Less Tender and More Tinder

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We’re smack in the middle of the decade doing our review of The Other Sixty during chart week thirty. Let’s review the years 1983 up to 1986.

July 30th, 1983

82. Doobie Brothers – You Belong To Me

Let’s start off with a live cut from The Doobies’ first farewell tour or maybe the farewell to Michael McDonald tour. [of course, if we get our shit together, we can see him perform with them sometime in 2021.] It’s a cut that Michael wrote with Carly Simon that the band recorded for their 1977 Livin’ On The Fault Line album. Carly recorded her version for Boys In The Trees, and it became a Top 10 in early 1978. The band’s live release will reach #79 and cap a prolific year run with Mike in the group.

88. The Plimsouls – A Million Miles Away

Here’s a Power pop quartet from California led by Peter Case, who formed the group after The Nerves split up in 1978. The song was released as a single and performed well regionally. After it was added to the Valley Girl soundtrack, it was re-released and charted nationally, reaching #82.

89. Aretha Franklin- Get It Right

Aretha was back in the Top 40 in 1982 after a six-year absence with the Luther Vandross/ Marcus Miller produced Jump To It. They got the gig for the follow-up album, and the title track is another burnin’ barbeque boogie. It will be her nineteenth #1 Soul hit, but for some reason, Pop radio didn’t get it right by adding to their playlists, and it faltered at #61.

90. The Manhattans – Crazy

Seven years after their monster #1 smash Kiss And Say Goodbye and three years removed from their Top 5 hit Shining Star, this Jersey City quartet is back some rare uptempo groove for a change, sounding like Jump To It performed by the Whispers. It will get them another Top 5 R&B smash while climbing to #72 before losing its mind.

July 28th, 1984

77. Queen – It’s A Hard Life

This song starts out big with a little dash of opera courtesy of Freddie before settling into a ballad that is reminiscent of Play The Game at times. Their third US single from The Works will be yet another UK top 10 but will be largely ignored in the States, only moving up another five spots.

83. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – The Only Flame In Town

I’ve always found David Lee Roth’s quote about music writers hilarious. I’m paraphrasing, but it goes something like, “Of course critics love Elvis Costello more than [Van Halen] us. That’s because they all look like him.” And while VH was crushing the charts with 1984, EC and his pals faced their harshest critical backlash upon the release of their eighth album, Goodbye Cruel World. He had previously announced he was breaking up the band and retiring from music. Surely this wasn’t the way he was going to go out? While it’s still considered a misstep mostly for its slick production, I’ve always loved this single. I never thought Elvis took it that seriously, and with his full career in review, you can look back see that maybe he was trying to blow it all up and start fresh. Big kudos to Daryl Hall, who sings backing vocals, blending his voice as much as possible rather than overtake Elvis’. The flame will die at #56, but he’ll return in five years with his second Top 40 hit, Veronica.

85. Irene Cara – You Were Made For Me

Irene had already racked up six Top 40 hits before this single release, which will be her last chart hit. This sultry ballad should have reached a higher number than #78. I wonder what would have happened if it found the right 1984 film to pair it with. It will enter the top #10 on the AC charts, so maybe your teeth got drilled to this.

88. Karen Kamon – Loverboy

One degree off from Irene is singer Karen Kamon, who sang on the Flashdance and D.C. Cab movie soundtracks. This was her only charting single debuting at its peak. She was also married to producer Phil Ramone from 1984 until his passing in 2013.

90. Coyote Sisters – Straight From The Heart (Into Your Life)

This is a lost gem. Completely buried on a Motown subsidiary label, Morrocco Records, this trio of ladies – Leah Kunkel, Renee Armand, and Marty Gwinn Townsend, all of whom had recorded previous solo albums (Marty was part of Bishop & Gwinn.) released this single and it faded into the ether at #66. With a consistant A&R push, this could have easily reached the Top 40. In 2001 they put out their second album, Woman and Other Stories, minus Armand.

July 27th, 1985

82. Billy Crystal – You Look Marvelous

Yes, that Billy Crystal, Jody from Soap. He decided to create a dance single based on his Fernando Llamas impersonations on SNL that no one watched or laughed at. The title is the catchphrase and supposed punchline. It just means if jam anything down people’s throats enough times, they might swallow. This one will choke at #58, dahlings.

88. Curtie & The Boombox – Black Kisses (Never Make You Blue)

Here’s a female Dutch quartet who release one album in 1985. This single sounds very European, as in no one told them that Disco was over, only to add more synths. Their only chart hit gets gangrene at #81.

90. Lone Justice – Sweet Sweet Baby (I’m Falling)

This is the second single from the auspicious debut of the L.A. cowpunk outfit led by Maria McKee. It was co-written by Steven Van Zandt and Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers, so they had some friends in high places. Little Steven even plays the guitar solo on this catchy track. This unlucky single reached #73 and started falling.

93. Cheap Trick – Tonight It’s You

Here’s the Rockford, Illinois quartet trying and failing with a terrific radio-ready single. Produced by Jack Douglas, this Power Pop ballad would be stopped short at #44.

August 2nd, 1986

83. Mick Jagger – Ruthless People

I bought all four of these 1986 Other Sixty debuts on 45. I must have had a lot of Summer job money burning a hole in my shorts pocket. This was the title track to the Danny DeVito/ Bette Midler film that should have been funnier than it was. [They teamed up again for Drowning Mona, which is way better.] This debuts as the Stones’ One Hit (To The Body) disappears from the charts. It will find Ruth at #51 and walk away.

84. Sheena Easton – So Far So Good

Another soundtrack tune, this one to the Rob Lowe/Demi Moore rom-com, About Last Night. This one finds Sheena leaning more on her early 80s sweet girl image rather than her sexy dance music persona. So it confused fans a bit and only went as far as #43, which was not good.

91. Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

Gwen was a singer and songwriter, who got her big break when Ben E. King recorded Supernatural Thing and took it to #9 in 1975. She had a handful of solo hits on the R&B charts in the 80s. But her biggest one was this, a #1 Soul and Dance Club smash, which just missed the Casey call at #42. This song always reminds me of that Eddie Murphy sketch in Raw in which he talks about money-hungry women, and references this song.

95. Doctor & The Medics – Spirit In The Sky

Being ten years too late for glam rock didn’t stop this sextet from releasing their debut album, Laughing at the Pieces in 1986. Their faithful cover of Norman Greenbaum’s 1970 Top 10 smash was their only chart hit and peaked at #69. I guess it was going to the place that’s the best.

 

Don’t Understand The World Today

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As we start off the thirtieth chart week review of The Other Sixty, there are a few classics which have stood the test of time, some hidden gems, and those deserving of their chart fate. Let’s take a look at 1980 through 1982.

July 26th, 1980

72. Pat Benatar – You Better Run

The pride of Lindenhurst, Long Island leads off her second album, Crimes of Passion, with a cover of the Rascals 1966 Top 20 hit. It also had the notoriety of being the second video play on MTV. It will just miss out, hitting #42, but her follow-up, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, will become her first Top 10 smash.

[Somehow I missed this one in the first post. Thanks Victorvector for catching this omission.]

85. Rossington Collins Band – Don’t Misunderstand Me

We have some Southern rock here from the surviving members of the horrific 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve, and Cassie Gaines. Feeling unable to continue as Lynyrd Skynyrd, they reformed in late 1979 under a new moniker and a female lead singer. This was their only charting hit released from their debut album. It will peak at #55.

87. Ted Nugent – Wango Tango

This is Ted’s seventh and last Hot 100 entry as a solo artist. He had one Top 40 hit back in the Fall of 1977 called Cat Scratch Fever. This one will barely move inching up one spot before falling off the charts.

89. Touch – (Call Me) When The Spirit Moves You

This was the first single from this Long Island, New York AOR quartet’s debut album, Touch. Three of the members had been in the band American Tears, which had released three albums in the late 70s. For all of that experience, this will be their most significant chart success before the spirit dies at #65.

90. Lenore O’Malley – First…Be A Woman

This type of disco single was already out of fashion by 1980. Not sure who thought this would succeed in the post-Disco sucks, proto-New Wave era. I believe this was a Canadian release, so that might have something to do with it. This barely made the Top 50 on the Disco charts and on the Hot 100, it only climbed to #53.

92. Eric Troyer – Mirage

This one debuts at its peak but, man, Pop radio missed out big on this one. Its lack of success also kept Chrysalis Records from releasing his full album debut. What I wouldn’t give to walk into a Karaoke bar and see this one on their playlist. Eric is a good friend of Jim Steiman and is usually the person singing vocals on his demos. He has also had a long career singing backing vocals of giant hits, such as John Lennon’s Woman, Billy Joel’s Tell Her About It, and Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me. He also joined ELO Part II with Bev Bevan.

96. The Silencers – Shiver And Shake

There were two bands of this namesake that charted in the 80s. This one was from a Power pop quintet from Pittsburgh, who only charted this one time. It would cease shivering and end shaking at #81. LEader Frank Czuri was in a previous band called Diamond Reo, and peaked at #44 in 1975 with a cover of Ain’t That Peculiar.

August 1st, 1981

82. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)

I got a feeling this one didn’t so well at the time because radio was pushing Stop Dragging Me Heart Around instead. That single moved up to #38 during the week that this one, the second release from Hard Promises, debuted. As a result, this will only slide up three more notches.

83. Squeeze – Tempted

Isn’t funny how some songs that don’t perform well initially end up becoming classics, even the defining song for a band? Squeeze has two Top 40 hits, but I bet you know this one way more than those two. Utility player Paul Carrack sang lead on this song and recorded with the band for one album, East Side Story, an LP that was originally going to be a double album producer for four different people, including Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, and Paul McCartney. In the end, it was mostly produced by Elvis Costello (he sings a few lines on the second verse), and it’s my second favorite album of theirs after Babylon & On. It will only reach #49 but will spawn many covers versions. Personally, I like Erykah Badu’s.

Fun fact: Paul would join Squeeze again for another album in 1993, Some Fantastic Place. And here’s the only other Squeeze song that he sings lead vocals on.

85. Santana – The Sensitive Kind

After scoring his first Top 20 hit in ten years with Winning, Santana follows it up with another slinky track, this time written by J.J. Cale. Alex “not Steve Perry” Lighterwood handles the lead vocal again on this 45, which will only reach #56.

86. Icehouse – We Can Get Together

When you think about all of the successful Australian acts of the 80s, Icehouse doesn’t get mentioned much. But they were charting in the US before Men At Work and INXS. It just took them a while to get their big hits. This one is probably a little ahead of its time, but it will still reach #62. Hey Little Girl is another great track that should have some success as well but didn’t chart.

July 31st, 1982

82. Bill Champlin – Sara

After Sons Of Champlin split up and before his turn in Chicago, Bill released two solo Westcoast albums. This single is the second release from his second solo album, Runaway, written by David Foster and Alan “Growing Pains” Thicke. This ballad is one of many potential hit singles. Unfortunately, Elektra Records had some management changes as this album was released, and subsequently, there was no push behind it. Still, this track would have a #61 zenith.

83. Queen – Calling All Girls

After having a #11 hit with Body Language, Queen follows up it up with the least disco sounding track on the album, Hot Space. Written by drummer Roger Taylor, the girls will turn a deaf ear to it at #60

85. Walter Murphy – Themes From E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial)

Trying to get some of that Meco money, Walter leaves the classical composer alone and goes after John Williams instead. This disco medley of different themes from the movie, E.T., was his first chart hit since 1976 and his last. It will go home at #47.

87. Dolly Parton – I Will Always Love You

This may be the most important song Dolly has ever written. She wrote it as a farewell to Porter Wagoner and his show, on which Dolly was a star. Released as a single from her Jolene LP in 1974, it became a #1 Country smash. She re-recorded it for the soundtrack to The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and it hit #1 again as well as reaching #53 on the Pop charts. It was this incarnation which the producers of The Bodyguard heard and had Whitney Houston record it for the film. It will eventually hit #1 for 14 weeks, with the single selling four million copies. It will reach #3 in 2012 after Whitney’s death. The money Dolly made from this recording has been given back to her community, primarily through children’s book programs, many times over.

88. John Denver – Seasons Of The Heart

John was earnestly trying to keep his career going in 1982. His single Shanghai Breezes reached #31, so there was reason to hope. He released the title track to his recent album as the follow-up single, but all this ballad could manage was a #78 showing.

89. Foreigner – Luanne

Foreigner had their biggest success with their fourth album, 4, which spun off four Top 40 singles. Why not go for five? This one sounds like album filler to me, and radio agreed. Ice cold Luanne will run and ride at #75.

90. Joe Fagin – Younger Days

Here’s a singer/ songwriter from England who’s trying to get some of that Bob Seger cash, singing in a gruff voice about the past. Sorry, Joe, that’s Bob’s stock in trade. You’re gonna have to get your own schtick. This will one will peak at #80.

 

You Have To Make This Life Livable

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Let’s wrap up the twenty-ninth chart week with a review of The Other Sixty from 1987, 1988, and 1989.

July 25th, 1987

81. .38 Special – Back To Paradise

Here’s a song from the Revenge of The Nerds sequel in which the Tri-Lambs travel to a fraternity convention in Florida. And so who better to do the main theme than Jacksonville’s own .38 Special. This one just missed the Top 40 peaking at #41.

88. Depeche Mode – Strangelove

Peche follows up their superb 1986 Album, Black Celebration with the equally impressive and more mature, Music For The Masses. Focusing more on synths and songwriting than samples and sound effects, they aimed their material at the US market without sacrificing what made them unique. Although this was a #1 Dance hit, this will at Pop radio only reaching #76.

94. Amazulu – Montego Bay

I’m sure there are many versions of Bobby Bloom’s 1970 tropical hit out there, but this one by the British reggae sextet, Amazulu, is the only other one to chart on the Hot 100. I’d rather hear this a million times over than Hot Hot Hot. They lose the keys to the MG at #90.

July 23rd, 1988

82. Vanessa Williams – The Right Stuff

Vanessa starts off her singing career with the New Jack title track of her debut album. No one’s gonna mistake her voice for Aretha, but she and the album sounded better than most folks thought. It was a #1 Dance hit, #4 on the Soul charts, and just missed the Casey Shadoe call becoming un-right at #44.

84. Stryper – Always There For You

If you think that the biggest problem with heavy metal is that there are not enough Christian fans then you do what Stryper did and cater directly to them. Honestly, I think if God really wanted this, then they would’ve have been bigger than say, Guns N Roses, or even White Lion. Alas, there were smote with a #71 zenith.

87. The Cover Girls – Inside Outside

If it’s the late 80s, then Pop radio is playing freestyle somewhere. Or not, in this case. This is the fifth charting single from the trio’s debut Show Me. Man, this squeezed this lemon like it had lime juice in it. Once it got in, it was shown the outside at #55.

92. Keith Sweat with Jacci McGhee – Make It Last Forever

Keith throws down this smooth slow jam without ever leaving his 5-note range. The man’s a magician. It will slide up to #2 on the Soul charts but forever comes to an abrupt halt at #59 Pop. Jacci would release a solo album in 1992, join the Family Stand in 1998 for one album and sing back-up for Toto & Salt N Pepa

93. Freddie Jackson – Nice N Slow

Oh no, another quiet storm is riding in. If it hits Keith’s heavy rain, there could be a hurricane or a love tornado. Instead, they’ll just cancel each other out at Pop radio. This will be one of Freddie’s many #1s on the Soul chart and his last Hot 100 entry, climbing to #61.

July 22nd, 1989

85. Indigo Girls – Closer To Fine

The legend of Atlanta’s Emily Saliers and Amy Ray begins here with one of their most beloved tracks from their third album. They, along with acts such as Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, and Michelle Shocked, led the resurgence of female singer-songwriters in the late 80s, culminating in their celebration at Lilith Fairs in the late 90s. The closest they’ll get to fine if fine is the Top 40 will be #52. Peter O’Toole from the Hothouse Flowers sings and plays mandolin on the track.

90. The Outfield – My Paradise

This London trio follows up their fourth Top 40 hit, Voices Of Babylon, with this rollicking rocker. Paradise will be lost at #72.

91. The Call – Let The Day Begin

Did you get the call? I never got the call. I wonder who got the call. All the fun things we used to say about this Santa Cruz quartet. This will be their second and final chart hit, and it received a lot of airplay on college radio as well as mainstream rock stations. It translated to a #51 peak, but it would be resurrected in 2000 by Al Gore as his campaign theme. I think W was more of a Bullet Boys fan.

92. Bad English – Forget Me Not

John Waite formed a new band at the end of the decade with two of his Babys plus Neil Schon of Journey. This was the first single from their debut, and its easily the best thing they recorded (Best Of What I Got wasn’t bad). This almost made the Top 40 but stalled at #45. Their next single When I See You Smile went straight to #1.

96. Bullet Boys – Smooth Up

Out of the ashes of the Carmine Appice-led, King Kobra comes these dudes. This single will be the second charting release from their debut album whose full title is Smooth Up In Ya. Their subtly skills in seduction will garner them a #71 high for their troubles.

97. Erasure – Stop!

Erasure finally broke through to the pop charts with a pair of Top 20 singles from The Innocents. To hold fans over until the next album, the duo released a 6-song EP called Crackers International. The lead single is what you’d expect from Andy and Vince, great upbeat synth-pop. Unfortunately, it debuts at its peak. They wouldn’t hit the Top 40 again until 1994 with the song, Always.

 

Music Is The Key To Set Me Free

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Damn, this is a mighty fine list of debuts during chart week twenty-nine during the mid-80s. Such a shame they fell into the forgotten stew of The Other Sixty. Let’s review and enjoy!

July 23rd, 1983

72. The Tubes – Tip Of My Tongue

The San Francisco octet, who finally scored a Top 10 hit with She’s A Beauty, followed it up with a nice slice of funky soul, co-written by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s a great track, but the abrupt genre change might have thrown pop programmers who went silent on it after it reached #52.

80. ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

After experimenting with synths on their last two albums, the Tejas trio dives in fully with a drum machine and a sequencer for their Eliminator LP. Why play the blues why you can program them? The first single, Gimme All Your Lovin’ reached #37, but this follow-up, despite its MTV airtime and rock radio airplay, returned their tux at #56.

88. Haysi Fantayzee – Shiny Shiny

Nothing like an 80s song mixing cocaine and nuclear war metaphors sung by a couple of cornrowed white folks with a fiddle solo to boot. It’s a catchy song, but I can’t tell you how many buskers I meet that sound and look like this, minus the fun. Looks like they run out of lemon Pledge at #74.

90. R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe

Within a year of meeting and forming the band, R.E.M. recorded their first single at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studios in Winston Salem, NC. They released it as a 45 on a local label called HibTone and immediately sold out. After recording a 5-song EP called Chronic Town in 1982, they were signed to I.R.S. Records, releasing their debut album, Murmur, in April 1983. Their lead single was a re-recorded version of their first single, which climbed to #78 on the national charts. Like all of their early work, it makes no sense, and it’s fricking awesome.

94. F.R. David – Words

One of the things that confused folks in the 80s is that if they heard synths and drum machines, they assumed it was New Wave. This song is just a product of its time – chanson with a modern arrangement. It was let into the party, then abruptly told to leave. This Frenchmen took this song to #1 in many European countries, but in the States, it had a #62 zenith.

July 21st, 1984

87. Giorgio Moroder Featuring Paul Engemann – Reach Out

Remember how jacked up we were for the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A. with no commies around to hog our glory? We were so into it that we decided to record music to play each time we won, like this one. Written initially just for the track team, featuring lead vocals from future Device & Animotion singer Paul Engemann, it became our unofficial theme every time we kicked another countries ass. On the chart, it barely reached up to #81. Of course, it went to #2 in Switzerland.

90. INXS – I Send A Message

The Aussie sextet follows up their #58 single, Original Sin with a little bit of synth-funk. They would apply this formula on their 1987 album, Kick, by removing all the raw edges and smoothing out their sound. Until then, this message will get lost at #77.

July 20th, 1985

71. Mary Jane Girls – Wild And Crazy Love

I’m really not sure why the Mary Jane Girls didn’t have more hits on Pop radio. A funky dance track like this one, which went Top 10 on the Soul charts, should have easily surpassed its #42 peak, especially after the momentum of In My House hitting the Top 10.

77. Loose Ends – Hanging On A String (Contemplating)

This was my jam in the Summer of 1985. I loved the vibe of this London trio. They were like a funkier, synth-driven version of Sade. They recorded five albums, but this single was their only chart hit. It only reached #13 in their native UK, but was a #1 Soul hit here and just missed the Casey call along with the Mary Jane Girls, peaking at #43.

84. Limahl – Only For Love

Is it fun being a one-hit-wonder twice? Ask Limahl, who became one with Kajagoogoo in 1983 with Too Shy. When he was kicked out of the band, he became one as a solo artist two years with Never Ending Story. His second and last chart hit will sink like a horse in quicksand at #51.

87. King – Love And Pride

Here’s another key 1985 Summer song, sung by the superbly mulleted Paul King. This New Wave classic will be a #2 smash in England but will only find misery at #55.

Fun fact: In 1985, a King, a Queen, a Prince, and a Princess all had charting singles.

88. Jesse Johnson’s Revue – I Want My Girl

The former lead guitarist for the Time is back with a funk ballad, the third single from his self-titled debut. It will be the group’s third straight Top 10 Soul single but will fizzle out at #76 on the Hot 100.

89. Alison Moyet – Love Resurrection

After two albums with Vince Clarke in the duo, Yaz (or Yazoo), Alison nabbed a Top 40 hit on her own with Invisible. Her follow-up was even better, and my favorite of hers. But it will only resurrect an #82 showing.

July 26th, 1986

93. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – Every Little Kiss

This is where the Bruce Hornsby legend started, with a flop. The band’s first single from their debut The Way It Is will only reach #72. RCA only killed this band’s fortunes before they started. I mean, this was the original album cover. Thankfully the label released the title track next, and everything began to click for these guys. And, this single will be re-released next Spring and reach the Top 20

95. Thompson Twins – Nothing In Common

This newly paired down duo loved to dabble in melancholy percussive New Wave, so they were an odd choice to write and record the theme to a Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. Until you watch the movie and realize it’s way more sad than funny. For me, I still bought it and watched the movie a ton of times on cable. But I understand its #54 peak. It was co-produced by Geoff Downes of the Buggles and Asia fame.

96. Level 42 – Hot Water

If I didn’t express it earlier, I love these three singles from 1986 and bought them all back then. This one would definitely be my favorite of the three, a newly recorded version of a song originally found on the band’s 1984 LP, True Colours. They were in the midst of trading their jazz-funk past with a pop-funk future. After crushing it with Something About You, this one didn’t do as well in the States boiling over at #87. They’ll back in the Top 20 next year with Lessons In Love.

 

Got To Keep My Irons In The Fire

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We’re now up to the twenty-ninth chart week of the year. So let’s review The Other Sixty from 1980 to 1982.

July 19th, 1980

81. Paul Davis – Cry Just A Little

Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Paul Davis follows up his gospel-tinged Top 40 hit, Do Right with this track, which is one of my favorites of his. This easily should have been another smash but only moved up three more spots. Blame that on the fact that Bang Records was on their last legs and probably didn’t have any promotional dollars left. That’s also what killed Brick and Nigel Olssen’s career, the other two artists left on the label. Paul would switch to Arista for his next and final album, Cool Night, which spawned two of his biggest hits, the title track, and 65 Love Affair.

Fun fact: Paul McCartney owns most of Paul Davis’ songs.

86. Poco – Under The Gun

Poco finally broke through with the album Legend, and the 1979 hits Cool Love and Heart Of The Night. But ABC Records became MCA Records, and so in many ways, they had to start over. They released the title track to their new LP, but it didn’t distinguish itself on radio and peaked at #48. It took them another decade to have a Top 40 hit again.

88. Gerry Rafferty – The Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin’)

Gerry tallied five solo Top 40 records between 1978 and 1979, but he started off the 80s very differently. The only single from his 1980 Snake And Ladders release would only climb the rungs to #54 and will be his last US chart entry. As his manager once said, ” You used to think that it was so easy.”

90. Rockie Robbins – You And Me

Here’s an R&B singer from Minneapolis who scored his only Hot 100 entry from his Bobby Martin-produced second album. This one populated a lot of Quiet Storm formats back then and hit the Soul Top 10. On the Pop charts, let’s see here—nothing up on my sleeve. And…Presto! A #80 zenith.

96. Frankie Valli Introducing Chris Forde – Where Did We Go Wrong

Good question, Frankie. Let me count the ways. Two Summers ago, Frankie was letting everyone know what the word was. Now he’s singing a duet that can’t find its way out of the 90s, chart position, that is. 1980 was a rough year personally for Frankie, and after this release, he took a lot of time off. This will be his last chart hit when it hits #90. No one knows whatever happened to Chris Forde.

July 25th, 1981

82. Teena Marie – Square Biz

The vanilla child, known as Lady T, who likes Sarah Vaughn and hot water cornbread drops a serious funk bomb on us from her It Must Be Magic LP. Even though she was now producing herself, her former svengali Rick James shows up like a weirdo staring from the shadows to let everyone know to call him Slick Rick, wherein Teena tells him not to get too slick. Burn. This jam will only make it to #50 because Motown was pushing the veterans like The Commodores and Diana Ross. T would leave Motown and have her biggest hit four years later with Lovergirl.

85. Don Felder – Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride)

There’s a part in the Eagles documentary, History of the Eagles, where Glenn Frey talks about their manager taking Don Felder out to dinner to let him know he won’t be singing on The Long Run. As Glenn explains, why would you have a weak vocalist on a song when you can have Don Henley instead? Felder is a great guitarist, but his vocals aren’t as bad as Glenn makes them out to be. Don’s only chart hit, the theme from the movie Heavy Metal, will just miss the Top 40 reaching #43. Glenn Frey, still an asshole.

86. Pure Prairie League – You’re Mine Tonight

It’s funny to think that by adding Vince Gill to this country-rock group that they became less country. This one is leaving the marina dock for an evening sail in the Santa Monica sunset. Their final chart hit will reverse their debut numbers, and the band will split soon after.

90. The Cantina Band (Featuring Lou Christie) – Summer 81 

After the success of Stars of 45, folks searched for the next oldies act to shove down our throats. And behold, it’s Meco (and yes the cantina band is a Star Wars reference) with a medley of Beach Boys hits and a lame disco beat that sounds like it came from a Nelson Varon organ. Somehow Capitol Records heard about this and rushed out their own Beach Boys medley, which ended up debuting on the same week up at #76. Folks preferred hearing Brian, Carl and Mike sing the hits rather than Lou “Lightning Strikes” Christie, although he does a much job than some session singer in Holland. It will surf up to #81 before daddy takes the T-bird away.

July 24th, 1982

81. Roberta Flack – I’m The One

This funky little number was Miss Roberta’s follow-up to her Top 20 hit, Making Love, and in my opinion, it’s far superior. It just missed getting the Casey call when it gets caught in a Hot 100 logjam and stopped at #42.

85. Jerry Reed – She Got The Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)

The Snowman is back for one more round on the Hot 100, his first new entry in eight years. This rollicking divorce ditty ends up with Jerry eating bologna sandwiches and crying to a judge just like his 1971 smash When You’re Hot, You’re Hot. It will be his last chart hit getting the shaft at #57, but his third #1 Country hit.

87. Dayton – Hot Fun In The Summertime

Here’s a laid back boogie cover of a Sly & the Family Stone 1969 smash from a funk sextet from Ohio. It was released from their third album, Hot Fun, and will become a Top 20 R&B hit. But Fall comes around for this tune at #58.

90. Axe – Now Or Never

With a name like Axe, you may be expecting something that sounds like Iron Maiden. But this quintet from Gainesville, FL, which started life called Babyface before changing names, comes off like a bar band version of Blackfoot instead.  This will be the first of two chart entries for these guys when this hits #64. So, never.

Brothers And Sisters United All For Love

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Let’s wrap up our review of The Other Sixty from chart week twenty-eight with a look at those debuts from the second half of the decade-  1985 through 1989.

July 13th, 1985

90. Y&T – Summertime Girls

Here’s the California quartet, formerly known as Yesterday And Today (that’s true) trying to get some of that Van Halen money after very little success and six albums over a ten-year career. Their seventh album, Down For The Count, will yield their only chart single, which will also be released on the Real Genius soundtrack. But Autumn will arrive at #55.

July 19th, 1986

81. Heart – If Looks Could Kill

Heart was still trying to squeeze all the juice out of their hugely successful self-titled album. This was the fifth charting single from that LP after the first four went Top 10. This 45 got the “looks’ and died at #54.

86. Prince & The Revolution – Anotherloverholenyohead

I loved this song from Parade so much that I bought the 45 when it was released, even though I had the album. This will be the last single with The Revolution to chart when it stalls out at #63.

89. 38 Special – Somebody Like You

After a string of Top 40 hits, folks realized that this band was going to keep putting out the same single over and over again unless we do something. We stopped the momentum by keeping this 45 at #48. That also explains we ended up with a song like Second Chance three years later that sounds like no one.

July 18th, 1987

85. Rod Stewart – Twistin’ The Night Away

Rod achieved a rare feat with the release of this single. His version of the Sam Cooke classic was released in 1973 from Never a Dull Moment and hit #59. He re-recorded it for the Dennis Quaid/Martin Short movie, Innerspace, and this version will do worse, peaking at #80. He forced another Sam Cooke cover on us when he recorded Having A Party for his 1993 Unplugged and Seated album. We let it reach #36 and pleaded for mercy.

87. The Hooters – Johnny B.

This Philly quintet started moving in new folkier directions with their new album, One Way Home, and is evident on its lead single. Although it’s hard to say if it’s good or not, it will go after reaching #61.

88. Regina Belle – Show Me The Way

Columbia Records wanted some of those Anita Baker dollars and pushed Regina’s first single like she was the second coming. It’s a very good smooth-funk single suitable for any early evening Quiet Storm format, eventually hitting #2 on the Soul charts as it loses its way on the Pop charts at #68. Miss Belle will chart six times on the Hot 100 and only get one Top 40 hit, her 1993 duet with Peabo Bryson, A Whole New World, which will hit #1.

89. Kim Wilde – Say You Really Want Me

Kim went to the top of the charts with her synthpop cover of the Supremes classic, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, a #1 in its own right. That would be the end of the Wilde times as her follow-up, co-produced by Rod Tempterton & Richard Rudolph, barely misses getting the Casey call with a #44 zenith. You can find this track on the Running Scared soundtrack, which was released one year earlier.

July 16th, 1988

89. Foreigner – Heart Turns To Stone

This multi-national quartet rewrites their hit Cold As Ice from the third-person, performing an anonymous 80s rock bed for Lou Gramm to sing over. The stone will begin sinking at #56, and it will be another six years until their last chart hit.

92. Dino – Summergirls

If you can make it through this time without wanting to kill these producers for that grating sample, you’re a better man than I am. I guess this Las Vegas DJ thought the best way to be heard was to annoy the hell out of the listener. While this freestyle track will actually climb to #50, he will soften his approach when recording his debut and have two Top 40 hits in 1989.

97. Siedah Garrett – K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

Siedah’s Kiss OF Life album was a lost opportunity. She was in prime position to become successful and have a few hits, especially after her duet with Michael the year before on I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. Even with Rod Temperton & Richard Rudolph producing and the support from Quincy Jones, these songs became over-cooked, and the good stuff was lost in the reverb. This track will be a #1 Dance hit due to its remixes, but on the Hot 100, it debuts at its peak.

Fun fact: Siedah will win a Grammy in 2008 for co-writing Love You I Do from the film Dreamgirls.

July 15th, 1989

89. John Cougar Mellencamp – Jackie Brown

When I read a title like this, all I want to see is Pam Grier in a stewardess outfit hurriedly walking through LAX with Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street playing in the background. I give a damn about Jackie Brown, just a different one than Johnny. This will be JCM’s last chart hit with a cougar in the middle when it peaks at #48.

 

 

Don’t Go For That Power Crazy Way

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There are some absolute classics in this batch of The Other Sixty during chart week twenty-eight. There’s also a few of my favorite artists and a couple of duds. Let’s review  1982-84.

July 17th, 1982

86. Greg Kihn Band – Every Love Song

Greg and his Beserkely pals release another single from their Kihntinued LP. This slinky downtempo track didn’t do as well as Happy Man, and after a second rise to #82, it will fall off the charts. Kihn you believe that?

88. Aldo Nova – Foolin’ Yourself

Aldo Nova – an excellent crossword puzzle answer. Eight letters. Four vowels. The clue would go something like – Canadian “Fantasy” guitarist whose follow-up peaked at #65. I’m sure Will Shortz could punch it up.

89. Carly Simon – Why

I’m not sure how Carly ended up recording this Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards co-wrote for the Soup For One soundtrack. But it a sweet melancholy jam with a disco reggae groove, whose lyrics echo the status of her crumbling marriage to James Taylor at the time. It’s an oddity in her catalog, but a thoroughly enjoyable one. Why did this only peak at #74? Don’t know why.

Fun fact: Wham! performed a cover of this song at their final concert in Wembley stadium in 1986.

90. Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock

A Hip Hop Classic by the Godfather of Hip-Hop, a Bronx DJ who was throwing parties up in the Bronx in the late 70s and finally put this electro-funk jam to wax in collaboration with producer Arthur Baker. Their mutual love of Kraftwerk helped inform a new direction of mixing calculated techno synths and gritty street beats. It was so ahead of its time, no one knew what to call it. The 12″ single sales helped it chart, but it received just enough airplay for it to reach #48. In 1982! It will hit the Top 5 on the R&B charts.

92. The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go

This is the first of two appearances on the Hot 100 for this Combat Rock track, but the second time I’m mentioning it. On February 19th, 1983, it recharted and hit #50. On its initial go-round in 1982 it climbed to #45. So I guess the answer is go.

94. Greg Guidry – Into My Love

Singer/songwriter Greg “not Ron’s brother” Guidry ended up as a one-hit-wonder when Goin’ Down went up to #17 and its follow-up, a duet with Sandy “not Ron’s sister, but Greg’s” Guidry, barely got out of the starting gate. It will move up two spaces before leaving the Hot 100.

Fun fact: Greg is from St. Louis and was in an early band with Michael McDonald.

July 16th, 1983

87. Engelbert Humperdinck – Til You And Your Lover Are Lovers Again

What is this doing here in the Summer of 1983? No one is interested in this sleepy balld form a creepy dude. It’s not a shock that EH was trying to break into the Country market as they seemed to take any washed-up singer in the 80s. It will sneak in at #39 down Nashville way and clip out at #77 on the Pop charts as his final chart entry.

88. The B-52’s – Legal Tender

Pop radio just did not understand this Athens, GA quintet or get the joke. Most think they were outsmarting everyone, but they were just being themselves and having fun, to the point that the Top 40 came to them by 1989. This Whammy! track will cash out at #81. Warner Bros should have released Song For A Future Generation as the lead single instead.

90. INXS – Don’t Change

The Australian sextet broke through to the Top 40 with The One Thing from their third album Shabooh Shobaah. It will take a few more albums before they become huge. Until then, many of their solid singles will languish in the States like this does at #80.

95. Mitch Ryder – When You Were Mine

In the Summer of 1983, Prince was becoming a star and had already released five albums. Not many folks were thinking of recording covers of his music, but Detroit rock legend Mitch Ryder decided to give one a go for his new album, Never Kick a Sleeping Dog produced by John Cougar Mellencamp. (Talk about worlds colliding.) Mitch’s version will reach #87 and will most likely inspire Cyndi Lauper to try it out for her debut She’s So Unusual that she recording as this track charted.

July 14th, 1984

87. Style Council – You’re The Best Thing

Since The Jam and later The Style Council refused to tour in the States, Paul Weller remains a cult figure in the US. And as much as his first band gets the press for being his top punk band, Style was far more political in a subversive way. Beautiful ballads like this one shouldn’t shade that reality. And it deserved a way better fate than a #76 zenith.

89. Joe Jackson & Elaine Caswell – Happy Ending

Joe is one of my favorite artists of all time, incredibly talented and inventive and severely underrated. This track, from his LP Body And Soul, was his follow-up to his Top 20 smash, You Can’t Get What You Want (Til You Know What You Want). As good of a song that it is, it should not have been released as a single. The next 45 should have been Be My Number Two, a far superior tune. This record company misstep killed Joe’s charting career as this will be his last when the ending turns sour at #57.

Try To Beat The Masses

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We have reached the twenty-eighth chart week in our review of The Other Sixty. Let’s take a look at the debuts during 1980-81.

July 12th, 1980

75. Dave Mason – Save Me

I wonder if there was a period in Michael Jackson’s where he would agree to any collaboration request. How else would you describe his appearance here on the former Traffic guitarist’s single from his Old Crest On A New Wave LP, which by the way, has more of a funky rock vibe with disco flourishes than it sounds ike Devo or The Pretenders? Even though it’s worth a novelty revisit, this 45 can’t be saved after falling from a #71 high.

77. Eric Carmen – It Hurts Too Much

Eric is feeling the pain of not having any current hits and will do so for the foreseeable future. This was the first single from his album Baby You’re Mine with a questionable cover. (Dude, if it hurts you, imagine how she feels.) This Make Me Lose Control warm-up piece will only move up two places and fall off the charts.

83. J. Geils Band – Just Can’t Wait

The raucous sextet from Boston tosses out a third single release from their Love Stinks LP. The first two have hit the Top 40 – Come Back and the title track. But no matter how much fun Seth Justman is having on the Farfisa, this 45 just can’t wait to go backward after hitting #78.

87. Robin Lane and the Chartbusters – When Things Go Wrong

Speaking of Boston, here’s another band kicking it near the Dorchester Bay, a Power Pop quintet who had one chart single. It’s definitely one of my favorites from that genre. With a little more push, this could have done better. But instead, it debuts at its peak.

Fun fact: Robin’s dad, Ken, used to play piano for Dean Martin.

89. ZZ Top – Cheap Sunglasses

This didn’t make the Top 40, you ask? I can’t believe it either. In fact, this follow-up to I Thank You is debuting at its zenith this week. I’m sure it’s in many classic rock playlists to this day, so let’s just call this one a whiff for Pop radio. You can also hear the song’s influence in hip-hop, such as in EPMD’s You’re A Customer.

90. Hotel – Half Moon Silver

This is the fourth and final chart single from this sextet from Birmingham, Alabama. It sounds like their channeling Crosby, Stills, and Nash, which is a good thing. But it wasn’t enough the get a Top 40 hit as it turns to a full moon at #72.

July 18th, 1981

82. Stars On 45 – Medley II

Well, if the first disco medley of re-recorded Beatles songs hits #1, why not try another? No Archies or Shocking Blues tunes, but they added in George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, cause…close enough. Of course, we all realized that one was too much, so we kept this one from burning in our minds, putting the fire out at #67.

85. Yutaka – Love Light

Yutaka Yokokura is one of a handful of Japanese artists to have charted on the Hot 100. This fusion keyboardist gives us a jazzy Quiet Storm duet with Patti Austin. The track was initially released in 1978, but upon its US distribution deal through Alfa Records, it received a little airplay in the States, enough for the light to shine up to #81.

87. Gary U.S. Bonds – Jole Blon

I don’t think anyone could have predicted Gary’s early 80s comeback. After being off the charts for nearly twenty years, he roared back with This Little Girl, which hit #11. His follow-up is considered the Cajon National anthem, at least in its original incarnation. Springsteen recorded a version of it for his 1980 LP, The River. But when he didn’t add it to the album, he had Gary give it a whirl and voila – a #65 charter.

90. Gary O’ – Pay You Back With Interest

Here’s another cover song, this one of a 1996 Hollies track written by Graham Nash and Allan Clarke, which hit #28 in 1967. Even though it hit the Top 40, many might not have remembered it, so it was a good song for Canadian Gary O’Connor to bring back. His faithful version will hit #71.

Fun fact: Gary will hit the Top 40 as a songwriter when 38 Special’s Back Where You Belong hits #20 in 1983.

You’ve Got A Right To Fight For Your Neighborhood

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We finish up the decade on the twenty-seventh chart week reasonably strong. There are a few bombs in these debuts from 1987 through 1989. But most of these tracks were 45 purchases back then. Let’s review.

July 11th, 1987

89. L.L. Cool J. – I’m Bad

This was the first single from James Todd’s second album, Bigger And Deffer, which it most certainly was. Musically there’s not much there but a synth beat and drum machine, and even though his words can be silly sometimes, his mic command and flow are so confident and steady, he grabs your attention with every word he says. A track this good is only going to crossover because of sales rather than reluctant Pop programmers, which is why it forgets Oreos and eats Cool J cookies at #84.

Fun fact: The chorus breaks feature a sample from the Theme from S.W.A.T. by Rhythm Heritage. In 2003, he will play a lead role in the movie version.

93. Breakfast Club – Kiss And Tell

The follow-up to the band’s only Top 40 smash, Right On Track, is a little more lightweight than the former’s funky dance vibe. But I found it just as catchy and was surprised that it only climbed up to #48. FYI – this band was around since 1979, six years before the film of the same name, and at one point featured Madonna playing drums.

94. Chicago – Niagara Falls

The former horn rock band is in the full throws of Yacht Rock heaven with a single written by Bobby Caldwell & Steve Kipner, sung by Bill Champlin and produced by David Foster. A song like this might have elevated a newer band coming up, but instead, you have veterans trying to jam themselves into a mold that doesn’t fit. They go over in a barrel at #91. Hooray!

96. Ana – Shy Boys

Here’s thirteen-year-old Ana Rodriguez trying to do the teen version of Expose. Did I mention something about getting jammed into an ill-fitting mold? This will inch up two notches before running away.

July 9th, 1988

85. Crowded House – Better Be Home Soon

This New Zealand via L.A .trio had two surprise Top 10 hits in 1987. While they would never hit the Top 40, they consistently put out topnotch pop albums and developed a devoted cult following. The first single from Temple of Low Men is a beauty unto itself and just missed the Casey call, peaking at #42. Leader Neil Finn continues the band with his two sons.

89. Stevie B – Spring Love (Come Back To Me)

There’s a former NFL safety named Stevie Brown, who played for the NY Giants in 2012. He led the league that year in takeaways and still owns the single-season Giants record for interception yards. My brother & I called him Stevie B, aka the Postman. Every time he got the ball, I’d sing the chorus of this song.  So that’s the best memory I can muster for this #43 track.

91. Jimmy Barnes – Too Much Ain’t Enough Love

There was a mini-explosion of music from Australia in the mid to late 80s. But unlike the Canadian takeover of the Top 40 in the early 70s, very few bands from Down Under had success. In fact, there’s a line of artists that didn’t even chart. The few that did, such as Jimmy Barnes, had to be pushed hard. The former lead singer of Cold Chisel has this single from his third solo album, Freight Train Heart, debut at its peak. It will be his last chart entry on the Hot 100.

92. Icehouse – My Obsession

I’m thinking this, and the former single may have canceled each other out, even if their vibes were a little different. This was the third single from Man Of Colours, which already spun out two big hits, Crazy and Electric Blue. It’s another track worthy of much more airplay but will flatline at #88.

93. Times Two – Cecelia

What exactly did Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel do to deserve this treatment? This awful New Jack-lite version of their Top 10 hit, produced by Jay King of Club Nouveau, will have its confidence shaken at #79. It went to #1 in New Zealand, holding off the above Crowded House track.

96. The System – Coming To America

A classic movie like this deserved a way better theme song. No diss to the System or Nile Rodgers, who co-wrote and co-produced this. Those guys are all awesome. I mean for as much as you’ve probably seen this film or caught it by accident on late-night TV, you should be able to hum the theme a little, amirite? Molds, etc, and the record companies that improperly utilize them. Everything breaks down at #91.

July 8th, 1989

92. Living Colour – Open Letter (To A Landlord)

What a debut form this NY quartet. Everyone in the area knew about these guys, and after months and months of playing Cult of Personality on MTV, it forced its way onto Pop radio, hitting the Top 20. These guts were incredibly talented, and their music was fierce and deep. This was the next single released written by guitarist Vernon Reid and Brooklyn poet Tracie Morris about the destruction and gentrification of multi-generational neighborhoods that were beginning in New York City. It got a lot of Rock airplay, but the letter blows away at #82.

93. Saraya – Love Has Taken Its Toll

There were not a lot of women in the glam metal scene outside of groupies and those forced to dance in cages. And the others who were in bands were sexualized way more than the men. This New Jersey band was led by Sandi Saraya, and I’m sure she was treated like a piece of meat by record execs. She actually has an excellent voice, and the band’s debut was better than most in the genre. So, of course, the singles stiffed, such as this one at #64.

95. Chuckii Booker – Turned Away

Why the hell did this take so long to debut on the Hot 100? I’d been rocking this one all Spring. In fact in two weeks from now, it will hit #1 on the R&B charts. This New Jack classic just missed an AT40 mention when it gets, you guessed it, turned away at #42. His other chart hit, Games will peak at #68 in 1992.

Fun fact: Chuckii is Barry White’s Godson.

To Be A Heart Of Change

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The Other Sixty from the twenty-seventh chart week for the mid-decade years of 1984, 1985 and 1986 is definitely a mixed bag. Let’s review to see what’s good.

July 7th, 1984

86. Scorpions – Still Loving You

After a decade and a half of laute musik, die Scorpions scored a US Top 40 single with Rock You Like A Hurricane. Here’s was their follow-up, which received considerable rock station airplay but only managed to climb to #64. Maybe this and the next single canceled themselves out.

88. Quiet Riot – Mama Weer All Crazee Now

QR goes all-in on another Slade cover, but no one felt the noise. Their only charting single from their 1984 album Condition Critical will go insane at #51.

Fun Fact: Quiet Riot was formed by guitarist Randy Rhoads. They released two albums in the late 70s but only in Japan. Randy left the band to join Ozzy, but Kevin Debrow asked if he could carry the band’s name on in a new incarnation. Just a few weeks after giving his blessing, Randy died in a plane crash.

90. Cherrelle – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Cheryl Ann Norton released her debut in collaboration with the relatively young team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. This was her first single, written by the pair, and it became her first Top 10 R&B hit, even as it was turned off at Pop radio at #78. Robert Palmer, ever the Soul scrounger, recorded a version for his Riptide LP one year later. It will eventually hit #2 in 1986.

91. Carol Lynn Townes – 99 1/2

Here’s another release from the Breakin’ soundtrack from a lady who was the former lead singer of a band called Fifth Avenue who had released a fairly solid R&B album in 1976. This was her first solo single and only Hot 100 entry. Initially recorded by Alton McClain & Destiny in 1980, Carol’s version hit #71 Pop and #22 Soul.

94. Randy Bell – Don’t Do Me

Ouch! This is Epic Records’ painful attempt to make a New Wave pop-rock song sung by some dude from Denver who pulled the worst parts of MTV and poured it into this 45. It crashed and burned at #90, and Randy took the hint. There’s just about nothing on the internet about this guy.

July 6th, 1985

88. Stephanie Mills – Bit By Bit

If you love the movie Fletch as much as I do, then you’ve heard this song one thousand times more than any radio station ever played it. It got charged to Mr. Underhill while he was getting a urinalysis at #78 Pop and #52 Soul.

July 12th, 1986

74. Mary Jane Girls – Walk Like A Man

This Four Seasons cover was going to be the lead single for the ladies’ third album. Instead, the album was shelved, and it ended up being tacked on the appropriately named movie, A Fine Mess. One year later, it became the theme of the Howie Mandel movie of the same name. You remember, he was Bobo, a dude literally raised by wolves. It just missed the Casey call by one notch.

85. Chaka Khan – Love Of A Lifetime

Damn, I love this woman.  She always picks good folks to work with, solid material, and along with that five-alarm-fire vocal punch, she has created a fantastic five-decade catalog. This track has my worlds colliding as it was written by Green Gartside & David Gamson of Scritti Politti and produced by Green and Arif Mardin. I can’t believe a song this awesome failed at Pop radio. Hitting a #53 high is an inexcusable failure for all Pop programmers in the Summer of 1986.

Also, I love how she puts her name in yet another song and a nice call back to her duet with George Benson, We Got The Love.

Fun Fact: The video was shot on Long Island at the Adventureland amusement park, a place where I spent many summer days and nights.

94. Honeymoon Suite – What Does It Take

Here’s another soundtrack tune, this one from the John Cusack/Demi Moore flick, One Crazy Summer. It was also their follow-up to Feel It Again from The Big Prize. This heavy ballad will begin to sink at #52.

95. Barry Manilow – I’m Your Man

This is not a Wham! cover, and it’s not even worth a mash-up. This was the lead single to Barry’s first album on a new label, RCA. I’ve mentioned before that a veteran switch can be dicey. This was Barry’s attempt to modernize his sound, but yikes. Chill on the drum machine and reverb, homie. Call me good. Call me bad. Call this mercy at #86.