Life Is Cheap When The Bounty Is High

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There’s nothing here that’s even remotely reminiscent of the 80s. All of these debuts from 1980 up to 1983 could have easily been released in 1979. What do you think? Let’s review the Other Sixty from chart week twenty-seven.

July 5th, 1980

82. Dr. Hook – Years From Now

This was the third single from the LP, Sometimes You Win, which had already generated two big hits, Better Love Next Time & Sexy Eyes. This ballad would be their final charting single from their career-reviving stint on Capitol Records. It will peak at #51.

88. Roger Daltrey – Free Me

This was the first single released from the film, McVicar which starred Roger as John McVicar, a real-life robber from the 60s. It has a disco-rock vibe similar to Another Brick In The Wall. But unlike that megahit, this one will be captured at #53. His follow-up, Without Your Love, will be Roger’s only solo Top 40 hit.

90. Toby Beau – If I Were You

Within two years, the Texas quintet from 50’s retro pop to a full Westcoast embrace. Also, they were down to one member, Balde Silva, who pulled an Alice Cooper and officially became Toby Beau himself. None of this helped as the boat sank at #70.

July 11th, 1981

77. Jefferson Starship – Stranger

In 1981, it seemed we were OK with Marty Balin and Jefferson Starship as separate entities because both units had Top 40 hits this year. This stomper was the follow up to Find Your Way Back and features both Mickey & Grace sharing lead vocals. It skimmed the underneath of the Top 40 at #48.

81. Janis Ian – Under The Covers

What happens when a certain sixteen-year-old who doesn’t get picked for basketball grows up and moves to Spanish Harlem? Janis gives us the spiritual sequel at At Sixteen from her Restless Eyes LP. It will be her last chart hit when it reaches #71. Also, in another universe, I imagine she was an aunt to Ilana from Broad City.

83. Mickey Gilley – You Don’t Know Me

Gilley rides the bull onto the charts again with another slow dance cover, this one most popularized by Ray Charles, who took it to #2 in 1962. This #1 Country hit will end its eight seconds at #55.

85. Styx – Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

For as much as my neighbors used to play Paradise Theatre when it came out, I completely forgot about this song until I listened to it recently. It was their third release from their #1 album, but after two Top 10s, this sprightly pop-rock single with hints of disco and reggae only topped out at #54.

87. Mac Davis – Secrets

Mac is still trying to work his 1980 Texas In The Rearview Mirror LP with another single release. This was sounds like he’s trying to get some of that Eddie Rabbit Suspicions money and dock his yacht in a Nashville marina. Too bad, this one disappeared at #76 and has yet to have a CD release.

July 10th, 1982

90. 707 – Megaforce

This is the second and final chart entry for this Detroit rock quintet from the third album, co-written by Jonathan Cain. For this recording, they added a permanent lead singer, Kevin Chalfant, and were rewarded with a #62 zenith. The band would split the following year. Kevin would go on to form The Storm, who had a Top 40 hit in 1992 called I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love.

99. War – Outlaw

This single caps a fruitful Pop career as the title track to their latest album becomes their last Hot 100 entry. This is a solid disco-funk groove that, with a lot more promotion should have reached a higher peak than #94. It will reach #13 on the Soul charts.

July 9th, 1983

87. Zebra – Who’s Behind The Door

This hard rock trio from New Orleans was so big on Long Island, I have always assumed they were locals, but they weren’t. After a few years in the bayou, they decided to move up there in the late 70s and worked those clubs so hard, they were eventually inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Their Jack Douglas-produced debut went Gold, but their one and only chart single had the door shut on them at #61.

95. Peter Tosh – Johnny B. Goode

The former Wailer and unicycle enthusiast, Winston MacIntosh, has his second and final chart entry with a reggae version of the Chuck Berry classic. It will only go up to #84. Unfortunately, Peter will be shot and killed in his Kingston home during a robbery only four years later.

Also, if you ever get the urge to play some UB40, suppress it and put on Mama Africa instead.

 

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