We’re now into the third chart week of the year as we review The Other Sixty from 1980 to 1983.
January 19th, 1980
Since his appearance in 1975’s The Sunshine Boys and 1977’s Oh God, George Burns was hot again as he entered his eighties. He decided to tackle Country music next and released his first album, I Wish I Was Eighteen Again. The title track became a Top 20 Country hit and almost hit the Top 40, peaking at #49, all this, at age 84. The dude was alive before cars existed. If he got his musical wish, it would have been 1914, before TV, penicillin, and frozen food.
The Rodgers/Edwards production was fruitful on the Sledge’s We Are Family LP, capturing two big Top 10s in 1979. So they all decided to do it one more time with the Love Somebody Today album. However, in the wave of the Disco Sucks movement, they didn’t wasn’t much success on the Pop charts with these singles. This one will reach the Top 10 soul, but only #64 Pop. This is a top-notch long-play with the Chic machine running on all funky cylinders, one which I highly recommend if just for the tracks Reach Your Peak and Pretty Baby.
Dana had been releasing albums since 1962, but only singles since her last LP in 1975. This bland ballad will only get as high as #87, but the B-side was a version of Rainbow Connection, for whatever that’s worth.
January 24th, 1981
Glen is dissing some lady hard here and radio didn’t take too kindly to that. This wouldn’t reach the Pop, Country or AC top 40, and it’s one of Glen’s last Hot 100 entries.
Here’s a single released from the Sesame Street record, In Harmony, a Grammy-winning children’s album produced by Lucy Simon & David Levine. They put out the Doobie’s contribution first as they were still red hot, but the 45 only made it to #76. Maybe they should have recorded this instead.
Film & TV composer Charles Fox had Top 40 success as a songwriter for such memorable themes from Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and Angie. He also co-wrote Killing Him Softly With His Song, a #1 hit for Roberta Flack, and later a massive smash for The Fugees. So this snooze-inducing instrumental isn’t a great representation of what the man can do, but it is his only Hot 100 solo entry topping out at #75.
Suzi is a one-hit-wonder in the US, which is ridiculous. In fact many only know her as Leather Tuscadero. It’s for a lack of Suzi trying. She’s recorded a ton of great singles including this rocker about discovering a cheating lover which will only rise to #51. This ChinniChap entry will be her last Hot 100 entry. Her latest album, No Control, released in 2019, is another winner in her catalog
January 23rd, 1982
I do not understand EWF’s lack of 80s hits. Were they unfairly lumped in under the Disco Suck banner? That wouldn’t explain the success of Let’s Groove, would it? And you could still hear those horns playing with Phil Collins, so it wasn’t the sound. The follow-up is a no-brainer smash that wasn’t reaching #51 Pop, but it will win a Best R&B Vocal Grammy.
Player had three Top 40 hits in the late 70s and almost added a few more in the 80s when WestCoast music was peaking. This single from their fourth album, Spies Of Life, will climb to a #48 position. It will be their last Hot 100 entry.
Another style of music that was (regrettably) popular in the early 80s was the disco medley. This was an eleven song Four Seasons medley sung by Adrian Baker, who had just finished a two-year tenure singing with the Beach Boys. It will only move two places higher before melting down, but it will be a Top 30 UK hit.
Here are the songs that comprise a season of gold: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Working My Way Back To You, Dawn, Rag Doll, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, Save It For Me, Let’s Hang On, and Who Loves You.
Fun fact: Adrian became a member of the Four Seasons for a full year in 1994.
After his explosion of hits in the mid to late 70s, Steve captured them all on a Greatest Hits collection then took three more years before a new studio album. Circle Of Love had five songs and Heart Like A Wheel became a Top 40 hit in late 1981. It also features Macho City, which is a deep-cut that was spun in dance clubs. The second release was the title track, which will revolve around #55 before spinning back down the charts.
Nothing really matters. Nothing really matters….to meeeeee. Is that where you were going with this? Eh, maybe not. This was the first single from Irene’s solo studio debut LP, produced by Ron Dante. No matter how much sugar he added, it will only skim the Top 40 with a zenith of #42.
January 22nd, 1983
Taken from out of Randy’s best albums, Trouble In Paradise, the one with I Love L.A., here we have a duet of sorts with Paul Simon. Even in a world that’s not good enough for him to succeed, Randy was still able to take this up to #51. Someone should have played this for whoever was about to sign Jonny Lang to a recording contract.
More Westcoast rock, this time from a former member of Orleans and a future New York Congressional representative. From the LP, Searchparty, it will be his last Hot 100 entry after its fall from #64
One of the more well-known members of The Other Sixty, this post-disco track written by Paul Shaffer, will only reach #46. It will win an R&B Grammy in 1983 and be played in infamy at gay discos and bachelorette parties for years to come. Singer Martha Wash will sing lead vocals on many early 90s dance tracks such as Gonna Make You Sweat by C&C Music Factory only to be visually replaced by rail-thin models.
Fun Fact: The Weather Girls performed backing vocals for Sylvester on his Step II LP. They were known as Two Tons o’ Fun before changing their name in 1982.
Survivor was riding high on their newfound success due to the Eye of The Tiger. This was the last single released from that album and the last Hot 100 entry to feature lead singer Dave Bickler on vocals. That’s the most interesting thing I can say about this #74 dud.