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.

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.