Random Things You Can’t Prevent

Friends, we’ve come to the end of the 1980s as we enter chart week fifty-two. Only two calendar years had fifty-two editions of the Billboard Hot 100 – 1980 and 1985, which had to do with having an extra Saturday in those years. So why did the others only have fifty-one? I’m going to tell you, but please sit down first. Their employer gave them the week between Christmas and New Years Day off. What? JK.

They were busy creating their end of year charts, which took them a full month to work on and were released on the last week of the year.  In doing so, the Hot 100 charts were left unattended, so Billboard created a “frozen” week for week #52. All of those singles got an extra week at their current spot. What a great way to add another week of domination to your #1 record. [Ed note – if someone from the industry wants to give a more precise explanation of the frozen week, please be my guest.]

Without further adieu, here is our final review of The Other Sixty from the years 1980 and 1985.

December 27th, 1980

81. Aretha Franklin – United Together

The Queen’s last three albums of the 70s yielded one Hot 100 entry, Break It To Me Gently, in 1977, which peaked at #85. She needed a change, and, leaving Atlantic Records, she moved over to Arista Records in 1980. This was the first single from her album, Aretha, and the ballad, produced by Chuck Jackson will reach #3 on the Soul charts. It will only reach #56 Pop. She stuck it out with Arista, and two albums later was back in the Top 40. By 1985, she was back in the Top 10. In 1987, she was at #1 with I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), twenty years after Respect hit the top. I bet a former “nineteen”-year-old bought that single.

82. Willis “The Guard” and Vigorish – Merry Christmas In The NFL

Forget Wham-ageddon. Forget Mariah-poclypse. You need to avoid this one at all costs, every year. I think it was the single which precipitated the “anyone using the NFL without consent will be executed” announcement before every televised game. This was created by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, who would annoy the shit out of us two years with Pac-Man Fever. Thankfully this holiday single will debut at its peak. Also, I learned that vigorish is the bookie’s cut when a bet is placed with them or what’s also known as “the juice.”

88. J.D. Drews – Don’t Want No-Body

I love obscure singles and artists, especially a random one like this. Jurgen Drews was a German Schlager singer who had been performing in groups since the late 60s. In 1974 he released his first solo album, Zeit Fur Meine Songs. Two years later, he nabbed a German #1 song with Ein Bett Im Kornfeld (which translates to A Bed In a Cornfield), a cover of the Bellamy Brothers’ Let Your Love Flow. [This is the point where I tell you that Germans have horrible taste in entertainment. I have experienced this many times first hand. The bar is so low; you have to dig it out.]

Now, someone must have put a bug in Jurgen’s ohr, and told him he was good enough for the American market. He then recorded an album as J.D. Drews and marketed it as he was a lost Ramone. This LP and single sound like a spoof on the burgeoning New Wave power pop genre, minus any humor or self-awareness. It’s absolutely fascinating. Fittingly, it was released on Unicorn Records. His only Hot 100 entry will get to seven-ty nine.

90. Kansas – Got To Rock On

Kansas’ seventh album, Audio-Visions, garnered the group their fifth Top 40 single, Hold On. This was their ho-hum follow-up. It’s not that the song is terrible, but with a title like that, you’d expect more muscle or at least more passion. I think the group was having a hard time with mustering up either by 1980. This 45 will rock on to #75 before disappearing.

December 28th, 1985

88. Joni Mitchell – Good Friends

It’s ridiculous how much lambasting Joni has received throughout her career for her musical choices. God forbid that she did anything different from sitting on a stool with her acoustic guitar,  long hair flowing over her shoulders, and singing folk songs. You may not like her move towards a modern synthetic sound in the mid-80s, but it was a lot more tasteful than her contemporaries. And anyway, she doesn’t give a shit what you think.

For me, I love this song. It sounds exactly like being in Lower Manhattan during sunset, looking towards the Hudson, crazy people watching and getting ready for a night of fun with a bestie. And when that dude is Michael McDonald, damn, what else do you want? The synths and programming were done by Thomas Dolby, and it’s also the first album that Joni eschews her guitar.  The friendship will last until #85.

89. Roger Daltrey – Let Me Down Easy

If it sounds like you’re listening to Somebody by Bryan Adams, it’s because he and his partner Jim Vallance ripped themselves off and sold it as a new song to the lead singer of The Who. How did Roger miss this? He should have just covered Somebody, but I guess that would have been a waste of time too. At least, we get to hear what a Bryan Adams rock song sounds like with stronger vocals. The McVicar will be let down at #86.

91. The Alarm – Strength

Passion was one thing this band didn’t lack. Lead singer Mike Peters gives his all again with another single that failed to break them out of the U2’s little brother mold. It’s their first Hot 100 entry, the title track from their second album, but it will weaken at #61.

And there you have it. We’ve reviewed all of the singles that charted on the Hot 100 in the 1980s but did not reach the Top 40. We call them The Other Sixty. You can review all of them here, if you like.

Thank you all for reading and commenting. Special thanks to victorvector, who found the tunes that fell through the cracks.

Now what?

Realize The Man Who Says Anything

Hre’s is the second part of chart week fifty-one for all The Other Sixty members. We’re finishing the week with a review of 1984 through 1989.

December 22nd, 1984

83. Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton – The Greatest Gift Of All

We start off with a Christmas song that sounds like one of those 80s Chicago ballads. Aha, it’s produced by David Foster. [Was that a collective groan?] There was also a TV special that aired on CBS with this release, which has been lost to time. Unfortunately, this single only hopped two islands and fell into the stream at #81.

86. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

This New Wave classic comes from this UK trio’s debut, The Age Of Consent. Lead singer Jimmy Somerville and his falsetto soar throughout this sad synth-pop tale of a lonely boy leaving home, and it became a popular anthem in the Gay community. It was a smash throughout Europe and a #1 on the Dance Club Play charts in the States. But only managed a #48 zenith on the Hot 100.

87. The Kinks – Do It Again

Here is the lead single from the Kink’s twenty-first album, Word of Mouth, a return to a harder sound than State Of Confusion.  I remember this getting a lot of airplay back then and was surprised that it missed the Top 40. It barely did at #41, getting leapfrogged by Survivor. It will reach the Mainstream Rock Top 5.

90. Lorenzo Lamas – Fools Like Me

You may remember him as the jock who tried to get ONJ’s attention in Grease before Travolta gave him a bruisin’. In the 80s, he landed a role on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest as the hilariously named Lance Cumson. So, of course, why not parlay that into a singing career? Oops, I forgot. You need to know how to sing. Zo-Lam will top out at #85 will this one.

December 21st, 1985

88. Fortune – Stacy

Here’s a quintet who released an album in 1978 and then worked hard for seven years for an opportunity at a follow-up. In between those releases, they changed their sound to get some of that Journey/ Foreigner money. This ballad will get them charted, but it does not favor the bold and will move up only eight more notches.

90. Alisha – Baby Talk

Brooklyn singer Alisha released her debut in 1985 and ended up with three Top 5 Dance hits. They all got lots of airplay in New York, especially this single. I feel like I heard it a million times over that Christmas break. It’s a catchy 80s dance track aiming for that Madonna market and will go to #1 on the Dance Club charts. On the Pop charts, it will bounce up to #68.

93. Chaka Khan – Own The Night

Outside of a few Jan Hammer instrumentals, everything else on the Miami Vice soundtrack was released as a single or had already been a hit. This upbeat, funky aerobics number was the last one as a 45, and it charts on the Hot 100 the week the album slips to #2 after a seven-week run at the top. It will return for another four while this song gets owned at #57.

December 27th, 1986

90. El DeBarge – Someone

El releases his third single from his debut album, El Debarge. It’s a smooth midtempo track written by Jay Graydon and Robbie Nevil, whose own hit, C’est La Vie, was currently at #6. It will scrape into the R&B Top 40 at #32 but only climb to #70 pop. That’s life.

92. Uptown – (I Know) I’m Losing You

Have you ever wondered what a Motown classic would sound like if you sucked the soul out of it? Well, this New York trio has your answer on this proto-freestyle remake of the Temptations 1967 Top 10 smash. This one will get lost at #80.

93. Bananarama – Trick Of The Night

This was the third and last charting single from the UK trio’s third LP, True Confessions. It’s a moody downtempo pop song that is infinitely more interesting than anything that the soulless SAW machine did with this group. Produced by Tony Sawin and Steve Jolley, who helmed the boards for Spandau Ballet’s True, it will do a disappearing act after hitting #76.

96. Five Star – If I Say Yes

This was the fourth and final Hot 100 entry by this UK family quintet. Imagine The Jets without the playfulness and charm, and you get this. If I told you I made this with a group of jacked-up chipmunks, you wouldn’t argue with me. Mostly because you wouldn’t care. In fact, any argument we had about it would be better time spent than listening to this. The answer will be no at #67.

December 26th, 1987

96. Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again

Here’s the second single from this RNRHOF quartet’s Music For The Masses album, and it’s one of my favorite tracks of theirs. I purchased the 45 back then even though I owned the CD because the B-side was another great track, Pleasure, Little Treasure. Was this stuff just too good for Pop stations, or did they just need time to catch up? This ode to the euphoria of drugs (pick one) will peak at #63.

December 24th, 1988

98. Camouflage – The Great Commandment

Exactly one year later, the German version of Depeche Mode enters the Hot 100 with a track from their debut, Voices And Images. This synth-pop single will hit #1 on the Dance Club charts and a #3 Modern Rock hit. On the Hot 100, it will reach a respectable #59. If you listened to WDRE in New York back in the 80s, you’d remember it as a Shriek of the Week in late November 1987.

December 23th, 1989

90. Loverboy – Too Hot

Loverboy’s last Hot 100 entry is not a cover of the Kool & The Gang Top 10 hit from 1980. I wish. It’s a newly recorded single for their great hits compilation, Big Ones. Sadly this does not fall into that category and will cool down at #84.

93. Abstrac’ – Right And Hype

Here is the only Hot 100 entry for this New Jack trio from the Bronx. It would only move up four more spots, but it will make the R&B Top 30. The group will shrink to a duo and release an album as M&M in 1992.

To Roll Down The Long Decline

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the 80s. Chart week fifty-one will be the last week of charting for most years. We’ll discuss why next week. Now let’s review 1980 up through 1983.

December 20th, 1980

89. Shalamar – Full Of Fire

Here’s the lead single from this L.A. trio’s fourth album, Three For Love. It’s sung by Howard Hewitt as well as Jody Watley, who co-wrote it with fellow labelmate Richard Randolph,  a member of the funk band, Dynasty. This dance track will burn its way up to #58 and make the R&B Top 30.

90. Dire Straits – Skateaway

Dire Straits shrunk down to a trio on their album, Making Movies, but they brought in E. Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan for the Jimmy Iovine-produced sessions. It’s my favorite album of theirs and has a smooth Westcoast flavor throughout. This single’s groove makes me think it was inspired by Knopfler sitting on a park bench in Venice, CA, watching the roller-skating women. It should have definitely reached a higher height than #55.

97. Jackie English – Once A Night

Now, this is a deeply forgotten 45. It was recorded for the Walter Matthau film, Hopscotch, written by her and singer Beverly Bremers, who had a Top 20 hit in 1972 called Don’t Say You Don’t Remember. Those two ladies were part of a studio disco act two years previous called Siren, who recorded this in 1978. They also won the Gold Prize at the Seoul International Song Festival in 1980. Alas, this song will only move up three more notches before disappearing.

December 26th, 1981

80. Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Southern Pacific

Prolific is an understatement when talking about Neil’s recording career. Except for a short period in the late 90s, he has been putting out albums over the last decades. In 1981, he released Re-Ac-Tor, his fourth album with Crazy Horse. It was a strange mix of blues-rock and punk. The chugging single was the most accessible thing on it, which is why it became a 45. It deals with an aging train conductor’s story as an allegory of the loss of American jobs and the failing economy. Its final station was #70.

Fun fact: Neil has indulged a lifelong obsession with toy trains, to the point that he became an owner of Lionel Trains in the 1990s.

83. John Hall Band – Crazy (Keep On Falling)

When John Hall left Orleans in 1977, he took his songwriter partner, ex-wife Johanna Hall along with him. They wrote this pop-rock single with bandmates Eric Parker and Bob Leinbach, featured on his fourth album, All Of The Above, which became his first Hot 100 entry. It just missed the Casey call at #42.

85. Bill Champlin – Tonight Tonight

Bill Champlin had been recording for two decades and had yet to sniff the Top 40. It took his stint as a co-lead singer in Chicago to bring him some financial success. I’m sure part of the audition included band members listening to his Westcoast classic album, Runaway, produced by David Foster. This smooth ballad sailed up to #55.

91. Kano – Can’t Hold Back (Your Lovin’)

This Italian trio released their debut album in 1980, which spawned two huge Disco smashes: It’s A War and I’m Ready. Their second album, New York Cake,  pulled back on the disco a bit and added more funk a la Change, their fellow dance countrymen. It will result in their only US chart entry on the Hot 100 and will only slide up two spots from its debut.

December 25th, 1982

80. The Who – Eminence Front

This track from It’s Hard is the funkiest thing these guys ever recorded. So much so, that it was sampled nine years on 3rd Bass’ onlyTop 40 hit, Pop Goes The Weasel. It received loads of Rock airplay, hitting #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart, but for some reason couldn’t get past #68 on the Hot 100. What a put on.

81. Little Steven and the Disciples Of Soul – Forever

Miami Steve has been a part of the E. Street Band since the mid-70s, but you need to take a break and express yourself differently every once in a while. Before his eight-year ride as Silvio on the Sopranos, he formed this band while Bruce worked on the Nebraska album. Their first album, Men Without Women, garnered them their only chart hit when this soul-rock track reached #63.

Fun fact: Did you know that in 1982, Little Steven was married by Little Richard?

88. Tyrone Davis – Are You Serious

Soul music ruled the Pop charts in the 70s, especially during the early years. But as the 80s were ushered in, most of those successful R&B artists had a difficult time crossing over, never mind finding record labels to sign them. I’m sure Mr. Davis would love to have turned back time in 1982 all the way back to 1970, so this smooth jam could have found a place on more Pop playlists. Tyrone did his job with the performance, but it was released on a small independent label that didn’t have the promotion muscle. Even with minimal A&R, it will still reach #3 on the Soul charts, but only #57 on the Hot 100.

89. Michael Stanley Band – Take The Time

Michael channels his inner-Bob Seger on this midtempo rocker from these Midwest heroes. I’m surprised this wasn’t supported more by Pop programmers. I figured they’d eat stuff like this up. But instead, it will have a #81 zenith.

90. Unipop – What If (I Said I Love You)

File this one under husband and wife pop duos. Although not as successful as the Captain and Tennille, Manny & Phyllis Loiacono took their one shot at fame and released the album, Unilove which featured this single, their only chart hit. It’s a modern take on a 50’s style pop tune, kind of like Toby Beau’s My Angel Baby, but leaning heavily into the Grease soundtrack territory. Definitely not a thing folks were doing much of in the New Wave era. Still, it will peak at #71.

Fun fact: Manny & Phyllis supposedly sang backing vocals on Bertie Higgins’ Key Largo recorded in 1981.

December 23rd, 1983

74. Peabo Bryson / Roberta Flack – You’re Looking Like Love To Me

It took nearly a decade of recording, but in 1983 Peabo finally nabbed a Top 40 hit, albeit as a duet with Roberta Flack. Their follow-up to Tonight, I Celebrate My Love will only hit #58 Pop and #41 R&B but will rise to #5 on the AC charts. So if you’re looking like you might have a cavity, you might catch this one coming from the round ceiling speakers.

81. Michael Stanley Band – Someone Like You

Here’s another decent track from MSB and their 1983 LP, You Can’t Fight Fashion. It’s the follow-up to their #39 hit, My Town. This upbeat rocker sung by keyboardist Kevin Raleigh will stall out at #75.

89. Headpins – Just One More Time

We’re gonna finish out this set with some Canadian rock. The Headpins were a side project formed by two-thirds of the band, Chilliwack. By the time of their second album, Line Of Fire, the twosome of Ab Bryant & Brian McLeod left the latter band for good and focused on their new venture. It got them a sole US chart entry, which topped out at #70.

 

 

The Closer That We Get, The Crazier That I Feel

Join me as we wrap up chart week of our review of The Other Sixty. We’re going to take a look at 1987, 1988, and 1989.

December 19th, 1987

82. PowerSource featuring Sharon Batts – Dear Mr. Jesus

Oh, man. I gotta start out with this? A six-year-old singing about seeing a little girl beaten black and blue. Jesus. I know these folks had the right intentions, but imagine if Suzanne Vega tackled Luka with no artistic vision whatsoever, and you’ll get an idea of what this track sounds like. [FYI – Scott Shannon was behind this one in NY.] This 45 will rise up to #61.

87. Eurythmics – I Need A Man

Here’s the lead-off single from Eurythmics’ seventh album, Savage, which did not do well in the States. Personally, it’s my favorite of theirs. Dave Stewart recorded most of the album with a Synclavier and his guitar, and the band filmed a video for each song, directed by Sophie Muller. This aggressive pop-rock number will reach a #46 high.

94. Glenn Medeiros – Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone

Glenn continues his efforts to have another Top 40 hit by releasing ye another ballad. This one was co-written by David Foster and Jermaine Jackson, initially recorded by him for his Precious Moments LP. Loneliness will move in like Balki on Larry at #67.

96. The Alarm – Rain In The Summertime

I loved this song back then and played it on a loop that Summer. I can’t believe it took this long to chart on the Hot 100. This UK quartet has already hit the UK Top 20 by the time of this debut. And now it’s winter, and the rain is cold. No one wants to think about getting wet when it’s 20 degrees outside and dark. Probably the reason why it drowned at #71.

98. Dokken – Burning Like A Flame

Don Dokken and pals are Back For The Attack or so saith their fourth album. This heavy metal quartet has yet to cash in on the glam metal fad that was happening, and their lead single would be no exception. It will blow out at #72, and the band would break up for five years.

Funny aside: The teen quintet, The Party, made up of Mickey Mouse Club cast members, would hit #34 in early 1992 with a cover of Dokken’s In My Dreams.

December 17th, 1988

91. Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers – If We Never Meet Again

This Philly quintet’s second release from their second album, Rumble, did much better than their first. It will climb up the way up to #48 and reach the Top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts. It will also be their last Hot 100 entry.

94. The Timelords – Doctorin’ The Tardis

This may be the nerdiest dance track of the 80s. Timelords are the alien race that Dr. Who has descended from, which is why the chorus of this track is just the words Doctor and Who sung to the tune of Gary Glitter’s Rock And Roll, Part 2 over the Doctor Who theme. The tardis is the phone booth that he time travels in. (yes, just like Bill & Ted.) It will go to #1 in the UK and #66 in the States. This duo will change its name to The KLF and have a few hits in the early 90s.

95. Fairground Attraction – Perfect

Here’s a Scottish folk quartet led by singer Eddi Reader who channel their inner Patsy Cline for this single from their debut, The First Of A Million Kisses. It will be a #1 smash for them in England. In the States, it had this interesting chart data line: #80 Pop, #1 Modern Rock, and #85 Country.

97. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Posse On Broadway

Back before the self-proclaimed J.R. Ewing of Seattle noticed the backside, he was looking out the front window namechecking streets that he and his crew would roll down through Capitol Hill. It took most of the 80s for Sir to work up his cred. But rather than wait for a record deal, he helped to start up his own label, Nastymix, and released his debut, Swass, in 1988. This was the most well-known song from the album, reaching #44 R&B and #70 Pop, and features a sample of Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing.

98. Starship – Wild Again

Wouldn’t that assume Starship was wild once before? Here’s another track from the Cocktail soundtrack, a huge 80s album that no one listens to anymore. Like a pina colada, it was meant to be enjoyed for a moment then forgotten. It will also be included on the band’s Love Among The Cannibals album, released in 1989. This starship was meant to fly at #73.

December 16th, 1989

80. Safire – I Will Survive

Sa-Fire removed the dash from her name and got down to brass tacks with a New Jack cover of the 1979 Gloria Gaynor #1 smash. It was featured in the disastrous film, She-Devil, which paired Meryl Streep and Rosanne Barr. It will reach #53 before it changes that stupid lock.

90. Sharon Bryant – Foolish Bryant

The former Atlantic Starr lead singer follows up her only Top 40 single, Let Go, with a cover of Steve Perry’s 1985 Top 20 hit. It will become her second Top 10 R&B hit, ut it debuts at its peak on the Hot 100.

[Thanks victorvector for catching the omission.]

96. Dino – Never 2 Much Of U

Dino squeezed every last bit of his 24/7 album until we could take no more. He managed two Top 40 hits already, and the fifth charting single angled to be number three. Unfortunately, the quiet storm didn’t last that long, and it will peak at #61. But you never if you hear it again as you wait in line at a Rite-Aid.

 

Blinded By The Double Standard

Let’s move into the middle of the decade to see which songs end up as The Other Sixty during chart week fifty. Here’s 1983 up through 1986.

December 17th, 1983

85. Diana Ross – Let’s Go Up

Diana got herself a catamaran to cruise through the bay with her fourteenth album, Ross. She covers songs by Michael McDonald, Donald Fagan, and Marc Jordan while Steely Dan producer Gary Katz takes the wheel for most of the album. He produced The Boss’ follow-up to Pieces Of Ice, which features Jeff Porcaro doing a modified version of his famous shuffle. This is one of the best singles she released in the 80s, but it may have been a year too late. It will get docked at the pier at #77.

90. Bob Dylan – Sweetheart Like You

By the time of his twenty-second album, Infidels, co-produced with Mark Knopfler, Dylan was starting to seem like a parody of himself. He also hadn’t had a charting single in four years. This release, which features Mick Taylor on guitar, Allan Clarke on keys, and the rhythm section of Sly & Robbie, helped changed some of that perception. It will get him on the radio again, although this ballad will only climb to #55.

91. Prince – Let’s Pretend We’re Married/ Irresistible Bitch

This was the fourth single released from Prince’s fifth album, 1999, his mainstream breakthrough. The A-side of the 45 censors out all the filthy stuff from the album but leaves the nasty synth-funk alone. The B-side got enough airplay for this single to get both sides listed cuz it’s fonky as hell. It will still only top out at #52, four months before he debuted with When Doves Cry. Rapper Candyman sampled this B-side and the J. Geils Band B-side to Freeze-Frame for this 1990 hip-hop track.

95. Twilight 22 – Electric Kingdom

Break out your piece of worn-out cardboard. It’s time to pop and lock to this slice of electro hip-hop. Led by keyboardist Gordon Bahary, this single incorporates some Middle Eastern riffs with synths and 808s and a rap about making a better life for yourself on top. It will reach the R&B Top 10 but spin out at #79 Pop.

December 15th, 1984

63. Barbra Streisand & Kim Carnes – Make No Mistake, He’s Mine

Here is the second single from Babs’ Emotion LP, a duet written by and sung with Kim Carnes. It’s an unofficial answer song to MJ & Macca’s The Girl Is Mine and will hit #8 on the AC charts to satisfy your teeth drilling needs. But on the Hot 100, it will stall out at #51. Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap will record their version in 1987, which will reach #1 Country.

77. Rick Dees – Eat My Shorts

Before Bart Simpson or John Bender in The Breakfast Club, Rick Dees entered this phrase into the pop culture vernacular via this ridiculously stupid ballad. If you imagine Rick singing to himself in the mirror, then it actually works. This is Rick’s first chart single since 1977’s Dis-Gorilla and thankfully his last as it only moves up two more spots.

85. George Benson – 20/20

Bad Benson’s twenty-second studio album will be the last one to spawn a Hot 100 entry. The funky yet smooth title track will be released as the first single. It will reach #15 on the SOul charts and reach the UK Top 30. But the 45 will go blind at #48 Pop. Also, if any number will look better in the rearview mirror, it will be this one.

88 . Rod Stewart – All Right Now

Rod tries his hand at a synth-rock cover of Free’s 1970 smash. It’s not bad, but really, the original is all you need. I’m sure songwriter Andy Fraser doesn’t mind the royalties, though. The third single from Camouflage will not have all the luck as it flames out at #72.

89. Tommy Shaw – Lonely School

T-Shaw’s follow-up to his #33 hit, Girls With Guns, is a rock ballad that I’m not sure would have made side 2 of a Styx album. Or a Damn Yankees CD, for that matter. The school of loneliness will shut down at #60.

90. The Temptations -Treat Her Like A Lady

This is the best thing that the Temps recorded in the 80s by a mile. That’s how bad they were mismanaged. If you reflect on the 60s music revival that happened during the 1980s, they were the most significant artist that was still recording records, not to have a comeback. The best they did was a five-second backing vocals spot on Rick James’ Superfreak and this boogie track, co-produced by Al McKay and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind & Fire. It will peak at #48.

December 14th, 1985

86. Barbra Streisand – Somewhere

Babs is back with a long play full of show tunes called The Broadway Album, which became her first #1 album in five years when it hit the zenith in late January 1986. The first single released was a song from West Side Story, produced by David Foster. She made her version one of the definitive, but at the time, its biggest success was on the AC charts, where it made the Top 5. It will just miss the Casey call when it peaks at #43 on the Hot 100.

Fun Fact: The Broadway Album knocked the Miami Vice soundtrack out of the top albums spot. In 1988 Babs returned to the Top 40 after a five-year absence with a duet featuring Don Johnson. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

91. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Secret

I was as shocked as most OMD fans to see them make the Top 40 in 1985 with So In Love. But then again, they spent many years perfecting their synth-pop sound and started to write more tunes geared for an American audience. They’ll end up with three more Top 20 hits in the 80s, with one of them reaching the Top 5. Until then, the second single from Crush will blab its mouth up to #63.

December 20th, 1986

76. Bobby Brown – Girlfriend

Bobby B left (or was kicked out of) New Edition in early 1986 and quickly started his solo career with his debut album King Of Stage. This was his first single, which didn’t do much for establishing a new sound for him. The ballad did go to #1 on the Soul charts and #57 Pop. Two years, he released Don’t Be Cruel, which spawned five Top 10 hits, including the #1 smash, My Prerogative. For more info on BB, I refer you to the unintentionally sad Being Bobby Brown show.

95. Ric Ocasek – True To You

Ric wasn’t that interested in being a Pop star. He just wrote catchy tunes to get the record company of his back. That he could seemingly write them at will was a testament to his talents. This was the follow-up to his only Top 40 hit, Emotion In Motion, and would sound fine on any Cars album. It will crash at #75 and become his last solo chart entry.

 

Another Spoke In A Great Big Wheel

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the chart year as we enter chart week fifty with many veteran artists making one more play for the year. Alas, they end up in The Other Sixty instead. Let’s review 1980, 1981, and 1982.

December 13th, 1980

81. Rita Coolidge – Fool That I Am

For the Robert Blake/ Dyan Cannon film Coast To Coast, the music supervisor pulled this ballad from Rita’s 1979 album, Satisfied, her eleventh, to use as its main theme. The film was an absolute bomb, but this track made it all the way up to #46 and the AC Top #15.

82. Supertramp – Breakfast In America (live)

Supertramp was at the height of its powers in 1980, which usually means one thing in the music industry – time for a live double album. Paris was taken from a November 29th, 1979 show in the French capital and had already spawned a Top 20 hit, the live version of their 1974 Crime Of The Century cut, Dreamer. Their second single from the album was the title track to their 1979 #1 long play, and it will play its jokes upon you at #61. FYI – the studio version of this song will reach #9 in the UK.

85. Oak – Set The Night On Fire

This one’s for all you Oak fans out there. You know who you are. This New Hampshire quintet hit the Top 40 earlier in the year with a track from their 1979 debut, called King Of the Hill, credited to Rick Pinette and Oak. Their second and final chart entry was the title track to their second album. Credited to just Oak [Who was doing the branding for these guys?], this mellow pop-rock number will burn out at #71.

91. The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir and Chorale – What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?

Before the Star Wars enterprise understood its brand, they threatened to undermine its own franchise with this ill-advised holiday album, Christmas In The Stars, produced by Meco. This LP barely went brass, and that was in the wake of The Empire Strikes Back, which was huge that Summer. This is so God-damned awful that people would rather hear The Chipmunks or Mariah Carey each Christmas than this. I can’t believe it got as high as #69. Also, the answer to the title’s questions is two hot pokers to jam into his ears, so he never has to hear this.

96. Four Seasons – Spend The Night In Love

The Jersey Boys mounted an impressive comeback in the mid to late 70s. In the music industry, that only means one thing – time for a live double album. The group nabs their only Hot 100 appearance of the 80s with this studio cut from Reunited, one of two new tracks recorded. The title was a bit misleading because the only reunited members were the new ones from the Who Loves You & Helicon albums. Was the world missing Valli and Gerry Polci kickin’ it together? Bob Gaudio was back but mostly in the producer’s chair, and his wife, Judy Parker, co-wrote this single, which sounds like something off of the Bee gees scrap pile. That will most likely explain its #91 zenith.

December 19th, 1981

79. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – Feel Like A Number

The Seeg came a long way since his Live Bullet days as he just garnered his first #1 album in 1980, Against The Wind. In the music industry, that only means one thing – time for a live double album. Bob released his cover of an obscure Otis Clay song, Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You, which reached #5. This was his second single, originally a cut from his 1978 album, Stranger In Town, which will reach #48.

82. The Carpenters – Those Good Old Dreams

Karen & Richard recycle their Top Of The World groove for some lude-induced pop, which will nod off at #63. It was the third single released from their second-to-last studio album, Made In America, which spawned the Top 20 hit, Touch Me When We’re Dancing.

96. Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin – It’s My Party

English singer Barbara Gaskin was the lead singer of the early 70s folk group Spirogyra (not the jazz band). Keyboardist Dave Stewart (not of the Eurythmics) had been in prog bands such as Egg, Natural Health, and played for years with Bill Bruford. In 1981, these two artists teamed up for a slow-cooked synth cover of the Lesley Gore classic. It was a smash throughout Europe, reaching #1 in the UK and Ireland. Here in the States, it decided to cry at #72.

December 18th, 1982

79. Janet Jackson – Young Love

Miss Jackson [I’m nasty.] charts on the Hot 100 for the first time with a single from her debut album written by Rene & Angela. It’s actually an excellent uptempo boogie track, but it doesn’t even hint at the talent this lady had. But everyone has to start somewhere. She was not yet in control. This Top 10 R&B song will top out at #64 Pop.

81. Rough Trade – All Touch

This Canadian outfit has existed in one form or another since the late 60s and as Rough Trade since 1974. By the early 80s, they adopted a New Wave sound and spawned their only Hot 100 entry from their third album, For Those Who Think Young. This catchy yet sparsely arranged synth-pop track feels its way up to #58.

85. Hot Chocolate – AreYou Getting Enough Happiness

Hot Chocolate? Now you’ve got somethin’. This UK soul quintet places one more single on the Hot 100 before going on vacation with their Swiss miss. It’s a re-recording of a track from their sixth LP, Class, originally titled Are You Getting Enough of What Makes You Happy? The newly concisely-titled single will peak at #65.

89. Poco – Shoot For The Moon

These country-rock veterans moved to a new label, Atlantic Records, for their fifteenth studio album, Ghost Town. But they continue to squander any of their momentum from their ’79 successes. This will be the only release out of three from the LP mentioned above to chart. The moon will wax new at #50.

90. Hughes/Thrall – Beg, Borrow Or Steal

Bass player and singer Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze) teamed up with guitarist Pat Thrall (Automatic Man, Pat Travers Band) for a really well-done 80s rock album., co-produced with Andy Johns. This was the lead-off single from the album, sporting a driving drum beat and a catchy synth riff, lifted from Foreigner’s Urgent. That said, it should have definitely been more successful than its #79 peak. Its spirit lives on in contemporary tracks from The Sutcliffe Brothers, such as this one.

The Past Is Gone And Done

Let’s wrap chart week forty-nine with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 through 1989.

December 13th, 1986

88. John Parr – Blame It On the Radio

John’s St. Elmo’s success allowed him to record a second album, Running The Endless Mile, in 1986. This pop rocker was the lead release and debuts at its peak this week. It will also be his last Hot 100 entry.

92. Secret Ties – Dancin’ In My Sleep

I know folks enjoy “bedroom music” nowadays, but this dance song sounds like it was truly recorded in someone’s one-bedroom apartment. From the simple drum machine with over-processed hi-hats and basic synth patterns, it’s amazing that someone decided to take the time and money to press this onto vinyl. It was released on a tiny obscure label in California, so it’s impressive that it was able to debut on the Hot 100 and move up one notch.

97. Bob Geldof – This Is The World Calling

After 1985’s Live Aid concerts, Irishman Bob became internationally known and even received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Releasing a solo album and leading it off with a global anthem seemed like the logical next step. Co-written with the Eurythmics Dave Stewart, it became popular throughout Europe, including #1 in Ireland and Sweden. The US pop audience shrugged it off, disconnecting the call at #82.

December 12th, 1987

88. Dan Hill – Never Thought (That I Could Love)

Canadian Dan Hill follows-up his comeback smash, Can’t We Try, with another soft offering that did very well on the AC chart, reaching #2. Lots of folks got their root canal to this one. On the Hot 100, it will just miss the Casey call peaking at #43.

91. Billy Idol – Hot In The City

In 1987, Billy released the greatest hits compilation, Vital Idol, previously released in the UK two years earlier. It became a big hit here when his liver version of Tommy James & the Shondells’ smash Mony Mony was released as a 45 and reached #1. He released a new version of his 1982 Top 40 hit for a follow-up, Hot In the City, which had peaked at #23. This time around, it will cool down at #48 but will finally become a UK Top 40 hit, climbing to #13. Also, basketball teams like to use the long intro during team introductions during games.

95. Buster Poindexter & His Banshees Of Blue – Hot Hot Hot

After the New York Dolls split up in the mid-70s and his solo career went nowhere, David Johnansen came up with an obnoxious lounge lizard alter-ego, and he found a modicum of success, at least as far as Carnival Cruises is concerned. His first album featured this cover of a 1982 song written and recorded by Montserratian soca musician Arrow. Buster’s version will scorch up to #45 and become his only chart single. But the damage was already done done done.

December 10th, 1988

86. Basia – New Day For You

Basia got her start as part of trio Matt Bianco, but after one album, she and keyboardist Danny White left to jumpstart her solo career. Her debut, Time And Tide, was released, and it took over a year before she had any stateside success, with the title track reaching the US Top 30. this was the next single released, and it will climb to #53. I’m a sucker for UK jazz-pop, especially those 80s releases, so I purchased this cassette and worn it down to the nubs. I gave it The UnCola Classic Album treatment back in 2015.

94. Michelle Shocked – Anchorage

Here’s a single that I had a passing interest in when it was released but regard it fondly today. Part of that has to do with hearing it repeatedly when I worked landscaping jobs. The boss I primarily worked with had great musical taste and loved this album, Short Sharp Shocked. Hearing this or If Love Was A Train makes me think of those days. This will die, like Sarah Palin’s dignity, at #66. These days, Michelle makes more news for her homophobia than for her music, which remains relatively absent on YouTube.

97. J.J. Fad – Is It Love

The follow-up to this rap trio’s only Top 40 hit, Supersonic, almost sounds like an answer record to L.L. Cool J’s I Need Love. If that was intended, it still plays that way. Produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, this will only inch up five more spots.

December 9th, 1989

90. Marcia Griffiths – Electric Boogie

Oh, no. Another wedding reception song that White people continuously screw up. Contrary to popular belief, this song is NOT called the electric slide. It was initially written and recorded by Bunny Wailer in 1986. Marcia, who was part of a trio of women who backed up Bob Marley called the I-Threes, recorded her version in 1983. It was around for six years before someone remixed it, and it charted in the US, sliding up to #51.

92. Michael Morales – I Don’t Know

Texas singer/songwriter came from out of nowhere in 1989 and had two Top 40 hits from his debut album. This midtempo pop-rock number was his attempt at number three, but instead, it will only climb to #81.

94. Neneh Cherry – Heart

This was the third charting single from Neneh’s debut, Raw Like Sushi, and was only released as a single here and in Australia. The record company should have pushed Manchild instead, as that’s one of the best tracks on the album. Instead, this 45 will only palpate to #73.

96. Diving For Pearls – Gimme Your Good Lovin’

Here’s a rock band, initially formed in Boston, who moved to NY and hooked up with two members of the band Urgent, including this Seinfeld ne’er-do-well. Their debut album tried to go through the glam rock back door, but long hair and Aqua Net will only get you so far. It will have a #84 zenith.

99. The Hooters – 500 Miles

We finish up chart week forty-nine with the last chart single from this Philly quintet. The lead-off 45 from their fourth album, Zig Zag, a cover of an old folk tune, was made famous by Bobby Bare in 1963. The Hooters’ version will only slide up two more notches.

A Dream Of Sweet Illusion

We’re hanging out in the middle of the 80s during chart week forty-nine, figuring out how these songs became entrants into The Other Sixty. So let’s review 1983 through 1985.

December 10th, 1983

76. Rick James Featuring Smokey Robinson – Ebony Eyes

This was the third single released from Rick’s seventh album, Cold Blooded. It’s a duet with Smokey, which was initially titled Rick James and Friend on the 45. Friend? The dude helped start the label you’re recording on. Show some respect, ya punk. Even though this ballad may be one of the best things Smokey sang on in the 80s, and their voices blend beautifully, this will just miss the Casey call at #43 and only peak at #22 on the R&B charts.

78. Dolly Parton (with the Jordanaires) – Save The Last Dance For Me

While Kenny followed up the #1 smash Islands In The Stream with the Gibb-penned and produced This Woman, Dolly followed it up with this 1960 Drifters cover featuring Elvis’ former backing band. It has an odd arrangement for a country utilizing synths and a drum machine. But it did make the Nashville Top 10 and almost reached the Top 40, rising to #45.

83. Herb Alpert – Red Hot

Herb was still trying to stay relevant in the 80s, but it’s not gonna happen with this track, which sounds like it was recorded in ’77. And that’s the number it will climb to. Thankfully he signed Janet Jackson to his label. Now he has to figure out how to make her star.

90. Crystal Gayle – The Sound Of Goodbye

Country music’s appeal to the Pop audience waned considerably in the early 80s. Even though artists such as Crystal could still hit #1 on the Country charts with singles such as this one, Pop radio programmers were interested any more. It will only slide up six more spots before saying adios.

93. Atlantic Starr – Touch a Four Leaf Clover

This was the New York nonet’s next chart entry after 1982’s Circles, which peaked at #38. This single came from their fifth album, Yours Forever, which James Anthony Carmichael produced, who previously worked his magic on loads of Commodores hits. It will also be lead singer Sharon Bryant’s last release with the group. The luck will run out at #87.

December 8th, 1984

82. Billy Satellite – I Wanna Go Back

Billy Satellite was not a person but rather a quartet from Oakland, CA. They released one album and had their second shelved until 2016. Their debut yielded two chart singles, Satisfy Me (#64) and this one, which only moved an additional four spots. Eddie Money will record his version for his 1986 album, Can’t Hold Back, and release it as the second single when it reaches #14.

86. Dennis DeYoung – Don’t Wait For Heroes

Here’s the follow-up to the former Styx frontman’s Top 10 saga, Desert Moon. This is your standard 80s pop-rock affair. You could find it on a teen film soundtrack or as track 9 on side B of a random Styx album. Either way, it will only inch up three spots before refusing to wait any longer. Also, I feel like Sunway missed a branding opportunity here.

89. Billy Squier – Eye On You

This was the third single released from Billy’s career-defining fourth album, Signs Of Life. Unfortunately, the aliens could find any in this song and left at #71. Also, see sentence 2 on the piece above.

December 7th, 1985

86. Asia – Go

These five singles joining The Other Sixty tell you all you need to know about Pop radio in late 1985. No prog-rock and R&B allowed. Asia was running low on supergroup powers by their third album. John Wetton is back as the lead singer, and Mandy Meyer replaces Steve Howe on guitar. But the line-up change does not help this lead single get past #46. I am impressed, though, that they took a one-off idea and continued to tour and record for decades.

88. Queen – One Vision

Initially recorded for the film Iron Eagle and included on the band’s 1986 album A Kind Of Magic, the lyrics to this single were reportedly inspired by Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech. It’s an odd choice for a film wherein the lead rescues his dad by killing a bunch of Libyan air fighters, but hey, the music will get you amped up. This 45 will reach #61 and become another UK Top 10 hit. Oh, and Freddie….here you go.

93. El DeBarge & DeBarge – The Heart Is Not So Smart

This is the fourth single from the sibling quintet’s fourth album, Rhythm Of The Night. But this steelpan-flavored midtempo track might as well have been an El Debarge solo single. Supposedly, Bunny & Mark sing back-up, but how would you be able to tell? Motown was grooming El to be a star, and this and the previous single featured him on the title. It will reach the R&B Top 30 but stall out at #75 on the Hot 100.

96. Isley, Jasper, Isley – Caravan Of Love

The Isley Brothers hit some rough times in the early 80s. Marvin and Ernie Isley, along with brother-in-law Chris Jasper in tow, decided to form their own band while the former group continued. They had some minor success with their debut, Broadway’s Closer to Sunset Blvd, but it was the title track to their second LP, which became a Soul classic, reaching #1 on the Soul charts. It will be their highest charting single on the Hot 100, hitting #51, and will inspire this acapella cover by the British quartet, The Housemartins featuring Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, which will reach #1 in the UK in 1986.

97. Eugene Wilde – Don’t Say No Tonight

We’ll wrap this group with another smooth slow jam from Miami-born singer Eugene Wilde who hit #1 on the R&B charts in 1984 with Gotta Get You Home Tonight. This will be his second Soul chart-topper but will fall short with the Pop audience as it only climbs to #76.

Full Of Tension And Fear

We’re in the midst of the Holiday season, the time year when new music has to compete not only with each other but with Christmas classics. Here is the fall out from chart week forty-nine from 1980, 1981 and 1982.

December 6th, 1980

81. Pure Prairie League – I Can’t Stop The Feeling

PPL came roaring back in 1980 with a new lead singer, Vince Gill, and two top 40 hits, including the #10, Let Me Love You Tonight. This was the third single from the album Firin’ Up, and if there was an ocean in the Midwest, this vessel would be sailing on it. Alas, the feeling is discontinued at #77.

87. David Bowie – Fashion

Here’s an artist whose songs became classics regardless of their success on the Hot 100. Case in point –  the second single release from 1980’s Scary Monsters (Ashes To Ashes only reached #101.) will only climb to #70, but it will be another Top 10 hit in the UK. Also, is that beep-beep a tribute to or diss on Donna Summer’s Bad Girls?

December 13th, 1981

88. Henry Paul Band – Keeping Our Love Alive

HPB, the pride of Kingston, NY, is rocking the joint with their only chart single. Led by Paul, a former member of The Outlaws and future member of Blackhawk, this pop-rock release from their third album, Anytime, will have their love croak at #50.

90. Rush – Closer To The Heart (live)

The last time Rush charted on the Hot 100 was in late 1977 with the studio version. This track became a fan favorite in four years, so the live performance from Exit…Stage Left was released as a 45. It will place seven spots closer to the Top 40 than the original settling at #69.

92. KIϟϟ – A World Without Heroes

Imagine a party where someone told these guys, “Hey, why don’t you do your own version of The Wall?” but instead of laughing it off, they believed they could do it. 1981’s Music from The Elder marked the last album with Ace Frehley and first with drummer Eric Carr. This faux concept LP had the band experimenting with orchestras and choirs and probably should never have been released, let alone recorded. I assume the “elder” is code for the dealer, and the guy on the other side of the door has an eight ball for the band.

Fun fact: Lou Reed has a songwriting credit on this track.

93. Patti Austin – Every Home Should Have One

This was the first single and title track from Patti’s new album produced by Quincy Jones. It marked this jazz singer’s latest move into smooth R&B, and her voice is definitely suited for it. Written by the dudes who wrote Modern Girl for Sheena Easton, this shuffly pop tune will find its home at #62 in early 1982.

December 11th, 1982

73. Glenn Frey – All Those Lies

Glenn’s first solo LP, No Fun Aloud (good one), yielded two Top 40 hits. This mellow, soulful pop tune just missed becoming number three when it stopped at #41, getting leapfrogged by Lionel Richie and Golden Earring.

82. Wolf – Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone

Bill Wolfer was a session keyboardist for artists such as Teena Marie, Diana Ross, and The Jacksons when he decided to record his own album and get some of that Zapp money. He strapped on his vocoder, picked out his favorite Motown classic, and did his best Roger impersonation. Initially, a #1 hit for the Temps in 1972, Wolf’s version will lay its hat down at #55. Also…

83. Steve Miller Band – Give It Up

Steve’s third single from his Abracadabra LP sounds like he wrote and recorded it in five minutes. I get the feeling runs his sessions like an accountant, trying to pinch every penny as he goes along. Otherwise, why the hell would he try to record himself as the dorkiest doo-wop group in the world? Dude, go out and hire the Platters or something. This will give it up at #60, the it being success.

84. Rodway – Don’t Stop Trying

Here’s the only chart entry for singer/songwriter Steve Rodway. This synth-pop track immediately stopped trying to rise, only moving one more spot. But don’t cry for ol’ Steve. He’ll get into the remixing game in the 90s, having great success with the Spice Girls’ Wannabe and Gina G’s Ooh, Aah… Just A Little Bit.

86. The Spinners – Funny How Time Slips Away

The Detroit quintet first charted on the Hot 100 in 1961, what the #27 hit, That’s What Girls Are Made For. Twenty-one years later, they have their last lone Hot 100 entry with a Willie Nelson song that had been covered by numbers of artists such as Al Green and Elvis. Their version will slip away at #67.

 

Something Else To Do But Hang Around

Let’s wrap up chart week forty-eight with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 up through 1989.

December 6th, 1986

88. Human League – I Need Your Loving

This British quintet followed up their second US #1, Human, with this single, which was a little too funky for their audience. It was definitely a different sound for them, but I thought it suited them well. It did reach #44, but it also caused friction in the band, with two members leaving soon after. They would return and continue with their synth disco vibes for the rest of their career, hitting the Top 40 as late as 1995.

92. Paul Simon – Graceland

Up until 1986, Graceland was Elvis’ house in Memphis. Then Paul Simon appropriated it and brought African music into the home of White yuppies. Now people think of his album first. The irony is that the song title refers to a car trip Paul took to the King’s home. This single will a Grammy for Record of the Year despite only reaching #81.

97. Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia

Here’s the fourth single from PSB’s debut album, Please. I prefer the album, but they remixed it for release with more synths and added dog barks. I never understood their version of the suburbs as a place with constant police sirens, vandals, and rabid pit bulls. But after this year, I understand. It will become their second UK Top 10, but only reach #70 in the US. The B-side of the UK 45, Paninaro, was played a lot that Winter on WLIR.

December 5th, 1987

84. U2 – In God’s Country

This was the fourth charting single from U2’s breakthrough album, The Joshua Tree, their fifth. It almost followed the first three into the Top 40, but it just missed getting the Casey call at #44.

86. Georgio – Lover’s Lane

Georgio released three singles from his debut album, Sex Appeal. All three were substantial Club hits as well as R&B Top 20s. I don’t get it. There’s no personality in the singing. The arrangements are sterile. And there is no discernable hook, catchiness, or a tune to hum. Still, this will reach #59.

98. KIϟϟ – Reason To Live

Here’s another power ballad from Kiss that will perform poorly on the charts. It will only get to #64. But who cares? I’d like to talk about the album it came from, Crazy Nights. None of these songs have been performed by Kiss after their promotional tour except for one, and it took another 20 years to make the setlist. This group of tracks sounds like they were written and recorded within a four period, with a break to run out and buy more coke. There are two songs with “hell” in the title, three with “night” and called Bang Bang You. Kiss continued to make pointless widgets because people bought them.

December 3rd, 1988

81. Fleetwood Mac – As Long As You Follow

Lindsey Buckingham had left the band before the group recorded two new songs for their Greatest Hits collection, which featured their post-1974 songs only. And now, the quintet was a sextet with the addition of Rick Vito and Billy Burnette. No diss to them, but the edge got even duller. It’s not a surprise that this hit #1 on the AC charts because it sounds like that was now the band’s target audience. It’ll just miss the Top 40 topping out at #43.

December 2nd, 1989

85. The Cure – Lullaby

After this goth sextet surprised everyone with a #2 hit in the Fall of 1989, Lovesong, kept out of the top spot by Janet Jackson, they came back down to dark, dark earth with their follow-up single. It will rock itself to sleep at #74.

88. Jermaine Jackson – Don’t Take It Personal

Jermaine tries to get some of that newfound Surface money by having two of those members right the title track to his first album in three years. It will pay off for his Soul audience as he will hit #1 on the R&B charts. This mellow ballad will reach #64 on the Hot 100.

96. Chunky A – OWWW!

Arsenio Hall almost threw away all of the goodwill he was building up with his talk show by recording a full album with his offensive alter ego, an overweight rapper who was only deemed funny by him and his manager. This laugh riot parody of Cameo’s Larry Blackmon made everyone say ow as if a hot poker was jammed into our eardrums. Howww did this make it up to #77?

97. Christopher Max – Serious Kinda Girl

Here’s an R&B singer/songwriter who seems to be a one and done artist. He released his only album, More Than Physical, in 1989, produced with Nile Rodgers. Even with that type of clout, this album didn’t do much with audiences. This single will reach the R&B Top 30 while peaking at #75 on the Hot 100 before the year was over.

Fun fact: Chris’ dad was singer Gene McDaniels who had a couple of big early 60s smashes, such as Tower Of Strength, Chip Chip, and A Hundred Pounds Of Clay. He also wrote the #1 Roberta Flack hit, Feel Like Makin’ Love. [Although, I prefer this  Bat Mitzvah version.]