Sorry Is All That You Can’t Say

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

84. Freddie Jackson – Tasty Love

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.

90. Howard Hewett – I’m For Real

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.

94. Laban – Love In Siberia

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

79. Jimmy Davis & Junction – Kick The Wall

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.

81. Shanice Wilson – (Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance

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.

92. Jellybean Featuring Steven Dante – The Real Thing

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

84. Tracy Chapman – Baby Can I Hold You

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…

85. Randy Newman – It’s Money That Matters

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.

89. Cameo – You Make Me Work

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.

97. Stryper – I Believe In You

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.

98. Mike + The Mechanics – Nobody’s Perfect

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

88. Shooting Star – Touch Me Tonight

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.

92. D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson

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″.

95. Melissa Etheridge – No Souvenirs

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.

96. Warrant – Big Talk

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.

97. Surface – You Are My Everything

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.

98. Big Noise – Name And Number

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.

Here’s Where The Talking Ends

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

85. Billy Burnette – Don’t Say No

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

84. Bee Gees – Living Eyes

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.

88. Moody Blues – Talking Out of Turn

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.

91. Roger – I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Pt. 1

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

89. Bill Conti – Theme From Dynasty

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.

90. Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

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

68. Paul Simon – Allergies

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.

93. Rainbow – Street Of Dreams

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.

95. Juice Newton – Dirty Looks

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

85. J. Geils Band – Concealed Weapons

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.

89. Billy Idol – Catch My Fall

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.

90. Laura Branigan – Ti Amo

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

78. Pointer Sisters – Freedom

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.

88. New Edition – Count Me Out

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.