A lot has changed in the last seven months since I launched this fourth countdown series on my blog. The autumn leaves have made way for Spring buds. My kitchen got a brand new trench dug in the middle of it. The world went completely off the deep end. But what hasn’t changed is that in each and every one of the past 29 Mondays, the music has just gotten better and better! And today, we’ve finally reached the pinnacle. It’s time to present the song I chose above all others to sit at the summit of the Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing countdown!
This will be the final week DJ Scratchy will have to yield the Monday Muzak turntable to Evil Squirrel, and ES is going out with a bang. If you’ve ever created a countdown of any kind, there’s only one way to do it…. from the top down. In every single countdown I’ve written for The Nest, I had a number one song already in mind before I even started compiling a list of candidates. Because this countdown excludes songs I’ve featured before in a Monday post on this blog, as well as some that would qualify for a future Dusty Vinyl Archive, it’s far from a accurate list of my all time favorite songs. But this one would absolutely be somewhere in my Top 3 of anything every recorded….
Can I get a drum roll please, Hottie?
#1. “Fox on the Run” – Sweet
Remember that commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups where the one guy was walking down the street eating a chocolate bar, and some girl was coming from the other direction eating out of a tub of peanut butter? Such different flavors…. who knew they could taste so good together? Well, in the early 70’s, the edgy sound of hard rock wound up colliding with the bouncy feel of bubblegum pop… and the result was the British band who came to define the glam rock sound, Sweet. Sweet’s success was launched off the bubblegum lyrics of non-member songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, combined with the band’s own rock and roll flair.
One of Sweet’s influences was The Monkees, and like that American made for TV band, they got tired of being spoonfed perky songs written by other people, and wanted to show what they could do on their own. You know what…. I think they knew what they were doing. The very first single they released that was entirely created by the band also happened to be their biggest worldwide hit. And if that wasn’t enough of an honor, I easily chose it to top my Countdown of Whatever…
“Fox on the Run,” written about a groupie of the band, was originally recorded in 1974 to be included on Sweet’s album Desolation Boulevard, the last album Chinn and Chapman contributed to. But the version that is best known around the world, and particularly here in the US, is the rearranged single version Sweet recorded in 1975, which is what made the US release of Desolation Boulevard that same year. That more poppy version of “Fox,” which entered the charts not long after I was hatched, reached #5 in America, and was a #1 in many other countries…. and it is pure fucking musical magic from the trippy, high pitched whistle that it leads off with, right down to the final awesome rendition of the chorus…
And yet…. in America, about all Sweet is really remembered for is the rock novelty song Ballroom Blitz. While Sweet was nowhere near as popular here as they were across The Pond, their only four entries into the US Top 40 charts all reached the Top 10, with Ballroom Blitz tying Fox on the Run at #5. It’s about time the epic “Fox on the Run” got its due for the amazing earworm it is! What do you have to say about that, Mr. Fox?
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
We hope you enjoyed the Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing countdown as much as I enjoyed presenting it to you each week! DJ Scratchy and the Dusty Vinyl Archive will be bringing back the lost hits again starting next Monday…