Remember 1979? Disco ruled. This week’s selection was one of the rare non-disco #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts that year, reaching that coveted pinnacle on April 14, 1979, where it remained for a week. In 1980, the song would garner Grammy Awards for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Michael Jackson claimed to have contributed at least one backing track for this recording, but was not so credited.
This week’s song, written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, was first recorded and released on Loggins’ 1978 album, Nightwatch and again on his 1980 album, Kenny Loggins Alive. These recordings were not a commercial success, however. The version that would become a hit would be released five months later.
Four years earlier, in 1974, Steely Dan retired from the road. Co-founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker decided to use only session players from that point forward. Their guitarist, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, suddenly looking for work, managed to land a job with an already successful San Francisco-based rock group, having previously performed session work with them on the pedal steel guitar.