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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