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