Saturday, July 18, 2015

"One on One" by Daryl Hall & John Oates

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1331
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  51
Peak:  7
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The duo's first release from their "H2O" album, "Maneater," became the biggest hit of their career staying at #1 for four weeks. Its success helped the album get to #3 and go double-platinum. This second single would add to their streak of pop Top 10 hits while reaching #4 at AC. It would also became their second major hit on the R&B chart peaking at #8.

ReduxReview:  Releasing this silky smooth ballad was a good move for the duo. They hadn't issued a ballad as a single since 1980's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and it added some much needed depth to their singles catalog. I admit that I underrate this song all the time. It's never been among my favorites of theirs, but when I hear it I recognize that it is a very well-done piece of work. The simple production allows Hall's lyrics and vocals to shine and the tasty sax solo rounds it all out. It's just a lovely song.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The title is, of course, a basketball term and the lyrics contain many other basketball references. That tie-in with the sport served the duo well as the song would often be used in segments and advertisements done by the NBA throughout the 80s.


Friday, July 17, 2015

"My Kind of Lady" by Supertramp

Song#:  1330
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  56
Peak:  31
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Supertramp's album "...Famous Last Words" was the last to featured the classic line-up of the band. This second single from the album would then become the last chart single for that line-up. The first single, "It's Raining Again," ran out of gas just short of the Top 10 (#11). That didn't bode well for this next release and indeed it faltered shy of the Top 30. However, it did get to #16 at AC. After the band's tour in support of the album, lead singer and songwriter Roger Hodgson decided to leave for a solo career. The remaining four band members would soldier on and have a bit of success with their next album.

ReduxReview:  I didn't care much for the album and this single didn't help matters. The retro sounding doo-wop tune sung by Rick Davies seemed a bit odd for them and a little out of place for the pop chart around this time. Supertramp was fading by this time and with Hodgson departing, their days were numbered. They had many brilliant moments over their recording career, but unfortunately I don't count this song as one of them.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Although this song is credited as begin written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, it was really just a Davies tune. Being the main songwriters of the group, Davies and Hodgson struck a deal in 1974 that was similar to the one done by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Basically, both artists are given a songwriting credit regardless if one or both of them wrote the tune. Their deal lasted until Hodgson left the band.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

"I've Got a Rock 'n' Roll Heart" by Eric Clapton

Song#:  1329
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  59
Peak:  18
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After his 1981 live album "Another Ticket" (#7), Clapton forced himself to take some time off. His alcoholism was getting the best of him so he checked into rehab early in 1982. After completing the program, Clapton wasted little time and returned to the studio to begin work on a new album. "Money and Cigarettes" was issued soon after and this first single did well enough to find a spot in the pop Top 20. The song would drive the album to #16 and help to make it another gold-seller in his catalog.

ReduxReview:   As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big Clapton fan. Yes, yes, I know he is a rock god and a guitar genius, etc. I can certainly appreciate that and respect his contributions to rock. However, it doesn't mean I have to like his music. Every now and then he will toss something out that I can relate to, but in general I just don't connect to his music. This one I'd consider a slight exception to the rule. It has been mega years since I've heard this song and I have to say it sounds better now that it did back in the day. It's a slight song, but it has a jovial chorus that I kinda dig.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  To-date, Clapton is the only artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. He made it in as a member of both the Yardbirds and Cream, and then as a solo artist. There are 20 other artists who have been inducted twice. Of those, the most likely artist to join Clapton as a three-peater is Paul McCartney. He has made it in with the Beatles and as a solo artist, but he still could make it in again if his band Wings gets recognized. However, Clapton could make it four if his band Blind Faith gets a nod.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Winds of Change" by Jefferson Starship

Song#:  1328
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  70
Peak:  38
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Starship's album "Winds of Change" got off to a sluggish start with the #28 single "Be My Lady" (#33 Mainstream Rock). This second title-track single couldn't even get that far as it barely made it into the pop Top 40. However, it did do better at rock radio reaching #18. Although the singles were not faring well, the album did prove to be another gold-seller for the band.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure I consider this a good single or even a good song, but something about it has kind of held my interest over the years. Once in a while I'll play a Jeff Airplane/Jeff Starship/Starship compilation and when this song comes on I usually think - oh yeah, I forgot about this one. The attraction for me may be that it sounds like a rocked-up mythological folk tune. As if Fairport Convention did a pop tune and amped it up. The song doesn't stay in my mind for long but I enjoy it when I hear it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The band's best charting song from the "Winds of Change" album wasn't either of the two Top 40 singles released. Another track from the album, "Can't Find Love," would do the best reaching #16 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Despite the airplay support from rock radio, the song was not chosen for single release.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Poison Arrow" by ABC

Song#:  1327
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  72
Peak:  25
Weeks:  15
Genre:  New Wave, Dance

Pop Bits:  ABC hit the US Top 20 with their single "The Look of Love" (#18) from their album "The Lexicon of Love." This second single seemed like it would match that result, but it fell short by a few positions. The one-two punch of the singles sent the album to #24. It would later be certified gold. The song would also nick the dance chart at #39. In the UK, this song was actually released before "The Look of Love" and it was their first Top 10 there reaching #6. "Love" would then become their biggest hit peaking at #4.

ReduxReview:  Although it's not quite as good as "Look of Love," it was another quality single from ABC. I'm still amazed that both of these songs failed to reach the Top 10. Perhaps pop radio and listeners weren't quite ready for their sophisticated pop. Whatever it was, I guess it didn't matter. Both songs had long legs that kept them going a lot further than many other larger hits of the decade.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia: In 1983, the band starred in a short film written and directed by Julian Temple called "Mantrap." The 50s-influenced spy caper used music from the band's "Lexicon of Love" album and also included a lounge version of "Poison Arrow" titled "Theme from Mantrap." The film's plot revolved around ABC lead singer Martin Fry being asked to join the band for a European tour. What Fry doesn't know is that they have plans to replace him with a look-alike in order to sneak the spy behind the iron curtain. In addition to the band, the film starred actress Lisa Vanderpump. She would later become much more famous as a cast member of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." She would also compete on the show "Dancing with the Stars."


Monday, July 13, 2015

"Jeopardy" by Greg Kihn Band

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1326
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  77
Peak:  2
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After releasing five albums that spawned zero hits, Kihn finally broke through with his single "The Breakup Song" (#15) from his sixth album "Rockihnroll." He would have a bit of trouble following up that song, but then this single from his eighth LP "Kihnspiracy" did the trick and became his biggest hit. In addition to hitting #2 at pop, the tune would reach #5 at rock radio and cross over to the dance chart where it reached #1.

ReduxReview:  I can't even begin to tell you why I didn't like this song back then. It's a mystery. But whatever it was, it caused me to ignore the tune for a long time. Years later, the song popped up on an 80s compilation and it clicked with me. It has a great groove that sounds very similar to Blondie's "Rapture," yet a little meatier with a tidge of Stevie Wonder tossed in. I'm glad I got to rediscover this gem.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This single was boosted by a popular video that was in heavy rotation on MTV. In the video, Kihn plays a jittery groom-to-be who has a horror movie style dream before walking down the aisle. His cold feet gets the best of him and he absconds from the church only to see a bride ditching her wedding at a church across the street. He picks her up and they drive off. Kihn's next LP featured the lead single "Reunited." The song's video served as a sequel to the one done for "Jeopardy." The "Reunited" video picks up with the couple right after they left the church. They decide to do a cross-country road trip to NYC, but an encounter with a tornado in Kansas sends them on a detour to Oz. Although the video played well on MTV, the song didn't catch on and if failed to make the pop chart.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

"What You're Missing" by Chicago

Song#:  1325
Date:  01/29/1983
Debut:  81
Peak:  81
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  The David Foster-ized "Chicago 16" album was a hit thanks to the singles "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" (#1 pop and AC) and "Love Me Tomorrow" (#22 pop, #8 AC). This third single was issued but it ended up peaking where it debuted. It hung around the bottom of the chart for a few weeks before disappearing. 

ReduxReview:  This single brings back Chicago's horn section who were basically MIA on the first two hits. The melding of the old Chicago sound with Foster/Cetera's newly polished pop didn't work well here. It sounds forced. Like someone said, "oh yeah - I guess we gotta give the horns something to do." It's a strange result. The song is fine, but the arrangement is just odd.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Initially, the band called themselves Chicago Transit Authority and their self-titled debut double-album was a platinum hit. However, the actual CTA had issues with the band using their name and threatened a lawsuit. The band then scaled back their name to just Chicago and their second album, "Chicago II," was their first to feature the Roman numeral titling that would be used on many of their albums.