Concentrate On The Source

We’re up to chart week thirty-eight. Let’s see who ended up Bubbling Under the Hot 100 that week during the 80s.

Oak Ridge Boys – Heart Of Mine (debuted 9/20/1980, peaked at #105)

This Country quartet, as we know them, had been around since the mid-60s when they tried their hand at crossing over to the Pop world in the late 70s. This ballad, the second release from their 1980 album, Together, was their third Bubbler and will reach #3 on the Country charts. In six months from now, they will be paw-paw-oom-paw-paw-mao-mao-ing all over the Top 40 with Elvira.

Tim Weisberg – I’m The Lucky One (debuted 9/20/1980, peaked at #106)

A little ham n’ eggs comin’ atcha – here’s jazz flutist Tim Weisberg hanging out with another son from a different mother, Bill Champlin. He sings lead on a handful of tracks, including this one, which sounds like a lost Westcoast jam. Tim’s albums can be hard to find, so grab a vinyl copy if you find one.

Billy Idol – Mony Mony (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #107)

If someone was going to update this song for the 80s, Billy was the perfect candidate. After Generation X disbanded, he moved to New York and got to work on his solo career recording the EP, Don’t Stop in 1981. It featured a remixed version of Gen X’s Dancing With Myself and this cover of the #3 Tommy James & the Shondells smash. I remembered hearing this on the radio for years and was surprised that it never charted. It will reach #7 on the Disco Top 80 charts.

In 1987, Billy will release a live version to coincide with his Vital Idol compilation, and it will reach #1, though I feel that most folks still play the original instead. And please, get laid, get f’d on your own time.

Blackfoot – Searchin’ (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #108)

For all of the popularity and mystique of Southern Rock, I feel more songs of this genre failed at Pop radio than there were that succeeded.  Here’s another one. This midtempo rocker was the follow-up to Fly Away, which reached #42, both from their fifth album, Marauder.

Dan Hartman – All I Need (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #110)

Dan had a hard time (or at least until 1984)  following his 1979 Disco hit, Instant Replay. This was the third failed single from his fourth album, It Hurts To Be In Love. While the first two charted on the Hot 100, this Billy Joel-styled ballad is left gasping for air down here. A better push might have gotten this single more programmer pickups.

Fun Fact: Dan wrote the song Love Sensation for Loleatta Holloway, which was sampled by Marky Mark for the #1 hit, Good Vibrations. As far as I know, Dan is still not credited as a songwriter on that track. Didn’t that happen to someone else?

Howard Johnson – So Fine (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #105)

Man, I used to love those fried clams as a kid. I’d get some ketchup and tarter sauce, make a pile of each on my plate and mix them up. I’d dip those clams and my fries in them and wipe that plate clean. I can still taste them as I write this.

Anyway, here’s the former Niteflyte singer with a smooth soul jam from his solo debut, Keepin’ Love New, written by Kashif, which, of course, was held down here. Damn, I want those clams.

Uriah Heep – That’s The Way That It Is (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #106)

Were these guys trying to sound like Jefferson Starship, or was it the other way around? For years, this UK quintet continued trying to follow up their 1972 Top 40 hit, Easy Livin. I’m surprised this track from their fourteenth album, Abominog, didn’t do the trick. It received mild rock airplay, which had the tune peak at #25 on the Mainstream Rock charts. It was initially written by Paul Bliss and appears on the Bliss Band’s second album, Neon Smiles.

Stephen Bishop – If Love Takes You Away (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #108)

Let’s face it. Stephen is the poor man’s Kenny Loggins, a dude that was frequently called upon to record soundtrack songs but never had much success as an artist with them, save for It Might Be You.* This mellow Yachty song was from the campy film Summer Lovers, which also spawned Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry.

*Stephen wrote Separate Lives for the film White Nights, which went to #1 but was a hit for Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin.

Freeez – I.O.U. (debuted 9/24/1983, peaked at #104)

Here’s a UK outfit that was a pivotal member of the Brit-funk scene in the early 80s. The title track to their debut album, Southern Freeez, was a Top 10 hit in the UK. Fast forward two years, and the band is now a trio, recording electro freestyle for B-boys. This was the jam back then, and it received a lot of airplay in New York, going to #1 on the Hot Dance Club charts and reaching the R&B Top 20. I have no idea how this textbook 80s track missed the Hot 100.

Dave Edmunds – Information (debuted 9/24/1983, peaked at #106)

Dave first hit the Top 40 in early 1971 with the #4 smash, I Hear You Knocking, which sounded like a song out of a time. Now it’s 1983. We’re in the midst of the second British invasion, and this former Rockpile member has racked up his second Top 40 hit, Slipping Away. This was the follow-up single and the title track to his 1983 album. And if you’re wondering why it sounds like a lost E.L.O. tune, that’s Jeff Lynne on the production and keyboards.

Luba – Everytime I See Your Picture (debuted 9/22/1984, peaked at #105)

We finish up with a singer/songwriter from Montreal, Canada, who recorded songs in English and Ukrainian. Her fourth full-length album, Secrets And Sins, spawned this single, her first hit North of the border. This Daniel Lanois-produced release garnered her two Junos in 1985, but the rock ballad ended up as a Bubbler in the lower 48.

The Years When I Once Lived

What was Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-seven? What were the songs most folks never got to hear? What were the reasons for their inevitable obscurity? What is wrong with this whole system? What is wrong with me?

Henry Paul Band – Longshot (debuted 9/13/1980, peaked at #103)

Henry Paul was a member of two successful bands, Outlaws and Blackhawk. In between the two, or as more of a side project, was this group, whose only chart single Keeping Our Love Alive would reach #50 in early 1982. This was the lead single from their second album, Feel The Heat. Even though HP has a Southern rock pedigree, this track has some elements of New Wave in it as well.

Toronto – Even The Score (debuted 9/13/1980, peaked at #104)

Here’s a Canadian rock sextet led by North Carolinian Holly Woods. Their first album, Lookin’ for Trouble, was produced by fellow Canucks Bill Henderson & Brian MacLeod of Chilliwack. Even with CanCon, this single will make a minor impact North of the Border. But it will net them a Juno nomination for Most Promising Band along with Loverboy, Red Rider, Martha & the Muffins, and the Powder Blues Band. Guess who won?

Chris de Burgh – The Traveler (debuted 9/13/1980, peaked at #106)

English singer-songwriter Chris DeBurgh ( a very John Houseman name) released his fifth album in 1980 called Eastern Wind, and he had yet to have a lot of success here or in England yet. This single won’t change that very much, but at least it’s Bubbling here, and he’s one album away from having a Top 40 in the US [Don’t Pay The Ferryman]. John Helliwell of Supertramp plays the sax on this tune.

Fun fact: Chris loves suing people, especially if you say something about him that he doesn’t like. He has filed sixteen defamation suits to date.

Rita Coolidge – The Closer You Get (debuted 9/19/1981, peaked at #103)

The Delta Lady is back with the first single from her twelfth album, Heartbreak Radio, produced by Andrew Gold. It was her first studio album since her divorce from Kris Kristofferson. Originally written and recorded by Exile, this midtempo pop ballad should have fit right in with the oatmeal soft playlists floating around at the time. Instead, Top 40 preferred Alabama’s version two years later (or had it jammed down their throat by RCA.), where it climbed to #38.

Fun fact: It is an open secret that Rita wrote the piano coda to Layla and that Clapton used it and only begrudgingly gave his drummer, Jim Gordon, credit. Just another reason to hate that backward racist mongoloid.

Meco – Blue Moon (debuted 9/19/1981, peaked at #106)

Meco loved recording soundtrack albums. He loved them so much that he recorded them even if he wasn’t asked. Such was the case for the film, An American Werewolf In London, and his LP, Impressions of An American Werewolf In London. He decided to cover songs with ‘moon’ in that title, such as Moondance, Bad Moon Rising, and this Rodgers & Hart classic that the Marcels took to #1 in 1961, twenty-six years after it was first written. If only Meco had steered clear of the moors.

Tim Goodman – New Romeo (debuted 9/19/1981, peaked at #107)

Here’s a track from Boulder, CO singer Tim Goodman, which should have received a few more chances, especially since sounding like The Doobie Brothers was in high fashion in the early 80s. That probably wasn’t a coincidence since the album was produced by John McFee and also featured Michael McDonald and Keith Knudsen. He, John & Keith would form the country-rock band Southern Pacific in 1983, and whose debut in 1985 would spawn three Top 40 Country hits.

Soft Cell – What! (debuted 9/18/1982, peaked at #101)

Take a look at the Top 40 playlists of 1982 and ask yourself, how in the hell did this UK duo notch a Top 10 hit with Tainted Love during that year. It’s a shame they ended up as one-hit-wonders, but songs such as their follow-up, a cover of an H.B. Barnum tune initially recorded by Groucho Marx’s daughter, Melinda, were never going to cut through the speedwagons and loverboys twice. What! became a popular Northern soul track through Judy Street’s cover in 1968, which is how Marc Almond heard it. Soft Cell’s version will hit #3 in the UK, but we’re all waiting for the re-recorded duet with Lil Jon.

Midnight Star – Hot Spot (debuted 9/18/1982, peaked at #108)

We only have only R&B song as a Bubbler this week for a change. This was the first single for the Kentucky funk band to sniff around the Hot 100, but it won’t be the last. It’s from their album, Victory, but this jam will only peak at #35 on the Soul charts.

Axe – Rock ‘N’ Roll Party In The Streets (debuted 9/18/1982, peaked at #109)

Here’s the hard rock quintet from Gainesville, FL, with the follow-up to their first chart single, Now Or Never [ #64]. Coming off their third LP, Offering, it received some Rock radio airplay reaching #23 on the Mainstream Rock charts. It sounds like the type of song you’d hear coming from a Trans Am at 4 in the morning when the party is most definitely over, blasted by a thoroughly drunk, newly divorced middle-aged man just before he runs the car into a ditch.

Orleans – One Of A Kind (debuted 9/18/1982, peaked at #110)

Kudos for Orleans picking up the pieces after John Hall left in 1977 and coming back with a big hit in 1979, Love Takes Time. Their 1980 follow-up was a victim of Infinity Records’ Popemania bust. Their One of A Kind album and the title track 45  released in 1982 on Radio Records was their last hurrah with Pop radio. Orleans would travel to Nashville to keep their songwriting careers going and hook back up with John Hall. Currently, they’re basking in the Yacht Rock revival sunshine.

Tom Tom Club – The Man With The 4-Way Hips (debuted 9/17/1983, peaked at #106)

The surprise success of this Talking Heads side project prompted Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth to quickly record a follow-up. Closer To The Bone follows the same funky formula but doesn’t have anything as quirky and fun as Genius of Love. Although this single will reach the Top 5 on the Dance/Disco Top 80 charts, I prefer Pleasure Of Love.

Frank Stallone – If We Ever Get Back (debuted 9/15/1984, peaked at #105)

The former lead singer of the 70s rock band Valentine is back. This Westcoast AOR tune was the follow-up to his Top 10 smash, Far From Over, from the film Stayin’ Alive, produced by his brother Sly. And then there’s this.

Jim Capaldi – I’ll Keep Holding On (debuted 9/15/1984, peaked at #106)

We finish off the week with the former drummer of Traffic, who by 1984 was on his tenth solo album, One Man Mission. His previous release, Fierce Heart, contained his only US Top 40 hit, That’s Love. This dance-rock track didn’t seem to click with his audience, although it received minimal club play.

A Record Selection and a Mirror Direction

Timing is everything. That’s why we have two songs that were Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-six during the 80s, only to become classics in their genre in later years. I’m sure you’ve heard them many times since. So who else got lumped in with them?

Clif Newton – The Rest Of The Night (debuted 9/6/1980, peaked at #101)

Here’s a soft rock single written, produced, and performed by Clif Newton. It has the requisite sax licks and a gentle Doobie bounce, but not much else that would distinguish it from the rest of the pack. Clif’s real name is Clif(ton) Magness, and under that name, he would have a lot of success as a songwriter and/or producer for Jack Wagner, Wilson Phillips, Avril Lavigne, and Kelly Clarkson to name a few. He was also nominated for a Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe for his theme song to Beethoven’s 2nd.

Player – Givin’ It All (debuted 9/6/1980, peaked at #105)

Only two years ago, Player had one of the hottest songs in the land with Baby Come Back. Two albums later, they had trouble getting anyone to play their stuff. This was the second single from Room With a View with the previous 45, It’s For You, reaching #46. Pop playlists were getting softer, so their brand of smooth Westcoast should have fit right in.  Maybe the switch to Casablance Records doomed them. In 1984, leader Peter Beckett will co-write the ONJ smash, Twist of Fate.

Neil Sedaka – Letting Go (debuted 9/6/1980, peaked at #107)

After Neil’s big comeback in 1974 with Laughter In the Rain, he was able to stretch his run of hits out for another five years racking up eight more Top 40 hits and twice as many #1s as he had during his initial career peak in the 50s & 60s. This track, a mellow midtempo ballad with some mild Caribbean vibes, was the second release from In The Pocket and the follow-up to Should Have Never Let You Go.

Nine of the ten songs Bubbling under this week in 1981 were just floating around, hoping for a chance to land on a programmer’s playlist. Only The Temptations’ Aiming At Your Heart, at #101, will climb onto the charts. It will eventually stall at #67. Now, onto 1982…

George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Nobody But Me (debuted 9/11/1982, peaked at #106)

If you ever wanted to slam dance to the pride of Wilmington, Deleware, here’s your song. It’s a cover of the 1968 Top 10 smash by the Human Beinz, originally written by the Isley Brothers. You can find it on George’s classic Bad To the Bone album.

The Gap Band – Party Train (debuted 9/10/1983, peaked at #101)

Yeah, this is what I’m talking about. Ronnie, Robert, and Charlie ask everyone to climb aboard and fill the dancefloor with this quintessential party jam, complete with a choo-choo whistle. It will reach #3 on the R&B charts. I have no idea how something good ended up here.

Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (debuted 9/10/1983, peaked at #102)

If I had to describe Billy Idol to someone, I’d put on this record. His pedigree was just getting established in the early 80s, but he had already scored two Top 40 hits, Hot In the City & White Wedding, during the past year. This was a single that was originally recorded with his band Generation X in 1980 and failed. Then it was remixed for his first solo album, released, and failed again. But with a few hits under his belt and a video that MTV seemingly played every hour, the record company re-released it. And it failed. Today, it’s considered a New Wave classic. Go figure.

Zebra – Tell Me What You Want (debuted 9/10/1983, peaked at #107)

Before the Spice Girls, three hard rock dudes from New Orleans were asking you to tell them what you want. Maybe not what you really, really want, so that lack of urgency keeps them down here as a Bubbler. This single, released from their self-titled debut, was the follow-up to their #61 single, Who’s Behind The Door?

Fun fact: This trio played so often on Long Island that they decided to move there and were eventually inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Janet Jackson – Don’t Stand Another Chance (debuted 9/8/1984, peaked at #101)

Had it not been for Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Damita Jo might have given up on her music career. I wouldn’t have blamed her when she was given formulaic synth-pop like this to sing. This was the lead single to her second album, Dream Street, and it was produced and co-written by her brother Marlon. It will reach #9 on the R&B charts.

Xavion – Eat Your Heart Out (debuted 9/8/1984, peaked at #103)

Here’s a funk-rock sextet from Memphis that didn’t get much push from their label with this single from their only album, Burnin’ Hot. This video did get some MTV airplay and paved the way for future African-American rock bands such as Living Colour and Fishbone or, at least, Ready For The World.

Alfonso Ribeiro – Dance Baby (debuted 9/8/1984, peaked at #104)

Time for everyone to do the Carlton. Before his memorable stint on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso was doing weekly work as Ricky Schroder’s best friend on Silver Spoons. He got the gig to play the ‘kid’ in the infamous Jacksons Pepsi commercial, which led to the inevitable recording career. This was his first single, and its status as a Bubbler was the closest it came to any Billboard chart.

Time That Will Last Until The End

The good news is that there weren’t many singles loitering beneath the charts during week thirty-five during the 80s. The bad news is that there aren’t many to talk about. Actually, decide for yourself what is good, bad, or neither and let’s review what’s left as well as a couple of “maybe” Bubblers from 1985.

Paul McCartney – Waterfalls (debuted on 8/30/1980, peaked at #106)

Macca cleaned the Wings out of his system with his electronically experimental LP titled McCartney II. It didn’t yield any hits, but a live B-side of one of the tracks, Coming Up, hit #1 in the Summer of 1980. That’s Paul’s luck – even when he fails, he succeeds. Also, in the fact that this album has gained a significant cult following. This pretty ballad, which sounds nice next to The Korgis’ left-hield hit of that same year, may have also inspired TLC’s  1995 #1 smash. When this song was played during the McCartney 321 documentary, I thought for sure Rick Rubin was gonna say something about TLC. Probably ended up getting edited out. I guess considering that The Beatles were so heavily influenced by rhythm and blues, it’s only fitting that a Soul group would take a little back.

Ray Kennedy – Starlight (debuted on 8/30/1980, peaked at #109)

Ray was a singer/songwriter from Philly who got a co-write credit on the original version of the Beach Boys’ Sail On, Sailor, and The Babys’ Top 20 hit, Isn’t It Time. This upbeat horn-laden 45 was the second release from his second and final album, which follows the #82 single, Just For The Moment.

Teddy Pendergrass – I Can’t Live Without Your Love (debuted on 9/5/1981, peaked at #103)

Man, did TP know how to work a crowd? I mean, listen to his vocals on a sultry ballad like this and just imagine him whipping up the females into a frenzy. And he was single-handedly keeping Philadelphia International afloat into the 80s with his album sales. I have no clue what this R&B Top 10 and lead single from his fifth album, It’s Time For Love, is doing, languishing under the Hot 100. Tragically, in six months from this release, Teddy’s world changed forever after an auto accident left him a quadriplegic.

Nothing left behind from 1982 or 1983 this week.

Helix – Rock You (debuted on 9/1/1984, peaked at #101)

Even though I was never really into metal, I absolutely remember this song. My cousin played it a lot too, and we wouldn’t give Helix an R or an O, instead offering an F and a U. This will be the closest that this Canadian quintet will get to the Hot 100, although they did get some MYV airplay with the censored version of the video. The band Sun 41 recorded a cover for the indie film FUBAR. And there’s also this.

The Bubblers have dried up for 1985, but maybe we can create a few.

Let’s take a look at Billboard magazine for the week of August 31st, 1985, and their weekly Pop picks, which included  Stevie Wonder’s Part-Time Lover, Starship’s We Built This City, and Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice Theme, all of which went to #1. There’s also the Pop picks which made the Top 40: Springsteen’s I’m Goin’ Down, Don Henley’s Sunset Grill,  Hall & Oates’ A Nite at the Apollo Live!, Bowie & Jagger’s Dancing In the Street, and Kate Bush Running Up That Hill (which was recommended, not picked)

Some of the picks made the Hot 100, such as The Romantics’ Test of Time, Depeche Mode’s Master & Servant, Debarge’s You Wear It Well and Talking Heads’ And She Was. That left us with two songs that did not chart, so…

Possible 1985 Bubblers:

April Wine – Rock Myself To Sleep (from Fright Night)

If you watched the clip under the Helix post, you know that Ricky always confuses Rush with this band. At this point, the wine was going sour with their last hit, Just Between You & Me, coming in 1981. In 1984, they reached #58 with This Could Be The Right One. This song was recorded for the Fright Night soundtrack, and although I never saw the film, I remember this one (probably, my cousin again). It was also released on their twelfth album, Walking Through Fire, and written by Kimberly Rew & Vince De La Cruz, both members of Katrina & the Waves. The band would take a seven-year hiatus after this. Starship would also record a version of this on their Knee Deep In The Hoopla LP. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Rio – I Don’t Wanna Be The Fool 

Billboard calls this song Power pop, but it sounds more like arena rock to me. This UK duo features Steve Rodford, whose dad Jim was the original bass player for The Zombies. When the band reformed in the early 2000s, Jim recruited his son Steve to play drums, which he has since 2004.

Rio would record a second album, Sex Crimes, in 1986 before washing away.

Time Can’t Afford The Time

Chart week thirty-four is a little light on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 tunes from 1980 to 1984. There are a few excellent ones that have gone on to be classics in their genre. Let’s review, shall we?

Isaac Hayes – It’s All In The Game (debuted on 8/23/1980, peaked at #107)

The Chef of Love is back with another extended soul-drenched ballad, this one from his fifteenth album, And Once Again. A cover of the 1958 Tommy Edwards #1 smash, it was the second single released from the album, peaking at #86 on the Soul charts. Hayes never crossed over to the Pop world again, but he should have in 1998 with Chocolate Salty Balls, which hit #1 in the UK.

Fun fact: The song’s melody was written by Charles Dawes, who became Vice-President of Calvin Coolidge.

Harry Chapin – Story Of A Life (debuted on 8/29/1981, peaked at #105)

Whatever you may think of Harry’s musical work, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most charitable artists who ever lived. His philanthropy and activism made an indelible mark, not only on Long Island, where we live but throughout the country. He co-founded World Hunger Year, now known as WhyHunger, which lives on to this day working to end hunger and poverty. The third single from his final album, Sequel, was released one month after Harry died in a car accident on his way to a benefit concert. It was written several years before during a turbulent flight and is a fitting musical bookend to a life, while short, still well-lived.

Jim Messina with Pauline Wilson – Stay The Night (debuted on 8/29/1981, peaked at #110)

We all know what happened to the Loggins of Loggins and Messina. So whatever happened to Jim? Well, it’s not like he didn’t bring a pedigree into the duo, having been a founding member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. After L&M split in 1976, Jimmy put out three solo albums and managed two Bubblers. This duet with Pauline Wilson of Seawind was from his second album, Messina, which features plenty of tunes to play around the harbor.  Jim would rejoin Poco in 1989 for their album, Legacy, which yielded two Top 40 hits.

Haircut One Hundred – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) (debuted on 8/28/1982, peaked at #101)

This is what I’m talkin’ about – primo New Wave pop with shades of jazz-funk at 140 BPM. Even though this was the UK sextet’s follow-up to their #37 hit, Love Plus One, it was their first smash in England, reaching #4 in late 1981. Their debut album, Pelican West, is an absolute gem of the era. But after one more album, the band split. Leader Nick Heyward has made several fantastic solo albums, notably From Monday To Sunday in 1993.

Ozone – Li’l Suzy (debuted on 8/28/1982, peaked at #109)

Not everything that comes out of Nashville is a boot-scootin’ boogie. Here’s a funk octet that definitely wouldn’t have gotten a gig at Gilley’s. They got started as the backup band for Billy Preston & Syreeta, and they also played on Teena Marie’s Lady T album before releasing five albums of their own. And since they were on the Motown label, they were severely mishandled, and no one ever heard their music. This is their one crossover attempt which climbed to #59 on the R&B charts.

The Coconuts – If I Only Had A Brain (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #108)

Three albums into their career. Kid Creole spun off his Coconuts for a one-off solo LP in 1983. This trio of ladies recorded a tropical dance cover of the Wizard of Oz classic, and it was the first time either entity had the Hot 100 in their sights.

Axe – Heat In The Street (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #109)

Here’s the Gainesville, FL hard rock quintet with the first single from their fourth album, Nemesis. Even though they turned their B.C. Richs up to eleven, this track ended up as a Bubbler.

Sissy Spacek – Lonely But Only For You (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #110)

Why is actress Sissy Spacek is here, you may ask? Well, her Oscar-winning portrayal of Loretta Lynn in 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter included her singing all of Lynn’s songs in the film and on the soundtrack. The title track was released as a single and reached #24 on the Country charts, prompting Spacek to release her own album in 1983. Produced by Rodney Crowell, it’s quite good and relatively overlooked. This single is the type of soft pop that Nashville was sending over to the Pop charts regularly in the early 80s. It’s a shame this never had a chance to get picked up at more stations. It will be her second and final Country hit, peaking at #15.

Fun fact: Her cousin is actor Rip Torn, best known for playing Artie on The Larry Sanders Show.

Commuter – Young Hearts (debuted on 8/25/1984, peaked at #101)

Here’s another single from the Karate Kid soundtrack that went nowhere. Maybe it’s because it was released on the drowning label, Casablanca Records, which, to be fair, got a boost the year before with Flashdance. Or maybe the song just wasn’t good enough without a visual context, and the only way one could enjoy the song was to hear it in the background while Daniel and Ali making up at the Golf N’ Stuff Family Fun Center.

Howard Jones – Pearl In The Shell (debuted on 8/25/1984, peaked at #108)

This is the third single from my homie’s debut, Human’s Lib. The first two songs, New Song and What Is Love?, made the Top 40, but the best of the three did not even reach the Hot 100. Over in the UK, it will top out at #7. The sax solo is by Davey Payne, who played with Ian Dury and the Blockheads for years.

I had the privilege of interviewing Howard Jones back in 2016, and I can say he was one of the most affable and humble artists I ever met.

Throw Your Trolls Out The Door

Let’s continue our review of those 80s singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-three. Also want to mention that seven of these eight songs were R&B-based.

Kagny & The Dirty Rats – At 15 (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #110)

A year before Berry Gordy let his son, Kennedy, aka Rockwell, record on Motown, he let his son, Kerry write and produce the debut of this Detroit synth-funk band. But since there was no Michael Jackson, there were no hits cause Gordy’s was adrift in bad decisions during the 80s.

Lillo Thomas – Your Love’s Got A Hold On Me (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #102)

Brooklyn-born singer Lillo Thomas garnered seven Top 40 hits on the Soul charts during the 80s, but only one of those songs sniffed the Hot 100. This mid-tempo boogie jam from his second album, All Of You, will reach R&B #11 and nab him an invite to open for Eddie Murphy on tour.

The Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit) (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #102)

“Hey, mates. I bought a Fairlight synthesizer. Let’s see what it can do,” said producer Trevor Horn to his production team. Those three folks, Gary Langan, J.J. Jeczalik, and Anne Dudley, learned on the job working on ABC’s debut, The Lexicon Of Love. During their work on Yes’ 90125 album, they came up with a #1 Dance track called Beat Box and called themselves The Art Of Noise. Challenged to make a song truly out of odd sounds, they created this gem, a #8 UK smash and the best representation of what they could do. Hearing this and watching the video multiple times opened up my mind to a myriad of alternatives to making music. And it reached #23 on the R&B charts, so that’s what’s up.

The Time – Ice Cream Castles (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #106)

Believe it or not, this was the lead single from this Minneapolis septet’s third album. Prince wrote this with Morris Day and plays all of the instruments again except for guitar by Jesse Johnson. This chill funk jam will reach #11 on the Soul charts, but their follow-up, Jungle Love, will finally cross these funkateers over to the Pop charts. Considering Jungle Love was in Purple Rain, but this single wasn’t, why not put this out first, Jamie?

Juicy – Beat Street Strut (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #107)

Here’s a brother and sister duo, Jerry and Katreese Barnes, who placed this lame-ass quasi-dance song on the Beat Street soundtrack, a lame-ass quasi-film. This only made it to #76 on the R&B charts, and Juicy’s only Top 40 over there was Sugar Free in 1986, which was much better (even if it was a rip-off of Mtume’s Juicy Fruit.)

Katreese will go on to bigger and better things, such as becoming the musical director of SNL in 2006 and co-writing this brilliant Christmas present, which would earn her a Primetime Emmy. Well deserved!

The Boogie Boys – A Fly Girl (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #102)

Yes, yes, y’all. Here’s some hip-hop from the Harlem trio of Boogie Night, Romeo J.D., and Lil’ Rahiem, who gave us one of the best basketball court jams of the Summer. It will rocket up to #6 on the R&B charts but fizzle out here. The duo SlyFox will steal the drumbeat for Let’s Go All The Way, which will reach #7 in the Spring of 1986. The Boogie Boys have yet to receive any royalties from that hit.

Shannon – Stronger Together (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #103)

Brenda Shannon Greene may be a one-hit-wonder with Let The Music Play, but she kept the club floors moving through 1984 and into 1985 which freestyle dance cuts like this. It will reach the Top 30 on the R&B and Dance charts and #46 in the UK.

R.E.M. – Can’t Get There From Here (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #110)

What a fitting way to end this group of singles and well to say goodbye to 1985 Bubblers. After having two Hot 100 charting singles from their first two albums, this Athens quartet skimmed the Bubblers with their lead single from Fables of The Reconstruction. It’s hand down my favorite song of theirs, and nothing else feels like the slow change from a warm Summer to a cool Fall than this tune.

Well, this was the last Bubbler of the 80s. After almost thirty years, Billboard discontinued this feature until December 5th, 1992, when songs by INXS, Fleetwood Mac, and Foreigner mixed it up with Keith Sweat, Wilson Phillips, and Marky Mark. They also expanded it from 10 to 25, which meant more sludge at the bottom of the barrel.

Next week, we’ll review chart week thirty-four from 1980 and 1984. Goodbye, 85.

And, thank you, Ray.

The Lines Of Lies

We have another large batch of singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s, so we’re breaking it up again. Let’s review the first half of chart week thirty-three.

Holly Penfield – Only His Name (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #105)

Holly was a singer-songwriter who got her start in San Francisco in the mid-60s singing with the garage rock band, Fifth St. Exit. By the time of her debut in 1980, Full Grown Child, she had moved on to New Wave pop. Her closest attempt at success was this Phil Spector-inspired ballad which could have reached a few more ears with more promotional push. But it was released on Dreamland Records, a subsidiary of RSO, which was flushing its 1978 profits down the toilet.

Earl Klugh – Doc (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #105)

Earl was a jazz fusion guitarist from Detroit who nabbed his first Grammy nomination (for Best Jazz Fusion performance) for his sixth album, Dream Come True. If you listen to this song and think, which TV show is this from, don’t tax your brain too hard. It’s not a TV theme, although it sure sounds like one. This bouncy instrumental is a tribute to percussion player/ bandleader Leonard Gibbs Jr. This was the closest Klugh ever came to landing on the Hot 100, although I think Twinkle from his next LP, Crazy For You could have done the trick.

Joyce Cobb – How Glad I Am (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #107)

Here’s a lady who just missed the Top 40 in early 1980, with her disco single, Dig The Gold, which peaked at #42. Her next closest visit was this buried treasure, a mellow-funk cover of the 1964 Nancy Wilson hit. Joyce went on to greater acclaim as a jazz singer, specifically in Memphis. In the mid-90s, there was a club on Beale Street called Joyce Cobb’s and by 1996 she was added to the Beale Street Walk of Fame.

Rob Hegel – Tommy, Judy & Me (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #109)

This is the kind of single that should win the Bubbling Under Gold medal. It’s such a weirdly constructed Pop rock song with a chorus that comes out of nowhere and an arrangement that gets in the way of the tune’s hook. It would have been perfect for a show like Glee to cover had he not been singing about how he and his friend love banging random chics in the backseat of their car with schoolmate Judy, their next exploit. Although we find out this five-foot diamond in the rough has the upper hand with the boys and might be into S&M. Also, there’s a dose of racism, sexism, misogyny, and a possible school shooting attempt by Tommy that’s quickly averted by his friend. It makes for an interesting song, but it scared the folks at American Bandstand away. Frankly, it’s an awkward twenty seconds that has nothing to do with the song but hits too close to home. Rob would smooth it out five years later and co-write Air Supply’s last Top 40 hit, Just As I Am.

Carl Wilson – Heaven (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #107)

With all of the Beach Boys’ success, the only one who had a Top 40 hit was Brian. And that was once, back in 1966, with Caroline, No [#32], a track from the group’s Pet Sounds album credited only to him. Carl definitely had the voice to do it, just not the right song. This single was released from Carl’s self-titled debut, a beautiful ballad that still became a Bubbler.

The Producers – What’s He Got? (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #108)

Some breaks just don’t go your way. Here’s some Power pop from an Atlanta quartet that really should have broken through, and they had a good promotional push. Their first single from their debut, What She Does, climbed to #61, but this frenetic follow-up disappeared. Personally, I dig this one better. Also, if you live in the Southeast or near Madison, WI, a Producers reunion show may pop up from time to time.

Voggue – Dancin’ The Night Away (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #109)

And now for some leftover throwback Disco from a Canadian duo that owes its sound to the late 70s European machine sound. Weird to think that by 1981 that it was clearly out of date. Even still, it will spend three weeks at #1 on the Disco Top 80 charts.

Phil Gentili – Mama Lied (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #110)

Another lost single by an artist who’s hard to find. All that’s known is that this was the first of two solo 45s this Boston-based singer-songwriter recorded. It’s a contemporary version of a 50’s style ballad, and I’m surprised it even shows up here. Tower of Power found it and recorded their version for their 1993 album, T.O.P.

Are all of the singles of 1982 in these last few weeks good enough to have them cruise up to the Hot 100? Or was there a lack of releases and space to fill? You read Billboard and judge for yourself.

Zapp – I Can Make You Dance (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #102)

Yes, it’s the requisite funk and soul that misses out on the blanched-out Pop playlists of the early 80s. No matter, the second single from Zapp III will reach #4 on the R&B charts and be sampled on numerous hip-hop jams by Erick Sermon, Guy, and Naughty By Nature.

Ministry – I Wanted To Tell Her (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #106)

Of all the great Ministry tunes out there, I can’t believe this is the one to get closest to crossing over to the Hot 100. Not Work For Love, Revenge, or Halloween. This one. It’s a great dance tune, but just not the one I think of from these folks when describing them. Featuring lead vocals by Shay Jones, it will peak at #13 on the Dance/Disco Top 80.

I got to see them live once during the first run of Lollapolooza. I can’t remember if it was great or not. All I remember was the twenty-minute paper cup shower on the audience.

Part two coming up in two and two.


A Feeling I’ve Been Holding Back

We’re up to chart week thirty-two in our review of those singles that were Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s. Let’s take a look.

The Chipmunks – You May Be Right (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #101)

This is the stupidest novelty that will not die. What seemed cute or mildly funny (after twenty Mai Tais) in 1958 has been highly annoying ever since. The nadir of the Chipmunk unpleasantry was 1980’s Chipmunk Punk album, one of the rodents’ countless reboots, which contained grating covers of current pop songs (aka no punk at all). Take the last five seconds of Godley & Creme’s Cry, apply that vocal to any song, and feel your ears bleed profusely. I guarantee when Billy Joel heard this, that rock surely left his hand.

This almost charted on the Hot 100, folks. Worse, the album went Gold by October. If you find yourself minutes from the apocalypse, find their version of The Knack’s Good Girls Don’t and play it. Everything that comes after that will feel like paradise.

Ronnie Milsap – Cowboys and Clowns (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #103)

Here’s one of a zillion Country #1s [actually, his 15th, at the time] that Ronnie will garner in his career. This ballad will be featured on the soundtrack to the Clint Eastwood film Bronco Billy, which was the seventh one he directed.

Photoglo – When Love Is Gone (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #106)

Singer-songwriter Jim Photoglo released his debut under his last name and nabbed a  mellow Top 40 hit, We Were Meant To Be Lovers. His follow-up was even wispier and disappeared like the air after a newly-poured  Sprite’s bubbles pop. Like most Pop stars do when they fall out of favor, Jim will move over to Nashville and write #1 hits for Alabama.

Fred Knoblock – Memphis (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

Fred scored a Top 20 hit in 1980 with Why Not Me. Then he followed it up with an unlikely duet with Susan Anton, assisting her on her debut album. Killin’ Time would reach the Top 30. After that, his career started to fizzle up, beginning with his lifeless cover of the 1959 Chuck Berry classic. Fred’s was more aligned by the Johnny Rivers version with reached #2 in 1964. Unfortunately, Marie hung up the phone on him.

Foghat – Live Now-Pay Later (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

The name “foghat” was a made-up word by guitarist Dave Peverett back in the early 70s. Now it means out-of-touch overblown classic rock. By the time of their eleventh album, Girls To Chat and Boys To Bounce, the group expanded to a quintet, adding keyboardist Nick Jameson, but their sound had to evolve beyond mumbly blues guitar caveman stomps.

George Harrison – Teardrops (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

What is an ex-Beatle doing here? First, let’s remember that George was done with the music industry by the mid-70s. Whatever the greedy hands and the hounding press didn’t take from him, the My Sweet Lord copyright infringement suit surely did. Also of note,  in 1980, Warner Brothers rejected his original submittal of Somewhere in England. Two months later, his friend was murdered, prompting Harrison to rework a tune he gave Ringo as a tribute to John he could record himself. All Those Years Ago would reach #2. This was the follow-up, also written as a commercial attempt. It’s amazing that the record suits forced a song like this out of George and then failed to push it as a single.

Jody Moreing – All Girls Want It (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #103)

Now here’s a lost 45. There’s not a lot out there about Jody, but I do know this. She was in a late 60s band called Sincerely, San Jose, which changed its name to the Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band. When she left, she was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. So let’s say she’s the Bob Welch of Fritz. This single is Jody’s only known solo recording before she moved over to Christian music in the late 80s. Though she did make a few bucks writing a song on Tiffany’s debut album.

Billy Preston & Syreeta – Searchin’ (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #106)

The Fifth Beatle loved his duet with Syreeta Wright, With You, I’m Born Again, recorded for the film, Fast Break. A year after that film’s release, the 45’s success prompted the duo to record a full duets album a la Flack & Hathaway. But because this was on the Motown label, the promotion was bungled, so no one had a chance to hear it. This funky track was written and produced by Raydio’s Ollie Brown.

Tom Jones – What In The World’s Come Over You (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #109)

Here’s Tom doubling down on the Country thing in  1981. I grew up hearing him played in my house a lot as a kid, but thankfully my folks spared me this era where he sounds like a parody of himself. This will be the second Bubbler from The Country Side of Tom Jones, a cover of Jack Scott’s #5 smash in 1960. Tom’s will reach #25 on the Country chart.

All the songs that debuted as Bubblers during this chart week in 1982 made it onto the Hot 100, including Josie Cotton’s He Could Be The One.

Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long (debuted 8/13/1983, peaked at #101)

Don’t tell me Soul music wasn’t being shut out by Pop programmers in the 80s? The Mary Jane Girls had four singles from their debut remain as Bubblers, including this stone-cold classic. This was the jam back in the day, and that cliche doesn’t remotely cover how cool it was. When it came to producing Female groups, Rick was better at it than Prince was, and this was proof. This made it to #11 on the R&B charts and #13 in the UK, so what gives Top 40? In the 90s, it will show up in the Top 10 as a sample in  LL Cool J’s Around the Way Girl and Groove Theory’s Tell Me.

Fun fact: To be fair, that sweet bassline and groove were “borrowed” (I’m being nice) from Keni Burke’s 1982 single, Risin’ To The Top.

Southside Johnny & The Jukes – New Romeo (debuted 8/11/1984, peaked at #103)

This was the Asbury Park band that didn’t make it out. It’s not for the lack of good songs as this one from the Nile Rodgers-produced seventh album, Trash It Up, is. It’s also the first to drop the “Asbury” from their name. Some just don’t get the breaks.

Fun Fact: For those that don’t know, the band was co-founded by Steven Van Zandt (y’know, the dude from Lilyhammer). Even when he left in the mid70s to join the E Street Band, he still collaborated and performed with the group.

The System – The Pleasure Seekers (debuted 8/10/1985, peaked at #108)

Keyboardist David Frank met singer Mic Murphy while both were on tour with the funk band, Kleeer, the former as a session musician, and the latter as road manager. They formed The System, and by 1985, they were three albums deep with one catchy charting single (You Are In My System, #64) and this synth-funk Bubbler. In two years, they’ll hang a sign upon the door that says, “don’t disturb this groove.”

Mai Tai – History (debuted 8/10/1985, peaked at #109)

We finish with one of my favorite songs of this lot. I first found this Dutch trio’s single on an import cassette compilation, Now That’s What I Call Music 5. It compiled the biggest UK smashes from the Summer of 1985 and turned me to so many great bands, such as Scritti Politti, Fine Young Cannibals, and Simply Red. And of course, this track, which reached #8 in England, #3 on the US Dance charts, and #37 on R&B charts. After 36 years, I still have it, and it still plays.

The Twentieth Century’s Latest Scam

Let’s continue our review of 80s singles bubbling under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-one with a look at 1984 and 1985.

Duke Jupiter – Rescue Me (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #101)

Here’s a rock quintet from Rochester, NY, who was on the verge of breaking through for years but just never had that one single. Even after their bass player, George Barajas, suddenly passed away from cancer in 1982, the band pressed on and recorded three more albums. This single was released from their White Knuckle Ride album on Morrocco Records, a subsidiary of Motown. That these guys were the most successful band on it should tell you something.

Russ Ballard – Two Silhouettes (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #106)

Russ was a singer/ songwriter whose success lay in other folk singing his songs. That may be why he racked up three Bubblers in the mid-80s, including this one from his self-titled LP. The 70s hard rock band Bronz got back together in 2010 to record a new album, including their version of this song.

Greg Kihn Band – Rock (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #107)

The cut-out king of the 80s (at least in the record stores where I shopped) with one of his six Bubblers and the second from their Kihntagious album. I think Greg missed a crossover marketing opportunity by not teaming up with Kinney Shoes. They don’t wear ’em like that anymore.

Kashif – Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #108)

Kasif is back with the lead single from his second album, Send Me Your Love. This midtempo synth-funk jam will reach #6 on the R&B charts but kept him an unknown at Pop radio. Next Summer, his production of Whitney Houston’s first Top 10 hit, You Give Good Love, will be all over Top 40 station playlists.

Nick Lowe – Half A Boy And Half A Man (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #110)

Here’s a tune that sounds like it should be blasting out of the speakers while you ride the Tilt-A-Wheel at a carnival. Nick’s first two 80s albums, Nick The Knife & The Abominable Showman, were ignored by Top 40 radio. But the lead single from Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit got enough of a sniff that it barely showed up here. If all you know you all is Cruel to Be Kind, you’re missing out on this man’s rich forty-plus year catalog.

Sheila E. – Sister Fate (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #102)

This was the first released single from Sheila’s second album Romance 1600, and it stiffed, only climbing to #36 on the Soul charts. It’s obvious that A Love Bizarre should have been put out first. But I’m sure Sheila wanted to prove she didn’t need Prince’s help to succeed. She didn’t need to – she’s a badass.

New Edition – My Secret (Didja Gitit Yet?) (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #103)

Someone thought they had another Thriller on their hands when they kept releasing singles from this teen Boston quintet’s sophomore album. Thankfully they stopped at four. Also, they had a new album on the way. This will climb to #27 on the R&B charts. If you can get through the tune without strangling that rhythm guitarist, you’re a better man than I am.

The Weather Girls – Well-A-Wiggy (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #107)

Martha Wash and Izora Redman started out as backup singers for Sylvester before striking out on their own as Two Tons O’ Fun. Prompted by their 1982 single It’s Raining Men, they smartly changed their name to The Weather Girls. This was the first 45 from their follow-up LP, Big Girls Don’t Cry, a reggae-tinged doo-wop track written by folk singer Jesse Winchester, who’d release his version on 1988’s Humour Me.

Fun Fact: Martha would go on to be the anonymous lead singer for C&C Music Factory, Black Box, and Seduction. Ever been to a sporting event and heard “everybody dance now“? That’s her.

Robert Plant – Too Loud (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #108)

It may be weird to see Plant here as a Bubbler, but he spent most of the 80s having his material constantly compared to Led Zeppelin. This was the follow-up to the #36 single, Little By Little, from his third album, Shaken N Stirred, and even Rock radio ignored it. Maybe it was too avant-garde for folks as Plant himself admits it was a little out there and acknowledges its Talking Heads influence.


Gotta Fight To Keep On Dreaming

It’s chart week thirty-one, and another pile of songs has been left by the dumpster under the Hot 100. Let’s review those tunes from 1980 thru 1983 and see if we can rescue some of them.

In Transit – Turn On Your Light (debuted 8/2/1980, peaked at #107)

Here’s a forgotten 45 from an AOR sextet that released only one album. The band might have quickly disappeared, but its keyboardist Bill Cuomo showed up a year later playing the familiar synth riff on Kim Carnes’ #1 smash, Bette Davis Eyes.

Jimmy Spheeris – Hold Tight (debuted 8/2/1980, peaked at #110)

Now here’s a single that is so lost, I couldn’t even find a decent version on YouTube. Jimmy had released four quality jazz-folk albums in the 70s, with only 1975’s The Dragon Is Dancing appearing on the Album charts. After a four-year dry spell, He signed a single deal with Warner Brothers and released this yachty 45, which barely caused a ripple. Four years later, Spheeris was killed in a drunk driving accident mere hours after finishing his latest album, which wouldn’t get an official release until 2000.

Steve Winwood – Night Train (debuted 8/8/1981, peaked at #104)

Even though Steve-O finally crossed over to the Top 40 as a solo artist with While You See A Chance, which reached #7 earlier in the year, he still had a foot firmly in his prog roots. This was the third single from his second LP, Arc Of A Diver, and easily my favorite in his catalog. He records all of the instruments himself, a la Stevie or Rundgren, barely bothering to cater to the Boomer crowd. When he does, they’ll make Roll With It their own mantra along with Don’t Worry Be Happy, ponytails blowing in the wind.

The A’s – A Woman’s Got The Power (debuted 8/8/1981, peaked at #106)

Here’s a Philly Power Pop quintet, named after the baseball team initially founded in their city, who smoothed out their sound a bit for the Rick Chertoff-produced sophomore release. The title track received a good amount of rock radio airplay and a few New Wave fans but missed out on a ton of marketing opportunities. No matter how many times I listen to this, I can’t tell if they are pandering to the ladies or making an ironic joke.

Fun fact: Guitarist Rick DiFonzo would play on Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual, also produced by Chertoff.

Odyssey – Inside Out (debuted 8/7/1982, peaked at #104)

The New York trio who had a big Disco hit in early 1978, Native New Yorker, could never find a follow-up here in the States. They ended up having a pretty good career in the UK, where this single from their fifth album, Happy Together, will land at #3, their fifth Top 10 across the pond. It will climb to #12 on the R&B charts and inspire many cover versions, most recently from the duo, Workshy.

Pete Townshend – Face Dances Part Two (debuted 8/7/1982, peaked at #105)

I think Pete dealt with the loss of Keith Moon by burying his grief within his work. Between Who project and solo work, he wrote, recorded, and released at a frenetic pace in the late 70s and early 80s. I’m also assuming no one was acting as a filter for him, and that’s why we have All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. Racist title aside, this sounds like a half-baked attempt to sound relevant during New Wave’s early years. No wonder this Who castoff ended up as a Bubbler.

Gary Myrick – Message Is You (debuted 8/6/1983, peaked at #103)

Guitarist Gary Myrick has had an interesting underground career. Not people can say that they replaced Stevie Ray Vaughn in a band before. Of course, Stevie was already leaving, but that’s besides the point. The Texas native was on album number three, Language, when he released this moody synth-led Pop tune that sniffed the Hot 100. One year later, you’ll hear his guitar work on John Waite’s #1 smash, Missing You.

High Inergy – Back In My Arms Again (debuted 8/6/1983, peaked at #105)

Motown Records perfected the art of R&B crossover to the Pop charts, making their name synonymous with 60s Soul. But by the time of the 1980s, they were absolutely lost and running fumes and dumb luck. This is why we have one of their current roster girl group destroying their own legacy with a poorly conceived and arranged cover of the 1965 Supremes classic. It was the second single released from their eighth (!) album, Groove Patrol, and has since been out of print. I don’t know how it escaped the Friday production meeting. These ladies deserved better.

“Weird Al” Yankovic – I Love Rocky Road (debuted 8/6/1983, peaked at #106)

Al follows up his parody of Mickey [Ricky, #63] with a shot at one of the biggest singles of 1982, I Love Rock N Roll. [Side note – do they even make Rocky Road ice cream anymore?] Produced by Rick Derringer and complete with hardcore accordion solo, this is kind of stuff that was perfect for MTV and the Dr. Demento crowd. I think it’s funny that every time he does one of these tunes, people want to know if the original artist likes it or not. I bet Joan thought it was funny, and even if she didn’t, she’s still cool.

Stars On 45 proudly presents The Star Sisters – The Star Sisters Melody (debuted 8/6/1983, peaked at #107)

Fun fact: Did you that Stars On 45 was so popular that it created spinoff acts? No one asked for them, but they came anyway. The Star Sisters were the three ladies who sang on the Beatles medley, which went to #1 in 1981. Inspired no doubt by the Hooked on Classics, etc. craze, the crazy Dutch folks murdered replicated a string of Andrews Sisters tune to a mild Disco beat, most likely created by a Lowery Organ setting.

Rebecca Hall – Who Says Girls Can’t Rock & Roll (debuted 8/6/1983, peaked at #109)

First of all, they can and have. But it has been with better songs than this one. Also, how about we exchange girls for women, or did that make the record company exec queasy? And we don’t have to do a 1-2-3-4 count off four times, do we? You know I’d give Rebecca a little more slack had she not been involved with this. Yes, that’s her on “lead” vocals.