Possibly the most maligned Love Song of all time is our current Record of the Week.
"Muskrat Love" was a number 4 hit for the Captain and Tennille in 1976. The song sold over a million copies when it was first released, and according to iTunes is still the third most popular song for Toni and Daryl.
The song was written and first recorded by Willis Alan Ramsey as "Muskrat Candlelight". His version (see below) is very similar, with the exception of his gravel-throated vocals, and the lack of muskrat sound effects.
The song was then covered by America who used it as the lead-off single for their Hat Trick album. Despite their confidence in the song it only peaked at a tepid number 67 in Billboard. It is included in their Greatest Hits album, and they still play the song today, which you can see below in a recording from a 2008 concert. Do you still think America would play this song at current shows if the Captain and Tennille hadn't had a massive hit with it? No, they wouldn't.
Then of course came Daryl and Toni's version, which they decided to record after hearing the America song on the radio. Included on their Song of Joy album, but never intended as a single, the song was released due to public demand. In addition to it's top 5 placing on the pop charts, it also spent 4 weeks at number one on the adult contemporary chart.
In a recent poll, CNN included it as one of the "worst" songs of all time, but the poll data is a bit dubious. Even the winning song barely grabbed five percent of the votes and there were hundreds of songs mentioned. Let's face it, there's a song all of us don't like.
One interesting thing about the Captain and Tennille single. As the song ends, and the needle moves into the end groove of the record, the muskrat effects continue to play. The groove itself is an "endless loop" and the effects play until you lift the needle from the record.
Here's the original single for Muskrat Love. Yes, the seventies were a much more innocent time for music. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
The Willis Alan Ramsey version of "Muskrat Candlelight"
America plays "Muskrat Love" live in 2008
The Captain and Tennille play "Muskrat Love" on Solid Gold
Here's the original music promo clip. From some of his expressions I don't think Daryl was crazy about the concept.
'til the Chipmunks and Chipettes cover Muskrat Love
Keep the Adventure Alive,