Just One Song, Part 1
What would you do if you had to choose just one song by some of your favorite acts? For some groups, it's easy. How many people are going to take anything by the Syndicate of Sound besides "Little Girl"? Can anyone rate a Dionne Farriss song higher than "I Know"? You get my point.
Well, let's have a game. I'll propose a few acts, and you can fill in your "only one song." I'll stay away from what I consider impossible ones, like The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Elvises Costello or Presley, The Beach Boys, XTC, or The Velvet Underground.
So what would your one song be from...
*Tommy James & the Shondells?
I've got my choices, as difficult as they are, and I'll post 'em in a few days. Let me know yours!
On a complete tangent, I hope you enjoy this next song, a nutritious chunk of power-pop goodness from 1978 by a group called Fotomaker.
Before learning about this song, I'd always wondered what happened to the Young Rascals after they broke up in the early 1970s. Two of them--drummer Dino Dannelli and guitarist/bassist Gene Cornish--started Fotomaker, a New Jersey-based power-pop project with guitarist Wally Bryson, who'd been in Ohio's Raspberries, and two local musicians, Frank Vinci and Lex Marchesi.
None of their three albums bothered the charts, but this single, "Where Have You Been All My Life," reached #81 on the Billboard singles lists in spring 1978. It's a timeless power-pop creation, containing all the genre's signature elements: tons of guitars, both chiming and crunchy; a lovely melody; glossy harmonies; and an imaginative arrangement. Fotomaker then ice the cake with a somewhat overwrought string arrangement.
Unfortunately, the power-pop explosion was short-lived, and many great groups of the time were left clutching excellent singles and albums that wilted commercially in the wakes of the disco craze and the onrushing punk movement. At least we can now enjoy Fotomaker's music, from 30 years in the rearview mirror, without having to be too embarrassed by their awful name.