Wainwright III - Living Alone to cheer up anyone who's aged 53 this year...

What you need is a dog, some goldfish or a cat
A boa constrictor and a laboratory rat
The end is at hand now and you have the means
A roll of toilet paper and the right magazines
Your parents are dead now and your kids are full grown
You're 53 now, you're 53 now, you're 53 now
You're living alone.

C was up next, offering a fine runner-up for this week which was seconded by Rigid Digit and Alyson...

The B-52s - 53 Miles West of Venus

However, this week's 53 isn't a year... or an age... it's a street number. 53rd Street in New York City, exactly where it crosses 3rd Avenue to be precise.

The Swede was first to be caught loitering there, along with The Rolling Stones - When the Whip Comes Down...

Yeah, I'm going down fifty-third street and they spit in my face,
I'm learning the ropes, yeah I'm learning a trade...

Also hanging around on that corner, looking very dodgy indeed, was Alyson... along with Rod Stewart - The Killing of Georgie...

The sight of blood dispersed the gang
A crowd gathered, the police came
An ambulance screamed to a halt on fifty-third and third

But the biggest crime to be committed at this specific intersection came from Rigid Digit, breaking My Top Ten's strict NO U2 rule... but getting away with it (just) by suggesting one of the few U2 songs that doesn't make me want to take a pair of rusty pliers to Bono's nostrils...

U2 - Angel of Harlem

Birdland on fifty three
The street sounds like a symphony
We got John Coltrane and a love supreme
Miles, and she's got to be an angel

(You know what that one sounds like. You really don't need to click on the link and give Bono an extra 0.00000007 pence or whatever he gets per youtube view. He has enough money to last him a lifetime.)

This week's winner though... well, by now it should be obvious, even if it wasn't at first. The Ramones will always stand a good chance on this blog because they understood that punk music - and pop music - is essentially rather silly and therefore should be fun.


52 next week... this could take a while!


  1. '52 Stations' by Robyn Hitchcock, '...there's fifty-two stations on the Northern Line, none of them is yours, one of them is mine...'

  2. I think we all knew deep in our hearts that it had to be the Ramones! Was lucky enough to see the in the '80s, and thanks to Mr SDS being friendly with the A&R guy at Elektra Records in NY at the time, he put us on the guest list and Mr SDS met them after the show (I stayed back in the audience with friends, but would have been dumbstruck anyway!) Some things money just can't buy!
    'I Hear You Knockin'' contains the lyric "I told you way back in '52" I don't know who recorded it originally? But I think of Dave Edmunds when I hear it.
    Also, from the 'Three Imaginary Boys' album which takes me right back and makes me feel very strange now, is a great example of angular post-punk early Cure in 'So What' - with the suitably random sounding lyric:
    'Cake icing and decorating set
    Special offer
    Only 3 pound 30
    Save 1 pound 52 on recommended retail price'

    1. Smiley Lewis did the original of I Hear You Knocking (and he gets a namecheck in Dave Edmunds version

  3. A top notch list of musically related 53's.

    As we move ever downwards, I'd like to mention "52nd Street" by Billy Joel.

    But surely, the toppermost track HAS to be Richard Thompson's
    "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"...

    Said James, "In my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a Redheaded girl.
    Now Nortons and Indians and Greavses won't do.
    Oh, they don't have a Soul like a Vincent '52."

  4. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning must be the answer (surely)

    If not, I offer the following for consideration (and both lyrical):

    Divine Comedy - Festive Road
    "An ordinary day down on Festive Road
    The children will play and never will know
    That when Mr Benn of No.52
    Walks in through that door peculiar events will ensue"

    Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
    "I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two
    Lying awake intent at tuning in on you"

    Nerd Note: the version by
    Ben Folds Five
    Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club

    are both superior to the "Song That Started The 80s" (in 1979)

  5. The B-52's have been busy on here lately, but I have to go with them again. From the debut album, 52 Girls it is. Effie, Madge and Mabel, Biddie...


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