Reputation’s Changeable, Situation’s Tolerable

Let’s wrap up chart week forty-three with a review of The Other Sixty from the back end of the decade starting in 1986 up thru 1989.

November 1st, 1986

90. The Monkees – Daydream Believer

Surprised to see a song that was #1 in 1968 charting here in 1986? Well, Rhino Records owned the Monkees’ catalog now, and with the band’s resurgence on Nickelodeon, they wanted to make good on their investment and sell more albums. The Monkees had made a music video back in the 60s for this song, which is why it was chosen as it was MTV/VH-1 ready. It didn’t get to 7A, but it did reach #79.

98. Commodores – Goin’ To The Bank

By 1986 those trips to First Federal Savings were becoming few and far between. It’s tough to replace a dude like Lionel, who seemingly turned out one great song after another. And although he wasn’t the only writer in the band, he was definitely the one with the most talent. Most likely, that’s why they had many outside people giving them songs such as this. It makes its last withdrawal at #65

October 31st, 1987

84. Dionne & Kashif – Reservations For Two

Miss Warwick follows up her successful duet with Jeffrey Osborne, with another twosome, this time with singer/songwriter Kashif. He wrote a hit for her cousin, Whitney called You Give Good Love. No such luck here as this ballad will have a #62 zenith.

88. Beau Coup – Sweet Rachel

Here’s a rock quartet from Cleveland with an A.O.R. album and single that was slowly falling out of favor at pop radio. Seven years prior, it might have had a chance or seven years in the future, if it was used on an episode of Friends. But in 1987, their only chart hit will reach #53.

89. Glenn Jones – We’ve Only Just Begun (The Romance Is Not Over)

If you’re looking for a sequel to Gregory Abbott’s Shake You Down, here it is. (I would love to hear someone mash these two up.) Glenn was on album number four when he finally crossed over to the Hot 100. He had amassed four Top 40 hits on the R&B charts when this will climb all the way up to #2. It will be his only Hot 100 entry, reaching #66, even though he’d have a #1 Soul hit in 1991, Here I Go Again.

93. Earth, Wind & Fire – System Of Survival

It had been four years since the last E.W.F. LP, a lifetime in that universe. But it was also the first break the band had in a decade and a half. Touch the World was a pretty good album. My only complaints are the programmed drums and the new horn players. But funk was in short supply during the white-washed 80s, so I’ll take what I can get. This became a #1 hit on the R&B charts as well as the Dance Club charts. It will wash out at #60 on the Hot 100.

October 29th, 1988

80. .38 Special – Rock & Roll Strategy

If there is one, I’d like to know. But I’m sure it doesn’t include letting your lead singer and founding member walk away and pivoting towards an Adult Contemporary career. And songs like this aren’t going to win any new fans or keep the old ones. Not sure your coach had a #67 zenith in mind.

83. Traveling Wilburys – Handle With Care

Fuck Asia. This is a supergroup. There are no other supergroups that ever existed, except this one. You want to put Jeff Tweedy, Rufus Wainright, and Father John Misty together? Sure, I’ll listen to it, ya hipster. But it ain’t a supergroup. You need at start with a least one Beatle (Ringo counts), a folk icon and early rock legend, current rock legend, and a studio whiz to produce it. What started out as a recording session for a George Harrison B-side became The Wilburys. How this stalled at #45 is beyond me.

This group and album are essential for five reasons:

  • It gave Tom Petty the freedom and confidence to make Full Moon Fever and then the superior Wildflowers, five years later.
  • It will be the last studio recordings of George Harrison.
  • It will be the most accessible music Dylan records in a decade, on either side, and showcases his true collaborative spirit.
  • It will boost the production career of Jeff Lynne, who had just shut down E.L.O.
  • It will also boost the career of Roy Orbison, who will have his first hit in two decades in early 1989. Sadly, he will be gone within six weeks of this debut, which is also a reminder to do it now, not later.

88. Peter Cetera – Best of Times

Peter follow-up to his Top 10 hit, One Good Woman, which out-Cartmens his other hits, is this slice of pop-rock which has nothing to do with Styx. Maybe if it were a cover, it would have risen higher than #59.

91. Alphaville – Forever Young

Hey look who’s back? A song that has been adopted  by proms, weddings, sweet sixteens, Bar Mitzvahs and lots of other celebrations where we’re supposed to never grow up or at least remember the moment we’re experiencing for all time as if it’s the best one we’ll experience. It will be used in Napoleon Dynamite to demonstrate this to great effect. Released to promote their recent greatest hits compilation, which had a slow and fast version, this will chart higher than its 1984 entry hitting #65.

(Thank you victorvector for catching this missing re-entry.)

93. D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble

After the success of He’s the D.J., I’m the Rapper, Jive Records decided to re-release a remixed single originally recorded on this hip hop duo’s first album, Rock The House. It’s built around a sample of the I Dream Of Jeannie theme, and it’s about as goofy stupid as you could imagine. Also, the lyrics have not aged well. Thankfully it will top out at #57.

October 28th, 1989

95. Tracy Chapman – Crossroads

Tracy co-produced her second album, taking a more active role in her sound. It pays off, and the title track illustrates the move as she tries to protect herself and art while others try to make her a commodity. This single will only move up five spots, but the album will go platinum.

98. Shirley Lewis – Realistic

Here’s a U.K. singer who had sung backup for George Michael and released a handful of singles in the mid-80s with her sisters Linda & Dee under the name Lewis Sisters. This was the first single from her solo debut, Passion, produced by Shep Pettibone. It’s a nice mix of catchy pop with some house music vibes, but it gets a dose of pragmatism at #84.

99. Grayson Hugh – Bring It All Back

Here is the pride of Hartford, CT following up his Top 20 smash, Talk It Over, from his album, Blind To Reason. This track is as soulfully mellow as the other, but for some reason, it won’t move up any higher than #89. Although I must say, I still hear it quite often rummaging around a Goodwill for vinyl or waiting in line at a Rite Aid.

Your Pretensions Aim For Gullible Fools

Let’s round up The Other Sixty from the late 80s as we review chart week forty-two from 1986 up to 1989.

October 25th, 1986

76. The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86

I have absolutely no idea why these guys would ruin one of their classics by re-recording it into an overly processed reverb-drenched dreck hell. Worse yet, this was the version they put on their greatest hits album rather than the original. Stewart Copeland doesn’t even drum on it. What was the point of this? [He had broken his collarbone just before they were to record a new album and uses a Fairlight CMI to program the drums.] This single still almost made the Top 40 as it had in the UK, but stalled at #46.

78. Jesse Johnson Featuring Sly Stone – Crazay

With many recording technology advances in the 80s, music became more sterile sounding as a result. A song like this one from Jesse’s second solo album, Shockadelica, stuck out because of the funk breaking pop’s plastic veneer. Still, I wonder what this would have sounded like full a band, including horns instead of synths. And it was great to get a Sly Stone appearance, who had been trying to get his career on track since the mid-70s. This will be JJ’s biggest R&B hit, reaching #2 as well as his most successful Hot 100 entry peaking at #53.

93. Berlin – Like Flames

After changing up their sound to record the #1 smash Take My Breath Away for the Top Gun soundtrack, they changed it up again with this follow-up single from their LP, Count Three And Play. The move away from a synth-pop sound to a guitar rock vibe confused fans and would lead to the band splitting up. This 45 will turn to ash at #83.

94. Andy Taylor – When The Rain Comes Down

Take It Easy was a surprise solo hit for this Duran Duran guitarist and pushed him to decide not to rejoin the band. The second single he released was from the Miami Vice II soundtrack and features a guitar solo by Andy and ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones. It will completely miss the Casey call when it gets all wet at #73.

October 24th, 1987

90. Sammy Hagar – Eagles Fly

When Sammy joined Van Halen it should have boosted his solo career, but it did not. In fact, he only ended up with one additional Top 40 hit, Give To Live. This single was the follow-up, and there’s a reason the Philadelphia Eagles never adopted it as their theme song. It features Eddie Van Halen on bass and guitar, but its wings will get clipped at #82.

91. Simon F – American Dream

In 1983, a New Wave duo named Interferon released a few singles that made the lower reaches of the UK chart: Steamwater Sam and Get Out Of London. The twosome known as Simon F and Simon G went their separate ways and the former released a solo album in 1985 called Gun. His second album Never Never Land spawned his only US chart single. It’s a pretty good pop track with Simon’s vocals sounding like a mix of Bryan Ferry and Bowie. Unfortunately, it debuts at its peak.

Fun fact: Simon left the music industry and moved into music video directing and then journalism. He has written five novels with a new one on the way. You can follow his blog here.

96. Terence Trent D’Arby – If You Let Me Stay

There certainly was a lot of hype with this debut. I remember hearing this single and immediatley going out to the store to buy it. Sometimes an artist catches a perfect moment in time, and everything aligns. TTD’s voice was like an arrow to my soul. This former boxer’s first release from Introducing the Hardline… made the Top Ten in England but only reached #68. His next single, Wishing Well, will go all the way to #1 on the Pop and Soul charts.

Fun fact: Less than a month after 9/11, Terence Trent D’arby joined the nonexistent. In his place came Sananda Maitreya, who has gone on to release several albums, most of which sound like Terence.

October 22nd, 1988

85. Candi – Dancing Under a Latin Moon

Candi was a Canadian quartet named after their singer Candita Pennella. Oddly, their freestyle-lite debut was released on I.R.S. Records, home to R.E.M., The Alarm and Timbuk 3. That might be why it didn’t do that well, only charting this single which eclipsed at #68.

88. Georgia Satellites – Hippy Hippy Shake

Here’s an oft-covered rock song which originated in Australia before The Beatles recorded it for a BBC program and the Swinging Blue Jeans and the first hit with it, reaching #24 in 1964. This Atlanta quartet recorded their version for the Cocktail soundtrack and will shake with all its might up to #45.

94. Good Question – Got A New Love

We all know that Prince’s forte was not in being a businessman. So it should be no suprise that most of his Paisley Park Records releases did not do well. Here’s another one, a pair of brothers from Philly whose only chart hit, a prre-programmed dance track, will hit #86.

October 21st, 1989

86. After 7 – Heat Of The Moment

After 7 was a trio led by two of Babyface’s older brothers, Melvin and Kevon, This was the first single from their debut, written and produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface, and will only burn up to #74. their next two singles, Can’t Stop and Ready or Not would hit the Top 10 in 1990, so this was re-released later that year. In its second appearance, it will reach #19 in early 1991.

92. The Jets – The Same Love

The Jets were tanking hard with their new album, Believe, so they turned to their ace-in-the-hole – a prom dance ballad written by Diane Warren. No one was interested in the Wolfgramms anymore and this single will only step up five more spots.

93. Enuff Z’Nuff  – New Thing

This Chicago quartet was marketed through the glam metal door but they owed their sound more to Cheap Trick  than they did Poison. Still MTV treated them like they belonged with the Crue and played the video for their debut album lead single enuff to get it up to #67. They have been together for over thirty years and released a new album in 2020.

96. Lil Louis – French Kiss

Good luck trying to dance to this one. Marvin Burns aka Lil Louis was a Chicago DJ/producer influenced by the music coming out of the Warehouse weekend parties over the last decade. His entry into the House music arena was this track, one that chugs along before gradually slowing down to a crawl in the middle before gently speeding up again. It was huge in the clubs during the Fall reaching #1 on Dance charts and hitting #2 on the UK charts. Here in the U.S., the kiss went dry at #50.

Passion Runs Where Passion Kills

We are wrapping up chart week forty-one with a group of mostly forgotten singles with a few exceptions. Let’s review The Other Sixty from  1987 up to 1989.

October 17th, 1987

88. Kool & The Gang – Special Way

We’ve come a long way from Jungle Boogie, or for that matter, from Celebration. But now it’s the end of the line as this becomes their last chart hit, after 23 Top 40 hits, 12 Top 10s, and 1 #1. The acoustic ballad will climb up to #72.

89. Living In A Box – So The Story Goes

In the UK soulful white boy derby that was happening in the late 80s, I way preferred this trio over folks like Rick Astley. Maybe because these guys wore suits and acted serious rather than some goofy Howdy Doody moppet. As I started to look backward by the end of the decade, companies like Rhino Records would make this point moot. Until then, I’d be pissed that this song wouldn’t rise any higher than #81.

Fun fact: The video features actress Maryam D’abo, who had just appeared in the Bond film, The Living Daylights.

90. Big Trouble – Crazy World

In the 80s, television executive Fred Silverman formed a company to sell TV shows to networks rather than run them. This became so successful he decided to expand his brand into music and assembled a group of women to be the next pop sensation. This quartet of ladies was molded in the vein of The Monkees, although they had no TV show to promote them and they were allowed to play their own instruments. It was an inorganic dance Pop version of The Bangles, and if you blinked, you would have missed their one album and only chart single. Imagine what Josie & the Pussycats would’ve sounded like in 1987, and there you have this #71 single.

October 15th, 1988 

84. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band – Jealous Guy

1998 saw the release of the John Lennon documentary, Imagine, which I went to see in the theatres. It was narrated by John via various interview bits strung together, and it provided a stark contrast to Albert Goldman’s book, The Lives Of John Lennon, which portrayed John as a violent, ill-tempered jealous guy. John wasn’t perfect, but he’s also not the dick everyone makes him out to be. I’m not sure why they decided to release this cut from his 1973 Imagine LP because it plays up the negative image. [Also, I prefer Roxy Music’s version.] It will be his last Hot 100 entry and reach #80.

91. Gardner Cole – Live It Up

After many tries, Gardner nabbed a hit with a song he wrote, Open Your Heart which Madonna took up to #1 in early 1987. That allowed Gardner a chance to dig up new tracks for a solo album to show what else he could do, which was not much. This dance-pop single debuts at its peak. He will go on to co-write the hits, Another Lover for Giant Steps and Everything by Jody Watley.

92. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Peek-A-Boo

You can tell that Modern rock was slowly creeping into the mainstream when a group like this charts on the Hot 100. From their ninth album, Peepshow, this oddball track would be the lead single and sounds like a marching band led by all goth members. This Top 20 UK smash will blink its way up to #53.

94. Romeo’s Daughter – Don’t Break My Heart

Here’s the only chart single for this UK hard rock quartet who still performs today. If it reminds one of a female-led Def Leppard, that’s because they were both produced by Mutt Lange. Unfortunately that pedigree didn’t help its chart status and this broken heart will be stranded at #73.

95. Jon Astley – Put This Love To The Test

Producer Jon Astley gets another chance to record a solo album after 1987’s Everyone Loves The Pilot (Except the Crew). The Compleat Angler was released in 1988, with this wry track as the lead single. It will reach the Top 5 on the Modern Rock charts but only #74 on the Hot 100. Both of his albums are out of print and hard to find, but worth the journey to do so.

97. The Fat Boys – Louie Louie

This portly hip-hop trio decided to run the rap covers of oldies theme entirely in the ground with this one. But hey, who hasn’t done a version of this? This rite-of-passage will climb to #89 and then catch a ship across the sea.

October 14th, 1989

80. Regina Belle – Baby Come To Me

Regina continues to build her R&B fan base and has her first #1 Soul single with this sultry ballad. It will also become a Top 10 AC hit, but Pop programming was splintering into many factions and Top 40 radio was beginning to take sides. They made room for Anita, so why couldn’t a Quiet Storm jam like this only get onto a few playlists and peak at #60?

94. Jaya – If You Leave Me Now

Freestyle music was beginning to peak and in a short time would disappear from Pop radio or at least evolve into a different form. Jaya had a been child performer in her native Philippines before moving with her mom to the States in the mid-80s. This single will be her biggest success here, just missing out on the Shadoe call at #44.

The Point Of No Turning Back

 

We’re almost done reviewing The Other Sixty for chart week forty, only three more years left. Let’s take a look at what didn’t make it in 1987, 1988, and 1989.

October 10th, 1987

85. Stephanie Mills – (You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me

Stephanie continues to rack up the R&B smashes while being ignored by Pop radio. This mid-tempo dance number will be her third #1 on the Soul charts, while it debuts at its peak on the Hot 100.

88. Pink Floyd – Learning To Fly

For the sake of understanding musical history, it’s worth noting that Pink Floyd ceased to exist after The Wall. The name was used as a way to earn more money for projects that were essential solo albums. The Final Cut was a Roger Waters album, and A Momentary Lapse of Reason was a David Gilmour solo album. This album was still widely anticipated as well as the promise of a world tour. This was the lead single, and I don’t ever think it’s left Rock radio playlists. By the time it debuts on the Hot 100, it will already have spent three weeks on top of the Mainstream Rock charts.  Pop programmers grounded it at #70.

91. Samantha Fox – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now

Except seventy-nine other songs. And that was on your best day. This SAW-produced dance ditty did go to #1 in Finland, so you have that going for you.

October 8th, 1988

78. Luther Vandross – Any Love

It really took Luther a long time to have any consistency on the Pop charts and it wasn’t until the 90s when he had his first Top 10 hit. I’m not sure what programmers were thinking of, turning away a beautiful ballad like this, which will become his third R&B #1 and net him two Grammys. On the Hot 100, it will only reach #44.

90. Eric Carmen – Reason To Try

This was a track from the 1988 Summer Olympics album, One Moment In Time. Even though the summer games were late in 1988, they were already over when this single charted. Shoot,  we were into Autumn by now. This pop-rocker wasn’t given much of a chance or company push, and it will only move up three spots. It’s also never been added to any of Eric’s US greatest hits compilations.

95. Survivor – Didn’t Know It Was Love

If these guys thought that growing their hair long would sneak them through the glam metal door, they were kidding themselves. Groups like Poison, Cinderella, and the like considered these guys dinosaurs by this time, and I guess so did radio. This was the lead single from their seventh album, Too Hot To Sleep, and things were already falling apart as the bass player and the drummer had to be replaced. Somehow this song still crawled up to #61.

October 7th, 1989

86. Patti Labelle – If You Asked Me To

Miss Labelle got the call to sing the theme for the latest Bond movie, License To Kill. Unfortunately, this was a low point in that series, and the film disappeared rather quickly. It took this Diane Warren-penned song with it as it will live and be allowed to let die at #79, even as it hit the R&B Top 10. Celine Dion will cover it in 1992 and take it into the Top 5.

87. Stevie B – Girl I’m Searching For You

I have no real affinity for freestyle music, as I feel it relied too much on unimaginative drum machine selections and annoying synth sounds for its hooks. But if this is your jam, more power to you. Stevie’s third single from In Your Eyes will end its search at #56

93. Icehouse – Touch The Fire

Australian group, Icehouse try to build on their double Top 40 success off of Man Of Colours with a newly recorded single for their greatest hits compilation, Great Southern Land. It will only reach #84 and become their last chart single in America.

94. The Alarm – Sold Me Down The River

I’m still unsure why Pop radio never embraced The Alarm. This is another single of theirs that should have cracked the Top 40, especially as it was huge at Mainstream and Modern Rock radio playlists. But somehow it will drown at #50.

A Way To Talk Around The Problem

Let’s finish up our review of The Other Sixty from chart week thirty-nine with a look at who fell short in 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989.

October 4th, 1986

91. Billy Squier – Love Is The Hero

Bill tries to resuscitate his flagging career with a new album, Enough Is Enough, and this, the leadoff single. It sounds like a song that Queen would throw away, and having Freddie Mercury singing backup just accentuates that point. Love will turn into a meatball sub at #80.

93. Far Corporation – Stairway To Heaven

Here’s the single that you absolutely needed but just didn’t realize it. Just kidding. No one needs to hear Stairway any more than we need a cover version by a group with corporation in its title. Nor do we need one by producer Frank “Milli Vanilli” Farian. Somehow he got members of Toto, including former singer Bobby Kimball to play on this project, so the guy must have had some dynamite coke. The hedgerow stops bustling at #89.

96. R.E.M. – Fall On Me

This Athens, GA quartet released its fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, with this song as their first single and one of my faves of theirs. Even though this single would fall after a #94 zenith, it was a big step forward for the band, garnering more fans, critical praise, and setting up the future success they would have with Document.

October 3rd, 1987

78. The Hooters – Satellite

This was the second single from the Philly quintet’s third album, One Way Home, about the correlation of televangelists preaching about how they’re God’s servant, while the transmission literally beams down from the sky to your TV. This was a breakthrough hit for them all over Europe, but Pop radio turned its back on this song, and it crashed at #61.

October 1st, 1988

90. Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout A Revolution

The revolution will never be loud, brash, and quick. It will be quiet, subtle, and happen over time. This was the song that garnered a recording contract for Tracy, and I can’t for the life of me understand its #75 peak, especially as the follow-up to her Top 10 hit, Fast Car. It will become a big hit for her in Europe, though.

94. Transvision Vamp – Tell That Girl To Shut Up

Here’s the only US chart entry for this UK quintet, a cover of a 1981 Holly & the Italian’s New Wave single that these folks dip in sugar. This faux-punk track will get silenced at #87.

98. Night Ranger – I Did It For Love

I’m sure these guys wanted to be a part of the Glam metal scene or at least its rewards, but it wasn’t gonna happy with this uninspired power ballad. It was the leadoff single from their album Man In Motion, but even Rick Hansen would have rolled over these guys. The future lies in a #75 high.

100. Britny Fox – Long Way To Love

This is our third and final entry of the 1980s at #100. Sixty notches would be a long way to travel for this Philly hair metal quartet. Unfortunately, this generic rocker debuts at its peak.

September 30th, 1989

89. Donny Osmond – Hold On

Donny had a #2 hit this year, Soldier Of Love, thirteen years after his last Top 40, C’mon Marianne. He wore out his welcome fast with lame-ass New Jack-lite tracks like this, that try to sound important by dialing the reverb on the snare drum up to 1000. We all let go at #73.

93. The Cult – Edie (Ciao Baby)

Was this ever used in a Francesco Rinaldi commercial, or am I dreaming that up? I see songs like this as music for folks who want to hear grunge music but don’t know it yet. Not that the Cult was grunge, but there’s a short line that can be drawn from this to say, Alice In Chains. It debuts at its peak.

94. Giant – I’m A Believer

The first chart single from the Nashville quartet led by Dan & David Huff is not a Monkees cover, but an original that’s not half bad, even with the blustery guitar intro. It did try to sneak through the hair metal door, but that got shut on them at #56. Their second single was the power ballad I’ll See You In My Dreams. In 1990, that was allowed in all the way up to #20.

A Million Ways To Bury You Alive

We’re gonna finish up chart week thirty-eight with a large group of singles that’s unusual for the late years of the 80s. Let’s review from 1987 to 1989.

September 26th, 1987

83. Starship – Beat Patrol

There’s a lot to slog through, and this five pack of singles from ’87 isn’t gonna inspire many programmers, let alone the corporate version of Jefferson Airplane. You can talk all you want about how bad We Built This City is. That is Let It Be compared to this. If it makes Grace Slick want to leave, you know you’re scraping the bottom. This climb close enough to the Top 40 [#46] to make you honestly question if there are any qualifications needed to be a radio station program director.

85. John Waite – Don’t Lose Any Sleep

We won’t, John. And neither should you. In fact, if you’re gonna record soulless unimaginative rock songs like this, just form a band again. That way, you can take the praise when it works and share the blame when it doesn’t (see Bad English). And you’ll get more zzzzs. Starship will cover this four years from now if that tells you anything. It will nod off at #81.

89. The Monkees – Heart And Soul

Thanks to the Nickelodeon channel reairing old episodes and a Rhino Records reissue, three of the Monkees decided to record a new album, Pool It!, their first in seventeen years. There’s a reason why Nesmith sat this one out. Ignoring what they titled this single, there was little of each, and they would have been better off just covering T’Pau or Hoagy Carmichael than putting this out. This effectively killed all of the Monkees’ love, and their next album wouldn’t get made for another nine years until Mike was back on board.

91. Glen Burtnick – Follow You

Imagine recording songs that sound like White Lion without having the money or groupies. Welcome to the solo career of Glen Burtnik, who managed to place this single as his only entry on the Hot 100. It will peak at #65, but Glen will join Styx in the early 90s and get to play Renegade three hundred times a year.

Fun fact: Glen will co-write the 1992 Patty Smyth hit, Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.

94. KISS – Crazy Crazy Nights

After the make-up came off, after their disco exploits, disastrous TV special, the lack of any other gimmicks, these guys are still around, presumably to latch onto the burgeoning Glam metal MTV phase. It’s been eight years since they were in the Top 40, and singles like this will continue to keep them out, hitting the crazy, crazy, crazy high of #65.

September 24th, 1988

88. Robert Cray Band – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

This former Albert Collins sideman follows up his Strong Persuader album with the title track to his new album. It wasn’t as popular as the previous LP, but personally, I think it’s stronger. By the way, this single isn’t about telling some it’s OK to go to sleep at night. No sleeping is happening here, not until Robert makes you feel the power if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the lights come on at #74.

Fun fact: In the film Animal House, Robert is onstage playing bass as one of the bandmembers of Otis Day & The Knights

94. L’Trimm – Cars With The Boom

Like all innovative genres of music which rise from the underground, music executives are there to stomp on its neck and ring every dollar out of it they can. That’s why you get singles like The Fat Boys doing Wipeout with the Beach Boys and stuff like this. This is god awful. There’s no flow. Their voices are grating. And the beat is as dumb as the lyrics. So, of course, this will low ride all the up to #54 while nothing from MC Lyte’s Lyte As A Rock will even chart.

95. Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers – I’m Not Your Man

Here’s a quintet from Philly, who had their biggest success with their second album, Rumble. Their songs got a lot of rock airplay, including this single, which reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts. But it was hard to cut through all the fake metal, teen pop, and freestyle dance acts on the Pop charts. So this will languish at #74.

98. Deniece Williams – I Can’t Wait

After Neicy hit #1 in 1984 with Let’s Hear It For The Boy, she released a well-regarded gospel album that effectively killed her Pop career. In fact, she didn’t chart any singles on the Hot 100 from her next releases until this one, which tried to get some of those Footloose fans back. This is a catchy Motown-inspired affair that should have done the trick, and fans of Merry Clayton’s Yes would have loved this. I bought the 45, but it will not spend another lazy night in anyone’s arms after it hits #66. It will be her last chart hit.

99. Sa-Fire – Boy, I’ve Been Told

This was the third single but first chart entry from this East Harlem singer’s foray into freestyle. It had a long way to climb and ultimately reached #48. It was written by Marc Anthony, who will have a successful singing career in a decade from now, starting with 1999’s I Need To Know.

September 23rd, 1989

71. Soulsister – The Way To Your Heart

Does Holland-Dozier-Holland get some royalties for this? It’s a total earworm, but like most Motown-ripoffs, they try to capture what those songs sounded like but not what made them great. This Belgian duo just misses getting the Shadoe call stopping at #41 while becoming a massive hit throughout Europe.

77. Teddy Riley Featuring Guy – My Fantasy

Producer Teddy Riley gave himself top billing over his fellow Guy bandmates on this soundtrack cut from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. I played this all Summer, and the single had already hit #1 on the Soul charts by the time it crossed over here. This will only climb to #62. Guy will have their only Top 40 in early 2000 with Dancin’.

80. Debbie Gibson – We Could Be Together

Finally, the electric youth has been shorted out. I genuinely feel pity for anyone who has any important memories in their life tied to Debbie’s music. Mediocrity will always seem to thrive as long as someone is getting rich off of it. After eight straight Top 40 hits, this will die at #71.

84. Sinitta – Right Back Where We Started From

The 70s revival bandwagon was still parked at the station in the late 80s, but folks were starting to get on, mostly Europeans, who never felt the stigmatization of the ME decade like we did here in the States. Thus a dance-pop update of the Maxine Nightingale 1976 smash will stall out at #84.

Fun fact: Sinitta’s mom is Miquel Brown, who had a huge club hit in 1983 with So Many Men, So Little Time. She is also the niece of Amii Stewart, who had a #1 smash with her cover of Knock On Wood in 1979.

87. Love And Rockets – No Big Deal

Did Love And Rockets write So Alive to get on Pop radio? Maybe. Were they surprised when they did, and the song reached #3 in the U.S.? Probably. Did they collectively laugh when the record company released this as the follow-up? Definitely. It will have a #82 zenith.

88. White Lion – Radar Love

By recording a cover of this 1974 hit, all White Lion did was prove that Golden Earring is twelve hundred times better than they are. I’ve seen NC’s The Pressure Boys do an energizing version of this. This recording sounds winded and lethargic. They should have donated any money made from this to a charity to help restore their good karma. When it hits #59, it will be their last Hot 100 entry.

92. Winger – Hungry

This New York glam metal quartet racked up two Top 40 hits from their debut, and they had an appetite for more. Don’t let the opening synth strings fool you. They are here to rock or to sound like they are. This 45 will die of starvation at #85.

The Time Bomb Of Your Life Has Come

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And now, let’s take a look at the second half of the 80s during chart week thirty-seven to see what made The Other Sixty class during 1985 up through 1989.

September 14th, 1985

83. Five Star – All Fall Down

Here’s a dance song by a UK quintet, and neither needed to exist quite frankly. So let me talk about another song that came out three years later with the same title by a progressive pop outfit called Giraffe, led by singer and writer Kevin Gilbert. It’s a way more engaging and should have received a lot more notice than this single, which hit #65. Giraffe, on the other hand, would be lucky to sell 65 albums, mostly to friends and family. Kevin was a talented dude with a string of bad luck and committed suicide in 1996. Five Star continues to randomly get together for reunion tours. Life is not fair.

95. Roger Daltrey – After The Fire

After the fire, the fire still burns. What the hell does that mean, Roger? Is the fire out or not? Do I need to get my hose? Speak up? I can’t talk any louder, mate. Anyway sounds like these flames don’t want to get fooled again. Neither did we, as this Pete Townshend-penned track turns to ash at #48.

September 20th, 1986

80. Jermaine Stewart – Jody

Jermaine pays back his friend and fellow Soul Train dancer, Jody Watley, with this Top 10 dance track that was obviously inspired by her and her love for cake. [She would write two songs for Mainy on his follow-up album, Say It Again.] Produced by Narada Michael Walden, this Top 20 R&B hit just missed the Top 40 cut, peaking at #42.

Fun fact: Jermaine sings back-up on Culture Club’s 1984 Top 10 hit, Miss Me Blind.

85. The Outfield – Everytime You Cry

This seems to be the answer song to Your Love. Because the girl, who thought she was just being a friend and lending an ear to a sad guy who missed his girlfriend, just realized that she is only needed for some quick love. And she quietly closes the door after being used, she pauses on the porch and tears up. Seems that Josie was the girl’s babysitter and is not looking forward to a neighborhood confrontation, especially when everyone breaks out their hats and hooters when she comes home from her vacation. This one is a routine fly to left-center and will be caught at #66.

88. Midnight Star – Midas Touch

I’m not sure these guys had the Midas touch, at least when it came to 45s because while they had lots of R&B hits, none of them turned to gold. Also, make sure they stay away from your daughter. This was the closest they came to nabbing another Top 40 hit when it hits the brakes at #42.

90. Belinda Carlisle – I Feel The Magic

BC’s follow-up to her first Top 40 solo hit, Mad About You, did not hunt the same terrain, nor was it a big riser. But for some reason, it’s endured way longer than a #82 zenith should, in part, because of its use in Agree shampoo commercials.

92. Luis Cardenas – Runaway

Here’s the first of two remakes trying to capitalize on Boomer nostalgia. The first is an 80s reverb-soaked rock version of the Del Shannon #1 smash from 1961. Why do people continue to destroy classics like this? Even Del re-recorded this multiple times. But that’s his prerogative. He wrote it. Write your own damn song. Del appeared in Luis’ video, which was nice of him, but so did Donny Osmond. This will wonder why it ever got as high as #83.

93. The Beach Boys – California Dreamin’

These guys had one of the best pop songwriters of all time at their disposal and Mike Love. I know these were not Brian’s best days, but covers like these turn a group into a K-Tel oldies act real fast. Roger McGuinn plays 12-string guitar on it just to add to his whatever happened to… file. The leaves will turn brown at #57.

September 19th, 1987

80. Wendy & Lisa – Waterfall

I thought for sure this would be a smash when I bought the 45. It has enough of that Prince vibe to remind you they were in the Revolution but enough of their own sound to enjoy them as separate artists without comparison. In fact, their first three albums made you realize how much they added to the mid-80s Purple records. This one will stick the river and lake that it’s used to at #56.

82. Bee Gees – You Win Again

This will be the lead single from the trio’s first full studio album together in six years, and they brought producer Arif Mardin back into the studio with them. It will become a huge hit worldwide, reaching #1 in at least seven countries. Here in the States, we were still under the mob rule of pretending that the seventies didn’t exist. I could do without the stomps and would like to hear someone cover this in a mellow soulful way. It will pay tribute to their hit Jive Talkin’ when it peaks at #75.

96. Eddie Money – We Should Be Sleeping

Four released singles from an Eddie Money album? Did the record company think they had a Thriller on their hands? They should have been happy with three hits that Can’t Hold Back already generated. Someone felt a hunger. Hey, it’s a hunger. This will hit the pillow at #90.

September 17th, 1988

84. Kim Wilde – You Came

Did Kim and brother Ricky think this title through as they were writing this song? This Top 3 UK dance-pop single will just miss the Shadoe call when it gets leapfrogged by Hall & Oates and Huey Lewis & the News and goes limp at #41.

85. Henry Lee Summer – Hands On The Radio

This was the third single from HLS’ third album. It’s an ode to the power of the airwaves that can save one’s soul. Well, not all souls, ’cause this debuts at its peak.

92. Sweet Sensation – Never Let You Go

I grew up hearing multiple freestyle artists, mainly female trios, played on the radio so much in the late 80s, I can barely tell any of them apart, let alone distinguish one song from the next. This will be #1 in the Dance clubs, but only reach #58 on the Hot 100.

98. J.J. Fad – Way Out

I really don’t understand why this group was left out of Straight Outta Compton. They were the first artist signed to Ruthless Records, and it’s because of their success that N.W.A. was able to record their debut. I guess no one involved in that film wanted to imply that any females contributed to the rise of Dre, Cube, Eazy-E, and their multi-million careers. This follow-up to their Gold-certified single, Supersonic, will peak at #61.

September 16th, 1989

89. Donna Summer – Love’s About To Change My Heart

The SAW machine giveth and the SAW machine taketh away. This was a big hit on the Dance charts reaching #3 and made the UK Top 20. Here in the States, this single will barely crawl up four spots.

96. Bardeux – I Love To Bass

People credit Nirvana for wiping out all of the schlocky glam metal clogging the charts in the late 80s and early 90s. Dance music really never had that savior, so a song like this was recorded and sold repeatedly over the last thirty years. No doubt, this was created on a Korg Workstation with a drum machine set to the House setting. This one will go bass fishing up to #68.

Fun fact: If you bought the 12″ single, the song title is listed as I Love The Bass.

Moving Out In All Directions

We’re gonna finish up our review of The Other Sixty by taking a look at the back end of the decade. So let’s see what didn’t make it during chart week thirty-six from 1984 up through 1989.

September 8th, 1984

82. Jefferson Starship – Layin’ It On The Line

Just as soon as JS released their album, Nuclear Furniture, member Paul Kantner left. They had one Top 40 hit, No Way Out, but by the release of this follow-up, it was like working a store during a going-out-of-business sale. This will lay down at #66. But in exactly one year from now, a new group with half of the name will be debuting their latest single on the Hot 100, which will be the first of three #1 singles that they’ll amass in the late 80s.

85. Honeymoon Suite – New Girl Now

The first single from the Ontario, Canada quintet’s debut hits the Hot 100 like a heart-shaped tub full of champagne and roses. It will get lots of rock airplay but will stall out at #57.

87. Vanity – Pretty Mess

Here’s another artist from the Niagara Falls area. Vanity dropped the 6, which meant dropping two people, and started her solo career in the wake of Purple Rain. She was up for the lead, but after a falling out with Prince, she concentrated on singing, focusing really hard. This was written and co-produced by her, but it will live up to its title at #75.

89. Maria Vidal – Body Rock

Here’s a former Rouge singer, the trio that backed up Desmond Child as well as Gilda Radner on Gilda Live. She’s here to sing the title track to an awful breakdancing movie starring Lorenzo Lamas. Somehow this dance track will spin all the way up to #48.

September 7th, 1985

90. Natalie Cole – A Little Bit Of Heaven

Natalie continues to work on her 80s comeback, but this ballad is not going to do the trick. She’ll get there in just a few more years, but for now, tracks like this will turn into a little bit of hell at #81.

92. Depeche Mode – Master And Servant

By the time of their fourth album, Some Great Reward, principal songwriter Martin Gore was becoming a master of writing bouncy synth-pop tunes with a dark, foreboding edge. Not many people can make a song about bondage so catchy. But with a title like this, it didn’t stand a chance at Pop radio. That’s why it moved up five spots and whipped itself away.

94. Talking Heads – And She Was

How does such a great pop song by an established group with a high rotation video not make the Top 40? I know it was not David Byrne’s intention to write a song about how it must feel the moment a woman realizes she’s pregnant. But I’ve heard from lots of women that this is what they believe the song to be about. It will spend as many weeks on the Hot 100 as Burning Down the House, a #9 smash, but will peak forty-six spots lower.

September 13th, 1986

89. Five Star – Can’t Wait Another Minute

Here we have the Pearson 5, a group of five siblings from Essex, England, doing their best to break their act in the States. All they managed was four chart singles and a mention in Eddie Murphy’s Raw. This was their best showing, a Top 10 hit in the UK and the US R&B charts, with a #41 zenith on the Pop charts.

September 12th, 1987

82. Taja Sevelle – Love Is Contagious

Here’s an artist that released her debut on the Paisley Park label, but featured minimal input from Prince. He only writes two songs on the album, and this isn’t one of them. That might be why this ballad failed on both the Soul & Pop charts. Her only chart entry will reach #62. Taja will move on to becoming a songwriter, author, and humanitarian.

94. Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

Suzanne had a breakout hit, Luka, from her second album, Solitude Standing, which was even better than her accomplished debut released two years prior. She released the title track as the follow-up and is unfairly debuting at its peak.

95. Newcity Rockers – Rev It Up

This Boston quartet was already delivered to us a useless cover of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. For the second act, they perform a version of a song released by the Scandanavian hard rock band, Treat. This one is not, and it revs down at #86.

Fun Fact: Guitarist Cliff Goodwin played with Joe Cocker from the late 70s to the mid-80s.

September 10th, 1988

95. Depeche Mode – Strangelove

After three chart entries from Music For The Masses, all members of the Other Sixty, DM’s US record label asked them for a remix of their lead single. They rearranged it a bit, slowed it down, and released it as a single, more than a year after the original charted. This will will do better, reaching #50, and it’s the version that is most played, although I prefer the original.

[I had to go back and add this one after the post published. Thanks again to victorvector.]

98. Paul Carrack – Button Off My Shirt

Not sure why radio gave up on Paul’s third album, One Good Reason. There’s a lot of great radio-ready singles on it, including this one. It won’t be able to escape the 90s, peaking at #91. Ronnie Milsap recorded a cover of this tune for his Heart & Soul LP, and it will hit #4 on the Country charts while this single debuts on the Hot 100.

September 9th, 1989

74. Vesta – Congratulations

Vesta Williams already racked up four Top 40 hits on the Soul charts before she charted with he only Hot 100 entry. This ballad is the same vein as Fred Knoblock’s Why Not Me, in that Vesta is giving someone well wishes at their wedding all the while wishing she was the bride. The cheers will end at #55.

77. Christopher Williams – Talk To Myself

Man, this dude was really after that Bobby Brown money. This New Jack jam sounds so much like My Prerogative, I’m surprised someone’s lawyers didn’t get a call. This Top 5 Soul smash will go quiet on the Pop charts at #49.

Fun fact: Christopher is Ella Fitzgerald’s nephew.

95. Paul McCartney – This One

Flowers In The Dirt wasn’t just a return to favor for Macca. I think it’s one of his best albums, and there were lots of songs that could have been follow-up singles to My Brave Face. Capitol chose this one, and it will utterly stiff at #94.

96. Texas – I Don’t Want A Lover

Formed out of the ashes of Hipsway, here’s a pop quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, led by Shaleen Spiteri. This was the debut single from their first album, Southside. It will only reach #77 and become their only chart entry. But the band has had tremendous success in the UK and is still doing it after thirty years.

The Excuses Everybody Uses

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We’re gonna wrap up our review of The Other Sixty by taking a look at the back end of the decade – 1984 to 1989. Let’s what missed out during chart week thirty-five.

September 1st, 1984

85. Everly Brothers – On The Wings Of A Nightingale

Seventeen years after their last chart hit –  Bowling Green, which peaked at #40 – Don & Phil get back together one more time on an original song written by Paul McCartney. I assume he was just trying to give something back. Produced by Dave Edmunds, this very catchy song still had its wings clipped at #50. They would release two more albums together in the 80s.

89. Ralph MacDonald featuring Bill Withers – In The Name Of Love

Bill Withers was pretty much done with the music. He released one more album in 1985, and the retired, like for real, retired, stopped working, enjoyed life and his family. When buddy Ralph, who had co-written Just The Two Of Us, asked Bill for a favor for his Universal Rhythm album, Bill agreed to sing lead on the sweet soulful ballad. It will stall at #58, but reach #13 on the Soul charts.

August 31st, 1985

76. El DeBarge with  DeBarge – You Wear It Well

Uh-oh. What’s with the double billing? Looks like someone’s being groomed for a solo career. In reality, the Rhythm Of The Night LP didn’t have much use for El’s siblings, using them as occasional background singers. So the billing is apt. I remember El showing up The Facts Of Life to sing this song with the girls showing how disposable the rest of the family is by stepping in for them as singers. [Check out George Clooney diggin’ it in the corner.] It’s pretty good for synth dance-pop, but the groove gets worn out at #46.

88. Maurice White – Stand By Me

The leader of the best funk groups of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire, get his highest-charting solo single on the Hot 100 with a groovy cover of the Ben E. King classic from 1961. The land will get dark at #50. Guess folks really prefer the original cause Ben will show back up in the Top 10 with it one year from now.

90. The Romantics – Test Of Time

The Romantics switched out drummers for their fourth release, Rhythm Romance, settled into a steady set of potent power pop. This is a great single, but not the explosive lead off that they needed. Still, it should have climber higher than #71. It will be their last chart hit.

93. Oingo Boingo – Weird Science

Believe it or not, this is the first chart entry for this L.A. New Wave octet, and it’s their best showing. Released as the title track to the Anthony Michael Hall/ Kelly LeBrock film, it will also be included on the group’s fifth album, Dead Man’s Party. Their creation will only reach #45.

September 6th, 1986

81. Chicago – 25 Or 6 To 4

What? Why? I think we’re all searching for something to say after hearing this. Chicago decided the best way to usher in a new era without Peter Cetera in the band was to tear down their history. Thankfully this heavily overproduced cover of their 1970 Top 5 smash will do that much damage crashing at #48. But from here on out, it will be mushy ballad city for these guys.

91. John Fogerty – Eye Of The Zombie

John caps off his welcome mid-80s comeback with another album that was not as inviting as Centerfield was. The production had too much reverb and synth drums for me, and it ruins even the bones of a good song like this. This one does the Thriller dance up to #81 before losing an arm. His next album, Blue Moon Swamp in 1997, was a great return to favor.

All of the debuts from 1987 made the Top 40. Bully for them. Let’s move on.

September 3rd, 1988

86. Jane Wiedlin – Inside A Dream

Jane follows up her only Top 40 hit, Rush Hour, with another pop confection which could have easily followed it in. The future Joan of Arc will not be as lucky as this wakes up at #57.

90. Book Of Love – Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls

How exactly do two people with the last name of Ottaviano meet up, form a band, and remain unrelated? I don’t buy it. I think it’s some dumb press release blurb that no one’s denied. Anyway, this Philly synth quartet gets their only chart hit with this synth disco number, which was a reflection of the safe sex-AIDS era. It was hot in the clubs, but here, it debuts at its peak.

93. Holly Knight – Heart Don’t Fail Me Now

This will be the fourth different time Holly has appeared on the Hot 100 – as the lead singer of Spider, Device, a songwriter and now a solo star. She brings Daryl Hall with her to sing backing vocals on this moody mid-tempo pop ditty, but all she has to show for it is a heart failure at #59.

94. 10,000 Maniacs – What’s The Matter Here?

I had been rockin’ the In My Tribe album since the summer before this single debuts here. It addresses the issue of child abuse with very frank but fair lyrics. Produced by Peter Asher, it’s one of my favorites on the album, but it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Rather than beating around the bush, as Suzanne Vega does on Luka, this one directly talks about the cuts and sores that don’t heal with time. Pop radio prefers metaphors and similes, so this one won’t get any higher than #80.

September 2nd, 1989

93.  Kon Kan – Puss N Boots/These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

After nabbing a leftfield hit with I Beg Your Pardon, this Toronto duo decided to mash up a little Led Zeppelin and Nancy Sinatra, but no Adam Ant. This hip-hop-inspired dance track will not get automatic airtime in the States and will do some walkin’ off the charts after hitting #58.

Sooner Or Later, This Happens To Everyone

 

We are gonna wrap up chart week thirty-four with a review of The Other Sixty from the second half of the 80s. So let’s take a look at those unfortunate debuts from 1985-89.

August 24th, 1985

78. ‘Til Tuesday – Looking Over My Shoulder

This Boston quartet follows up their excellent Top 10 hit, Voices Carry, with another great one from their debut album. Leader Aimee Mann and former Newbury Comics employee sings, plays bass, and writes the words to this pop-rocker, which will only reach #61.

85. 9.9 – All Of Me For All Of You

The Pointer Sisters cornered the market on soulful dance-pop trios in the early 80s. Others wanted some of that money for themselves, but no one could come close. This Boston threesome got their first break singing back-up for boxer Joe Frazier (don’t ask) until they released their debut in 1985. All of this single got halfway up the charts, peaking at #51.

90. Eric Martin – Information

Before he led the band, Mr. Big and wanted to be with you, and after the Eric Martin Band fell apart, Eric tried his hand at a solo career. This midtempo rocker will only move up three spots before falling off the charts.

August 30th, 1986

85. Rod Stewart – Another Heartache

Rod’s fourteenth studio album, Every Beat Of My Heart, sounds like a phone-it-in affair and not regarded as one of his best, for a good reason. This Bryan Adams/ Jim Vallance penned number is a great example. It wouldn’t be filler on most albums, even Bryan’s. Here it’s regarded as the second single, which will wither and die at #52.

90. Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly

The Pet Shop Boys debut album, Please was filled with songs that duo had previously demoed. But this track was one of the few written explicitly for the album. I think this midtempo synth ballad is one of their best, and that’s saying something in a catalog that spans five decades. It will reach the UK Top 20, but in the States, it will peak at #62, and then it can’t stop falling.

August 29th, 1987

88. Ray Parker, Jr. – I Don’t Think That Man Should Sleep Alone

Ray decided to run his horndog image all the way to the bank. I mean, even in a song like Ghostbusters, he can’t help but blurt out busting makes me feel good. Unfortunately, this is where the bus crashes, on the Pop side, at least. This one hits the hay by itself at #68, even as it hits the R&B Top 5. Ray will sneak into the Top 40 one more time in 1990 on a Glenn Medieros hit, All I’m Missing Is You.

90. Chris Rea – Let’s Dance

After tallying lots of hits in England, but only one in the U.S., Chris made another attempt in the late 80s to get into the Top 40. This single, released from his ninth album Dancing With Strangers, will hit #12 in the UK, but in the States, the guilty feet have no rhythm at #81.

92. The Nylons – Happy Together

This Canadian vocal quartet had a surprise Top 20 hit earlier with their edition of the 1969 #1 hit by Steam, Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye. They’re still hanging out in the 60s looking for more Boomer bucks as their follow-up is a cover of the 1967 #1 by The Turtles. They were imagining me and you, giving a hoot. Instead, it all used up its life, at #75.

96. Georgio – Tina Cherry

George Allen was looking to be the next Prince. Motown was looking for the next star. Those two met where the bar barely hovered above the ground. He changed his name to something Italian. Motown changed its focus to bad dance music. There were no winners in this game as it popped up to #58. Except for Prince, because he is incredible.

97. Force M.D.’s – Love Is A House

The Staten Island doctors of force are back with another sweet ballad and their first and only #1 on the Soul charts. Unfortunately, the house was built on shifting sand and collapsed at #78.

98. David Hallyday – He’s My Girl

Leave it to the French to set back sexual stereotypes another forty years. I thought that was our job. This is the title track to an awful movie wherein the singer of this song needs to show up to a singing competition with a girl, so he has his manager pretend he’s a woman. This single will die at #79, killing everyone’s career who was close enough to touch it.

August 27th, 1988

91. Robert Plant – Ship Of Fools

The third single from Robert’s Now And Zen LP follows up his Top 30 hit, Tall Cool One. It’s one of my favorites of his, but for some reason, not many others agreed as it sank at #84.

93. The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Powerful Stuff

The Fab T-Birds nab a spot on the Cocktail soundtrack, an album that sold over four million copies that no one listens to. It’s the musical equivalent of a Tom Cruise movie. Everyone rushes to see it, but no one rewatches it. It will be this band’s last chart hit and will pass out at #65.

95. Natalie Cole – When I Fall In Love

Natalie came back strong in 1987 and 1988 with three big hits, including the Top 5 smash, Pink Cadillac. The fourth single from her tenth album, Everlasting, was a cover of a song her dad, Nat King Cole, recorded back in 1956. It debuts at its peak. But someone during that initial session made a comment, “It’s too bad you can’t sing this with your Dad.” Eight years later and lots of studio trickery, she won a Grammy for doing just that.

August 26th, 1989

93. Beach Boys – Still Cruisin’

This is the John Stamos era of The Beach Boys, wherein they sound like a parody of themselves. It’s these types of songs people think of and laugh at me when I say I’m a Beach Boys fan. I don’t blame them. This sucks. It debuts at its peak.

95. Underworld – Stand Up

The first single from this UK electronic duo’s second album, Change The Weather, will end up being their best showing in the States. But it will sit down at #67.

100. 1927 – That’s When I Think Of You

Oh, the dreaded #100 debut. It’s their one we’ve encountered in the first thirty-four weeks. This Australian quartet was formed by Moving Pictures’ guitarist, Garry Frost. Quite ironic that What About Me was on the Hot 100 again while this one debuted. This was the dubious honor of debuting at its peak, which means it reached the lowest mark on the Hot 100. It is such a rare feat that it will only happen twice in the 1980s. We’ll talk about the second one in October.