After the giant pool of The Other Sixty songs, chart week 25 brings us a much shorter list, so much so that if we have broken it up into two posts. So here is the first half of the 80s – 1980 to 1984.
June 21st, 1980
The Scottish honkies have left most of the funk behind, embracing the West Coast vibes along with some four on the floor disco. It will be their last go-round on the Hot 100 as it peaks at #53. It will also be their eleventh and final R&B Top 40 hit.
The Pretenders debut is a back to front, all classic, no filler album. It’s kind of release that folks appreciate more in retrospect, so I’m happy the single Brass In Pocket hit the Top 20 amidst the Air Supply onslaught. This was the snappier follow-up but fell short at #65.
This was the Dead’s first chart entry in five years. Keith & Donna Godchaux just left the band, and Brent Mydland was their new keyboardist. They left the Lowell George-produced boogie sounds of Shakedown Street and returned to some bluesy rock again, but they only go away to #68. It would be another seven years until their next studio album released along with the single Touch Of Grey.
88. Kiss – Shandi
Kiss dials down the disco a tad, but the damage with rock fans drawing a line between the two genres was already done. They wouldn’t score another Top 40 hit until 1990’s Forever. This one will breathe fire until #47.
Everyone tried their hand at disco back then, even if they were way stepping out of the comfort zone. Did anyone expect to hear the line “Everybody’s got the dancing fever.” come from this guy? Ouch. Stay in your lane, dude. This will crawl up two notches before disappearing.
June 27st, 1981
I heard a story during a 1976 AT 40 Countdown about how Louis & George used to get booked as opening acts for touring Motown revues as teenagers. These guys were too talented to only have had four Top 40 hits, especially as they were under Q’s wing. I assume they got discarded to the disco sucks movement, which is why a superior disco-funk track like this languished at #67.
The fourth single from the Triumph album was a huge #1 dance hit, which probably sealed its fate on Pop radio. How does a song this vibrant only register a #73 showing? It would become a Top 10 UK smash.
Here’s Dan Hartman walking away from the disco of Instant Replay to do a cheesy pop cover of Gene Pitney’s 1964 Top 10 hit. This one will feel the pain at #72.
It was great to hear The Who on Radio again with You Better You Bet after a three-year absence. It’s a shame this follow-up didn’t get the momentum going as this will let go at #84.
Marshall Crenshaw had a Top 40 hit with this song in 1982, but neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon recorded the first version. It was his second and final chart hit, and it be bop a lula’d to #76.
This single from the Swedish quartet’s Super Trouper album was specifically released in the US rather than England or even Sweden. I think it’s because of the distinct Beach Boys vocal arrangement on the chorus. It just made it sound more American. Coincidently Mike Love would cover this song later in the year for his Looking Back With Love solo debut. The single will only go up two spots.
June 26th, 1982
The former guitarist of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils released his WestCoast flavored debut, Marooned in 1982. This was the lead single that quietly moved up a spot and left. He should have released this one instead.
June 25th, 1983
Now that David Crosby was fully back with CSN, they decided a live album was in order. They tacked on this studio track which was recorded for the film War Games because who knows paranoia better than cokeheads. It will play a game up to #45 before being destroyed by Joshua.
June 23rd, 1984
This is the third single from the surprise hit album from Yes, 90215, just five numbers away from where Luke Perry lived. This #51 track was one of the few songs written for Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, and Alan White’s new band Cinema before Jon Anderson got involved, and it became a Yes project. It can happen.
Here’s a song that should be a Yacht Rock classic, if there is such a thing. This sweet shuffled will be the second single release from his album, A Special Part Of Me, and will be his last chart entry at #81.
Not sure why I loved these guys so much, but I did. Maybe it was because their songs were easy to learn on guitar. Or perhaps I felt like I can easily be a member of the band? This Reckoning album track was their second chart entry, and it will move up only ten more spots. Also, I’m sorry I never called.