Passion Runs Where Passion Kills

We are wrapping up chart week forty-one with a group of mostly forgotten singles with a few exceptions. Let’s review The Other Sixty from  1987 up to 1989.

October 17th, 1987

88. Kool & The Gang – Special Way

We’ve come a long way from Jungle Boogie, or for that matter, from Celebration. But now it’s the end of the line as this becomes their last chart hit, after 23 Top 40 hits, 12 Top 10s, and 1 #1. The acoustic ballad will climb up to #72.

89. Living In A Box – So The Story Goes

In the UK soulful white boy derby that was happening in the late 80s, I way preferred this trio over folks like Rick Astley. Maybe because these guys wore suits and acted serious rather than some goofy Howdy Doody moppet. As I started to look backward by the end of the decade, companies like Rhino Records would make this point moot. Until then, I’d be pissed that this song wouldn’t rise any higher than #81.

Fun fact: The video features actress Maryam D’abo, who had just appeared in the Bond film, The Living Daylights.

90. Big Trouble – Crazy World

In the 80s, television executive Fred Silverman formed a company to sell TV shows to networks rather than run them. This became so successful he decided to expand his brand into music and assembled a group of women to be the next pop sensation. This quartet of ladies was molded in the vein of The Monkees, although they had no TV show to promote them and they were allowed to play their own instruments. It was an inorganic dance Pop version of The Bangles, and if you blinked, you would have missed their one album and only chart single. Imagine what Josie & the Pussycats would’ve sounded like in 1987, and there you have this #71 single.

October 15th, 1988 

84. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band – Jealous Guy

1998 saw the release of the John Lennon documentary, Imagine, which I went to see in the theatres. It was narrated by John via various interview bits strung together, and it provided a stark contrast to Albert Goldman’s book, The Lives Of John Lennon, which portrayed John as a violent, ill-tempered jealous guy. John wasn’t perfect, but he’s also not the dick everyone makes him out to be. I’m not sure why they decided to release this cut from his 1973 Imagine LP because it plays up the negative image. [Also, I prefer Roxy Music’s version.] It will be his last Hot 100 entry and reach #80.

91. Gardner Cole – Live It Up

After many tries, Gardner nabbed a hit with a song he wrote, Open Your Heart which Madonna took up to #1 in early 1987. That allowed Gardner a chance to dig up new tracks for a solo album to show what else he could do, which was not much. This dance-pop single debuts at its peak. He will go on to co-write the hits, Another Lover for Giant Steps and Everything by Jody Watley.

92. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Peek-A-Boo

You can tell that Modern rock was slowly creeping into the mainstream when a group like this charts on the Hot 100. From their ninth album, Peepshow, this oddball track would be the lead single and sounds like a marching band led by all goth members. This Top 20 UK smash will blink its way up to #53.

94. Romeo’s Daughter – Don’t Break My Heart

Here’s the only chart single for this UK hard rock quartet who still performs today. If it reminds one of a female-led Def Leppard, that’s because they were both produced by Mutt Lange. Unfortunately that pedigree didn’t help its chart status and this broken heart will be stranded at #73.

95. Jon Astley – Put This Love To The Test

Producer Jon Astley gets another chance to record a solo album after 1987’s Everyone Loves The Pilot (Except the Crew). The Compleat Angler was released in 1988, with this wry track as the lead single. It will reach the Top 5 on the Modern Rock charts but only #74 on the Hot 100. Both of his albums are out of print and hard to find, but worth the journey to do so.

97. The Fat Boys – Louie Louie

This portly hip-hop trio decided to run the rap covers of oldies theme entirely in the ground with this one. But hey, who hasn’t done a version of this? This rite-of-passage will climb to #89 and then catch a ship across the sea.

October 14th, 1989

80. Regina Belle – Baby Come To Me

Regina continues to build her R&B fan base and has her first #1 Soul single with this sultry ballad. It will also become a Top 10 AC hit, but Pop programming was splintering into many factions and Top 40 radio was beginning to take sides. They made room for Anita, so why couldn’t a Quiet Storm jam like this only get onto a few playlists and peak at #60?

94. Jaya – If You Leave Me Now

Freestyle music was beginning to peak and in a short time would disappear from Pop radio or at least evolve into a different form. Jaya had a been child performer in her native Philippines before moving with her mom to the States in the mid-80s. This single will be her biggest success here, just missing out on the Shadoe call at #44.

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