To Set Your Soul Free


csnyIt’s not every day that you see a group of veterans missing out on the Top 40. But the end of the 80s was tight, and after shoehorning all of the glam metal and teenybopper pop that programmers could fit on a playlist, there wasn’t room for much else. So here are The Other Sixty during the fifth chart week of the year for 1988 and 1989.

February 6th, 1988

80. Prince – Hot Thing

This funk jam was the B-side to Prince’s Top 10 single, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man. And because it started to get its own airplay, it charted on its own, a feat once common that was all too rare by 1988. Even though it would only rise to #63, I would call this charting a success.

83. Stevie Wonder – You Will Know

Stevie had a ridiculous run of hit singles, so much so that I was shocked when this petered out at #77. The fact that the (white) country preferred Tiffany and Expose ballads over this beautiful song was probably more of a harbinger of things to come than I realized. It will be his twentieth #1 R&B smash.

84. The Kane Gang – Don’t Look Any Further

This is a cover of the Dennis Edwards Soul Top 10 from 1984, which featured Siedah garret on female vocals. Although I liked this at the time, I think it’s more because I was hoping it would generate interest in the original. You can beat that growl of Dennis’. This 45 will look no further than #64.

89. Gene Loves Jezebel – The Motion Of Love

I always like their track Desire, but by the time they got to The House OF Dolls album, which this single came from, I was getting tired of the faux-Prince shrieks. This 45 was not one of their best, but it did chart and reached #87.

Fun fact: The band was lead by twins Jay & Michael Aston. Because of a longstanding feud that goes back to the late 90s, you can either pay to see Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel or Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel.

93. Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle – Without You

I didn’t have to say it. You already knew this was the love theme to Bill Cosby’s 80s bomb, Leonard, Part 6. [insert your joke here, esp since the film didn’t have any] This song was written by Lamont Dozier. I’m sure folks thought this would be an across the board smash, but it flamed out too, only reaching #89. Peabo & Regina’s theme to Alladin would do much better.

February 4th, 1989

85. Kenny Loggins – Tell Her

If Kenny isn’t releasing a movie theme, the results can get a little dicey. On his cover of The Exciters’ Tell Him, the changing of genders just doesn’t work, even with all of the Loggins sauce that he pours on it. It’s not bad, but it’s not a shock that it peaked at #76. Maybe it needed a little Michael McDonald seasoning sprinkled on top.

86. Dino – 24/7

Fred Flintstone’s favorite freestyle singer is back with his follow-up to Summergirls. This time it’s a laidback affair, one that would be perfect for getting Wilma in the mood. Just pray that the bird’s beak doesn’t cause a skip on the twelve-inch. It’s a living.

90. Will To Power – Fading Away

That’s what we were all hoping for as well and gave this one a #65 send-off. But they will return like the plague in 1990 to destroy the 10cc classic, I’m Not In Love. Yes, be quiet.

92. Kenny G featuring Smokey Robinson – We’ve Saved The Best For Last

Kenny G and one of the best soul singers ever – how did this miss the Top 40? I thought I made a mistake, but no, this single peaked at #47. I know I’ve heard this in a casino hotel elevator since.

96. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Got It Made

Was this just a cash grab to pull Neil on board, or was that the only way to keep Crosby from coking out and stealing a boat? The results were underwhelming, definitely not up to the standards of their previous work together. With Stills on lead vocals, it will flip its debut numbers and top out at #69. Neil will release Rocking In The Free World within nine months.

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