A Way To Talk Around The Problem

Let’s finish up our review of The Other Sixty from chart week thirty-nine with a look at who fell short in 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989.

October 4th, 1986

91. Billy Squier – Love Is The Hero

Bill tries to resuscitate his flagging career with a new album, Enough Is Enough, and this, the leadoff single. It sounds like a song that Queen would throw away, and having Freddie Mercury singing backup just accentuates that point. Love will turn into a meatball sub at #80.

93. Far Corporation – Stairway To Heaven

Here’s the single that you absolutely needed but just didn’t realize it. Just kidding. No one needs to hear Stairway any more than we need a cover version by a group with corporation in its title. Nor do we need one by producer Frank “Milli Vanilli” Farian. Somehow he got members of Toto, including former singer Bobby Kimball to play on this project, so the guy must have had some dynamite coke. The hedgerow stops bustling at #89.

96. R.E.M. – Fall On Me

This Athens, GA quartet released its fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, with this song as their first single and one of my faves of theirs. Even though this single would fall after a #94 zenith, it was a big step forward for the band, garnering more fans, critical praise, and setting up the future success they would have with Document.

October 3rd, 1987

78. The Hooters – Satellite

This was the second single from the Philly quintet’s third album, One Way Home, about the correlation of televangelists preaching about how they’re God’s servant, while the transmission literally beams down from the sky to your TV. This was a breakthrough hit for them all over Europe, but Pop radio turned its back on this song, and it crashed at #61.

October 1st, 1988

90. Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout A Revolution

The revolution will never be loud, brash, and quick. It will be quiet, subtle, and happen over time. This was the song that garnered a recording contract for Tracy, and I can’t for the life of me understand its #75 peak, especially as the follow-up to her Top 10 hit, Fast Car. It will become a big hit for her in Europe, though.

94. Transvision Vamp – Tell That Girl To Shut Up

Here’s the only US chart entry for this UK quintet, a cover of a 1981 Holly & the Italian’s New Wave single that these folks dip in sugar. This faux-punk track will get silenced at #87.

98. Night Ranger – I Did It For Love

I’m sure these guys wanted to be a part of the Glam metal scene or at least its rewards, but it wasn’t gonna happy with this uninspired power ballad. It was the leadoff single from their album Man In Motion, but even Rick Hansen would have rolled over these guys. The future lies in a #75 high.

100. Britny Fox – Long Way To Love

This is our third and final entry of the 1980s at #100. Sixty notches would be a long way to travel for this Philly hair metal quartet. Unfortunately, this generic rocker debuts at its peak.

September 30th, 1989

89. Donny Osmond – Hold On

Donny had a #2 hit this year, Soldier Of Love, thirteen years after his last Top 40, C’mon Marianne. He wore out his welcome fast with lame-ass New Jack-lite tracks like this, that try to sound important by dialing the reverb on the snare drum up to 1000. We all let go at #73.

93. The Cult – Edie (Ciao Baby)

Was this ever used in a Francesco Rinaldi commercial, or am I dreaming that up? I see songs like this as music for folks who want to hear grunge music but don’t know it yet. Not that the Cult was grunge, but there’s a short line that can be drawn from this to say, Alice In Chains. It debuts at its peak.

94. Giant – I’m A Believer

The first chart single from the Nashville quartet led by Dan & David Huff is not a Monkees cover, but an original that’s not half bad, even with the blustery guitar intro. It did try to sneak through the hair metal door, but that got shut on them at #56. Their second single was the power ballad I’ll See You In My Dreams. In 1990, that was allowed in all the way up to #20.

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