Tuesday, June 20, 1978

Foreigner released Double Vision

First posted 9/20/2020; updated 10/17/2020.

Double Vision

Foreigner


Released: June 20, 1978


Peak: 3 US, 32 UK, 3 CN, 13 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Hot Blooded (7/1/78, 3 US, 2 CL, 42 UK, 3 CN, 24 AU)
  2. Blue Morning, Blue Day (12/23/78, 15 US, 6 CL, 45 UK, 21 CN)
  3. You’re All I Am
  4. Back Where You Belong
  5. Love Has Taken Its Toll (26 CL)
  6. Double Vision (9/22/78, 2 US, 2 CL, 7 CN, 97 AU)
  7. Tramontane (instrumental)
  8. I Have Waited So Long
  9. Lonely Children
  10. Spellbinder


Total Running Time: 37:55


The Players:

  • Lou Gramm (vocals, percussion)
  • Mick Jones (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
  • Ian McDonald (guitar, saxophone, keyboards)
  • Al Greenwood (keyboards)
  • Ed Gagliardi (bass)
  • Dennis Elliott (drums)

Rating:

3.449 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Quotable: “Hard rock at its best” – Ace Adams, New York Daily News


Awards:

About the Album:

With their debut album, Foreigner immediately became players on the rock scene, sending two songs from the album into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 while the album was a top-five smash which sold five million copies. As high as they’d set the bar on their first outing, Foreigner managed to reach even greater heights on their sophomore outing.

Double Vision reached #3 on the album charts and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The lead single, Hot Blooded, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the title cut went an even notch higher and peaked at #2. A third single, Blue Morning, Blue Day, reached the top 20.

The group had its detractors. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the album as “slickly produced, commercially powerful, but artistically vapid.” WK Rick Atkinson of The Record attacked the album for using the same formula as the debut. WK

Van West of Murfreesboro Press agreed that the album had similarities to Foreigner, but noted that Double Vision had “more individualistic interpretations” and “heavy metal tonal structure” instead of some of the debut’s “careful harmonies.” WK Ace Adams of the New York Daily News went as far as to call the album “hard rock at its best.” WK


Notes: The 2002 reissue added live versions of “Hot Blooded” and “Love Maker.”

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Saturday, June 17, 1978

Andy Gibb hit #1 with “Shadow Dancing”

First posted 10/24/2020; last updated 3/11/2021.

Shadow Dancing

Andy Gibb

Writer(s): Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Andy Gibb (see lyrics here)


First Charted: April 15, 1978


Peak: 17 US, 16 CB, 18 HR, 14 RR, 8 AC, 11 RB, 42 UK, 13 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, -- UK, 2.5 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 12.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The Gibb brothers (Barry, Maurice, Robin, and Andy) dominated the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. Their run began when the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” the first single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, ascended to #1 on December 24, 1977. “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever” followed in early 1978. Their runs at the pinnacle were only separated by younger brother Andy’s two-week stint with “Love Is Thicker Than Water.” In May, Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You,” another song penned by the Bee Gees and featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, went to #1.

Five weeks after that, Andy Gibb was back on top with “Shadow Dancing,” the lead single from his sophomore album of the same name. Its seven weeks on top meant the Gibb brothers spent 25 weeks at #1 from December 24, 1977 to July 29, 1978 as performers and/or writers. Barry Gibb notched another week on top as the songwriter for “Grease” before year’s end, making him personally responsible for half of the year’s #1 songs.

“Shadow Dancing” was written by all four Gibbs while Andy’s older brothers were working on the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was time to start getting tracks together for Andy’s second solo album. He recalled the four of them relaxing one night and they started singing the chorus, sketching out the song in about ten minutes. WK

This was Andy’s third chart-topper, making him the first solo artist in the U.S. pop chart history to have his first three releases hit #1. WK “Shadow Dancing” was also named the biggest song of the year by Billboard magazine. The song also marked the first time all four brothers performed live in concert together when the Bee Gees joined Andy on stage in July in Miami to sing the song. WK


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Thursday, June 15, 1978

The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” released

Teenage Kicks

The Undertones

Writer(s): John O'Neill (see lyrics here)


Released: June 15, 1978


First Charted: October 21, 1978


Peak: 9 CL, 2 CO, 31 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.4 UK


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 14.9 video, 47.65 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Undertones were a punk rock band which formed in 1975. There wasn’t much of a music scene in their hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland, but they managed to produce a record, thanks to Terri Hooley, the owner of a Belfast record shop. He financed the recording of the Teenage Kicks EP and released it on his label, Good Vibrations.

The Undertones sent the song to BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. As lead singer Feargal Sharkey said, “Our only hope was John Peel, and we sent him a copy – that was the only copy we sent anyone.” SF Peel championed the song, even playing it twice (something he’d never done before) on his September 25 show. On a scale of five stars, he rated it 28. WK In October, the band were signed to Sire Records, who then re-released “Teenage Kicks” as a single.

Peel said it was his all-time favorite song and even said in a 2001 interview with The Guardian that he wanted the opening line of the song, “Teenage dreams so hard to beat” engraved on his tombstone. WK The song was played at his funeral in 2004. SF In February 2008, a headstone with the lyric was placed on his grave. WK

The song is “a short blast of punk-pop with no filler, no indulgence; Sharkey’s singalong vocals over a summer shot of simple and catchy chords, fizzing and popping through two-and-a-half minutes.” XFM Songwriter John O’Neill told Q magazine, “I still don’t think the song’s that good. We were just the right age at the right time.” XFM


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Undertones
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia
  • XFM Mike Walsh (editor) (2010). The XFM Top 1000 Songs of All Time. Elliott & Thompson Limited: London, England. Pages 442-3.


First posted 10/14/2021.

Saturday, June 10, 1978

“You’re the One That I Want” hit #1

First posted 10/23/2020.

Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta

Writer(s): John Farrar (see lyrics here)


First Charted: April 1, 1978


Peak: 11 US, 3 CB, 11 HR, 3, 23 AC, 19 UK, 2 CN, 19 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 2.15 UK, 15.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 463.0 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

The 1972 Broadway show Grease about American high schoolers in the ‘50s was such a success that it was brought to the big screen in 1978. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were cast as the stars. Despite being years removed from high school and Travolta being primarily an actor and Olivia primarily a singer, they brought charisma and chemistry to their roles and turned the movie and its soundtrack into blockbusters.

John Farrar, who’d worked with Olivia since 1971, wrote some new songs exclusively for the movie, including Olivia’s ballad “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want,” a raucous duet between the leads. The movie’s director, Randal Kleiser, was not a fan because he felt it didn’t fit with the songs written by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs for the original show. WK

However, “You’re the One That I Want” was a huge hit with fans across the world, reaching #1 in the U.S., UK, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and Sweden. Within two weeks of charting, it was certified gold for selling a million copies. WK It reached #1 in the U.S. before the movie was even released. SF In the UK, it became the fifth biggest-selling single of all time. SF In Olivia’s native Australia, the song spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top, interrupted by a six-week run at #1 by Boney M’s “Rivers of Babylon.” “You’re the One That I Want” spent those six weeks hovering right behind “Babylon” at #2. WK

As the movie’s closer, it showcased the transformation of Olivia’s character Sandy from good girl to greaser queen to win back Danny, played by Travolta. Meanwhile, Danny has made his own change to win Sandy back. To the surprise of his greaser friends, he now sports a sweater with a letter he received in cross country. Originally the movie closed with “All Choked Up,” which was sort of a send up of Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up.” However, it was one of two songs from the original score which was removed completely from the movie and soundtrack. WK


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Tuesday, June 6, 1978

The Cars debut released

The Cars

The Cars


Released: June 6, 1978


Peak: 18 US, 29 UK, 50 CN, 35 AU


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.06 UK, 6.28 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock/new wave


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Good Times Roll [3:44] (3/17/79, 41 US, 60 CB, 70 HR, 2 CL, 7 CO, 74 CN)
  2. My Best Friend’s Girl [3:44] (10/21/78, 35 US, 44 CB, 39 HR, 2 CL, 4 CO, 3 UK, 55 CN, 67 AU)
  3. Just What I Needed [3:44] (6/17/78, 27 US, 24 CB, 28 HR, 1 CL, 2 CO, 17 UK, 38 CN, 96 AU)
  4. I’m in Touch with Your World [3:31]
  5. Don’t Cha Stop [3:01]
  6. You’re All I’ve Got Tonight [4:13] (5 CL, 26 CO)
  7. Bye Bye Love [4:14] (4 CL, 12 CO)
  8. Moving in Stereo (Hawkes/ Ocasek) [5:15] (5 CL, 6 CO)
  9. All Mixed Up [4:14] (10 CL, 33 CO)

Songs written by Ric Ocasek unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 35:11


The Players:

  • Ric Ocasek (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Benjamin Orr (bass, vocals)
  • Elliot Easton (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Greg Hawkes (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, saxophone on “All Mixed Up”)
  • David Robinson (drums, percussion, backing vocals)

Rating:

4.176 out of 5.00 (average of 24 ratings)


Quotable: “An album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans.” – Greg Prato, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The Cars’ 1978 self-titled debut…is a genuine rock masterpiece.” GP “American art-rock was often stilted and lacking in humor until the New Wave arrived. Liberated by the influence of the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music and punk-era fellow travelers like Blondie and Suicide, the Cars methodically linked hookiness (enough to produce three hit singles and several other FM favorites from this debut album) and at least one raised eyebrow.” RW

“Whereas most bands of the late ‘70s embraced either punk/new wave or hard rock, the Cars were one of the first bands to do the unthinkable – merge the two styles together. Add to it bandleader/songwriter Ric Ocasek’s supreme pop sensibilities, and you had an album that appealed to new wavers, rockers, and Top 40 fans.” GP “If charm wasn't their aim, the fact is, it’s undeniable.” RW

“One of the most popular new wave songs ever, Just What I Needed, is an obvious highlight, as are such familiar hits as Good Times Roll, My Best Friend's Girl, and You're All I’ve Got Tonight. But like most consummate rock albums, the lesser-known compositions are just as exhilarating – Don't Cha Stop, Bye Bye Love, All Mixed Up, and Moving in Stereo, the latter featured as an instrumental during a steamy scene in the popular movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” GP

“The band jokingly referred to the album as their ‘true greatest-hits album,’ but it's no exaggeration – all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics, still in rotation on rock radio.” GP “The result still plays as a rock & roll classic.” RW “With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumni Roy Thomas Baker), the Cars’ debut remains one of rock’s all-time classics.” GP


Notes: A 1999 reiusse added a disc of demos.

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 2/26/2008; last updated 8/28/2021.