Forget What I’ve Tried To Be

It’s another full dance card for chart week twenty-four regarding those Bubbling Under singles from the 80s. First, let’s review a handful from 1980 through 1983.

GQ – Sitting In The Park (debuted 6/14/1980, peaked at #101)

After scoring a #20 hit in 1979 with the Billy Stewart tune, I Do Love You, this Bronx quartet goes back to the well with another of his songs, which initially reached #24 in 1965. This one finds a bench, feeds the pigeons, and ends up a Bubbler. It will reach the R&B Top 10.

Gene Chandler – Does She Have A Friend? (debuted 6/14/1980, peaked at #101)

The Duke Of Earl tries to elongate his late 70s mini-comeback with this funky mid-tempo track from his eleventh album, ’80. It was a nice change of pace after his last two disco singles and should have received more love. It will only reach #28 on the Soul charts but will match that peak in the UK.

Survivor – Rebel Girl (debuted 6/14/1980, peaked at #103)

Oh, Survivor. We meet again. The band that placed ten singles in The Other Sixty group is back with their second and final Bubbler. It’s the follow-up to their first chart hit, Somewhere in America, but was not included on their 1980 debut for some reason.

Fun Fact: Lead singer Dave Bickler was also the band’s keyboard player in the beginning. Keyboardist Jim Peterik played rhythm guitar for the first two albums before switching.

Angel City – Marseilles (debuted 6/14/1980, peaked at #109)

Wanna know what AC/DC would sound like with a mellower lead vocalist? Well, look no further. The Angels were an Australian quintet eager to break into the US market at the turn of the decade. Their 1980 album Face to Face was a compilation from their last two late 70s Down Under releases, Face To Face and No Exit. They changed their name to Angel City, and this was all they had to show for it. The group would keep that double name charade up for five years. During that time, the US band Angel split up, and no one ever mistook these guys as the ones who sang My Boyfriend’s Back.

Heart – Bebe Le Strange (debuted 6/14/1980, peaked at #109)

The first five years of Heart’s career were filled with false starts and lawsuits. But even with their janky momentum, they still racked up seven Top 40 hits to this point. The title track to their fifth album was the follow-up to the #33 climber, Even It Up. No one got their Zeppelin better on better than the Wilson sisters.

Billy Ocean – Night (Feel Like Getting Down) (debuted 6/20/1981, peaked at #103)

Leslie Charles had an eight-year Top 40 gap between 1976’s Love Really Hurts Without You and Caribbean Queen. But he wasn’t on hiatus or asleep. Pop programmers were. The title track to his third album is a smooth jam that should have been pumping from car speakers that Summer. The cool cars in my neighborhood did, and it reached #7 on the R&B charts.

Also, Billy’s presence here is my cue to link this pre-Ted Lasso favorite.

The Pinups – Song On The Radio (debuted 6/19/1982, peaked at #110)

What a horribly misogynistic and exploitative concept as a band. But this is a damn fine pop song, which goes to prove that T&A doesn’t automatically sell music [see The Pussycat Dolls]. The song was written by Tony “A Fine Fine Day” Carey and released in the Netherlands in 1981 before getting a proper release here in the States. Pop radio missed the boat on this one.

The Isley Brothers – Between The Sheets (debuted 6/18/1983, peaked at #101)

We’re gonna finish with two classics in their respective genre. First up, the smooth grooves of the Isley Brothers, who released the title track to their twenty-second LP and last with the classic six-person lineup. Pop radio has absolutely no excuses for ignoring this Quiet Storm masterpiece. It will reach #3 on the Soul charts but will be sampled repeatedly by Jay-Z, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, and, most importantly, Biggie. It’s hard to play this song and not think of throwing your hands in the ay-ya like a true playa. But we all know the true big poppa was Ronald Isley.

Marshall Crenshaw – Whenever You’re On My Mind (debuted 6/18/1983, peaked at #103)

Now on to a New Wave classic. What was the reason to keep the lead single off of Marshall’s second album, Field Day, off Pop radio? It’s easily the best thing he ever wrote and performed, and considering he already had a Top 40 presence the year before with Someday, Someway, this should have been a non-brainer for programmers. I also dig this version by Marti Jones, another artist Pop radio ignored.

That’s nine. We’ll finish up the chart week with the back nine in the next post.


One Reply to “Forget What I’ve Tried To Be”

  1. I agree that “Whenever You’re on My Mind” is Mighty MC’s greatest song (though I would contend there’s competition for the title). It does possess a certain magic; kudos also for giving love to Marti’s version.


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