As we move into the middle of the 80s during chart week forty-eight, The Other Sixty entrants are all over the place – comedians rapping, metal bands covering 60s girl groups – it’s a glorious mess. Let’s review from 1983 to 1985.
December 3rd, 1983
Here’s the follow up to Bonnie’s huge #1 smash, Total Eclipse of the Heart from the Jim Steinman-produced Faster Than The Speed Of Night. The man never met a bad pun. It’s a rock ballad in the Spector wall-of-sound style, and it made it up into the Top 50. But its bright eyes turned around at #46.
This was the first single from the San Francisco quintet’s second album, Midnight Madness. A fast guitar-led rocker with not much personality to differentiate themselves from other rock songs at the time, it will only climb up to #51. They decided to release a ballad as a follow-up, and their fortunes took a turn upward.
After the release of An American Prayer in 1978 and the use of The End in Apocalypse Now in 1979, The Doors’ music mounted a revival into the 80s. In 1983, Alive, She Cried, a new live album, was put together, featuring never before released live Doors recordings. Elektra Records released their Them cover, recorded during a rehearsal in L.A. in 1969, as a promotional single. It was their first chart single in eleven years and peaked at #71.
The title track to Anne’s new album was released as the lead single. It will become her third Country #1 of the 80s. The song reflects how she wished the “news” would have one day where they reported only good things. It’s 1983, and she’s already weary of CNN. I hear ya, sister. It won’t get any better. Here’s a little good news for you. This single will peak higher than #75. (Don’t tell her that it’s #74.)
Steve Walsh left Kansas in 1980 and immediately recorded a solo album, Schemer-Dreamer, Which came out at the end of that year. Missing the band dynamic, he formed this quartet, which released their first album in 1983. Their only chart single, which received a lot of Rock airplay, will only move up another three spots from its debut.
After two aborted attempts at showbiz and a few decades of serious commitment, Jack Roy, aka Rodney Dangerfield, was finally becoming a mainstream success. His NY club, Dangerfield’s, which opened in 1969, became a hotspot for up-and-coming comics. Easy Money, his first lead in a film, co-starring Joe Pesci, was released during the Summer. So why not put out a new comedy album and sandwich a rap song in the middle? This was back when people [re White] thought that the art form was a joke and ripe for parody. Interestingly two of the songwriters from Kurtis Blow’s The Breaks wrote this one, which is why it sounds similar. Just throw in his “no respect” routine and let the laughs ensue. It’s worth noting that there were many rap parodies, but none of them were ever successful. The single will get…well, y’know…at #83.
Fun fact: Ricky Nelson used Rodney Dangerfield as a pseudonym during an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
December 1st, 1984
Bowie follows up his Top 10 hit Blue Jean, with a track he initially wrote with Iggy Pop for his 1977 album, Lust For Life. His version became a reggae duet with Tina Turner, who recorded this before she released Private Dancer. It will fade into the dark at #53.
Fun fact: Tina would record this with David for her Tina Live In Europe LP and put it out as a single. It will go to #1 in the Netherlands.
Jukebox was the sixth album released under the Dazz Band moniker, as they were originally known as Kinsman Dazz during the 70s. This electro-dance single will be their final Hot 100 entry when it blows at #84.
November 30th, 1985
For a metal band that didn’t take itself so seriously, this was an inspired cover choice. Originally recorded by the Shangra-Las in 1964 and hitting #1 in early 1965, this Long Island quintet screeched their version up to #53 as the lead single to their fourth album, Come Out And Play.
This Philly trio got their only chart hit from a track off their third album, Along The Axis. With a real push from their record label, this could have and should have been a bigger hit. But instead, it debuts at its peak.
Diana comes full circle on this Supremes-inspired dance track written by the Bee Gees. It will become her second #1 in the UK, but in the States where Northern Soul was never a thing, it will debut at its peak. It will be remixed and re-released in 1986 but will only reach #66. The original Boss will never hit the Top 40 again.
Nick Lowe is considered a one-hit-wonder in the States. But if you don’t know anything else of his besides Cruel To be Kind, that’s your mistake. He is a top-notch song craftsman who continues to amaze with his songwriting and performing. I remember hearing (I Love The Sound Of) Breaking Glass on an inflight radio program when I was 7 and was mesmerized. I got to see him in a small packed club a few years back, just he and his guitar. Los Straitjackets opened up for him and then joined him at the end for a few tunes. Hearing him sing All Men Are Liars gave me chills as that last chord rang out over a quietly attentive crowd. But I digress…
This single is basically Nick as the lead singer of the News, with Huey on harmonica and backing vocals. It probably explains its appearance on the Hot 100 in late 85 as the former band was quite popular at the time. The wedding reception will end at #77.
Fun fact: After David Bowie released the album Low, Nick released an EP called Bowi.