Tag Archives: Dan Fogelberg

Syne Of The Times: Out With The Auld, In With The New

It's a "Lang" thang.

It’s a “Lang” thang.

It’s almost time for the New Year’s celebrations — time to be with friends and family and toast to 2014’s beginning, hopefully a good one at that. While tonight you’re gonna party like it’s 2013 (while it still is, of course!) one of the songs you’re bound to hear, whether on the television or sung by a crowd, is “Auld Lang Syne”. Popularized in a poem by Scottish writer Robert Burns in 1788, its use as a New Year’s anthem originates somewhere in the 20th century, even though the song itself is more about a general companionship and not exclusively about the holiday. As with any post on here, “Auld” has made its way onto the charts in several decades, so “take a cup of kindness yet” and sip on these songs:

“Christmas Auld Lang Syne”, Bobby Darin (#51, 1960)
After hits like “Dream Lover” and “Mack The Knife” the previous year, Darin charted with this around the holidays, which was the same melodically but with altered lyrics to create a more Christmas-themed record. The result was just a minor entry on the Hot 100, but he would be back in the top 40 a few months later with a cover of “(Up A) Lazy River”.

“Same Old Lang Syne”, Dan Fogelberg (#9, 1981)
Singer-songwriter Fogelberg’s first single from The Innocent Age was another of his tender ballads and went as high as #9 on the Hot 100. The song is based on the performer’s chance meeting with an old girlfriend on Christmas Eve in 1975. Most stations only play this song around the holidays nowadays, but truth be told, “Same” actually peaked in February.

“Auld Lang Syne (The Millenium Mix)”, Kenny G (#7, 2000)
Kenneth Gorelick made a name for himself with his saxophone in the 80’s and 90’s, and this rendition, which was mixed in with audio bits of significant 20th century events, was big. The album version ran almost eight minutes, and the edit was just under five. I heard this mix on the radio a total of one time, and that was one more time than I needed to hear it.

Beyond these three songs, there are a number of other songs that name-check “Auld” in their lyrics. One of the biggest came in 1999, when Will Smith rapped, “Get ready to hum “Auld Lang Syne” / ‘Cause a person that know the words is hard to find,” in one of his last top 40 (#25) hits, “Will 2K”. Plus, with many more covers from acts like the Beach Boys and Mariah Carey, you can get your fill and then some. Just consume responsibly.

Happy New Year to all you PGTC readers and see you in 2014!

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Ever The “Same”: A Six-Pack Of Similar Singles

Damn right, he supports it.

Loving his new hit.

This should be nothing new to you, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are having a banner year on the American charts. Their third single to break the top 40, the same-sex marriage anthem “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert), recently went top ten on iTunes and top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the Supreme Court rulings on the Defense Of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8, both of which are no more. It’s already done a lot given the subject matter of the song, but should it break the top ten, it’ll be the sixth title in the chart’s history to name the “same” word. They may be alike, but I like them all:

“It’s The Same Old Song”, The Four Tops (#5, 1965)
Originally from Detroit, the group led by the late vocalist Levi Stubbs joined Motown Records in 1963 and enjoyed a number of hits with the label through the early 70’s, this being one of their biggest of the decade, save for #1 singles like “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”. After a few changes in the record companies, the group last charted in 1988 with the minor top 40 single “Indestructible”. That title may also describe how the group is today: still together, albeit with a different lineup than before. A version of “Song” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band climbed to #35 in 1978.

“Sunday Will Never Be The Same”, Spanky & Our Gang (#9, 1967)
When you were younger, you might have been a fan of The Little Rascals, a troop of kids known for their short films as Our Gang between the the 1920’s and the 1940’s. It also provided the inspiration for this folk group’s name. The song about a girl meeting a boy on Sunday morning in the park, then returning to find he’s gone (hence, it’ll “never be the same”) was a summer hit for the band. After “Sunday”, the group charted with four other top 40 singles, but none made the top ten. After the death of lead guitarist Malcolm Hale in the fall of 1968, the band released one last unsuccessful album before going their separate ways.

“Still The Same”, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (#4, 1978)
They’re a staple on classic rock radio in the U.S., and between the Bob Seger System, his solo career and his most successful act, Seger’s made a Billboard chart for six consecutive decades, four on the Hot 100. This was the leadoff single from the band’s second album, Stranger In Town. At the time, “Still” marked the highest peak that the band achieved on the big survey along with “Night Moves”, but that would be surpassed by their 1983 single, “Shame On The Moon” (#2), and a solo Seger release that went to #1, 1987’s “Shakedown”. He recently performed “Turn The Page” with The Swon Brothers on NBC’s The Voice.

“Same Old Lang Syne”, Dan Fogelberg (#9, 1981)
Singer-songwriter Fogelberg tapped into the sounds of soft rock in the 1980’s, soaring into the top ten with 1980’s “Longer” and this single the year after it. As the autobiographical story-song goes, he and an old flame unexpectedly reunite in a grocery store, share a few moments together in the car as the drink away a few bottles, and then depart to the narrator’s dismay. Largely seen as a Christmas song today, you’re unlikely to hear it on the radio outside of the months of November and December despite the fact that it actually peaked in mid-February. However, it still remains one of the late performer’s most popular songs.

“Stay The Same”, Joey McIntyre (#10, 1999)
Step by step, he got to those girls. As a member of New Kids On The Block, he grew up in the public eye, scoring several #1 songs with the band and the support of millions of screaming fans. Outside of singing lead on several of their hits, this was McIntyre’s only major solo smash, going to #10 on the Hot 100 thanks to strong physical sales. A followup release, “I Love You Came Too Late”, only went to #54 nationally. Today, he’s back together with his band mates on The Package Tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men. He was also recently in a minor role in the film The Heat, starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

For more of the “same” (and a lot of articles that are different), follow the blog below and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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