Let’s check out The Other 60 from the second week of January in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983.
January 12, 1980
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.
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.
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 Love, Mooning 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.