We’re onto chart week six of our review of Bubbling Under tracks of the 80s. Let’s take a look at 1980 up through 1982.
Henry Mancini and his Orchestra – Ravel’s Bolero (debuted on 2-9-80, peaked at #101)
I’m sure you’re wondering what a film composer and a piece of seventy-year-old piece of classical music are doing here. Henry actually had a #1 hit in 1969 with the Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet, and he almost made the Top 40 as late as 1977 with the Charlie’s Angels theme, which hit #45. He’s also the man behind the iconic Pink Panther theme, which started his lifelong collaboration with filmmaker Blake Edwards.
For Edwards’ 1979 movie, 10, he needed HM to record a new version of Maurice Ravel’s most famous composition, Bolero, a one-movement orchestral ballet. It seems that Bo Derek’s character likes to do it to that jam, and it becomes the setting music when she and Dudley Moore finally get it on. I’m assuming by this 45, or the soundtrack was a lot cheaper than getting cornrows.
Alan Parsons Project – You Won’t Be There (debuted on 2-9-80, peaked at #105)
Abbey Road engineer Alan and Eric Woolfson continue their project with their fourth album, Eve, released in 1979, a concept album based on (a man’s feeling about) women’s strengths and characteristics. It will not be the first or last music created in the Mansplaining genre. Damned If I Do was the first single released, and it reached the Top 30. This laidback ballad was sung by singer-songwriter Dave Townsend who also contributed to 1977’s I Robot.
J.D. Souther – White Rhythm And Blues (debuted on 2-9-80, peaked at #105)
JD spent a decade trying to get a solo hit, finally scoring in late 1979 with the title track to his third album, You’re Only Lonely, a Roy Orbison tribute or re-write, depending on your view. This was a lovely follow-up that didn’t gain any traction despite featuring Phil Everly on backing vocals and John Sebastian on harmonica solo. Former flame Linda Ronstadt recorded her version on 1978’s Back In the U.S.A.
Rupert Holmes – Blackjack (debuted on 2-14-81, peaked at #103)
Six albums in and five different record companies – not a great way to keep any consistency. A lot of this was not Rupert’s fault. In fact, he survived and had success despite it. His 1980 Adventure spun out two members of The Other Sixty, Morning Man & I Don’t Need You. Between those two was this single, and although it’s not as immediate as Escape or Him, I still dig it. And I hope to hell someone in Vegas included in a medley as part of their lounge act. Otherwise, why did he bother?
Whitesnake – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City (debuted on 2-14-81, peaked at #109)
Here’s the follow-up to the #53 peaking track Fool For Your Loving, and it’s a cover of the 1974 Bobby Blue Bland tune. Are you wondering if this is the same Whitesnake that sang Here I Go Again with a slithering Tawny Kitaen in the video? Why yes, it is. They began life as an unofficial blues-rock offshoot of Deep Purple with Jon Lord on keyboards and David Coverdale on lead vocals. By the third album, Ready an’ Willing, they also had former DP drummer Ian Paice on drums. It’s quite good, and there’s plenty of metal on here, just not the type of slick glam that they padded their 401ks with
Triumph – Say Goodbye (debuted on 2-13-82, peaked at #102)
It’s hard for me to think of this band and not think of the comic insult dog puppet. It’s also hard to have a band name like this and continuously have untriumphant moments like these. Even in Canada, where they have CanCon, the band only managed four Top 40 hits, none higher than #14, over a three-decade career. From 1981’s Allied Forces, this track made it to #36 in the Great White North, which probably explains why it’s here.
Lakeside – I Want To Hold Your Hand (debuted on 2-13-82, peaked at #102)
Lakeside only had one Hot 100 entry, and it only reached #55. But lots of folks know the song Fantastic Voyage, even before Coolio mangled it into submission. What you may not know or have ever heard was their funky doo-wop-inspired cover of the Beatles classic. The first single released from their fifth album, Your Wish Is My Command, traveled up to #5 on the R&B charts.
The Whispers – In The Raw (debuted on 2-13-82, peaked at #103)
While finally breaking through to the Pop charts in 1980 after a decade of trying, this Soul quartet had trouble maintaining that crossover success throughout the 80s despite releasing one sweet jam after another. Released as the lead single from their fourteenth album, Love Is Where You Find It, it will be their eighth Top 10 single on the Soul charts.