Rush Hour by Jane Wiedlin

I still don’t understand why some one-hit wonders get continual airplay
(“Tainted Love”, anyone?), while others are never heard again. Former Go-Go Jane Wiedlin falls into the latter category with her summer 1988 hit, “Rush Hour”.  “Rush Hour” debuted on the top 40 at #33 in the countdown of June 11, 1988, and peaked at #9 seven weeks later.  Three weeks after that, it had already fallen out of the top 40, though some top 40 stations were still playing it at least into September (as evidenced by the September 1988 aircheck I have from “KJ-103″ in Oklahoma City).  All in all,”Rush Hour” spent 19 weeks on the Hot 100, and, as far as I know, it hasn’t been heard since.

(Fur, Jane Wiedlin’s second solo album, spent 20 weeks on Billboard 200, peaking at #105.  It was her last album to chart.)

I wonder if the song’s lack of staying power had anything to do with its strange dolphin-heavy video.  In any case, I’ve certainly never heard the song on any mainstream station since then.

I Can’t Wait by Deniece Williams

In 1988, Deniece Williams, who had had a pretty good run of success on the pop charts with hits such as “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late”, “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle”, and the love-it-or-hate-it “Let’s Hear It For the Boy”, made a final trip to the Hot 100, where it spent eight weeks and peaked at #66, and the R&B top 10 (#8) with “I Can’t Wait”.

(As Good As It Gets was the last charting album for Deniece Williams for 19 years.  It hit #48 on the Top R&B Albums chart.)

 

I truly don’t know why this song wasn’t a bigger hit. I know there were stations playing this at the time because I have a vintage November 1988 aircheck of Power 106 in LA playing it. Of course, you’d never, ever hear this on your current variety hits station (my local station’s slogan: “we play anything”). I suppose a classic R&B station (my local one is named “Jammin”) might be the likeliest candidate to play it, but since most of these stations have a very tight playlist, I guess that ship’s sailed as well.

Sweet Lui-Louise by Ironhorse

In the 1960s and 1970s, Randy Bachman was in one successful band after another (though with varying degrees of success).  He co-founded the group that eventually came to be called The Guess Who, which hit #1 with “American Woman” before Bachman left the group in 1970.  His next group was originally called Brave Belt, though most people know it better by its later name, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  After some disagreements within the band, Randy Bachman left that band in 1977.

After Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and one solo album, Randy Bachman’s next band was called Ironhorse.  Ironhorse released an eponymous album in early 1979; it was moderately successful in a year when musical tastes were rapidly evolving, and it had one charting single, “Sweet Lui-Louise”, a song that I, at least, find rather catchy, possibly due to its use of similar vocal stylings to those used in BTO’s Bachman-penned hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”.

(Ironhorse peaked at #153 on Billboard’s Hot LPs and Tape chart.  Album ℗1979 Scotti Bros. Records.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)

“Sweet Lui-Louise” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 at #87 for the week ending March 17, 1979 (chart).  It managed to enter the top 40, just barely, at #39 for the week ending April 21 (chart) and peaked two weeks later (chart) at #36 before falling out of the top 40 the very next week.  In total it spent ten weeks on the Hot 100.

Afterward, Ironhorse released a follow-up album, Everything is Grey, which also featured one charting hit, “What’s Your Hurry Darlin'”, although that song only made it to #89.  After that, the band evolved into a group called Union and released one more album; it didn’t chart.

I have only ever heard “Sweet Lui-Louise” on the radio during an episode of “American Top 40: The 70s”, but perhaps there might be good news on that front:  Randy Bachman has acquired the rights to both Ironhorse albums (source) and hopes to reissue them in the future.

 

An introduction

Hi.  I have set this blog aside to spotlight songs that were once popular, but now, at least in my opinion, they are not getting the attention that they deserve.  This blog is intended to present an alternative to the same 100 songs that every mainstream classic hits radio station seems to love.  Seriously, what classic hits station (or adult contemporary station, for that matter) doesn’t have “Take On Me” or “Come On Eileen” in its library?  And are those songs any more worthy of being remembered than other songs?  Not to me, they aren’t.

Continue reading “An introduction”