Let’s wrap chart week forty-nine with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 through 1989.
December 13th, 1986
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.