Simple But No So Clear

Let’s continue our review of those snakebit tunes Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s. Here’s the group that showed up on chart week twenty-three from 1983 to 1985.

Carlos Santana – Watch Your Step (debuted 6/11/83, peaked at #107)

Devadip brings a little Muscle Shoals to San Francisco on his fifth solo album, Havana Moon, produced by Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett. This fun, upbeat rocker also features the Tower Of Power horns. Carlos has only charted once on the Hot 100 outside of his band for all of his output. That was his live version of Evil Ways with Buddy Miles that reached #84 in 1972.

O’Bryan – Lovelite (debuted 6/9/84, peaked at #101)

O’Bryan Burnette is an R&B singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who racked up seven Top 40 hits on the Soul charts. This synth-funk jam from his third album, Be My Lover, was his biggest going all the way to #1. It was co-written as all the album tracks were by Don Cornelius. And that’s one way to get yourself on Soul Train. Also, does he know a limo driver is waiting for him at LaGuardia?

Greg Kihn Band – Reunited (debuted 6/9/84, peaked at #101)

And it feels so good. But this isn’t a Peaches & Herb remake. It’s the first single from Kihntagious, the sixth official release from the Greg Kihn Band.  Kihn this power popper make the Hot 100? No, it kihnt, as it kihn only climb as high as #101. Kihn you believe that? What an absolute kihn. Too bad they weren’t Kihnadian. They could’ve gotten some kihnkihn airplay.

John Lennon – Borrowed Time (debuted 6/9/84, peaked at #108)

Almost four years after John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy, Ono tried to finish the album that she & he were working on when he was murdered in December 1980. She called it Milk And Honey. Nobody Told Me ended up reaching #5, and after I’m Stepping Out only climbed as high as #55, this was released as the third single. Inspired by Bunny Wailer and a harrowing sailing trip, John wrote and recorded the first version of the song in Bermuda, which heavily influenced the reggae vibes, before going into the studio in New York during August 1980 band sessions.

The Deele – Material Thangz (debuted 6/8/85, peaked at #101)

This Cincinnati quintet kept delivering the synth-funk jams, which got them R&B airplay (#14 Soul) but never helped them crossover to Pop radio. They didn’t realize they had a smooth ballad songwriter in their lineup called Babyface. When they did, he co-wrote and co-sang Two Occasions, their only Top 40 hit. And then he split.

Van Zant – You’ve Got To Believe In Love (debuted 6/8/85, peaked at #102)

The Johnny Van Zant Band released three early 80s albums with not much to show for it. Even though Southern Rock was falling out of fashion, Johnny was undeterred and knew what to do. He changed the name of the band to Van Zant and released a fourth album under that moniker. And, voila, he was rewarded with a Bubbler. This track was co-written by Bill “This Night Won’t Last Forever” LaBounty. Johnny will later team up with Donnie as a tribute to Ronnie.

Ashford & Simpson – Babies (debuted 6/8/85, peaked at #102)

This married duo, which had their biggest Pop hit with Solid when it reached #12 in early 1985, is now on single #3 from that 1984 release. And still no love. This moody synth-soul tune will reach #29 on the R&B charts and features a muted trumpet solo by Joe Mosello, who played with Maynard Ferguson in the late 70s.

Run-D.M.C. – You Talk Too Much (debuted 6/8/85, peaked at #107)

Homeboy, you never SHUT UP! Another great track from the Hollis, Queens trio’s second album, King of Rock, which was blasting out of boomboxes all Summer in 1985. It will also make the R&B Top 20.

Greg Kihn – Boys Won’t (Leave The Girls Alone) (debuted 6/8/85, peaked at #110)

Kihn you believe this? Two Greg Kihn songs in one post. This one was from Citizen Kihn, Greg’s first solo album since 1978’s Next Of Kihn and was written with his long-time bass player, Steve Wright. It’s the catchy follow-up to his last Top 40 hit, Lucky but kihn barely get itself into the Bubbler club. It features Pete Escovedo on percussion. Also, rosebud.


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