Let’s continue our review of 80s singles bubbling under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-one with a look at 1984 and 1985.
Duke Jupiter – Rescue Me (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #101)
Here’s a rock quintet from Rochester, NY, who was on the verge of breaking through for years but just never had that one single. Even after their bass player, George Barajas, suddenly passed away from cancer in 1982, the band pressed on and recorded three more albums. This single was released from their White Knuckle Ride album on Morrocco Records, a subsidiary of Motown. That these guys were the most successful band on it should tell you something.
Russ Ballard – Two Silhouettes (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #106)
Russ was a singer/ songwriter whose success lay in other folk singing his songs. That may be why he racked up three Bubblers in the mid-80s, including this one from his self-titled LP. The 70s hard rock band Bronz got back together in 2010 to record a new album, including their version of this song.
Greg Kihn Band – Rock (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #107)
The cut-out king of the 80s (at least in the record stores where I shopped) with one of his six Bubblers and the second from their Kihntagious album. I think Greg missed a crossover marketing opportunity by not teaming up with Kinney Shoes. They don’t wear ’em like that anymore.
Kashif – Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #108)
Kasif is back with the lead single from his second album, Send Me Your Love. This midtempo synth-funk jam will reach #6 on the R&B charts but kept him an unknown at Pop radio. Next Summer, his production of Whitney Houston’s first Top 10 hit, You Give Good Love, will be all over Top 40 station playlists.
Nick Lowe – Half A Boy And Half A Man (debuted on 8/4/1984, peaked at #110)
Here’s a tune that sounds like it should be blasting out of the speakers while you ride the Tilt-A-Wheel at a carnival. Nick’s first two 80s albums, Nick The Knife & The Abominable Showman, were ignored by Top 40 radio. But the lead single from Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit got enough of a sniff that it barely showed up here. If all you know you all is Cruel to Be Kind, you’re missing out on this man’s rich forty-plus year catalog.
Sheila E. – Sister Fate (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #102)
This was the first released single from Sheila’s second album Romance 1600, and it stiffed, only climbing to #36 on the Soul charts. It’s obvious that A Love Bizarre should have been put out first. But I’m sure Sheila wanted to prove she didn’t need Prince’s help to succeed. She didn’t need to – she’s a badass.
New Edition – My Secret (Didja Gitit Yet?) (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #103)
Someone thought they had another Thriller on their hands when they kept releasing singles from this teen Boston quintet’s sophomore album. Thankfully they stopped at four. Also, they had a new album on the way. This will climb to #27 on the R&B charts. If you can get through the tune without strangling that rhythm guitarist, you’re a better man than I am.
The Weather Girls – Well-A-Wiggy (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #107)
Martha Wash and Izora Redman started out as backup singers for Sylvester before striking out on their own as Two Tons O’ Fun. Prompted by their 1982 single It’s Raining Men, they smartly changed their name to The Weather Girls. This was the first 45 from their follow-up LP, Big Girls Don’t Cry, a reggae-tinged doo-wop track written by folk singer Jesse Winchester, who’d release his version on 1988’s Humour Me.
Fun Fact: Martha would go on to be the anonymous lead singer for C&C Music Factory, Black Box, and Seduction. Ever been to a sporting event and heard “everybody dance now“? That’s her.
Robert Plant – Too Loud (debuted on 8/3/1985, peaked at #108)
It may be weird to see Plant here as a Bubbler, but he spent most of the 80s having his material constantly compared to Led Zeppelin. This was the follow-up to the #36 single, Little By Little, from his third album, Shaken N Stirred, and even Rock radio ignored it. Maybe it was too avant-garde for folks as Plant himself admits it was a little out there and acknowledges its Talking Heads influence.