Some legends are about to be born. Some are about to die hard. So let’s visit The Other Sixty from the second chart week of January from 1984 to 1989.
January 14th, 1984
The band of kids that passed the cooking pot to the left has their second and last Hot 100 hit. They’ve also abandoned their pop-reggae sound for a more aggressive synth-pop beat. In the US, they were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy, but that accolade did not help this single’s chart position. It will only rise to #65 and fare even worse in the UK, where it reached #87.
Donna’s thrid single from her She works Hard For The Money LP was this soulful ballad which featured vocals by Matthew Ward of the Christian trio, 2nd Chapter of Acts. It will testify its way up to #70, until someone smote its chart run with vengeance and furious anger.
Since already did one for a dancer, it was time for JB to do one for a rocker. This is definitely is one of the most upbeat songs he ever wrote and recorded. Supposedly it was written in tribute to James Honeyman-Scott, who passed away in 1982. It will rock its way up to a near-miss of the Top 40, parking at #45.
The studio track from the band’s debut album, Boy, was released as a single in 1981 but failed to chart. After the release of U2’s live album, Under a Blood Red Sky, a live version was released as a single in late 1983. This will only reach #81 on the Hot 100 but remains a true classic by the Irish quartet.
January 12th, 1985
It’s a quiet storm with Eugene Wilde, who’s looking to get some with this smooth ballad. This groove only got Eugene as far as #83 on the Pop charts, but it was a stone-cold killer on the Soul charts when it went to #1. Gregory Abbott borrowed the groove for his hit Shake You Down two years later when it rode up to #1.
Jazzmaster Paul Hardcastle gets hit first Hot 100 entry with this b-boy classic. This melancholy instrumental will be playing out of a bunch of sensitive breakdancer’s boombox as they spin on a large piece of corregated cardboard. It will only rise to #57 but become a #2 Dance hit and Top 5 Soul smash.
Amazingly all ten Hot 100 debuts from the week of January 18th, 1986 reached the Top 40. Five of them went Top 10, one went to #1.
January 17th, 1987
For those who were shocked that Lionel was going Country with this collaboration with Alabama, you were not paying attention. Even after writing and producing big hits for Kenny Rogers, Lionel crossed over in 1984 with Stuck On You, a track that reached #24 on the Country charts. This one would do better, reaching the Top 10, even though it will drown at #71 Pop.
The Latin freestyle movement was about to explode in 1987. We’re only a few months away from Expose’s debut after two years of hearing them at the clubs. This Bronx trio got their start in 1985 singing for The Boogie Boys, and one of their members, Romeo JD, took them under his wing. He wrote their first single, which debuts this week. Even though it will only reach #64, it garnered them a contract with ATCO with much bigger success to come.
This is not a cover of The Jamies 1958 hit, rather its more freestyle that will be played incessantly on New York pop radio without reaching a broader national audience. Thus it will only move up another seven spots to #84 before fading into autumn.
All six songs that debuted on the Hot 100 during the week of January 16th, 1988, made the Top 40. All six made the Top 20, five of them went Top 10, two of them went to #1.
January 14th, 1989
Even for a band like Kiss, this is cringeworthy. I bet the guys who wrote this thought they came up with the cleverest track in the world, or that’s what the coke dealer told them. It debuts at its peak and only gets worse from here.