This is the sh!t

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This is the real stuff. This is what’s it’s all about. Peabo. Love songs. The most romantic music on Earth. Bo and Hope’s theme song on Days Of Our Lives! I still endorse this with my whole heart. 10/10, baby!

Days of Our Lives (1986)

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As old school as the countdown gets

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Written over 90 years ago by Irving Berlin, this pop standard has been recorded by everyone. In my heart of hearts, I’m partial to Mandy Patinkin’s soft falsetto rendering. But I went with Tony Bennett, perhaps because he became my go-to guy for old school covers on this countdown.

Mandy Patinkin

Blog Note
I’ve had this post ready for six weeks, but I wasn’t motivated to post it. I’m also hyper-aware (or think that I am) of the ramifications of everything I stick up on the internet. It’s been my thing to publicly tweet links to these as I go. When I essentially moth-balled my main blog and my Twitter feed was reduced to posts of dog vines, I wasn’t comfortable with links to these songs playing such a large part in my public web identity. On one hand, “nobody cares” is quite a valid argument for posting whatever I feel compelled to post. On the other hand, “nobody cares” is quite a valid argument for posting nothing. With this countdown, there are times I feel better about making some small bit of progress towards the end goal of getting to number 1, compared to leaving it stuck at #71. Especially #71, so cringe-inducing for so many.

Since I lack the main blog, perhaps I’ll do some incoherent rambling in here from time to time.

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Happy Belated Valentine's Day / Happy Belated Oscars

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

My goal was to post a song a day and wrap up this countdown by Valentine’s Day 2013. I’ve missed that goal by quite a bit. A couple of weeks ago, it was my goal to post this song on Valentine’s Day, and I missed that goal, as well. It would’ve been a fitting day for publication of this entry. Well, now, it’s the day we celebrate the Oscars, so it’s somewhat fitting that I finally get around to posting this.

Is there any love song featured in a film as loved and cherished and mocked and derided as this bombastic piece of schlock? As I’ve taken stock of my feelings on Céline Dion’s signature song, I have been terribly conflicted, as I usually am when I review these songs years after I first encountered them. I’ll give this song the full Top 379 treatment. I’ll plug in all the chart history numbers. “My Heart Will Go On” warrants the attention.

Nearly two decades ago, in late 1997, I eagerly awaited Céline Dion’s new album “Let’s Talk About Lov”e. This anticipation was based on my appreciation of her past powerhouse vocals on display in songs like “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (#106) and “The Power of Love” (#218). This album was overflowing with over-the-time vocal performances. There’s a hammy duet with Luciano Pavarotti, “I Love You But I Hate You” (unranked), an insane vocal duel with Barbra Streisand on “Tell Him” (#289), a song that could’ve been a hit in the U.S. but wasn’t released here “To Love You More” (#203), and then one more intensely cheesy song that in retrospect, doesn’t belong on this countdown but, inexplicably, is, “Live (For the One You Love)” (#360). But nothing compared to “My Heart Will Go On”, which was going to be included in some movie that was coming out the following month. I loved the song itself before it was tethered to James Cameron’s beautifully-crafted, horribly-written “Titanic”.

I’m featuring the official Vevo live recording, since it decouples the song from the film, though I’ll pop that video down here somewhere, too.

Four years ago, I made a note in my spreadsheet four years ago, “Deserves more respect. I think I’ve been timid with this rating.” I started off two weeks ago thinking I’d downgrade this is to a 5 or 6, but, upon further reflection, I’ll stick with my historical assessment. 9/10. (I might give it a perfect score were it not for the backup vocalists’ agonizing lyric “Why does the heart go on?” I cringe when I hear that).

There is nothing wrong with schlock

(However, I do appreciate this 3/10 review I just read, and I’m now aiming to checkout more from that guy’s ambitious site. He reviews every single UK #1. That’s some dedication.)

Tech Note

This entry also took quite a while to post (97 revisions and counting) because I was intent on messing around with the rendering code. You can see the styling on the song info box has changed. I also generated that data from a source outside of the HTML. Sadly, it’s not coming from a database of any sort. It’s just some JSON I embedded in the entry, and I’m slapping it into the template with some very ugly jQuery code, a prototype of sorts of how I might structure and generate the data were I to be building this site as an app. Of course, it makes little sense to store data in the entry itself when I’m working in WordPress and have a mySQL database at my disposal. It’s an odd hybrid of coding schemes I’ve got going on here.

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Can we make the fire burn again / Burn a little stronger?
'Cause I've been alone, and baby, I can't be alone now any longer.

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Artist Chicago
Year 1988
Album 19
Music & Lyrics Diane Warren, Albert Hammond
BCD Rating 8/10
My Rating 9.36/10
Whoa, trippy! I don’t think I have ever seen that video until today.

I wasn’t looking forward to creating this post. I was about to launch into that “I’m better than that” mode where I trash my former self for liking this. Post-Cetera lightweight fluff. I’m so over it. Or so I thought. Upon further review, this is late ’80’s cheesy power ballad at its near-best. It turns out, I don’t want to live without this song!

And I really want Bill Champlin’s hair from 1988.

For those keeping score at home, not only is this Chicago’s 13th song in the countdown (that is a few too many), it’s renowned soft-rock schlockmeister songwriter Diane Warren’s 9th song. There I go again; when I denigrate Diane Warren, I am putting myself down. There is nothing wrong with schlock.

That should be the tagline of this countdown.

There is nothing wrong with schlock

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Our roads are gonna cross again / It doesn't really matter when

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Artist Barry Manilow
Year 1981
Album If I Should Love Again
Music & Lyrics Cynthia Weil, Tom Snow
BCD Rating 9/10
My Rating 9.35/10
This song wasn’t in the mix, but then I heard it late in 2011, and, well, it fits right in.


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