Isn’t It The Truth We’re Going For?

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We are cruising into the twenty-fourth chart week of the year. Let’s see which debuts ended up as The Other Sixty during 1980-82.

June 14th, 1980

83. Stephanie Mills – Sweet Sensation

The first single from Miss Mills’ fourth album is the title track, a slice of disco funk written by James Mtume & Reggie Lucas. It will be a Top 3 hit on the R&B charts, but tingly feeling ends at #52 on the Pop charts. Her second single, Never Knew Love Like This Before, will be her biggest crossover smash.

85. Anne Murray – I’m Happy Just To Dance With You

After a big finish in the Top 40 at the end of the 70s, the wheels are grinding to a halt. Anne will have only two more Top 40 hits, none higher than #33. This single from her LP, Somebody’s Waiting, was their third charting Beatles cover. The dance will end at #64.

87. Gladys Knight and the Pips – Landlord

It’s been three years since Gladys & the Pips owned a piece of Hot 100 real estate. This will end up being their biggest success on the Pop charts during a thirteen-year span, and it still doesn’t make the Top 40. The rent is due for this funky midtempo ballad at #46.

89. Russ Ballard – On The Rebound

Here’s the former lead singer and guitarist for Argent with a single from his fourth solo album, Barnet Dogs. The man who wrote hits for others, such as Liar by Three Dog Night,  New York Groove by Ace Frehley and later, You Can Do Magic by America & I Know There’s Something Going On by Frida will score his only chart hit when this bounds once up to #58.

90. Billy Preston and Syreeta – One More Time For Love

These two scored a Top 5 hit earlier in the year with the lovely ballad, With You, I’m Born Again from the Fast Break soundtrack, a basketball movie starring Gabe Kaplan (don’t ask). They had recorded another duet for Syreeta’s upcoming LP, so when the former was successful, Motown released this as a follow-up. It wouldn’t be the last duet for the twosome as next year, they’ll release an entire album of them. But it will be the last one to chart as this climbs as high as #52.

93. La Flavour – Only The Lonely (Have a Reason To Be Sad) 

In between Wild Cherry & his stint with Donnie Iris, keyboardist Mark Avsec wrote and produced an album for this Canadian group. They had scored a Top 10 Disco hit earlier in the year with Mandalay. This was the only single that Pop radio was interested in, but barely. It’s a groove ballad that will inch up two spots before becoming very lonely, and thus, sad.

June 20th, 1981

79. Smokey Robinson – You Are Forever

Smokey keeps the lovefest going with another self-penned ballad as his follow-up to Being With You. This easily should have followed the former into the Top 40 but, for some reason, forever ends at #59.

81. Loverboy – The Kid Is Hot Tonite

I had to check to make sure this wasn’t a Top 40 entry because they played this so often back then. But this rocking follow-up to Turn Me Loose only burned it way up to #55 before being retired onto strip club soundtracks.

82. Dionne Warwick – Some Changes Are For Good

Who doesn’t want a 2-LP live album from Dionne Warwick, especially one that captures her performance at a Harrah’s casino in Reno, Nevada? That was Arista Records thinking in 1981, but they left side four open for a couple of new recordings, such as this one. This Michael Masser/ Carole Bayer Sager composition will peak at #65.

83. Randy Vanwarmer – Suzi Found A Weapon

Is this the same dude who recorded Just When I Needed You Most? Three albums in and Randy is leaning into a poppy New Wave sound, which most likely confused programmers, even though it’s a good song. It will only reach #52, but the Suzi that Randy wrote about will end up being his wife.

89. Blackfoot – Fly Away

Jacksonville, FL favorites, Blackfoot are back with their fifth album, Marauder. They served up another familiar helping of Southern rock with their first single, which almost became their third Top 40 hit. Instead, it was their last charting single as it hit #42 then flapped its wings in the wrong direction.

95. Terri Gibbs – Rich Man

I guess blind Country singers were a thing in the 80s. Or did a record exec pip up in a coked-out meeting once, “Where’s the female Ronnie Milsap?” Well, here she is, kind of, with the follow-up to her Top 20 smash, Somebody’s Knockin’. This sultry number sheds most of the Country flavor with some funky soul and should have been another big hit for her. It goes broke at #89.

June 19th, 1982

83. Deodato – Happy Hour

Eumir Deodato was a Brazilian fusion performer that, by the end of the 70s, was best known for his arrangement of Also Sprach Zarathrustra. Then Kool & the Gang hired him as a producer and scored eight Top 40 hits with him at the helm. All the while, he continued to release solo albums with his familiar Rhodes sound. In 1982 he released the LP, Happy Hour, and the title track as its opening single. This pop-disco 45 sounds like a Kool clone, very reminiscent of Steppin’ Out, but all the same should have easily brought him into the Top 40. Instead, his first Hot 100 entry in six years moved the drinks to full price at #70.

Fun fact: Deodato’s daughter, Kennya is married to Stephen Baldwin. Steven’s daughter and Deodato’s granddaughter is married to…Justin Bieber. From Also Sprach to Sorry in two moves. That must make for a fun Thanksgiving.

88. Frankie Miller – To Dream The Dream

We already had Bob Seger and Rod Stewart, so I’m not sure if anyone wanted to listen to a mix of those two voices. That’s what Scottish singer’s Frankie’s music sounds like, but in all fairness, those artists I mentioned were big fans of his. Shoot, maybe they stole a little from him. His last chart hit from the album,  Against The Wind  I mean, A Night On the Town, I’m sorry, it’s from an LP called Standing On the Edge, which seems to be out of print, will hit the REM cycle at #62.

89. Scorpions – No One Like You

Is this a song that means you’re the only one? Or is it a grammatically incorrect putdown? It’s hard to tell sometimes from these German hard rockers ever since they rhymed hurricane and am. Their first chart single from their eighth album, Blackout, vill ride up to ze number 65.

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