Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Hot 100 #42

No prizes for guessing that week 42 of our countdown would be illustrated by Level 42, though Walter did suggest Love Games as a less obvious song choice than Running With The Family or Lessons in Love.

Level 42 took their name from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in which an enormous supercomputer called Deep Thought took 7.5 million years to work out "the meaning of life, the universe and everything". The answer it came up with was 42.

The songs my own giant super-computer (i.e. you guys) came up with for the number 42 were as follows...

C kicked us off with a certain lady whose measurements were 42-39-56 (I never understood lady's measurements, but very little imagination is needed here)...

AC\DC - Whole Lotta Rosie

Next up was Lynchie, with a couple of suggestions I'd earmarked as potentials this week...

The Rolling Stones - Undercover of the Night  

Hear the screams from Centre 42
Loud enough to bust your brains out...

Johnny Cash - I Will Rock and Roll With You

A new sun risin' on the way we sing
And a world of weirdo's waitin' in the wings
But I love you and though I'm past 42
There are still a few things yet I didn't do
And baby I will rock and roll with you
(If I have to...)

That reminded me of another song about the age 42...

Stephen Duffy - Oh God

And at the time I was a young, young boy
Barely 42
I didn't know only love could break your heart
I didn't know what love could do

Now before we get onto the main theme of today's post, here's a few other random 42 songs my own library chucked up...

Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson - The Summer of '42

Sonny Carntyne - 42(A)

Coldplay - 42 (shh!)

Jens Lekman - Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo

So this is what they do out here for fun?
They play bingo and let their engines run?
Tonight's jackpot is a pig, hey that's criminal!
G-42! Ooh, I'm going diagonal!

It was Alyson, however, who raised the issue of 42nd Street, so certain I wouldn't be making a stop there this week. As she says...
Of course I know it's not going to be your pick, but the song 42nd Street has been around for nearly ninety years and was written by Harry Warren, who has been mentioned often over at my place as he certainly was prolific, and wrote many of the songs covered by other artists over the decades (I Only Have Eyes For You a favourite of mine). Also the Ruby Keeler story is one that never goes away, it just gets updated for a new generation.
Although Alyson is correct that the original 42nd Street song won't be this week's selection, I did find a number of other songs that stopped off on that particular thoroughfare, including...

Johnny Cougar - Taxi Dancer

Well, I don't know how long or how far her fortune did take her
But I heard she sits alone, drunk in a bar down on 42nd Street
And sometimes an old butch will slip a quarter into the jukebox
And she'll stagger to the bar and dance with that girl for free

(That's very early in his career, before he added the Mellencamp and eventually dropped the Cougar altogether.)

Todd Rundgren - Heavy Metal Kids

It's like a normal Times Square day on 42nd Street
I feel like trashing some windows and crunching some feet
I watch society crumble and I just laugh
They soon will see what it's like to be the other half

Bob Dylan - Talkin WWIII Blues (missed you this week, Swede... I love Talkin' Blues songs)

Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown
And there was nobody aroun'
I got into the driver's seat
And I drove down 42nd Street
In my Cadillac
Good car to drive after a war

Janis Ian - 42nd Street Psycho Blues

But it was Rigid Digit who came up with the strongest 42nd Street contenders. First this...

Don McLean - Sister Fatima

The spirit of Fatima still rules the Earth
She knows your future, she knows what it's worth
Sister Fatima has God given powers
And on 42nd Street a shop that sells flowers
Is her palace come and be healed

And then this week's undisputed winner, a long-time favourite of mine. Why is it the winner? Because you don't mess around with Jim...

Uptown got it's hustlers
The bowery got it's bums
42nd street got big Jim walker
He's a pool shootin' son of a gun
Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come
But he stronger than a country hoss
And when the bad folks all get together at night
You know they all call big Jim "boss"

41 next week... More slim pickings? Over to you guys...


  1. Bruce Springsteen - 'American Skin (41 Shots)'.

    1. I had nothing at all last week, but I'm quietly confident that I have a winner today.

  2. Am also confident that The Swede has the winner.

    Won't stop me adding US 41 by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers though.

  3. Thought I was being smart and quick off the mark but I see TS has got here first. Yes American Skin (41 Shots) from me too.

  4. American Skin (41 Shots) all day long.

    Born in Chicago by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band opens with:
    "I was born in Chicago 1941
    I was born in Chicago in 1941
    Well my father told me,
    "Son, you'd better get a gun."

    The song was written by the wonderfully named Nick Gravenites, who's worth checking out.

  5. There's also a Dave Matthews Band track simply called '41' (or 'Number 41' - not sure!)

  6. A lyrical one:
    The Allman Brothers - Ramblin' Man

    My father was a gambler down in Georgia
    He wound up on the wrong end of a gun
    And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus
    Rollin' down Highway 41

  7. Track 2 from In The Reins by Iron & Wine + Calexico: Prison on Route 41

  8. Has someone mentioned Eddie Cochran "Somethin Else" Just a 41 Ford not a 59? Or has the song already featured in the "59" episode?


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