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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.