We have made it to chart week forty-four and this motley crew of singles Bubbling Under the Hot 100 during the 80s.
Vince Vance & The Valiants – Bomb Iran (debuted 11/1/1980, peaked at #101)
In November 1980, the Iran Hostage crisis had been happening for a year, and people were fed up. Some people tied yellow ribbons on trees and held vigils. Others recorded this song – a parody of the Regents/Beach Boys hit of the 60s. I say others because there were multiple ‘bomb Iran’ singles out in the late Fall of 1980. In fact, this was even the first one as supposedly a version came out almost a year earlier. But this 45 was the one that got the closest to the Hot 100.
Fun Fact: Vince recorded a Christmas song in 1989 called All I Want For Christmas Is You, which gets played frequently on Country stations during the holiday season. It is a different song than the one we’re subjected to each year by Mariah. Two Christmas songs. Same title. Different song.
Benny Mardones – Hometown Girls (debuted 11/1/1980, peaked at #103)
The Voice follows up his pedophile kidnapping opus with this pleasant-sounding pop-rocker. On its own, the lyrics are innocuous until you think about Into the Night and hear Benny sing this:
I was up and gone. I disappeared in the night.
This dude is all about fleeing the scene of the crime.
Molly Hatchet – Beatin’ The Odds (debuted 11/1/1980, peaked at #107)
Well, I wouldn’t be putting down all my money on Southern rock in the 80s to win. Most music of the decade was starting to lose its rural feeling, and this genre was one of the first to be absorbed into corporate rock. The first single released was the title track to their third album and first with Danny Joe Brown singing lead. Its follow-up, The Rambler, will climb to #91.
Rocky Burnette – Fallin’ In Love (Bein’ Friends) (debuted 11/1/1980, peaked at #109)
The son of rock and roll follows up his surprise Top 10 smash, Tired of Toein’ The Line with more late 50/ early 60s-inspired sock hop rock. When I listen to tracks like this, I can’t help but think that it opened the door for Gary U.S. Bonds to have a few hits again.
John Entwistle – Too Late The Hero (debuted 11/7/1981, peaked at #101)
Thunderfingers was on solo album number five by 1981, his first in six years. The album featured Joe Walsh on guitar and Joe Vitale on drums, and he released the epic title track as the first single. It will be the closest John will get to a chart single, but its follow-up, Talk Dirty, received moderate Rock radio airplay.
Rupert Holmes – Loved By The One You Love (debuted 11/7/1981, peaked at #103)
Seven albums. Six different record labels. Such was the momentum-killing recording career of Rupert Holmes, who still somehow managed three Top 40 hits, including the #1 smash, Escape. After the lack of success of this single and accompanying album, Full Circle. Holmes moved on to the playwrighting, debuting on Broadway in 1985 with The Mystery Of Edwin Drood.
Spyro Gyra – Summer Strut (debuted 11/7/1981, peaked at #108)
Buffalo, NY jazz-fusion were on their fifth album, Freetime, by 1981, trying to get back on Pop radio after the #24 peak of 1979’s Morning Dance. The lite funk interplay between Jay Beckenstein’s sax licks and Tom Schuman’s electric piano didn’t get the group back onto the charts. But I bet a few stations played while they were “experiencing technical difficulties.”
Karla DeVito – Midnight Confession (debuted 11/7/1981, peaked at #109)
With the bombast of a Jim Steinman song, Karla covers this 1968 Grass Roots classic from her debut, Is This A Cool World or What? I’m all for it. The Meatloaf connection was strong, and although she didn’t sing on the recorded version of Paradise by the Dashboard Light, she appeared in the video and went out on the Bat Out Of Hell tour.
Zapp – Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) (debuted 11/6/1982, peaked at #103)
All Roger and Zapp did in the early 80s was put out one funky synth jam after another. All Pop programmers did was ignore it until they were hidden in many hip songs from the 90s onward. This will reach #10 on the Soul charts and first show up as a sample on the Beastie Boys’ #36 charter, Hey Ladies. It will also feature on Paperboy’s 1993 Top 10 single, Ditty.
Melba Moore – Love’s Comin’ At Ya (debuted 11/6/1982, peaked at #104)
This single from Melba’s twelfth album, The Other Side of the Rainbow, was her fourth Bubbler out of seven. If Top 40 radio ignored it, it’s their loss. This will peak at #5 on the Soul charts and #2 on the Dance/Disco Top 80. Folks in the UK dug this funky boogie track as it reached #15 in England.
Devo – Peek-A-Boo! (debuted 11/6/1982, peaked at #106)
When you think about the success of Whip It in late 1980, it’s truly amazing that the single reached #14. Even though we all might remember the video, it scaled that height before the advent of MTV. The video channel aided in keeping the band on everyone’s mind through the 80s, but Pop radio did not follow suit. They would rack up five Bubblers, with this one as the lead single from their fifth LP, Oh No! It’s Devo.
Firefall – Runaway Love (debuted 11/5/1983, peaked at #103)
The pride of Boulder, CO, tried to update their Country rock sound by mixing in some synth drums and upping the tempo. But programmers couldn’t get past the band’s cultivated laidback image and sound, so they took a pass. This single from their seventh album, Mirror For the World, would be their last release for twelve years.
Southside Johnny & The Jukes – Trash It Up (debuted 11/5/1983, peaked at #108)
John Lyon and his Jersey shore outfit spent a lot of their career shaking off Springsteen comparisons. By their sixth album, they dropped Asbury from their name and some R&B synths and funky beats. The switch might have turned off some old fans, but they should have picked up some new ones. The album, produced by Nile Rodgers, also netted the band a #55 zenith for Get Your Body On the Job.
Pia Zadora – Rock It Out (debuted 11/5/1983, peaked at #110)
There has been a lot of cash thrown behind the idea that Pia has talent. When she failed as an actress, dollars were given to forward a singing career., first in Country, then in Pop. This is a single from her second album called Let’s Dance Tonight. When you listen to it, you will wonder how many people could have been fed with that money rather than it being wasted here.
There are no singles that debuted this week in 1984 that did not chart, with one being this track from Alphaville.