Put The Right Letters Together

We’re continuing our recap of the Billboard Top 40 from June 4th, 1988, with the Top 20, a group of songs that has mostly disappeared from retro radio rotation. Was it just a pop radio lull? Was 60s nostalgia distracting station programmers? Or do they suck and/or put you to sleep? At least half of these are ballads, and most of these tunes are mellow, so we should have enough supermarkets and elevators to support them on their Muzak playlists. Let’s run through them and see.

20. Lita Ford – Kiss Me Deadly

THW – I prefer just about anything that Lita did as the Runaways guitarist to this song. But that’s not the point. Very few females succeeded in the male-dominated genre of metal. And even if one had a pedigree such as Lita’s, she still needed the support from the new manager, Sharon Osborne, to push her third album out to the public for them to hear it. It’s catchy pop-rock on its way to #12 with production from Mike Chapman and a harder edge provided by Pat Benatar’s back-up band.

19. Cheap Trick – The Flame

After struggling to reach the Pop charts through most of the 80s, this Power pop quartet from Rockford, IL had their biggest hit with this slow song, the first single released from their tenth album, Lap Of Luxury – perfect for proms and just in time for graduating Seniors. So So I’ll skip it, thanks.

18. Brenda K. Starr – I Still Believe

THW – Twenty-five percent of this week’s Top 20 are two-hit-wonders. Brenda, whose dad Harvey Kaplan was an organist in Spiral Starecase, is one of them. This ballad was her first Top 40 hit from her self-titled album, and it’s on its way to a #13 peak. One of the backing singers on this track was future superstar Mariah Carey. She’ll cover this tune in 1999 and take it up to #4.

17. Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind

Even though Willie Nelson sang Always On My Mind like he wrote it, he didn’t. And it didn’t stop this UK duo from doing their own synth-pop version, which was prompted by a TV performance celebrating Elvis’ 10th death anniversary. It also became the most successful rendition of this tune when it peaked at #4 a few weeks ago.

16. Cher – We All Sleep Alone

Yes, everyone but Cher, who was sleeping with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora when she wasn’t chilling with that bagel dude. Good for you, Cher! This power ballad, co-written and produced by Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi, and Desmond Child, will doze its way up four more spots. Also, why hire three separate dudes when you can just hire Jim Steinman?

15. Prince – Alphabet St.

It’s a close call whether this song or Thieves In the Temple is the Purple One’s least remembered Top 10 hit. A quick little bluesy funk number, this song was a Top 10 hit in thirteen countries, including #3 on the R&B charts and eventually #8 on the Pop charts. It was written initially as a small piece of music to bridge 👁 No and Glam Slam on his new album, Lovesexy, programmed as one long track on the initial CD release. Arrested Development will sample the title of their first hit, Tennessee, from it.

Bonus points to the Big 80’s countdown, which plays the 12″ version.

14. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Valley Road

For a song that reached the Top 5 and #1 on the Rock and AC charts, it’s a wonder that it’s rarely heard on 80s stations today. I bought this 45 back then, and I find it far more interesting and less preachy than The Way It Is. Bruce recorded a new version of the song with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2. It won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Recording, which pissed a lot of folks off. a la Tull and their heavy metal Grammy.

13. White Lion – Wait

THW – A recessive gene in a white lion gives it a near-translucent color, almost as if it wasn’t there. In late 1991, a group of rare Nirvana neverminds escaped from a soundgarden, and pearl jammed them into near extinction. Efforts by the USNO (U.S. Nostalgia Organization) helped bring them back into temporary existence with the last decade.

12. Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana

Thriller made MJ otherworldly. Bad was the awful side effect of that, where no one ever said no to Michael again. But after a year and four number one, no one was truly complaining. This is a true travesty in his catalog, which started to rapidly fill up with them.  There’s no groove. The music sounds plastic. Steve Stevens doesn’t come close to Eddie Van Halen. And Michael singing about cheating on his girlfriend with a groupie isn’t just unbelievable; it’s laughable. It will reach #1 and knock Debbie Gibson from the top, which seemed like progress, but the bar was so low.

11. Belinda Carlisle – Circle In The Sand

RAR – BC amiably sings through another gauzy pop song, saved by Thomas Dolby’s keyboard work from becoming too precious. But, if you need something to hum while you wait on your Vicadin prescription at CVS, it sure beats most of the ballads in the Top 10.

10. Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine – Anything For You

I feel like Miami Sound Machine albums were like long auditions for the band to play your wedding. This was the group’s first #1 song and future dad/daughter dance number.

9. The Jets – Make It Real

“I need another ballad for the album. One that sounds just like You Got It All but is far less interesting. But not too sleepy that my nine-year-old daughter doesn’t like it.” – The Jets manager, Magic album pitch meeting.

8. Foreigner – I Don’t Want To Live Without You

This is the first of four Top 10 songs in 1988 that begin with I Don’t. [Elton John, Chicago, and Duran Duran will have the other three.] Not sure why there was so much obstinance going on.

7. Debbie Gibson – Foolish Beat

This is what a teen ballad about break-up sounds like when it’s done poorly. I know it seems like I always take any chance I can to dunk on poor ol’ Lil Debbie. But this is truly painful. No one ever needs to hear the thoughts of a teenage white girl with boy trouble unless it comes from Ronnie Spector or Kate Bush. The fourth single from Out Of The Blue will reach #1 in two weeks, which means it was the most popular song in the US. People thought it was better than anything else in the countdown, radio, or stores. It’s a low point in pop music from which we have never recovered. But I digress…

6. Brenda Russell – Piano In The Dark

THW – This is what an adult ballad about break-up sounds like when it’s done correctly. After a five-year hiatus, she returned with Get Here, her fourth album, highlighted by this semi-credited duet with former Brooklyn Dreams member, Joe “You’re The Best” Esposito. It’s a hauntingly beautiful tune and one of my faves from an artist I truly appreciate. And if it comes on the speakers while I’m walking down the cereal aisle towards you, be prepared to sing Joe’s part, cause I’m taking Brenda’s.

Fun fact: Singer Oleta Adams heard the title track, Get Here, in a record store while she was on tour with Tears For Fears. She decided to include it on her 1990 debut, and because we bombed the hell out of Iraq for six weeks in early 1991, it was heavily requested on radio and became a Top 10 hit.

5. Rick Astley – Together Forever

The SAW machine is in full force as Rick rolls his second Whenever You Need Somebody single up the charts on the way to another number one. It will also top the Dance Club chats, reach #2 on the AC chart, but get stuck behind Kylie Minogue for the top spot in the UK. How did we get so lost?

4. Hall & Oates – Everything Your Heart Desires

Save us, Daryl & John! Here’s the first single from the duo’s first studio album in four years, Ooh Yeah, a smoother take on Possession Obsession, if you will. It may not be their best, and it’s undoubtedly lost in a catalog full of hits, but it was a breath of fresh air back then. It will slide up one more spot, becoming their final Top 10 hit to date.

3. Samantha Fox – Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)

PFK – Believe it or not, this Full Force-written and produced freestyle jam was not a big hit worldwide. But we were suckered in over here and acknowledged it as one of the three most popular songs in the country during this week. It also contains this very wise couplet:

Don't let me be misunderstood.
Temporary love's so bad. But it feels so good.

2. Johnny Hates Jazz – Shattered Dreams

THW – This mid-tempo pop track about a pending divorce spent three weeks as the bridesmaid, but it’s lucky that it even got that far. Originally released in the Spring of 1987, it hit #5 in the UK in May. I heard it during that stretch and bought it as an import 12″. It slowly made its way around Europe, hitting many Top 10 charts before getting a US release in early 1988. Twelve weeks later, here it sits, trying to unseat…

1. George Michael – One More Try (2 wks at #1)

George had no trouble establishing himself as a superstar with his debut solo album, Faith. This is his third straight #1 from that release, from which he’ll have four total. It will reach #1 on the R&B & AC charts as well.

I feel like I need a nap.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • STA – Second Time Around

 

 

 

 

There’s Nothing Better We Can Do Than Live

I can’t help myself. So I’m at it again recapping another American Top 40 countdown, this time from June 4th, 1988 – the beginning of another Summer rife with bittersweet memories, one in which I started with a girlfriend and a band and ended up with neither. The songs are better than I remembered, possibly because a good chunk of them haven’t been overplayed in the decades since.

40. Robert Plant – Tall Cool One

The first single from Plant’s fourth album, Now And Zen, didn’t chart. However, the next one makes the Top 40 complete with guitar provided by former compatriot Jimmy Page and samples from five other Zeppelin tunes. It’s on its way to a #25 high and will be his last solo Top 40 hit.

39. Glass Tiger – I’m Still Searching

The pride of Newmarket, Ontario is back with the third Top 40 single from their debut, The Thin Red Line. Though if I played this song for you, I doubt you’d be able to tell me who this was unless you had an Alan Frew poster from Smash Hits on your wall.

38. Rod Stewart – Lost In You

RAR – Rod tried to soak in some of the Power Station vibes, hiring Andy Taylor to co-write this song, have Tony Thompson play drums while Bernard Edwards produced. He just about pulls it out, although I would love to have heard what Robert Palmer would have done with it. David Lindley adds a little mandolin rain to the mix.

37. Natalie Cole – Pink Cadillac

Springsteen wrote and recorded this song during the Nebraska sessions and eventually released his version as the B-side to his second Born In The USA single, Dancing In the Dark. But the song gained popularity due to its inclusion on setlists and the fact that anything Boss-related in the mid-80s got exposure. Natalie was in the middle of her late 80s comeback and recorded her version for the 1987 Everlasting LP. It was the third single released and will be her biggest hit since I’ve Got Love On My Mind in 1977. Natalie pretends that the title isn’t about the lady bits. (For reference, Aretha did not.)

36. Bardeux – When We Kiss

OHW – Have you ever watched those adult films on Skin-a-Max and wondered how you could get a copy of the soundtrack?

35. E.U. – Da Butt

OHW – Go-go music is a for-real fun-as-hell subgenre of funk that started in the D.C. area, which needs all the fun it can get. Outside of Chuck Brown in 1979 with Bustin’ Loose, this was pretty much the only go-go Top 40 hit. Recorded for Spike Lee’s film, School Daze, and written and produced by jazz bassist Marcus Miller, this will hit #1 on the Soul charts, shakin’ booties for years to come. Like this one…

34. Aerosmith – Angel

I remember hearing a story about Joe Perry being bummed that Dream On eventually became a big hit for Aerosmith because they didn’t want to be known as a band that plays slow songs. I’m sure a decade of eating dirt sandwiches that you have to make yourself changed his tune. This will become their biggest hit until another ballad usurped it in 1998.

33. Suave – My Girl

OHW – Did we really need a New Jack version of the Temptations classic? The answer is no. Now please turn this example into a Dr. Rick Progressive Insurance commercial.

32. Terence Trent D’Arby – Wishing Well

I remember sitting in the back of a particular class that I can’t remember which subject it was, who taught it, or how I passed. All I remember about the course was the constant laughter between my two other friends and me. And a picture I drew of a restaurant called Terence Trent D’Arby’s. There was a wishing well out front and a speech bubble from the window that said, “Two Beef N Cheddar’s and make it funky now, boys.” I wish I still has that drawing.

31. The Church – Under The Milky Way

OHW – We’re about to start an Australian four-play on the Top 40, beginning with a Sydney quintet, who released an incredible album, Starfish, as their fifth. It contains this, their only US Top 40, and it’s now even the best song on the album. But it is an easy one to learn guitar and sing to.

30. INXS – New Sensation

What Men At Work was to the early 80s, INXS was to the later 80s, and then some. Their sixth album, Kick, was on the verge of making them superstars, and it already spawned a #1 smash, Need You Tonight, and a #2 hit, Devil Inside. This may be the song that most sounds like their previous work, more specifically, like a band rather than an overproduced product with a pretty boy lead singer. I’m bummed that I never saw them live (baby live). It will reach #3 and not feature a trumpet.

29. Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning

OHW – Seriously, who had this group on their 88 bingo card? But good on ya, if you did. This story about the unfair treatment of Aboriginal tribes and the theft of their native lands became a hit all around the world, eventually reaching #17 in the U.S., a land with a similar history

28. Icehouse – Electric Blue

THW – Icehouse cracked the Top 20 in early 88 with the lead single from their sixth album, Man Of Colours, called Crazy. John Oates had been a fan of the group and wrote a song with lead singer Iva Davies, which became single number two. It was their biggest hit in America, climbing to #9 and their biggest Down Under reaching #1.

27. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me

The Def Lep train is riding full steam down the track. Their third single from Hysteria, the title track, became their fifth Top 40 hit and first to reach the Top 10. This one will best it and almost get to the top, held down only by Richard Marx’s Hold On The Nights.

26. Pebbles – Mercedes Boy

Here’s another future bridesmaid, this one getting the stiff arm from Cheap Trick’s The Flame. It’s the second big hit from her debut album and features production from the Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson. The single was remixed into a more radio-friendly version than the album cut. It will reach #1 R&B and hit #2 on the Dance Club charts. It’s also one of the few songs that remind me of that summer. [Paradise by Sade is another and is sitting at #48 this week.]

25. OMD – Dreaming

After spending the first half of the 80s releasing synth-pop albums to the indifference of most Americans, OMD collected four Top 40 hits during the second half, including this tune that was featured on The Best Of OMD, which I happily purchased on CD on release.

24. Times Two – Strange But True

OHW – The California duo of Shanti Jones & Johnny Dollar got a big career boost (for them) when they released their debut and were hired to open for Debbie Gibson. I’m sure only the high-dollar babysitters splurged on the 45, which falls from its peak of #21. Steve Barri, who produced Billy Don’t Be A Hero and Undercover Angel, helmed the boards for this one as well.

23. Poison – Nothin’ But A Good Time

There is nothin’ more depressing than the line, and it don’t get better than this. Also, that’s the tagline for Old Milwaukee beer, so…

22. Al B. Sure – Nite And Day

OHW – Al celebrated his 21st birthday with a hit record as this Quiet Storm staple climbs up six more notches on its way to the Top 10. Also, there’s no one better in the biz for my money to break it down like Kyle West. Me’shell Ndegeocello did a fine cover of this in 2019.

21. The Deele – Two Occasions

OHW – Here’s a Cincinnati synth-funk sextet that released their third album in late 1987, Eyes Of A Stranger. This ballad was the second single from the album, and their only crossover hit, traveling up to a zenith of #10. It features lead vocals by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds, and its success plus the former Pebbles hit, Girlfriend, which he and bandmate LA Reid wrote and sang on, gave the duo the encouragement to quit the band and establish LaFace Records

Fun Fact: Babyface received his nickname from Bootsy Collins. That’s cred.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
  • STA – Second Time Around

Realize The Man Who Says Anything

Hre’s is the second part of chart week fifty-one for all The Other Sixty members. We’re finishing the week with a review of 1984 through 1989.

December 22nd, 1984

83. Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton – The Greatest Gift Of All

We start off with a Christmas song that sounds like one of those 80s Chicago ballads. Aha, it’s produced by David Foster. [Was that a collective groan?] There was also a TV special that aired on CBS with this release, which has been lost to time. Unfortunately, this single only hopped two islands and fell into the stream at #81.

86. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

This New Wave classic comes from this UK trio’s debut, The Age Of Consent. Lead singer Jimmy Somerville and his falsetto soar throughout this sad synth-pop tale of a lonely boy leaving home, and it became a popular anthem in the Gay community. It was a smash throughout Europe and a #1 on the Dance Club Play charts in the States. But only managed a #48 zenith on the Hot 100.

87. The Kinks – Do It Again

Here is the lead single from the Kink’s twenty-first album, Word of Mouth, a return to a harder sound than State Of Confusion.  I remember this getting a lot of airplay back then and was surprised that it missed the Top 40. It barely did at #41, getting leapfrogged by Survivor. It will reach the Mainstream Rock Top 5.

90. Lorenzo Lamas – Fools Like Me

You may remember him as the jock who tried to get ONJ’s attention in Grease before Travolta gave him a bruisin’. In the 80s, he landed a role on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest as the hilariously named Lance Cumson. So, of course, why not parlay that into a singing career? Oops, I forgot. You need to know how to sing. Zo-Lam will top out at #85 will this one.

December 21st, 1985

88. Fortune – Stacy

Here’s a quintet who released an album in 1978 and then worked hard for seven years for an opportunity at a follow-up. In between those releases, they changed their sound to get some of that Journey/ Foreigner money. This ballad will get them charted, but it does not favor the bold and will move up only eight more notches.

90. Alisha – Baby Talk

Brooklyn singer Alisha released her debut in 1985 and ended up with three Top 5 Dance hits. They all got lots of airplay in New York, especially this single. I feel like I heard it a million times over that Christmas break. It’s a catchy 80s dance track aiming for that Madonna market and will go to #1 on the Dance Club charts. On the Pop charts, it will bounce up to #68.

93. Chaka Khan – Own The Night

Outside of a few Jan Hammer instrumentals, everything else on the Miami Vice soundtrack was released as a single or had already been a hit. This upbeat, funky aerobics number was the last one as a 45, and it charts on the Hot 100 the week the album slips to #2 after a seven-week run at the top. It will return for another four while this song gets owned at #57.

December 27th, 1986

90. El DeBarge – Someone

El releases his third single from his debut album, El Debarge. It’s a smooth midtempo track written by Jay Graydon and Robbie Nevil, whose own hit, C’est La Vie, was currently at #6. It will scrape into the R&B Top 40 at #32 but only climb to #70 pop. That’s life.

92. Uptown – (I Know) I’m Losing You

Have you ever wondered what a Motown classic would sound like if you sucked the soul out of it? Well, this New York trio has your answer on this proto-freestyle remake of the Temptations 1967 Top 10 smash. This one will get lost at #80.

93. Bananarama – Trick Of The Night

This was the third and last charting single from the UK trio’s third LP, True Confessions. It’s a moody downtempo pop song that is infinitely more interesting than anything that the soulless SAW machine did with this group. Produced by Tony Sawin and Steve Jolley, who helmed the boards for Spandau Ballet’s True, it will do a disappearing act after hitting #76.

96. Five Star – If I Say Yes

This was the fourth and final Hot 100 entry by this UK family quintet. Imagine The Jets without the playfulness and charm, and you get this. If I told you I made this with a group of jacked-up chipmunks, you wouldn’t argue with me. Mostly because you wouldn’t care. In fact, any argument we had about it would be better time spent than listening to this. The answer will be no at #67.

December 26th, 1987

96. Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again

Here’s the second single from this RNRHOF quartet’s Music For The Masses album, and it’s one of my favorite tracks of theirs. I purchased the 45 back then even though I owned the CD because the B-side was another great track, Pleasure, Little Treasure. Was this stuff just too good for Pop stations, or did they just need time to catch up? This ode to the euphoria of drugs (pick one) will peak at #63.

December 24th, 1988

98. Camouflage – The Great Commandment

Exactly one year later, the German version of Depeche Mode enters the Hot 100 with a track from their debut, Voices And Images. This synth-pop single will hit #1 on the Dance Club charts and a #3 Modern Rock hit. On the Hot 100, it will reach a respectable #59. If you listened to WDRE in New York back in the 80s, you’d remember it as a Shriek of the Week in late November 1987.

December 23th, 1989

90. Loverboy – Too Hot

Loverboy’s last Hot 100 entry is not a cover of the Kool & The Gang Top 10 hit from 1980. I wish. It’s a newly recorded single for their great hits compilation, Big Ones. Sadly this does not fall into that category and will cool down at #84.

93. Abstrac’ – Right And Hype

Here is the only Hot 100 entry for this New Jack trio from the Bronx. It would only move up four more spots, but it will make the R&B Top 30. The group will shrink to a duo and release an album as M&M in 1992.

The Closer That We Get, The Crazier That I Feel

Join me as we wrap up chart week of our review of The Other Sixty. We’re going to take a look at 1987, 1988, and 1989.

December 19th, 1987

82. PowerSource featuring Sharon Batts – Dear Mr. Jesus

Oh, man. I gotta start out with this? A six-year-old singing about seeing a little girl beaten black and blue. Jesus. I know these folks had the right intentions, but imagine if Suzanne Vega tackled Luka with no artistic vision whatsoever, and you’ll get an idea of what this track sounds like. [FYI – Scott Shannon was behind this one in NY.] This 45 will rise up to #61.

87. Eurythmics – I Need A Man

Here’s the lead-off single from Eurythmics’ seventh album, Savage, which did not do well in the States. Personally, it’s my favorite of theirs. Dave Stewart recorded most of the album with a Synclavier and his guitar, and the band filmed a video for each song, directed by Sophie Muller. This aggressive pop-rock number will reach a #46 high.

94. Glenn Medeiros – Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone

Glenn continues his efforts to have another Top 40 hit by releasing ye another ballad. This one was co-written by David Foster and Jermaine Jackson, initially recorded by him for his Precious Moments LP. Loneliness will move in like Balki on Larry at #67.

96. The Alarm – Rain In The Summertime

I loved this song back then and played it on a loop that Summer. I can’t believe it took this long to chart on the Hot 100. This UK quartet has already hit the UK Top 20 by the time of this debut. And now it’s winter, and the rain is cold. No one wants to think about getting wet when it’s 20 degrees outside and dark. Probably the reason why it drowned at #71.

98. Dokken – Burning Like A Flame

Don Dokken and pals are Back For The Attack or so saith their fourth album. This heavy metal quartet has yet to cash in on the glam metal fad that was happening, and their lead single would be no exception. It will blow out at #72, and the band would break up for five years.

Funny aside: The teen quintet, The Party, made up of Mickey Mouse Club cast members, would hit #34 in early 1992 with a cover of Dokken’s In My Dreams.

December 17th, 1988

91. Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers – If We Never Meet Again

This Philly quintet’s second release from their second album, Rumble, did much better than their first. It will climb up the way up to #48 and reach the Top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts. It will also be their last Hot 100 entry.

94. The Timelords – Doctorin’ The Tardis

This may be the nerdiest dance track of the 80s. Timelords are the alien race that Dr. Who has descended from, which is why the chorus of this track is just the words Doctor and Who sung to the tune of Gary Glitter’s Rock And Roll, Part 2 over the Doctor Who theme. The tardis is the phone booth that he time travels in. (yes, just like Bill & Ted.) It will go to #1 in the UK and #66 in the States. This duo will change its name to The KLF and have a few hits in the early 90s.

95. Fairground Attraction – Perfect

Here’s a Scottish folk quartet led by singer Eddi Reader who channel their inner Patsy Cline for this single from their debut, The First Of A Million Kisses. It will be a #1 smash for them in England. In the States, it had this interesting chart data line: #80 Pop, #1 Modern Rock, and #85 Country.

97. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Posse On Broadway

Back before the self-proclaimed J.R. Ewing of Seattle noticed the backside, he was looking out the front window namechecking streets that he and his crew would roll down through Capitol Hill. It took most of the 80s for Sir to work up his cred. But rather than wait for a record deal, he helped to start up his own label, Nastymix, and released his debut, Swass, in 1988. This was the most well-known song from the album, reaching #44 R&B and #70 Pop, and features a sample of Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing.

98. Starship – Wild Again

Wouldn’t that assume Starship was wild once before? Here’s another track from the Cocktail soundtrack, a huge 80s album that no one listens to anymore. Like a pina colada, it was meant to be enjoyed for a moment then forgotten. It will also be included on the band’s Love Among The Cannibals album, released in 1989. This starship was meant to fly at #73.

December 16th, 1989

80. Safire – I Will Survive

Sa-Fire removed the dash from her name and got down to brass tacks with a New Jack cover of the 1979 Gloria Gaynor #1 smash. It was featured in the disastrous film, She-Devil, which paired Meryl Streep and Rosanne Barr. It will reach #53 before it changes that stupid lock.

90. Sharon Bryant – Foolish Bryant

The former Atlantic Starr lead singer follows up her only Top 40 single, Let Go, with a cover of Steve Perry’s 1985 Top 20 hit. It will become her second Top 10 R&B hit, ut it debuts at its peak on the Hot 100.

[Thanks victorvector for catching the omission.]

96. Dino – Never 2 Much Of U

Dino squeezed every last bit of his 24/7 album until we could take no more. He managed two Top 40 hits already, and the fifth charting single angled to be number three. Unfortunately, the quiet storm didn’t last that long, and it will peak at #61. But you never if you hear it again as you wait in line at a Rite-Aid.

 

The Past Is Gone And Done

Let’s wrap chart week forty-nine with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 through 1989.

December 13th, 1986

88. John Parr – Blame It On the Radio

John’s St. Elmo’s success allowed him to record a second album, Running The Endless Mile, in 1986. This pop rocker was the lead release and debuts at its peak this week. It will also be his last Hot 100 entry.

92. Secret Ties – Dancin’ In My Sleep

I know folks enjoy “bedroom music” nowadays, but this dance song sounds like it was truly recorded in someone’s one-bedroom apartment. From the simple drum machine with over-processed hi-hats and basic synth patterns, it’s amazing that someone decided to take the time and money to press this onto vinyl. It was released on a tiny obscure label in California, so it’s impressive that it was able to debut on the Hot 100 and move up one notch.

97. Bob Geldof – This Is The World Calling

After 1985’s Live Aid concerts, Irishman Bob became internationally known and even received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Releasing a solo album and leading it off with a global anthem seemed like the logical next step. Co-written with the Eurythmics Dave Stewart, it became popular throughout Europe, including #1 in Ireland and Sweden. The US pop audience shrugged it off, disconnecting the call at #82.

December 12th, 1987

88. Dan Hill – Never Thought (That I Could Love)

Canadian Dan Hill follows-up his comeback smash, Can’t We Try, with another soft offering that did very well on the AC chart, reaching #2. Lots of folks got their root canal to this one. On the Hot 100, it will just miss the Casey call peaking at #43.

91. Billy Idol – Hot In The City

In 1987, Billy released the greatest hits compilation, Vital Idol, previously released in the UK two years earlier. It became a big hit here when his liver version of Tommy James & the Shondells’ smash Mony Mony was released as a 45 and reached #1. He released a new version of his 1982 Top 40 hit for a follow-up, Hot In the City, which had peaked at #23. This time around, it will cool down at #48 but will finally become a UK Top 40 hit, climbing to #13. Also, basketball teams like to use the long intro during team introductions during games.

95. Buster Poindexter & His Banshees Of Blue – Hot Hot Hot

After the New York Dolls split up in the mid-70s and his solo career went nowhere, David Johnansen came up with an obnoxious lounge lizard alter-ego, and he found a modicum of success, at least as far as Carnival Cruises is concerned. His first album featured this cover of a 1982 song written and recorded by Montserratian soca musician Arrow. Buster’s version will scorch up to #45 and become his only chart single. But the damage was already done done done.

December 10th, 1988

86. Basia – New Day For You

Basia got her start as part of trio Matt Bianco, but after one album, she and keyboardist Danny White left to jumpstart her solo career. Her debut, Time And Tide, was released, and it took over a year before she had any stateside success, with the title track reaching the US Top 30. this was the next single released, and it will climb to #53. I’m a sucker for UK jazz-pop, especially those 80s releases, so I purchased this cassette and worn it down to the nubs. I gave it The UnCola Classic Album treatment back in 2015.

94. Michelle Shocked – Anchorage

Here’s a single that I had a passing interest in when it was released but regard it fondly today. Part of that has to do with hearing it repeatedly when I worked landscaping jobs. The boss I primarily worked with had great musical taste and loved this album, Short Sharp Shocked. Hearing this or If Love Was A Train makes me think of those days. This will die, like Sarah Palin’s dignity, at #66. These days, Michelle makes more news for her homophobia than for her music, which remains relatively absent on YouTube.

97. J.J. Fad – Is It Love

The follow-up to this rap trio’s only Top 40 hit, Supersonic, almost sounds like an answer record to L.L. Cool J’s I Need Love. If that was intended, it still plays that way. Produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, this will only inch up five more spots.

December 9th, 1989

90. Marcia Griffiths – Electric Boogie

Oh, no. Another wedding reception song that White people continuously screw up. Contrary to popular belief, this song is NOT called the electric slide. It was initially written and recorded by Bunny Wailer in 1986. Marcia, who was part of a trio of women who backed up Bob Marley called the I-Threes, recorded her version in 1983. It was around for six years before someone remixed it, and it charted in the US, sliding up to #51.

92. Michael Morales – I Don’t Know

Texas singer/songwriter came from out of nowhere in 1989 and had two Top 40 hits from his debut album. This midtempo pop-rock number was his attempt at number three, but instead, it will only climb to #81.

94. Neneh Cherry – Heart

This was the third charting single from Neneh’s debut, Raw Like Sushi, and was only released as a single here and in Australia. The record company should have pushed Manchild instead, as that’s one of the best tracks on the album. Instead, this 45 will only palpate to #73.

96. Diving For Pearls – Gimme Your Good Lovin’

Here’s a rock band, initially formed in Boston, who moved to NY and hooked up with two members of the band Urgent, including this Seinfeld ne’er-do-well. Their debut album tried to go through the glam rock back door, but long hair and Aqua Net will only get you so far. It will have a #84 zenith.

99. The Hooters – 500 Miles

We finish up chart week forty-nine with the last chart single from this Philly quintet. The lead-off 45 from their fourth album, Zig Zag, a cover of an old folk tune, was made famous by Bobby Bare in 1963. The Hooters’ version will only slide up two more notches.

Something Else To Do But Hang Around

Let’s wrap up chart week forty-eight with a review of The Other Sixty from 1986 up through 1989.

December 6th, 1986

88. Human League – I Need Your Loving

This British quintet followed up their second US #1, Human, with this single, which was a little too funky for their audience. It was definitely a different sound for them, but I thought it suited them well. It did reach #44, but it also caused friction in the band, with two members leaving soon after. They would return and continue with their synth disco vibes for the rest of their career, hitting the Top 40 as late as 1995.

92. Paul Simon – Graceland

Up until 1986, Graceland was Elvis’ house in Memphis. Then Paul Simon appropriated it and brought African music into the home of White yuppies. Now people think of his album first. The irony is that the song title refers to a car trip Paul took to the King’s home. This single will a Grammy for Record of the Year despite only reaching #81.

97. Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia

Here’s the fourth single from PSB’s debut album, Please. I prefer the album, but they remixed it for release with more synths and added dog barks. I never understood their version of the suburbs as a place with constant police sirens, vandals, and rabid pit bulls. But after this year, I understand. It will become their second UK Top 10, but only reach #70 in the US. The B-side of the UK 45, Paninaro, was played a lot that Winter on WLIR.

December 5th, 1987

84. U2 – In God’s Country

This was the fourth charting single from U2’s breakthrough album, The Joshua Tree, their fifth. It almost followed the first three into the Top 40, but it just missed getting the Casey call at #44.

86. Georgio – Lover’s Lane

Georgio released three singles from his debut album, Sex Appeal. All three were substantial Club hits as well as R&B Top 20s. I don’t get it. There’s no personality in the singing. The arrangements are sterile. And there is no discernable hook, catchiness, or a tune to hum. Still, this will reach #59.

98. KIϟϟ – Reason To Live

Here’s another power ballad from Kiss that will perform poorly on the charts. It will only get to #64. But who cares? I’d like to talk about the album it came from, Crazy Nights. None of these songs have been performed by Kiss after their promotional tour except for one, and it took another 20 years to make the setlist. This group of tracks sounds like they were written and recorded within a four period, with a break to run out and buy more coke. There are two songs with “hell” in the title, three with “night” and called Bang Bang You. Kiss continued to make pointless widgets because people bought them.

December 3rd, 1988

81. Fleetwood Mac – As Long As You Follow

Lindsey Buckingham had left the band before the group recorded two new songs for their Greatest Hits collection, which featured their post-1974 songs only. And now, the quintet was a sextet with the addition of Rick Vito and Billy Burnette. No diss to them, but the edge got even duller. It’s not a surprise that this hit #1 on the AC charts because it sounds like that was now the band’s target audience. It’ll just miss the Top 40 topping out at #43.

December 2nd, 1989

85. The Cure – Lullaby

After this goth sextet surprised everyone with a #2 hit in the Fall of 1989, Lovesong, kept out of the top spot by Janet Jackson, they came back down to dark, dark earth with their follow-up single. It will rock itself to sleep at #74.

88. Jermaine Jackson – Don’t Take It Personal

Jermaine tries to get some of that newfound Surface money by having two of those members right the title track to his first album in three years. It will pay off for his Soul audience as he will hit #1 on the R&B charts. This mellow ballad will reach #64 on the Hot 100.

96. Chunky A – OWWW!

Arsenio Hall almost threw away all of the goodwill he was building up with his talk show by recording a full album with his offensive alter ego, an overweight rapper who was only deemed funny by him and his manager. This laugh riot parody of Cameo’s Larry Blackmon made everyone say ow as if a hot poker was jammed into our eardrums. Howww did this make it up to #77?

97. Christopher Max – Serious Kinda Girl

Here’s an R&B singer/songwriter who seems to be a one and done artist. He released his only album, More Than Physical, in 1989, produced with Nile Rodgers. Even with that type of clout, this album didn’t do much with audiences. This single will reach the R&B Top 30 while peaking at #75 on the Hot 100 before the year was over.

Fun fact: Chris’ dad was singer Gene McDaniels who had a couple of big early 60s smashes, such as Tower Of Strength, Chip Chip, and A Hundred Pounds Of Clay. He also wrote the #1 Roberta Flack hit, Feel Like Makin’ Love. [Although, I prefer this  Bat Mitzvah version.]

Find a Brighter Day

If there’s a lot of extra metal and dance music, it must be the late 80s. It’s as if that’s all that Pop radio was pushing back then. Let’s finish up our review of chart week forty-seven with a look at 1987, 1988, and 1989.

November 28th, 1987

85. Mick Jagger – Throwaway

The first single from the solo Stone’s second album, Primitive Cool, snuck into the Top 40, peaking at #39. This was the follow-up and lived up to its title, topping out at #67. The role of Keef was played by Jeff Beck.

91. Europe – Cherokee

Nothing like a Swedish metal band to tell the story of this Appalachian Native American tribe. The fourth single from The Final Countdown album left its own trail of tears at #72.

92. Tony Terry – She’s Fly

This was the first chart single from D.C. New Jack singer Tony Terry. If you were there back then and got down to it, you might still like it for nostalgia’s sake. If not, you didn’t miss much. This Top 10 R&B track will get swatted at #80.

93. Motley Crue – You’re All I Need

This glam metal quartet decided to release as their third single from Girls Girls Girls, a power ballad about a twisted fuck who kills his girlfriend in the name of love. Because these cretins were in the middle of their heroin phase, the lyrics are a poorly written misogynistic revenge fantasy with a cheesy junior high cover band arrangement. Thankfully most of us were spared as this peak at #83. Jon Bon Jovi likes this, so that should tell you something.

November 26th, 1988

91. Bananarama – Love, Truth, And Honesty

Siobhan Fahey left the trio in late 1987 after their Wow! album was out, and she was replaced with singer Jacquie O’Sullivan. They used the transition to release a greatest hits compilation with two new songs. This was the opening single released to promote it and will only inch up two spots. It was their last Hot 100 entry.

99. Yazz & The Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up

We already had a group named Yaz, or Yazoo, as they were known in the UK, but the duo had since broken up. Now we have singer Yazz with her debut single. Produced by Coldcut, it’s a disco-house cover of a 1982 Otis Clay track that she took to #1 in the UK for five weeks. In the States, it will only go up three more notches. I bought this 45 over in Germany in the Summer and thought it was cool that the sleeve unfolds into a wall poster.

November 25th, 1989

91. Bonham – Wait For You

We started the 80s with drummer John Bonham passing away in September 1980, and we finish it with his son’s band charting with their debut single. Unfortunately, it ends up sounding like a Led Zeppelin cover band, and we already had plenty of those in our local bars for free. We’ll stop waiting around at #55.

92 . KIϟϟ – Hide Your Heart

This group never gave up in the 80s. They released eight albums during the decade, and not one of them spawned a Top 40 hit. Even during the glam metal years, they should have walked through the door with something to show for it. They have Desmond Child & Holly Knight writing with them. With Bruce Kulick now on lead guitar duties, this will reach #66.

Fun fact: This was originally written and rejected for their 1987 album, Crazy Nights. Paul Stanley then offered to other artists, such as Bonnie Tyler, who recorded it, and former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley who released his version a week before Kiss did.

94. Starship – I Didn’t Mean To Stay All Night

Then why are you still here? The second single from Love Among The Cannibals and the follow-up to It’s Not Enough, a #12 hit, is a tune written by Mutt Lange, who also sings back-up. The group was now Slick-less, which made them more boring if that was even possible. Even with some Fairlight work by Larry Klein and their best effort to make this ballad seem like a lost Hysteria cut, it will peak at #75.

95. Fiona & Kip Winger – Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me)

Fiona Flanagan tries to go through the Glam metal door with this power rock duet with the Winger frontman, who also plays bass from her third album, Heart Like A Gun. I’m not sure the folks who wrote this understand what the word sexing means, but hey who wants another eight ball, fellas? It will have a zenith of #52.

A Tired Heart Can Find No Peace

Let’s wrap up chart week forty week with a review of the Other Sixty from 1986 up through 1989.

November 22nd, 1986

92. Don Johnson – Heartache Away

Imagine you’re recording a song, and you’ve got Ron Wood on guitar, Bonnie Raitt on backing vocals, and a guitar solo by Stevie Ray Vaughn. Why on earth would you ruin it by letting Don Johnson sing lead vocals? That was the quintessential 80’s celebrity rock album experience. The pain will go on until #56.

94. David Lee Roth – That’s Life

Dave, seriously, what the fuck is this? It’s bad enough I have to hear Sammy Hagar sing about dreams with a boring jingoistic video featuring the Blue Angels. Then you want us to sit through your Sintara phase? Please go makeup with Eddie before it’s late. [note: 2006 is too late] The people say flush it at #85.

98. Debbie Harry – French Kissin’

After Blondie split up in 1982, Debbie took some time off to take care of her then-partner, Chris Stein, who was suffering from a rare autoimmune disease called pemphigus. With his subsequent recovery, she resumed her solo career with her first album in five years called, Rockbird. This was the lead single released from it and will become a Top 10 in the UK. In the States, it will get tongue-tied at #57.

November 21st, 1987

78. Bananarama – I Can’t Help It

This UK female threesome had some big hits in the US, but they could never manage more than one per album. I always found that odd. The subsequently released singles all had potential, and they would do very well in England. Following up the Top 5 smash, I Heard A Rumour, this single will reach the Top 10 on the Dance charts but stall out at #47 Pop.

93. Martha Davis – Don’t Tell Me The Time

Martha’s first solo album, Policy, was intended to be a new Motels long-play before breaking up the band in early 1987. She hasn’t been very fond of this endeavor in the past, and it certainly wasn’t very successful. But there are many terrific songs on it, including this one, the first single released. It will only reach #80 but will become a Top 10 smash in Australia.

94. Deja – You And Me Tonight

The band Aurra started out as an offshoot of the funk band, Slave and they had one chart, Make Up Your Mind, in 1981. They released five total albums before a legal dispute prompted them to change their name to Deja. This single, from their first album Serious, will be their biggest hit, reaching #12 on the R&B charts and #54 on the Hot 100.

November 19th, 1988

88. Al B. Sure! – Killing Me Softly

Fifteen years after Roberta Flack went to #1 and eight years before the Fugees returned it to the top, Al B. Sure released his New Jack version as the third single from his In Effect Mode album. I wouldn’t doubt that a young Lauryn Hill heard this, sang along, while she dreamed about her future. Al’s cover will only reach #80 but will make the Top 15 on the Soul chart.

96. Eighth Wonder – Cross My Heart

Here’s the first US charting single from a UK pop quartet fronted by singer/actress Patsy Kensit, who appeared in Absolute Beginners two years previous. This song had been recorded by other artists in 1988, such as Tracie Spencer and Martika, but this version is the only one to make the Hot 100. Lightning will strike it at #56.

November 18th, 1989

83. Eric Clapton – Pretending

Radio played this lead off track from Eric’s Journeyman album so much, you’d be forgiven if you thought it was a Top 40 hit. It will only reach #55 but will spend six weeks atop the Mainstream Rock charts. Chaka Khan sings background vocals on the track.

A Feeling I Can’t Accept

Let’s wrap our review of The Other Sixty during chart week forty-five with a look a the debuts from 1987, 1988, and 1989 that missed out on the Casey (and Shadoe) call.

November 14th, 1987

83. Millions Like Us – Guaranteed For Life

This is a pretty good soulful Pop song along the lines of Michael McDonald or Living In A Box. But this UK duo is hampered by an awful band name. It’s the kind of tune you’d hear walking around the halls of Bally’s (If you were in a casino during the 80s, you know what I mean.) Produced by Rufus’ Hawk Wolinski, it will peak at Bill & Ted’s favorite number in a few weeks and be their only chart hit.

90. Smokey Robinson – What’s Too Much

1987 saw Smokey nab two more Top 10 hits, One Heartbeat and Just To See Her, from his fifteenth solo album. It was great to hear that smooth voice on the radio again. This will be the third release from that LP, a Quiet Storm brewing into the R&B Top 20. But I guess #79 was too much for Pop.

92. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam Featuring Full Force – Someone To Love Me For Me

After two straight #1 singles on the Pop and Soul charts, this trio aligns with Full Force again for another ballad a la All Cried Out. It will slide up into the Soul Top 10 but will quizically top out at #78 on the Hot 100.

94. The Cars – Strap Me In

What is a car without a seat belt? What is love without the feeling of security? Those are the questions that Ric Ocasek and the boys try to answer with the second single release and one of my favorites from Door To Door, their final album with the original lineup. This mid-tempo pop-rocker will get snapped in two at #85.

97. Alexander O’Neal – Criticize

Alex follows up his first solo Top 40 hit, Fake, with another solid jam from his Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-produced album, Hearsay. Jellybean Johnson gets involved with this one as well. Featuring Lisa Keith on backing vocals, it will become another R&B Top 10 while reaching #4 on the UK charts. Don’t mean to be a nag, but this should have climbed higher than #70 Pop.

November 12th, 1988

88. Paula Abdul – (It’s Just) The Way You Love Me

Ex-Laker girl Paula Abdul keeps trying to break her debut album, Forever Your Girl, by releasing a second single. No one was biting as this one debuts at its peak. But what a difference a year makes. It will get re-released in the Fall of 1989 and eventually reach #3, becoming her fourth straight Top 10 single.

90. Kenny Loggins – I’m Gonna Miss You

Even though it’s 1988, Kenny was still keeping his boat out of dry dock with another smooth West Coast Pop entry. This was the second single from his Back To Avalon album and features backing vocals by Starship’s Mickey Thomas. It’s another case of how-did-this-not-rise-higher-than, for this example, #82.

96. Denise Lopez – If You Feel It

Denise became a one-hit-wonder this year with Sayin’ Sorry (Don’t Make It Right), but they played this song on New York radio just as much. I kinda like it better than her hit myself. This freestyle track was big in the clubs but will only inch up two spots on the Hot 100.

100. New Edition – You’re Not My Kind Of Girl

Ouch, the dreaded #100 entry. New Edition only had one Top 40 hit from their album, Heart Break, which I felt was their best to date. In fact, it spun off five R&B Top 40 hits, with four of them hitting the Top 5. It’s another Jimmy Jam/ Terry Lewis collaboration, but this New Jack track will only swing up to #95.

November 11th, 1989

85. Fine Young Cannibals – I’m Not the Man I Used To Be

No one expected this UK trio to have two #1s from the second album, The Raw & The Cooked. This was the fourth charting single from the album, and they still one more to go. Rolling over the Funky Drummer sample, this one had a good chance to be the fourth Top 40 from these guys. But it stalled at #54.

88. Pajama Party – Over And Over

This will be the biggest Hot 100 chart success for this Freestyle trio from Brooklyn from their debut album, Up All Night. Although it won’t reach the Expose heights, it will still rise as high as #59.

91. Saraya – Back To The Bullet

It’s a shame that Pop radio didn’t make any room for this New Jersey rock quintet when they let glam metal acts with half the energy and muscle walk right in. This was the group’s second charting single from their debut and their best Hot 100 showing, peaking at #63.

Sorry Is All That You Can’t Say

It’s chart week forty-four and we’re digging into the latter half of the 80s to see who joined the ranks of the Other Sixty. Let’s review 1986 up thru 1989.

November 8th, 1986

84. Freddie Jackson – Tasty Love

Freddie J. was a mainstay on the R&B charts from the mid-80s into the early 90s, though he was only able to cross over into the Top 40 four times. This R&B #1 just misses the Casey call, losing its taste at #41.

90. Howard Hewett – I’m For Real

Even though Jeffrey Daniels and Jody Watley left Shalamar two years before Howard, he was the first to release a solo album. This was the lead single from I Commit To Love, and although it will reach #2 on the Soul charts, this Quiet Storm two-stepper debuts at its peak on the Hot 100.

94. Laban – Love In Siberia

Here’s a slice of 80s Eurodisco from Denmark. From that description alone, I’m sure you know what it sounds like. This duo had been recording their songs in Danish but by album number four, they decided to record an English version of Laban 4. Called Caught By Surprise, it featured this track which charted and shivered it way up to #88.

November 7th, 1987

79. Jimmy Davis & Junction – Kick The Wall

This Memphis quartet tried to go through the Pop door that the Georgia Sattelites had opened the year before with a quality hard rock album that was accessible to radio. It’s a shame they didn’t breakthrough. They only released one album before splitting up, and their only charting single hit the bricks at #67.

81. Shanice Wilson – (Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance

Shanice was a teenage singer out of L.A. when she released her debut, Discovery, in 1987. She had previously been a cast member of Kids Incorporated around the time that Fergie & Martika were on, so it was just a matter of time before she got a music contract of her own. This dance track will hit the R&B Top 10 but stall out at #50 on the Hot 100. Four years from now, she’ll hit it out of the park with I Love Your Smile, a #2 Pop, #1 R&B smash that featured a Branford Marsalis sax solo.

92. Jellybean Featuring Steven Dante – The Real Thing

John Benitez started out as a DJ spinning in Manhattan clubs in the late 70s and early 80s before trying his hand at remixing. After having success with his mixes of Madonna’s Borderline and Lucky Star, he moved into creating his own albums of dance music. This was the second single from his second album, Just Visiting This Planet, and it’s a great slice of moody House music with vocals by British singer Steven Dante. We are still a few years away from this music style invading the Pop landscape, so a tune like this will be relegated to the clubs and a #82 high. It will also hit the Top 20 in the UK.

November 5th, 1988

84. Tracy Chapman – Baby Can I Hold You

There I was sitting at a table in the back of a nearly empty coffee house, staring back into the eyes of a girl I lost once before. It had been nearly a year since I’d seen her last and she looked more beautiful than I had remembered. With each friendly glance she gave me, I sank further into my chair. I wanted to erase every mistake I made, take away all of the pain I caused her. But I didn’t know how to start, and I couldn’t find the words. And then, this song starts playing…

85. Randy Newman – It’s Money That Matters

The problem with being a great satirist is that not everyone knows when you’re straight or funny. For example, lots of folks really believe that Randy hated people of short stature, just as many thought he stood on the side of Gordon Gecko when he released this song from Land Of Dreams. But as we all have come to know, irony, for the lack of a better word, is good. The #1 Mainstream rock track featuring Mark Knopfler will go bankrupt at #60.

I’d also like to point out that my kids now recognize his voice since he’s scored nine different Disney/ Pixar films.

89. Cameo – You Make Me Work

It took ten albums, but Cameo finally crossed over to the Pop charts with Word Up ! and Candy. Their follow-up album, Machismo, was even better, tighter and tougher. And even though this will hit the R&B Top 5, it will only climb to #85 on the Pop charts.

97. Stryper – I Believe In You

How come nobody played these records backwards? Is it because this was labeled Christian metal? I did once, and it sounded like they were saying, “it’s a schtick” and “stay home on Sundays,” maybe even “Bon Jovi is the devil.” No matter which direction was played, this metal ballad couldn’t get any more believers after reaching #88.

98. Mike + The Mechanics – Nobody’s Perfect

As Phil the Shill falls from #1 to #3 with Groovy Kind of Love, his bandmate Mike debuts with his side project’s newest single from their second album, Living Years. It’s a pretty good single, but it gets obscured by someone’s fascination with a Fairlight, and the noises become too distracting. The title will prove its point at #63.

November 4th, 1989

88. Shooting Star – Touch Me Tonight

Here’s a quintet from Kansas City that were Midwest favorites but never had mainstream success. So it was strange to release a greatest hits package by them in 1989, even more so, as they disbanded three years prior. A previously unreleased track was used to promote the compilation and it got enough airplay and sales to debut on the Hot 100 and eventually reach #67. It will be the spark to get the band back together for a new album in 1991.

92. D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson

And In This Corner… completes this duo’s silly ass rapping trilogy with this song only reaching #58. From here on out, the Fresh Prince would develop a more serious style of flow and slowly become a movie star, Will Smith. Also, a track like this was funny in 1989 because of how dominant Tyson was in the boxing world. But only four months after this song debuted on the Hot 100, Iron Mike would get KO’d by Buster Douglas. Guess we know someone who bought this 12″.

95. Melissa Etheridge – No Souvenirs

Here is the lead single from melissa’s second album, Brave And Crazy. She was still having a hard time getting played on Pop radio but was still getting lots of Mainstream and Modern Rock airplay. With Bono tooting on the harmonica, this one debuts at its peak.

96. Warrant – Big Talk

This L.A. glam metal quartet released four single from their debut, Dirty Filthy Sticking Rich. Only this one, their third single, missed the Top 40. It will move up three more spots.

97. Surface – You Are My Everything

After nabbing their first Top 10 hit with Shower Me With Your Love (not sure about that title, guys), this New Jersey soul trio releases this midtempo follow-up. It will only reach #84 on the Hot 100 but will become their third straight #1 on the R&B charts.

98. Big Noise – Name And Number

Here’s a septet from Birmingham, England that released an album, Bang! which spawned one charting single in 1989 that disappeared as fast as it showed up. This track sound like a Living In A Box reject, which might explain its #97 showing, and it ends up sounding more like a tax write-off than an artistic statement.