Adam Carolla referenced the song on a recent podcast. They played the song…and I knew the song.
Before today, if you had asked me how the song goes, what artist recorded it, or when it was released, I would have said, “I have no idea.”
When I got home, I looked up the song and played it. Then I looked up when it was released…1974!
I’m fascinated by this. I have no idea when I heard the song. Was it when I was a kid? (I was five in 1974.) Was it on the classic rock station when I was into that? (The 90s.) I must have heard it several times for it to be so familiar.
How could I know a song so well and yet have no recollection of when I heard it?
The song was originally released in 1974 but the version that we know in the US was a newer recording made in 1975 and released with the US version of the album Desolation Boulevard. It peaked at #5 but it was ranked 76 at the year’s end and spent considerable time on the pop charts. It was extremely popular on both pop and rock radio stations thru the end of the 1970s. I’d say it is extremely likely that it is simply a part of the background noise of your childhood (as is true for millions of people the world over), which is why it was selected for the GotG2 soundtrack. Sooner or later they’ll get around to Billy, Don’t Be A Hero and The Night Chicago Died too.
All true, but let’s be clear about this: it’s a stupid-cool song. Loved it around the same time I listened to KISS (the dates line up), but the song is really durable. It got into rotation with my young kids alongside The Beach Boys, Beatles, Ramones and Chuck Berry and held its own for silly rockin’ entertainment value.
The (apparently U.S.; thanks Bo) version of Desolation Boulevard totally rocked. SO many good catchy songs. If you don’t know it, get it immediately.
I wonder if the high harmony vocals are the kind of thing that would stick in a 5 year old’s head.
I bought Desolation Boulevard when it came out and took the album to a nearby stereo store where I told them I was shopping for a stereo so I could listen to it right away. Why? I don’t know. I’m a few years older than the OP but wasn’t old enough to always have sensible motivations for the things I did.
How weird. When I saw that you were talking about a bluegrass song, I assumed it was a third “Fox on the Run” besides the Sweet and Manfred Mann ones. But that *is *the Manfred Mann song. Apparently it somehow got adopted into the bluegrass tradition somewhere along the line.
Fox on the Run was my favorite song in the 5th grade, until I heard Squeeze Box by The Who. Little Willy was my first-ever favorite song, and the compilation album it was on, K-Tel’s Fantastic, was, at the time, the greatest Christmas gift of all time (1973).
I’m betting you heard it from Dazed & Confused. One of the songs on the soundtrack, Never Been Any Reason, became one of my faves.