Turn The Whole World Upside Down


The twenty-fourth chart week is churning more good stuff. Let’s review what debuted but faltered during 1985, 1986, and 1987.

June 15th, 1985

81. Patti LaBelle – Stir It Up

The Godmother of Soul releases her second single from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack after the success of New Attitude. This one almost (should have) followed it in the Top 40, but it did the old banana in the tailpipe trick at #41.

85. Jeff Beck featuring Rod Stewart – People Get Ready

One of the few artists to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, Jeff only managed one Hot 100 entry as a solo performer. This single, a cover of the Impressions 1965 hit, features lead vocals by Rod Stewart, will take a train to #48.

87. Vitamin Z – Burning Flame

Here’s a New Wave trio that lets you know as much as they could that they were from England, from the pronunciation of their name (vitt-uh-mun zed) to the way they sang (every and was aaah-nd). The flame and our patience disappeared at #73.

Fun fact: Lead singer Geoff Barradale is the current manager for the band Arctic Monkeys

88. Sister Sledge – Frankie

The Sledges are back with half the chicness, meaning Nile Rodgers at the production helm minus Bernard Edwards. The retro-sounding girl group 45 garnered them their final Hot 100 entry peaking at #75. In the UK, it became their first and only #1 single. Go figure.

Fun fact: This song was written by Joy Denny, otherwise known as Denise Rich, who was married to Marc Rich, the man Clinton pardoned on his last day of office in 2001.

89. George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Willie And The Hand Jive

The pride of Wilmington, Deleware, shows up with his one and only Hot 100 entry. You would have thought it was Bad To The Bone for how much MTV played that song. Instead, it was a cover of the 1958 Johnny Otis Top 10, which Clapton had taken into the Top 40 in 1974. GT’s version would diddley up to #63.

June 21st, 1986

85. Queen – A Kind Of Magic

After performing in Webley Stadium at Live Aid in 1985, it seemed that Queen or mostly Freddie only wrote songs that would sound good in a stadium filled with tens of thousands of people. This will be the highest-charting US single between their last Top 40 hit, Radio Ga-Ga in 1984, and Freddie’s death in 1991. The magic fades away at #42.

93. Emerson, Lake & Powell – Touch And Go

ELP(almer) had broken up in 1979. When they Keith Emerson & Greg Lake looked to get the band back together, Carl Palmer was busy in another supergroup, Asia. So E & L found another drumming P(owell) as in Cozy. ELP was back with an album and this single, which should have been on the Top Gun soundtrack. (Decades later it was in MacGruber instead…same thing.) The 45 will stand down at #60.

95. Rene & Angela – You Don’t Have To Cry

This is the third charting single from Rene & Angela’s Street Called Desire, and their fourth Top 5 Soul hit. The tears start flowing at #75.

June 20th, 1987

83. Tom Kimmel – That’s Freedom

Here’s a dude who had written songs for Levon Helm and The Highwaymen and got a chance to show what he could do a solo artist. I am shocked this wasn’t a hit back then but even more surprised that no one politician has wrapped themselves around this America is #1 song like bacon around a t-bone steak. His only chart entry will peak at #64.

88. Jody Watley – Still A Thrill

Jody pulls a Ruth Pointer a la Automatic exercising her lower vocal range for something funky and sexy. The sparsely arranged track written by Jody and early Prince sideman, Andre Cymone, was one of four 45s in the 1987 debut group this week that I bought back then. (You’ll need to guess the other three.) I still love this song and have always been baffled by its #56 showing.

90. John Waite – These Times Are Hard For Lovers

After the 1985 hit, Every Step of The Way, John will never score another solo Top 40. Looks like he’ll need to form another band. It sounds like something Diane Warren would write, but it was co-written by Desmond Child, so close enough. Even though it received a lot of Rock radio airplay, times will get hard for lovers of this 45 at #53.

92. The Cure – Why Can’t I Be You?

What the hell got into the Cure? This is upbeat pop with horns. And it’s fun. This was the first single to their all-over-the-place double LP Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, and my favorite of theirs. Why can’t it climb higher than #54? And why did Pop radio prefer Just Like Heaven?

93. Aretha Franklin – Rock-A-Lott

This is the fourth single from the Queen’s 1986 LP, Aretha. I’m not going to begrudge an icon like her, but I would like to know why someone wasted her talents on an empty dance song such as this? It will rock very little up to #82.

95. INXS & Jimmy Barnes – Good Times

In between Listen Like Thieves and Kick, INXS recorded a cover of this 1968 Easybeats songs for the Lost Boys soundtrack as a duet with fellow Aussie Jimmy Barnes. I loved this song so much back then, I forced a band I was in to cover it. I cringe at thinking how bad it must have sounded. These dudes however sounded energetic and raw. Unfortunately, the bad times began at #47.


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