Keeping Life And Soul Together

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Each of these artists had a Top 40 entry, either before or after these songs charted. Some of them became classics. But they can’t all be winners. Let’s review The Other Sixty from the thirteenth chart week from 1983 up to 1986.

April 2nd, 1983

85. Modern English – I Melt With You

Yes, this never made the Top 40. Hard to believe, huh. This New Wave classic will dissolve at #78. In 1990, it will be re-recorded and will chart two spaces higher.

87. Scandal – Love’s Got A Line On You

Here’s one in a line of hard knocks singles from the New York rock quintet led by Patti Smyth. Their debut release was an EP that eventually went Gold, but none of the singles from it were big hits. This 45’s line gets cut at #59.

89. Saga – Wind Him Up

The follow-up to this Canadian rock quintet’s only Top 40 hit, On The Loose, was a big hit in Germany. That’s all I can say about this eventual #64 showing.

90. U2 – New Year’s Day

Here’s another New Wave and rock classic written about the Solidarity movement in Poland that has gained its success over time. When it was released, it only rose to #53, mostly because pop radio was still propping up REO Speedwagon. U2 was quickly maturing as a band, and their album War was evidence of this. In another four years, they will rule the world.

March 31st, 1984 (none of the Hot 100 debuts reached the Top 40)

71. Shannon – Give Me Tonight

I heard this one so much on New York radio, I thought for sure it was a bigger hit. But this #1 Dance smash skimmed the bottom at #46. A great example of early Freestyle dance music.

82. John Lennon – I’m Stepping Out

John had written so many songs in 1979 and 1980, he seemingly picked all the good ones for his Double Fantasy LP. Milk And Honey was going to be that album’s followup, which was delayed for obvious reasons. Yoko arranged this album, and it was released in January 1984. This was the second single after Nobody Told Me hit the Top 5 and will have a zenith of #55.

85. Spandau Ballet – Communication

SB really has a superb catalog of pop singles. I’m not sure why they weren’t as popular in the States as they were in the UK. This one will only get to #59. Maybe its because their stupid name reminded folks of the Spandau prison in Germany, which was a Nazi concentration camp. Look it up. I know that much is true.

89. Stephen Bishop – Unfaithfully Yours (One Love)

We all regard Kenny as the 80s movie guy. But if anything were to happen to him or he became to busy. Stephen Bishop would have taken his place. This is a guy whose cherries had no stone. He had already written Animal House as well as It Might Be You from Tootsie along with singles from Roadie and Summer Lovers. And of course, there was Separate Lives from White Nights. The title track from a Dudley Moore bomb will be his last chart single when it cheats its way up to #87.

93. Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good

Here’s the one and only chart hit for a guy who racked up eight Top 40 smashes in the UK. This midtempo New Wave rock single was a hit all over Europe and peaked at #46 in the States. Nik’s biggest US success came from writing a Top 10 song in 1991 for Chesney Hawkes. Also his third album, Radio Musicola is fantastic, if you can find a copy of it. Or just listen here.

Fun fact: Nik plays guitar and sings back up on Elton John’s Top 10 hit, Nikita.

March 30th, 1985

75. Rick James – Can’t Stop

Actually, you can, Rick. And you should. Rick had definitely lost the funk, as this is a generic piece of crap. at least he’ll be able to lean on Eddie Murphy later in the year. His last solo chart single will halt at #50. Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.

April 5th, 1986

87. Katrina & The Waves – Is That It?

It seemed to be as the only chart single from their second US album, Waves, will stiff at #70. That’s a shame because there’s a lot of well-done songwriting on this album. I wish Capitol hadn’t given up on this release and put on Sun Street as a single as it seemed to be the true follow-up to Walking On Sunshine.

89. Fine Young Cannibals – Johnny Come Home

When the English Beat split, two groups were formed – General Public and Fine Young Cannibals. I’m not sure how Andy Cox & David Steele knew that Roland Gift was the right vocalist for them, but his unusual vocal style worked. This Top 10 UK hit would only rise to #76, but it was big in the New Wave dance clubs. Their second LP, The Raw And The Cooked, released three years later exploded at Pop radio netting the trio two #1 smashes.

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