It’s Muzak Monday without limits! Not lost hits or retail hits… just some of my favorite songs of all time in countdown form. We’re doing it every Monday through April in The Nest’s Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing countdown! Today kicks off the Top 20, and we’re going to honor the man who helped create three of the greatest hits of the 80’s back in the dope smoking 60’s…
#20. “Draggin’ The Line” – Tommy James
Tommy James and his band The Shondells were one of the more prolific hitmakers of the late 60’s. They are well known to me not just because we had a cassette of the band’s greatest hits to play on family vacations 30 years ago, but because three of The Shondells’ better known songs were covered as hits in the 80’s by Joan Jett, Billy Idol and the legendary Tiffany…
The Shondells were the second biggest rock act to break up in 1970 after that one band with the four guys from Liverpool whose name escapes me. Tommy James went solo, and in 1971 he scored a #4 hit with a groovy little number that is the perfect tempo for playing at 4:20 in the afternoon…
That little bass line just warms my heart every time I hear it… and it’s inconceivable to think that “Draggin’ The Line” was originally recorded without the horns.
They are perfect in this song! I love a lot of Tommy James’ music (awesome 80’s covers aside), but this is easily my favorite of his. What gets this song in the countdown though is the connection to my Dad. He loved Tommy James and especially this song… and in fact, it was one of three songs he would, without fail, reach over and crank the volume up on whenever it would come on the radio. I didn’t mind hearing “Draggin’ The Line,” Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky,” or Alannah Myles “Black Velvet” at an increased volume. But when Adele hit in big in 2011 and he started turning up her songs…. I had to start slapping the hand that once fed me.
Look over yonder…. it’s song #19, coming next Monday!
it’s a perfect christmess song….. you can lay under the tree while smokin’…
Careful not to set the tree on fire while draggin’ the line…
I loved this one back in the day. I agree about the horns…..would NOT have been the same in any way without them.
It was originally released as a B-side without the horns, which I didn’t know. Then they polished it up and made a hit out of it… it’s a really cool mellow rock song!
This song DEMANDS turning up the volume! Every. single. time.
Love this song – everything about it just works to make a really cool song. 🙂
That’s a perfect statement to describe why I like this song!
Excellent choice of song!! And thanks for the trot down Memory Lane with that pic of John Candy in drag. I never thought anything would be more disturbing, but then that other guy (Levinson or something wasn’t it?) came out dressed all in leather with apparently assless chaps on and I was traumatized for eternity. Who wants to see some overly hairy guy in leather? Uh, ewwww.
Eugene Levy! “Armed and Dangerous” is one of those movies we had taped off HBO way back in the 80’s and rewatched enough to still make funny references to years later (at least me, my Dad and youngest sister). The whole scene from the sex shop made that movie!
EXCELLENT choice! I have long thought that TJ should be in the Rock Hall of Fame…many hits, some interesting studio tricks…that first time I heard the end of Crimson and Clover it blew my little 11 year-old mind…and songs that lent themselves to successful cover versions…and his concerts do not play as Vegas-y cash grab oldies shows..they sound like, and are presented as, a contemporary show. And yes, Draggin’ The Line just grooves for the duration…and who can get through it without singing, or attempting to sing, the title line…even if you can’t reach those low notes. PLUS..he shook my hand at a concert we attended..before you ask, yes, I HAVE washed it since.
I agree Tommy James should be in the RRHoF, and am a bit surprised he isn’t. I hear Tommy still hasn’t washed the hand he once shook the legendary TBone’s hand with…
Wow. I haven’t heard this in a while. This is a nice not in-your-face kind of way to start off the week. I’m singing along.
The perfect mellow groove for starting or ending a week…
Very mellow. The perfect spliff accompaniment. So I’ve heard…
There you have it…. 4 out of 5 tokers agree.
Yes, I’ve, um, heard those things too….
I’ll have to listen to this again when I’m more awake. I kept waiting for the kind of horns on the goat, wondering how they would fit in when it was only audio. The slowness of brain lately is astounding and embarrassing!
My brain, that is. Not just brain. Geez! I’m really starting to worry about my mental state!
I was so excited to work in the goat picture, that I didn’t realize until preview that I actually split it off from the last line of that paragraph. Then I just left it that way because, why bother the goat just because I messed up?
You could have written the paragraph over the top of the picture and I still would have been waiting for the wrong kind of horns. The ol’ brain just isn’t working these days.
This is the perfect song for how I feel today! Other than that I love the original version too, much better than all the 80’s covers, thanks Evil!
From all of the comments, it looks like this is a pretty universal winner! It’s one of the few songs in the bottom half of this countdown that I hadn’t changed out for a different song (as I can see from all the eraser marks on my list!), and now I’m really glad I left it in!
Gee, even I know the Shondells. They were one of those groups that always seemed to have a hit song playing on the radio, back in the days when you heard songs on the radio and then you went and bought a 45 or, if you had a much bigger allowance than I did, an album. I often found out that I should have stuck with the single because it was the only GOOD song on the album. But the Shondells had a lot of good songs. i wish I had all the albums and singles I collected during those years.
We’re actually selling vinyl albums again at Mecca, along with actual record players to play them on. I was surprised when I saw that, but now everyone can play all their old records again…