Try To Beat The Masses


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.

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