Why We Waste Our Lives Here

It’s chart week forty-one, and we’re smack dab in the middle of the decade. Let’s review the Other sixty from 1984 to 1986.

October 13th, 1984

81. KISS – Heaven’s On Fire

I don’t know if they intentionally made the dumbest rock songs ever recorded, but I also can’t tell if they were serious. They also had a Spinal Tap-like revolving door of lead guitarists, and this was Mark St. John’s only appearance. This Desmond Child co-write will ascend to #49.

84. Stephanie Mills – The Medicine Song

Stephanie Mills as my doctor? Yes, please. I’m feeling sick with something. I might even need an overnight stay. Wait, what do you mean that doesn’t go towards my deductible? The lead song from her ninth album, I’ve Got The Cure, was produced by Rufus’ Hawk Wolinski and will be Stephanie’s first #1 Dance hit. It will also reach the R&B Top 10 and the UK Top 30 but will have its insurance rejected at #65.

85. Roger Hodgson – Had A Dream (Sleeping with The Enemy)

Roger left Supertramp in 1983, and neither party was better for it. This singer/ songwriter/ guitarist/ keyboardist still created a strong catalog of solo albums, although they haven’t been all that successful. This song was his biggest hit in America. Featuring drums by former Santana member Michael Shrieve, it will wake up at #48.

88. Al Jarreau – After All

After two successful albums on the Pop charts, his 1984 affair, High Crime, saw a decline in sales. With his usual West Coast jazz cohorts backing him up, Al took this ballad only up to #69, but it became a staple of his live shows.

90. Jeffrey Osborne – Don’t Stop

Jeffrey had a much bigger solo career on the Pop charts than he did as a drummer for L.T.D. His third album, Don’t Stop, produced by George Duke, was certified Gold within three months of its release. The title track was the first single, and although it graced many aerobic workout playlists, it actually stopped at #44.

92. Band Of Gold – Love Songs Are Back Again (medley)

The Dutch are at it again, reselling our musical history back to us. This time, rather than a medley sitting on top of a preset disco beat, they recruited producer Pete Wingfield to have session musicians sing a group 70s Soul ballads. It comes off like a bargain basement Vegas act or something that might play the Colonie Hill on Long Island. It also reminds me of this Richard Jeni bit. A #64 high. Try the veal.

October 12th, 1985

84. Wang Chung – To Live And Die In L.A.

After nabbing two Top 40 hits in 1984, including the ubiquitous Dance Hall Days, this UK duo packed their bags for sunny California to score a new William Peterson/ Willem Defoe film, produced by William Friedkin. That takes a lot of will. The atmospheric title track will just miss the Casey call, getting stuck at #41 as it’s leapfrogged by Jellybean and Billy Ocean.

85. Katrina & The Waves – Que Te Quiero

This single was released on the group’s debut in 1983. It was added to their US debut album in 1985 and released as the third single. The title roughly translates to that I love you, but there was no love shared for this 45, which only made it to #71.

88. Kenny Loggins – I’ll Be There

When Kenny isn’t scoring movie themes, he’s feeling the West Coast vibes. For the third single from Vox Humana, he teams up with El  Debarge to help him sing vocals on the chorus. Co-produced with David Foster, it takes a smooth ride nowhere as it unfairly debuts at its peak.

89. Ratt – You’re In Love

Here’s the follow-up to the L.A. quartet’s second Top 40 hit, Lay It Down. This one joins Kenny, debuting at its peak and splitting after two weeks.

October 18th, 1986

80. Elton John – Heartache All Over The World

The Captain released nine studio albums and one live album in the 80s. Leather Jackets was the only long play that did not generate a Top 40 hit and is considered one of his worst albums. But if you think this song, which is chock full of pop hooks, didn’t deserve to go any higher than #55, you are living in denial.

90. Stacy Lattisaw – Nail It To The Wall

Stacy moved over to Motown for her eighth album and scored her biggest R&B smash since her cover of Love On A Two- Way Street when it climbs to #4. Produced by Jellybean Benitez, this Top 5 Dance hit will only reach #48 on the Hot 100 and be her last chart entry.

93. James Brown – Gravity

After the Godfather’s surprise Top 10 hit, Living In America earlier in the year, he’s back with one more chart entry. It will be his 107th and last appearance on the Hot 100 as it debuts at its peak. This Top 30 R&B hit will be his 111th appearance on the Soul Hot 100, thirty years after hitting #1 with Try Me.

94. Bad Company – This Love

This band had six Top 40 hits in the 70s, three in the 90s, and zero in the 80s. The group, named after a Jeff Bridges film, was now led by Mick Ralphs as Paul Rodgers was busy with The Firm. With lead vocals by ex-Nugent vocalist Brian Howe, this faceless tune will stiff at #85.

98. Bananarama – More Than Physical

This fun-loving trio of women follow-up their smash version of The Shocking Blue’s 1970 hit, Venus, with another Stock Aiken Waterman production. That means tons of handclaps, synths, and a drum machine turned up as fast as you can dance to it. We know that the SAW team is made up of musical thieves, and for this track, they rip off the bass line of A Taste of Honey’s Boogie Oogie Oogie. This Top 5 club hit is too cool to boogie on the Pop charts and flatlines at #73.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.