To Be A Heart Of Change


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.


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