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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.