When I first started this blog, I had planned on posting about once a day. And for a while there, I did – I was between semesters and taken with the idea of my shiny new blog. I was already 50 years and nearly 1000 number ones behind when I wrote my first review back in December, and I knew I needed to get cracking if I ever hoped to make progress. But, naturally, posting daily gets difficult after a while. School and work came back in session, and I got busy. The quality of my posts wasn’t quite up to snuff. I needed more time to think about each song, to develop an opinion, to get a handle on just what exactly I wanted to say about the track. So I gave myself a little more time between each post.
Eventually, though, this little extra time has turned into posting only about once a week or so. And while I’m still busy (albeit with looking for a job, rather than with actually working and studying), and while I still need extra time to think, I’ve also hit a bit of a rut. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still excited about this project as a whole, and I think some of the most recent posts are among the best I’ve written. But, frankly, this era in the pop charts is often maligned for a reason. In the past, I was worried I was handing out too many high scores. Now, I’m just trying to burn through some of these mediocre-to-poor tracks in search of a record I can actually get excited about.
Symptomatic of this chart fatigue is “Roses Are Red (My Love),” a song Bobby Vinton rescued from the demo reject pile. It would have been better off left to rest in peace. The production, instrumentation, melody and vocals are virtually interchangeable with any other contemporaneous ballad crooned by a young male singer. The main difference is the lyrics, which are somehow even worse. The chorus is lifted wholesale from the old “Roses are red, violets are blue” chestnut, without even the benefit of a semi-clever twist (unless you count throwing in the occasional “my love”). The verses, which describe the blossoming of a high school romance, are just as clichéd. (That I just used the word “blossoming” proves that the pervasive hokeyness has started to infect my brain.) The whole affair just seems really lazy – no surprise, given that the songwriter claims it was written in three minutes (running time of the record: 2:39). In fact, the record’s so bland that I just spent two of the three paragraphs in this entry writing about something else. If you want more of my thoughts on “Roses Are Red,” I refer you to any other entry I’ve written on teen idols. 3
Hit #1 on July 14, 1962; total of 4 weeks at #1
74 of 972 #1’s reviewed; 7.61% through the Hot 100