Let’s move to the middle of the decade to review The Other Sixty from the third week of January from 1984, 1985 & 1986.
January 21, 1984
Kim really had trouble consistently getting back into the Top 40 after Bette Davis Eyes. [Betcha she wishes she wrote that one.] The first single from Cafe Racers peaked at #40, while the second one, an uptempo synth popper, will only get to #54. If you’re a Deadwood fan, check out who’s in the video.
Born out of the Cincinnati ashes of the 70s group, Pure Essence, comes the Deele. With new singer Kenneth Edmonds in the fold, they released their debut album, Street Beat. This would be the third single released, and it would rise to #3 on the R&B charts crossing over to the Hot 100, where it posted a #77 finish. The band would eventually get a #10 hit in 1988 called Two Occasions. Oh yeah, and Kenny aka Babyface with the drummer L.A. Reid pretty much wrote every popular soul hit in the late 80s throughout the 90s
Because of the success of Mickey, Toni got a chance to follow it up with another album. Unfortunately, she could not, but this proto-New Wave track is still worth a listen even if it only peaked #81. It will be her last Hot 100 entry.
Fun Fact: Toni was the choreographer for Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Also, she continues to have a fantastic career, so look her up for more fun facts.
January 19th, 1985
Chaka is coming off a big smash with her cover of Prince’s I Feel For You. The Arif Mardin-produced album of the same name had lots of potential hits on it, such as this one, written by Mic Murphy & David Frank of the System. But alas, it will only move up fifteen more spots before dying off.
Kim broke through in the US charts in 1982 with Kids In America but found it tough to follow it up. This was her just second single to chart on the Hot 100, even though she had already posted six Top 40 hits in the UK. Released in England as The Second One, the U.S. 45 title was changed to Go For It, a more appropriate choice for us throat-stomping, ladder-climbers Capitalists. Either way, no one cared, and it stalled at #65.
Here’s Kim again coming up short, this time with the title theme to the MGM Hollywood compilation film, That’s Dancing! which was a look back at the history of dance through motion pictures. So of course what better artist to do the theme? The song’s not bad, but couldn’t they found a more exciting dance-worthy number than this one which fizzled out at #68. Or did we really need to wait another thirty years to get this?
January 25th, 1986
83. Dan Seals – Bop
England Dan Seals told John Ford Coley to fuck off in 1980, so he could become a Country singer. Six years later, Dan had his first solo #1, which was in a string of nine straight on the Country charts. The song was written by Paul Davis, who by now had told his pop career to take a hike, so he could write hits in Nashville and become a pool player. It will barely miss the Top 40, peaking at #42.
Also, the song was co-written by a woman named Jennifer Kimball. It just so happens that is the same name as Jonatha Brooke’s partner in the Story, but contrary to the Interwebs, it’s not the same person.
I guess it would have been asking a lot of radio to play a song called Pleasure And Pain, so bravo to the ones that did. In five years, they’ll get the option to play their song I Touch Myself, which will be their only American Top 40. This 45, written by Mike Chapman And Holly Knight, from the second album, What A Life!, will only reach #76.
Here’s more progressive New Wave that got stick at the bottom of the charts from a band that started off as a street theatre troupe called the Mystics Knights of the Oingo Boingo in the early 70s. They even appeared on an episode of The Gong Show. When leader Danny Elfman refocused their efforts on music in 1979, they created a vast and eclectic catalog of experimental rock, which was a mix of punk, ska, soul, synthpop, and anything else they could throw in there. This will be their second and last Hot 100 hit topping out at #85.
Since the mid-80s, Danny has become one of the most prodigious and well-known film composers in Hollywood.
Meli’sa got her start singing on disco singles in the late 70s. She was featured on High Fashion’s 1982 Top 40 Soul hit, Feeling Lucky Lately. Taking that as a cue, she pulled an S out of her name, put it on her chest, and started her solo career with this #1 Soul smash, a Prince cover initially released on his Controversy LP. It nabbed her a crossover to the Hot 100, but the single climaxed at #46.
Ambrosia started off as a progressive pop band in the vein of Alan Parsons Project and became West Coast heroes with lead singer David Pack singing some of the smoothest tracks of the late 70s and early 80s. David’s solo career didn’t have any of those highs, but this track was pulled off of his first solo album, Anywhere You Go and placed on the White Nights soundtrack, eventually garnering a single release. It will only move one spot before Billboard tells David, “I told you so” and kicks him off the charts.