Every weekday morning, if my schedule allows, I take a trip back in classic rock time with not just one, but two hours of the 10 at 10.
The first hour is a 10 at 10 I have been listening to for years, 107.1 FM The Peak based in Westchester County, New York. The channel touts itself as playing “world class rock” ranging from the late 1960s up to the present day. For several years, the channel’s 10 at 10 was my soundtrack to the mid-morning part of my workday or once the babies came along, it kept me awake during their feedings after being up all night. Hosted by DJ Rob Arrow, he puts together songs and other tidbits like news and movie trailers grouped by each month of the year. For example on Thursday, he featured July 1983.
I used to listen in at 10 AM. Then I moved here. That pesky time zone change means I have to remember to tune in at 9 AM.
Actually, the one hour difference works in my favor because that means I can listen to the other 10 at 10, at 10 AM of course. It’s on Chicago’s own 97.1 FM The Drive and hosted by DJ Bob Stroud. I was happy to discover this not long after I moved here last summer. There are a few differences. The songs are not grouped by month, and while there are key news events, there are no movie trailers from back in the day. It sticks more closely to the traditional classic rock format but there are always a few great finds.
Here is a comparison of the two, along with sample playlists from recent 10 at 10s featuring the same year, in this case the totally awesome year of 1983.
The Peak’s 10 at 10:
Years covered: 1965-1999
Pros: The grouping of songs by month really brings you back to the time. Release dates generally very accurate. Also, the playlists include other formats, some classic rock, but also some Top 40. Also, for the late 1960s, sometimes there is enough time for a bonus track, so the list will go to 11 songs.
Cons: A heads-up post is posted on Facebook an hour or so before showtime, and it includes 3 or 4 song covers. While it’s great to remember the lost art of album covers, it does give away at least 30% of the playlist, so there are fewer surprises.
Most Recent 1983 Playlist:
1. “Don’t Change” – INXS
“Mr. Mom” movie trailer
2. “Sharp Dressed Man” – ZZ Top
3. “Whenever You’re On My Mind” – Marshall Crenshall
4. “Other Arms” – Robert Plant
“Vacation” movie trailer
5. “Holiday Road” – Lindsey Buckingham
6. “Burning Down the House” – Talking Heads
7. “All the Good Ones Are Taken” – Ian Hunter
“The Man With Two Brains” movie trailer
8. “Our House” Madness
9. “Lawyers In Love” – Jackson Browne
10. “99 Luftballons” Nena
The Drive’s 10 at 10:
Years Covered: late 1960s- late 1980s
Pros: Solid classic rock picks. Also, there are other pieces of trivia, like the #1 song on that particular date, and the #1 album and movie. Also, the schedule of years covered for each week is published a week ahead of time on the website. You can also vote for your favorite on the website each day and the results are announced on the next day’s 10 at 10.
Cons: Narrower range of years covered means more repetition, at least for fans like me who listen in most days. Also, sticklers like me notice some liberties are taken with song release dates. For example, Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without A Face” was played on a recent 1983 show and while the album it was on “Rebel Yell” was out in 1983, the release date for the song was May 1984 and I remember that song vividly from the summer of 1984, not 1983.
Most Recent 1983 Playlist:
1. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” – The Police
2. “Modern Love” – David Bowie
3. “Legs” – ZZ Top
4. “Saved By Zero” – The Fixx
5. “Solsbury Hill” (live”) – Peter Gabriel
6. “Eyes Without A Face” – Billy Idol
7. “Undercover of the Night” – Rolling Stones
8. “Foolin'” – Def Leppard
9. “I Want A New Drug”- Huey Lewis and The News
10. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – Yes
Both shows are streamable which is great if out of the listening area. Also, both are commercial free. Who doesn’t love that?
Whether you can catch one or both shows, you can’t go wrong. I think both are great!
Lastly, for clarity, neither station approached me to endorse the shows. This is simply meant to be a roundup for classic rock junkies like me.
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