The Hardest Part When Memories Remain

One day as I was driving around my new home town of Asheville, I flipped through the local radio stations and came across a fantastic radio station giveaway. “The first three people to meet me in the Westgate Shopping Center parking lot will win Elton John’s complete catalog on CD.” I looked up to find myself at the shopping center’s exit. Quickly pulling off and driving around the lot, I found the radio station’s van within fifteen seconds of hearing it on the airwaves. There I was, carrying a large stack of cellophane-wrapped long boxes to my car. I now had all of Elton’s albums from Empty Sky to Reg Strikes Back, even the live albums, 11-17-70, Here And There and With the Melbourne Symphony, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, and the newly released Complete Thom Bell Sessions. This was 1990. I was in heaven.

Curiously there was one CD that was not included, but it happened to be the only one of his that I owned at the time – Greatest Hits Vol. III, 1979-1987. It was one of the first ten CDs I purchased when I bought my Fisher single-disc CD player in 1987. I was given such hell by my friends for buying it. I don’t see those guys anymore, but I still listen to those songs. In time, I will come to realize that music will always be one of my best friends, inspiring and comforting, challenging and soothing.

The CD sold slowly when it was released for the 1987 Christmas season and it took two years to sell 500,000 units and go Gold. Eventually, it will go out of print and be replaced by Greatest Hits 1976-1986. For me, it was one of the first albums that started a lifelong obsession in looking back, even before I reached 21.

Here are my quick thoughts on the twelve tracks from that CD that were my gateway into absorbing the catalog of one of the greatest Pop singer/songwriters of all time.

1. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues –  When I hear Elton sing this, it takes me back to that lonely teenager, dreaming about love and heartache, wondering if I was going to be as painful as ihe made it sound. I misunderstood the lyrics to this song for years, but words aside, the sadness I feel while I listen during these four-plus minutes was as real then as it is today.

2. Mama Can’t Buy You Love – That wah-wah pedal sure feels out of place for 1979 when it was a Top 10 hit or even 1977 when it was initially recorded. Thom Bell is a master, and even if the sessions were contentious, at least something good came out of it. And damn, those are some mean parents.

3. Little Jeannie – I’m sitting in a back seat of a powder-blue VW Rabbit, in the parking lot of Roosevelt Field Mall begging for a few sips of my mom’s Fresca. That’s where my mind goes when I hear those first few chords on the electric piano. And why does he want you to be his acrobat? My literal brain wondered if Elton John worked for a circus somewhere. It’s his biggest U.S. hit without the lyrics of Bernie Taupin.

4. Sad Songs (Say So Much) – My English teacher would have loved his use of alliteration. My economics teacher would have loved how he turned sad songs into Sassons, selling designer jeans with a song about how music can help one grieve.

5. I’m Still Standing – Now Elton has entered my video world, appearing on MTV as much as Duran Duran and Hall & Oates. This song filled my Summer days and evenings in 1983.

6. Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) – I just watched an interview with Elton from October 1980. While he’s talking about John Lennon, you can tell how much he adores him, idolizes him, and considers him a friend. I mean, Elton was Sean Lennon’s godfather. There was a definite kinship. And yet we also understand that the friendship is still new and there’s much to still learn and enjoy from one another. Six weeks later, John was gone.

7. Heartache All Over the World – Elton said he doesn’t like this song because it’s disingenuous. First of all, we’re sorry that we created a horrible atmosphere that prevented you from fully coming out. Second of all, as I read these lyrics, it’s easy for me to read between the lines. We certainly did back then. Third of all, this song is catchy as hell and lots of fun, in a coked-up hedonistic way. Sometimes you just have to let the artist work through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff.

8. Too Low for Zero – We get nothing from The Fox album, but four tracks from Too Low For Zero? Why not, Nobody Wins or even Who Wears These Shoes from Breaking Hearts? Even Song For Guy from A Single Man would have been better. Can someone please mash this up with Saved By Zero and called it the redemption mix?

9. Kiss The Bride – I’ve warmed up to this song over the years, but I still prefer #7 over it. At least he got the band back together, and you can definitely feel that comfortable energy.

10. Blue Eyes – I remember driving a girlfriend home late one night during high school in the 80s and I was playing this song in the car. “Is this Elton John?” she said. “Bleh. Why don’t you listen to David Bowie?” We disagreed back and forth, but the implication was that Bowie was a much more significant and cooler artist than Elton. I couldn’t make a coherent argument back then, but if I could have I would have said that, they are both different artists both with great value and can be loved equally. Why does that take us until adulthood to figure that out?

11. Nikita – Nikita is a boy. The video turned her into a girl. Elton came out with this song, and we didn’t catch it. And yes, that’s George Michael providing the falsetto vamps that Elton used to do.

12. Wrap Her Up – The presence of George Michael sold this song as he was a hot commodity at that time. Why would he pass up an opportunity to sing with an idol of his for a piece of campy fun? I also love that Kiki Dee is singing backing vocals, and they even call her out in the list of women at the end as well as icon Dusty Springfield whom she replaced on the sessions for Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

Sooner Or Later, This Happens To Everyone


We are gonna wrap up chart week thirty-four with a review of The Other Sixty from the second half of the 80s. So let’s take a look at those unfortunate debuts from 1985-89.

August 24th, 1985

78. ‘Til Tuesday – Looking Over My Shoulder

This Boston quartet follows up their excellent Top 10 hit, Voices Carry, with another great one from their debut album. Leader Aimee Mann and former Newbury Comics employee sings, plays bass, and writes the words to this pop-rocker, which will only reach #61.

85. 9.9 – All Of Me For All Of You

The Pointer Sisters cornered the market on soulful dance-pop trios in the early 80s. Others wanted some of that money for themselves, but no one could come close. This Boston threesome got their first break singing back-up for boxer Joe Frazier (don’t ask) until they released their debut in 1985. All of this single got halfway up the charts, peaking at #51.

90. Eric Martin – Information

Before he led the band, Mr. Big and wanted to be with you, and after the Eric Martin Band fell apart, Eric tried his hand at a solo career. This midtempo rocker will only move up three spots before falling off the charts.

August 30th, 1986

85. Rod Stewart – Another Heartache

Rod’s fourteenth studio album, Every Beat Of My Heart, sounds like a phone-it-in affair and not regarded as one of his best, for a good reason. This Bryan Adams/ Jim Vallance penned number is a great example. It wouldn’t be filler on most albums, even Bryan’s. Here it’s regarded as the second single, which will wither and die at #52.

90. Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly

The Pet Shop Boys debut album, Please was filled with songs that duo had previously demoed. But this track was one of the few written explicitly for the album. I think this midtempo synth ballad is one of their best, and that’s saying something in a catalog that spans five decades. It will reach the UK Top 20, but in the States, it will peak at #62, and then it can’t stop falling.

August 29th, 1987

88. Ray Parker, Jr. – I Don’t Think That Man Should Sleep Alone

Ray decided to run his horndog image all the way to the bank. I mean, even in a song like Ghostbusters, he can’t help but blurt out busting makes me feel good. Unfortunately, this is where the bus crashes, on the Pop side, at least. This one hits the hay by itself at #68, even as it hits the R&B Top 5. Ray will sneak into the Top 40 one more time in 1990 on a Glenn Medieros hit, All I’m Missing Is You.

90. Chris Rea – Let’s Dance

After tallying lots of hits in England, but only one in the U.S., Chris made another attempt in the late 80s to get into the Top 40. This single, released from his ninth album Dancing With Strangers, will hit #12 in the UK, but in the States, the guilty feet have no rhythm at #81.

92. The Nylons – Happy Together

This Canadian vocal quartet had a surprise Top 20 hit earlier with their edition of the 1969 #1 hit by Steam, Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye. They’re still hanging out in the 60s looking for more Boomer bucks as their follow-up is a cover of the 1967 #1 by The Turtles. They were imagining me and you, giving a hoot. Instead, it all used up its life, at #75.

96. Georgio – Tina Cherry

George Allen was looking to be the next Prince. Motown was looking for the next star. Those two met where the bar barely hovered above the ground. He changed his name to something Italian. Motown changed its focus to bad dance music. There were no winners in this game as it popped up to #58. Except for Prince, because he is incredible.

97. Force M.D.’s – Love Is A House

The Staten Island doctors of force are back with another sweet ballad and their first and only #1 on the Soul charts. Unfortunately, the house was built on shifting sand and collapsed at #78.

98. David Hallyday – He’s My Girl

Leave it to the French to set back sexual stereotypes another forty years. I thought that was our job. This is the title track to an awful movie wherein the singer of this song needs to show up to a singing competition with a girl, so he has his manager pretend he’s a woman. This single will die at #79, killing everyone’s career who was close enough to touch it.

August 27th, 1988

91. Robert Plant – Ship Of Fools

The third single from Robert’s Now And Zen LP follows up his Top 30 hit, Tall Cool One. It’s one of my favorites of his, but for some reason, not many others agreed as it sank at #84.

93. The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Powerful Stuff

The Fab T-Birds nab a spot on the Cocktail soundtrack, an album that sold over four million copies that no one listens to. It’s the musical equivalent of a Tom Cruise movie. Everyone rushes to see it, but no one rewatches it. It will be this band’s last chart hit and will pass out at #65.

95. Natalie Cole – When I Fall In Love

Natalie came back strong in 1987 and 1988 with three big hits, including the Top 5 smash, Pink Cadillac. The fourth single from her tenth album, Everlasting, was a cover of a song her dad, Nat King Cole, recorded back in 1956. It debuts at its peak. But someone during that initial session made a comment, “It’s too bad you can’t sing this with your Dad.” Eight years later and lots of studio trickery, she won a Grammy for doing just that.

August 26th, 1989

93. Beach Boys – Still Cruisin’

This is the John Stamos era of The Beach Boys, wherein they sound like a parody of themselves. It’s these types of songs people think of and laugh at me when I say I’m a Beach Boys fan. I don’t blame them. This sucks. It debuts at its peak.

95. Underworld – Stand Up

The first single from this UK electronic duo’s second album, Change The Weather, will end up being their best showing in the States. But it will sit down at #67.

100. 1927 – That’s When I Think Of You

Oh, the dreaded #100 debut. It’s their one we’ve encountered in the first thirty-four weeks. This Australian quartet was formed by Moving Pictures’ guitarist, Garry Frost. Quite ironic that What About Me was on the Hot 100 again while this one debuted. This was the dubious honor of debuting at its peak, which means it reached the lowest mark on the Hot 100. It is such a rare feat that it will only happen twice in the 1980s. We’ll talk about the second one in October.

What It Means To Work Hard On Machines

The thirty-fourth chart week of the year was good luck for many debuting songs, as a lot of them made the Top 40. Over the entire decade, less than forty of them missed out. So we’re breaking up this week in only two parts. Here is The Other Sixty from the first half of the 1980s.

August 23rd, 1980

83. Ray, Goodman and Brown- My Prayer

The law firm of Ray, Goodman and Brown are here if you’ve ever suffered from heartbreak, heartache, or rheumatoid arthritis. You know they had you in their thoughts. And now they have you in their prayers. Their cover of the Glenn Miller and Ink Spots number, which reached #1 by the Platters in 1956, will peak at #47.

84. The O’Jays – Girl Don’t Let It Get You Down

The O’Jays rode that Philly Soul love train through the mid-80s. But after their Top 30 hit Forever Mine, which peaked earlier in 1980, they never reached the Top 40 again. This track, which will go down after hitting #55, was from their album The Year 2000. Not only did the band make it to that year, but their last album was released in 2019. So they made it another forty years after doing it for almost twenty up until this point.

86. Chicago – Thunder And Lightning

After the death of guitarist Terry Kath, the band was aimless, and their music lacked focus. Their albums 13 and XIV did not produce any Top 40 hits. This track wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It will flash and crash up to #56. Peter Cetera will hook up with David Foster, and by 1982, they’ll start a brand new Top 40 chapter.

87. Journey – Good Morning Girl/ Stay Awhile

Journey is still another from busting out on the charts. Until then, they are still releasing singles that are geared more towards performing live than to radio airplay. Steve Perry is in the kitchen making eggs, but the girl sneaks out the back door at #55.

88. Split Enz – I Got You

Long before Lorde or even Flight Of The Conchords, New Zealand was represented musically in the States by anything involving Neil Finn. Split Enz was actually formed by his brother, Tim, in the early 70s, but by the time of their fifth album, True Colours, Neil had virtually taken over the group. This early New Wave classic is the band’s only chart hit, reaching #53. Neil will form the trio, Crowded House in the mid-80s and have two big Top 10 hits in 1987.

89. Michael Johnson – You Can Call Me Blue

After working hard throughout the 70s, MJ nabbed three Top 40 hits by the end of the decade, including Bluer Than Blue. It’s a shame that momentum didn’t last into the 80s because he continued to put out quality Westcoast flavored folk-pop. This will be his last chart hit, which will move up only three more spots and remind everyone what his favorite color is.

90. The Kings – Switching To Glide

And now for a Power pop classic delivered by a quartet out of Toronto, Canada. How many stations saved this one for their Friday afternoon shift, waiting for that synth slide and that excellent opening line,” Nothing matters but the weekend.” Unfortunately, this one switched to neutral at #43. Also, thirteen-week into its chart run, it became a two-sided hit with This Beat Goes On. The two songs are segued together as one on their debut album, The Kings Are Here.

August 29th, 1981

89. Aretha Franklin and George Benson – Love All The Hurt Away

How does the Queen of Soul and a jazz guitarist/singer at the height of his fame completely miss on this beautiful ballad? Man, Donald was right when he sang hard times befallen the soul survivors only months earlier. The commentary hit #10. The reality peaks at #46.

August 28th, 1982

86. The Clocks – She Looks A Lot Like You

When it comes to rock, this quartet is the pride of Wichita, Kansas. They deliver a Power pop gem that should have garnered lots more airplay. Instead, the 45 takes a small vacation at #67.

88. Chris Christian with Amy Holland – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing/ You’re All I Need To Get By

After Chris spent time as the trio Cotton, Lloyd & Christian, he made the obvious move to Christian music in the late 70s, with a quick secular pitstop in 1981. I’m not going to say this medley cover of two Motown hits was unnecessary. I’m just not sure what the goal was in taking the Soul out of Soul classics. It debuts at its peak.

90. Four Tops – Sad Hearts

The Four Tops had their biggest hit in years in 1981 with When She Was My Girl. Casablanca Records, which was focused on not imploding, destroyed that momentum with a lackluster follow-up album, One More Mountain. This is an OK track, but when you have a dude like Levi Stubbs singing, you need to totally up your songwriting game. The tears will flow, and the heart will break at #84.

August 27th, 1983

85. Kajagoogoo – Hang On Now

I listen to a single like this and wonder why this band was a one-hit-wonder. It’s another catchy compact synth-pop song that should have easily followed Too Shy through the door. Instead, it lets go at #78.

Fun fact: The woman in the video is Carmen Squire, daughter of Yes’ Chris Squire.

89. Jim Capaldi – Living On The Edge

After finally scoring a Top 40 hit with That’s Love, co-produced by Steve Winwood, the former Traffic drummer released this follow-up single. Steve is back again playing keys and guitar in a sparse arrangement over a Linn drum pattern. It doesn’t have the immediacy or catchiness of the former hit, which accounts for its #75 showing.

90. S.O.S. Band – Just Be Good To Me

YES. What a jam! I was so psyched to see these guys play this song live in my hometown at a small festival after loving this track for years. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, this was the song they were working on it late into the evening one night and missed their flight to join the Time on tour, which prompted their firing by Prince. That synth bass is so fat and juicy. I heard this song a lot in the Summer of 83, and I’m dumbfounded that it stalled out at #55. It was a #2 Soul smash and prompted many sampling sessions and cover versions, the quirkiest being Beats International’s Dub Be Good To Me, a #1 UK hit produced by Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim.

92. Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill (live)

Well, they didn’t really care for the album track. Maybe a live version will do the trick.” That was probably a real record company conversation about this song, which peaked a#68 in 1977 and re-released from Plays Live in 1983, failing to rise above #84. Today, it’s regarded as a classic.

August 25th, 1984

80. Thompson Twins – You Take Me Up

This British trio was one of my favorites bands of the 80s. They wrote so many catchy songs, it was easy to overlook how musically adventurous they were.  After two big hits from the fourth album, Into The Gap, they followed them up with this single about how love can one get one through the monotony of life and work. It will just miss the Casey call at #44, but it will be their biggest UK hit peaking at #2.

90. Rubber Rodeo – Anywhere With You

Here’s a band from the Providence, RI scene just like John Cafferty, albeit with a more original sound and look. Mixing country with New Wave, or as their guitarist put it, a cross between Gene Autry and Devo, they released two EPs before their first full-length album, Scenic Views. Their only chart single got up to #86 before falling off the bull.


The Truth Is Just A Thing Of The Past

Let’s wrap up chart week thirty-three with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 up to 1989.

August 23rd, 1986


84. Luther Vandross – Give Me The Reason

The velvet voice returns with the title track to his seventh album. It was also featured on the Ruthless People soundtrack. It will be another Top 5 hit on the Soul charts for him but only climb up to #54 Pop. His next single Stop To Love will be his first Pop Top 20

92. GTR – The Hunter

Not quite the supergroup that Asia was, GTR still had a Top 20 hit with When The Heart Rules The Mind. This was the follow-up, a mid-tempo ballad that leaned on the prog side just enough that would rise above #85.

93. One To One – Angel In My Pocket

Here’s a Canadian synth-pop dup from Ottawa with their first chart hit that sounds very 80s but not necessarily in a good way. It will only sneak up one more spot. In Canada, it will reach #24 because….CanCon.

Fun fact: Member Leslie Howe produced Alanis Morrissette’s first album back in 1991.

95. Nick Jameson – Weatherman

Nick has had a long, varied career in entertainment. He started out as a musician and an album producer for Paul Butterfield, Tim Moore, and Foghat. He tried his hand at a solo career, releasing two albums. This single was his only chart hit, a light and breezy pop-rock tune that debuts at its peak. He moved on to voiceover work in cartoons and video games as well as television work, such as a fifteen-episode stint on 24 playing the Russian president.

August 22nd, 1987


82. Noel – Silent Morning

This is one of the few freestyle dance songs that I don’t mind. Even though Noel says that he wrote it about his girlfriend, the gay community saw it as a reflection of the AIDS era and the loss of many friends who died from the disease. It will go quiet at #47.

85. Donna Summer – Dinner With Gershwin

I loved this song when it came out and rushed to buy the 45. I don’t think I knew of anyone else who did. I definitely hid a lot of my musical taste from my friends or rather never found the right ones to bond over it. Written and co-produced by Brenda Russell, it will be her first Top 10 on the Soul charts in four years. On the Hot 100, the meal will unfairly end at #48.

94. Def Leppard – Women

A lot changed for this band since their breakthrough album, Pyromania in 1983. Drummer Rick Allen spent a year learning how to drum with one hand after losing his arm in a car accident. That the band put their career on hold while he rehabbed tells you how much they loved this guy. After that four-year gap, they released this 45 as their first single from their new LP, Hysteria. It would get lots of rock airplay but only had a #80 zenith. Their next six singles, though, would make the Top 20.

95. Anita Baker – No One In The World

What we need right now is for Anita to drop a new album on this. The world misses her soulful soothing voice. Until I guess we can fill our nights, playing Rapture over and over, just like we did back then. This was her fourth charting single from her second solo LP. She’ll reach the Top 10 on the Soul & AC charts with this gem and just miss out of the Casey call at #44.

96. Great White – Rock Me

Here’s the first chart single from the band’s third album, Once Bitten...It was written by lead singer Jack Russell (not the dog) and Jerry Lynn Williams, who wrote Clapton’s, Forever Man. This one won’t do as well, and the rocking ends at #60.

97. Alisha – Into My Secret

Dance music singer, Alisha, released her second album, Nightwalkin’ in 1987, but it didn’t have any classic Club hits like her debut did. This one debuts at its peak, and although it will be a Top 10 hit on the Dance charts, it’s mostly forgotten today.

August 20th, 1988


90. Olivia Newton-John – The Rumour

Here we are in 1988, and Livvy is only releasing her third album of the 80s. She’s gotten by with soundtracks, greatest hits tracks, and, of course, the domination of Physical. However, music moved on from her by the end of the face, and no one was that interested in an Elton John/Olivia Newton-John collaboration. [Maybe they needed some Robert John in the mix.] This John/Taupin selection, with Elton singing and playing piano will lie its way up to #62.

95. Jeffrey Osborne – She’s On The Left

Jeffrey’s only #1 on the Soul charts failed to make the Top 40. It makes no sense to me that something like that can happen with an established artist, and a song this good. If you’re looking for the song, it left at #48.


August 19th, 1989


93. Rick Astley – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Rick, put down the Temptations album and walk away. Nice and slow. Look out, everyone., He’s got a mic. Close call. Thankfully it only moved up four spots and gave itself up.

We Are Now Entering The New

As we reach the middle of the decade during chart week thirty-three, we come across a lot of great singles that just didn’t get a chance or the timing wasn’t right. Let’s review The Other Sixty from 1983 up to 1985.

August 20th, 1983

68. Bee Gees – Someone Belonging To Someone

Boy, how things can change in a short time. Five years before this release, the Brothers Gibb were dominating the Pop charts with one #1 after another. Cut to 1983, and they are having trouble getting into the Top 20, let alone the Top 40. This second single release from the Saturday Night Fever sequel, Staying Alive, is a quiet ballad featuring a sax solo from David Sanborn that barely makes it into the Top 50, dying at #49.

80. Chris DeBurgh – Ship To Shore

Chris’ follow-up to his first Top 40 hit, Don’t Pay the Ferryman, was this boisterous pop-rock affair, both from his sixth album, The Getaway. It will wash up on the rocks at #71.

88. Herb Alpert – Garden Party

It’s 1983, twenty plus years since The Lonely Bull and Herb is releasing his twenty-seventh album, Blow Your Own Horn. Gotta keep the lights on. His first single release is this instrumental, which will only get as high as #81 though it will chart on the R&B charts reaching #77. It will also become a Top 20 AC hit.

89. Club House – Do It Again/ Bille Jean (medley)

Way before the mashup movement gained momentum in the 2000s, an Italian quartet took a 1972 Steely Dan Top 10 and perfectly blended it with Michael Jackson’s #1 from earlier in the year. This song was so hot that an American group called Slingshot recorded their own version of the mashup and had a #1 Club hit. Club House’s recording was a smash throughout Europe, but it was no high climber in the States, only hitting #75.

90. Wham U.K. – Bad Boys

The legend of George Michael and Andrew Ridgely begins here with this disco-flavored synth-pop from their debut, Fantastic. This ode to the rebellious male teen would be a #2 hit in the UK, but would only stick together up to #60 in the U.S. But one year later, they would go-go to the top.

Fun fact: Want to know why they initially added the UK to their name? It was because of this band.

93. Snuff – Bad,  Bad Billy

Here’s an oddity in the early MTV era, a Virginia sextet playing country rock. Their only chart entry was this track released from their EP, Nightfighter. It will have a #88 zenith.

94. Kenny Rogers – Scarlet Fever

Kenny was a machine in the 80s. This single release is from the first of two 1983 album releases, We’ve Got Tonight, which has already resulted in two hits, the title track and All My Life. I’m not sure why this charted at all, even though it was a Top 5 country smash. Islands In The Stream will debut on the Hot 100 next week while this is debuting at its peak.

95. Midnight Star – Freak-A-Zoid

This Kentucky octet had been making great synth-funk since 1980, but their fourth album, No Parking On The Dance Floor, is their masterpiece. It’s the album where all of the pieces fit together perfectly – writing, performance, and production – and features three of their classics, including this one. It was the first single released at will get freaky on the Soul charts hitting #2, but it will wind down after reaching #66 on the Hot 100.

August 18th, 1984

82. Billy Satellite – Satisfy Me

I think we had formulaic pop-rock covered by 1984, so I’m not sure who thought we needed more. This was the first single from the Oakland, CA quartet’s debut, and it will not get the satisfaction of going higher than #64.

87. Jeff Lynne – Video!

After a decade of hits with the Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne gets his first and only chart single in the States. A reworked outtake from the Secret Messages sessions, it was featured on the soundtrack to the film, Electric Dreams, which featured a love triangle between a man, woman, and a computer. It will inch up two spots before turning the channel.

90. Dragon – Rain

This Australian pop-rock band had formed in the early seventies, releasing six albums, but failed to breakthrough in America even after an opening spot on a Johnny Winter tour. So they split up at the end of the decade. But the tax collector came a-calling, so they reformed with XTC’s old drummer Terry Chambers to pay some bills. Their 1984 album Body and The Beat became their biggest selling long play Down Under and nabbed them this chart hit in the States. The rain will end at #88.

92. Neil Diamond – Turn Around

When you hear the first few bars of this track, you know that Neil must have written this with Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Unfortunately, without a Speilberg film to be inspired by, it just didn’t have the spark to connect with Pop audiences, and we all turned back around at #62.

August 17th, 1985


74. Foreigner – Down On Love

Foreigner’s fourth single release from 1984’s Agent Provocateur is like a weak first draft of I Want To Know What Love Is. They obviously didn’t have enough songs for an album while they were recording this. Otherwise, why put it on? If it wasn’t sung by Lou Gramm, I’m not sure that anyone would ever pay attention. It will peak at #54 before ignoring Lou’s advising and going down.

76. Survivor – First Night

Survivor is testing our patience with another single from their Vital Signs LP, which has already generated three Top 40 songs. This will end up being one of their ten tracks in The Other Sixty when the night ends at #53.

77. Steve Arrington – Dancin’ In The Key of Life

Steve was too potent a player to hang in the funk outfit Slave for very long. He recorded with them from 1978 to 1981 before releasing his dynamite debut album, Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame, Vol. 1 in 1983. This uplifting dance single was the title track from his third album, and this Top 10 Soul hit will be only chart entry at #68. Brother George Johnson plays the funk bass line. I guess all that was missing was wonder and music.

79. What Is This – I’ll Be Around

This California quartet featured drummer Jack Irons and guitarist who also had a side project called the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When they got a record deal, they left RHCP to focus on this band. Produced by Todd Rundgren, their own and only chart hit is a rock cover of The Spinners’ 1972 smash. It will hit a fork in the road at #62. Hillel and Jack will rejoin the Peppers for two albums before Slovak’s overdose and death in 1988.

86. Amy Grant – Wise Up

Sweet little Amy crossed over to the Top 40 in the Summer of 1985 with Find A Way from her seventh album, Unguarded. This was her follow-up, another dance-pop single that warns the listener about falling in love, especially with false prophets. We will get wise at #66.

88. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Rebels

The story goes that Tom was getting pissed off during the recording of this track for the band’s upcoming Southern Accents album. Because they couldn’t nail down the sound the way he heard it, he lost his shit and punched a wall breaking his left hand, which required surgery and multiple ins and screws to fix. To add insult to injury, this 45 will only get as high as #75

If Looks Could Kill, They Probably Will

We’re up to chart week thirty-three in our review of The Other Sixty. And the selections from 1980, 1981, and 1982 cover many different genres.

August 16th, 1980

82. England Dan Seals – Late At Night

One of the most successful duos of the 70s was England Dan & John Ford Coley. But even though their music was soft, it took a lot of friction and tension to create those tender ballads. Suddenly like a supernova, the twosome split, and Dan quickly began his solo career. This was his first solo chart hit from his debut, Stones (like bits of exploding meteors), and it will only reach a #57 high. Dan dropped the England part of his name and have success with Country songs by the mid-80s.

85. Jon and Vangelis – I Hear You Now

Progtronic – is that a word? It should be because that’s how I describe the music of Yes’ Jon Anderson and composer Vangelis (hard G), electronic music with a progressive mindset. This was the first single released from their debut collaborative album, Short Stories. It will reach the UK Top 10 but will fall on deaf ears at #58 in the States.

86. Mickey Gilley – True Love Ways

Now we’ve reached the country portion of our show. Mickey was livin’ large in 1980. Due to the popularity of Urban Cowboy, everyone knew about his Texas club, Gilley’s, and its mechanical bull. That soundtrack also gave him his only Top 40 hit, but it also allowed him to parlay multiple times over. The follow-up single was from his new album, That’s All That Matters To Me, which will spawn three #1 Country hits, including this one. On the Hot 100, this Buddy Holly cover will learn about love the hard way after it falls from its #66 zenith.

87. Brothers Johnson – Treasure

Want some smooth R&B? Louis & George dramatically change the tempo from the former Top 10 single, Stomp, to deliver some gentle rain for a quiet storm. The Rod Temperton treasure will get pirated at #73.

90. Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

And now, a New Wave classic and my introduction to this legendary artist. From Peter’s third album, which Atlantic refused to issue in the States, this was the first single and his second US chart entry. [Peter had Mercury Records release it and told ATCO to piss off.] It almost hit the Top 40 skidding out at #48. With great percussion by Jerry Marotta and creative synth work by Larry Fast, it became Peter’s biggest hit in the UK.

Also, I hate to admit this, but I always thought that Kate Bush was singing the line, “She’s so funky, yeah.”, in the chorus. It’s actually Jeux Sans Frontieres, the title in French.

August 22nd, 1981

89. Eric Hine – Not Fade Away

The Stones, Rush, Tanya Tucker, and The Dead all recorded versions of this (another?) Buddy Holly song. Keyboardist Eric Hine recorded his take as a synth-pop opus. It peaked at #73, which was not bigger than a Cadillac.

96. Glen Campbell – I Love My Truck

Some people love their truck so much that they won’t use it as a truck. This song is for them, a cut from the Dennis Quaid/ Kristy McNichol film, The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. It will Glen’s last chart hit when it crashes at #94.

August 21st, 1982

80. Don Henley – Johnny Can’t Read

I always wonder what Don might have been like if he got into yoga or meditation. Maybe he wouldn’t have spent his career trying to prove that he was smarter than you all the time. Here he is with a commentary on illiteracy, making fun of jocks and talking down to the kind of guys that bought Eagles albums. Furthermore, that keyboard riff is obnoxious. It just missed the Casey call at #42. 

Also, put your shit on YouTube. If you didn’t want us to see the videos, why did you make them?

84. Ronnie Milsap – He Got You

This track followed-up his #14 hit, Any Day Now, with an intro that sounded very similar, maybe too much. And that’s why this wild, beautiful bird flies away at #59.

85. Kansas – Right Away

Kansas changed up their personnel with Steve Walsh leaving and John Elefante taking over, but they had their biggest smash in four years with Play The Game Tonight. Their follow-up sounds like a Foreigner tune, minus the overt misogyny. Nevertheless, it will reach #73 and disappear right away.

90. Josie Cotton – He Could Be The One

Was she on a vacation far away or praying like a Roman with her eyes on fire? Either way, this Josie charted with this New Wave single from her debut, Convertible Music, and it became her biggest hit on the Hot 100 peaking at #74.


Know Your Tender Spots

It looks like each of The Other Sixty debuts during chart week thirty-two have been tucked in neatly into their places. Let’s finish our review with the songs from 1987 up to 1989.

August 15th, 1987

85. Atlantic Starr – One Lover At A Time

Once this funk outfit scored with a ballad, that was all that Pop radio wanted from this NY quintet. That’s a shame because they stopped putting out good dance music and poured their energy into sappy wedding songs instead. This Top 10 Soul hit will peak at its reverse debut numbers.

93. Pepsi & Shirlie – Heartache

The first spinoff from the Wham! world, excluding George going solo, was from Pepsi Demacque and Shirlie Holliman, who sang backup for the duo. You can see them dancing in neon outfits in the Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go video. This was their biggest hit in the UK reaching #2, but they never quite connected in the States. This single becomes a fool’s game at #78.

August 13th, 1988

89. Blue Zone U.K. – Jackie

Before Lisa Stansfield spent her days and nights looking for her baby all over the world, she recorded an album in the trio, Blue Zone UK. This single, written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and initially recorded by Elisa Fiorillo, was released to break them in the US. It was a Top 40 Dance hit, but it ended up on the nightshift at #54.

Fun fact: The other two Blue Zone members, Ian Devaney and Andy Morris, put their next efforts into writing and producing Lisa’s debut album, which spun off three Top 40 hits in 1990. Also, Lisa found her baby. All she needed to do was look left. She married Ian in 1998.

Fun fact 2: This was the first single Lisa recorded and released back in 1981.

91. The Jets – Sendin’ All My Love

The fourth chart single from the Minneapolis family band did not have much juice behind it. Co-written by frequent Madonna collaborator and Breakfast Club member Stephen Bray, it bombed on the Soul and Pop charts, moving up only three spots on the Hot 100. But it did become their only #1 Dance hit.

92. Toni Childs – Don’t Walk Away

Toni spent many years in the music scene before releasing her first solo album, spending time in various L.A. bands, including one with Michael Steele of the Bangles. Her debut was co-produced by David Ricketts from David & David and her only chart hit will do an about face at #72. She has had more success in Australia and New Zealand than in the States.

Fun fact: Toni would sit in for Terri Nunn at early Berlin shows.

97. Glenn Medeiros – Long And Lasting Love (Once In A Lifetime)

Glenn had just enough success with his debut to earn another recording shot. His second album, Not Me, filled with even more corny ballads than the first one. This will not last for long dying out at #68. I’m not sure how he got a third chance.

August 12th, 1989

92. Doobie Brothers – Need A Little Taste Of Love

The Doobies reformed in the late 80s without that troublemaker McDonald, getting back to that biker bar sound that made China Grove and Long Train Running classic hits. They hit the Top 10 with The Doctor, a song that sounds like you heard before on your first listen. Realizing they needed to inject some Soul back in as well, they released their cover of this Isley Brothers tune found on their 1974 Live It Up LP. It will just miss the Shadoe call at #45 and will be their last Hot 100 entry.

93. Moving Pictures – What About Me

When American DJs started to “rediscover” songs that didn’t do well and played them again until they became hits, it became a game amongst them, all coveting their own badge of notoriety. Here’s an instance where it went the other way. This Australian group peaked at #29 in 1983 with its US release. Its second attempt only made it to #46. I know, it isn’t fair.

94. Information Society – Lay All Your Love On Me

The resurgence of disco and 70s pop slowly started to rear its head as we headed into the 90s, mostly in the form of updated cover versions. Here’s an instance of this techno-pop quartet showing their love for both, with their version of an ABBA song, originally released on 1980’s Super Trouper. We weren’t ready to fully embrace that decade yet, so it will languish at #83.

95. The Graces – Lay Down Your Arms

When The Go-Go’s split in the mid -80s, lead singer went on to a productive solo career. Guitarist Jane Wiedlin had a few hits as well. What about the others? Well, here we go. Charlotte Caffey, the other guitar player formed this trio and they released one album, Perfect View in 1989. Charlotte sings lead on their only chart single, writing it with Ellen Shipley, who also co-wrote Heaven Is A Place On Earth for Belinda. This one was only worth a #56 high.

Fun fact: The band split in the early 90s, but one of the members, Meredith Brooks, would go on to have #2 hit in 1997 called Bitch.

97. Paul Shaffer – When The Radio Is On

Paul’s first big break as a musician was as keyboardist for the first SNL band. He then would lead one the best nighttime talk show bands on TV, teaming up with David Letterman for over thirty years and he’s still the go-to guy when you need a solid musical director for your project. He got the itch to record his own album in the late 80s and after massing all the talent he could find as well as his own, he put out this stinker. Stealing the lead backing vocal lick from the Beach Boys’ Getcha Back and meshing it with a cheesy New Jack drum beat, he created an aural trainwreck that crashed at #81.

99. Tangier – On The Line

Here’s some more glam metal from Philly, but they couldn’t even scale the heights that Cinderella climbed. But when they debuted at #99, I’m sure they never thought it would happen and I doubt they felt quite the same. This quintet’s only chart single will have a #67 zenith.

100. Tora Tora – Walkin’ Shoes

It’s the dreaded #100 debut. But hey at least you’re not bubbling under. You made it to the show. The Memphis hard rock quartet will enjoy their cup of coffee all the way up to #86.

When Dreaming Takes You Nowhere


There’s something that seems right about this list of The Other Sixty from 1984, 1985, and 1986. These songs aren’t bad, they aren’t great. They’re just OK and so, probably not better than the forty-plus above them. Let’s continue our review of the thirty-second chart week.

August 11th, 1984

83. Deniece Williams – Next Love

Neicy follows up her biggest career hit, Let’s Hear It For The Boy, and her last Top 40 single with another dance track produced by George Duke and written by him and her. It will unfairly only move up two spots, but don’t tell me Madonna didn’t hear it and start writing Causing A Commotion. Someone mash those two up.

84. Juice Newton – Can’t Wait All Night

This was Judy’s last Top 40 hit before she went on a six-hit Top 10 streak on the Country charts, including two #1s. You knew her heart was already there, but there was more money in the mainstream. This pop-rocker, written by Bryan Adams & Jim Vallance, will stop waiting at #66.

87. The S.O.S. Band – Just The Way You Like It

Damn, another sweet funky tune from this Atlanta octet. I still can’t believe this group is a one-hit-wonder. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis as the title track to their 1984 LP, this Top 10 R&B hit will stall out at #64 on the Pop charts. It will also make the UK Top 40.

88. Bonnie Tyler – Here She Comes

This is definitely a lost track in Bonnie’s catalog. Written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Belotte for the soundtrack to the 1984 restored version of Metropolis, which also featured Freddie Mercury, Pat Benatar, and others, this track will peak at #76. Bonnie will be nominated for a Female Rock performance Grammy.

90. Stephen Stills – Stranger

While he waited for everyone else to get sober, this alpha-male hippie decided to join the 80s with an overly processed album, Right By You. The first single was an indicator that he was out of his element, but enough old fans bought it, buoying it up to #61. His ten-year-old son received a writing credit on the song.

93. A Flock Of Seagulls – The More You Live, The More You Love

Liverpool was the epicenter of many popular UK bands, even into the 80s. This haircut-challenged quartet racked up three Top 40 singles. Their last chart entry espouses a philosophy that’s hard to imagine in 2020. Maybe if they switched the verbs, I’d buy into it. This 45 will hit #56 before running far away.

August 10th, 1985

84. Air Supply – The Power Of Love (You Are My Lady)

While Huey & the boys had their own love power up at #5, these chaps debuted with a different one. This was the first chart hit for the Australian duo that missed the Top 40, and it’s with a song that will prove to be very popular internationally for Jennifer Rush as well as Celine Dion, who will hit #1 for four weeks in 1994. I think these dudes were tired. I mean, look at this album cover with one sitting on a milk crate and the other leaning against it. Did this take five minutes to conceptualize?

This will use a credit card, buy a ticket and ride a train up to #68 before being told it’s too dang loud.

88. Urgent – Running Back

Imagine naming yourself after a Foreigner tune, trying to sound like said band, and having a track that sounds like a Loverboy reject.  The only urgency is how quickly it disappeared from hits #79 high.

Fun fact: Lead guitarist Yul Vasquez became a Tony Award-nominated actor and played Bob on a few episodes of Seinfeld.

93. J. Geils Band – Fright Night

A Peter Wolf-less J.Geils Band is like cornflakes without the milk. It also only lasted one album and a title track to a horrible horror film that starred Chris Sarandon. It moved up two notches, someone yelled “Boo!” and it ran away.

August 16th, 1986

85. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – It’s You

Bob and company follow up their two Top 40 hits from their Like A Rock LP, with this mid tempo pop rocker that talks about a love affair in the present rather than twenty ago. That’s progress.  It will sink like a rock after reaching #52.

[Thanks again to victorvector for catching this omission.]

86. Moody Blues – The Other Side Of Life

The Moodies had their biggest hit in fourteen years with Your Wildest Dreams, which hit #9 in early Summer. Their follow-up with the title track, which was more proggy than pop. That should explain its halt at #58.

96. Kenny Loggins – Playing With The Boys

Movie Kenny double dips on the Top Gun soundtrack just like he did on Footloose. But the second single released did not reach as high as I’m Free did in 1984. It will get spiked into the sand at #60.

98. Southside Johnny & The Jukes – Walk Away Renee

The other band that came out of Asbury Park, NJ, lived under the Boss’ shadow for their entire career. Their first chart hit, I’m So Anxious, hit #71 in 1979 and started to build up some momentum for them. But this desperate cover of the Left Banke’s 1966 Top 5 smash complete with a poorly arranged drum machine rhythm killed it. It debuts at its peak.

Slick Performance On Demand


We’re kicking off the thirty-second chart week of the 1980s with a mix of classics, should-have-been hits, and a fistful of clunkers. Let’s see who The Other Sixty were in 1980 up to 1983.

August 9th, 1980

84. Roxy Music- Over You

It makes no sense to me how Roxy Music’s singles failed to get Pop airplay, except for Love Is The Drug back in 1975, especially considering that every successful New Wave band that came out of the UK in the early 80s was obviously influenced by them. Maybe Bryan Ferry was too suave for us Americans. By their 1980 LP, Flesh and Blood, the group shrunk to a trio and released this as their first single. It reached #5 in England but will bow out at #80 over here as their last chart entry.

89. Linda Clifford – Red Light

Linda is an unsung hero during the disco era. She had so many good jams back then, including this one, featured on the Fame soundtrack, which Leroy used to break out of his own during his friend’s audition.  This will be her second chart hit to hit #41, but at least it will be #1 on the Disco charts.

August 15th, 1981

75. Debbie Harry – Backfired

Blondie had two #1 singles in 1981, with the last one, Rapture having only climbed down from the top, four months previous to Debbie’s first solo LP, Kookoo, and lead single. This choppy New Wave proto-disco single written and produced by Nile Rodgers, and Bernard Edwards did not have the desired effect on the Pop charts and, oh, how do you say it….didn’t work out the way the planned. It will malfunction (?) at #43, becoming her biggest solo single in the States.

81. Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal – All I Have To Do Is Dream

Love can make you do stupid things. This Everly Brothers cover converted into a duet with Pamela Ewing, effectively ended Andy’s recording career. His last release on RSO Records will feel blue at #51.

88. Deniece Williams – Silly

Neicy asked master producer Thom Bell to take the reins for her fifth album, My Melody. This beautiful ballad was one of two Top 20 Soul hits from the album. It was silly of her to think Pop radio would play something this sophisticated, which is why it peaked at #53.

90. Sad Cafe – La-Di-Da

Before Paul Young sang lead on Top 40 hits for Mike & the Mechanics, he was fronting this pop-rock Manchester sextet, which had success in the late 70s and early 80s in his native land. They first charted in the States with Run Home Girl, which peaked at #71 in 1979. This was their second and last US chart entry. From the Eric Stewart-produced Facades LP, this will only reach #78.

94. Debra Laws – Very Special

After singing on brother Ronnie’s and brother Hubert’s albums in the late 70s, Debra embarked on a solo career and released her debut in 1981. The Quiet storm classic featuring Ronnie on male vocals will be her biggest R&B hit, peaking at #11, while being her only Hot 100 representation, only moving up four spots from her debut.

August 14th, 1982

73. Huey Lewis and the News – Workin’ For A Livin’

This received so much airplay back then, especially on Fridays at 5PM, I would’ve sworn it hit the Top 40. It just missed, peaking at #41. Just because it was leapfrogged by Oh Julie by Barry Manilow doesn’t mean it’s not a classic.

83. Quarterflash – Night Shift

This nightshift is not referring to any passed away friends in heaven, like The Commodores would sing about in 1984. This is the title track to the Henry Winkler/ Michael Keaton movie about two guys who run a brothel from a city morgue. Talk about hardening your heart. This slinky pop track will fade into the dark at #60.

88. Spys – Don’t Run My Life

Original Foreigner members Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi decided to leave the group after the Head Games LP since they were tired of the money and fame. They started up a new group figuring it would be fun to make the same type of music, but without the pressures of popularity or check cashing. Their only chart single will quietly have a #82 zenith.

90. John Schneider – In The Driver’s Seat

Bo Duke thought it would be funny to record a song about being Bo Duke. The producers decided to include it on their Dukes Of Hazzard soundtrack album. But this modern-day Robin Hood didn’t jump up the charts at either Pop or country with this one. His last chart hit will spin out at #72.

August 13th, 1983

81. Styx – High Time

Does this mean it was recorded at 4:20? This Chicago quintet is obsessed with time. It’s their fourth charting single in the 80s with time in the title[They’ll end up with five.]. And that doesn’t count a Dennis DeYoung single in 1986 called This Is The Time. Buy a watch and move on, guys. The buzz will wear off at #48.

82. The Animals – The Night

A decent amount of 60s bands reunited for nostalgia and some new Boomer bucks in the 80s. Eric Burdon rounded up the original guys for a second time and recorded one more album, Ark, in 1983. They tried to go in through the Moody Blues door, but if you don’t have someone as creative and adept as Patrick Moraz, it ain’t gonna work. And the night will end at #48.

84. Heart – How Can I Refuse

And now we’ve reached Ann & Nacy Wilson’s low point as a band, but only if you look at the charts. Their 1983 album, Passionworks, is the only studio album between 1975’s Dreamboat Annie and 2004’s Jupiter’s Darling not to yield a Top 40 hit. It doesn’t mean this rocker isn’t good, quite the opposite. For some reason, Pop radio (or maybe the record company) lost interest in the band. This will be refused Top 40 entry at #44. But the group will change labels and being their most successful five years as a band beginning with 1985’s What About Love.

87. Sergio Mendes – Rainbow’s End

Here’s Sergio’s follow-up to his biggest career hit, Never Gonna Let You Go, which hit #4 in early Summer. Gone were the Latin rhythms and instruments, and in were the Westcoast smooth vibes. This one features vocals by Dan “Michael’s brother” Sembello, who co-wrote Neutron Dance with Allee Willis. Instead of a pot of gold, they found a #52 at the rainbow’s end.

90. Eddy Grant – I Don’t Wanna Dance

How do you follow up a monster smash like Electric Avenue? It’s hard, I know. So Eddy decided to release this lite reggae dance track that he doesn’t want to move to. In the street, there was violence at #53.

95. Ronnie Milsap – Don’t You Know How Much I Love You

Ronnie was a Nashville hit machine in the 80s. We are only in 1983, and this will be his eleventh #1 single on the Country charts. This midtempo ballad will only get to #58 on the Hot 100 but will reach the Top 20 on the AC charts. In my opinion, it has a lot more in common with a dentist chair than a mechanical bull.


Do You Climb Into Space?


Let’s wrap up chart week thirty-one with a wealth of singles from The Other Sixty during the years 1986 up to 1989. Are they good or bad? I’ll let you decide.

August 9th, 1986

76. The Jets – Private Number

The Minneapolis family octet follows-up their first Top 40 hit with another upbeat dance-pop number. It will be a blip on the radar as it’s number ends up at #47. The next five singles for them will hit the Top 20.

83. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al

The first release off of Graceland did not become an initial hit, reaching only #44 in the Fall of 1986. It will eventually be re-released as the popularity of the album increased after its Grammy win and will hit the Top 40 in the Spring of 1987. It will reach #4 in the UK in October.

86. The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Wrap It Up

It took five albums for this Texas blues-rock quartet to break through with Tuff Enuff. This was the follow-up, a cover of a Stax hit, originally recorded in 1968 by Sam And Dave as the B-side to their hit, I Thank You. The Fab Birds hit the wrap it up button at #50.

88. El DeBarge – Love Always

El made a misstep with his debut album. Most of the songs were not right for him, nor did they play to his strength, his vocal acumen. A lot of them were middle of the road AC dreck, like this one written by Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager. He just missed the Casey call when it peaked at #42, and he remains a one-hit-wonder.

95. Air Supply – Lonely Is The Night

This is where the air gets let out of the balloon. The first single from their new album, Hearts In Motion, will be the duo’s final chart entry.  Written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren, the track will only peak at #78.

96. Isle Of Man – Am I Forgiven

Maybe. Am I forgotten? Absolutely. This quartet made up of four guys from France, Nicaragua, Italy & the US took all of that worldly knowledge and poured it into this hard to find pop-synth single that debuts at its peak.

August 8th, 1987

81. Pointer Sisters – Be There

Ruth, Anita, and June got the call to do another song for the Beverly Hills Cop sequel, but this one wasn’t as successful as Neutron Dance. I think it may have got squeezed out the other BHC2 singles like Shakedown, Cross My Broken Heart, and I Want Your Sex, even though it’s just as good, maybe even better than those. As a result, this Narada Michael Walden-produced 45 will stop burnin’ at #42. It will be the sisters’ last chart entry.

87. Level 42 – Running In The Family

Level 42 was in the middle of conquering the singles charts all over Europe, but they only got a small foothold in the States. After a second Top 20 hit, Lessons In Love, this follow-up, a pop-rock tale about kids running away and the adult realizing later that you can’t run away from family, stalled out at #83. It will be one of four UK Top 10s from the Running In The Family LP and the last with the original line-up.

88. Yello – Oh Yeah

This song was first released on the Swiss duo’s 1985 album, Stella. In the States, it was used in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but its inclusion in Michael J Fox’s The Secret Of My Success caused it to be released as a single. Kinda weird, since most folks didn’t see that film. It will chicka-chicka up to #51. And if you’re Mac from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, then you know this song as Day Bow Bow.

96. Crowded House – World Where You Live

Depending on how I feel, this may be my favorite Crowded House song. The third release from their debut album in the States was actually the first single release in the UK during the Summer of 1986. The world will shrink down at #65.

97. The Silencers – Painted Moon

Last week the Pittsburgh, PA band of the same name had their only chart hit. Now it’s time for the Scotland quartet to have their only Stateside entry. This pop-rock shuffler will almost match the other’s zenith when they top out at #82. [The 1980 Silencers will hit #81.]

August 6th, 1988

88. Midnight Oil – The Dead Heart

Kudos to this Australian quintet for sticking to their guns and letting the audience come to them. They finally broke through in the US earlier in the year with the Top 20 smash, Beds Are Burning, from their sixth album, Diesel and Dust. A lot of this album was inspired by the band’s tour playing to isolated Aboriginal communities in their homeland, witnessing their plight at the hand of the Aussie government. This single was written as a plea to return the Uluru, an area in the Northwest Territory of central Australia, back to the indigenous peoples. It will surprisingly reach #53. The song, Dreamland, would have been a good follow-up as well.

93. Al B. Sure! – Off On Your Own (Girl)

Albert Brown III remains a pop one-hit-wonder due to his hit Nite And Day and pop radio unwillingness to let his New Jack vibe proliferate their playlists. They did the same thing to Keith Sweat, but as he pushed on, Al took a behind the scenes role in the industry and discovered new acts like Jodeci and Faith Evans. R&B radio welcomed him with open arms, and four of his five Top 40 Soul hits went Top 3, including this one, which will be his second #1. I heard this single a lot that summer, so I’m surprised it only reached #45.

96. Amy Grant – Lead Me On

No, this is not a Maxine Nightengale cover, even though I’m sure you want to hear Amy sing tease me all night long. The title track to her eighth album talks about the fact that slavery and the Holocaust happened, but while though those folks had it real bad, they still turned to the Lord. This debuts at its peak.

August 5th, 1989

86. Dion – And The Night Stood Still

Where the hell did this come from? Dion’s first chart entry in thirteen years coincided with a new album, Yo Frankie, an autobiography and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Produced by Dave Edmunds and featuring backing vocals by Patti Smyth, this single will go still at #75.

88. Cinderella – Gypsy Road

Tom Keifer is still ripping his vocal cords out, trying to sing more hits for this Philly glam metal band. This will be the fourth single released from Long Cold Winter, and unlike the other three, it will miss out on the Top 40. The road will end at #51.

95. Adrian Belew – Oh Daddy

After a decade in the business playing with Tom Tom Club, Zappa, Bowie, King Crimson, and his own group, The Bears, this Kentucky guitarist lands his only Hot 100 entry from his fourth album, Mr. Music Head. It’s a cute yet smart duet with his 11-year-old daughter, Audie asking when her daddy will be famous one day. Creative songs like this rarely find their way into the mainstream anymore. It will peak at #58.

96. Cyndi Lauper – My First Night Without You

Is this a rewrite of Springsteen’s Fire or an ode to early 60s girl groups? Either way, it will be Cyndi’s last chart hit when it spends its final night at #62.



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