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About Jim Barton

I'm a long-time student of the history of rock music and its performers, and my favorite branch of the rock music tree is heavy metal.

Here are my most recent posts

Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan

Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan

It’s time to celebrate “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan. But before we get there, does anybody remember a group called Night? They had two Top 40 hits in the summer of 1979, a rocker called “Hot Summer Nights” (#18 on the Billboard Top 40) and a ballad called “If You Remember Me” (credited to “Chris Thompson and Night” that reached number 17 on the Billboard Top 40). Thompson had also recorded with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Ma Belle Amie – Tee Set

Ma Belle Amie – Tee Set

This article was inspired when I heard this song on the car radio–for the first time in over 40 years! Despite the long gap since I had heard this tune, the “Ma Belle Amie” refrain still rang a bell, so to speak, and I decided to look it up in my old 1994 “car copy” of Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” book when I got home. But the kicker was yet to come: Less than ten … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Valley Girl – Frank Zappa

Valley Girl – Frank Zappa

With a sharp sense of humor that skewered everything from politics to TV commercials to Beatles’ album covers and song titles such as “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,” “Stevie’s Spanking” and “I Don’t Want to Get Drafted,” Frank Zappa was one of the most unlikely artists to put a song anywhere near, much less in, the hallowed Top 40. But there it was in 1982 when “Valley Girl” made it to Number 32 on the Billboard … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

MacArthur Park – Richard Harris

MacArthur Park – Richard Harris

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Three Little Pigs” by Green Jelly was Jim Barton’s last foray into the world of heavy metal one-hit wonders. But did you think he would go gently into that good night? Sorry, no such luck.:) From time to time he will continue his contributions and adding to the wacky and wonderful world of One-Hit Wonders, starting with this famous song, “MacArthur Park,” by Richard Harris. A most delightful little book that should be on … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, 1970s, Pop

Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly

Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly

Today we celebrate another novelty song and heavy-metal one-hit wonder with “Three Little Pigs” by Green Jelly. Nursery rhymes and fairy tales have always been fodder for both feature films and animated shorts (how many dozens of old Saturday morning cartoons have spoofed “The Three Bears” or “Little Red Riding Hood”?). It’s the same for the pop chart where numerous songs based on fairy tales have made their mark. For our purposes we’ll concentrate on two stories … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

The Lumberjack – Jackyl

The Lumberjack – Jackyl

Editor’s note: “The Lumberjack” by Jackyl is not a true one-hit wonder. Though if you ask people about the band Jackyl, “The Lumberjack” is often the only song they know. Our resident heavy metal expert Jim Barton pays tribute to this unique song. Just for fun, let’s take a look at a song that was never a Top 40 hit, but I think the novelty angle of a chainsaw being used as a musical instrument … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock