Erotica by Madonna

I can hear you now:  “Really?  A Madonna song?  How can anything by Madonna be forgotten?”  (This may not in reality be what you are saying, but as this is my blog I get to assume that you are in fact saying these things just after reading the title to this entry, and so we’ll proceed from that assumption.)

Well, if I were to consider Madonna’s career in pop music, I would say that the Erotica album/era is in fact the most forgotten portion.

(Erotica peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned four Top 40 hits.  And I don’t think any of them get airplay. Album ℗1992 Sire Records.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)

And why is this?  Perhaps it is because Madonna was at that time infamous for making a coffee table book in which she was wearing very little, if any, clothing.  (Now she’s just infamous for continuing to dress as if she were still that age.)  Or it may have been because the songs from this album were not as successful as singles from other albums of hers.  Wikipedia reports that no song from the album Erotica charted any higher than number three.  Or maybe the pop-music populace didn’t care as much for the songs of that era in which, as Idolator.com says (in a list of the 10 most forgotten Madonna songs–in which “Erotica” does not appear), Madonna “gabbed through tracks rather than singing on them.”

In any case, regardless of the reason, I personally do not believe that I have heard the title track on any radio station since its original run on the Hot 100 in late 1992/early 1993.  And this I find rather strange, since it had such a strong debut; it debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 at number thirteen for the week ending October 17, 1992 (chart | magazine) and reached its peak position of number three the next week (chart | magazine), lasting 18 weeks on the Hot 100.  It also reached number two on Billboard’s airplay chart (debuting and peaking at that position on October 17*), which makes it doubly strange to me that it now receives, as far as I can tell, absolutely no airplay now.

According to commenter “BLT” at SongMeanings.net, Madonna intended this song to serve as a fantasy of “crazy and nasty things that go through [one’s] mind,” but are never acted on.

The video, which may presently be found on YouTube, was banned by MTV for content reasons, which, given the high standards of MTV, should tell you a lot.  This video will not be presented here, sorry.

* By this time, American Top 40 was using Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay chart instead of the Hot 100 to determine its charts.

Girls With Guns by Tommy Shaw

I’m not gonna lie:  what made me think of this was a comment by a politician who stated, “I’m all in favor of girls with guns who know their purpose.”  How could this child of the 80s not think of Tommy Shaw?

Continue reading “Girls With Guns by Tommy Shaw”

Shakedown by Bob Seger

You wouldn’t think a popular song from the soundtrack of a movie such
as Beverly Hills Cop II would be listed as a “forgotten song”. You wouldn’t think that a song that hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 would be listed as such.  You certainly wouldn’t think that a song that won an Oscar as Best Song would be forgotten.  (Or, at least, I wouldn’t think so.)  And yet, when the word “shakedown” hit the public discourse a couple of years ago as the result of a sitting congressman using it to discuss the government’s treatment of BP after the Gulf oil spill*, at least one person (that I knew of) was not familiar at all with this song, so I figured it deserved to be dug out.

(The soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II spent 26 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at #8 and spawning several Top 40 hits.  Album ℗1987 MCA Special Products.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)

 

“Shakedown” was actually written for Glenn Frey, but Bob Seger stepped in when Mr. Frey lost his voice just before the recording session.  This was Mr. Seger’s only number one single (it spent 18 weeks on the Hot 100, and, per the song’s Wikipedia entry, it also hit number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart) and his next-to-last top 40 hit overall.  And, as is usual for songs I list as “forgotten songs”, I don’t think I have ever heard a station where I have lived play this song in many years.  Actually, for that matter, I think I might have heard this song once on the radio since it hit the charts back in 1987.  I’m pretty sure that one time was a 1987 flashback feature, played the week that “Shakedown” hit number one (that being the week of August 1, 1987 (chart)).

 

*As I have stated before, I am only interested in discussing music here.  Political statements, especially those of a couple of years ago, are not a topic of discussion in this post…it only inspired the choice of this song.

Piece of My Heart by Tara Kemp

A few months before my last forgotten song honoree hit the charts, a California girl named Tara Kemp hit the top ten with two songs from her eponymous and only album.  The first, “Hold You Tight”, went gold and is, to my knowledge, still somewhat familiar to people.  For years, this song was the only Tara Kemp offering available for request at, for example, Austin’s Bob FM.  (Since then, they now show all tracks from her album as being available.  Yeah, right.  I’ve never even heard them play “Hold You Tight” in eight years of operation.)  Continue reading “Piece of My Heart by Tara Kemp”

Love Me All Up by Stacy Earl

There were a couple of years when the tide of pop music turned so completely that a lot of songs, and even a lot of artists, were eventually forgotten by both American radio and a good portion of the listening public.  A lot of talented artists, with a fair number of big hits, were swept away by the tides of history.  1979 was one year, when the anti-disco backlash finally boiled over, and a lot of the big artists of the day disappeared quickly.  The other year I can think of in which such a dramatic change came was 1991, and one of the artists left behind in that transition was Stacy Earl.

Continue reading “Love Me All Up by Stacy Earl”

Here We Go by Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton is pretty much universally known for her #1 hit “Lovin’ You”, but quite honestly, I prefer some of her other, lesser-known songs. Sadly, Ms. Riperton died, way too soon, in 1979. A final album, Love Lives Forever, came out in 1980, featuring some tracks Ms. Riperton had recorded in a 1978 session, combined with vocals contributed by several other artists as a tribute to her.


(Love Lives Forever hit #35 on the Billboard 200 in 1980.)

“Here We Go” was the first single released from Love Lives Forever, and it apparently hit #14 of what was then called the Hot Soul Singles chart. In this song, you can hear that Ms. Riperton is able to enunciate “here we go” quite clearly in the “whistle register”.

And as usual in this feature, no station in town has ever played this as long as I’ve been here, to the best of my knowledge.

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.

Get Used To It by Roger Voudouris

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.

Continue reading “Get Used To It by Roger Voudouris”