Time That Will Last Until The End

The good news is that there weren’t many singles loitering beneath the charts during week thirty-five during the 80s. The bad news is that there aren’t many to talk about. Actually, decide for yourself what is good, bad, or neither and let’s review what’s left as well as a couple of “maybe” Bubblers from 1985.

Paul McCartney – Waterfalls (debuted on 8/30/1980, peaked at #106)

Macca cleaned the Wings out of his system with his electronically experimental LP titled McCartney II. It didn’t yield any hits, but a live B-side of one of the tracks, Coming Up, hit #1 in the Summer of 1980. That’s Paul’s luck – even when he fails, he succeeds. Also, in the fact that this album has gained a significant cult following. This pretty ballad, which sounds nice next to The Korgis’ left-hield hit of that same year, may have also inspired TLC’s  1995 #1 smash. When this song was played during the McCartney 321 documentary, I thought for sure Rick Rubin was gonna say something about TLC. Probably ended up getting edited out. I guess considering that The Beatles were so heavily influenced by rhythm and blues, it’s only fitting that a Soul group would take a little back.

Ray Kennedy – Starlight (debuted on 8/30/1980, peaked at #109)

Ray was a singer/songwriter from Philly who got a co-write credit on the original version of the Beach Boys’ Sail On, Sailor, and The Babys’ Top 20 hit, Isn’t It Time. This upbeat horn-laden 45 was the second release from his second and final album, which follows the #82 single, Just For The Moment.

Teddy Pendergrass – I Can’t Live Without Your Love (debuted on 9/5/1981, peaked at #103)

Man, did TP know how to work a crowd? I mean, listen to his vocals on a sultry ballad like this and just imagine him whipping up the females into a frenzy. And he was single-handedly keeping Philadelphia International afloat into the 80s with his album sales. I have no clue what this R&B Top 10 and lead single from his fifth album, It’s Time For Love, is doing, languishing under the Hot 100. Tragically, in six months from this release, Teddy’s world changed forever after an auto accident left him a quadriplegic.

Nothing left behind from 1982 or 1983 this week.

Helix – Rock You (debuted on 9/1/1984, peaked at #101)

Even though I was never really into metal, I absolutely remember this song. My cousin played it a lot too, and we wouldn’t give Helix an R or an O, instead offering an F and a U. This will be the closest that this Canadian quintet will get to the Hot 100, although they did get some MYV airplay with the censored version of the video. The band Sun 41 recorded a cover for the indie film FUBAR. And there’s also this.

The Bubblers have dried up for 1985, but maybe we can create a few.

Let’s take a look at Billboard magazine for the week of August 31st, 1985, and their weekly Pop picks, which included  Stevie Wonder’s Part-Time Lover, Starship’s We Built This City, and Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice Theme, all of which went to #1. There’s also the Pop picks which made the Top 40: Springsteen’s I’m Goin’ Down, Don Henley’s Sunset Grill,  Hall & Oates’ A Nite at the Apollo Live!, Bowie & Jagger’s Dancing In the Street, and Kate Bush Running Up That Hill (which was recommended, not picked)

Some of the picks made the Hot 100, such as The Romantics’ Test of Time, Depeche Mode’s Master & Servant, Debarge’s You Wear It Well and Talking Heads’ And She Was. That left us with two songs that did not chart, so…

Possible 1985 Bubblers:

April Wine – Rock Myself To Sleep (from Fright Night)

If you watched the clip under the Helix post, you know that Ricky always confuses Rush with this band. At this point, the wine was going sour with their last hit, Just Between You & Me, coming in 1981. In 1984, they reached #58 with This Could Be The Right One. This song was recorded for the Fright Night soundtrack, and although I never saw the film, I remember this one (probably, my cousin again). It was also released on their twelfth album, Walking Through Fire, and written by Kimberly Rew & Vince De La Cruz, both members of Katrina & the Waves. The band would take a seven-year hiatus after this. Starship would also record a version of this on their Knee Deep In The Hoopla LP. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Rio – I Don’t Wanna Be The Fool 

Billboard calls this song Power pop, but it sounds more like arena rock to me. This UK duo features Steve Rodford, whose dad Jim was the original bass player for The Zombies. When the band reformed in the early 2000s, Jim recruited his son Steve to play drums, which he has since 2004.

Rio would record a second album, Sex Crimes, in 1986 before washing away.

Time Can’t Afford The Time

Chart week thirty-four is a little light on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 tunes from 1980 to 1984. There are a few excellent ones that have gone on to be classics in their genre. Let’s review, shall we?

Isaac Hayes – It’s All In The Game (debuted on 8/23/1980, peaked at #107)

The Chef of Love is back with another extended soul-drenched ballad, this one from his fifteenth album, And Once Again. A cover of the 1958 Tommy Edwards #1 smash, it was the second single released from the album, peaking at #86 on the Soul charts. Hayes never crossed over to the Pop world again, but he should have in 1998 with Chocolate Salty Balls, which hit #1 in the UK.

Fun fact: The song’s melody was written by Charles Dawes, who became Vice-President of Calvin Coolidge.

Harry Chapin – Story Of A Life (debuted on 8/29/1981, peaked at #105)

Whatever you may think of Harry’s musical work, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most charitable artists who ever lived. His philanthropy and activism made an indelible mark, not only on Long Island, where we live but throughout the country. He co-founded World Hunger Year, now known as WhyHunger, which lives on to this day working to end hunger and poverty. The third single from his final album, Sequel, was released one month after Harry died in a car accident on his way to a benefit concert. It was written several years before during a turbulent flight and is a fitting musical bookend to a life, while short, still well-lived.

Jim Messina with Pauline Wilson – Stay The Night (debuted on 8/29/1981, peaked at #110)

We all know what happened to the Loggins of Loggins and Messina. So whatever happened to Jim? Well, it’s not like he didn’t bring a pedigree into the duo, having been a founding member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. After L&M split in 1976, Jimmy put out three solo albums and managed two Bubblers. This duet with Pauline Wilson of Seawind was from his second album, Messina, which features plenty of tunes to play around the harbor.  Jim would rejoin Poco in 1989 for their album, Legacy, which yielded two Top 40 hits.

Haircut One Hundred – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) (debuted on 8/28/1982, peaked at #101)

This is what I’m talkin’ about – primo New Wave pop with shades of jazz-funk at 140 BPM. Even though this was the UK sextet’s follow-up to their #37 hit, Love Plus One, it was their first smash in England, reaching #4 in late 1981. Their debut album, Pelican West, is an absolute gem of the era. But after one more album, the band split. Leader Nick Heyward has made several fantastic solo albums, notably From Monday To Sunday in 1993.

Ozone – Li’l Suzy (debuted on 8/28/1982, peaked at #109)

Not everything that comes out of Nashville is a boot-scootin’ boogie. Here’s a funk octet that definitely wouldn’t have gotten a gig at Gilley’s. They got started as the backup band for Billy Preston & Syreeta, and they also played on Teena Marie’s Lady T album before releasing five albums of their own. And since they were on the Motown label, they were severely mishandled, and no one ever heard their music. This is their one crossover attempt which climbed to #59 on the R&B charts.

The Coconuts – If I Only Had A Brain (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #108)

Three albums into their career. Kid Creole spun off his Coconuts for a one-off solo LP in 1983. This trio of ladies recorded a tropical dance cover of the Wizard of Oz classic, and it was the first time either entity had the Hot 100 in their sights.

Axe – Heat In The Street (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #109)

Here’s the Gainesville, FL hard rock quintet with the first single from their fourth album, Nemesis. Even though they turned their B.C. Richs up to eleven, this track ended up as a Bubbler.

Sissy Spacek – Lonely But Only For You (debuted on 8/27/1983, peaked at #110)

Why is actress Sissy Spacek is here, you may ask? Well, her Oscar-winning portrayal of Loretta Lynn in 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter included her singing all of Lynn’s songs in the film and on the soundtrack. The title track was released as a single and reached #24 on the Country charts, prompting Spacek to release her own album in 1983. Produced by Rodney Crowell, it’s quite good and relatively overlooked. This single is the type of soft pop that Nashville was sending over to the Pop charts regularly in the early 80s. It’s a shame this never had a chance to get picked up at more stations. It will be her second and final Country hit, peaking at #15.

Fun fact: Her cousin is actor Rip Torn, best known for playing Artie on The Larry Sanders Show.

Commuter – Young Hearts (debuted on 8/25/1984, peaked at #101)

Here’s another single from the Karate Kid soundtrack that went nowhere. Maybe it’s because it was released on the drowning label, Casablanca Records, which, to be fair, got a boost the year before with Flashdance. Or maybe the song just wasn’t good enough without a visual context, and the only way one could enjoy the song was to hear it in the background while Daniel and Ali making up at the Golf N’ Stuff Family Fun Center.

Howard Jones – Pearl In The Shell (debuted on 8/25/1984, peaked at #108)

This is the third single from my homie’s debut, Human’s Lib. The first two songs, New Song and What Is Love?, made the Top 40, but the best of the three did not even reach the Hot 100. Over in the UK, it will top out at #7. The sax solo is by Davey Payne, who played with Ian Dury and the Blockheads for years.

I had the privilege of interviewing Howard Jones back in 2016, and I can say he was one of the most affable and humble artists I ever met.

Throw Your Trolls Out The Door

Let’s continue our review of those 80s singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during chart week thirty-three. Also want to mention that seven of these eight songs were R&B-based.

Kagny & The Dirty Rats – At 15 (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #110)

A year before Berry Gordy let his son, Kennedy, aka Rockwell, record on Motown, he let his son, Kerry write and produce the debut of this Detroit synth-funk band. But since there was no Michael Jackson, there were no hits cause Gordy’s was adrift in bad decisions during the 80s.

Lillo Thomas – Your Love’s Got A Hold On Me (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #102)

Brooklyn-born singer Lillo Thomas garnered seven Top 40 hits on the Soul charts during the 80s, but only one of those songs sniffed the Hot 100. This mid-tempo boogie jam from his second album, All Of You, will reach R&B #11 and nab him an invite to open for Eddie Murphy on tour.

The Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit) (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #102)

“Hey, mates. I bought a Fairlight synthesizer. Let’s see what it can do,” said producer Trevor Horn to his production team. Those three folks, Gary Langan, J.J. Jeczalik, and Anne Dudley, learned on the job working on ABC’s debut, The Lexicon Of Love. During their work on Yes’ 90125 album, they came up with a #1 Dance track called Beat Box and called themselves The Art Of Noise. Challenged to make a song truly out of odd sounds, they created this gem, a #8 UK smash and the best representation of what they could do. Hearing this and watching the video multiple times opened up my mind to a myriad of alternatives to making music. And it reached #23 on the R&B charts, so that’s what’s up.

The Time – Ice Cream Castles (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #106)

Believe it or not, this was the lead single from this Minneapolis septet’s third album. Prince wrote this with Morris Day and plays all of the instruments again except for guitar by Jesse Johnson. This chill funk jam will reach #11 on the Soul charts, but their follow-up, Jungle Love, will finally cross these funkateers over to the Pop charts. Considering Jungle Love was in Purple Rain, but this single wasn’t, why not put this out first, Jamie?

Juicy – Beat Street Strut (debuted 8/18/1984, peaked at #107)

Here’s a brother and sister duo, Jerry and Katreese Barnes, who placed this lame-ass quasi-dance song on the Beat Street soundtrack, a lame-ass quasi-film. This only made it to #76 on the R&B charts, and Juicy’s only Top 40 over there was Sugar Free in 1986, which was much better (even if it was a rip-off of Mtume’s Juicy Fruit.)

Katreese will go on to bigger and better things, such as becoming the musical director of SNL in 2006 and co-writing this brilliant Christmas present, which would earn her a Primetime Emmy. Well deserved!

The Boogie Boys – A Fly Girl (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #102)

Yes, yes, y’all. Here’s some hip-hop from the Harlem trio of Boogie Night, Romeo J.D., and Lil’ Rahiem, who gave us one of the best basketball court jams of the Summer. It will rocket up to #6 on the R&B charts but fizzle out here. The duo SlyFox will steal the drumbeat for Let’s Go All The Way, which will reach #7 in the Spring of 1986. The Boogie Boys have yet to receive any royalties from that hit.

Shannon – Stronger Together (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #103)

Brenda Shannon Greene may be a one-hit-wonder with Let The Music Play, but she kept the club floors moving through 1984 and into 1985 which freestyle dance cuts like this. It will reach the Top 30 on the R&B and Dance charts and #46 in the UK.

R.E.M. – Can’t Get There From Here (debuted 8/17/1985, peaked at #110)

What a fitting way to end this group of singles and well to say goodbye to 1985 Bubblers. After having two Hot 100 charting singles from their first two albums, this Athens quartet skimmed the Bubblers with their lead single from Fables of The Reconstruction. It’s hand down my favorite song of theirs, and nothing else feels like the slow change from a warm Summer to a cool Fall than this tune.

Well, this was the last Bubbler of the 80s. After almost thirty years, Billboard discontinued this feature until December 5th, 1992, when songs by INXS, Fleetwood Mac, and Foreigner mixed it up with Keith Sweat, Wilson Phillips, and Marky Mark. They also expanded it from 10 to 25, which meant more sludge at the bottom of the barrel.

Next week, we’ll review chart week thirty-four from 1980 and 1984. Goodbye, 85.

And, thank you, Ray.

The Lines Of Lies

We have another large batch of singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s, so we’re breaking it up again. Let’s review the first half of chart week thirty-three.

Holly Penfield – Only His Name (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #105)

Holly was a singer-songwriter who got her start in San Francisco in the mid-60s singing with the garage rock band, Fifth St. Exit. By the time of her debut in 1980, Full Grown Child, she had moved on to New Wave pop. Her closest attempt at success was this Phil Spector-inspired ballad which could have reached a few more ears with more promotional push. But it was released on Dreamland Records, a subsidiary of RSO, which was flushing its 1978 profits down the toilet.

Earl Klugh – Doc (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #105)

Earl was a jazz fusion guitarist from Detroit who nabbed his first Grammy nomination (for Best Jazz Fusion performance) for his sixth album, Dream Come True. If you listen to this song and think, which TV show is this from, don’t tax your brain too hard. It’s not a TV theme, although it sure sounds like one. This bouncy instrumental is a tribute to percussion player/ bandleader Leonard Gibbs Jr. This was the closest Klugh ever came to landing on the Hot 100, although I think Twinkle from his next LP, Crazy For You could have done the trick.

Joyce Cobb – How Glad I Am (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #107)

Here’s a lady who just missed the Top 40 in early 1980, with her disco single, Dig The Gold, which peaked at #42. Her next closest visit was this buried treasure, a mellow-funk cover of the 1964 Nancy Wilson hit. Joyce went on to greater acclaim as a jazz singer, specifically in Memphis. In the mid-90s, there was a club on Beale Street called Joyce Cobb’s and by 1996 she was added to the Beale Street Walk of Fame.

Rob Hegel – Tommy, Judy & Me (debuted 8/16/1980, peaked at #109)

This is the kind of single that should win the Bubbling Under Gold medal. It’s such a weirdly constructed Pop rock song with a chorus that comes out of nowhere and an arrangement that gets in the way of the tune’s hook. It would have been perfect for a show like Glee to cover had he not been singing about how he and his friend love banging random chics in the backseat of their car with schoolmate Judy, their next exploit. Although we find out this five-foot diamond in the rough has the upper hand with the boys and might be into S&M. Also, there’s a dose of racism, sexism, misogyny, and a possible school shooting attempt by Tommy that’s quickly averted by his friend. It makes for an interesting song, but it scared the folks at American Bandstand away. Frankly, it’s an awkward twenty seconds that has nothing to do with the song but hits too close to home. Rob would smooth it out five years later and co-write Air Supply’s last Top 40 hit, Just As I Am.

Carl Wilson – Heaven (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #107)

With all of the Beach Boys’ success, the only one who had a Top 40 hit was Brian. And that was once, back in 1966, with Caroline, No [#32], a track from the group’s Pet Sounds album credited only to him. Carl definitely had the voice to do it, just not the right song. This single was released from Carl’s self-titled debut, a beautiful ballad that still became a Bubbler.

The Producers – What’s He Got? (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #108)

Some breaks just don’t go your way. Here’s some Power pop from an Atlanta quartet that really should have broken through, and they had a good promotional push. Their first single from their debut, What She Does, climbed to #61, but this frenetic follow-up disappeared. Personally, I dig this one better. Also, if you live in the Southeast or near Madison, WI, a Producers reunion show may pop up from time to time.

Voggue – Dancin’ The Night Away (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #109)

And now for some leftover throwback Disco from a Canadian duo that owes its sound to the late 70s European machine sound. Weird to think that by 1981 that it was clearly out of date. Even still, it will spend three weeks at #1 on the Disco Top 80 charts.

Phil Gentili – Mama Lied (debuted 8/22/1981, peaked at #110)

Another lost single by an artist who’s hard to find. All that’s known is that this was the first of two solo 45s this Boston-based singer-songwriter recorded. It’s a contemporary version of a 50’s style ballad, and I’m surprised it even shows up here. Tower of Power found it and recorded their version for their 1993 album, T.O.P.

Are all of the singles of 1982 in these last few weeks good enough to have them cruise up to the Hot 100? Or was there a lack of releases and space to fill? You read Billboard and judge for yourself.

Zapp – I Can Make You Dance (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #102)

Yes, it’s the requisite funk and soul that misses out on the blanched-out Pop playlists of the early 80s. No matter, the second single from Zapp III will reach #4 on the R&B charts and be sampled on numerous hip-hop jams by Erick Sermon, Guy, and Naughty By Nature.

Ministry – I Wanted To Tell Her (debuted 8/20/1983, peaked at #106)

Of all the great Ministry tunes out there, I can’t believe this is the one to get closest to crossing over to the Hot 100. Not Work For Love, Revenge, or Halloween. This one. It’s a great dance tune, but just not the one I think of from these folks when describing them. Featuring lead vocals by Shay Jones, it will peak at #13 on the Dance/Disco Top 80.

I got to see them live once during the first run of Lollapolooza. I can’t remember if it was great or not. All I remember was the twenty-minute paper cup shower on the audience.

Part two coming up in two and two.

 

A Feeling I’ve Been Holding Back

We’re up to chart week thirty-two in our review of those singles that were Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s. Let’s take a look.

The Chipmunks – You May Be Right (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #101)

This is the stupidest novelty that will not die. What seemed cute or mildly funny (after twenty Mai Tais) in 1958 has been highly annoying ever since. The nadir of the Chipmunk unpleasantry was 1980’s Chipmunk Punk album, one of the rodents’ countless reboots, which contained grating covers of current pop songs (aka no punk at all). Take the last five seconds of Godley & Creme’s Cry, apply that vocal to any song, and feel your ears bleed profusely. I guarantee when Billy Joel heard this, that rock surely left his hand.

This almost charted on the Hot 100, folks. Worse, the album went Gold by October. If you find yourself minutes from the apocalypse, find their version of The Knack’s Good Girls Don’t and play it. Everything that comes after that will feel like paradise.

Ronnie Milsap – Cowboys and Clowns (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #103)

Here’s one of a zillion Country #1s [actually, his 15th, at the time] that Ronnie will garner in his career. This ballad will be featured on the soundtrack to the Clint Eastwood film Bronco Billy, which was the seventh one he directed.

Photoglo – When Love Is Gone (debuted 8/9/1980, peaked at #106)

Singer-songwriter Jim Photoglo released his debut under his last name and nabbed a  mellow Top 40 hit, We Were Meant To Be Lovers. His follow-up was even wispier and disappeared like the air after a newly-poured  Sprite’s bubbles pop. Like most Pop stars do when they fall out of favor, Jim will move over to Nashville and write #1 hits for Alabama.

Fred Knoblock – Memphis (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

Fred scored a Top 20 hit in 1980 with Why Not Me. Then he followed it up with an unlikely duet with Susan Anton, assisting her on her debut album. Killin’ Time would reach the Top 30. After that, his career started to fizzle up, beginning with his lifeless cover of the 1959 Chuck Berry classic. Fred’s was more aligned by the Johnny Rivers version with reached #2 in 1964. Unfortunately, Marie hung up the phone on him.

Foghat – Live Now-Pay Later (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

The name “foghat” was a made-up word by guitarist Dave Peverett back in the early 70s. Now it means out-of-touch overblown classic rock. By the time of their eleventh album, Girls To Chat and Boys To Bounce, the group expanded to a quintet, adding keyboardist Nick Jameson, but their sound had to evolve beyond mumbly blues guitar caveman stomps.

George Harrison – Teardrops (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #102)

What is an ex-Beatle doing here? First, let’s remember that George was done with the music industry by the mid-70s. Whatever the greedy hands and the hounding press didn’t take from him, the My Sweet Lord copyright infringement suit surely did. Also of note,  in 1980, Warner Brothers rejected his original submittal of Somewhere in England. Two months later, his friend was murdered, prompting Harrison to rework a tune he gave Ringo as a tribute to John he could record himself. All Those Years Ago would reach #2. This was the follow-up, also written as a commercial attempt. It’s amazing that the record suits forced a song like this out of George and then failed to push it as a single.

Jody Moreing – All Girls Want It (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #103)

Now here’s a lost 45. There’s not a lot out there about Jody, but I do know this. She was in a late 60s band called Sincerely, San Jose, which changed its name to the Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band. When she left, she was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. So let’s say she’s the Bob Welch of Fritz. This single is Jody’s only known solo recording before she moved over to Christian music in the late 80s. Though she did make a few bucks writing a song on Tiffany’s debut album.

Billy Preston & Syreeta – Searchin’ (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #106)

The Fifth Beatle loved his duet with Syreeta Wright, With You, I’m Born Again, recorded for the film, Fast Break. A year after that film’s release, the 45’s success prompted the duo to record a full duets album a la Flack & Hathaway. But because this was on the Motown label, the promotion was bungled, so no one had a chance to hear it. This funky track was written and produced by Raydio’s Ollie Brown.

Tom Jones – What In The World’s Come Over You (debuted 8/15/1981, peaked at #109)

Here’s Tom doubling down on the Country thing in  1981. I grew up hearing him played in my house a lot as a kid, but thankfully my folks spared me this era where he sounds like a parody of himself. This will be the second Bubbler from The Country Side of Tom Jones, a cover of Jack Scott’s #5 smash in 1960. Tom’s will reach #25 on the Country chart.

All the songs that debuted as Bubblers during this chart week in 1982 made it onto the Hot 100, including Josie Cotton’s He Could Be The One.

Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long (debuted 8/13/1983, peaked at #101)

Don’t tell me Soul music wasn’t being shut out by Pop programmers in the 80s? The Mary Jane Girls had four singles from their debut remain as Bubblers, including this stone-cold classic. This was the jam back in the day, and that cliche doesn’t remotely cover how cool it was. When it came to producing Female groups, Rick was better at it than Prince was, and this was proof. This made it to #11 on the R&B charts and #13 in the UK, so what gives Top 40? In the 90s, it will show up in the Top 10 as a sample in  LL Cool J’s Around the Way Girl and Groove Theory’s Tell Me.

Fun fact: To be fair, that sweet bassline and groove were “borrowed” (I’m being nice) from Keni Burke’s 1982 single, Risin’ To The Top.

Southside Johnny & The Jukes – New Romeo (debuted 8/11/1984, peaked at #103)

This was the Asbury Park band that didn’t make it out. It’s not for the lack of good songs as this one from the Nile Rodgers-produced seventh album, Trash It Up, is. It’s also the first to drop the “Asbury” from their name. Some just don’t get the breaks.

Fun Fact: For those that don’t know, the band was co-founded by Steven Van Zandt (y’know, the dude from Lilyhammer). Even when he left in the mid70s to join the E Street Band, he still collaborated and performed with the group.

The System – The Pleasure Seekers (debuted 8/10/1985, peaked at #108)

Keyboardist David Frank met singer Mic Murphy while both were on tour with the funk band, Kleeer, the former as a session musician, and the latter as road manager. They formed The System, and by 1985, they were three albums deep with one catchy charting single (You Are In My System, #64) and this synth-funk Bubbler. In two years, they’ll hang a sign upon the door that says, “don’t disturb this groove.”

Mai Tai – History (debuted 8/10/1985, peaked at #109)

We finish with one of my favorite songs of this lot. I first found this Dutch trio’s single on an import cassette compilation, Now That’s What I Call Music 5. It compiled the biggest UK smashes from the Summer of 1985 and turned me to so many great bands, such as Scritti Politti, Fine Young Cannibals, and Simply Red. And of course, this track, which reached #8 in England, #3 on the US Dance charts, and #37 on R&B charts. After 36 years, I still have it, and it still plays.