Actors have crossed over to singing top 40 hits, and vice versa, almost as long as there has been a top 40 chart at all. Obviously there were Elvis and Sinatra doing quite well on both fronts, but there were many, many others who had various degrees of success. Do you remember Shaun Cassidy, Rick Springfield, Jack Wagner? You might even recall the top 40 entries by Bruce Willis, Don Johnson, and Eddie Murphy. Now – show of hands – who remembers when there was a very successful top 40 hit from…Joey Lawrence?
Continue reading “Nothin’ My Love Can’t Fix by Joey Lawrence”
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.
Continue reading “Murphy’s Law by Chéri”
Occasionally, an artist will have a hit single but not be happy with the song. Sometimes, artists get tired of having to perform their biggest early hits after some time; occasionally, you might even read of an artist expressing disgust, or even hatred, toward one or more such songs. It’s rarer, though, that an artist expresses disgust at the recording process so much that the hit single doesn’t appear on best-of compilations, but that appears to be what happened with the highest charting single of Paul Davis.
Continue reading “’65 Love Affair by Paul Davis”
Michael Johnson, despite a terribly common name, made that name fairly well known on the pop charts for a short period in the late 1970s. Even the casual listener of popular music* at the time knew his biggest hit, even if he or she didn’t know the artist too well. (Your author admits here to misreading the name, upon seeing it on a K-Tel compilation album – on vinyl – in the 90s, as “Michael Jackson”. Apologies to everyone for that.)
Continue reading “This Night Won’t Last Forever by Michael Johnson”
In my last post, I wrote about a song, “In My Dreams”, that appeared, briefly, on the Hot 100 during early 1986 for a hair metal band named Dokken. Some of my readers definitely still remember, and appreciate, that song (even if American radio doesn’t). But were you Dokken aficionados aware that another group took a somewhat similar version of that same song not only into the Hot 100 but all the way into the Top 40? Show of hands: who remembers The Party?
Continue reading “In My Dreams by The Party”
It’s not uncommon at all to see a song hit the charts in multiple versions. Heck, some artists built their reputations through remakes. (For example, a good percentage of Linda Ronstadt’s released singles were covers.) It’s less common, however, to see a song hit the charts twice in versions from bands much further apart in genre than the two bands which hit the charts with a song, originally released in 1985, called “In My Dreams”.
Continue reading “In My Dreams by Dokken”
Occasionally, a band that has had a long history will be well remembered solely for its earlier hits. In these cases, those early hits will continue to receive airplay on classic hits and/or classic rock stations even today, while its later hits seem to vanish from the airwaves. To a point, that was the case with the final hit of Starship.
Continue reading “It’s Not Enough by Starship”
Listen to a classic hits station in 2017, and you might very well hear some 1990s songs. These are, for the most part, a rather recent addition to these stations’ playlists (which, until recently, were concentrated on the 1975-1989 period). You will probably notice, however, that the 1990s music that has finally started to appear on these stations does not cover all the different subgenres of top 40 music from that decade. Alternative rock, of course, makes up the bulk of 90s music heard on the radio now. Almost none of the 90s music on radio is dance songs, such as, say, the one US top 40 hit from Gina G.
Continue reading “Ooh Aah…Just a Little Bit by Gina G”
In the minds of many people, some of the best music from the 1970s was Southern rock. Best exemplified by groups such as The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the rock subgenre reached its zenith in that decade amid a bunch of other genres that sounded nothing like it (which perhaps helped its success). Among the many, many bands that appeared in the 70s specializing in Southern rock was a band from Alabama called, for some reason, Wet Willie.
Continue reading “Weekend by Wet Willie”
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. That almost perfectly describes the trajectory of Polly Brown’s career.
Continue reading “Up in a Puff of Smoke by Polly Brown”