We are at the halfway point in the year, chart week twenty-six. I just wanted to take this time and say thank you to those who have read The Other Sixty posts, of which there have 68 thus far. Let’s jump back in and review 1980, 1981, and 1982.
June 28th, 1980
How in the hell does a song that’s only 27 spots from the Top 40 by an internationally successful band at its peak coming off of its first number one smash peak at #42 instead? Maybe it was jarring to hear that opening wash of synths from an “absolutely no synths” band? Perhaps they should have followed up with Crazy Thing… with Need Your Loving Tonight instead? None of this would matter in a few months when their game-changing single, Another One Bites The Dust, hits #1 in the Fall.
Yes, that’s how big the TV show Dallas was in 1980. So huge, that the cliffhanger of who fired a few slugs into Larry Hagman became international news as well as a Country song from a Cincinnati DJ on WLW. [You may remember his Earl Pitts monologues, which were eventually simulcasted for decades.] This single shot up a like a Ewing oil well to #67 before going dry.
While the Urban Cowboy soundtrack was crushing on the charts during the Summer of 1980, the soundtrack to the Meatloaf film, Roadie, was continually getting thrown by the bull. This terrific pairing created a pleasant-sounding Country song with no lasting Pop appeal. While it drives up to #55, it crossed over to the Country charts hitting #6 and nabbing Roy his first Grammy and Emmylou, her second.
This was the second single from the Colorado sextet’s fourth album, Clouds Across the Sun. The first one, Headed For A Fall, hit #35. This upbeat acoustic Yacht Rocker would grab the cool double quarter zenith.
Teri D and Harry C had a huge #2 smash at the turn of the decade with Yes, I’m Ready, a Barbara Mason cover. Hoping that lightning would strike twice, they recorded a disco-light version of the Martha & the Vandellas 1964 hit. We all decided to hold out for a Mick Jagger/ David Bowie rendition, so the dancing stopped for this one at #66. Teri got so frustrated, she started recording Christian music.
Herb followed up the success of his 1979 Rise album with the title track to his new 1980 release. Now sure if this really went beyond anything unless you think Tangerine Dream with a trumpet solo sounds edgy. A #50 showing was its best. It placed six spots higher on the Soul charts.
Have you ever wondered what the guy who sang Polk Salad Annie would sound like if he embraced disco and used various names of chocolate bars as sexual metaphors? Well, you’re in luck because here’s Tony doing just that with his first chart hit in ten years. It will melt in your hands at #79.
You gotta hand it to a band who can rhyme chick with mistake. This L.A. power-pop trio released two albums, but their only chart hit came from their first one. The 45 is an enticing mix of 50s rockabilly and 60s garage, but it will excuse itself at #81.
This is not a cover of the 1974 ABBA hit. Instead, we have some smooth Miami soul by David, courtesy of the Henry Stone franchise. Even if the lyrics reak of Camembert, this single will drip its way up to #59. It will crack the R&B Top 40 at #37.
July 4th, 1981
I’m a big Gino fan and have always found the combination of his sincere yet commanding vocal prowess with his brothers’ penchant for gorgeously layered synth arrangements irresistible. His music is at once smooth yet funky, ambitious yet catchy. This is the second single from his first album on the Arista label after almost a decade recording for A&M. It was his follow-up to Living Inside Myself and bears a resemblance to the title track of his 1974 LP, Powerful People. But whereas prog-pop was in fashion back then, the landscape changed considerably by the early 80s and so this single wasn’t as successful, just missing the Casey call at #41.
This single is considered the rarest of all that have charted on the Hot 100. Only ten copies were pressed. That means that it mainly reached #80 based on radio airplay, mainly in Los Angeles, without a means for the public to buy it. Funny that M’Cool, aka Richard Doyle, was a comedian because the joke was on him. This country-rock single was a clumsy attempt to detail all the great and embarrassing things about America. But when he discusses having trucks and trains with riots and slaves as the bad vs. good, the Energy crisis as a phony recession and that we are the greatest race on Earth, I have to wonder if he learned his American history from someone’s fake university. Y’know who I mean.
Here’s a quintet from Connecticut who sound as exciting as this intro. The main duo, Carl Shillo and Buzz Goodwin had been recording folk-rock under this moniker since 1976, churning out two albums. Then they turned to pop-rock and filled their hopes with a possible appearance on Solid Gold that never came. At least this single charted and rose up three spots before splitting.
July 3rd, 1982
And now we have the pride of Shelby, North Carolina with a single from his debut, Free For The Evening. It’s has a friendly soft Westcoast vibe just as the rest of the album does. His only chart single will turn back at #77. Rick went on to co-write several Country hits, including Down Home by Alabama, and I Can’t Win For Losin’ You by Earl Thomas Conley, both #1s.
A straight-up New Wave classic. This was the first chart single from the quirky L.A. quintet led by Dale Bozzio and her well-places pieces of glass. It only hit #42, so you really need to ask yourself, “Did you hear them, and did you care?
I agree, guys. I’m done, too. This breezy rock single had it at #50. To date, these guys are keeping their Nova Scotia fans warm with their power rock.