Concentrate On The Source

We’re up to chart week thirty-eight. Let’s see who ended up Bubbling Under the Hot 100 that week during the 80s.

Oak Ridge Boys – Heart Of Mine (debuted 9/20/1980, peaked at #105)

This Country quartet, as we know them, had been around since the mid-60s when they tried their hand at crossing over to the Pop world in the late 70s. This ballad, the second release from their 1980 album, Together, was their third Bubbler and will reach #3 on the Country charts. In six months from now, they will be paw-paw-oom-paw-paw-mao-mao-ing all over the Top 40 with Elvira.

Tim Weisberg – I’m The Lucky One (debuted 9/20/1980, peaked at #106)

A little ham n’ eggs comin’ atcha – here’s jazz flutist Tim Weisberg hanging out with another son from a different mother, Bill Champlin. He sings lead on a handful of tracks, including this one, which sounds like a lost Westcoast jam. Tim’s albums can be hard to find, so grab a vinyl copy if you find one.

Billy Idol – Mony Mony (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #107)

If someone was going to update this song for the 80s, Billy was the perfect candidate. After Generation X disbanded, he moved to New York and got to work on his solo career recording the EP, Don’t Stop in 1981. It featured a remixed version of Gen X’s Dancing With Myself and this cover of the #3 Tommy James & the Shondells smash. I remembered hearing this on the radio for years and was surprised that it never charted. It will reach #7 on the Disco Top 80 charts.

In 1987, Billy will release a live version to coincide with his Vital Idol compilation, and it will reach #1, though I feel that most folks still play the original instead. And please, get laid, get f’d on your own time.

Blackfoot – Searchin’ (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #108)

For all of the popularity and mystique of Southern Rock, I feel more songs of this genre failed at Pop radio than there were that succeeded.  Here’s another one. This midtempo rocker was the follow-up to Fly Away, which reached #42, both from their fifth album, Marauder.

Dan Hartman – All I Need (debuted 9/26/1981, peaked at #110)

Dan had a hard time (or at least until 1984)  following his 1979 Disco hit, Instant Replay. This was the third failed single from his fourth album, It Hurts To Be In Love. While the first two charted on the Hot 100, this Billy Joel-styled ballad is left gasping for air down here. A better push might have gotten this single more programmer pickups.

Fun Fact: Dan wrote the song Love Sensation for Loleatta Holloway, which was sampled by Marky Mark for the #1 hit, Good Vibrations. As far as I know, Dan is still not credited as a songwriter on that track. Didn’t that happen to someone else?

Howard Johnson – So Fine (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #105)

Man, I used to love those fried clams as a kid. I’d get some ketchup and tarter sauce, make a pile of each on my plate and mix them up. I’d dip those clams and my fries in them and wipe that plate clean. I can still taste them as I write this.

Anyway, here’s the former Niteflyte singer with a smooth soul jam from his solo debut, Keepin’ Love New, written by Kashif, which, of course, was held down here. Damn, I want those clams.

Uriah Heep – That’s The Way That It Is (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #106)

Were these guys trying to sound like Jefferson Starship, or was it the other way around? For years, this UK quintet continued trying to follow up their 1972 Top 40 hit, Easy Livin. I’m surprised this track from their fourteenth album, Abominog, didn’t do the trick. It received mild rock airplay, which had the tune peak at #25 on the Mainstream Rock charts. It was initially written by Paul Bliss and appears on the Bliss Band’s second album, Neon Smiles.

Stephen Bishop – If Love Takes You Away (debuted 9/25/1982, peaked at #108)

Let’s face it. Stephen is the poor man’s Kenny Loggins, a dude that was frequently called upon to record soundtrack songs but never had much success as an artist with them, save for It Might Be You.* This mellow Yachty song was from the campy film Summer Lovers, which also spawned Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry.

*Stephen wrote Separate Lives for the film White Nights, which went to #1 but was a hit for Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin.

Freeez – I.O.U. (debuted 9/24/1983, peaked at #104)

Here’s a UK outfit that was a pivotal member of the Brit-funk scene in the early 80s. The title track to their debut album, Southern Freeez, was a Top 10 hit in the UK. Fast forward two years, and the band is now a trio, recording electro freestyle for B-boys. This was the jam back then, and it received a lot of airplay in New York, going to #1 on the Hot Dance Club charts and reaching the R&B Top 20. I have no idea how this textbook 80s track missed the Hot 100.

Dave Edmunds – Information (debuted 9/24/1983, peaked at #106)

Dave first hit the Top 40 in early 1971 with the #4 smash, I Hear You Knocking, which sounded like a song out of a time. Now it’s 1983. We’re in the midst of the second British invasion, and this former Rockpile member has racked up his second Top 40 hit, Slipping Away. This was the follow-up single and the title track to his 1983 album. And if you’re wondering why it sounds like a lost E.L.O. tune, that’s Jeff Lynne on the production and keyboards.

Luba – Everytime I See Your Picture (debuted 9/22/1984, peaked at #105)

We finish up with a singer/songwriter from Montreal, Canada, who recorded songs in English and Ukrainian. Her fourth full-length album, Secrets And Sins, spawned this single, her first hit North of the border. This Daniel Lanois-produced release garnered her two Junos in 1985, but the rock ballad ended up as a Bubbler in the lower 48.

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