Life Is So Strange When You Don’t Know

It’s another heavy week for The Other Sixty with lots of well-known artists missing the mark. Let’s see what chart week thirty-nine has in store for us as we review 1980 up to 1983.

September 27th, 1980

90. Frank Stallone – Case Of You

I had a boss who told me that he went to AA meetings with Frank Stallone in the 80s. He wouldn’t have known who he was except that he told everyone all the time whether they asked or not. It makes those jokes Norm McDonald said on Weekend Update even funnier knowing how much he puffed himself for strangers. This was Frank’s first solo 45 after spending time as the lead singer of Valentine. And yes, it is, a cover of the Joni Mitchell song. But, more than that, it was arranged by Van Dyke Parks and produced by Harry Nilsson. It will reach #67.

[Currently, there is no audio of the original single on YouTube (that’s first for The Other Sixty), only the 2007 re-recorded version.]

October 3rd, 1981

84. Rickie Lee Jones – A Lucky Guy

Rickie followed-up her Grammy-winning debut two years after its release with Pirates. While it was more musically ambitious than the first, it was also harder to find an obvious single. The record company chose this ballad, one of many on the album that details her break-up from Tom Waits. Its luck will run out at #64.

85. ZZ Top – Leila

Uh-oh. ZZ is getting a little soft. Are they hanging out with Leila on her yacht in the Santa Monica harbor? I’m not sure their fans approve, which explains the #77 zenith. Luckily they’ll be back to do the Tube Snake Boogie with Leila and give her a Pearl Necklace.

86. The Dirt Band – Fire In The Sky

The 1981 album, Jealousy, will mark an end to the five-year Dirt Band run, as they will add back the Nitty Gritty with their next album. This single will be their last entry on the Hot 100 as they begin a concerted effort as a Country band in 1983, racking sixteen Country Top 10 hits in the 1980s, with three of them going to #1. This single, with backing vocals by Kenny Loggins, will burn out at #76.

89. Triumph – Magic Power

This Canadian hard rock trio pulls out the acoustic guitars, Tenacious D-style, for the lead-off single from their fifth album, Allied Forces. It will become their biggest hit in Canada when it reaches #14. Here in the States, the magic will fade away at #51.

October 2nd, 1982

70. Donna Summer – State Of Independence

Donna follows up her Top 10 hit, Love Is In Control, with a reggae-lite cover of a 1981 Jon & Vangelis song. Producer Quincy Jones pulled out all the stops on this one, putting together an all-star back-up choir featuring Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, and others. Too bad the proceeds didn’t go towards the famine in Ethiopia. Otherwise, the track might have gone reached a higher state than #41.

75. Paul McCartney – Tug Of War

Tug Of War was Mac’s first album since the death of his friend, John. While there weren’t any obvious tribute songs on this album, the title track could be seen as one, illustrating their tight, but at times, contentious relationship.  It will fail as a single here and in the UK. But as this falls from its zenith of #53, Paul debuts up at #45 with Michael Jackson with The Girl Is Mine.

80. Bill Medley – Right Here And Now

Righteous bro, Bill, continues to jump-start his solo career, this time with another Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil track. This Richar Perry-produced single will be the title track to his ninth album and peak at #58. I swear. It’s the truth.

81. Timothy B. Schmit – So Much In Love

After the Eagles broke up, it was a race to see who could get their solo career going first. Joe Walsh hit the Top 40 in 1981 with A Life Of Illusion, but that really doesn’t count since he was releasing solo records before and during his band tenure. Henley got into the Top 40 at the end of 1981 but as a duet with Stevie Nicks. So Frey considers himself the winner as got in there by himself first earlier in the year, and he’s currently in the Top 40 with The One You Love. But what about poor Timbo? He got a song onto the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack along with Walsh, Henley, and Felder. [Sorry, Glenn] His cover of the Tymes #1 smash from 1963 will say Aloha, Mr. Hand at #59.

85. Missing Persons – Destination Unknown

This LA quintet was one of the first to take advantage of MTVs influence by pairing their synth-pop sound with a unique, flashy look, especially lead singer Dale Bozzio’s wild look, which folks went gaga over. I felt like I heard this song all Summer. One of the local radio stations that our camp bus driver listened to all the time jumped on it before it became a single. This New Wave classic will miss getting the Casey call when it reaches its final destination of #42.

87. Bad Company – Electricland

If you wondered what a Foreigner song would song like if they weren’t singing about a conniving devil woman slut, then give this one a play. [I may be paraphrasing the original review in Billboard.] This bluesy shuffler will get short-circuited at #74. The band would break-up shortly after that, and Paul Rodgers would form The Firm.

October 1st, 1983

76. Quarterflash – Take Another Picture

This Portland band, led by husband and wife combo of Marv and Rindy Ross, follows-up their latest Top 20 track, Take Me To Heart, by rocking harder than their fans might be used to. Rindy puts the sax to channel her inner Benatar, but the photo goes out of focus at #58.

80. The Tubes – The Monkey Time

Producer David Foster continues to try and rope this loony conglomerate in by commercializing their sound without losing their creative energy. We’re beginning to see the tipping on this Curtis Mayfield cover, which was initially a Top 10 hit for Major Lance in 1963. Fee Waybill sings this as a duet with Martha Davis as a funky uptempo New Wave pop ditty. But no one is ready at it stops at #68.

Fun Fact: There is also a version where singer Michelle Gray sings the female part. Michelle was a background singer for the Tubes in the mid-80s and will eventually marry Todd Rundgren.

85. Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)

This was the first charting single from Paul’s debut, No Parlez, a cover of a Norman Whitfield/ Barrett Strong song initially recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1962. Paul will take his version to #1 in the UK. In the US, we will tell him to hold on to his hat and get out of our house at #70.

89. ELO – Four Little Diamonds

It makes sense that the Electric Light Orchestra would shorten their name to ELO, since the strings were long gone by now, having been replaced by synths. Their follow-up to the Top 20 track, Rock N Roll Is King is the better single, in my opinion, but will only inch up three spots before disappearing.

90. Roman Holliday – Don’t Try To Stop It

This is the second chart single for this retro New Wave septet, who benefitted from an opening spot for The Clash. It led to an album contract with Jive, who released a self-titled EP as well as a full-length debut album, Cookin’ On The Roof, in 1983. This song was featured on both and will become their biggest UK hit, peaking at #14. Over here, it will stop climbing at #68.

93. Genesis – Mama

The first single from Genesis’ self-titled album was not That’s All. It was this instead, a six-minute opus with Phil the Shill doing his best Melle Mel after each chorus. From its release on, it would be a fan favorite in concert. It also became their biggest UK hit, reaching #4. For the 45, its life had just begun at #93, but then it gets thrown all away at #73.

95. AC / DC – Guns For Hire

It’s odd that these Australian maniacs couldn’t get another Top 40 hit in the 80s after Back In Black and that they had to wait until 1991 for Moneytalks to break the streak. Their eighth album, Flick Of The Switch, gave us this hard rocker, which will shoot up to #84.

96. Lee Greenwood – Somebody’s Gonna Love You

This sounds like a Dr. Hook deep cut. But if those guys weren’t cutting it in 1983, Lee wasn’t gonna go anywhere with it either. This ballad would be Lee’s first#1 Country hit, but debuts at its peak on the Pop charts.

 

A Million Ways To Bury You Alive

We’re gonna finish up chart week thirty-eight with a large group of singles that’s unusual for the late years of the 80s. Let’s review from 1987 to 1989.

September 26th, 1987

83. Starship – Beat Patrol

There’s a lot to slog through, and this five pack of singles from ’87 isn’t gonna inspire many programmers, let alone the corporate version of Jefferson Airplane. You can talk all you want about how bad We Built This City is. That is Let It Be compared to this. If it makes Grace Slick want to leave, you know you’re scraping the bottom. This climb close enough to the Top 40 [#46] to make you honestly question if there are any qualifications needed to be a radio station program director.

85. John Waite – Don’t Lose Any Sleep

We won’t, John. And neither should you. In fact, if you’re gonna record soulless unimaginative rock songs like this, just form a band again. That way, you can take the praise when it works and share the blame when it doesn’t (see Bad English). And you’ll get more zzzzs. Starship will cover this four years from now if that tells you anything. It will nod off at #81.

89. The Monkees – Heart And Soul

Thanks to the Nickelodeon channel reairing old episodes and a Rhino Records reissue, three of the Monkees decided to record a new album, Pool It!, their first in seventeen years. There’s a reason why Nesmith sat this one out. Ignoring what they titled this single, there was little of each, and they would have been better off just covering T’Pau or Hoagy Carmichael than putting this out. This effectively killed all of the Monkees’ love, and their next album wouldn’t get made for another nine years until Mike was back on board.

91. Glen Burtnick – Follow You

Imagine recording songs that sound like White Lion without having the money or groupies. Welcome to the solo career of Glen Burtnik, who managed to place this single as his only entry on the Hot 100. It will peak at #65, but Glen will join Styx in the early 90s and get to play Renegade three hundred times a year.

Fun fact: Glen will co-write the 1992 Patty Smyth hit, Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.

94. KISS – Crazy Crazy Nights

After the make-up came off, after their disco exploits, disastrous TV special, the lack of any other gimmicks, these guys are still around, presumably to latch onto the burgeoning Glam metal MTV phase. It’s been eight years since they were in the Top 40, and singles like this will continue to keep them out, hitting the crazy, crazy, crazy high of #65.

September 24th, 1988

88. Robert Cray Band – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

This former Albert Collins sideman follows up his Strong Persuader album with the title track to his new album. It wasn’t as popular as the previous LP, but personally, I think it’s stronger. By the way, this single isn’t about telling some it’s OK to go to sleep at night. No sleeping is happening here, not until Robert makes you feel the power if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the lights come on at #74.

Fun fact: In the film Animal House, Robert is onstage playing bass as one of the bandmembers of Otis Day & The Knights

94. L’Trimm – Cars With The Boom

Like all innovative genres of music which rise from the underground, music executives are there to stomp on its neck and ring every dollar out of it they can. That’s why you get singles like The Fat Boys doing Wipeout with the Beach Boys and stuff like this. This is god awful. There’s no flow. Their voices are grating. And the beat is as dumb as the lyrics. So, of course, this will low ride all the up to #54 while nothing from MC Lyte’s Lyte As A Rock will even chart.

95. Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers – I’m Not Your Man

Here’s a quintet from Philly, who had their biggest success with their second album, Rumble. Their songs got a lot of rock airplay, including this single, which reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts. But it was hard to cut through all the fake metal, teen pop, and freestyle dance acts on the Pop charts. So this will languish at #74.

98. Deniece Williams – I Can’t Wait

After Neicy hit #1 in 1984 with Let’s Hear It For The Boy, she released a well-regarded gospel album that effectively killed her Pop career. In fact, she didn’t chart any singles on the Hot 100 from her next releases until this one, which tried to get some of those Footloose fans back. This is a catchy Motown-inspired affair that should have done the trick, and fans of Merry Clayton’s Yes would have loved this. I bought the 45, but it will not spend another lazy night in anyone’s arms after it hits #66. It will be her last chart hit.

99. Sa-Fire – Boy, I’ve Been Told

This was the third single but first chart entry from this East Harlem singer’s foray into freestyle. It had a long way to climb and ultimately reached #48. It was written by Marc Anthony, who will have a successful singing career in a decade from now, starting with 1999’s I Need To Know.

September 23rd, 1989

71. Soulsister – The Way To Your Heart

Does Holland-Dozier-Holland get some royalties for this? It’s a total earworm, but like most Motown-ripoffs, they try to capture what those songs sounded like but not what made them great. This Belgian duo just misses getting the Shadoe call stopping at #41 while becoming a massive hit throughout Europe.

77. Teddy Riley Featuring Guy – My Fantasy

Producer Teddy Riley gave himself top billing over his fellow Guy bandmates on this soundtrack cut from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. I played this all Summer, and the single had already hit #1 on the Soul charts by the time it crossed over here. This will only climb to #62. Guy will have their only Top 40 in early 2000 with Dancin’.

80. Debbie Gibson – We Could Be Together

Finally, the electric youth has been shorted out. I genuinely feel pity for anyone who has any important memories in their life tied to Debbie’s music. Mediocrity will always seem to thrive as long as someone is getting rich off of it. After eight straight Top 40 hits, this will die at #71.

84. Sinitta – Right Back Where We Started From

The 70s revival bandwagon was still parked at the station in the late 80s, but folks were starting to get on, mostly Europeans, who never felt the stigmatization of the ME decade like we did here in the States. Thus a dance-pop update of the Maxine Nightingale 1976 smash will stall out at #84.

Fun fact: Sinitta’s mom is Miquel Brown, who had a huge club hit in 1983 with So Many Men, So Little Time. She is also the niece of Amii Stewart, who had a #1 smash with her cover of Knock On Wood in 1979.

87. Love And Rockets – No Big Deal

Did Love And Rockets write So Alive to get on Pop radio? Maybe. Were they surprised when they did, and the song reached #3 in the U.S.? Probably. Did they collectively laugh when the record company released this as the follow-up? Definitely. It will have a #82 zenith.

88. White Lion – Radar Love

By recording a cover of this 1974 hit, all White Lion did was prove that Golden Earring is twelve hundred times better than they are. I’ve seen NC’s The Pressure Boys do an energizing version of this. This recording sounds winded and lethargic. They should have donated any money made from this to a charity to help restore their good karma. When it hits #59, it will be their last Hot 100 entry.

92. Winger – Hungry

This New York glam metal quartet racked up two Top 40 hits from their debut, and they had an appetite for more. Don’t let the opening synth strings fool you. They are here to rock or to sound like they are. This 45 will die of starvation at #85.

Primeval Times With A Little Stimulation

 

This group of The Other Sixty from 1984 through 1986 is filled with icons, veteran musicians, and relatively few unknowns. All but one artist had racked up at least one previous Top 40. Let’s review chart week thirty-eight.

September 22nd, 1984

68. Barbra Streisand – Left In The Dark

It took four years for Babs to follow up her 1980 Guilty LP, mostly because she was busy filming Yentl. That’s apparent in the haphazard affair called Emotion, with multiple producers scattering lots of different ideas to see what would stick. Nothing will. This is a Jim Steinman song initially recorded for his Bad For Good LP. Giving Streisand a seven-minute overly dramatic opus like this is like giving cocaine to a Tasmanian devil. Everyone will be worn out and entering rehab by the time it peaks at #50.

78. Matthew Wilder – Bouncing Off The Walls

Matthew follows up his double Top 40 hit LP, I Don’t Speak The Language, with his second and final album. The synthy title track will be its only chart single and will cease its bouncing at #52. After getting his start as an engineer for acts such as the Village People, Patrick Juvet, and Ashford & Simpson, he put down the mic again to become a pop producer, helming the boards for Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson, and No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom.

Fun fact: In the 1998 Disney film Mulan, Matthew provides the vocals for the character of Ling.

86. The Go-Go’s – Yes Or No

The Go-Go’s were three albums in but this point, and you can hear the songwriting getting better. Even as the band was splitting apart, this quintet sounds like a seamless unit. Bassist Jane Wiedlin announced her departure from the band as radio answered No, and the single only moved up to spots.

88. Wang Chung – Don’t Be My Enemy

Wang Zhong was a Qing-dynasty scholar, who most thought to be an arrogant asshole. Jack Hues, vocalist for Wang Chung, probably didn’t mean to come off the same way. But then again, he did ask everybody to Wang Chung, so he was complicit in making folks act like a jerk. So this New Wave pop song has no moral ground to stand on. That’s why it stalls out at #86.

September 21st, 1985

73. Cheech & Chong – Born In East L.A.

Cheech and Tommy’s drug humor was definitely wearing thin as the mellow 70s turned into the coked-out 80s. But the Boss’ Born In The U.S.A. album gave Marin some inspiration. Putting on his Weird Al toboggan, he penned a song about a Latino-American getting wrongly deported to Mexico. Considering how Bruce’s song was about how crappy we treat military veterans, that was an unintentionally creative use for a parody.  Their first chart hit in eight years will climb up to #48.

Fun fact: Cheech wrote this one by himself, and Chong had nothing to do with it. Still, it was released under the Cheech and Chong name.

83. Jennifer Holliday – Hard Times For Lovers

Jennifer is trying to get her boogie on with this Arthur Baker-produced dance track. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work because her strong suit is sitting back and belting out a ballad. While the lead single from her second album, Say You Love Me, will make the R&B Top 20, it will start going at #69 on the Hot 100.

88. Diana Ross – Eaten Alive

Could they have fit any more superstars in the recording booth? You have The Bee Gees writing and producing, while Michael Jackson is singing back up and Barry Gibb is vamping in the background. All on a very aggressive dance-pop song that has Diana come off like a psychotic zombie. What a glorious mess. It will reach #77, then disappear in one bite.

89. The Commodores – Janet

Were they singing about Miss Jackson? The actress who played Wilona on Good Times? Or maybe they were sent here from The Good Place? Who knows. The Lionel-less Alabamans do their best with this Bobby Caldwell-penned track from their Nightshift LP, but it will only inch deux spots.

Fun fact: The synths, bass, and drums were arranged and programmed by Paul Fox, who produced one of my favorite XTC albums, Oranges And Lemons.

90. Eddie & The Tide – One In A Million

Here’s a quintet from Berkeley, CA, not the school of music. They were one of those bands discovered on MTV’s Basement Tapes and released five albums in the 80s. Their only chart hit was from the second LP, Go Out And Get It, will not win the lottery, and instead only move up five spaces from its debut.

94. Dead Or Alive – Lover Come Back To Me

This Liverpool quartet ruled the Summer with their #11 smash, You Spin Me Round. Their SAW-produced second album, Youthquake, had many catchy dance songs on it, but they chose this one as the follow-up. It will be a hit throughout Europe and the clubs in the U.S., but it will get kicked right down at #75.

95. Gino Vannelli – Hurts To Be In Love

This ballad, the second single from Gino’s Black Cars album, should have easily slid into the Top 40. But by 1985, he was on a smaller label than A&M and Arista, and they just couldn’t push it up any higher than #57. Good news for all you dentists out there – it will reach #6 on the AC charts. Drill away!

September 27th, 1986

85. David Lee Roth – Goin’ Crazy!

I assume David thought that all he needed to do was find a great guitar player that agreed with everything he said and did, and he would be as successful or more than Van Halen. It’s not that this song is awful. You just know that Eddie would have rejected it or buried it under five synths and ten-string tapping solos. David actually sings that he’s going coconuts, so now he’s stealing from Donny and Marie. MTV played this video so much, which explains its #66 zenith.

93. Ashford & Simpson – Count Your Blessings

The duo behind some of Motown’s most during hits is back with their final Pop entry. From their album, Real Love, this will reach #4 on the R&B charts but will be wholly ignored by Pop radio, leaving it behind at #84. That’s a shame because this sweet midtempo jam is one of the best recordings in their catalog.

Fun fact: Valerie Simpson’s brother, Ray, became the lead singer of the Village People, just in time for Can’t Stop the Music, but he kept playing the good cop until 2017.

95. Device – Who Says

This pop-rock trio led by singer-songwriter Holly Knight follows up their #35 hit, Hanging On A Heart Attack, with another catchy tune that keeps the synths down and turns up the guitar a little bit. With lead vocals by Paul Engemann, this will only rise to #79, and the band will split up.

A Message Burns Within Me Everyday

After a few light weeks, we have a robust chart week for number thirty-eight. The first few years have many slow songs for some reason, which gets replaced by synth-pop. Let’s review The Other Sixty from 1980 to 1983

September 20th, 1980

75. Earth, Wind, and Fire – Let Me Talk

Do you remember…. when this band released September? They were the front-running funk contender. And just one year later, they released three singles from the fabulous and consistently great Faces LP, which all missed the Top 40. There is only one reason for that, and it is unjust. This is an amazing song, and when these guys settle into a groove two-thirds of the way in, it is so sweet and effortless. I hope people find this jam again and use it as a current-day anthem. This Top 10 R&B hit will get silenced at #44.

85. The Commodores – Heroes

Here’s another funk outfit that put out a steady diet of smashes only to have the door slam on them in 1980 as well. At least the first single, Old Fashioned Love, from their eighth album, Heroes made the Top 20. This was the follow-up and could also be an anthem for the times. Heroes will turn to zeroes at #54. Thankfully the funk ban for these two groups was lifted in 1981.

98. Jay Black – The Part Of Me That Needs You Most

Here is the former lead singer of Jay And the Americans, who already sounded like an oldies act as they were having hit singles in the 60s. Entertainers like Jay were the kind who you could pay $100 to play a fundraiser at your local VFW hall. Just don’t pull that here’s-my-new-single bullshit or you’re gonna have a fleet of glass ashtrays thrown at your noggin. This one debuts at its lowly peak.

September 26th, 1981

76. Stars On – More Stars 

Jesus, this medley schtick got stale fast. Now, these Dutchmen are just singing anything that comes to their head. The Temptations. America. The Rubettes? The Supremes into Neil Diamond? This is what’s called in the biz as audio goulash, a mix of whatever ingredients are lying around thrown into a pot and then crossing your fingers for edibility or, in this case, musicality. It just supports the case that the music of the Beatles is far superior to most anything else in Pop music, no matter how much you bastardize and destroy it. A #55 zenith meant payola was alive and well.

82. David Gates – Take Me Now

Is he singing to his Maker or a leather-wearing special friend? Either way, DG can’t keep releasing ballads, and think each will be a winner. He has to know his time has run out, and if not, we can remind him. His last chart hit will reach #62.

86. Anne Murray – It’s All I Can Do

No, this isn’t a cover of The Cars song. But damn, wouldn’t that be awesome if it was? This will be another #1 smash on the Country charts for Anne but will fall apart at #53 on the Hot 100.

89. Freddy Cannon & the Belmonts – Let’s Put The Fun Back In Rock N Roll

The man, who had a hit with Palisades Park in 1963 and hadn’t scored a Hot 100 entry in fifteen years teams up with the Dion-less Belmonts for a song that makes a proclamation but then doesn’t follow its own advice. Its appearance here is due to the spillover from the 50s/early 60s nostalgia trend of the 70s. Its #81 is modest considering the quality. Also, see Jay Black above.

90. John Schneider – Still

Have you ever wonder what Bo Duke would sound like if he replaced Lionel in the Commodores? Congratulations, you’re a John Schneider fan. For those who thought this 1979 #1 hit was too urban, here you go. This pointless cover must have been played at a lot of honkytonk weddings to have reached #69.

98. The Crusaders Featuring Joe Cocker – I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today

After the success of having Randy Crawford sing on Street Life in 1979, this jazz fusion trio started to invite others, such as Bill Withers, to sing at least one song per album. For their Standing Tall album, they had Joe sing two on tracks. Most people think of Joe via John Belushi’s impression of him or his fried out Woodstock appearance. His vocals on this single display the dynamic and discipline in his voice while still being soulful and passionate. It’s a shame this one will only move up one spot.

September 25th, 1982

76. Stevie Wonder – Ribbon In the Sky

This was the third of four new singles recorded for Original Musiquarium, Vol. 1 that Stevie released. Another beautiful ballad that Pop radio ignored, it will be nominated for a Best Male R&B Grammy. This was also the song that he performed at Whitney Houston’s funeral, and I can’t imagine there were any dry eyes after that. The ribbon will fly away at #54.

82. The Go-Go’s – Get Up And Go

There a lot of bands that should be in the RNRHOF that are inexplicably not. It can be argued about forever. But it doesn’t make sense that the first all-female band to write and play their own music to have a #1 album, their debut no less, isn’t there. Firsts should always be acknowledged because it’s still much harder for the person kicking the door down than the second one walking through. Their follow up to their Top 10 hit, Vacation, should have traveled up in there as well, but instead will only reach #50.

85. Karla Bonoff – Please Be The One

After a few albums and multiple Ronstadt comparisons, Karla nabbed a Top 20 hit with Personally. Her follow-up single from Wild Heart Of the Young, produced by Kenny Edwards, her future Bryndle bandmate, will climb as high as #63.

90. Billy Preston – I’m Never Gonna Say Goodbye

Bu then he does at #88 and never charts again. Personally, I prefer funky spaced-out instrumental Billy to tender loverman Billy.

September 24th, 1983

88. Berlin – Masquerade

This was the third charting single from this Orange County sextet’s second album, Pleasure Victim. Their sound screams out Help me, Giorgio Moroder, and that is why he came calling to produce their next album. It will be the lowest charting of the three when it hits #82.

90. Carly Simon – You Know What To Do

Carly had a bumpy ride through the 80s. Not exactly sure why Pop radio gave up on her. I know this song may not be as immediate as her other hits, but its performed by some of New York’s top jazz cats. Her lead single from her eleventh album, Hello Big Man, definitely should have reached higher than #83.

93. Cee Farrow – Should I Love You

Here’s a New Wave dance-pop single from German singer Cee Farrow. It suffered the misfortune of being released on Rochshire Records, who was about to have all of their master tapes seized during an IRS raid. (see Tony Carey) Otherwise, this track may have reached higher than its peak of #82. It will also enter the R&B Hot 100 and get up to #91.

94. Glenn Shorrock – Don’t Girls Get Lonely

Glenn had enough of high living as the lead singer of the Little River Band. He longed for the simpler times of no tours and no money. I assume that was why he left and embarked on a solo career, whose only remnant was this strangely titled single, which stiff at #69. It’ll do worse in Australia, where it will peak at #75. Talk about a lonesome loser.

95. Minor Detail – Canvas Of Life

And now for some Irish New Wave from the Hughes brothers. Produced by Bill Whelen, the guy who created Riverdance, this single will edge up three spots before disappearing.

Fun fact: Bill Hughes will discover The Corrs and become their manager.

96. Graham Parker – Life Gets Better

Graham Parker is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. His song can balance humor and bile like no other. I’ve seen him live a number of times, and I’m guessing his persona in This Is 40 is probably very close to who he is in person. Unfortunately, his unique vocal performances seem to have put off Pop radio, even though he had released a boatload of great singles. This will be his second chart single as Hold Back The Night in 1977 was his first. This track from The Real Macaw will only move two more notches

 

The Time Bomb Of Your Life Has Come

wlw

And now, let’s take a look at the second half of the 80s during chart week thirty-seven to see what made The Other Sixty class during 1985 up through 1989.

September 14th, 1985

83. Five Star – All Fall Down

Here’s a dance song by a UK quintet, and neither needed to exist quite frankly. So let me talk about another song that came out three years later with the same title by a progressive pop outfit called Giraffe, led by singer and writer Kevin Gilbert. It’s a way more engaging and should have received a lot more notice than this single, which hit #65. Giraffe, on the other hand, would be lucky to sell 65 albums, mostly to friends and family. Kevin was a talented dude with a string of bad luck and committed suicide in 1996. Five Star continues to randomly get together for reunion tours. Life is not fair.

95. Roger Daltrey – After The Fire

After the fire, the fire still burns. What the hell does that mean, Roger? Is the fire out or not? Do I need to get my hose? Speak up? I can’t talk any louder, mate. Anyway sounds like these flames don’t want to get fooled again. Neither did we, as this Pete Townshend-penned track turns to ash at #48.

September 20th, 1986

80. Jermaine Stewart – Jody

Jermaine pays back his friend and fellow Soul Train dancer, Jody Watley, with this Top 10 dance track that was obviously inspired by her and her love for cake. [She would write two songs for Mainy on his follow-up album, Say It Again.] Produced by Narada Michael Walden, this Top 20 R&B hit just missed the Top 40 cut, peaking at #42.

Fun fact: Jermaine sings back-up on Culture Club’s 1984 Top 10 hit, Miss Me Blind.

85. The Outfield – Everytime You Cry

This seems to be the answer song to Your Love. Because the girl, who thought she was just being a friend and lending an ear to a sad guy who missed his girlfriend, just realized that she is only needed for some quick love. And she quietly closes the door after being used, she pauses on the porch and tears up. Seems that Josie was the girl’s babysitter and is not looking forward to a neighborhood confrontation, especially when everyone breaks out their hats and hooters when she comes home from her vacation. This one is a routine fly to left-center and will be caught at #66.

88. Midnight Star – Midas Touch

I’m not sure these guys had the Midas touch, at least when it came to 45s because while they had lots of R&B hits, none of them turned to gold. Also, make sure they stay away from your daughter. This was the closest they came to nabbing another Top 40 hit when it hits the brakes at #42.

90. Belinda Carlisle – I Feel The Magic

BC’s follow-up to her first Top 40 solo hit, Mad About You, did not hunt the same terrain, nor was it a big riser. But for some reason, it’s endured way longer than a #82 zenith should, in part, because of its use in Agree shampoo commercials.

92. Luis Cardenas – Runaway

Here’s the first of two remakes trying to capitalize on Boomer nostalgia. The first is an 80s reverb-soaked rock version of the Del Shannon #1 smash from 1961. Why do people continue to destroy classics like this? Even Del re-recorded this multiple times. But that’s his prerogative. He wrote it. Write your own damn song. Del appeared in Luis’ video, which was nice of him, but so did Donny Osmond. This will wonder why it ever got as high as #83.

93. The Beach Boys – California Dreamin’

These guys had one of the best pop songwriters of all time at their disposal and Mike Love. I know these were not Brian’s best days, but covers like these turn a group into a K-Tel oldies act real fast. Roger McGuinn plays 12-string guitar on it just to add to his whatever happened to… file. The leaves will turn brown at #57.

September 19th, 1987

80. Wendy & Lisa – Waterfall

I thought for sure this would be a smash when I bought the 45. It has enough of that Prince vibe to remind you they were in the Revolution but enough of their own sound to enjoy them as separate artists without comparison. In fact, their first three albums made you realize how much they added to the mid-80s Purple records. This one will stick the river and lake that it’s used to at #56.

82. Bee Gees – You Win Again

This will be the lead single from the trio’s first full studio album together in six years, and they brought producer Arif Mardin back into the studio with them. It will become a huge hit worldwide, reaching #1 in at least seven countries. Here in the States, we were still under the mob rule of pretending that the seventies didn’t exist. I could do without the stomps and would like to hear someone cover this in a mellow soulful way. It will pay tribute to their hit Jive Talkin’ when it peaks at #75.

96. Eddie Money – We Should Be Sleeping

Four released singles from an Eddie Money album? Did the record company think they had a Thriller on their hands? They should have been happy with three hits that Can’t Hold Back already generated. Someone felt a hunger. Hey, it’s a hunger. This will hit the pillow at #90.

September 17th, 1988

84. Kim Wilde – You Came

Did Kim and brother Ricky think this title through as they were writing this song? This Top 3 UK dance-pop single will just miss the Shadoe call when it gets leapfrogged by Hall & Oates and Huey Lewis & the News and goes limp at #41.

85. Henry Lee Summer – Hands On The Radio

This was the third single from HLS’ third album. It’s an ode to the power of the airwaves that can save one’s soul. Well, not all souls, ’cause this debuts at its peak.

92. Sweet Sensation – Never Let You Go

I grew up hearing multiple freestyle artists, mainly female trios, played on the radio so much in the late 80s, I can barely tell any of them apart, let alone distinguish one song from the next. This will be #1 in the Dance clubs, but only reach #58 on the Hot 100.

98. J.J. Fad – Way Out

I really don’t understand why this group was left out of Straight Outta Compton. They were the first artist signed to Ruthless Records, and it’s because of their success that N.W.A. was able to record their debut. I guess no one involved in that film wanted to imply that any females contributed to the rise of Dre, Cube, Eazy-E, and their multi-million careers. This follow-up to their Gold-certified single, Supersonic, will peak at #61.

September 16th, 1989

89. Donna Summer – Love’s About To Change My Heart

The SAW machine giveth and the SAW machine taketh away. This was a big hit on the Dance charts reaching #3 and made the UK Top 20. Here in the States, this single will barely crawl up four spots.

96. Bardeux – I Love To Bass

People credit Nirvana for wiping out all of the schlocky glam metal clogging the charts in the late 80s and early 90s. Dance music really never had that savior, so a song like this was recorded and sold repeatedly over the last thirty years. No doubt, this was created on a Korg Workstation with a drum machine set to the House setting. This one will go bass fishing up to #68.

Fun fact: If you bought the 12″ single, the song title is listed as I Love The Bass.

Through The Doorway Of A Nation

As we start chart week thirty-seven and our review of The Other Sixty, it still looks like most singles are making it in the 40. Some of the ones on this list probably ended where they should. One from the 70s came back to cement its iconic status. Another one will hit #1 almost six years after its debut. Let’s take a look at 1980 up through 1984.

September 13th, 1980

86. Ali Thomson – Live Every Minute

This artist got the Supertramp bump because his brother was in the band. That’s why you might have heard his one hit, Take a Little Rhythm. He was on A&M Records, which is why you probably didn’t hear anything else from them. Seriously, that company’s A&R department was awful. This breezy follow-up missed the Casey call by a notch. Ali recorded an even better album, Deception Is An Art, but it fell into the cut out bins. His first album in almost thirty years was released at the end of last year called Songs From the Playroom.

89. Eddie Money – Running Back

It’s evident that radio wanted Long Islander Eddie to only rock. Any variation from that caused them to lose interest in his stuff. That’s why singles such as the lead release from his third album, Playing For Keeps, will stiff. It’s gonna trip and fall like Michael Douglas at #78.

90. Allman Brothers Band – Angeline

The Southern rock enlightened rogues got back together in 1979 for a trio of albums, which the band considers their “embarrassing” era. Reach For The Sky might not be one of their best albums, but this single was OK, reaching #58. It would drummer Jaimoe’s last album with the band until he rejoined them at the end of the decade.

99. Dynasty – I’ve Just Begun To Love You

I’m not sure why Solar Records needed another group like Shalamar on their roster, but here there are. With Jody, Howard & Jeffrey already established at radio, this LA trio found themselves competing for a spot that was already taken. This slice of dance funk will hit the R&B Top Ten but will be their only chart entry on the Hot 100, peaking at #87.

September 19th, 1981

83. The Temptations – Aiming At Your Heart

I honestly never heard this song before this week.  There are so many lost Temps songs from the late 70s through the 80s. I’m amazed they didn’t give up during this time. It’s not that this single isn’t good, per se. It’s just not befitting a Soul group of their stature and importance. It will barely crack the R&B Top and aim for #67 on the Pop charts.

84. Tarney/Spencer Band – No Time To Lose

Here’s a song by the Australian pop duo Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer whose first attempt at success garnered them a chart entry in May 1979, when it reached #84. The pair had split by the beginning of the 80s, and Alan was working as a producer for Cliff Richard and Leo Sayer. This single gathered renewed interest as its video was played a lot during the first few months of MTV. A&M Records tried to capitalize on this, re-releasing a shorter version of the song. This easily could have been a hit in the weaker 1981 Pop market, but it will only get up to #74. Did I mention A&M Records sucks?

85. Meat Loaf – I’m Gonna Love Her For The Both Of Us

Poor Marvin. By the time ‘ol Loaf got his voice back and finally recorded his follow-up to Bat Out Of Hell, the fire was gone. Jim Steinman was back though, with a new group of songs that go on forever. The album, Dead Ringer, included the original version of Read Em And Weep, which Barry Manilow made a Top 40 hit in 1984. They picked this as the lead single, and even with Meat’s double love, it will only budge one spot. Fear not, devoted fans – he’ll go back to hell well in the 90s and have a huge #1 smash with I‘d Do Anything For Love in 1993.

87. Dolly Parton – The House Of The Rising Sun

For anyone else doing a honky-tonk disco cover of an Animals hit, I’d give them hell. For Dolly, she gets a ain’t that precious? Plus, Mike Post produced her album, and I’m not about to start talking trash about him. This tale of a poor boy’s ruin will stall out at #77.

90. Billy and the Beaters – At This Moment

Billy had been performing and recording since the mid-60s. In fact, he had a Top 40 hit with Judy Clay in 1968 called Country Girl – City Man. In the late 70s, he formed a band called the Beaters in Los Angeles, which ended up with a regular gig playing the Troboudaour every Monday night. Those gigs nabbed them a contract with Alfa Records, and Billy and the boys recorded their debut live at the Roxy in January 1981. The album even gave them a minor hit, I Can Take Care of Myself, which hit #39. This soulful ballad was released as their follow-up but unfortunately only got as high as #79. Billy didn’t have any more chart success in the early 80s. Then a producer for the show Family Ties saw his current band at the time perform this song live and decided it would work as a backdrop for Micahel J. Fox’s character as he went through torture pining for his eventual girlfriend, Ellen (not that one.). The song would be reissued on Rhino Records (yes, that one) and reach #1 for two weeks in early 1987. The moral of the story is if you like what you do, keep doing it. You never know who may be listening to you.

September 18th, 1982

90. Yaz – Situation

After helping to form and then leaving Depeche Mode after one album, Vince Clarke formed his first duo, Yazoo (known as Yaz in the States). This synth-pop twosome featuring the vocals of Alison Moyet, recorded two albums and several classic New Wave singles. This was their first chart entry. It don’t make sense, but it will move out at #73

September 17th, 1983

89. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Old Time Rock N Roll

The former Top 30 hit from 1979 is here for only one reason: Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in his shirt and socks. Because this is what a rich white senior in high school plays when he’s left alone in a house full of booze. This reissue will get as high as #48.

90. The Commodores – Only You

I’m sure his fellow bandmates wished Lionel well on his solo adventures, but I’m also sure they missed the hell out of good songs to sing. This ballad by keyboardist Milan Williams was a valiant effort but lacks the earnest charm of their previous slow numbers. It still worked its way up to #54.

95. Anne Murray – A Little Good News

Anne is still crossing over trying to get back into the Top 40, although by this point, she is primarily a Country artist. This single will go to #1 on the Country charts and receives a little good news on the Hot 100 as it moves up, but only for twenty-one notches.

September 15th, 1984

89. Mtume – You, Me & He

I’m not going to use this space to talk about how Juicy Fruit should have been a bigger snash at Pop radio, but damn, it should have. It also bought Reggie Lucas and James Mtume another chart entry, the lesser but still smooth title track from their new album. It will reach #2 on the R&B charts, but stall on the Hot 100, only climbing six more steps before the menage a trois gets busted up.

90. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Bullish

Herb was having trouble keeping his success going after Rise hit #1 in 1979. So he had a great idea: try to sell his synth exploits and trumpet noodling to the Boomer audience by putting the old easy listening band back together. It didn’t work. It debuts at its peak. I can’t help but think this title is missing a T. A&M Records, folks.

94. Krokus – Midnite Maniac

Nothing sounds as metal as a Swiss band named their group after a pretty flower. Their eighth album, The Blitz, produced their first US chart single. Alas, it will die like a plant under the winter snow at #71.

Moving Out In All Directions

We’re gonna finish up our review of The Other Sixty by taking a look at the back end of the decade. So let’s see what didn’t make it during chart week thirty-six from 1984 up through 1989.

September 8th, 1984

82. Jefferson Starship – Layin’ It On The Line

Just as soon as JS released their album, Nuclear Furniture, member Paul Kantner left. They had one Top 40 hit, No Way Out, but by the release of this follow-up, it was like working a store during a going-out-of-business sale. This will lay down at #66. But in exactly one year from now, a new group with half of the name will be debuting their latest single on the Hot 100, which will be the first of three #1 singles that they’ll amass in the late 80s.

85. Honeymoon Suite – New Girl Now

The first single from the Ontario, Canada quintet’s debut hits the Hot 100 like a heart-shaped tub full of champagne and roses. It will get lots of rock airplay but will stall out at #57.

87. Vanity – Pretty Mess

Here’s another artist from the Niagara Falls area. Vanity dropped the 6, which meant dropping two people, and started her solo career in the wake of Purple Rain. She was up for the lead, but after a falling out with Prince, she concentrated on singing, focusing really hard. This was written and co-produced by her, but it will live up to its title at #75.

89. Maria Vidal – Body Rock

Here’s a former Rouge singer, the trio that backed up Desmond Child as well as Gilda Radner on Gilda Live. She’s here to sing the title track to an awful breakdancing movie starring Lorenzo Lamas. Somehow this dance track will spin all the way up to #48.

September 7th, 1985

90. Natalie Cole – A Little Bit Of Heaven

Natalie continues to work on her 80s comeback, but this ballad is not going to do the trick. She’ll get there in just a few more years, but for now, tracks like this will turn into a little bit of hell at #81.

92. Depeche Mode – Master And Servant

By the time of their fourth album, Some Great Reward, principal songwriter Martin Gore was becoming a master of writing bouncy synth-pop tunes with a dark, foreboding edge. Not many people can make a song about bondage so catchy. But with a title like this, it didn’t stand a chance at Pop radio. That’s why it moved up five spots and whipped itself away.

94. Talking Heads – And She Was

How does such a great pop song by an established group with a high rotation video not make the Top 40? I know it was not David Byrne’s intention to write a song about how it must feel the moment a woman realizes she’s pregnant. But I’ve heard from lots of women that this is what they believe the song to be about. It will spend as many weeks on the Hot 100 as Burning Down the House, a #9 smash, but will peak forty-six spots lower.

September 13th, 1986

89. Five Star – Can’t Wait Another Minute

Here we have the Pearson 5, a group of five siblings from Essex, England, doing their best to break their act in the States. All they managed was four chart singles and a mention in Eddie Murphy’s Raw. This was their best showing, a Top 10 hit in the UK and the US R&B charts, with a #41 zenith on the Pop charts.

September 12th, 1987

82. Taja Sevelle – Love Is Contagious

Here’s an artist that released her debut on the Paisley Park label, but featured minimal input from Prince. He only writes two songs on the album, and this isn’t one of them. That might be why this ballad failed on both the Soul & Pop charts. Her only chart entry will reach #62. Taja will move on to becoming a songwriter, author, and humanitarian.

94. Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

Suzanne had a breakout hit, Luka, from her second album, Solitude Standing, which was even better than her accomplished debut released two years prior. She released the title track as the follow-up and is unfairly debuting at its peak.

95. Newcity Rockers – Rev It Up

This Boston quartet was already delivered to us a useless cover of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. For the second act, they perform a version of a song released by the Scandanavian hard rock band, Treat. This one is not, and it revs down at #86.

Fun Fact: Guitarist Cliff Goodwin played with Joe Cocker from the late 70s to the mid-80s.

September 10th, 1988

95. Depeche Mode – Strangelove

After three chart entries from Music For The Masses, all members of the Other Sixty, DM’s US record label asked them for a remix of their lead single. They rearranged it a bit, slowed it down, and released it as a single, more than a year after the original charted. This will will do better, reaching #50, and it’s the version that is most played, although I prefer the original.

[I had to go back and add this one after the post published. Thanks again to victorvector.]

98. Paul Carrack – Button Off My Shirt

Not sure why radio gave up on Paul’s third album, One Good Reason. There’s a lot of great radio-ready singles on it, including this one. It won’t be able to escape the 90s, peaking at #91. Ronnie Milsap recorded a cover of this tune for his Heart & Soul LP, and it will hit #4 on the Country charts while this single debuts on the Hot 100.

September 9th, 1989

74. Vesta – Congratulations

Vesta Williams already racked up four Top 40 hits on the Soul charts before she charted with he only Hot 100 entry. This ballad is the same vein as Fred Knoblock’s Why Not Me, in that Vesta is giving someone well wishes at their wedding all the while wishing she was the bride. The cheers will end at #55.

77. Christopher Williams – Talk To Myself

Man, this dude was really after that Bobby Brown money. This New Jack jam sounds so much like My Prerogative, I’m surprised someone’s lawyers didn’t get a call. This Top 5 Soul smash will go quiet on the Pop charts at #49.

Fun fact: Christopher is Ella Fitzgerald’s nephew.

95. Paul McCartney – This One

Flowers In The Dirt wasn’t just a return to favor for Macca. I think it’s one of his best albums, and there were lots of songs that could have been follow-up singles to My Brave Face. Capitol chose this one, and it will utterly stiff at #94.

96. Texas – I Don’t Want A Lover

Formed out of the ashes of Hipsway, here’s a pop quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, led by Shaleen Spiteri. This was the debut single from their first album, Southside. It will only reach #77 and become their only chart entry. But the band has had tremendous success in the UK and is still doing it after thirty years.

A Coin Into The Good Luck Pond

Chart week thirty-six is another light week for The Other Sixty. That said, this group is filled with classics representing just about every genre you would expect from 1980 through 1983, minus some New Wave. Let’s review.

September 6th, 1980

84. Genesis – Turn It On Again

From the Phil Collins Divorce Files comes another post-first wife track. But rather than talk about what a harlot she was, Phil the Shill sings about his loneliness and horniness. He also needs help with his pick up lines, because can I touch you for a while probably only works if there’s a money exchange happening. They played this so much back then, and since on rock radio, I’m shocked that someone hit the switch at #58. Also, this is the first song I learned to play on the drums.

98. Kurtis Blow – The Breaks (Part 1)

The former DJ turned MC was rap’s first superstar. Capitalizing on the Sugarhill Gang’s success earlier in the year, Kurtis released his debut and this classic hip-hop jam. [For context’s sake, Kurtis actually released Christmas Rappin’ on a 12″ record in 1979 a few months after Rapper’s Delight]. Rather than use samples, the music was recorded live by musicians, including jazz player John Tropea on guitar and T-Bone Wolk on bass, who’d go on to play with Hall & Oates throughout the 80s. It was the first rap record to go Gold and will hit the R&B Top 5. That it charted on the Hot 100 at #87 was indeed a success as well.

September 12th, 1981

88. The Carpenters – (Want You) Back In My Life Again

Here is the follow-up to the Karen & Richard’s final Top 40 hit, Touch Me When We’re Dancing. This song and its structure sound so close to the Pointer Sisters’ He’s So Shy, I would have sued writers Chris Christian and Kerry Chater. I think these two were dealing with other stuff at that time. Nevertheless, it will stall out #72.

89. Van Stephenson – You’ve Got A Good Love Coming

This bluesy little number was Van’s first appearance on the Hot 100, even though he had written a Top 10 Country hit for Crystal Gayle in 1979 called Your Kisses Will. From his debut, China Girl, this single will stop coming at #79.

90. Ronnie Laws – Stay Awake

Saxophonist Ronnie was laying down laws like Alan Kopit. But he wouldn’t stop it even if he thought he wouldn’t make a profit. Uh. His only chart hit, released from his sixth album, Solid Ground,  would make the R&B Top 20 even as it fell asleep here at #60. Personally, I prefer the album before this one, Every Generation.

91. West Street Mob – Let’s Dance (Make Your Body Move)

Here’s a trio who released their first album on the Sugarhill Records label, but it was not rap but rather electro-funk. It helped that member Joey Robinson was label head Sylvia Robinson’s son. This single boogied up to #18 on the R&B chart, but only moved up three spots on the Hot 100. There was also an uptick in cardboard sales.

September 11th, 1982

81. Robert Plant – Burning Down One Side

This was the first solo chart single from the leader of the freshly defunct band, Led Zeppelin. His debut, Pictures At Eleven featured Phil Collins drumming on most songs, including this one. And now you know why he played Bonham in the Live Aid movie. It got a lot of Rock airplay, ut eventually collapsed after hitting #64.

89. Bobby Caldwell – All Of My Love

This is a guy who is a living testament to the phrase “big in Japan.” Folks over there call him Mr. AOR. In his native country, we only know him by his one and only hit, What You Won’t Do For Love, though he has maintained a following from Westcoast enthusiasts, such as myself. This was the lead single for his third album, Carry On, which featured most of the players in Toto as well as the Tower of Power horns. This will be his last chart hit when it reaches #77, although he’ll return as a songwriter four years later with the #1 smash, The Next Time I Fall.

90. Michael Stanley Band – When I’m Holding You Tight

This was the lead single from this Cleveland, OH sextet’s, and one of Drew Carey’s favorite bands’ eighth album, MSB. By adding a saxophonist to the group, they started to edge their way towards some of that Journey money, but never quite got there. This single will peak #78.

September 10th, 1983

86. Herbie Hancock – Rockit

Man, everyone lost their mind over this Godley & Creme-produced video. It helped to turn this jazz keyboardist, who was playing with Miles in the early 60s, on to a whole new generation. As Herbie moved from fusion into electro-funk with the help of his Fairlight CMI, this single became more infamous than famous, as it only hit #71, even though it went Gold. It would be a Top 10 hit in the UK and eventually win him a Grammy for R&B instrumental

88. Crystal Gayle – Baby What About You

Crystal’s crossover days were coming to an end, just like her trips to the hair salon. Written by Josh Leo and Wendy Waldman, this midtempo ballad will be another Country #1 for Miss Gayle but will flounder at #83 Pop.

89. Jarreau – Trouble In Paradise

How about a little Westcoast jazz from Milwaukee’s famous Al? No, not this guy, I mean, Al Jarreau. His third single from his Jarreau LP will scat up to #63, but it will be a Top 10 AC hit.

90. Eddie Rabbitt – You Put The Beat In My Heart

Crystal’s former duet partner is debuting two spots below her with a track that was recorded for and released from his Greatest Hits Vol. II album. It will be yet another Country smash, hitting #10, but his last Hot 100 entry will only get up to #81.

The Excuses Everybody Uses

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We’re gonna wrap up our review of The Other Sixty by taking a look at the back end of the decade – 1984 to 1989. Let’s what missed out during chart week thirty-five.

September 1st, 1984

85. Everly Brothers – On The Wings Of A Nightingale

Seventeen years after their last chart hit –  Bowling Green, which peaked at #40 – Don & Phil get back together one more time on an original song written by Paul McCartney. I assume he was just trying to give something back. Produced by Dave Edmunds, this very catchy song still had its wings clipped at #50. They would release two more albums together in the 80s.

89. Ralph MacDonald featuring Bill Withers – In The Name Of Love

Bill Withers was pretty much done with the music. He released one more album in 1985, and the retired, like for real, retired, stopped working, enjoyed life and his family. When buddy Ralph, who had co-written Just The Two Of Us, asked Bill for a favor for his Universal Rhythm album, Bill agreed to sing lead on the sweet soulful ballad. It will stall at #58, but reach #13 on the Soul charts.

August 31st, 1985

76. El DeBarge with  DeBarge – You Wear It Well

Uh-oh. What’s with the double billing? Looks like someone’s being groomed for a solo career. In reality, the Rhythm Of The Night LP didn’t have much use for El’s siblings, using them as occasional background singers. So the billing is apt. I remember El showing up The Facts Of Life to sing this song with the girls showing how disposable the rest of the family is by stepping in for them as singers. [Check out George Clooney diggin’ it in the corner.] It’s pretty good for synth dance-pop, but the groove gets worn out at #46.

88. Maurice White – Stand By Me

The leader of the best funk groups of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire, get his highest-charting solo single on the Hot 100 with a groovy cover of the Ben E. King classic from 1961. The land will get dark at #50. Guess folks really prefer the original cause Ben will show back up in the Top 10 with it one year from now.

90. The Romantics – Test Of Time

The Romantics switched out drummers for their fourth release, Rhythm Romance, settled into a steady set of potent power pop. This is a great single, but not the explosive lead off that they needed. Still, it should have climber higher than #71. It will be their last chart hit.

93. Oingo Boingo – Weird Science

Believe it or not, this is the first chart entry for this L.A. New Wave octet, and it’s their best showing. Released as the title track to the Anthony Michael Hall/ Kelly LeBrock film, it will also be included on the group’s fifth album, Dead Man’s Party. Their creation will only reach #45.

September 6th, 1986

81. Chicago – 25 Or 6 To 4

What? Why? I think we’re all searching for something to say after hearing this. Chicago decided the best way to usher in a new era without Peter Cetera in the band was to tear down their history. Thankfully this heavily overproduced cover of their 1970 Top 5 smash will do that much damage crashing at #48. But from here on out, it will be mushy ballad city for these guys.

91. John Fogerty – Eye Of The Zombie

John caps off his welcome mid-80s comeback with another album that was not as inviting as Centerfield was. The production had too much reverb and synth drums for me, and it ruins even the bones of a good song like this. This one does the Thriller dance up to #81 before losing an arm. His next album, Blue Moon Swamp in 1997, was a great return to favor.

All of the debuts from 1987 made the Top 40. Bully for them. Let’s move on.

September 3rd, 1988

86. Jane Wiedlin – Inside A Dream

Jane follows up her only Top 40 hit, Rush Hour, with another pop confection which could have easily followed it in. The future Joan of Arc will not be as lucky as this wakes up at #57.

90. Book Of Love – Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls

How exactly do two people with the last name of Ottaviano meet up, form a band, and remain unrelated? I don’t buy it. I think it’s some dumb press release blurb that no one’s denied. Anyway, this Philly synth quartet gets their only chart hit with this synth disco number, which was a reflection of the safe sex-AIDS era. It was hot in the clubs, but here, it debuts at its peak.

93. Holly Knight – Heart Don’t Fail Me Now

This will be the fourth different time Holly has appeared on the Hot 100 – as the lead singer of Spider, Device, a songwriter and now a solo star. She brings Daryl Hall with her to sing backing vocals on this moody mid-tempo pop ditty, but all she has to show for it is a heart failure at #59.

94. 10,000 Maniacs – What’s The Matter Here?

I had been rockin’ the In My Tribe album since the summer before this single debuts here. It addresses the issue of child abuse with very frank but fair lyrics. Produced by Peter Asher, it’s one of my favorites on the album, but it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Rather than beating around the bush, as Suzanne Vega does on Luka, this one directly talks about the cuts and sores that don’t heal with time. Pop radio prefers metaphors and similes, so this one won’t get any higher than #80.

September 2nd, 1989

93.  Kon Kan – Puss N Boots/These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

After nabbing a leftfield hit with I Beg Your Pardon, this Toronto duo decided to mash up a little Led Zeppelin and Nancy Sinatra, but no Adam Ant. This hip-hop-inspired dance track will not get automatic airtime in the States and will do some walkin’ off the charts after hitting #58.

The Solution Right Before Your Eyes

The thirty-fifth chart week is even lighter this week than last. So congrats to all who got above #41. For those that didn’t, let us review you now as we start with 1980 and continue through 1983.

August 30th, 1980

77. Chic – Rebels Are We

The Disco backlash had a significant impact on Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, with its racist overtones and aggressive exclusions. No longer would they pander to a Pop audience. They could write hits in their sleep. Their latest was at #2, poised to make a five-week run for Diana Ross. For their band, though, they made the music that they wanted to make, and you can hear that shift with the Real People LP.  This was the first single, a chewy slice of disco funk with a splash of rock attitude. Soul stations pushed it up to the R&B Top 10, but their Yoda-like proclamation will stall out at #61 on the Pop charts.

81. Deliverance – Leaving L.A.

This quintet will not make you squeal like a pig.  Actually, their sound is of the Westcoast soft rock variety with sprinkles of Christian pop. Led by a trio of brothers from the Janz family, these fellows moved from Calgary to Germany and released three albums before their fourth produced their only chart entry. With a Lee Oskar-sounding harmonica intro, this single will take flight, reach #56 before its exit.

82. Teddy Pendergrass – Can’t We Try

The first single from Teddy’s fourth album, TP, was also featured on the soundtrack to Roadie. This sultry ballad will be another big hit on the R&B charts reaching #3. But Pop radio resisted having their stations TP’d, and this will stall at #52.

88. The Kinks – Lola (live)

Not sure what the thinking was in releasing a ten-year-old former Top 10 as a single from their live album, One For The Road. Maybe it was just to introduce this song to a younger audience. Or Arista Records was trying to make money on The Kinks earlier works. This will have a quick sip of coca-cola at #81 before it splits. And then there’s this.

89. Amii Stewart and Johnny Bristol – My Guy/My Girl (medley)

I like the concept, but the execution doesn’t work. The producer takes two Motown classics and suffocates them under a clunky synth and drum machine arrangement. It will effectively end the chart careers for both involved when this medley reaches #63.

September 5th, 1981

79. Larry Graham – Just Be My Lady

Everyone’s favorite funky Jehovah’s Witness is back with his synth oboe for another wedding ballad. This will be his last chart hit at #67, which will give him more time to knock on doors and convert others such as Prince.

84. Herb Alpert – Magic Man

Herb hooks up the drum machines and synths one more time for the first single, the title track, from his new album. It will make the R&B Top 40, but the magic will run on the Hot 100 at #79. Herb will reappropriate this lick for his performance on Double’s Devil’s Ball in 1987.

87. Devo – Working In A Coal Mine

From the Heavy Metal soundtrack, we get the masters of de-evolution with something that’s neither heavy nor metal. It’s a cover of an Allen Toussaint song that Lee Dorsey turned into a Top 10 hit in 1966. This synthesizer version will just miss the Casey call when the mine collapses at #43. Oh no, where’s Timothy?

September 4th, 1982

79. Sheena Easton – Machinery

How ironic is it that Sheena is singing a song about hating being part of the machinery with a song that sounds like she’s a part of the machinery? Nothing from her album, Music, Money & Madness, made the Top 40, but thankfully she’d rebound in 1983. The cogs get jammed at #57.

85. The Motels – Take The L

Before you wonder why this L.A. band is talking about riding the train around Chicago, that is not what this song is about. Take the L out of lover, and you have over. Pretty tricky, huh? It will make its last stop at #52.

89. Alabama – Close Enough To Perfect

Alabama was the Country act of the 80s, nabbing four Top 40 hits out of seven crossover chart entries. Each one was a #1 Country smash. From their album, Mountain Music, this ballad will get close enough to #65.

September 3rd, 1983

82. Donna Summer – Unconditional Love

Donna was in the middle of a contract with Geffen Records but somehow still owed Casablanca Records one more album (It would actually get released on Mercury Records who absorbed them.) So she records She Works Hard For The Money, and it becomes her biggest hit of the decade. I love that story. This was her follow-up, a collaboration with the five-boy group, Musical Youth. Both were riding high in 1983, which is puzzling why this song stalled out at #43.

87. Kansas – Fight Fire With Fire

The once-successful 70s band was adrift by the mid-80s, no doubt abetted by various personnel changes and the disappearance of Robbie Steinhardt’s violin. Their music was officially corporate rock indistinguishable from other AOR bands. This single from Drastic Measures burned up to #58 before turning to ashes.

88. Bette Midler – All I Need To Know

No diss to Bette, but it’s hard to listen to her sing this knowing that Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville gave it the perfect reading it deserved. Bill Medley tried a few years prior, and it wasn’t the same either. Maybe the magic came in changing the title to Don’t Know Much? This one will die like a rose in winter at #77.

90. Liquid Gold – What’s She Got

This British quartet had a few EuroDisco hits in the late 70s and early 80s, including Dance Yourself Dizzy and Substitute. They hit #45 in the US with My Baby’s Baby. After a few scarce years, they changed their sound, leaning more into a New Wave dance vibe and aimed again at the US market. On a more prominent label, it might have reached higher than #86. It did also chart on the R&B Hot 100 at #52.

95. Big Ric – Take Away

There’s not much out there about this pop-rock quartet from L.A. They did manage to chart with this one hit about the travails of divorce proceedings, but it will only move up four notches before going away. I always look for this one album while I crate dig. One day it will be mine. Also, keyboardist Kevin DeSimone did a one-off album with James Jolis in 1979 called Jolis and Simone, which featured a handful of great WestCoast pop, such as Midnight Lady.

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