"Skyrockets in flight/Afternoon delight"
July 10, 2018 5:23 PM   Subscribe

The story behind Starland Vocal Band’s one, big hit : An oral history of "Afternoon Delight"

Inspired by the Afternoon Delights Happy Hour menu at Clyde's of Georgetown, "Afternoon Delight" was a huge hit in 1976 for the Starland Vocal Band. The band was made up of "a couple of couples": Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert & Jon Carroll Margot Chapman.
Danoff and Nivert also wrote "Take Me Home, Country Roads." The cover of the single has a roaring lion, just perfect for the least ferocious song by the least ferocious band ever.

The band won the 1976 Grammy for Best New Artist; singer Taffy Nivert later said winning the award was "basically the kiss of death." The other nominees were Boston, The Brothers Johnson, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, and Wild Cherry.
Not nominated: Alan Parsons Project, Blondie, Bootsy's Rubber Band, Heart, The Modern Lovers, the Ramones, The Runaways, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The band's success got them a summer TV show that featured comedy bits by a young David Letterman.
They also inspired Homer Simpson to get a tattoo.

The song is perhaps best known today for its appearance in 2004's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but have you seen the music video by the cast? "Now if you don't think this song is the greatest song ever, I will fight you."
posted by kirkaracha (68 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Like Adam McKay, I too remember hearing this song as a kid and being naive as to what it was really "about".

I would rather not say how old I was when I figured that part out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:39 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Wait, what!?!!

I remember the song well, might actually remember the TV show, but...

I guess I never really listened to the words? Not going to spoil my childhood by listening to it again.
posted by Windopaene at 5:47 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


....Windopaene, you have made me so incredibly happy I can't describe it. (hugs)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:52 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


The band won the 1976 Grammy for Best New Artist; singer Taffy Nivert later said winning the award was "basically the kiss of death." The other nominees were Boston, The Brothers Johnson, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, and Wild Cherry.

So the last shall be first.
posted by pracowity at 6:01 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


...and it inspired Big Black to make an album of...

(fake news, but I just can’t help myself)
posted by nikaspark at 6:09 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


But Starland Vocal Band wasn’t singing about bombs bursting in air on its suddenly ubiquitous ditty “Afternoon Delight.” The harmonic soft-rock smash was actually about post-meridiem lovemaking.

Did anyone actually not get that? It’s not exactly hidden in the lyrics. I mean, I was all of 18 in ‘76 and, the first time I heard the thing, I was all “Song about grabbin’ a nooner.”
posted by Thorzdad at 6:32 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I have a visceral memory of this song. My best friend and I were balled up in the back window of an Oldsmobile sedan, in what would almost certainly have been 1977. The back window had a little ledge behind the backseat headrests, so we both could lie on our backs in the window and stare up at the sky while light posts whizzed by -- kind of like an upside down glass-bottomed boat. Mind you, we would have been 3 or 4, and we were on the highway in the back window of this car, our moms driving us to a mall in Dallas. That's right. Those of us who survived childhood in the 70s have some stories.

I remember it being white-hot out, like it gets in Dallas in the middle of the summer and the sky is gray and the grass is brown and all the concrete looks way too white. We're laying in the back window, and "Afternoon Delight" started playing when the Dallas skyline came into view. I thought it was really cool that there was a song about sky rockets playing on the grown-up radio too, and that it was super duper cool that it started playing right when the big city came into view (which was a treat; we lived in the sticks).

Because, coincidentally, the Pinball Song (1 2 3 4 5, 6 7 8 9 10, 11 12) had just debuted on Sesame Street. My best friend and I LOVED that song and sang it constantly.

The very last five seconds of that video? Sky rockets in flight and a city skyline. And that's why, well into adulthood, I thought the song was about actual, blimp-like sky rockets.

Look I know I'm not the only one. For everyone out there who for too long didn't grasp the real meaning of the song, don't beat yourselves up. You are not to blame. The blame falls solely to one really unfortunate collision of two songs that were very popular at the time: "Afternoon Delight" and the Sesame Street "Pinball Song."
posted by mudpuppie at 6:37 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


I mean, I was all of 18 in ‘76 and, the first time I heard the thing, I was all “Song about grabbin’ a nooner.”

You were 18 in 1976, but I was six. Thus, while it may have been about "grabbing a nooner" for you, for me it was a song about airplanes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


*flings jello against the hospital wall*

(Deep hatred for this song, DEEP HATRED, especially after being subjected to it repeatedly by my fellow patients' CHUM-blaring radios while I was trying to tune in The Ramones or The Flamin' Groovies on WBUF.)
posted by maudlin at 6:47 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


The song is perhaps best known today for its appearance in 2004's Anchorman

Also this scene
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:57 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I was 17 in 1976 and I certainly knew what it was about. I was also a school choir nerdy girl and loved the close vocal harmonies and the fugue at the end. I guess I'm not the only person who was reminded of Bach.

I was in a chem lab in first-year university in the autumn of 1976 and the prof played music before each lab -- probably a mix-tape back in those days. I remember being really tickled to hear this song about 8:15 am on a grey October morning, waiting for everyone to arrive and the lab to begin at 8:30. It's one of the few things I actually remember about first-year.

I'm closing in on 60 now, still love intricate vocal harmonies, and about the best thing ever would be singing this with my husband, sons, and daughters-in-law (all of whom are great singers). I know it's the song people love to hate but for me, it will always bring joy.
posted by angiep at 7:03 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


"I'll put it in her brownie"
posted by hal9k at 7:06 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


I completely forgot this song was in Ron Burgandy. I always remember it from Good Will Hunting.

Anyway it’s a saccharin out of touch song from a saccharine out of touch time and place. Sort of the last vestiges of Lawrence Welk’s America. It’s not at all surprising that the obvious sexual connotation was lost on the originators. And I, and probably millions of others, have forever called day time sex “Afternoon Delight” because it’s such a better term than nooner or tryst or whatever.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:21 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Also in PCU.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:35 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Oh come, I was five and knew what it was about. I remember sitting at the orange linoleum dining table with my grandfather while it played on the AM transistor radio. Eye contact was not made.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:35 PM on July 10


Of course grandpa had the PTSD from the big war pretty bad and would occassionally grab his conveniently stored-by-the-table rifle out and shoot “the goddamn squirrels” throught his back window. So...eye contact was pretty rare overall.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:37 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


I was just reading this WP article and thinking about making a post. I'm so glad you did.

If memory serves, my wife explained the meaning of this song to me, after we were married.

I cannot believe I just typed that.
posted by 4ster at 7:51 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I was twelve in 1976 and had the song figured out enough to be uncomfortable whenever it came on the radio when I was with my parents, which seemed like every half hour or so. See also 1975’s Chevy Van, among many others. I can only imagine what my 13 year old daughter finds awkward when it comes on the radio in my car. Especially since she usually chooses the station (Classic Vinyl on Sirius/XM, which is fine with me). But the story behind the song/band is cool and makes me wish they had more hits.
posted by TedW at 8:06 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


I was 4 so I REALLY didn't know, but this is one of the first songs I remember hearing on the radio.
posted by dw at 8:08 PM on July 10


Also, this one-off gag in Arrested Development.
posted by dw at 8:11 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


Holy shit, Dave Letterman had sketch comedy down COLD in the late '70s... no wonder why Lorne Michaels insisted they get this guy a talk show. No way he could compete. Making fun of the mentally disabled is clearly something the band and the producer made him do, and his glorious response is when he did his trademark smooth-as-silk one-two belly-punch+haymaker on someone portraying a mentally disabled character, and the guy got out of the way and let Dave punch himself right out. He has some seeds of the Conservative Movement in a few of his MANY skits, but Dave recovered. The Brain-eater starves!

Serious, the smoooth one-two-punch-knockout is about as finely crafted stagefighting as I've ever seen, and it's always laugh out loud funny, as Dave casually insults them with understated wit, they realize they can't fight back, and try to clobber him. Try. Mic check? ONE. TWO. DOWN.

That's not even the funniest part. Collapsible News must be the watchword for our times.

I love the song, I was a teen in the late '80s, and if you didn't like maudlin synths or hair-metal, you went classic rock!

Afternoon Delight was a staple of both my Classic Rock station, and my Mom's Lite Rock station I had to listen to in the car between Barry Manilow and The Captain and Tenille. Ahhhhhhhh! You're tearing me apart!

All conflict has been resolved by the involvement of David Letterman. My mom's in her '70s at the end of this summer. She would belly-laugh-and-screech at Dave fighting Rocky "On the Steps of Somewhere Famous." I know I did.

Gonna show her this weekend.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:20 PM on July 10


I turned seventeen in the summer of 1976, the entirety of which I spent in a remote geological exploration camp at least three hundred miles from the nearest tiny town. It was a tough summer, lonely as hell. But at least by the time I got home, Afternoon Delight had already come and gone, I'd missed it pretty much completely ... though I must admit I got a little curious come Grammy time. People liked this shit? It never occurred to me wonder what it was about.
posted by philip-random at 8:33 PM on July 10


Bill Danoff also co-wrote "Boulder to Birmingham" with Emmylou Harris, and while it's not going to replace Harris' recording as the definitive version, the Starland Vocal Band rendition is really, really good.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:34 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I love this song, and always have. I was 21 in 1976, and I knew all about what this song was all about. But it was a good song, fun to listen to, with a lot going on musically, and the added spice of it being about sex was just fine. There was a fair amount of that going around in the mid-70s, after all...
posted by lhauser at 8:42 PM on July 10


Oh, and I couldn’t help noticing a little ABBA influence in the video. There was a lot of ABBA going on around that time as well.
posted by lhauser at 8:44 PM on July 10


Sort of the last vestiges of Lawrence Welk’s America.

I'd see it as one of the last bits of the back-to-the-land counterculture of the late 60s and early-to-mid 70s as it trickled down into the mass market and dried out. Think earth tones, home yogurt makers, big floppy hats and herbal essence shampoo. Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" was on the radio at roughly the same time. As was this number, a bit closer to the soft-country-folk-rock attitude.
posted by gimonca at 8:48 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


I was a tween in '76, and while I had heard that it was about sex, I remember being skeptical because, at that age, every song was rumored to be about sex. (And you could get high from smoking banana peels, and Alice Cooper had everyone in his audience spit in a bucket, and then drank the whole thing.) I did think it odd that what was clearly a one-hit wonder band got their own variety show.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:18 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Bill Danoff was my neighbor in DC when I was growing up. We sometimes went to his wife Joan's (now defunct) restaurant Starland Cafe. It was pretty good!
posted by feckless at 9:34 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


I have to agree that as a tween back then, I got a very Lawrence Welk vibe as well. Much like when LW had some couple singing "One Toke Over the Line..."
posted by Windopaene at 10:14 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the Lawrence Welk/rectified mass market counterculture readings are on the nose with this abomination of a pop song. It's not unusual to hear a pop song about sexual encounters. But the delivery here was just so square and wholesome as to make sex sound as appealing as a church breakfast. I mean, it was the 70s. Sylvia had a hit a few years earlier with "Pillow Talk", and disco was on the cusp of taking over so much pop culture. The tick-tock country rhythm, shiny Welk-like harmonies, and overall lack of passion, or even playfulness... even that pedal steel guitar glissando sinks into a gurgling rumble of a nauseous gut. It all makes for an incongruous boner killer of sex song.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:31 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


Wait wait wait, no one had brought up Golden Shower of Hits by the Circle Jerks. It features Afternoon Delight.
posted by misterpatrick at 10:32 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


eeeeeyaaaauuuuUUUUGH the seventies were a terrible time to be a child. this song provokes heebeejeebies only approached by the likes of Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey. eeyuuugh uhhh
posted by mwhybark at 10:38 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


What's remarkable to me about this song is that it's relentlessly sex-positive. It's about a couple having sex, nothing more nor less; both participants are excited about the prospect, enthusiastic consent is involved, and there are no negative repercussions.

There's not an awful lot of songs out there like that. Most songs about sex involve objectification and seduction and... well, they can get pretty gross. Hearing men and women sing about simply enjoying each other in the afternoon is still pretty unusual, and I find it refreshing.

Plus, it's fun to sing along to when it comes up on my working-in-the-garage playlist. Almost as much fun as Muskrat Love.
posted by MrVisible at 11:22 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


Wait wait wait, no one had brought up Golden Shower of Hits by the Circle Jerks. It features Afternoon Delight.

On some level, I feel like we owe Starland Vocal Band some thanks for punk rock. At least for West Coast Hardcore Punk which wasn’t really a thing, and had few local precursors, before shit like this (and The Eagles, and America, etc) meant that pop music had become as square as it could get and demanded that teenagers start screaming and getting their ya-yas out in their parents’ garages. The next thing you knew we had Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, DRI, The Minutemen, and yes the ever under appreciated Circle Jerks. I’m serious when I say, from this perspective, I now can appreciate the importance of this track, because Everything Else That Matters started with SST and Alternative Tentacles.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:39 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


And I still (after watching the video again) don’t believe for a minute that this song was intentionally about sex. Those are 4 virgins if I’ve ever seen one. And I saw six virgins around the same time, watching the Osmonds do basically the same music.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:47 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I’m pretty sure this song will be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
posted by valkane at 1:50 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


this song provokes heebeejeebies only approached by the likes of Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey

I was just singing that in the shower yesterday. I think the playlist was roughly Bowie and Bowie and Roxy Music and James Taylor. Soft rock/pop hour in my head? Probably the cowboy stuff in James Taylor's song led me to Wildfire. All I know is I started too high and had to lower the key to get those "Wiiiiiilllllllld... Fire" bits in the chorus.

When you have a long shower and totally relax, you can let your mind slip into a threshold state and call back escaped memories. "Wildfire" was often on the radio when I was a teen, it was in a "Tops Hits!" songbook I worked through when learning to play guitar chords, and my mother liked it because we had horses that sometimes escaped and my sister would be out at all hours in all weather calling them back, so it was a popular request from my audience of one in the living room.

I can't think of song without a time and places and faces. Tamara and Loraine sitting on the counter in school singing "[My name is Michael, I've got a nickel, I've got a nickel shiny and new][9]" or Joey singing "Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" in the back of the school bus or Tom, who had no actual records of his own, playing his big sister's 45s ("Sylvia's Mother" and so on) the first time I slept over. This "Afternoon Delight" song? I don't think I've ever sung that one in the shower. But now I remember a certain Cathy (Kathy?) singing it and laughing because she knew it was about (some euphemism -- she always had a "cute" euphemism to make you cringe). She was a pretty suburban/rural local girl, friend of another sister's, who listened to her mother's favorites: Johnny Mathis and the like. Now she lives far from there and is a grandmother and Johnny is 82 but I bet she still pictures handsome young Johnny when she sings "I'm as helpless as a kitten up a tree" in the shower.

Songs never go away. When I'm ancient and thoroughly demented I'll be singing junk like this to myself until someone sneaks in and holds a pillow over my face. "Oh, no! Grandpa's dead! And he seemed so happy a minute ago! I'm sure I heard him singing..."
posted by pracowity at 2:47 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Pracowcity, even the thought of Wildfire will always make me sad (more for the pony than the girl, I was that kind of kid) but I will get over it today because of your “My name is Michael...” I hadn’t thought of that song in years! And now I’ll have a playground in my mind all day. So thanks for that!

I was a tween when Afternoon Delight came out. While I appreciate the musicality and lovely harmonies, I will always hate it for the discomfort it caused me, and for Dead Goat reasons. And it was INESCAPABLE! But I’m old enough now that it doesn’t bother me that people like things I don’t like, and I’m happy that so many of you are enjoying this. (But if anybody proposes Billy Don’t Be a Hero as their fav, I may quietly nope out of the thread.)

However, Country Roads is a treasure. The off key singing of three little girls from West Virginia making their parents crazy on a road trip... good times! A despised song and a loved song from the same songwriters. It’s interesting to me that I’m positive there are others for whom the roles I’ve assigned to these songs are reversed.

mudpuppie, the Pinball Song is a household staple around my place! Some of Sesame Street’s music has stood up so well over the years! (Plus, you know...pinball)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 3:44 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


eeeeeyaaaauuuuUUUUGH the seventies were a terrible time to be a child. this song provokes heebeejeebies only approached by the likes of Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey.

So says you. It was the era of the ERA and "Free To Be You And Me", for starters; that helped to give me a foundation in feminist awareness and gender-related self-worth I wouldn't have had otherwise (my father was another key part in that, but having songs to point to and a nation thinking about it helped too). I also was going all in with the back-to-the-land lifestyle gimonca mentions above - the rest of my family wasn't into that, but for whatever reason, it caught my attention big time and has shaped me today. Even the yacht-rock thing fed into our family habit of going to visit my grandparents on Cape Cod and going out on grandpa's boat a lot. The 70s were my childhood jam.

Now, the 80s are another story.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I was five when this came out and it was on the air a lot - my mum used to listen to Radio 2 during the day. I remember the "sky rockets in flight" which sounded cool and I think I decided that "afternoon delight" must be something like Angel Delight which was one of our favourite desserts at the time.
posted by crocomancer at 4:55 AM on July 11


All I can say is that in the linked video when you first see Mr. Danoff he looks rather disturbingly like William Fichtner with a perm.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:57 AM on July 11


And you could get high from smoking banana peels

We tried this in high school. It's the stringy part of the inside of the peel. We dried them on the roof for a week or so, rolled them and smoked them.

We did not get high.
posted by COD at 5:40 AM on July 11


Why no one in this oral history remembers the fireworks in the credits to Love American Style as inspiration for the "skyrockets in flight" line confuses me. Love American Style went into syndication quickly and was on all the time.
posted by Catblack at 6:00 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I recently had a conversation with my father-in-law in which he used the term "afternoon delight". Intended as it was in the song. So that was interesting.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:21 AM on July 11


I’m pretty sure this song will be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy 3

there won’t be one because Thanos.

(like omg I’m about to be visibly upset at the fact we won’t have a peter quill and gamora moment with this song now I hate you marvel why)
posted by nikaspark at 6:32 AM on July 11


Those Guardians of the Galaxy collections look like someone's been nipping in periodically to raid my old stack of singles.
posted by pracowity at 7:37 AM on July 11


Bill Danoff had never been to West Virginia before co-writing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and considered using "Massachusetts" instead of "West Virginia" because it would've fit the meter just as well. No surprise considering the song is notoriously inaccurate about West Virginia's geography. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River are in Virginia, not West Virginia.

I never thought I'd get a Guardians of the Galaxy spoiler in this thread but there you go.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:22 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


this song provokes heebeejeebies only approached by the likes of Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey

Shannon by Henry Gross, also from '76, comes pretty close. Sheesh, a song about the death of a dog.
posted by e1c at 8:39 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Those Guardians of the Galaxy collections look like someone's been nipping in periodically to raid my old stack of singles.

I didn't need to get the Vol. 2 soundtrack because I already had most of them. I will be super-bummed if Vol. 3 doesn't have either "Afternoon Delight" or "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:19 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Just yesterday I remarked to a co-worker that I hadn't been able to find a good descriptor for my niche musical interests until recently - now I just say "I dig stuff that could plausibly be on Peter Quill's mix tapes."

I will be super-bummed if Vol. 3 doesn't have either "Afternoon Delight" or "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

I think you mean "I'm Your Captain" instead of "Edmund Fitzgerald".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]




"It’s not at all surprising that the obvious sexual connotation was lost on the originators."

Well, RTFA. And the lyrics are unambiguous:
Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto's always been 'when it's right, it's right'
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day
And we know the night is always gonna be there anyway
Apparently, a lot of us were tweens in 1976! It makes sense, though, that this post would bring out the mefites who were kids when this song was a hit. And it didn't go away for a long time -- it was a recurrent record on most top-40 stations for years.

I'm pretty sure that I knew this was about sex, even though I was eleven. It was the 70s, which was way less uptight than the 80s. Hell, I was in a small-town. That fall when I started junior-high, I read Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex; I took it to school.

"... this song provokes heebeejeebies only approached by the likes of Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey"

Funny you should say that because these two songs remind me of each other and specifically a pretty vivid memory of swimming one day at the university natatorium, with these songs echoing in the background.

"Why no one in this oral history remembers the fireworks in the credits to Love American Style...? "

You're probably right. Also: that TV show and its theme song! It was on every afternoon. Thanks for that earworm along with these other two.

"The 70s were my childhood jam.

Now, the 80s are another story."


Me, too, sister -- on both counts.

The singer-songwriter stuff of the early/mid 70s was my parents' music and the only part of my life I shared taste with them and music was ever-present at home. My judgment about that music is completely biased because of what it means to me sentimentally.

And, also, I've recently discovered that mid-to-late 70s radio rock is comfort music for me. I'd never have guessed back then that much later in life I'd so greatly enjoy listening to songs such as "Carry On Wayward Son". (Also released in 1976.)

Speaking of songs about which we didn't recognize the topic, it wasn't until one night when I was a senior in high-school that I actually listened to the lyrics of "Don't Fear the Reaper" -- I'd never really liked it because of the pop harmonies, but discovering the irony and how very creepy the song was kinda blew my mind. It's not like I wasn't familiar with other BOC songs -- I'd just never paid attention.

My vote for the most obnoxious 70s pop hit would have to be "Seasons In the Sun".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:30 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I think you mean Sly & The Family Stone - Family Affair or possibly The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself.

Those are clearly "as well as" and not "instead of" the aforementioned "I'm Your Captain."

....Okay, maybe "Edmund fitzgerald" can come too. But tell me you can't see them all having an Almost-Famous bus scene moment to "I'm Your Captain", one by one gradually chiming in to sing along with "I'm getting closer to my hooooooome...." as the song is ending, even if in one case it sounds more like "I am Groooooot...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Someone erroneously mentioned that the production and fuzz guitar hook for this song were done by Frank Zappa, and I belived that for years until Wikipedia. Same with 'Spirit in the Sky', as well.
posted by ovvl at 11:03 AM on July 11


"Speaking of songs about which we didn't recognize the topic, it wasn't until one night when I was a senior in high-school that I actually listened to the lyrics of "Don't Fear the Reaper" ...

We called that song "Don't Spill the Reefer."

As you were.
posted by corvikate at 11:29 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Something that I've realized anew upon relistens:

"Thinkin' of you's working up a appetite". That is not gramattically correct. And it's bugging me now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:36 AM on July 11


I will grudgingly allow "I'm Your Captain" as long as "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" gets in Avengers 4 somehow. It would make a great soundtrack for starting off on a suicide mission.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:49 AM on July 11


Blatant self-promotion: Spotify users might like my '70s Selections or Have a Nice Decade* playlists.

* Based on the Rhino box set minus the sound clips.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Now I want a "I'm Your Captain"/"Ride Captain Ride" mashup.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:49 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


We’re discussing the Maudlin Melodies of the 70s, and nobody has mentioned “Seasons in the Sun”?
posted by Orlop at 7:11 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The opening scenes of the TV-movie of The Stand uses Don't Fear The Reaper quite well.
posted by rfs at 8:02 AM on July 12


Nope, not going there. Move along nothing to see here.
posted by evilDoug at 4:34 PM on July 12


this fucking song it won't go away murder me
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:39 PM on July 12


METAFILTER: just so square and wholesome as to make sex sound as appealing as a church breakfast.
posted by philip-random at 9:05 PM on July 12


We’re discussing the Maudlin Melodies of the 70s, and nobody has mentioned “Seasons in the Sun”?

Special hate for taking a perfectly good cynical French song and turning it into overproduced treacle.
posted by jackbishop at 8:02 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


"My vote for the most obnoxious 70s pop hit would have to be "Seasons In the Sun"." - Ivan Fyodorovich.
I am surprised the thread got to this point without mentioning Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs ("...at risk of being deemed a weenie, I will admit that I actually kind of liked when it was popular, but which apparently produces a near-violent negative reaction in many people."), and it's spiritual child, Tom Reynolds' Touch Me I'm Sick ("But when you combine the group's sugary vocals and elementary school rhymes with the desire to gnaw each others' bait...") . The Barry book is available from Audible, narrated by Mike Dodge. The Reynolds book (and its sibling I Hate Myself and Want To Die, which touches on "Seasons in the Sun") are available reasonable cheap on Kindle.
I am also surprised the tags do not include HomerSimpsonsTattoo.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 5:56 PM on July 13


Last night I watched Logan Lucky, which opens with a discussion about the writing of "Take Me Home, Country Roads."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:52 PM on July 15


Years ago when I was in a quartet that sang at the Texas Ren Fest, one of our songs was "It Fell on a Summer's Day" by Campion. I offer you the lyrics here:

It fell on a sommers day,
While sweete Bessie sleeping laie
In her bowre, on her bed,
Light with curtaines shadowed,
Iamy came: shee him spies,
Opning halfe her heauie eyes.

Iamy stole in through the dore,
She lay slumbring as before;
Softly to her he drew neere,
She heard him, yet would not heare,
Bessie vow'd not to speake,
He resolu'd that dumpe to breake.

First a soft kisse he doth take,
She lay still, and would not wake;
Then his hands learn'd to woo,
She dreamp't not what he would doo,
But still slept, while he smild
To see loue by sleepe beguild.

Iamy then began to play,
Bessie as one buried lay,
Gladly still through this sleight
Deceiu'd in her owne deceit,
And since this traunce begoon,
She sleepes eu'rie afternoone.

At the end of this piece, our group tacked on the very ending chords of Afternoon Delight. It was always well-received.
posted by blurker at 8:48 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


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