The Night Exposes The Cracks


Let’s review The Other Sixty during chart week eighteen for the years 1984, 1985, and 1986.

May 5th, 1984

77. “Weird” Al Yankovic – King Of Suede

The Police get the Weird Al treatment with a parody of their Top 5 smash from their final album, Synchronicity. Produced by Rick Derringer, Al tells the tale of a guy who runs a clothing store with his claim to fame being his line of suede products. I’m pretty sure Eddie Murphy checked the place out before filing Raw. This yuk fest will peak at #62.

80. LaToya Jackson – Heart Don’t Lie

Weird Al was following up his successful cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. And now here’s sister LaToya (still not Michael) with her grab at some Thriller money. It’s not as awful as you’d think, but it’s not up to the Jackson standard. Sung as a duet with Shalamar’s Howard Hewitt, it will flatline at #56.

88. Re-Flex – Hurt

I loved The Politics of Dancing when it came out, and I bought this group’s cassette, wearing it out to the nubs. Listening to it years later, I noticed how just about every sound sounds similar. It doesn’t stop me from cranking it up anyway. This single will only move up six spots from its debut.

89. Frank Stallone – Darlin’

Weird Al also recorded an Eye of The Tiger lampoon on In 3-D called The Rye or the Kaiser. And now here’s Sly’s brother trying to follow-up his hard-earned success of Far From Over with this pop-rocker but ends with a #81 showing. Too bad, Sly couldn’t use it for a scene in Rambo.

May 4th, 1985

77. Natalie Cole – Dangerous

Natalie’s career was lost in the 80s. She tried to get it back on track with this ill-advised dance track. It’s not that the song is bad. It’s that her voice just should have been paired with better material with more natural arrangements. She’ll have some success at decade’s end before heading back towards the standards.

84. Jean Knight – My Toot Toot

Mrs. Big Stuff came from out of nowhere in the mid-80s with this cover of the Rockin’ Sydney zydeco classic. Are we supposed to keep our hands off of her coke? That was the question as it sniffed its way to #50. I also remember some radio stations playing a parody called Don’t Mess With My Tatupu referring to the current New England Patriots running back, Mosi Tatupu. It was just as dumb.

85. Gino Vannelli – Black Cars

Calling all Celtics fans. It’s Gino time, and he’s back with his first new album in four years. The title track was the lead-off single and should have been a surefire hit. But it skidded out at #42, getting leapfrogged by Amy Grant in the process.

86. Dokken – Alone Again

Don Dokken and his crew nab their first chart single, a power ballad that has nothing to do with Gilbert O’Sullivan. It has everything to do with being a misunderstood metalhead in the 80s, and it will hit its zenith at #64.

89. Maureen Steele – Boys Will Be Boys

Motown’s complete lack of vision in the 80s led to quizzical signings, such as this artist. It’s soulless dance-pop that has no place standing in connection to that label’s history. This single also featured on the soundtrack to The Flamingo Kid, will man down at #77.

90. The Firm – Satisfaction Guaranteed

Or my money back? I’d like my money back. I am not satisfied with this “supergroup.” Was Jimmy Page really a part of this, or did he sell his name for the project? This single would travel up to #73 before offering refunds.

92. Slade – Little Sheila

The boys from Ireland get bit by the synth-rock bug, recording a song that doesn’t sound like them at all. It’s still better than a lot of other pop-rock songs out there. I just can’t imagine Noddy Holder hilariously bending his face to something this corporate. And thus, it slides up only six notches before sliding back down.

93. Alex Brown (Come On) Shout

Alex recorded a few jazzy soul albums in the 70s and seemed to disappear from the scene. She popped back up in the mid-80s on the soundtrack for the Sarah Jessica Parker film, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. This single will go from shout at #93 to whisper at #76.

Fun fact: Alex co-wrote the Anita Baker Top 20 smash, Just Because.

95. Belouis Some – Imagination

I dug this dude’s singles, but I have yet figured out how to pronounce his name or understand why he changed it to that. Nevertheless, this New Wave dance track mixes in some Prince, Bryan Ferry, and the Cars and comes out with a Top 10 Club hit, but only a #88 Pop showing.

May 10th, 1986

82. Magazine 60 – Don Quichotte

WTF? I loved it when other countries tried to make an American single, and everyone is left laughing and scratching their head. This is a slice of Italian Disco by way of France that barely tells the story of Don Key Shot (yes, one dude asks for him that way in the song) and his homie Sancho Panza. It ends with some dude freaking out in the end, promising to put a bullet in the brain of the lady who’s only there to say no esta aqui. Due to lots of club play, this will stare at windmills at the way up to #56.

Personally, I prefer Nik Kershaw’s take on the Cervantes novel.

88. Robert Tepper – Don’t Walk Away

It’s hard not to ignore his advice on this heavily produced song that takes itself way too seriously. Remember, Robert is the guy who co-wrote this. I guess high drama meant turning up the reverb on the snare hits. It strolls three spots before turning around.

90. Trans-X – Living On Video

And now for some heavy synth-pop from North of the border, which had been released as a single three years before. A new remix helps it get on the charts, but it will dance itself off after hitting #61.

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