In 1982, top 40 music was working its way through an identity crisis which started with the disco backlash three years earlier. As the prevailing sound of rock music evolved, a lot of recording acts had their first hits, while many others had their last. And, there were several acts which had their only hit during that time period. One of those was the American-Canadian duo Chéri.
Sometimes a recording artist will find chart success early in his or her career and then, despite years, or even decades, of further recordings, will never reach the charts again. To add insult to injury, for some of those artists, their one and only hit is left behind by radio after its original chart run. That almost perfectly describes the career of Polly Brown.
The early 1970s, more than any other time during the rock era, was good for instrumental hits. Several instrumentals made the top ten during that period, and no fewer than three of them (“Frankenstein”, “Love’s Theme”, and “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia”) went all the way to number one. One of those who capitalized on the then-popularity of instrumental music was a British musician named Tom Parker, along with his band, Apollo 100.
1980 was, to put it mildly, a year of upheaval in the world of top 40 music in America. The disco era was ending rapidly, its end having been hastened by several causes, not the least of which was a changing in listeners’ tastes toward music such as “My Sharona”, which had been the previous year’s #1 song. While some listeners embraced the new wave movement from whence “My Sharona” came, others moved toward a resurgence of a mellower sound.
Hands up: who remembers OXO? Hardly anyone reading this blog, that’s who. But, then, that’s why this page exists.
Top 40 music in 1979 is probably remembered most for the beginning of the end of the disco era. The end of the year saw a big shift in the direction of pop music, exemplified best by The Knack’s “My Sharona”. However, to think of 1979 that way is way too simplistic. That year was also full of sugary ballads, the perennial hard rock, and, of course, yacht rock. This year featured the one and only chart appearance for one yacht rock artist, Roger Voudouris.
It’s not uncommon for a band member to leave a successful group and form his (or her) own group. Sometimes those later groups are successful themselves, and sometimes they aren’t. In the group of those bands which were somewhat successful, but forgotten, is the group Ironhorse.