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.