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.]

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