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


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