A Word That Anyone Can Say

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We have a lot of The Other Sixty to review for the thirty-first chart week. So let’s take a look at 1980 and 1981.

August 2nd, 1980

83. Lipps, Inc. – Rock It

This Minneapolis led outfit led by Steven Greenberg had one of the biggest hits towards the end of the first Disco era with Funkytown. It was going to be hard to scale those heights again. Their follow-up was actually the first single that was recorded and released by the group, which got them signed to Casablanca. It will reach #64 then make a move to a town that’s off the Hot 100.

84. Whitesnake – Fool For Your Loving

This British hard rock quintet started off the 80s much differently than they finished it. This was the lead single from the band’s third album, Ready an’ Willing, and will peak at #53. In 1989, a newly recorded version will make the Top 40 getting the Shadoe call at #37.

85. Foghat – Stranger In My Home Town

Foghat wraps up their chart singles career with this one from the album, Tight Shoes. This upbeat rocker was recorded at Foghat Studios on Long Island, making them strangers in their adopted home town of Port Jefferson. It will walk up four spots before running away.

87. Randy Vanwarmer – Whatever You Decide

After hitting the Top 10 in 1979 with Just When I Needed You Most, everyone expected Randy to churn out the fuzzy ballads. But that single was not representative of his style as singles like this one attest. This pop-rock 45 from his second album, Terraform, will decide to only go as high as #77.

88. Spider – Everything Is Alright

This New York quintet follows up their only Top 40 single, New Romance, with this pop-rocker from their debut album, written and sung by keyboardist Holly Knight. Holly will write tons of 80s smashes from Pat Benatar’s Invincible to Tina Turner’s Better Be Good To Me, but not this one. It will barely move two notches.

89. Yipes!! – Darlin’

Wow, what a band name. This Power pop quintet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin nabs their only chart hit with a cover of the Beach Boys 1968 hit from the 1979 debut album. It’s a pretty good version, but it will peak at #68.

August 8th, 1981

83. Art Garfunkel – A Heart In New York

Art had a respectable solo career away from his former partner, racking up five Top 40 hits and one as a trio with James Taylor & Paul Simon. The man with a Masters in math will garner his last Hot 100 solo entry with a slice from Scissors Cut. Written by Gallagher & Lyle, this folky acoustic ballad with stop beating at #66.

84. Michael Stanley Band – Falling In Love Again

This Cleveland, Ohio bunch scored a Top 40 hit earlier in 1981 with he Can’t Love You. This is the lead single from their latest album, North Coast, their sixth. Produced by Eddie Kramer, the midtempo rocker will hit #64 and start falling again.

85. Don McLean – It’s Just the Sun

Ten years after releasing American Pie, Don racks up his second to last chart single with the follow-up to the #23 single, Since I Don’t Have You as well as the #5 cover of Roy Orbison’s Crying. With backing vocals by the Jordanaires, this mellow Nashville single will burn out at #83.

86. Larry John McNally – Just Like Paradise

This is a mighty fine song and one of my faves from the Westcoast genre. I would love to see someone put this on a current show or in a movie to bring it back to life. Rod Stewart did the reverse with another LJ track, The Motown Song when he found it on the Quicksilver soundtrack and covered it with the Temptations. This debuts at its peak, and that’s a friggin’ injustice, especially in such a lax year of programmer playlists.

87. Bernadette Peters – Dedicated To The One I Love

After scoring a #31 hit with a cover of Carla Thomas’ Gee Whiz in 1980, this Tony award-winner released a remake of the Shirelles 1960 hit, also popularized by the Mamas and Papas in 1967, in 1981. She will only take hers up to #65. Should have added a trumpet solo.

88. Cheryl Lynn – Shake It Up Tonight

And now we’ve reached the part of the 80s where quality disco tracks get ignored by Pop radio. This is a stone jam, written by Mike & Brenda Sutton and produced by Ray Parker Jr. with other members of Raydio playing on it as well. It will reach the Top 5 on the Soul and Disco charts, but only #70 on the Hot 100.

89. Change – Hold Tight

Another great Disco single, given the Heisman by Pop programmers. Even though Change’s debut gave us A Lover’s Holiday and The Glow Of Love, their second album, Miracles, is even better and my favorite from this Italo-Anglo group. But, dammit, it’s debuting at its peak.

90. Nielsen/Pearson – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore

Reed Nielsen and Mark Pearson put a hold on their Westcoast career and instead record a cover of this 1966 Walker Brothers hit, initially written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio for Frankie Valli. It was going to be the first single from their new LP, Atomic Cafe, but the album was shelved after the sun sets on this single at #56. This duo will record one more album, Blind Luck, in 1983 before splitting up for good.

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