RIFF Rewind—A time machine for your ears: 1977

Heart, Wilson, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson

1977 was a good year. Star Wars came out, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours came out, Voyager 1 and 2 launched, Harvey Milk was elected. I mean, yeah, disco still existed and there was that whole Son of Sam (serial killer) thing I guess—but, Star Wars!

It was a pretty good year for music in addition to Rumours. When the honorable mention list includes the Sex Pistols you know it was solid.

Fleetwood Mac — “The Chain”

Every so often, I mention my all-time favorite songs, the ones I’d put on my Awesome Mix if I were to become a space pirate. This is one of those songs, and coincidentally, it’s one of the actual Awesome Mix songs too.

I will issue you a challenge: Put on good headphones, close your eyes, and play this song. If it doesn’t make you even a little bit emotional, you should go to a doctor and have her make sure you’re not a robot. Because you might be a robot.

Commodores — “Brick House”

I’ll be honest with you; I have no idea why calling someone a “brick house” is a good thing. It doesn’t sound like a very good thing. I’ll grant them “mighty, mighty,” and “lettin’ it all hang out” is just an objective observation, but neither of those is the title.

Was that a thing in the ’70s? Were brick houses notoriously attractive? Is it a long-dead fetish? Someday I hope to find out.

John Williams — “Star Wars Theme”

Yes, I’m a nerd. I know. It’s not a bad thing anymore.

Shut up.

Heart — “Barracuda”

I’m an avowed fan of women who rock. Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry; all brilliant. And the Wilson sisters are absolutely on that list. “Barracuda” is the best of their work.

Meat Loaf — “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”

Meat Loaf is a terrible person. He yelled at Gary Busey over sponges he was going to use for arts and crafts, for example, and he was in To Catch a Yeti and Spice World. But he was also in Fight Club and and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and he’s really good at music. “Hot Patootie” will never, ever get out of my head.

Oh, and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is good. too.

Honorable Mentions

Jimmy Buffett – Margaritaville
Foreigner – Cold as Ice
Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen
David Bowie – Heroes
Blue Oyster Cult – Godzilla

Follow editor Daniel J. Willis at Twitter.com/BayAreaData

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