• I’ve just revisited MacArthur Park because I had this sneaking suspicion that I might secretly like it, and yep, I do. Don’t tell anyone!

    Also that Status Quo song is all the more marvelous because of their subsequent transformation into “band with one song, forever”. I remember getting their greatest hits as a present, one of the first CDs I ever owned, and loving this weird track right at the start before the other hour+ of 12-bar-blues kicked in.

    • pico79

      My fondness for “MacArthur Park” is entirely due to Donna Summer’s cover, and especially to one of the most memorably weird lip syncs on RuPaul:


      In retrospect, it’s less weird that it took almost ten years for the Emmys to recognize the show, and more that they did at all, given how stuffy every other reality competition looks by comparison

  • lgauge

    You somehow forgot to mention that in a post-Zodiac world, Hurdy Gurdy Man is now the scariest song of all time.

  • DJ JD

    “It’s an operatic performance without operatic pipes, or, more accurately, like a cartoon opera singer who desperately needs to be pantsed by Bugs Bunny. Not helping him is Les Reed’s arrangement, a crazy-quilt of carousel rhythm, German oom-pah-pah, mariachi horns, and the aforementioned utensils of mass destruction.”

    It’s a wonderful sentence, and all the more so for being almost clinically accurate. That is the song equivalent of a crappy film director staging an “ethnic eatery” with every role Cliff Curtis ever had, everyone just milling around eating their borscht, pasta, Irish stew and poutine out of a tortilla just like Mama used to make it.

    I hadn’t realized how many early Adult Swim jokes came out of this year, either. “Yummy Yummy Yummy”‘s non-union Mexican equivalent got an episode of Harvey Birdman, and this remains my favorite take on MacArthur Park: https://youtu.be/srIIre8mvV4?t=37

  • The Ploughman

    I want to say that your selection and praise of the best is the essential half of Chartbusting, but the hilarity of descriptions like “(occasionally livened up by a chorus of what appear to be geese on helium)” makes me glad the other side is explored as well.

    The observation probably won’t make the cut for tomorrow’s High School piece, so I’ll put it here. The film has around four pop song cues and the film opens with “Dock of the Bay” which is the perfect selection. It’s from 1968 but has a timeless appeal and instrumentation that keeps the film from feeling like an artifact right out of the gate.

  • pico79

    For years I thought “Yummy Yummy Yummy” was just a made-up gag on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Yeesh, what a horrible song.

  • stickybeak

    Also the year of Elvis’ comeback. Unfortunately the coolness didn’t last.

  • Drunk Napoleon

    I don’t want to be that guy who says music was better in the old days, but the music of 1968 certainly hews closer to my taste than other years. I even like a lot of the bad ones, admittedly most of them ironically.

    • lgauge

      This is one of those cases where both sides are actually wrong. “Music sucks now, it was way better in the 60s and 70s” is stupid, but so is the stance that only today’s music has any relevance and everything older than 20-30 years is just ancient dad rock. We all have our tastes and particular styles of art that we prefer over others. With both music and film it seems perfectly legitimate to prefer one particular period over another (whether that be the present or some decade long past), while also liking plenty of works from other periods. When there’s been a whole history of art, it seems unlikely that everyone should like just the same small part of it.

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