As Steve mentioned, XM Radio had a Memorial Day special on one of its channels in which they played all 253 #1 songs from 1970-1979. It was cheesy, nostalgic fun, a nice escape. Some of the songs I hadn’t heard in years and years and years. We turned on the radio a little late—we came in at late 1972, when Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” was on—but, except for a few breaks here and there, we kept the station tuned to the 1970s all day long, all the way through Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).”
Of course, some songs that you don’t want to get stuck in your head inevitably get lodged there in the process of engaging in an activity like listening to an all-1970s song marathon, and in my case, the horror has been having endless loops of Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died” and the Bee Gees’ “Love You Inside Out” running through my head. Someone please end the agony.
XM also had a special on its “traditional jazz” channel (I love these absurd labels, but that’s a subject for another post) the other day in which they played and dissected Miles Davis’ classic album Kind of Blue. I loved hearing the album, but I think the best tribute would have been to play the CD from end to end—”So What” to “Flamenco Sketches”—without all of the interrupting chatter. Miles’ music speaks for itself. There’s no need to dissect it.