As we move into the middle of the decade, we have an all-star line-up for The Other Sixty. These artists, minus the Eurogliders, have had Top 40 hits and sold millions of albums. Some have even made the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. But not every egg is golden. Let’s review 1984, 1985, and 1986.
November 10th, 1984
This Australian sextet released its second album, This Island, in 1984. The third single released from the LP became their biggest worldwide smash, hitting #2 in their native land and charting in the States. Even though it received a fair amount of Mainstream Rock airplay, the pearly gates will slam shut at #65.
After 1980’s The Wanderer, Donna never released another album that would spawn more than one Top 40 hit. For someone who was the most popular singer in American in 1979, that was some free fall. It’s not like the songs weren’t good, so she must have faced some sort of backlash from Pop radio. This single followed up her #21 cover of The Drifters classic. I greatly prefer it over the previous single, especially after the dramatic synth intro and cheesy drum machine riffs. #75 seems too low for a track this catchy.
John Denver is one of the few artists to release a Greatest Hits Vol. 3 compilation while still actively charting. Of course, his biggest days were behind him, and thankfully so was that horrible haircut. He still had his diehard fans left, so he treated them to a new single, a duet with French ye-ye singer Sylvie Vartan. It will get a little AC action but only move up three spots on the Hot 100.
The Gap broke the Twins open in America. Not only did they have two big Top 40 hits, Hold Me Now entered the Ne Wave trio into Soft Rock land. Now your Mom could enjoy them along with you. This was the fourth US single from the album, and it falls into the crevasse at #69. The famous mall clothing store also missed an obvious opportunity with this one, or maybe Tom Bailey dissed them.
This UK trio of ladies entered the cruel world of movie soundtracks with the title theme from the little-seen film starring Chris Penn and Eric Stolz. The fun times will be over at #70, and the song will be added to re-released versions of their second album, Bananarama.
November 9th, 1985
JT never hit the Top 40 again after his #11 showing with Her Town Too in 1981. That doesn’t mean hits stopped coming. He just had them in another place – the Adult Contemporary chart. His slowed-down cover (Did he do any other kind?) of the Buddy Holly 1957 classic reached #3 there and has been the soundtrack of teeth drillers ever since. It will peak at #61 Pop.
JC and his buddies surprised everyone by having two Top 40 hits from a non-Eddie & the Cruisers soundtrack in 1985. This ballad was the third single released from that album, Tough All Over, but it won’t follow the first two singles in. Instead, it does the stroll and tops out at #64.
It’s a mystery that this Canadian Prog-rock trio only nabbed one Top 40 hit in the States, especially with their status as one of the biggest charting Mainstream Rock artists of all time. This single from their LP Power Windows just missed the Casey call cashing out at #45. It will be their last Hot 100 entry
November 15th, 1986
Detroiter Bob Seger wrote this tribute to his favorite Floridian town for his Like A Rock LP and released it as the fourth single. It almost sounds like he was looking for a Miami Vice soundtrack invite, but alas, he did not get one. Though he did get Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit to sing back up on this #74 track.
Is this just a random song about an annoying lover, or were the cracks between this twosome beginning to show? The follow-up to the Top 20 Missionary Man from their album, Revenge, had its best showing in the UK, hitting #5. In the States, it will grab a #68 zenith.
Paul had a #1 single just one year before his new album Between Two Fires was released and effectively killed his US singles career. Maybe folks were expecting some more soulful covers, and Paul released an album of originals instead. The shuffly pop tune will climb to #65 and should have been given a better chance to survive than it did by Pop radio. Paul will learn his lesson and be back in four years with a cover of The Chi-Lites’ Oh Girl, which will hit #8 in 1990.
Paul wasn’t writing Yesterday, or Maybe I’m Amazed by 1986, but also didn’t need to. But I suppose that’s the bar will always have to rise above rather than just make fun and entertaining music. This bluesy number is a forgotten gem in his collection and can only be found if you buy the Press To Play album. Written and performed with Eric Stewart of 10cc, it has some of his former band’s late 70s Pop panache. Unfortunately, this one was left to die at #81
I know I dunk on Steve a lot, but I generally like his music. It’s simple and pleasant, easy to digest and enjoy. So why the hell was this smooth piece of pop-rock left to die at #97? It went #1 on the Mainstream charts and unwittingly exposed the rock world to the sax sounds of Kenny G, who plays the solo.