Living In A World Of Make Believe

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Let’s round up our review of The Other Sixty from the twenty-first chart week with the Hot 100 debuts from 1986 through 1989.

May 31st, 1986

94. B.E. Taylor Group – Karen

I am going to assume the woman B.E Taylor is talking is named Karen rather than is a Karen. Then again, there’s nothing in the lyrics that tell you otherwise. And B.E might have just realized how into entitled housewives he really is and he’s sorry he let her go. This was their last chart hit from their final album, and it debuts at its peak. Hopefully, Karen didn’t sue Billboard because of it.

96. Del Fuegos – I Still Want You

Here’s a garage band from Boston led by the Dan & Warren Zanes, in the same tradition as the Kinks or Oasis. Their one and only chart hit from their 1986 LP, Boston, Mass crawled up to #87. The band broke up just before the 90s.

Fun fact: Dan Zanes is the current Vice President of Education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I guess that’s one way to get in.

May 30th, 1987

83. Prince – If I Was Your Girlfriend

Damn, this is such a ridiculously awesome song. My teenage self was so confused by it and didn’t fully appreciate it as I do now. Prince was never going to give you what you wanted. He was going to give you what you needed, even if you didn’t know what that was, and it came in the form of such a beautiful, sensitive, thought-provoking funked-up ballad. The part where his vocals distort reminds me of Riot-era Sly Stone, but supposedly it was a recording error. The B-side of this 45 was Shockedelica. Hot damn! Both of these songs were written for his shelved Camille project, where he would take on a female alter-ego. I’m glad the saw the light of day back then, and I think a high of #67 for something this deep is a success.

89. Dan Fogelberg – She Don’t Look Back

Dan tried rocking out with this track to get some of his fans back but to no avail. Everyone knew that he was softer than a shopping cart pretzel during an august downpour, and a turned-up amp wasn’t changing anyone’s mind. His last Hot 100 entry will only move up five spots before looking back.

May 28th, 1988

85. Henry Lee Summer – Darlin’ Danielle Don’t

The follow-up to Henry’s first big smash, the Top 20 song, I Wish I Had A Girl, was this bluesy shuffled from the Indiana native self-titled album, his third. It stopped at #57 but received lots of airplay on rock radio. HLS will be back next year with an even bigger hit.

92. Wet Wet Wet – Wishing I Was Lucky

Named after a line in the Scritti Politti song, here’s a Scottish blue-eyed soul quartet with their first chart hit. It has already been a hit in the Spring of 1987 over in England, where it reached #6. Once it was released stateside a year later, I picked up the 45 after one listen, probably on Future Hits. I thought for sure it would be a big hit, but its luck ran out at #58. W3 just missed the Top 40 in 1994 when their cover of The Troggs’ Love Is All Around reached #41 while it spent 15 weeks at #1 in the UK.

95. Eurythmics – You’ve Placed A Chill In My Heart

All of a sudden, Pop radio turned their back on this creative duo. Nothing from their Savage LP, which heavily used the NED Synclavier would reach the Top 40, and it was packed with deserving singles. The fact that Pop radio was letting Taylor Dayne & Debbie Gibson run amok on the airwaves while this died on the vine at #67 is intensely criminal.

96. Michael Bolton – Wait On Love

Here’s some bland inoffensive pop-rock set to a mild shuffle beat, something you’d expect from Journey but without Steve Perry’s deep well of vocal drama. It was co-written by Jonathan Cain, who was in between paychecks and looking to record more corporate rock with the supergroup Bad English.

98. Tony! Toni! Tone! – Little Walter

From Oaktown, here’s a trio that was formed by D’Wayne Wiggins, his brother Charles (Who’d change his name to Raphael Saadiq), and their cousin Timothy Riley. No tonys amongst the three. They were one of the few Soul artists to bridge the gap between old school R&B and new jack swing. Produced By Foster & McElroy, coming off their big hits with Club Nouveau, their debut album, Who? spawned their first chart single, which just missed out on the Casey call taking at #44.

May 27th, 1989

84. The Cult – Fire Woman

I used to really dig this band. Love Removal Machine was one of my favorite songs of theirs, and I would crank that up anytime I could get the car for a spin. By their fourth album, Sonic Temple, I realized that there wasn’t much else from this band that would excite me again. Sure it made them a lot of cash, and this single burned it was up to #46, but for me, the kool-aid* wore off.

90. Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock – Joy And Pain

This rap duo recorded the classic It Takes Two, which should get any party moving to the next level [and if not, put some Meatloaf and tell everyone to get out.] Their second chart hit, interpolated with the Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly track of the same name, should get the good vibes flowing. It also samples this rare Olympic Runners song as well, smiling and wincing all the way to #58.

93. Wang Chung – Praying To A New God

Not knowing how to follow-up their successful LP, Mosaic, the Chungs decided to turn up the guitars and drum reverb. Everyone else was listening to see if they’d mention their name again. When they didn’t, folks were disinterested, and this song knelt down at #63. Their 2019 album, Orchesography, had the reformed duo playing their hits rearranged with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

*This refers to the Jonestown cult members, who on November 18th, 1978, were forced to commit suicide by drinking Flavor-Aid laced, unbeknowst to them, with cyanide. The phrase drink the Kool-Aid or believes what everyone else thinks comes from this event. But no one in Guyana drank Kool-Aid; it was Flavor-Aid. Shouldn’t we change that saying? Am I too in the weeds with this one?

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