Don’t Know How I Got Here

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Here we have an eclectic mix of well-known artists racking up songs from The Other Sixty during the seventh chart week from 1982 up to 1985. They can’t all be winners.

February 20th, 1982

84. George Benson – Never Give Up On A Good Thing

George continues his quest to rule the jazz department of R&B with another single from the George Benson Collection. It’s equal parts soul, jazz, funk, and West Coast smooth. Even though it will be a Top 20 Soul & UK hit, it will give up at #52 Pop.

85. George Duke – Shine On

And now we have keyboard whiz George Duke, who honed his chops playing with Cannonball Adderley and Frank Zappa. He moved into the fusion arena by the late 70s with a series of P-funk inspired albums and broke through on the Pop charts in 1981 with Sweet Baby, his collaboration with Stanley Clarke. He continued to smooth out his sound with this slab of disco-funk, which just missed the Top 40, peaking at #41.

86. Barbra Streisand – Memory

A hit musical. Babs. Peaks at #52. Meanwhile, Barry Manilow will cover it and make the Top 40 in early 1983. Now that’s the stale cold smell of morning.

90. Survivor – Summer Nights

This midwestern quintet led by Dave Bickler captured a Top 40 hit in 1981 called Poor Man’s Son. This is their follow-up, and even though the summer nights are long, the fun was over at #62. They had yet to acquire the ey of the tiger or even the balls of a frog.

93. Chubby Checker – Running

Chubby’s got his first chart single since 1969 from his first album in eleven years called The Change Has Come. I guess he figured if Gary US Bonds could have a comeback, so could he. He would eventually in 1988 doing a rap version of The Twist, but not with this recording whose effort was worthy but possibly ill-timed. It will lose its breath at #91

February 19th, 1983

78. Marty Balin – What Love Is

Martin had a few Top 40 hits from debut Balin in 1981. The follow-up, however, sank like a stone, as this single tops out #63. Balin’s next project would be to get together with former bandmates Paul Kantner & Jack Cassidy in 1986. That’s an-Other Sixty in the making.

79. The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go

How in the hell did this song get kept out of the Top 40, only to peak at #50? And this was its second chart run. We allowed Bryan Adams and Barry Manilow to prosper over this classic? I can’t tell you how many bands I was a part of that played this song. It’s a perfect calibrator of the talent you have at hand, which you can evaluate by how you sound playing it.

February 18th, 1984

88. T.G. Sheppard with Clint Eastwood – Make My Day

Believe it or not, it wasn’t until Clint Eastwood’s fourth Dirty Harry movie when he uttered the line, “Go ahead. Make my day.” The film was released to theatres in December 1983. Two months later, TG delivers this Country parody, which will be his last Hot 100 entry and will punk out at #62. It’s not as dumb as you think it would be, but it ain’t Cole Porter either.

90. Roger Daltrey – Walking In My Sleep

Roger, as a solo performer, is a one-hit-wonder in the States. That’s not from a lack of trying, just bad timing and poor promotion. What the hell was Atlantic Records doing in the 80s? This one will go back to bed at #62. Michael Brecker plays the sax solo.

Fun fact: This video was played a lot on MTV at the time, and it featured singer Ian Dury as a boxing manager or promoter or someone about to lose a lot of money watching Roger get his ass kicked.

February 16, 1985

80. Isley, Jasper, Isley – Kiss And Tell

The Isley Brothers train was running so well in the 70s, you knew at some point it would derail. The crash came in 1984 when two Isleys, Ernie & Marvin, took cousin Jasper and formed their own band. Their first album is a bit of synth-funk mess, which is where this first single comes in and why it died at #52. To be fair, the Isley Brothers’ first album as a trio again, Masterpiece, was far from it.

84. The Alan Parsons Project – Let’s Talk About Me

This single was from Vulture Culture, APP’s second 1984 album release. A great song with nowhere to go on the charts, sung by Pilot’s David Paton, which will fizzle out at #56.

Fun fact: The spoken word commentary was done by Lee Abrams, who would go on to found another culture of vulture, XM Satellite Radio.

87. Steve Miller Band – Bongo Bongo

There were many 60s & 70s rockers that had a hard time adjusting to the New Wave era of the 80s. Steve hit #1 in 1982 with Abracadabra. Then he released this pile of coked-out trash. It sounds like he bought a Synclavier, and someone recorded him trying to learn how to play it. Then the engineer said, “Great. That’s a single. What do these stupid kids know?” It would flame out at #84.

2 Replies to “Don’t Know How I Got Here”

  1. “Let’s Talk About Me” is a very good yet devastating song. Video’s a bit slapstick but thought it effectively got the point across–could re-do it with cell phones now.

    Never knew that was the same voice that had charmed me on “Magic,” though.

    Liked by 1 person

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