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.

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