We’ve got two more months of reviewing The Other Sixty from the 80s as we slide into chart week forty-four. Most of the debuts climbed into the Top 40 in the decade’s first half. So we’re going to look at 1980 up thru 1985.
November 1st, 1980
Billy was born into a musical family as his dad, Dorsey, and uncle Johnny were singers in the early rock era. He got into the business as a youngun himself, and by 1980, he was on his fourth solo album. This single was a mix of rockabilly and power pop, the type of tunes that Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds were dishing out at the time. Unfortunately, a loud no was given at #68. Billy will be a part of Fleetwood Mac from 1987 to 1995 when most folks didn’t care about the band.
November 7th, 1981
Even as their songwriting for other artists continued to pay dividends, their personal fortunes were considerably waning in the States. This midtempo single, their follow-up to their #30 hit, He’s A Liar, will be the title track to their 1981 album. The backlash will still be pretty strong against which accounts for this #45 showing. It will be their first single to miss the Top 40 since Mr. Natural in 1974.
Throughout their career, The Moodies would fall off the map and then reappear with new hits. Long Distance Voyager was yet another comeback for them, netting them two Top 20 smashes, Gemini Dream, and The Voice. This was the third single from the album. Written and sung by bassist John Lodge, this ballad would only have a#60 zenith.
One Zapp in, and Roger’s going solo. Actually, this was a project initially funded by George Clinton. But as Warner Bros got involved, they cut out Dr. Funkenstein and released The Many Facets of Roger by themselves, featuring members of the Troutman family backing him up. This Motown cover will get the talkbox treatment and end up as the second version to hit the R&B #1 after Marvin Gaye. It will cross over to the Hot 100 but will only peak at #79.
November 6th, 1982
Bill Conti hit #1 in 1997 with Gonna Fly Now, his iconic theme to the film Rocky. He has scored lots of other movies, including The Karate Kid, For Your Eyes Only, and The Right Stuff, for which he won an Oscar. This will be his second and final chart appearance with the theme to the ABC nighttime soap, Dynasty. Truth be told, I couldn’t hum this tune if you put a gun to my head (please don’t). Just the sheer popularity of the show drove this all the way up to #52.
One of the most influential heavy metal of all time never had a chance to reap those rewards on the Hot 100. No Hell Bent for Leather. No Breaking The Law. This was it, their only charting single from their eighth album, Screaming For Vengeance, which will top out at #67. In 1990, they were also subjected to one of the most notorious and ridiculous lawsuits in musical history.
November 5th, 1983
It’s hard to have a Top 40 hit with a song called Allergies, but Paul almost pulled it off, sneezing all the way to #44 with a sweet guitar solo by Al Di Meola. This was the lead single from his album, Hearts And Bones, which originally was recorded as a new Simon and Garfunkel LP that didn’t pan out. It features one of my favorites of his Train In The Distance. Critics panned the recording at the time, but most of them are idiots towing a company line.
British rock band Rainbow had seven Top 40 hits in the UK, including a few Top 10s, but barely squeaked one here in the States as Stone Cold reached #40 in 1982. This was their last chart hit in the US from their seventh album, Bent Out Of Shape, and it will top out at #60.
After seven straight Top 40 hits, Juice feels the squeeze and runs dry with her title track follow-up to her Zombies cover, Tell Her No. The mirror will crack at #90.
November 3rd, 1984
Now that frontman Peter Wolf is no longer in the band, the rest of the band tries to carry out without him. That will prove to be impossible and ill-advised. You’re Getting Even While I’m Getting Odd is a sad affair and doesn’t even sound like the same group that did Centerfold three years earlier. This single goes lights out at #63.
William Broad’s second album, Rebel Yell, yielded him two Top 40 hits, Eyes Without a Face and Flesh For Fantasy, as well as the New Wave classic title track. This was the fourth single released from the long play and will rise to #50 before a long fall.
Laura’s third single from her Self Control album dips back into la pozzo again for another single initially recorded by Umberto Tozzi. This ballad will not scale the same heights as Gloria, only reaching #55.
November 2nd, 1985
Ruth, June, and Anita’s follow-up to Dare Me is a rare ballad from this trio now known for their upbeat dance-pop. It will make the R&B Top 30 but only play around up to #59.
Fun fact: Bonnie Pointer’s first single, Free Me From My Freedom, reached #58 in 1979.
This Boston teen quintet garnered three Top 40 hit from their second album, New Edition, including the Top 5 smash, Cool It Now. Their third LP, All For Love, didn’t keep the momentum going and eventually contributed to the departure of Bobby Brown. That was his prerogative. This was the lead single, a #2 Soul smash that gets counted out at #51 Pop.