Cut Up Our Losses Into Doable Doses

jtndy

 

Man, check out this list of legends. Even they are not immune to the Other Sixty. As we review the thirteenth chart week from 1987 to 1989, how many of them do you know?

April 4th, 1987

91. Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up

This is the song that Lloyd Dobler should have been playing from his boombox. He would have gotten Diane back faster. Yes, I know that In Your Eyes was playing on the radio when they got busy in the Malibu. But this is the superior song and deeply speaks to their relationship. This will only reach #72 because it was probably too raw and real for folks.

94. Billy Joel & Ray Charles – Baby Grand

When you reach the status that BJ achieved, why not write duets to sing with their idols? A sweet song with a solid performance that was ignored by pop radio and left for dead at #72. By contrast, Silhouette by Kenny G debuted the same week and reached #4. Ok, yuppie.

96. Gregg Allman Band – I’m No Angel

Even though this peaked at #49, it’s a rock classic by the Allman brother and his most well-known song of the 80s, hands down. It’s also his own other Hot 100 entry to go along with his only Top 40 hit, 1973’s Midnight Rider.

97. The Stabilizers – One Simple Thing

We just had five veteran artists with amazing repertoires, yet the 45 from this group of four debuts that I bought was this one. A duo from Erie, PA, who released one LP, Tyranny before splintering off into different directions. This dramatic pop-rocker only climbed four notches before its drop off the charts.

April 2nd, 1988

88. James Taylor – Never Die Again

By the late 80s, JT was done with the Top 40, as his bread and butter going forward would be Adult Contemporary. Since his last big hit Her Town Too in 1981, James has racked up sixteen Top 40 hits on the AC charts to date. This one will peak at #80 as it rolls all the way to #3 AC. That is why you might hear it as you are getting a root canal.

92. Donald Fagen – Century’s End

The first release in almost six years from the oval half of Steely Dan came in the form of a soundtrack release from the Michael J. Fox misfire, Bright Lights, Big City. [I just rewatched it last week, and boy was he miscast.] I was so psyched for this single as I had just bought A Decade of Steely Dan on CD the pervious Fall was steadily getting back into their catalog. Musically this sits somewhere between The Nightfly and 2000’s Two Against Nature but was probably most influenced by his recent work with Rosie Vela. Pop radio had dramatically changed since late ’82, which most likely accounts for its #83 zenith.

93. Kingdom Come – Get It On

Out of the five Other Sixty debuts, this will rise up to a glorious glam metal tally of #69, fitting of its title. These Zeppelin clones ended up churning out thirteen albums all the way into this past decade, but this will be their only Hot 100 entry.

94. 3 Man Island – Jack The Lad

This song was a rare instance of a UK dance track that didn’t chart in England. It would be a Top 10 hit on the Dance charts due to the emerging house scene. I guess the 12″ single sales probably helped nab it a Hot 100 entry. But it is peaking at its debut.

95. Fleetwood Mac – Family Man

The fifth release from Tango In The Night is a Lindsey Buckingham song that he co-wrote with Olive Oyl. It forgots to eats its spinachk so it will not be strong to thee finishk and will only make it up to #90.

April 1st, 1989

89. U2 & B.B. King – When Loves Comes To Town

There’s a weird scene in the documentary Rattle And Hum when Bono announces from the stage that he and his band just to got to know the music of the man they will bring out on stage. Then he talks about seeing him in Dublin and how the group wrote a song for him, which they are about to play. Then it cuts to B.B. King talking about hearing the song for the first time and comments, “You’re might young to write such heavy lyrics.” It felt forced as if they were trying hard to legitimize the music they were about to play rather than just play the damn song, which is fantastic. B.B. roars like a mighty lion as Bono learns a lesson in humility. As a result, pop radio stomped it out at #68 while Debbie Gibson And NKOTB, fellow debuters were carried to the top.

91. Easterhouse – Come Out Fighting

I can honestly say that I am not familiar with this track. It kinda sounds like Simple Minds if they turned up their amps and kept their wandering melodies in check. Nevertheless, no bunnies were harmed in this recording as it peaks at #82.

93. Eighth Wonder – Baby Baby

Lead singer Patsy Kensit wasn’t sure if she wanted a singing career or an acting career. What she ended up as was the wife to rock stars Jim Kerr and Liam Gallagher. But in 1989, she had both as she was also in Lethal Weapon 2. This dance-pop track will suffer the same fate as  Rika van den Haas and sink after reaching #84.

94. Information Society – Repetition

This band with a penchant for Star Trek samples was a surprise success story in pop, a dance band with a knack for catchy tunes. After two Top 10s they decided to release a dance ballad that killed their momentum as it would only step up to #76.

 

Keeping Life And Soul Together

nk

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.