We Gain A Fake Upper Hand


Let’s finish out the twelfth charting week by reviewing The Other Sixty from 1986 up to 1989.

March 29th, 1986

87. David Bowie – Absolute Beginners

The mid-80s was David’s commercial period, and yet I’m surprised by some of the singles that did not become hits such as this one. Was it because the movie that the song was associated with bombed? It’s worth another watch just to see David, Sade and Ray Davies chilling together. It reached #2 in the UK but stalled at #53 here in the States.

96. Greg Kihn – Love And Rock And Roll

I’ve come to really appreciate Greg Kihn’s catalog over the year. But in the 80s, I feel like his albums were always in the cut out bin. I remember a record store actually had a sign above a box of discounted albums and called it, Discount Bihn, spelling on purpose. This was credited to Greg without his band but will only rock up four more spots before rolling off the charts as his last entry.

Fun fact: Even though he still plays currently, he started a second career as a horror fiction writer, publishing four books to date. That explains the Jeopardy video.

March 28th, 1987

86. Night Ranger – The Secret of My Success

At this point, Night Ranger was done with accruing Top 40 hits. They just didn’t know it yet. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to have these folks do the title song to a Michael J. Fox (very) light comedy. Success very much remained a secret to them and that film. And it took me years to figure out what drummer Kelly Keaggy (Will Ferrell’s doppelganger) was saying in the chorus. He adds about twenty extra syllables to the phrase is how I’m living. He and Jack Blades sing las if they were in the film Saw and were both chained together. And let’s not forget the best part – they rip-offed Jermaine Stewart by inverting his na-na-na part in We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off at the end of this one.

91. Corey Hart – Dancin’ With My Mirror

We’re in the middle of a stereotypical 80s sound barrage, lots of reverb, drum machines, and overzealous vocals. And nothing says the 80s then dancing in front of your mirror. The third charting single from Fields Of Fire will only bop to #88 before passing out.

93. Pseudo Echo – Living In A Dream

Here’s a band from Down Under with a name that translates to fake repeat. You can apply that to their cover of Funkytown, which was a Top 10 hit. I purchased this album back then based on this single and one of those Polygram/Polydor/Mercury deals at Record World when they’d feature new artists for $4.99 on cassette. It was a hit one year earlier in Australia before hitting #57 in the States the following Spring.

95. Georgia Satellites – Battleship Chains

Here’s a breath of fresh air; some quality rock from Dan Baird and company. In the dance-pop soaked world of 1987, these guys were lucky enough to have one hit (Keep Your Hands To Yourself). It would have been a miracle if this was successful as well which explains its #86 showing. Hindu Love Gods (R.E.M. minus Stipe plus Zevon) recorded a version in 1990.

March 26th, 1988

90. The Alarm – Presence Of Love

The Alarm had so many good songs, but not one of them was a Top 40 hit. I think programmers saw them as a U2-ripoff. They weren’t. They were much more than that. Unfortunately, both charting singles from Eye of The Hurricane were members of the Other Sixty, this one with a #77 zenith.

93. World Class Wreckin Cru – Turn Off The Lights

Wanna know why this cheesy AF track wasn’t mentioned in the NWA biopic? Just take a listen. It is so painful. I remember hearing it back then, and I thought it was a parody. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella left after this and starting work on the first NWA album. The female vocals were by Michel’le, who would have several solo hits in the early 90s. This will rise up to #84, ten spots higher than the song below.

94. Robert Palmer – Sweet Lies

Here’s the title track to a film no one saw. I remember hearing this on Future Hits and immediately picking up the 45. I love the way Palmer cooly sang with a faint air of drama and mystery, never raising his voice but always in control. This single was released between the Riptide and Heavy Nova albums. It should have done a lot better than debuting at its peak.

March 25th, 1989

89. Chris Rea – Working On It

Eleven years after his only US Top 40, Fool (If You Think It’s Over), Rea is working on trying to get another one in the US. This single was from a compilation New Light Through Different Windows, which features the updated Fool as well as other re-recordings. He’ll get to #73 and then get fired.

Fun fact: Chris has 13 UK Top 40s over 20 years, including Fool, which only reached #30. I can’t figure why.

92. Peter Schilling – The Different Story (World Of Lust And Crime)

Since Peter was done stealing from David Bowie, he decided to move on to New Order. Ripping off True Faith, Peter phonetically sings us an alternative tale of lust and crime. That’s rich. It will hit #61 before an Auf Wiedersehen.

95. Escape Club – Walking Through Walls

This is what happens when the coke wears off. And it’s a rare UK band that charted here but not in their home country. #81 is the case that they gave them. Funny how escape rooms are now a thing.


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