A Way With The Word


Chart week twenty-four had the most debuts thus far, which did not make the Top 40 – 54, to be exact. That is why we broke this week up in four parts. Let’s finish up with a review of The Other Sixty from 1988-89

June 18th, 1988

85. Will To Power – Say It’s Gonna Rain

This is the second single from the debut of Will To Power. I can’t tell what’s worse – naming yourself after a Nietzche book, their music, or both. Let’s take Door #3. This power center collapses at #49.

92. Paul Carrack – When You Walk In the Room

Paul had racked up two Top 40 hits when he released another single from his One Good Reason LP. This one is a cover of a Jackie DeShannon song that was a hit in 1964 by The Searchers. It will be a #2 Country hit for Pam Tillis in 1994. Featuring female vocals by Linda Taylor, this 45 will stop flat at #90. Oh, hey Paula.

93. Paula Abdul – Knocked Out

This is where the legend starts, with a debut release thrown on the Other Sixty pile. From choreographic Laker Girls cheers to Janet Jackson’s videos, Paula worked herself into an opportunity as a dance artist. The first two singles failed with this one, a Babyface/ L.A. Reid co-write just missing out at #41. 1989 was a whole different story. Oh, and hey Paul.

95. Scritti Politti Featuring Roger – Boom! There She Was

After playing Cupid & Psyche 85 to death, I was heavily anticipating Scritti’s new album. Only this was released I played the hell out of it as well. I was utterly obsessed. To this day though, I appreciate the previous album more because where that had edge and bite, Provision was smooth and light. It was almost too perfect for its own good. The collaboration with Roger Troutman on talkbox was a nice touch, but that may have scared away Pop radio. It will peak at #53 and chart on the R&B 100 at #94.

96. Teddy Pendergrass – Joy

After a turbulent start to the decade, Teddy took three years off after his emotional stage return during Live Aid and his Workin’ It Back LP in 1985. It would be a comeback worth waiting for as this jubilant song written by Reggie & Vincent Calloway would reach #1 on the Soul charts, his first in ten years. It will reach #77 on the Pop charts.

97. S-Express – Theme From S-Express

It took a while for the disco revival to happen here in the States. In the UK, it never went away, and that’s why we had this in 1988. This acid house track mixes in some Philly Soul, disco, and loads of samples a la Pump Up The Volume. The train crashed as it left the station and derailed at #91, kind of the S line shuttle in New York.

June 17th, 1989

82. Holly Johnson – Love Train

Another train, another derailment. This one, featuring a guitar solo by Brian May, is courtesy of the former Frankie Goes To Hollywood lead singer, who always looks like Neil Tennant’s brother. By the way, this is not an O’Jays cover, but it might as well have been. It was huge in England where they love him. Over here, we said don’t do it at #65.

96. Q-Feel – Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Bebop)

Here’s a song from a synthpop quartet that was released back in 1982. It bubbled under at #110.I’m assuming some radio programmer was trying to turn then into the next Sheriff. It could have worked if others got on board, but this single felt very out of step with current Pop radio and did a quick quick slow death at #75.

98. 10,000 Maniacs – Trouble Me

The pride of Jamestown, New York will have their biggest chart success with this single. That is until they decide to unplug their instruments in 1993. Until then, this cup of chamomile tea will settle in all the way up to #44.

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