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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.