The Lives of The Lonely


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

84. Musical Youth – She’s Trouble

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.

86. Donna Summer – Love Has a Mind Of Its Own

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.

89. Jackson Browne – For A Rocker

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.

90. U2 – I Will Follow (live)

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

90. Eugene Wilde – Gotta Get You Home Tonight

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.

95. Paul Hardcastle –  Rain Forest 

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

84. Lionel Richie – Deep River Woman

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.

86. Sweet Sensation – Hooked On You

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.

91. Nocera – Summertime, Summertime

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

97. Kiss – Let’s Put The X In Sex

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.


So Hard To Stay Together


Last week Rush drummer Neil Peart passed away from his years-long battle with brain cancer, effectively ending the group as we know it. Many tributes have been written about Neil’s drum prowess, his lyrical imagery, and the effect that he and the band’s catalog had on their youth of the 70s & 80s. This will not be one of them, and I mean that in no disrespect to Neil, Geddy or Alex, nor their family and friends. Not only will others do it better, I realized that his passing did not have the same impact on me as other musicians who have recently died because of one reason: Rush fans.

For my entire life, my experience with Rush was dealing with their obsessive intolerable fans. They kept me outside the party, unable to pass by the garden gate unless I admitted to them this simple statement – Rush is the best band, ever! Any of the (mostly) boys at my school (Who am I kidding? It was all boys.) who were disciples of this Canadian trio would endlessly ramble on about the guitar whiz Alex Lifeson or Geddy Lee, the guy who could play bass and synths at the same time while singing as if it were gospel. And of course, there was only one drummer – no argument, don’t question it – in the entire world living or dead forever and ever amen – Neil Peart.

These dudes were insufferable. There was no room for debate. They held up this credo for life –  It’s Rush. Everything else sucks. Disco sucks. Punk sucks. Rap sucks. New Wave sucks. They put up this barrier like they were in charge of guarding their legacy. And for you to join them, you had to disregard all other music. Because, in their eyes, if you were a true fan, no other music existed. That was my experience with Rish fans through school, but didn’t change much in adulthood.

And that’s not how I enjoy music. My favorites change from day to day. So I grew up with an unfair dislike for a group that probably was as nice and congenial as any Canadian you’d ever meet, exactly the opposite of every Rush fanatic I came across. They had a great sense of humor as well, as evidenced by Alex’s RARHOF acceptance speech in 2013. And I got older I gave albums such as Hemispheres and Subdivisions fair listens. But I just could not escape that Rush fan stigma, and it taints my enjoyment of their music. But although that was my experience, it’s my own problem to get over.

I’ve watched live Rush concerts and have witnessed Neil’s drumming with astonishment, how he could sit in the pocket, then quickly change time hitting everything in his kit during one measure, all with a beauty that sounds natural, perfectly in synch with his band. Although his influences on rock and current prog are immeasurable, I doubt we’ll ever see someone do it like Neil did.

As I digress, there was one song during their tenure that always stood out to me. It received considerable MTV airplay as well as on rock radio but did not make the Top 40, even as it possessed a catchy chrous and Neil’s story of a nuclear meltdown during a time of heightened political paranoia (Chernobyl was less than two years away.) Consider this the time I peaked into the party through a side window before I was chased away.


Leave Me In My Introspection


Let’s check out The Other 60 from the second week of January in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983.

January 12, 1980

81. Journey – Too Late 

Journey finally broke through to the pop charts in 1979 with a Top 20 hit, Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ from their multi-platinum album Evolution. Now that they had unleashed Steve Perry on the world, the band tried to capitalize on it with another single from said album. Unfortunately, it lived up to its title and only moved forward another eleven notches. It would take three more albums before they reached the next level.

84. Aerosmith – Remember (Walking In the Sand)

These guys were an absolute mess by 1980, truly living each day like a night in the ruts. Steven Tyler was a crackhead. Guitarist Joe Perry left the band before their 1979 LP was finished and released. The group owed Columbia Records a lot of money. They released as the first single, a cover of a Shangri-Las hit, that was just as much of a disaster as the band was. It will somehow reach #67 and, in a lovely tribute, features Mary Weiss, the original lead singer of the Shangri=Las on backing vocals.

93. Cindy Bullens – Trust Me

Cidny Bullens had a long career singing back-up for other singers such as Rod Stewart (Atlantic Crossing) and Gene Clark (No Other). Bullens also sings as a sex-o-lette on Disco Tex’s Get Dancin’. But if you were like me you remember Cidny’s name from the Grease soundtrack, on which he sang three songs: Freddy My LoveMooning and It’s Raining On Prom Night. [Hope those royalty checks are still coming in.]

Cidny also released two excellent solo albums at the end of the 70s. The second one, Steal The Night, yielded this moody rocker which would only hit #90, but also feature the track Survivor, a 1980 nominee for Best Female Rock Performance.

96. Breathless – Takin’ It Back

Now here’s some great midwestern rock formed by the founder of the Michael Stanley Band, Jonah Koslen. He left that band in 1977 and put together this outfit, which featured former Wild Cherry keyboardist Mark Avsec. This one should have been a way bigger hit, but as it was, it topped out at #92. Give me this 100 times over something like Blackfoot’s Train, Train, which was currently in the Top 40 when this debuted.

January 10, 1981

86. Sky – Toccata

It’s not often that a songwriter that has been dead two years can write a Hot 100 hit. This was the case with the group Sky, who performed prog-rock style versions of classical compositions and turned JS Bach’s Toccata and Fugue In D Minor into a Top 5 hit in the UK. Over here, it would only hit #83, but that’s still impressive for a classical prog instrumental.

88. Peter Allen – Fly Away

Awww yeah. Here’s something smooth from the boy from Oz, who was now wading in the Westcoast waters. Produced by David Foster, this would be his only Hot 100 entry touching down at #55 before sailing off again. Peter would have better luck writing hits for Pablo Cruise and Melissa Manchester.

He also got a co-wrote credit on Christopher Cross’ Arthur’s Theme, as he came up with the line ‘when you get caught between the moon and New York City‘ while his plane was landing at JFK for the end of its fly away.

January 16, 1982

79. Placido Domingo and John Denver – Perhaps Love

Johnny D couldn’t buy himself a hit in the 80s even when he hooked up with opera star Placido Domingo for this #59 sap-fest. If anything, it probably raised Placido’s profile more than Johnny’s.

81. AC/DC – Let’s Get It Up

It’s amazing to me that this band has only had three Top 40 hits over their entire career, with two of them coming from 1980’s Back In Black. I’m also surprised by the fact that some of the more well-known tracks never charted on the Hot 100, but lesser ones like this single did. This just missed the Top 40 peaking at #44 while songs like Working For the Weekend by Loverboy stuck their tongues out at them from #29.

January 15, 1983

83. Don Henley – I Can’t Stand Still

Now we have the title track to Don’s solo debut as the third single released from it. He wanted so badly to beat Glenn Frey that he heavily focused on his vocals and songwriting, leaving the drum parts to session musicians for most of the album. It meandered its way up to #48 and is largely forgotten by many except the diehard Henley-ites.

83. Missing Persons – Windows

This is the third single released from Spring Session M, and just like the other two, it will miss the Top 40, peaking at #63. They would still gain a New Wave cult following and inspire current artists such as Lady Gaga.

Fun story: Missing Persons’ debut EP was produced by Ken Scott, who had come to LA. in the mid-70s, moving into a house across from Frank Zappa. Eventually, Frank or his wife Gail passed a demo to Ken from one of Frank’s former bandmates, Terry Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo. He helped get the band a record deal and also became their manager. Location, location, location.

90. Betcha She Don’t Love You – Evelyn King

The follow-up to Love Come Down from the LP, Get Loose is charting low this week but will rise to #49. Another great midtempo Soul jam, written by Kashif, it will reach #2 on the R&B charts.




The Fortune Without The Pain


As you can see from my other posts, the list of debuts in early January gets shorter as the decade progresses. That’s in part due to the tighter playlist and rigidity of programmers to include anything that wasn’t metal or dance-pop. There was still a lot of great music in the late 80s, but it wasn’t even making it to the Hot 100. We’ll see how that changes as the years roll on. For now, let’s look at the debuts from 1987 to 1989 of The Other Sixty during the first chart week of January.

January 10th, 1987

90. Til Tuesday – Coming Up Close

This song sums up Aimee Mann’s career, a life full of great songs that almost broke through to the mainstream but fell short. Yeah, I know Til Tuesday a few hits, but they nor her solo career ever were able to get to the next level. Maybe her stuff is too sophisticated for the pop crowd. I’ve enjoyed her output over these last three decades and look forward to each release.

This single, the second release from Welcome Home, would only reach #59.

93. Lone Justice – Shelter

Here’s a band that didn’t even get to the level Til Tuesday rose to. Their brand of NEw Wave rockabilly, also known as Cowpunk, garnered lots of fans from Tom Petty to Dolly Parton. And we know Robbie Roberston like lead singer Maria McKee. But by 1986, the record company got rid of all of the band’s exciting qualities and tried to make them sound like U2. The title track from the second album would be their biggest success on the Hot 100, reaching #47. It would also be their last entry.

There were no Hot 100 debuts during the week of January 9th, 1988, that did not make it into the Top 40.

January 7th, 1989

96. Ratt – Way Cool. Jr.

We’re at the point of pop-metal chart dominance and full MTV takeover, but Ratt just couldn’t buy themselves a hit. It’s not for lack of trying. They changed up their sound a little but not enough to scare away fans. And they were still able to come up with a catchy hook. Did people really prefer White Lion to this?

97. House Of Lords – I Wanna Be Loved

Keyboardist Gregg Guiffira was working on another Guiffira album when he bumped into his old Casablanca label mate, Gene Simmons. Having heard the demos, Gene asked if he would release the record on his new label and change the name of the project to House Of Lords. The first single from their debut got some MTV and rock radio airplay but would only make it up to #58.





The People That We Call Friends


Let’s move into the middle of the decade and check out which songs pushed through the Christmas hangover to debut on the Hot 100 during the first chart week of 1984, 1985 & 1986 only to become The Other Sixty.

January 7th, 1984

83. Con Funk Shun – Baby I’m Hooked

Con Funk Shun was a two-hit-wonder, first with Ffun in 1977 and then, Too Tight in 1981. This funk ballad with by another Top 5 R&B hit, but will only rise to #76 on the Pop charts. Songwriter & vocalist Felton Pilate will leave the band after the next album and make crazy bank collaborating with MC Hammer in the early 90s.

88. D-Train – Something’s On Your Mind

Here’s another laidback jam courtesy of electro funkateer, James D-Train Williams, who never had a Top 40 hit but had lots of R&B and dance hits. This would be his most popular Soul smash going up to #5 while it was his only Hot 100 entry, which will come to a #79 stop. I’m partial to his earlier dance floor classics such as Keep On and You’re The One For Me.

90. Patti Labelle – If You Only Knew

After Labelle split up in late 1976, Patti embarked on a solo career, which went through many record labels, including a three-album tour at Philadelphia International. The second LP, I’m In Love Again, spawned this Soul classic, which shot to #1. It was also her first Hot 100 entry, which peaked at #46.

93. Evelyn King – Action

You may be noticing a trend wherein Soul acts had a harder time breaking through to the Pop charts in the mid-80s. These were the days of reverse crossover wherein Sting, Wham!, and Paul Young could make it on the R&B charts. Evelyn was an established star during the disco era, which may be the stigma that kept her off of Pop radio in 1984. She put the champagne away and still reached #75 while this became a #13 Soul hit.

January 5th, 1985

76. Deep Purple – Knocking At Your Back Door

I remember it being a big deal that Deep Purple got back together in 1984 with what was called the Mark II lineup. The album, Perfect Strangers went platinum. They had one of the most successful tours this year. But outside of rock radio, many folks did not hear this single which got up to #61.

85. Nolan Thomas – Yo Little Brother

If you think the lip-sync saga of Milli Vanilli was an isolated incident, think again. Here’s a one-hit-wonder in name only as Nolan did not record the vocals on this freestyle dance track. Elan Lanier recorded them. No one cared as this only topped out #57. Also you may need special glasses to watch the video. And no, that’s not Ben Stiller.

95. Whodini – Friends/ Five Minutes Of Funk

This hip hop classic from old school rappers, Whodini was their only Hot 100 entry, so you only knew this if you were already into rap or hang out on basketball courts where the giant boom boxes were or had a break-dancing crew. The LP, Escape, is def top to bottom. Amazingly this single cracked the Top 5 on the Soul charts. This would climb as high as #87 on the Hot 100.

January 11th, 1986

87. Evelyn “Champagne” King – Your Personal Touch

Yeah, Evelyn brings the champagne back but unfortunately, her Pop career was on ice by 86, which is also the highest number she’d get to on the Hot 100. That’s a shame because this mid-tempo track was better than a lot of the other dance-pop that was on the radio at the time. And I can’t tell you how many newer current artists have tried to recreate this sound.

92. Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew – The Superbowl Shuffle

In 1986, no one (white people) took rap seriously, so we ended up having lots of rap parodies and crap like this. This was also the last time anyone took the Chicago Bears seriously. Jim McMahon sounds like a coked-out bro, but Willie Gault has a smooth flow. This just missed being a Top 40 hit, peaking at #41.

Fun fact: The Bears were not the first football team to record a single as the Frisco 49ers recorded We Are The 49ers in 1984. The song did not chart, but the team won the Super Bowl.



The Break That Don’t Ever Come


I’ve enjoyed writing about various Top 40 countdowns during the 80s over the last year, culled from the Billboard Hot 100 charts. But what about the other sixty, you might ask? That’s where my radio show, The UnCola, which is broadcast weekly on 103.3 Asheville FM, comes in. I play those tracks and others that weren’t as lucky to chart over the last five decades. Some of them you may know. Some of them were more popular than specific Top 40 hits. Some deserved their fate. So let’s go through the decade week by week this year as I shine a light on The Other Sixty.

January 5th, 1980

81. Gamma – I’m Alive

This was guitarist Ronnie Montrose’s latest project, and the group’s first single was a cover that the Hollies took to #1 in the UK. This version will only make it to #60. Gamma would release three albums before taking a break and reuniting in 2000.

Fun fact: Alan Fitzgerald, who was Gamma’s bass player as well as with Montrose, became the keyboardist for Night Ranger.

83. Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ with Disaster

Ridin’ Skynyrd’s coattails out of Jacksonville, FL, here’s the most popular tune from this Southern rock outfit’s second album, teasing their catastrophe all the way up to #42.

85. Bobby Vinton – Make Believe It’s Your First Time

Bobby became a star in the early 60s when music was defenseless, meaning that Elvis was in the Army, and the Beatles had yet to breakthrough. He had a few more hits in the mid-70s, cause everyone went nuts and embraced goofy shit. When we finally got it together, we collectively tried to stomp out future Vinton comebacks such as this one, which I call horny cornpone. An older man should not be telling anyone to pretend they’re a virgin. Karen Carpenter can if she feels like, which is why it became a Top 10 AC hit for the Carpenters in 1983.

86. Mike Pinera – Goodnight My Love

Mike Pinera was the founding member of the band Blues Image, which has a $4 in 1970 called Ride Captain Ride. After that group split up, he joined Iron Butterfly, formed a trio called Ramatam, and became Alice Cooper’s guitarist in the early 80s. This single was released from the “sun” side of Mike’s second solo album, Forever, Mike Pinera, and will climb up to a #70 peak.

93. Tavares – Bad Times

The Brothers Tavares were having trouble following up their Saturday Night Fever version of More Than A Woman. Maybe it was the endorsement by Tony Manero. It wasn’t for their lack of good songs. This cinematic jam reflected our horrific economy at the turn of the decade, and maybe people didn’t want that constant reminder. Still, this would make it up to #47. Can you dig it?

January 17th, 1981 (ed note: I mixed up the first two weeks, so next week you’ll get the Jan 10th debuts)

79. Queen – Flash’s Theme aka Flash

Queen just finished a busy 198o, their most successful year to date. I have no idea how they fit in recording a soundtrack to the film, Flash Gordon. The movie is a cheesy train wreck. The soundtrack fared a little better with this single, just missing the Top 40 at #42.

Fun fact: Even though they had two #1 singles in 1980, they also had three other songs within a year’s time peak between #42 & #44.

90. Slave – Watching You

Even though they were a one-hit-wonder on the Pop charts with Slide, this Ohio funk septet had many R&B hits, including this one that will reach #6 on the Soul charts. This oft-sampled, oft-interpolated jam will be their second Hot 100 entry but will stall out at #78.

97. McGuffey Lane – Long Time Lovin’ You

And from the other side of Ohio comes this country-rock septet whose DIY success earned them a contract with ATCO Records and an opening slot on a Charlie Daniels tour. Unfortunately, this did not translate to national sales as this single only made it twelve notches higher before plateauing at #85. They also crossed over a few times to the Country charts, and they are still kicking around today.

January 9th, 1982

81. Peabo Bryson – Let the Feeling Flow 

Peabo had been releasing LPs since 1976, but still could not cross over to the Pop charts. This will be his 15th Top 40 on the Soul charts hitting #6 but will stiff at #42 on the Hot 100. One year later, he will breakthrough on a duet with Roberta Flack, Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You.

83. Teddy Pendergrass – You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration

When Teddy P left the Blue Notes in the late 70s to embark on a solo career, he also picked up the mantle of R&B Quiet Storm crooner. No one could do it like him, but his stuff was too potent for the mainstream. This late Philly Soul classic will stand down at #43. Two months, Teddy’s life will forever be altered as a car accident he was in severed his spinal cord leaving him a quadriplegic. He still managed to give us another two decades of new music before his death at 59 in 2010.

January 8th, 1983

82. Chaka Khan – Got To Be There

Michael Jackson recorded the original version of this song, which became his first solo single. It reached #4. Chaka recorded it for her fourth solo album and released it as the first single. It will go as high as #67 on the Hot 100, but Top 10 on the Soul charts.

86. Dire Straits – Industrial Disease

I can’t imagine the band or the record company thought they would have a hit with a song called Industrial Disease. If that’s true, they were right, as it topped out at #75 though it did make the Canadian Top 10. It’s still a great song from their equally pleasing Love Over Gold LP. But their next album, which was three years in the making, would prove to be their most significant success.

88. Michael Martin Murphey – Still Taking Chances

M3’s follow-up to What’s Forever For swings for the bleachers but only comes up with a #76 Pop hit while crossing over to #3 on the Country charts.

90. Utopia – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now

I have no idea how Todd Rundgren and Utopia kept churning out top of the line albums year after year. I also have no idea why they weren’t embraced more fully by the Top 40 community. This is straight-up pop gold! With lead vocals by keyboardist Roger Powell, this will only move up eight notches before its descent off the Hot 100.



My Generation Will Put It Right


It’s amazing that as the year winds down and we enter the holiday season, radio playlists get very soft. Case in point, the week of December 20th, 1986. Minus a few songs, this countdown is an aural Twinkie.

20. Timbuk 3 – The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

OHW – Talk about a leftfield hit, this one came from out of nowhere by a married couple od DIY musicians. Between the two of them, they play everything on the record. It’s gonna inch up one more spot before going dark. It’s a shame this was their only hit because they had a lot more interesting tunes such as this one.

19. Billy Ocean – Love Is Forever

Billy’s ballads were already a might treacly. But when he started recorded Hallmark card reject songs like this one, it was the beginning of the end. Collect your money, Billy. Your fans will soon be done with puberty and won’t be back.

18. Kool & The Gang – Victory

Here’s some more weak-ass funk. Scratch that. This is boring phone-it-in dance-pop that will somehow still hit the Top 10. The funk is long gone for this band, as well as any good ideas. Singer JT Taylor split after this album, and the next one, released in 1989, is even worse.

17. Howard Jones – You Know I Love You… Don’t You?

HoJo’s third album One To One was manhandled by producer Arif Mardin who made it sound beautiful but complicated, veering too far away from what initially worked. I have a feeling the record company interfered. So this single, which is at its peak, is the only hit from it, and you may not even remember it.

16. Genesis – Land Of Confusion

Invisible Touch is the Genesis album that finally rode Phill the Shill’s coattails into the luxury life. This will be the third consecutive Top five hit from the album and includes a video containing lots of celebrity puppets created by Splitting Image living through a Reagan nightmare.

15. Survivor – Is This Love

Oh Jesus. You guys are back again? Was there a specific quota to fill for midwest rock, like a reverse Can con?

14. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

PD – This is a shot to the heart but not like the one Travolta gives Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. It’s a real shot that destroys my ventricles. Actually, it’s more like a shot to the nads. Nirvana couldn’t get here soon enough.

13. Janet Jackson – Control

If he hasn’t done anything for you lately because he’s a nasty boy, there’s nothing left to do but take control. Janet grabs her life by the scruff of its neck and Jam & Lewis create some of their finest electronic funk riffs for her third consecutive Top 10.

12. The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong

RAR – Chrissie Hynde had to redo her band once again, so her followup to Learning To Crawl took longer than expected. Still, it yielded this bubbly Top 10 that may or may not have been inspired by her then-husband Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.

11. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – War

Bruce was so massively popular in the mid-80s, he could release a five LP box set of live recordings, and folks would line up to buy it, even from the back of a delivery truck. It would debut at #1 on the album charts and stay there for seven weeks and, to this day, is one of the best selling live albums of all time. He released his cover of the Edwin Starr #1 hit from a September 1985 performance in Los Angeles. It will be his eighth consecutive Top 10 single.

10. Peter Cetera & Amy Grant – The Next Time I Fall

PD – Good for Bobby Caldwell for writing a #1 hit. Unfortunate for us that it featured Cartman and Wonder bread. Excellent for dentists whose patients slowly say How when it starts playing in the exam room so they can quickly look at your molars.

9. Ben E King – Stand By Me

Ben is one of a handful of artists to have a Top 10 twice with the same song. Good for him. Unfortunately, I have heard this song so much in my life because of that, that its simple charm has worn thin.

8. Robbie Nevil – C’est La Vie

This one immediately got stuck in my ear back then and I became obsessed with it. Little did I know that the song began its life on a Beau Williams album released in 1984. Robbie and producers Alex Sadkin & Phil Thornally polished it up and made it the earworm it is today. It will only climb to #2, held back by song #5 and #22. Robbie would later create music for High School Musical & Hannah Montana. Hey, he got a job. That’s OK.

Fun fact: While Robbie was tearing up the charts, brother Alex was getting a recurring role on one of the hottest shows on TV at the time, Cheers as Martin Teel, Rebecca’s new boss.

7. Huey Lewis & The News – Hip To Be Square

PFK – Here’s a song that was written so well that, according to Huey, nobody understood that it was ironic. Damn us! We also didn’t understand why you hired football players as your backup singers, but hey to each his own.

6. Billy Idol – To Be A Lover

Here’s Billy doing a revved up New Wave dance version of a Stax record first recorded by Willam Bell in 1968 called I Forgot To Be Your Lover. The original is sung like a soulful apology, whereas Billy decided to turn it into a demand. Whether you liked it or not, he was going to spend his life making love to you. So be prepared, if you’re just hanging out and watching TV. This could happen.

5. Gregory Abbott – Shake You Down

OHW, PFK – Here’s a #1 song that has been lost to time. It was also a #1 Soul hit, #2 AC, and a Top 10 UK smash. Billboard listed it as the third biggest song of 1987. If you’re unsure what this composition is about, Wiki P gotcha hooked up.

4. Duran Duran – Notorious

DD2 was down to a trio by 1986 with only Simon, John & Nick carrying the band forward. So they brought pal, Nile Rodgers in to give the group a leaner, funkier sound. Thus it ends up being my favorite LP of theirs. The song will be kept off the mountain by the current #1.

3. Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight

So too for this 45. Hey, white people need some rock songs with tribal passages to clod around to, which is why I love this clip.

2. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Way It Is

PD – This was last week’s #1 and apart for that cheesy drum machine, showed the world the talent that Bruce would bestow on us for the next thirty-plus years.

1. The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian (1 wk at #1)

I bet their record label thought they were done with any more popular singles from their second album, Different Light, But this, their third single, opened the band up to many riches when it went to #1 and spent a week up there. I like that three members sing lead on this one, but the video is painful to watch. I had the album, had seen The Bangles live earlier that year and they played this song. I had no inkling this would be huge.


  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • PD – Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • STA – Second Time Around
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake