Dancing in the dark, walking through the park, and reminiscing

This headline struck me with a lightning bolt of nostalgia:

Fruitport Township Board OKs casino agreements with Little River Band

You know, I loved me some Little River Band back in the day. A series of charmingly pleasant pop hits made the Melbourne, Australia-based LRB ubiquitous on American Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Their 1977 album Diamantina Cocktail broke LRB big-time in the U.S. — that recording went gold, and the pair that followed it, Sleeper Catcher and First Under the Wire, both scored platinum sales. LRB earned another gold album with 1981’s Time Exposure, and smashed the multi-platinum barrier with a 1982 Greatest Hits compilation. The band charted three more albums in the States as they began the long, slow slide into bargain bin obscurity.

Never the most distinctive or innovative act in the business, the Little River Band nevertheless cranked out the kind of innocuous, infernally catchy tunes that bore their way into your cranium and dare you to stop humming them. I’ll be honest, I dug quite a few of those melodious confections. I still have some LRB LPs collecting dust on my living room bookshelf with the rest of my old vinyl.

Here for your singalong enjoyment, we count down Uncle Swan’s 10 Favorite Little River Band Songs

10. “Reminiscing.” The group’s first Top 10 U.S. hit. Any pop song that name-checks Glenn Miller deserves a thumbs-up.

9. “The Other Guy.” Everyone loves a good relationship-gone-wrong song.

8. “Happy Anniversary.” Despite the seemingly upbeat title, this is another now-you’ve-gone-and-left-me number. They had issues, those LRB guys.

7. “Full Circle.” A non-single from Time Exposure, this one spotlights the LRB’s flawless harmonies completely a cappella through the first verse, gradually bringing in the rhythm and string sections as the song builds. Awesome stuff.

6. “Lonesome Loser.” Another song with an a cappella opening, this “unlucky in love” tune was one of the group’s biggest hits. Back in my DJ days, I occasionally opened my radio show with this.

5. “Help Is On Its Way.” This is the Little River Band song you probably forgot was a Little River Band song. It’s turned up in commercials a number of times over the years, for everything from UPS to Nutri-Grain granola bars.

4. “Man On Your Mind.” Not to be confused with “Man in the Mirror,” which is a Michael Jackson song.

3. “Cool Change.” Probably the most profound number LRB ever recorded, it’s a paean to being the captain of one’s own ship and the master of one’s own soul. Plus, it’s got an albatross and a whale in it.

2. “Lady.” If you were in high school in the late ’70s, this song still says, “Prom night.”

1. “The Night Owls.” Because I am one.

I’m not sure exactly how the Little River Band got into the casino business, but I’m happy to know that the boys from Down Under are still making a living.

Huh? What?

Oh… the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

Not the Little River Band.

Hm.

Never mind, then.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Celebritiana, Listology, Reminiscing, Ripped From the Headlines, Soundtrack of My Life

One Comment on “Dancing in the dark, walking through the park, and reminiscing”

  1. Harold R. Says:

    I loved them also. We saw them live in Agoura at a small venue called the Canyon Club just under 7 years ago when we came back form our honeymoon. They were still great. You left off one of my favorites “Take it Easy on Me.”

    I would probably rank them:

    1 Lady
    2 Take it Easy On Me
    3 Lonesome Loser
    4 Night Owls
    5 Cool Change
    6 Help is On The Way
    7 Reminiscing
    8 Man On Your Mind
    9 It’s A Long Way There
    10 Happy Anniversary

    10 was a tough choice between Happy Anniversary and We Two.


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