Saturday, March 7, 2015

"Get Up and Go" by The Go-Go's

Song#:  1189
Date:  09/25/1982
Debut:  82
Peak:  50
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The title track to The Go-Go's second album, "Vacation," became their second Top 10 hit reaching #8. This second single couldn't get near the upper portion of the chart and stalled exactly at the halfway point. They would issue a third single, "This Old Feeling," but it failed to make the chart. Although the album would reach #7, the lack of another significant hit stopped the album at gold, which was a steep drop following their multi-plaintum debut album.

ReduxReview:  I thought for sure this was going to be a much bigger hit. The song seemed to capture some elements of "We Got the Beat" and, if memory serves me right, it had a neat stop-action video (I can't seem to find it anywhere now). So it was really disappointing when the tune couldn't even crack the Top 40. It's still a quality song, but hearing it now, it doesn't sound as single-worthy as my Go-Go loving ears thought back then. In reality, save for the title track, nothing on the album was truly strong enough to be a major hit. But I do think the LP should have had a couple more Top 40's. The James Bond-ish "He's So Strange" and album closer "Worlds Away"could have been contenders.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Properly promoting an album can certainly help garner attention and potentially boost sales. One possible reason for "Vacation" not doing as well is the lack of promotion. However, it was for an unfortunate reason. The Go-Go's drummer, Gina Schock, was forced to have surgery for a congenital heart defect following the release of the album. This put the band on hiatus which basically limited (or really ended) their promotion of the LP. Schock would recover in time for the band's next album and tour.


Friday, March 6, 2015

"What About Me?" by Moving Pictures

Song#:  1183
Date:  09/18/1982
Debut: 75
Peak:  29
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Note: I started to write this post and must have gotten interrupted and forgot to finish it! Luckily, I found it so I thought I better finish it off and get it posted. How could I forget this one??

Pop Bits:  This Australian band broke wide in their homeland in 1981 with this single from their debut album "Days of Innocence." The song had a six-week run at #1 which in turn pushed the LP to the top spot. The success got them a US distribution deal with Elektra and this first single was issued. The song spent time pegging up the chart and just barely got into the Top 30. However, what is unusual is how long it spent on the chart - a lengthy 26 weeks. Time that long is usually clocked by a major hit, not a song that only got to #29. Its longevity allowed it to be listed at #88 on the Hot 100 year-end chart.

ReduxReview:  I'm a sucker for a big-ass, tearjerking ballad and this one is pretty great. The opening, the sax solo, and the soaring last chorus are about as good as it gets. It's a mystery as to why this one didn't go Top 10. It certainly deserved to.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song would experience a revival near the end of the decade. It started to get airplay again in 1989 which prompted the single to be reissued. On it's second go around, the song peaked at #46 on the pop chart.


"On The Wings of Love" by Jeffrey Osborne

Song#:  1188
Date:  09/25/1982
Debut:  83
Peak:  29
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Osborne's debut album got off to a great start with the #3 R&B hit "I Really Don't Need No Light." It also became his first pop Top 40 entry reaching #39. This follow-up single didn't do quite as well at R&B, hitting #13, but the ballad increased his exposure on pop radio and went Top 30 while reaching #7 at AC. Although it would not end up being his biggest hit, it would arguable be his most well-known recording and serve as his signature song.

ReduxReview:  Although significantly cheezy, this is one sappy ballad that just works. The big chorus, the strings, the harp, and Osborne's voice all merge to make this treacly tune enjoyable. A lot of times these things tend to make my eyes roll, but I'd have to say that this one kind of makes me a little starry-eyed. It's not too sugary and avoids becoming saccharine, so I'll split the difference and consider it Splenda-rific.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Osborne's voice graced the opening credits of the ABC soap opera "Loving." From 1992-1995, the song "L-O-V-I-N-G," sung by Osborne, was used over the opening credits of the daytime drama. The short tune appears to never have been expanded into a full song and released.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Please Be the One" by Karla Bonoff

Song#:  1187
Date:  09/25/1982
Debut:  85
Peak:  63
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Bonoff scored her first significant chart hit with the #19 "Personally" from her album "Wild Heart of the Young." This follow-up would not reach that far, but it did do better at AC hitting #22. Although it would be her final pop chart entry, she landed a couple of movie soundtrack songs on the AC chart. "Somebody's Eyes" from "Footloose" reached #16 in 1984 and a decade later "Standing Right Next to Me" from the film "8 Seconds" reached #38.

ReduxReview:  This slinky, dark tune takes a couple of listens to sink in, but it is worth taking the time to get to know it. However, it is that gestation period that kind of kills this as a hit single since pop radio relies on instant recognition. It's really too bad because this is a quality song with a wonderfully moody feel. The groove is kinda sexy too.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In 1988, Bonoff released and album titled "New World," which failed to hit the album chart. However, two songs on the album written by Bonoff became major hits for other artists. "All My Life" turned into a #1 AC (#11 pop) hit in 1990 for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. The song also earned Ronstadt and Neville a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Perfomance, Duo or Group. Then in 1993, "Tell Me Why" became the title track to Wynonna Judd's second solo album. The song reached #3 on the country chart (#24 AC, #77 pop).


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"I'm Never Gonna Say Goodbye" by Billy Preston

Song#:  1186
Date:  09/25/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  88
Weeks:  3
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After several duet singles with Syreeta Wright, including "With You I'm Born Again" (#4, 1979), Preston went back to being a solo artist and issued the LP "Pressin' On." This first single didn't do much to revive his solo career and it even tanked at R&B only getting to #64. It would be Preston's final entry on both charts and his last album for Motown. Afterward, he would record a few more albums, but he mainly performed session work for major artists like Elton John, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones. Preston died in 2006.

ReduxReview:  Preston does his best to sell this big pop ballad and he basically succeeds. The song is nothing great and sounds very similar to all the other pop/R&B ballads that were coming out around the time, but it is really Preston who shines. The production is appropriately huge (although a bit dated) and sounds quite good, but besides Preston there is not much here that makes the song stand out among the others of the same ilk. (Oddity - the song says he is never gonna say goodbye, yet this ended up being final chart entry...go figure.)

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was used in the 1982 film "O'Hara's Wife." It starred Ed Asner, Mariette Hartley, and a college-aged Jodie Foster. It's a comedy-drama in which Asner's wife (Hartley) dies and she appears to him later as a ghost that only he can see. Foster plays their daughter. It is in question whether the film had an actual theatrical release (theater poster art can be found), but it did show up later on cable TV and video.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Song#:  1185
Date:  09/18/1982
Debut:  69
Peak:  18
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  The trio's LP, "Daylight Again," was a welcome return and it was quite successful thanks to the #9 single "Wasted on the Way." This second single also did pretty well by making into the Top 20. It also made a good dent at AC reaching #6.

ReduxReview:  "Wasted" was such a sweet throwback to their sound and highly enjoyable. But I always slightly preferred this song. The rolling rhythm accentuates the sailing lyrics and I love the call-response chorus. Even though this was not the bigger hit of the two, I think it has lived on far longer. I hear this one on occasion where I seem to never hear "Wasted." Plus, this one has been remade by several artists. It's a terrific song.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Stephen Stills co-wrote this song and provides lead vocals. He based the song on one written by Rick and Michael Curtis called "Seven League Boots." Stills took that song, refined it, and wrote lyrics about a boat trip he had taken. "Seven League Boots" is something from European folklore. It refers to boots that when worn, the wearer could go seven leagues with each step, thus being able to move incredibly quick. They were often used to aid a main character in a story. The boots are referred to in stories such as "Jack and the Giant Killer."


Monday, March 2, 2015

"New World Man" by Rush

Song#:  1184
Date:  09/18/1982
Debut:  72
Peak:  21
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Prog Rock

Pop Bits:  Rush started off the 80s with what would be their most successful LP, the four-times platinum "Moving Pictures." After a stop-gap live album, the band returned to the studio and came up with "Signals." And like the title, the LP signaled some changes in their music. Gone were the epic 10-minute suites/songs in favor of shorter, more concise tunes and they began to experiment more with synth sounds and other technologies of the day. The result was another platinum hit that reached #10 and spawned this single which became the band's first and only Top 40 entry. The song also became their first to reach #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

ReduxReview:  Rush was not one of those bands that hit my radar back then. Prog rock was not my thing. I was aware of this song thanks to it hitting the chart and thought it was just okay. These days I enjoy a lot of Rush's music and think this is a pretty great song. It's a very straight-forward pop/rock tune, which for them is a bit unusual, so it is not surprising it turned into their biggest US chart song.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The three members of Rush all witnessed the inaugural launch of the space shuttle Columbia in 1981. The event inspired them to write the song "Countdown" that appears on "Signals." The song includes some of the recorded radio talk from Columbia's first mission. Sadly, on Feburary 1, 2003, the Columbia was destroyed on re-entry killing its seven crew members.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Young Love" by Air Supply

Song#:  1182
Date:  09/18/1982
Debut:  76
Peak:  38
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Pop

Pop Bits:  The duo got their third consecutive #5-peaking single with "Even the Nights Are Better," the first single from their "Now and Forever" album. It was also their seventh Top 10 in a row. Sadly, their streak would come to an end with this second single from the LP. Considering their previous successes, the single's #38 peak was a big disappointment and it signaled that perhaps their soft rock sound was losing favor. Even AC radio wasn't as thrilled with the song only managing a #13 showing.

ReduxReview:  They started to lose me a bit with "Even the Nights" and it got worse with this song. I really did not like it at all. At the time I thought it was the worst thing I'd heard from them. I'm not that harsh on it now, but the tune just did not have the same magic and quality of their previous singles. I guess I wasn't the only one that felt that way in light of the lowly peak.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  In the US we have the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which governs the sales certifications for recordings (gold, platinum, etc.). The equivalent in Australia (Air Supply's home) is the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association). In addition to certification, ARIA also established a Hall of Fame in 1998 to celebrate Australian artists. Honorees over the years have included AC/DC, Men at Work, The Bee Gees, Little River Band, and Olivia Newton-John. Air Supply was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.