As we move to the middle of the 80s during chart week forty-seven, we have a selection of songs worthy of great success but destined for The Other Sixty. Let’s review 1983 through 1987.
November 26th, 1983
82. Saga – The Flyer
This Canadian prog-rock quintet finally struck gold in 1982 when On The Loose made the Top 40. Their next release, Heads or Tales, featured their last US chart single, which will crash at #79. They continued to record into the 2010s and have a considerable following in Germany.
Burning Down The House from the album, Speaking In Tongues became this New Wave quartet’s most significant success on the charts reaching #9 earlier in the year. This musically stripped-down single was released as the follow-up and peaked at #62. It was featured as one of the songs in David Byrne’s American Utopia.
Here’s another jam from this Kentucky funk outfit’s No Parking on The Dance Floor album which Pop radio ignored even though it was a Top 20 dance hit and Top R&B smash. It stopped blowing at #61, but the beat lives on.
Is this a cover of the Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’? No, it’s just Joe’s first attempt at scoring a film called Mike’s Murder, a movie so snake bit and mismanaged by the Warner Bros, that it was released six months after the soundtrack came out. It bombed and killed everyone’s career who was involved. It doesn’t mean those artists didn’t create worthy art afterward. Joe’s music seemed to get better, and personally, I await his new releases with great anticipation. Debra Winger never had a hit movie again. This single will get killed at #85.
November 24th, 1984
This New Wave duo made a little soundtrack detour of their own for the little-seen film, Nineteen Eighty-Four, based on the George Orwell book. The album and the movie were bombs, to the point that the director released a different cut without the Eurythmics’ music. This single was banned from radio, but it still reached #81. That Apple commercial did well, though.
Another soundtrack single. Another flop. Was that the trend in the 80s – to take a well-known artist and have them sing the theme to a garbage film to help it become popular, only to have both sink like a stone? Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey wrote and produced this synth-pop tune, which will only steal two more spots before getting arrested.
Yes, this German synth trio created other songs that weren’t Forever Young. This New Wave pop ditty was actually their first chart hit in the States, peaking at #66. To date, this song has yet to become popular in Nippon.
November 23rd, 1985
Paul was riding high with his second album, The Secret Of Association which included the hits, I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, and the #1 smash, Everytime You Go Away. This was the third single released from the LP, a tune that Paul co-wrote. It will hit the UK Top 10 but will reach the status quo at #56. Interestingly, it will peak in the Top 10 in Ireland and Israel, countries whose people were looking for a change.
Kenny was a machine in the 80s and had already racked up 14 Top 40 hits in the decade. But all good things must come to an end, and the first release from his new album, The Heart of The Matter, would stiff at #72. I’m sure this Dave Loggins-penned tune produced by Sir George Martin had higher expectations for the Gambler, but at least it hit #1 on the Country charts.
November 29th, 1986
This anthemic ballad, the third single from Rod’s 1986 LP, was also the title track and didn’t do much here in the States, debuting at its peak. In the UK, it was one of his biggest hits of the 80s, reaching #2, bested only by Baby Jane, which hit #1.
While Starship was building this city, the Jefferson Airplane was parked in a Frisco hangar, and the Hot Tuna was back in the can, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, and Jack Cassidy formed their own trio. Produced by John Boylan, their only chart single was written by Van Stephenson and will only rise five more notches.
Heeeeeere’s Grace! Model, actress, singer, icon released her eighth album, Inside Story, in 1986. Produced by Grace and Nile Rodgers, this synth-heavy track was released as the first single, which I prompted ran out to buy. It was big in the clubs back then and hit the R&B Top 10. It was also her biggest success on the Hot 100, reaching the imperfect perfect number #69.
We fittingly end with another soundtrack tune from a largely forgotten movie, The Golden Child. Ann had one Top 40 hit under her belt, singing a duet from another movie, Footloose with Loverboy’s Mike Reno. Almost Paradise would get up to #7. This mid-tempo rocker did not have as much luck, stalling out at #61 in early 1987.