by Kevin Burton
David Dundas, you’re killing me.
Oh, pardon me, Lord David Dundas. As the younger son of a marquess he is entitled to the courtesy title “Lord,” according to Wikipedia.
Wow, I thought he was just lower-echelon rock and roll royalty as a one-hit wonder guy.
Whatever, he‘s messing with my concept. We’re launching a series called “Flying Colors” and today we feature songs with blue in the title.
In 1976 Dundas’s only chart record reached number 17. He called it “Jeans On,” not “Blue Jeans On.” I had that wrong.
Rats. The song has the feel I want for this collection, very 70s, very everyday man, especially for a Lord.
Now I see he released a French-language version of the song called “Blue Jeans.” Sigh.
And that kids, is how the “bonus track” became a thing, on Flying Colors.
Ten spots in these colorful collections, eight I will name, leaving two spots for songs I overlooked or are suggested by readers, plus a bonus track.
If you’re ready now, the blue countdown.
8, “Blue Skies Shinin’,” by Marie Osmond. I was all out of love when the song came out. Osmond’s aching voice was the perfect balm for my aching soul. Very good vocal performance. Thanks, I needed that.
7, “Song Sung Blue,” by Neil Diamond. Inspired by Mozart’s “Piano Concerto #21” the song is about the power of music to wrap the broken hearted in a big embrace and make it all better.
6, “Blue Monday,” by Fats Domino. There just is no sound that comes close to Fats Domino. Here’s a song about a hangover and he makes it sound like the greatest thing ever. With Fats on the keys New Orleans picks you up and holds you close.
5, “Jackie Blue,” by The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. This song was about a male drug dealer/bartender acquaintance of drummer Larry Lee, according to Wikipedia, before Jackie was changed to a female character. It hit number 3 in 1975, but became a problem. The song was in a style they didn’t like to play, but A&M records wanted them to produce more songs like it.
Extra blue credit: on the long version we learn Jackie has indigo eyes.
4, “Devil With A Blue Dress On” by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. This song is paired with a version of “Good Golly Miss Molly.” You talk about a serious rollicking tune. These guys must have completely torn it up in concert. I wish that group had stayed together longer.
3, “Forever in Blue Jeans,” by Neil Diamond. The second entry for Diamond on this list has the common-man feel.
“The simple things are really the important things,” Diamond said of this song. I heard it for the first time in my mid-teens and knew this would be anthem for me.
Some quick notes before we hit the top two.
Thumbs up: “Blue Sky” by Allman Brothers Band. Contender for one of the final two slots. Smooth song, reminds me of an outdoor concert.
Thumbs down: “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. Blatant rip-off of the middle part to “A Day in The Life,” by the Beatles.
Bonus track: “Jeans On” by Lord David Dundas.
Now, my two favorites:
2 “Suite, Judy Blue Eyes,” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. A true masterpiece by three master rockers.
I’m not tuned into the lyrics, which is unusual for me. It’s the soaring harmonies that make this track special. David Crosby broke all the rules when it comes to harmonies, going back to his days with the Byrds.
1, “Midnight Blue,” by Melissa Manchester. “Whatever it is it’ll keep till the morning” is a brilliant opening lyric. It sets a tone. This song is a deep breath, a caress.
Gather now all the songs you know that say some version of “your love is the only thing that keeps me holding on…” put them in a burlap sack and drown them in a river.
Manchester says the same thing so much better in Midnight Blue, which is co-written by Carole Bayer Sager. Her vocal performance is spectacular, Manchester at her best.
Your favorites not listed? Please note them in comments below.