We are back with our review of Bubbling Under the Hot 100 singles during the 80s. Let’s take a look at the first half of chart week twenty-nine.
Waylon – Clyde (debuted 7/19/1980, peaked at #103)
Singer-songwriter Jennings became well-known as a Country outlaw, first with the Wanted! album in 1976, then through his collaboration with Willie Nelson in 1978, leaving him to go by his first name only for several years. This J.J. Cale-penned number was the lead single from his LP, Music Man, and would climb to #7 on the Country charts. But his follow-up, Good Ol’ Boys, would take him into the living rooms of Dukes Of Hazzard fans each Friday night, reaching #21 on the Pop charts.
Glass Moon – (I Like) The Way You Play (debuted 7/19/1980, peaked at #108)
Here’s the pride of Raleigh, North Carolina – a progressive rock quartet that evolved into a no-frills Power Pop outfit by the time of their self-titled 1980 debut. The album became such a big hit in Puerto Rico that they were commissioned to record a 7-Up commercial in Spanish to broadcast there.
The only single to debut as a Bubbler this week in 1981 is Larry Graham’s Just Be My Lady. It will chart on the Hot 100 and hit a high of #67.
Tommy Tutone – Which Man Are You (debuted 7/24/1982, peaked at #101)
The San Francisco band (yes, Tommy Tutone is a band, not a person) that made Jenny’s phone number a fun prank opportunity is back with their follow-up. Released from their second album Tommy Tutone 2, this laid-back rocker featured former Steve Miller Band member Lonnie Turner on bass.
Shalamar – I Can Make You Feel Good (debuted 7/24/1982, peaked at #102)
After reaching #8 in early 1980 with The Second Time Around, this trio had trouble getting anything else into the Top 40 for years, despite their success on the Soul charts and over in the UK, where this reached #7. This was the follow-up to the #44 single, A Night To Remember, from their sixth album, Friends. Personally, I would have traded this midtempo boogie for one less Journey or REO Speedwagon tune on the radio.
Cheryl Lynn – Instant Love (debuted 7/24/1982, peaked at #105)
Here’s another R&B one-hit-wonder whose solid output was virtually ignored by Pop radio since her 1979 smash, Got To Be Real. This was the title track to her fourth album, produced and written by Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller recorded almost as a warm-up to their Aretha Franklin renaissance. It will climb to #16 on the Soul charts.
Charlene – It Ain’t Easy Comin’ Down (debuted 7/24/1982, peaked at #109)
From the song-things-are-better-left-alone file: Here’s a singer who retired from the music industry in 1980 and was working in a candy store in England when her 1977 single, I’ve Never Been To Me, took off on Pop radio in 1982, getting undressed by kings all the way up to #3. The very white Charlene resigned a contract with Motown (that sentence sounds wrong, but it’s true), and the company re-released this 1976 flop looking for some double lightning. Had something actually hit them in the head, they might not have wasted Stevie Wonder’s time with her. You can also hear this song in The Last American Virgin, which seems perfect if you’ve seen that film.
Fun Fact: The man that wrote this and “never been to me” originally co-wrote Stevie’s For Once In My Life. How?
Gary Moore – Falling In Love With You (debuted 7/23/1983, peaked at #110)
Here’s the second Bubbler from Gary’s second album, Corridors of Power, his attempt at a US Pop crossover. This bluesy ballad has the ingredients of a sleeper hit but gets weighed down by the sleepy performance. Gary’s a great guitarist, but this song would have benefited from a guest vocalist with more depth and range.
“We’ll be back with more stuff,” as Chuck Barris used to say in our review of 1984 and 1985 from chart week twenty-nine in the 80s.