Beyond Radio is the place where music discovery and music nostalgia collide. It is your one-stop source for playlists, music charts, remembrances and recommendations. Our Podcast and music therapy playlists combine elements of nostalgia and discovery, while my blog entries reflect on our musical past through the lens of my personal charts from decades past. I weave a story that includes the connection between artists, chart facts and personal anecdotes that hopefully conjure a connection to the soundtrack of your own life. The current charts and playlists are updated monthly or bi-monthly (bi-weekly for the BR250) and are curated based on a passionate audience that produce their own personal charts weekly.
It’s time to unveil this month’s retro personal chart playlist. I will be posting blog entries like I did for the January 1970 playlist over the coming weeks (and adding more to that blog as well). I am trying to develop this into a long-term project.
This was definitely a transitional period, the waning of disco and 70’s soft rock plus the true emergence of new wave and modern rock as mainstream music. Through it all classic rock abounds. My #1 this week, “Jane” by Jefferson Starship, embodies the essence of an anthemic rock song. That piano line with simple guitar chords behind it, leads into a voice full of self-confidence. There is a swagger to the vocal bridge that leads to a great guitar solo. This, to me, was the pinnacle moment of an ever-evolving collective of musicians that were Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and then just Starship. Mickey Thomas had one of the best voices in music at that time.
The 2001 cult movie “Wet Hot American Summer” used the song for the opening of the film, which was set in 1981. Though I have never seen the movie, it features so many well-known actors it’s crazy. Netflix expanded on the cult status of the film with 2 8-episode series, a prequel in 2015 and a sequel in 2017. These, which featured most of the original actors, also had other roles and guest appearances by a who’s who of young Hollywood actors.
2 other songs from the album “Freedom At Point Zero” would make it to my weekly chart in 1980 but neither the title track nor “Girl With The Hungry Eyes” came close to even my top 10. They would reach #1 on my personal chart again in 1984 with “No Way Out”.
“Jane” would go on to be my #4 song of 1980 and will still be in the top 10 of that year when I do my current revision.