Let’s wrap up our review of The Other Sixty from the twentieth chart week with a look at 1986 up to 1989.
May 24th, 1986
Just like Babs, Neil has a devoted legion of fans who will still buy his albums and go to his concerts. That’s why his songs still chart in the Adult Contemporary market. Pop radio had mostly left Neil behind by 1986, and this will be his last Hot 100 entry during his amazing career. Musically the future Neil is heading for sounds like one envisioned by an EPCOT Imagineer. Yet it will still reach #53.
Ready for some Dutch funk? That’s a gouda, cause here it is. The Netherlands’ answer to the Supremes (or maybe, Bananarama) had a few chark hits in their native country, before scoring a Top 10 in the UK called History in 1985. I found that one on a NOW That’s What I Call Music! UK collection (#5, I believe) back then and got into it. These ladies turned their sights on conquering the States, but this dance single and its #71 zenith were all they captured.
I’m still baffled at how Bette Davis Eyes stayed at #1 for nine weeks. It’s a good song, but the best, for two months? I also think its success killed Kim’s career on Pop radio. It’s not like she stopped writing and recording good songs. But was everyone always expecting them to be BDE good? It’s a challenging and unfair deal to have to live up to. I’m thinking Kim was already making peace with it by her 1986 release Light House. This single actually has a co-write with her oldest son, Collin, and will beat up to #79. It will be her last Hot 100 entry to date.
Fun fact: Kim’s grew up in Los Angeles, living next door to future Jackson Browne guitarist, David Lindley.
May 23rd, 1987
One year after LaBelle hit #1 with Lady Marmalade, the trio split up. Each lady pursued solo careers, and although it took many years, Patti emerged with the most successful one. Nona took the most experimental path of three, collaborating with the Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and singing lead vocals on Material’s club hit, Busting Out. Her fifth album, Female Trouble, became her most successful with songs written by Prince and Dan Hartman. This sparse funk single was written by Nona and the Time’s Jellybean Johnson and featured almost the entire band on the performance. That probably helped propel it into the R&B Top 3 and a #58 Pop showing.
Carly switched labels and a return to form on her 1987 album, Coming Around Again. The title track was a Top 20 hit, her first in nearly six years. This was the follow-up, and although it stalled at #61, it became a Top 5 AC smash. If you had a wisdom tooth pulled in 1988, it was probably to this.
I can’t believe how many Australian bands were doing their thing in the 80s and how few them made it in the States. I thought Men at Work blasted through the door, but I guess they just held it open for INXS. This sextet released their first album in 1979 after forming in the mid-70s from a gaggle of different Aussie groups. in 1986 they released Boom Baby Boom, their fifth LP, and tried their hand at some US success with this single heavy dance-rock track. I heard this one on Joel Denver’s Future Hits and picked up the 45. It will top out at #71, and the band will release its last album in 1990.
After racking up another Top 20 hit with the title track to his newest album, Come As You Are, the Wolfman follows it up with this soulful rocker, the best track on his album. Of course, radio was so used to fake, highly processed material, they didn’t know what to do with something real. So it stayed unstarted at #75.
May 21st, 1988
This was the second Stevie Wonder duet this year that didn’t make it out of the 80s. What gives? Maybe it was too mellow and earnest for radio? Could that be, only three years after We Are The World? It was a Top 5 in the UK. Are they more sentimental than us?
Al made bank with his MJ parody Eat It, so why not go to the well again? This spoof of Bad did not go over well on radio, although the video was played a ton on MTV. Whether or not it was intentional, it came off too mean-spirited, and unless you were a little kid who didn’t know any better, you were not gonna play or sing this one in public. It sits at its peak.
Here’s the first 80s member of The Other Sixty to debut all the way at the bottom, which means it had the longest to travel. It’s the first chart single from this New Jersey power-pop quartet from their second album, Green Thoughts. Man, I loved this song back then (still do) and was super bummed when it couldn’t move past #92. The 45 has a cover of The Who’s The Seeker on the B-side.
May 20th, 1989
When the Michael Stanley band split in 1986, their lead singer and keyboardist Kevin Raleigh was left without a band. So the Cleveland native embarked a solo career, which only lasted one album – Delusions of Grandeur, released in 1989. The first and only charting single from that LP was written by Steve Kipner & Andy Goldmark, who between them wrote smashes for Olivia Newton-John, Jeffrey Osborne, and Jermaine Jackson, among others. This 45 drowned at #60. Laura Branigan recorded a version in 1990, which place only one spot higher.
If hearing this song doesn’t conjure up the image for you of John Cusack holding up a boombox, consider yourself lucky. Its inclusion in a memorable scene in the film Say Anything is exactly how this former Top 40 hit from So re-entered the charts in 1989. It just missed doing the twist again but stopped at #41.
Fun fact: Michael Been of The Call and Jim Kerr of Simple Minds both sing backing vocals.
This Latin freestyle trio did not scale the same heights as Expose or Sweet Sensation, not even Company B. The first chart single did nada on the charts peaking at #75, most likely because it sounded like all of the others on the radio. I could be wrong. I don’t know.