What I love about the early 80s is that the charts still have lots of turnover, so there are more chances for new singles to duke it out. It also means the bulk of week fourteen’s group of The Other Sixty will come from 1980, 1981, and 1982.
April 5th, 1980
Anne continued to be a presence on the Country and AC charts through the 80s, even as her pop status waned. This was her first miss since You Needed Me gave her a significant boost in 1978. It will skim the Top 40 bottom at #42.
This was the third single from Jennifer’s Shot Through The Heart LP. It has a friendly little Westcoast vibe with an island lilt that had to compete with The Dirt Band’s An American Dream and lost. It came all the way around to #45 but was also a #15 AC hit.
Most folks know this Canadian quintet by the song Lunatic Fringe. Believe it or not, that never even charted on the Hot 100. This was their first chart entry from their debut, Don’t Fight It. This midtempo rocker written about poet Arthur Rimbaud will scorch its way to #48.
Bob Gaudio found this song written by an unknown Country songwriter named Richard Fagan. When Bob was hired to produce Neil’s September Morn album in 1979, he gave him this song to sing, which jumpstarted Richard’s career. One of the few bright spots on the album, it was only be blessed with a #67 showing.
Well damn, this ended quickly. Less than a year ago, this LA power-pop sensation was ruling the charts for a month and a half with My Sharona. A quick follow-up album yielded the #38 Baby Talks Dirty and this one, a Stones knock-off, which will be stamped with a #62. They were now nuked.
This is only chart single from Peter’s only album. He won’t reach number one, but this pop-rocker will instead get to the lonely figure of #52. Peter became well-known as a producer in the 80s striking gold with Men At Work’s first two albums, Business as Usual and Cargo, as well as Mr. Mister’s 1984 debut, I Wear The Face.
Leon was still getting freaky into the new decade, but now he was taking his time sliding down into your canyon. Borrowing the Ladies Night groove from Kool and his gang, He’ll get his biggest Soul hit when it peaks at #2 while jamming itself up to #49 Pop. It will be his only UK Top 40 as it pushed its way to #12.
94. RCR – Scandal
Perennial background singers Sandra Rhodes, Charles Chalmers, and Donna Rhodes stepped out into the spotlight with their only full-length album release as a trio. This AOR Westcoast pop-rock burned out at its debut, disappearing after two weeks. It deserved a better fate. Also check out Give It To You, a track produced by Blue Weaver, keyboardist in the Bee Gees band.
April 11th, 1981
You never know how high the sleaze factor is going to be with a Dr. Hook track. But this ballad is tender and relatively disease-free. Of course, it will peak at #69.
Motown Records knew the Boss was about to jump ship. So they started releasing anything they could their hands on that had her voice on it. They put out the collection To Love Again to capitalize on It’s My Turn, pad it out with some hits, and a few from the vault, such as this song. This bombed on all fronts, only reaching #79. Motown should have released another single from the chicly-produced Diana album.
No can make you feel the heartache and pain of a relationship that’s about to break apart than Stevie. God bless this beautiful soul. This must have been too real for Pop radio as it only reached #64, but over in the UK, it was a #3 smash. Twelve years later, Jodeci took their version up to #4 from the Uptown MTV Unplugged sessions.
Talk about someone who marched to a different drummer. Leon’s brand of vaudevillian ragtime seemed out of step with the world around him in the 70s. But he found a home with Warner Brother Records and released three albums with them. A label jump to Atlantic for his fourth LP, From Branch to Branch, provide his only chart single, which will acquire a #72 zenith. His distinctive baritone has been heard on TV themes such as Mr. Belvedere and as Leon the Snowman in the Christmas classic, Elf.
This was a new track for me. I thought I had all of Dan’s albums, but I missed this one. He reaches his previous disco sound for a yachtier piece of the pie. This self-produced soft pop single will rise to #86 before the pearly gates close.
April 10th, 1982
The Boss gets into the aerobics game with this military dance number. It makes me sad that anyone would workout just to eat a piece of cake, as Diana mentions. I think we’ve progressed past this, but Sometimes I’m not too sure. It looks like everyone is either on their way to or coming from a workout. This will peak at #44 while becoming a Top 10 UK smash. Guess they needed to work off those chips and pints.
Yeah, now this is a jam. I don’t know how something this good stalls at #44. Of course, it had to directly compete with Patrice’s Forget Me Nots, and I guess we could only have one good urban dance song at Pop radio at a time, which has now been completely reversed. Play it now and get back into it.
How many people, including Police fans, remember this song? I never understood why this was released as the follow-up to Spirits In The Material World. It’s a great song like most form the trio, but there were better ones on Ghost In The Machine, such as Invisible Sun, Too Much Information, and Rehumanize Yourself. This journey would end at #46.
Chris is four albums deep and hasn’t delivered a Top 40 follow-up Fool in the States. This one should have done the trick – a sweet mellow pop-rock single that would instead tank at #88. Fairport Convention’s Dave Mattacks plays drums on this track.