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
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.
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
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?
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.