Let’s move through another group of debuts on the Hot 100 during the twenty-third chart week during 1984 up to 1986. There’s a handful of icons and a whole lot of The Other Sixty.
June 9th, 1984
I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to release this vanilla ballad as the theme to a break dancing movie. They got what they deserved when it locked up at #54.
After Def Lep broke out in 1983 with three Top 40 singles from Pyromania, their record company thought it was a good idea to re-release their first two albums as well as this rock ballad, originally on High N Dry. Remixed and peppered with extra synths, this flamed out at #61. But in three years we would all face Hysteria. Mariah Carey recorded a cover of this song for her 2002 album Charmbracelet.
This British synth outfit followed up their successful album, Dare, with an EP called Fascination! which yielded two Top 40 hits. Their next full-length album was called Hysteria (where did I just hear that?) and produced only chart single, although its definitely my favorite of theirs. Maybe folks were thrown off by the use of guitars, but this 45 crumbled at #64. Louise & Life On Your Own were both Top 20 hits in the UK but did not chart or bubble under in the States.
Almost a full year before her debut, Whitney holds her own with former Blue Note, Teddy P., on a ballad that will go Top 10 AC & Soul. You may have heard it as you waited in line to pick up your Alprazolam at Rite Aid, but it only climbed to #46.
June 8th, 1985
Tom and his crew get as funky as they’re gonna be, paying homage to old Stax classics with this tune from his Southern Accents LP, co-written & produced with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics. They even got Molly Duncan from the Average White Band to play sax on this. Unfortunately, the single dropped all of its pieces at #54.
Poor Jermaine. He gets an assignment to do the lead theme for a movie, and it’s this Travolta flop. The song barely has any Physical charm, sounding more like a smarmy ad for perverts to join a gym and stare at women in leotards. Once it hits #67, it’s time for a cooldown.
Country music in the Summer of 1985 was relegated to the Opry and downtown Nashville. Even these two icons couldn’t muster any pop fanaticism for another duet. It’ll be yet another Country #1 for those two but will debut at its peak on the Hot 100.
June 14th, 1986
The Sly Stallone flick, Cobra, has two songs from the soundtrack debuting this week. This one’s from the pride of Rhode Island, who knows a thing or two about songs in movies, even though this was recorded for their 1985 album, Tough All Over. You can only xerox Springsteen so many times before you see through it. We did, at #62.
No wonder Bobby Brown left the group after this album. The quintet was traveling down a whitewashed bubble gum path rather than playing to their hip-hop & R&B strengths. This ballad lost me, and I didn’t come back until they added Johnny Gill. It loses its way at #51.
I don’t think anyone will accuse David Foster of being humble. Yes, he has a lot of successful credits to his name. Singing is not one of them. I don’t know why he would re-record this track as a duet with ONJ, except for hubris. It’s obvious she’s slowing down to try to stay with him, like those Garth & Kat skits on Weekend Update. The best, in this case, was a #80 zenith.
This was the fourth single from Stevie’s In Square Circle album, so I get why it might not click with radio. But come on, an #86 peak? It’s Stevie. Are you saying the song above deserved to be six spots higher?
Here’s the second song from the Cobra soundtrack from the former Plasmatics guitarist, Jean Beauvoir. I bought this 45 when I heard it, and it was also featured on his first solo album, Drums Along The Mohawk, of which he had a sweet one. My prediction of a hit fell short when the 45 burned out at #73.
Fun fact: Jean co-wrote a few songs with Paul Stanley on Kiss’ 1985 album, Asylum, and even plays bass on two of them. Don’t tell Gene.
Here’s another choice slab of dance funk from Midnight Star, which will make the R&B Top 10 but would crash and burn at pop radio, this track specifically, at #69. Reggie & Vincent Calloway left the group after this album, produced a few hits, and created I Wanna Be Rich for themselves in 1990.