Who’s that looking through the window into the warm halls of the Hot 100? It’s those Bubbling Under songs trying to keep warm while they chill in the hundreds. Let’s review chart week three from 1980 to 1985.
Jimmy Messina – Do You Want To Dance (debuted 1/19/80, peaked at #110)
It’s a mystery why this former Buffalo Springfield & Poco member and Kenny Loggins cohort never mustered a solo hit or at least a Hot 100 entry. He barely even gets a tally here placing this song at #110. It’s quite a pleasant mix of Westcoast pop with some yachty disco vibes from his 1979 album, Oasis.
Patrice Rushen – Look Up (debuted 1/24/81, peaked at #102)
Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Patrice Rushen was one of the best of her ear to effortlessly blend jazz, soul, and disco. This single from her sixth album, Posh, is one of many great examples and while it makes the R&B Top 15 and #2 on the Dance charts, it misses the mark here. She’ll become a one-hit-wonder next year when Forget Me Nots reaches #23.
Jackson Browne – Hold On, Hold Out (debuted 1/24/81, peaked at #103)
This was Jackson’s third single from his sole #1 album, Hold Out, with the first two, Boulevard & That Girl Could Sing, reaching the Top 40. Because he chose to not edit the eight-minute song down, it was released as a special 12″ record. It’s a product of a decade-long love affair with long overly-dramatic rock songs that ends up sounding like an overblown mess. Two thumbs up!
XTC – Generals And Majors (debuted 1/24/81, peaked at #104) (RSO/Virgin 300)
XTC is one of my all-time favorite bands. This Swindon, England quartet possessed two great songwriters: guitarist Andy Partridge, who was Lennon & McCartney rolled into one and wrote the bulk of their songs, and bassist Colin Moulding, who was more like Harrison. Early on in the band’s history, it was Colin’s songs that were successful. In the UK, Life Begins At The Hop hit #54, and Making Plans For Nigel reached #17. The first release from their fourth album, Black Sea, will top out at #32. Andy will eventually write their biggest British hit, Senses Working Overtime, in 1982.
XTC remained a cult band in the US, partly because they stopped touring in 1982, partly because they were severely mismanaged, and partly because their singles were being released on different labels in the States. This one is on RSO, and it’s strange to think they were US labelmates with the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb. What were those company barbecues like?
Roger Daltrey – Waiting For A Friend (debuted 1/24/81, peaked at #104)
Daltrey is back with another song from the McVicar soundtrack, this one working as the follow-up to his lone Top 40 hit, Without Your Love, which peaked at #20 in the Fall of 1980. This rocker gets caught in the Bubblin’ jail for two weeks before being released for bad behavior.
There were no songs during chart week three in 1982 that stayed peaked below #100.
KISS – I Love It Loud (debuted 1/22/83, peaked at #102)
This N.Y. quartet is still wearing their make-up, trying to avenge their disco sins but to no avail. It will stomp around underneath the Hot 100 for two months, and it’s from their tenth album, Creatures of the Night, which is notable as the last Ace Frehley album, even though he didn’t play on it.
Here’s the teenage quintet from Boston who made their debut in 1983 with Candy Girl, an updated version of the Jackson 5’s ABC. This was their third single release, a two-sided 45 with the sprightly Popcorn Love on the A-side and the doo-wop ballad Jealous Girl on the flip. It will reach #25 on the R&B charts.
Debbie Harry – Rush, Rush (debuted 1/21/84, peaked at #105)
Now that Blondie had officially split, Debbie tries her hand at another solo hit, this one from the soundtrack of the Al Pacino movie, Scaface. It reunites her with producer Giorgio Moroder, and it garnered some club play and a minor hit down under. But after one week, it says goodbye to the bad guy after a #105 debut.
Was (Not Was) – Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like A Rubber Ball) (debuted 1/21/84, peaked at #109)
Before they went dinosaur walking and love house spying, this Detroit act led by un-brothers Don & David Was mixed a variety of styles such as New Wave, lounge rock, and soul into their own musical stew. With lead vocals by Sweet Pea Atkinson, this track was from their critically acclaimed second album, Born to Laugh At Tornadoes.
Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three – Request Line (debuted 1/19/85, peaked at #103)
Break out your worn piece of cardboard for this early hip-hop track. Rockmaster Scott was the DJ and MBG, Slick Rick (not the well-known one), and KingCharlie Prince handled the mic. This track will reach #21 on the R&B charts, but it’s the B-side, The Roof Is On Fire, that they are well-known for. Notoriously, their tour rider included no need for water.
Missy E. sampled the beginning of this track for her 2002 hit, Work It.