Turning The Tide Around


As we get to the late 80s, more often than not, my favorites are sitting in the middle and at the bottom rather than the top. So let’s review The Other Sixty from the third chart week in January from 1987 through 1989.

January 24th, 1987

82. A-Ha – Cry Wolf

A-ha’s debut follow-up, Scoundrel Days, was a big step in the band’s maturation process as far as production and songwriting. But it didn’t translate to much in terms of sales. This will be the only single from the album that will chart on the Hot 100 and will only peak at #50. They would never chart in the US again, but the band continues to this day. I played this album over and over during that Winter and I thought for sure that this would be a big hit after I’ve Been Losing You failed to make an impact. Then again, I surrounded myself with New Wave friends and endless hours of WLIR 92.7.

90. Howard Jones – All I Want

Speaking of which, this song became a Screamer of the Week, which were the best new songs that listeners voted for every week. On October 1st, 1986, it tied with She Brakes for Rainbows by the B-52s. [I would have voted for either or both.] It’s one of HoJo’s best ballads but somehow it didn’t connect with pop radio and fizzled out at #76.

91. Peter Cetera – Big Mistake

Is this Pete singing about his regret about leaving Chicago? Just kidding. Since he left those horny musicians, he’s never looked back, including skipping out on a RARHOF appearance during the band’s induction. The only thing he has done in the last 30+ years that remotely hints he was even in the group was to appear in the documentary, The Terry Kath Experience. If you haven’t seen it, do so now. [Ok yeah, there was this in 1997.]

The single will peak at #61.

92. Daryl Hall – Someone Like You

Here’s the third single from Daryl’s second solo album, Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine. A soulful (is there any other kind from Daryl) ballad which will peak at #57 next month. It will be the first charted single from Daryl or Hall & Oates to miss the Top 40 since 1978’s I Don’t Wanna Lose You.

93. David & David – Ain’t So Easy

I’m amazed that the Davids has any pop success. This is stuff is way too good to shove in between Bob Jovi and Glass Tiger. Their first single, Welcome To the Boomtown charted up at #37 while this one this hit #51. That feels like success to me, maybe not to them. They will both collaborate on Sheryl Crow’s 1994 debut Tuesday Night Music Club, both as songwriters on hits such as Strong Enough and All I Wanna Do.

95. Ron & The D.C. Crew – Ronnie’s Rapp

Even though Run DMC had cracked the Top 10 in 1986, the music industry still considered rap to be a fad. That’s why you get crap parodies like this one, which imagines Reagan as a fresh MC. This makes Disco Duck sound like Beethoven by comparison. Thankfully most of agreed, and it will thud at #93, just like most of Reagan’s policies.

January 23rd, 1988

78. Elisa Fiorillo – How Can I Forget You?

After winning Star Search in 1985 and guesting on Jellybean’s Top 20 single, Who Found Who? in 1987, Elisa released her debut album. This is the first single, a dance-pop number that will climb to #60.

80. The Cars – Coming Up You

The Cars couldn’t match the success of 1984’s Heartbeat City with their release Door To Door. But they still recorded some great tracks, such as this ballad sung by bassist Benjamin Orr. Unfortunately, it will stall and crash out at #74, just a Pinto. It will be their last charted hit on the Hot 100.

81. Great White – Save Your Love

Here’s the second single from Great White’s third LP, Once Bitten…, co-written by Jerry Lynn Williams, the man who wrote Delbert McClinton’s only Top 40 smash, Givin’ It Up For Your Love. This one has way less personality, and none of the likeability of the former track, but will somehow still swim up to #57

84. The California Raisins – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

What started out as an offhand remark by an ad executive to help promote raisins became a full-blown pop culture assault, including four albums and a few primetime TV specials and tons of merch. The first ad has four claymation raisins singing I Heard It Through The Grapevine. It was mildly amusing if you were five and a little racist. The lead vocals were provided by Buddy Miles, who does a good enough job, but the musical arrangements sound like leftovers from Chipmunk Rock. My cat could’ve programmed something more enjoyable on a Casio. Its debut is also its peak.

Fun fact: The raisin industry, for which the ads were created to help, ended up in much worse financial shape due to the cost of these productions. Also, millennials don’t eat raisins. Actually, no one older than nine eats raisins unless they’re forced to.

85. Carly Simon – All I Want Is You

Carly could have sat on her ass and been a debutante her whole life. Instead, she built a long career full of Top 40 success consisting of 13 Top 40 smashes. Sadly this is not one of them, peaking only at #54, although it was a Top 10 AC hit.

January 21st, 1989

66. Huey Lewis & The News – Give Me The Keys (And I’ll Drive You Crazy)

The ride came to a halt for Huey and the boys as this was their first charted single to miss the Top 40 since 1982’s Workin’ For A Livin’. That stretch lasted through thirteen Top 40 singles, eleven of them hitting the Top 10. I guess folks just Huey-lash, and that’s a shame because this is one of their better-sounding singles from the late 80s. They will get parked at #47 before driving back off the charts.

89. Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings

Within two years of Soft Cell’s massive worldwide smash, they broke up and left singer Mark Alomd pondering a solo career. Through the first three albums, he continued to have mild success in the UK. Then with his fourth, The Stars We Are, he crossed back over the pond and hit the Hot 100 once again with this 45, a track that owed more to house and disco than New Wave.  He will run those rings up to #67 before he spins back down.

94. Survivor – Across The Miles

These guys are still at it, but this limp ballad sounds like they have the eye of the panda. Even though this will make the Top 20 on the AC charts, it will only top out of #74 as their last Hot 100 entry. The band would rightly split up afterward.

98. Til Tuesday – (Believed You Were) Lucky

Aimee and company have their last Hot 100 entry before she embarks on a long, musically satisfying career which continues to this day. Co-written with Jules Shear, this single will inch three spots to its zenith before its luck runs out.

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