During the nineteenth chart week, there are more entries for The Other Sixty on the back end of the decade for a change than during the freewheeling early 80s. So let’s review what we may have missed out on from 1986 through 1989.
May 17th, 1986
Here’s a shockingly tender ballad by West Coast witchy woman. It was written about Joe Walsh’s daughter, Emma, who had passed away in 1974 at age three due to injuries sustained in a car accident. Joe had a memorial plaque placed in a park in Boulder, CO, where she used to play. Years later, after taking Stevie there and telling her the story, she turned it into this #60 song.
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis team up again with the Atlanta octet for a two-stepper suitable for any backyard barbecue. Cherelle & Alexander O’Neal are here to help lend a vocal hand. All of this amounts to a #2 Soul hit while just missing out on the Casey call at #44.
It’s hard sometimes to follow up a hit debut. It’s even harder when the songs aren’t as good. The second single from Strange Behavior will only inch up three more spots before falling away and blowing up the band. Disappointment, that’s an emotion.
The ever creative UK trio collaborated with the rebel rouser himself on a cover of the TV theme that Duane made a hit back in 1960. Mixing his guitar twang with a Fairlight synth, they will have a big Top 10 hit in the clubs and in the UK. In the States, it will get gum on its shoes at #50.
Here’s a quintet from Chicago with their only Hot 100 entry, the title track to a stinker teen melodrama flick. This mid-tempo pop-rocker will strut and pout, but eventually, bow out after hitting #71.
The third single from this suave New Wave outfit is a sleek uptempo number that played well in the dance clubs. But for some reason, it didn’t get any traction on either side of the pond. It will only move one more tick before it pays no more bills.
May 16th, 1987
Yeah, now we’re talking. This is a smooth groove that Robert lays down from his fifth album, Strong Persuader. I know this got a lot of VH1 airtime, so why didn’t Pop radio pick this one up? It’ll pick up the blues at #80 and unfortunately slink away. I hope you hear this one soon as you’re waiting in line at your local Walgreen’s.
Decades before Elon Musk created fantasy cars and smoke weed, this five-piece band from California was showing their love for the Serbian inventor through their hard rock jams. The debut album, Mechanical Resonance, yielded their first chart hit, which only moved up another four places before little Suzi was on the way down.
May 14th, 1988
JCM delivers a song that’s a tribute to a special breakfast item on the IHOP menus in Miami – pancakes, fruit, and cocaine. Or maybe it was just the fourth single from The Lonesome Jubilee. Either way, it blows its way up to a high of #61.
The former Nw York stock exchange assistant follows up his hit, I Want Her, with some more Teddy Riley-produced new jack swing. It will be the second of four Top 10 Soul hits from his debut. On the Pop chart, it will have a #59 zenith.
May 13th, 1989
It had been ten years since The Cure released their debut when they released their eighth album, Disintegration. That album contained their biggest US hit, Lovesong, which will climb to #2 later in the year. This was the first US released single and will complete a #46 showing.
Fun fact: This single was the first #1 on Billboard’s new Modern Rock charts and will stay there for seven weeks.
It took nineteen albums, but the band had finally destroyed their reputation as horn rock pioneers turning them into soft rock punchlines padding their 401ks all the while. This album generated four Top 10s, with each one unlistenable and embarrassingly below their talents, especially Bill Champlin. Here’s another Yamaha DX7 mushfest sung by Jason Scheff that would make even Peter Cetera cringe. Forever ended at #55.
I’m glad we’ve all had a mea culpa regarding Queen, but these songs deserved to be appreciated while Freddie was alive. Instead, we were giving more credence to what Bret Michaels or Jon Bon Jovi had to say. FM, on his worst day, blows those two out of the water before he sings a note. It was an international smash, but in the States, all was lost at #50.
After a three year hiatus, Jules finally released his third album, Mr. Jordan. With backing vocals by the Tubes, Fee Waybill, the opening single was a big hit on Rock radio, but it peaks at its debut. Was this a veiled tribute to his dad? Maybe. And what was with the Bowie vocals? Sounds kinda creepy now that David has passed.
Fun fact: Producer Patrick Leonard invited Julian to sing on his one-off project with Kevin Gilbert called Toy Matinee. It’s a superior album of progressive pop and highly recommended.
Would it be too obvious to say that the opening single from the group’s second album, The Scattering, died in the arms of chart number #77? Oh, too late.