After another harsh week around portions of the world – terror in Nice, a failed coup in Turkey, political craziness here at home and who knows what else in other places – I was looking for something to make me feel better. Music works, more often than not, so I decided to take a look at what I was likely hearing on my radio during this week in 1970.
As I’ve noted before, that year was my one full calendar year of focused Top 40 listening. Until late summer 1969, I hadn’t cared much; come the autumn of 1971, I moved in the direction of albums and progressive rock. So it’s a year I look at as a touchstone. Given that, what did I find looking back at KDWB’s “6+30” from mid-July of 1970?
Well, as the link shows, a lot of familiar stuff, records I’ve heard over and over and over in the years since then. Not that I dislike them; some of the stuff on the survey from the week of July 20, 1970, is among my favorite music. But I don’t know that after nine years of blogging, I have much more to say about those favorites.
And then I spotted a listing of a record I’ve not heard in years. I don’t know that it was among my favorites back then, and I’ve not thought often of it since. It sat at No. 13, heading up from No. 20; it would peak on KDWB at No. 7 where it would spend the next two week: “A Song of Joy” by Miguel Rios. (It did better on KDWB than it did nationally in Billboard, where it peaked at No. 14.)
And the single – with music based on the Fourth Movement of Ludwig von Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and words (credited on the record label only to “Orbe”) that echo, if not exactly replicate Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” which Beethoven used for the chorale portion of the movement – is worth a listen this morning.
Two years after Rios’ single was a best-seller in much of Europe as well as here, an adaptation of Beethoven’s music was adopted as a European anthem. Given Europe’s travails in the past week – indeed in the past year – it’s an easy choice to make “A Song of Joy” this week’s Saturday Single.