It’s chart week forty-four and we’re digging into the latter half of the 80s to see who joined the ranks of the Other Sixty. Let’s review 1986 up thru 1989.
November 8th, 1986
Freddie J. was a mainstay on the R&B charts from the mid-80s into the early 90s, though he was only able to cross over into the Top 40 four times. This R&B #1 just misses the Casey call, losing its taste at #41.
Even though Jeffrey Daniels and Jody Watley left Shalamar two years before Howard, he was the first to release a solo album. This was the lead single from I Commit To Love, and although it will reach #2 on the Soul charts, this Quiet Storm two-stepper debuts at its peak on the Hot 100.
Here’s a slice of 80s Eurodisco from Denmark. From that description alone, I’m sure you know what it sounds like. This duo had been recording their songs in Danish but by album number four, they decided to record an English version of Laban 4. Called Caught By Surprise, it featured this track which charted and shivered it way up to #88.
November 7th, 1987
This Memphis quartet tried to go through the Pop door that the Georgia Sattelites had opened the year before with a quality hard rock album that was accessible to radio. It’s a shame they didn’t breakthrough. They only released one album before splitting up, and their only charting single hit the bricks at #67.
Shanice was a teenage singer out of L.A. when she released her debut, Discovery, in 1987. She had previously been a cast member of Kids Incorporated around the time that Fergie & Martika were on, so it was just a matter of time before she got a music contract of her own. This dance track will hit the R&B Top 10 but stall out at #50 on the Hot 100. Four years from now, she’ll hit it out of the park with I Love Your Smile, a #2 Pop, #1 R&B smash that featured a Branford Marsalis sax solo.
John Benitez started out as a DJ spinning in Manhattan clubs in the late 70s and early 80s before trying his hand at remixing. After having success with his mixes of Madonna’s Borderline and Lucky Star, he moved into creating his own albums of dance music. This was the second single from his second album, Just Visiting This Planet, and it’s a great slice of moody House music with vocals by British singer Steven Dante. We are still a few years away from this music style invading the Pop landscape, so a tune like this will be relegated to the clubs and a #82 high. It will also hit the Top 20 in the UK.
November 5th, 1988
There I was sitting at a table in the back of a nearly empty coffee house, staring back into the eyes of a girl I lost once before. It had been nearly a year since I’d seen her last and she looked more beautiful than I had remembered. With each friendly glance she gave me, I sank further into my chair. I wanted to erase every mistake I made, take away all of the pain I caused her. But I didn’t know how to start, and I couldn’t find the words. And then, this song starts playing…
The problem with being a great satirist is that not everyone knows when you’re straight or funny. For example, lots of folks really believe that Randy hated people of short stature, just as many thought he stood on the side of Gordon Gecko when he released this song from Land Of Dreams. But as we all have come to know, irony, for the lack of a better word, is good. The #1 Mainstream rock track featuring Mark Knopfler will go bankrupt at #60.
I’d also like to point out that my kids now recognize his voice since he’s scored nine different Disney/ Pixar films.
It took ten albums, but Cameo finally crossed over to the Pop charts with Word Up ! and Candy. Their follow-up album, Machismo, was even better, tighter and tougher. And even though this will hit the R&B Top 5, it will only climb to #85 on the Pop charts.
How come nobody played these records backwards? Is it because this was labeled Christian metal? I did once, and it sounded like they were saying, “it’s a schtick” and “stay home on Sundays,” maybe even “Bon Jovi is the devil.” No matter which direction was played, this metal ballad couldn’t get any more believers after reaching #88.
As Phil the Shill falls from #1 to #3 with Groovy Kind of Love, his bandmate Mike debuts with his side project’s newest single from their second album, Living Years. It’s a pretty good single, but it gets obscured by someone’s fascination with a Fairlight, and the noises become too distracting. The title will prove its point at #63.
November 4th, 1989
Here’s a quintet from Kansas City that were Midwest favorites but never had mainstream success. So it was strange to release a greatest hits package by them in 1989, even more so, as they disbanded three years prior. A previously unreleased track was used to promote the compilation and it got enough airplay and sales to debut on the Hot 100 and eventually reach #67. It will be the spark to get the band back together for a new album in 1991.
And In This Corner… completes this duo’s silly ass rapping trilogy with this song only reaching #58. From here on out, the Fresh Prince would develop a more serious style of flow and slowly become a movie star, Will Smith. Also, a track like this was funny in 1989 because of how dominant Tyson was in the boxing world. But only four months after this song debuted on the Hot 100, Iron Mike would get KO’d by Buster Douglas. Guess we know someone who bought this 12″.
Here is the lead single from melissa’s second album, Brave And Crazy. She was still having a hard time getting played on Pop radio but was still getting lots of Mainstream and Modern Rock airplay. With Bono tooting on the harmonica, this one debuts at its peak.
This L.A. glam metal quartet released four single from their debut, Dirty Filthy Sticking Rich. Only this one, their third single, missed the Top 40. It will move up three more spots.
After nabbing their first Top 10 hit with Shower Me With Your Love (not sure about that title, guys), this New Jersey soul trio releases this midtempo follow-up. It will only reach #84 on the Hot 100 but will become their third straight #1 on the R&B charts.
Here’s a septet from Birmingham, England that released an album, Bang! which spawned one charting single in 1989 that disappeared as fast as it showed up. This track sound like a Living In A Box reject, which might explain its #97 showing, and it ends up sounding more like a tax write-off than an artistic statement.