I've always enjoyed more of The Boss' "commercial" work than a lot of those favored by his die-hard fans. For me, Springsteen never sounded better than he did on "Hungry Heart" or the tracks off his "Born In The U.S.A." album ... at the time, a number of the "die hards" had felt that Springsteen had "sold out" at that point ... especially when they saw his "Dancing In The Dark" video with a then-unknown Courtney Cox!!!
Anyway, here's our original series EXACTLY as it ran way back when ... with a few "updates" here and there where appropriate!
Although we don't typically feature songs from the '80's in Forgotten Hits, the idea that we came up with for this week was just too much fun to pass up. (When this piece first ran back in 2003, it followed up GROOVY WEEK, a series we referred to as THE GROOVIEST WEEK EVER!!!) ... so we figured, "Why not do a BOSS WEEK, too?!?!?" With that thought it mind, we couldn't help but wonder ... "Can 'FAB AND GEAR WEEK' be far behind???")
Actually, it's our mini-tribute to Bruce Springstten. This week, we're going to feature some strange little pieces of music that owe their very existence to the phenomenon known as "THE BOSS."
It all kicks off today with Cheech and Chong who, in 1985 just missed The Top 40 when their novelty / parody hit Born In East L.A. peaked at #48 on the Billboard Chart.
The Boss had just scored an incredible seven straight Top Ten Hits with the singles released from his Multi-Platinum "Born In The U.S.A." album. (Dancing In The Dark, #1; Cover Me, #7; the title track, Born In The U.S.A., #8; I'm On Fire, #6; Glory Days, #5; I'm Goin' Down, #9; and My Hometown, #6.) Think about that for a second: Seven Straight Top Ten Hits from ONE album!!! Heck, I've got "Greatest Hits" CDs in my collection that don't have THAT many hits on them!!! Fact is, Springsteen was hotter than ever.
He first shot to fame back in 1975 when his rock anthem Born To Run hit The Top 20 (and got him on the cover of both Time and Newsweek during the same week ... an event that is STILL being talked about all these years later!)
We last featured Cheech And Chong as part of our Chicagoland #1 series, when we spotlighted Earache, My Eye, which topped the charts here in Chi-Town in 1974. A couple of other Cheech and Chong hit singles were also successful parodies ... Basketball Jones (#13, 1973, but a #2 hit here in Chicago) came from the soul hit Love Jones by The Brighter Side Of Darkness (which also made The Pop Top Ten in Cash Box) and Bloat On, which was a GREAT take-off on The Floaters' #1 Soul Hit Float On, also a major Pop Hit. (That one peaked at #2)!
Born In East L.A. also features a mini-tribute to Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." thrown in for good measure ... it's a fun way to kick off this new little series.
UP IN SMOKE: If plans for a brand-new Cheech And Chong movie haven't gone completely Up In Smoke, they've certainly been put on hold for a while ... 65 year old Tommy Chong is currently serving jail time for selling drug paraphernalia on the Internet!!!
UPDATE: Chong was later released and turned the whole experience into a Reality Show for television!!! (Is there ANYTHING that hasn't been turned into a reality show for television???) Meanwhile, former partner Cheech Marin has had a pretty successful acting career, appearing in big screen movies with Kevin Costner and as a TV regular on Don Johnson's "Nash Bridges". He is currently a semi-regular on "Lost", portraying Oceanic Six Survivor Hugo Reyes (Hurley)'s father. Chong did some TV time, too, appearing on That '70's Show. The duo recently reunited for a comedy tour ... and are on the road as you read this!