My fellow Georgia fans: Early indications are that 2011 is going to be a long and dismal season. All the more reason for us to take a break from it all. So come join me today and let’s have a big 80’s party!!! (Those of you who hate Georgia or just don’t care, you are more than welcome to join us too. Pholdin’ Braves fans, you are also welcome to join us. You especially need a party.)
It remains my contention that the best 80’s songs of all time are those that did not get very much in the way of Top 40 love. I ran down some of these last year, and now I have a few more to add to the list. Enjoy.
The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” An old 70’s disco standard, originally recorded by Motown artist Thelma Houston (no relation to Whitney Houston), gets an 80’s makeover. The Communards spent four weeks at the top of the British pop charts with this one. But over here in the States they got very little if any Top 40 love; they spent one week at number 40 and were gone. (In case this doesn’t work, here’s the link)
The Cars, “I’m Not The One” The follow-up to the #7 hit “Tonight She Comes”, this one topped out at #32. It originally appeared on the 1981 album Shake It Up, but was not released as a single. A remixed version went onto The Cars’ Greatest Hits album and was released as a single in 1986. (In case this doesn’t work, here’s the link)
Models, “Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight” Not to be confused with the English punk band The Models, this is a band from Melbourne, Australia. In 1985 this song hit #1 on the Australian pop charts and #3 on the New Zealand pop charts, but here in the States it only spent two weeks in the Top 40, topping out at #37. This was their only US hit.
The Motels, “Shame” The Motels are best known for the hits “Only the Lonely” (1982) and “Suddenly Last Summer” (1983), both of which hit #9. This one went to #21 in the summer of 1985.
Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill” Kate Bush had a long and distinguished career in the UK, but here in the States this was her only Top 40 hit. It topped out at #30.
Lisa Lisa, “I Wonder If I Take You Home” Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam were an urban contemporary band that was big during the back half of the 80’s. This was their debut hit, in the fall of 1985. They would follow it up with “All Cried Out” (#8), “Head To Toe” (#1), and “Lost In Emotion” (#4). Though it only hit #34, it would go on to become one of their most recognizable hits. It has been sampled repeatedly by hip-hop artists down through the years.
Opus, “Live Is Life” Opus is an Austrian band, and this is their signature hit. It got lots of love in Europe and Canada, but here in the US it only hit #32.
Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” Peter Gabriel was the original lead singer of Genesis. After his departure from the group in 1976, he had a long and successful solo career. His biggest hits were “Sledgehammer” (#1) and “Big Time” (#8). This one came between those two, and only hit #32.
Daryl Hall, “Foolish Pride” In 1986, Daryl Hall briefly broke away from Hall and Oates to record the solo album Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine. This album featured the hit “Dreamtime”, which went to #5, and this one, which went to #33.
Bananarama, “A Trick Of The Night” Bananarama is best known for the hits “Cruel Summer” (#9, 1983), “Venus” (#1, 1986), and “I Heard A Rumour” (#4, 1987). This is one of their better songs and should have gotten more love than it did. It got some play in early 1987 but failed to catch even a whiff of the Top 40, topping out at #76.