Find Me The Place For Us

Here we are. We’ve reached chart week twenty-eight during our review of Bubbling Under the Hot 100 singles from the 80s. There’s a lit bit of country, soundtrack tunes, and as always, soul. Let’s lift these castoffs up and give them a new life.

Barbara Mandrell – Crackers (debuted 7/12/1980, peaked at #105)

Is this song about the eldest Mandrell sister going crazy? No, the title refers to the food she won’t mind her lover eating in bed with her. My joke meter just sounded off multiple alarms, but I’ll keep it clean. Considering Babs doesn’t mind sleeping in a double bed rather than a Queen or King or could care less about being wrong about love, her low self-esteem of sleeping in a pile of Ritz crumbs matches perfectly. From her first 80s LP, Love Is Fair, this single will climb to #3 on the Country charts.

Cheeks – Boney Moronie (debuted 7/12/1980, peaked at #110)

Here’s a pub rock band that released a few singles between 1979 and 1981. This one ended up on the soundtrack to the Animal House-ripoff, Up The Academy starring a young Ralph Macchio. The film is an absolute debacle, and even Mad Magazine, which “presented” it, immediately distanced itself from it after its release.  This amateur cover of this 1957 Larry Williams classic fits the movie to a T. As it plays, you can imagine horny teens crazily running around, gratuitous nudity, and senseless destruction.

Savoy Brown – Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone (debuted 7/18/1981, peaked at #107)

UK blues-rock outfit Savoy Brown had some minor success in the States during the late 60s and early 70s but fell out of favor by the time of their 1976 release Skin N Bone, which failed to chart. Their last attempt at crossing over to the US Top 40 was filled with Smokie covers, first this single, initially a #12 UK hit for Chris Norman and his gang (a Bubbler for Savoy B.), then Run To Me released later in 1981. It was featured on Smokie’s 1980 Greatest Hits Volume 2 collection, but Savoy Brown’s version was their best US showing, reaching #68.

Charlie Daniels Band – Sweet Home Alabama (debuted 7/18/1981, peaked at #110)

From Volunteer Jam VII (which I assumed no one was paid for) comes the inevitable Skynyrd cover from Charlie D. I’m not sure if this was done as a tribute to the fallen members, pandering to the Nashville crowd, or a veiled political statement. I only say that as after the line Birmingham, they love the governor, and he leaves out the Boo, boo, boo part. They peaked at #94 on the County charts.

Zapp – Dance Floor (Part I) (debuted 7/17/1982, peaked at #101)

Roger Troutman was the most successful musically in advancing the funk genre into the 80s with funky synth grooves that were so tight, you’d think they’d snap in half. Maybe his talkbox was the glue that held them together. These jams were too good for Top 40 the first time around, but the hip-hop community sampled them so much, you heard them in dozens of rap songs, especially West Coast, in the 80s and beyond. Everything came full circle when Roger performed the talkbox on Dr. Dre & 2Pac’s #1 smash, California Love. This single will be Zapp’s only R&B #1 hit.

John Williams – Theme From E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) (debuted 7/17/1982, peaked at #103)

John Williams is one of the best-known film composers of all time and has garnered a few Top 40 hits with his themes to Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Jaws. The blockbuster film E.T. quickly became the highest-grossing film for over a decade. The single didn’t get any traction on radio, though, and was relegated to Bubbler status. As soon as you hear John’s theme, you immediately think of Elliott riding his bicycle, flying in the sky with E.T. in his basket. Or it makes you hide in your closet crying into a bag of Reese’s Pieces. Take your pick.

Charlie Daniels Band – Ragin’ Cajun (debuted 7/17/1982, peaked at #109)

Charlie’s back with the second single from his twelfth studio album, Windows, and the follow-up to his #22 hit, Still in Saigon. Someone from Louisiana will have to confirm if this funky fiddle hoedown gets played at U of L games or maybe during your roller coaster ride at Six Flags America in Maryland.

Dionne Warwick – All The Love In The World (debuted 7/16/1983, peaked at #101)

The third single from the Bee Gees-produced Heartbreaker album has a similar shuffly feel to Eyes That See In The Dark, a tune the trio would write for Kenny Rogers. This single didn’t chart on the Hot 100 or the R&B charts, but it would reach #16 on the AC charts and #10 in the UK.

Yello – I Love You (debuted 7/16/1983, peaked at #103)

Here’s the Swiss electronic duo with the lead single from their third album, You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess,  a New Wave-vibed dance track that will reach #16 on the Dance Club charts. In the US, they are most known for their tune, Oh Yeah, featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which only reached #51. Or, as Mac calls it, Day Bow Bow.

Juluka – Scatterlings Of Africa (debuted 7/16/1983, peaked at #106)

Here’s the Johannesburg, South Africa band led by Johny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu with a single from their fourth album, Scatterlings, which helped get their interpretation of  Zulu music heard outside of their native country. Only three years later, we’d be listening and overpraising Paul Simon’s Graceland. Johnny would re-record this track with his new band Savuka in 1987, and it would land on the Rain Man soundtrack.

Shor Patrol – Loverboy (debuted 7/16/1983, peaked at #108)

The pride of Baltimore (or at least, Ocean City) in the 80s was this hard-working rock band led by vocalist Alana Shor. This quintet, which rose from the ashes of the group Paper Cup,  released a four-song EP on Arista Records in 1983, and this single almost broke them into the big time. Instead, its lack of success drove the five members to split up.

Karla Bonoff – Somebody’s Eyes (debuted 7/14/1984, peaked at #109)

The Footloose soundtrack had already generated six Top 40 hits in 1984. But I think Columbia Records got a little greedy releasing a seventh single. Not that the tune isn’t good. It was just overkill. Though it did manage to climb the AC charts landing at #16.

Russ Ballard – The Fire Still Burns (debuted 7/13/1985, peaked at #105)

We wrap up chart week twenty-eight with the title track from this British singer/songwriter/guitarist’s seventh album and last, for eight years. It will fail to make an impact on Pop radio but will receive a decent amount of airplay on Mainstream Rock stations.

Back On The Beat

We’re feeling the heat of Summer as we reach chart week twenty-seven in our review of 80s singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100. We have an excellent group of New Wave tunes and, as always, some forgotten R&B.

Al Jarreau – Never Givin’ Up (debuted 7/5/1980, peaked at #102)

Al was four albums deep when he finally crossed over to the R&B charts with this single from the Jay Graydon-produced This Time, a #1 Jazz album. It will also garner him a Best Male R&B Vocal Grammy nomination and will set up his Pop breakthrough with Breakin’ Away.

J.C. Cunningham – The Pyramid Song (debuted 7/5/1980, peaked at #104)

Here’s a country novelty record sung in the style of Jim Stafford or early Charlie Daniels. But it didn’t have near the success of either of those two artists. In fact, outside of Bernie Madoff, I don’t know who else even bought this 45. JC would write a few Country hits, namely David Allan Coe’s Mona List Lost Her Smile.

Def Leppard – Rock Brigade (debuted 7/5/1980, peaked at #106)

Time for the Sheffield, England quintet who constantly tried to go through the metal door even though they were better characterized as hard rock. From their debut, On Through The Night, this single was their first attempt at the US  market. It wouldn’t be until three years later that producer Mutt Lange would inject a little pop into their sound, resulting in their first hit, Photograph.

Ian Hunter – We Gotta’ Get Out Of Here (debuted 7/5/1980, peaked at #108)

The former frontman of Mott The Hoople continued to climb onto the charts as a solo act and finally managed a #68 peak with Just Another Night from 1979’s You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic. And in the 70s, with a bit of success comes either a greatest hits compilation or a double live LP. Ian opted for the latter and kept side four open for some new studio recordings, of which this rocker is one.

Congrats to the class of 1981, chart week 27, especially the song Tempted by Squeeze, which debuts as a Bubbler and will scuttle onto charts cheating its way up to #49. It remains the band’s signature song even though it has two other Top 40 hits.

Squeeze – Black Coffee In Bed (debuted 7/10/1982, peaked at #103)

Keeping the R&B vibe of the former tune but moving on from the Paul Carrack vocals, here’s the first single from the UK quintet’s fifth album, Sweets From A Stranger. This New Wave classic featured backing vocals from Paul Young and Elvis Costello, neither of whom had a Top 40 hit under their belt at the time. One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands.

Roxy Music – Take A Chance With Me (debuted 7/10/1982, peaked at #104)

Roxy’s eighth and final album, Avalon, was their third UK #1. This was the third single released from it which reached #26 over in England. It wasn’t as catchy as More Than This but still worthy of a better showing than as a 1982 Bubbler. But this was never going to best anything from the Air Supply department as far as Pop radio was concerned.

Heaven 17 – We Live So Fast (debuted 7/9/1983, peaked at #102)

Ian Craig Marsh & Martyn Ware were founding members of the Human League. But by 1980, they couldn’t take being boiled any longer and split to form their own synth-pop band, Heaven 17. Officially a trio with lead singer Glenn Gregory, they racked up seven Top 40hits in the UK but only one chart hit in the US [Let Me Go, #74]. This speedy dance single, also from the album, The Luxury Gap,  got close to the Hot 100, but it died as it lived.

Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (debuted 7/7/1984, peaked at #108)

Midge Ure became famous for co-founding Band Aid and then, Live Aid in the mid-80s. But he was also the lead singer of a pretty good New Wave outfit that netted seventeen Top40 singles in the UK. The closest they ever got in the States was Reap The Wild Wind in 1982. This 45 was even better than that and barely even bubbled. It reached #3 in England and the Top 10 in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Kid Creole & The Coconuts – My Male Curiosity (debuted 7/7/1984, peaked at #110)

What an odd choice to have August Darnell and his 40s-style trio of coconut ladies perform in the Jeff Bridges film, Against All Odds. I’m cool with it. Any chance to see them perform. Unfortunately, their placement in the movie and the soundtrack did not help elevate their status. Their only chart single will be as guests of Barry Manilow on the #90 peak of Hey Mambo in 1988. If you want to know what they’re all about, pick up a copy of their 1982 LP, Wise Guy, which has three of their best songs: Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy, I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby and Stool Pigeon.

Gwen Guthrie – Padlock (debuted 7/6/1985, peaked at #102)

The first lady of the Paradise Garage is back with another post-disco Bubbler. It’s a great upbeat dance song that could have easily fit in on Pop radio during the Summer of 1985. Initially recorded for Gwen’s 1983 album, Portrait, and produced by Sly & Robbie, it received a special remix by DJ Larry Levan. It will climb to #25 on the R&B charts.

Keep The Feeling Of The Spirit

Let’s continue our review of the 80s Bubbling Under tracks from chart week twenty-six with a slew of R&B that was kept off the Pop charts.

Starpoint – Don’t Be So Serious (debuted 7/2/1983, peaked at #107)

Here’s a synth-funk quintet from Maryland led by four Phillips brothers. They released their fifth album, It’s So Delicious, in 1983. This was the lead single which became their biggest R&B hit to date, reaching #14. The band would only reach the Pop Top 40 once in 1985 with Object of My Desire.

Kool & The Gang – Straight Ahead (debuted 6/30/1984, peaked at #103)

After adding permanent lead singer J.T. Taylor and bring in Deodato to produce, this Jersey City funk outfit went on a Top 40 tear throughout the 80s. This was one of the few misses from an album [In the Heart] that already spawned Tonight [#13] and the #2 smash, Joanna. Not sure why this didn’t get picked up on Pop and R&B playlists [It peaked at #49 Soul], but it climbed to #15 in the UK.

Glassmoon – Cold Kid (debuted 6/30/1984, peaked at #103)

Here’s a Pop-rock quartet from Raleigh, NC, called initially Glass Moon, who had two albums under their belt and one charting record, a cover of the Hollies’ On A Carousel which reached #50 in 1982. Then the band split, but lead singer Dave Adams recruited new members, removed the spaced between glass and moon, and recorded one more album, Sympathetic Vibration, which spawned the New Wave-y tune. Their next recorded album has shelved, and the band was no more.

Fun fact: Bobby Patterson, who played bass on the 1984 album, went on to form Dag, a superb retro-funk band who put out a stellar album in 1994 called Righteous.

Luther Vandross – It’s Over Now (debuted 6/29/1985, peaked at #101)

It took Luther an entire decade to become Luther, although the R&B audience took to him almost immediately. Eddie Murphy was already spoofing him on 1983’s Delirious. Vandross got his second Top 40 hit in 1985, Til My Baby Comes Home, from his sixth album, The Night I Fell In Love, but it only climbed as high as #29. This was the second single from the album, and even though this boogie jam hit #4 on the R&B charts, it ends up here as a Bubbler.

René & Angela – Save Your Love (For #1) (debuted 6/29/1985, peaked at #101)

And yet another Soul act that couldn’t cross over. This was the duo’s first R&B #1 and seventh Top 40 on that chart. But the lead single from their fourth and final album, Street Called Desire, bottoms out here. It will have a #3 zenith on the Dance Club charts.

Melba Moore – When You Love Me Like This (debuted 6/29/1985, peaked at #106)

Then there’s the Pop radio shunning of New York City-born Melba Moore. Since this stage singer started recording in the late 60s, the closest she came to a Pop hit was her #47 cover of the Bee Gees’ You Stepped Into My Life in 1978. And that was attributed more to Gibb fever. This Quiet Storm midtempo ballad from her fourteenth album, Read My Lips, will be her thirteenth R&B Top 40.

The Textones – Midnight Mission (debuted 6/29/1985, peaked at #109)

We finish with a great single that has a little ahead of its time for acceptance. Led by singer/ songwriter Carla Olson, The Textones were formed in the L.A. punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s. By their debut in 1984, they added a little folk and country into the mix, which aligned them more to the cowpunk scene that featured bands like Lone Justice. A song about the forgotten poor at the height of 80s jingoism was always going to be a tough sell. But it’s not late to give this a spin because the message is, unfortunately, still timely.

Fun fact: Guitarist Kathy Valentine was an early band member but left to join the Go-Gos just before their debut album.

Fun fact 2: The Textones drummer on their debut was Dwight Twilley’s cohort, Phil Seymour.

To Say What’s Got To Be Said

It’s easy in hindsight to shake your head and wonder why some of these songs weren’t bigger hits or at least chart on the Hot 100. That’s my immediate thought as I look at this list of 80’s Bubbling Under songs from that week twenty-six. It’s easy to forget that some songs take time to grow into classics. Sometimes record companies just bungle the promotion. Some program directors who had particular tastes or were towing corporate lines created pop radio playlists as formulas for marketing executives rather than listeners. Eventually, we, the fans, get to choose, generation by generation, what we enjoy, so long as we can find it and have the ability to listen to it.

Gary Numan & Tubeway Army – Are ‘Friends’ Electric? (debuted 6/28/1980, peaked at #105)

Gary blew up the Pop charts in the late Spring of 1980 with the Synthpop classic, Cars, an absolute game-changer, robotic and lush. When it peaked at #10 in early June, it was surrounded by Linda Rondstadt on one side and Elton John on the other. A new day had come. But rather than release another track from The Pleasure Principle, such as Observer or Complex, ATCO re-released this 1979 UK #1 smash recorded with his former band, Tubeway Army. The single was more aligned with Joy Division than with Funkytown, and thus Gary remains a US one-hit-wonder.

Odyssey – Don’t Tell Me, Tell Her (debuted 6/28/1980, peaked at #105)

This New York City trio had a U.S. Top 40 in early 1978 with Native New Yorker. But they just could not get any more songs of theirs to click on the Pop chart for some reason. This was the lead single from their third album, Hang Together, and with the proper promotion and maybe better timing, this easily could have been a hit. Its gentle calypso vibe helped it do well on the Dance Club charts, where it reached #6.

Cameo – Freaky Dancin’ (debuted 7/4/1981, peaked at #102)

New York funk band Cameo whittled their group down from 14 to 10 members by their seventh album, Knights of The Sound Table. They are also of the few funk outfits to move through the pre-Disco, Disco, and post-Disco periods without losing their stroke. This will be their eleventh R&B Top 40 hit and fifth Top 10 when it peaks at #3. They will rack up 19 Soul hits before their first Pop Top 40 smash, Word Up!.

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train (debuted 7/4/1981, peaked at #106)

People forget that when Ozzy was kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1979, many thought his career was over. But this where the legend of Oz begins. His agent, Don Arden, got him signed to Jet Records and made his daughter Sharon look after him and get him on the right track. [Ozzy was currently married to his first wife, Thelma, at the time.] He recruited members of various rock bands, including Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads, to play with him and record his debut, Blizzard Of Ozz, released in the UK in the Fall of 1980. This was the first solo single he ever released, and although it never reached the Hot 100, it was certified four times platinum in 2020.

Imagination – Just An Illusion (debuted 7/3/1982, peaked at #102)

Here’s a British trio that dabbled in some post-disco synth-funk that netted them lots of hits in their native country. This single, released from the second album, In the Heat of the Night, reached the Top 10 in almost every European country during the Spring of 1982. By the time this midtempo track reached the US shores, it had managed some Dance club spins and a #27 post on the R&B charts, but not much else. Producers Steve jolly & Tony Swain helmed one more album for the group before turning their attention to creating hits for Spandau Ballet and Bananarama.

Gino Soccio – It’s Alright (debuted 7/3/1982, peaked at #108)

If you listened to dance music after 1979 or danced in the clubs, you know that Disco never died. It just became less mainstream and less commercialized. You’re also probably one of the few who would know who Canadian producer Gino Soccio is. He had a slew of smashes on the Disco charts in the early 80s, including this one which peaked at #2. It will also chart on the R&B Hot 100, reaching #60.

U2 – Two Hearts Beat As One (debuted 7/2/1983, peaked at #101)

Until The Joshua Tree, the quintessential U2 album was War. If you were a fan, you knew every song on this album and truly believed Bono and the boys could change the world. It became their first #1 album in the UK and spent years on the US album charts. This single, easily my favorite from the LP,  was the follow-up to their first chart single, New Year’s Day, which hit #53.

Jennifer Warnes – Nights Are Forever (debuted 7/2/1983, peaked at #105)

Nobody thinks of Jennifer Warnes as the Queen of 80s soundtracks. But if you needed a woman to sing your film’s theme song, you called her. Her voice was at once familiar and new, comforting yet disquieting. What a perfect choice for Twilight Zone – The Movie, a production with its own complicated history. This track probably got buried because of the film’s bad press, but its Yachty-vibe is ripe for rediscovery. It will reach the Top 10 on the AC charts.

I’ll get to the rest in the next post…

Time To Work It Out

We’ve made it to chart week twenty-five in our review of the singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s. It’s a light week, so congrats to those who go out. Let’s see who didn’t make it.

Brick – All The Way (debuted 6/21/1980, peaked at #106)

The Atlanta funk quintet that gave us Dazz and Dusic hit a wall at the turn of the decade. This mid-tempo groover owes a bit of debt to those late 70s Raydio hits, albeit with grittier lead vocals. The lead track from their fourth album, Waiting On You, will reach #38 on the Soul charts. Push Push, the funkier follow-up, will do a little better.

Split Enz – One Step Ahead (debuted 6/27/1981, peaked at #104)

This New Zealand quintet’s sixth release, Waiata, Maori for singing, spawned the band’s second Top 10 hit in Australia. It’s one of my favorite songs of theirs and writer Neil Finn’s. But a track this downtempo wasn’t going to break through the Bette Davis Eyes wall that Pop radio was erecting.

Also, if it seemed weird to you that Neil Finn and Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers filled in for Lindsey Buckingham’s spot in Fleetwood Mac recently, consider that Split Enz opened for Tom Petty in 1981.

Bram Tchaikovsky – Shall We Dance? (debuted 6/27/1981, peaked at #109)

The former guitarist of the UK New Wave quartet The Motors had a surprise Top 40 in 1979 called Girl of My Dreams with a band that was also his stage name, kinda like Alice Cooper or Sade. But as the charts quickly softened in the early 80s, it was hard to get another song to break through the Pop cheese. This Power pop track from his third album, Funland, was his last stand before quitting the music industry.

Rich Little – President’s Rap (debuted 6/26/1982, peaked at #105)

Rich Little, the man of a thousand voices, is here to destroy America’s last musical art form. If you don’t know who Little is, consider yourself lucky. When it comes to roasts, he was to Dean Martin’s as Jeffrey Ross is to Comedy Central’s. Someone had the great idea in 1981 to do another installment of Vaughn Meader’s The First Family, but have Rich do the Ronnie Reagan part. Wait, it gets worse. Then Boardwalk Records decided to take a bunch of the “comedy bits” and insert them over the band War performing Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love. And they didn’t even bother to credit the songwriters. It’s a cringe-worthy mess.

Fun fact: Michael Richards plays Ron Jr. on the cover, but the voice of a psychiatrist on the album.

Bill LaBounty – Never Gonna Look Back (debuted 6/26/1982, peaked at #110)

Bill LaBounty is a WestCoast legend. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always pay the bills. Thankfully Michael Johnson covered his 1978 #65 hit This Night Won’t Last Forever and took it into the Top 20 in 1979. This single was the last time Bill would get close to the Hot 100 again. And it’s from an album, his fourth, which in my opinion is his absolute best. Recorded with the best L.A. studio musicians of the day, this ballad will be his highest-charting single on the AC charts, peaking at #22. Warner Bros./Curb Records screwed up when they couldn’t get this or one of the three best tracks on LP on the radio: Dream On, Livin’ It Up, or Look Who’s Lonely Now.

After this release, Bill moved over to Nashville and wrote some big hits for Steve Wariner, such as the #1s, Lynda, and I Got Dreams.

Deniece Williams – Do What You Feel (debuted 6/25/1983, peaked at #102)

Niecy’s seventh album, I’m So Proud, was named after the 1964 Curtis Mayfield-penned hit by the Impressions, which she covers on the LP. This single was the lead 45, written by Willaims and produced by George Duke. The track, which will reach #9 on the R&B charts, has a familiar sound to it, mainly because the intro sounds like this hit, and the chorus sounds like this one. Of course, the chorus also reminds me of this Ashford & Simpson tune recorded five years previous.

Roger Glover – The Mask (debuted 6/23/1984, peaked at #102)

I think it’s obvious that Roger had a wild dream or a bad trip and thought it was a good idea to turn it into a misguided NEw Wave attempt. But the Deep Purple bassist might have been wiser to write it down and share it with a shrink instead. Instead, we get a very 80s production and an offensive video – a NatGeo clip gone awry.

Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere (debuted 6/22/1985, peaked at #105)

Let’s end on a high note from a band who knew how to make interesting videos. This was the lead single from the quartet’s 1985 LP, Little Creatures, their sixth, featuring a cover designed by Howard Finster. And like Once In a Lifetime before it, this classic too will languish under the charts. This will be a hit in many other countries, including the Top 10 in Germany, New Zealand, and the UK. David Byrne finished his American Utopia performance with this track, and for the Spike Lee film, he takes his band through the audience while they performed it.

Playing Around With Words

It’s Bubbling Under in the 80s time again. Let’s review the other half of the tracks that didn’t make it onto the Hot 100 during chart week twenty-four.

Joe Cocker – Threw It Away (debuted 6/18/1983, peaked at #104)This dude had such an up and down career when it came to Pop radio, a few highs followed by long lulls. He’s in the midst of one in 1983 after topping the charts in 1982 with Up Where We Belong. It will be another seven years before he hits the Top 40 one more time in late 1989 with When The Night Comes. That probably had more to do with the fact that it was written by Bryan Adams and Diane  Warren. Folks passed on this melancholy single that has a bit of Yachtiness to it. It was his last single for Island Records, so it never made it onto an album and is very hard to find.

Robert Hazard – Change Reaction (debuted 6/18/1983, peaked at #106)

The man from Philly who wrote Girls Just Want To Have Fun (a future hit for Cyndi Lauper) and who charted earlier in the year with Escalator Of Life [#58] is back with a bouncy rocker. It’s bound to make you push up your jacket sleeves and shake your head.

Pamala Stanley – Coming Out Of Hiding (debuted 6/16/1984, peaked at #106)

Here’s another Philly singer who bubbled under back in 1979 with This Is Hot is back with her second Bubbler. Co-written with her brother James, this synth-disco tune reached #4 on the Billboard Dance charts. I remember seeing the video a lot on public access video shows and thought it was a much bigger hit than it ended up to be.

George Clinton – Double Oh-Oh (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #101)

Not one of George’s solo singles ever charted on the Hot 100.  But boy, oh boy, have they been sampled. This one got as close as Atomic Dog did two years earlier, but it’s not as catchy. It’s from his third album, Some of My Best Friends Are Jokes.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly – Too Many Games (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #103)

Here’s another artist that couldn’t cross over to the Pop market even though they place four songs on the Hot 100. But this Philly (again) band wasn’t making music for the Top 40. All of those tasty grooves were for their R&B audience, who still appreciate them today. If you’ve never heard their music, the album, Can’t Stop the Love is an excellent place to start.

Force M.D.’s – Itchin’ For A Scratch (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #105)

A year before they hit the Top 10 with Tender Love, this Staten Island sextet was making the transition from hip-hop to doo-wop. Thus you have some smooth harmonies over jacked-up drum beats, some vinyl scratching with a bit of rapping mixed in for good measure. The single was released from the soundtrack to the movie Rappin’, the unofficial sequel to Breakin’ 2.

Nolan Thomas – One Bad Apple (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #105)

Nolan was a teen singer from New Jersey who had a club with Yo’ Little Brother, which climbed to #57. Some record company nitwit thought it was a good idea to have him record a Freestyle cover of the Osmonds 1971 smash. Let’s just say the whole barrel became rotten. Career juiced. Next.

Cheyne – Call Me Mr. ‘Telephone’ (Answering Service) (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #106)

Anything that sounded remotely like Madonna, who was super huge at the time, was pushed out there to grab some of Madge’s money. This odd slice of Italo-Disco, which also features a mini-rap, is actually a cover as it was initially recorded by a band named Answering Service. This reached #1 on the Dance Club charts and #62 on the R&B charts. A better quality recording might have garnered the track more attention.

Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love (debuted 6/15/1985, peaked at #109)

Another artist who wasn’t motivated to make the Top 40 even though he made many great Pop singles. This makes a one-week stop as a Bubbler at #109 but reached the UK Top 10. It lives on as a New Wave classic as the background music to any erotic film scene.


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