You Have To Make This Life Livable

dms

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.

 

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