“I’m thirteen, lying in bed and unable to sleep for reasons of existential magnitude, so I’ve got the radio on to keep me company, tuned to FM, of course, because I’m at least that cool. Anyway, this song comes on, heavy and wild, the singer howling about how he wants to reach out and touch the sky. But I didn’t catch who it was. Next day at school, I I’m quizzing everybody, but nobody knows what I’m talking about, and anyway, they’re mostly into Elton John or Three Dog Night. Long story short. It took fifteen years to get my answer, care of Jared, a marijuana dealer I knew at the time who played bass in various hard rock outfits, knew his heavy history. I mentioned the ‘I want to reach out’ part and he instantly said, ‘Black Sabbath Supernaut,’ like I’d just become magnitudes less cool in his eyes. How the hell could I not know Supernaut!? But I was just glad to have the answer, life suddenly feeling a little more purposeful, complete. Supernaut, found on side one of Vol. 4, which Jared had, so on it went, heavy and cool as I remembered. Life before the interwebs. You just had to keep digging.” (Philip Random)
The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a rather convoluted process that’s still evolving such is the existential nature of the project question: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here. Whatever that means. What it means is dozens of radio programs if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?
Installment #23 went like this.
857. Marius de Vries – The Avengers Theme
856. Holger Czukay – cool in the pool
855. Ropes – Club in Europe Forever
854. Blue Nile – stay
853. Barry Adamson – something wicked this way comes
852. Spoon – I turn my camera on
851. UB40 – present arms in dub
850. Johnny Mathis – wild is the wind
849. The Rain and the Sidewalk – master of the universe
848. Can – I’m so green
847. Chicago – make me smile [longer edit]
846. Jimi Hendrix – love or confusion
845. Three Dog Night – never been to Spain
844. Joni Mitchell – cold blue steel + sweet fire
843. Nitin Sawhney – Voices
842. Strawbs – a mind of my own
841. Funkadelic – Brettino’s Bounce
840. Funkadelic – Music For My Mother
839. Sun Ra – exotic forest
838. Neil Young – lotta love
Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (not exactly accurate).
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
Because there had to be at least one Three Dog Night track on this list. Might as well go with a mostly forgotten, comparatively minor hit about how humanity just keeps destroying the planet, one city, one neighbourhood, one family at a time. Because much as the official history of the age might now tell us that the early 1970s were all about your Led Zeppelins and Elton Johns and David Bowies, the airwaves would have been awfully bare without the hit machine who took their name from a pre-central heating turn of phrase for a very cold night.