#1980-63: Pleasure, “Glide”

And here we have yet another HOT 100 One-Hit Wonder. Though the band took this song to #10 on the Billboard R&B chart, it stalled at #55 on the HOT 100 in 1979. It’s official peak for the ’80s is #63.

This is, again, one of those songs I don’t recall hearing on the radio when I was growing up. It has a somewhat Earth, Wind and Fire feel, what with the multi-tracked vocals and occasional space-sound effects.

Not a whole lot of lyrics in this one. Must have been a good song to dance to. Yeah, that’s the ticket.


Memorable lyric: “Caught the bus to go downtown. Bus broke down, downtown bound. Left the bus, flagged down a cab. The driver said, I want all your cash.”

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#1980-62: The Spinners, “Working My Way Back to You / Forgive Me, Girl”

Here’s the first medley to appear on the HOT 100 in the ’80s. It seamlessly combines The Four Season’s top ten hit “Working My Way Back to You” and a lesser-known song “Forgive Me, Girl.” Growing up I never realized this was a medley of two songs. The “Forgive Me, Girl” section always sounded to me like a bridge, and is a very short part of the overall song anyhow.

The song peaked at #2 in  and ended up the overall #14 song of 1980. Not sure if they planned it this way, but the song was so successful that The Spinners released another medley as a follow-up (see #1980-263).


Memorable lyric: “I used to love to make you cry. It made me feel like a man inside. But if I’d been a man in reality you’d still be here, babe, loving me.”

#1980-61: Dann Rogers, “Looks Like Love Again”

So here’s the third song in the ’80s to peak at the worst possible position: #41. I mean, at least the last two artists we already talked about (see #1980-47 and #1980-50) had other songs that reached the top 40, but not this guy. This is his only HOT 100 entry. That makes him an official One-Hit Wonder, unlike his uncle. Who’s his uncle? Listen to the song. The last name is your only hint.

Dann Rogers did have a minor adult contemporary hit later in the year called “China.” It reached #34 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart… but that still makes him a OHW on the HOT 100 chart.

Oh, and as for my comment about the worst possible peak position: I stand by it. Some may say having a song peak at #2, or perhaps #11, is worse. If your song makes the Top 40, you’re a legit pop artist. Peaking at #2 is frustrating, sure, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Who’s with me?! I would gladly record a #2 (or #11) song over a #41.

Rant over.


Memorable lyric: “I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine. I learned my lesson very well: you may lose your heart, you can never tell.”

#1980-60: The Inmates, “Dirty Water”

Hmm… sounds like the Rolling Stones. They’re from England, just like the Rolling Stones. They act like the Rolling Stones.  Lead singer dude has one dance move he uses over and over, like Rolling Stones.

But, wait.

They all look like they’re in their late 20’s. Comparison over.

This cover of The Standell’s “Dirty Water” flowed to #51 in January 1980.


Memorable lyric: “Down by the banks of the river Thames- that’s what’s happening, baby. That’s where you’ll find me along with lovers, muggers and thieves. But they’re cool people.”

#1980-59: The Dirt Band, “An American Dream”

Before “Jefferson Airplane”/”Jefferson Starship”/”Starship”, and before “John Cougar”/”John Cougar Mellencamp”/”John Mellencamp,” there was “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band”/”Dirt Band”/Oh-what-the-heck-let’s-go-back-to “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.”

Not a bad song really, The Dirt Band’s “An American Dream” reached #13 a few weeks into the decade. I recall hearing this one growing up in Atlanta. I suppose down there pop radio stations were much more friendly to country-based groups like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band versus stations in other regions of the country. However, even the west coast surely couldn’t resist this one with Linda Ronstadt on background vocals.

“An American Dream” ended up the #72 song of 1980.


Memorable lyric: “I think a tropical vacation this year might be the answer to this hillbilly beer.”

 

1980-58: The Commodores, “Wonderland”

From their Midnight Magic album, here’s the follow-up single to their #1 song “Still.” When you follow up a huge smash like that, you’re pretty much guaranteed at least another top 40 song to add to your credentials- even if it’s not all that snazzy. Case in point- The Commodores’ “Wonderland.”

Don’t get me wrong: When it comes to the C-dores or lead singer Lionel Richie, I’m a fan. It’s just that this song doesn’t really do anything for me. But you be the judge. “Wonderland” would go on to reach #25.
#25? Again….you be the judge.

Memorable lyric: “Mr. Taxi driver, could you give us a ride and take us down to, oh, Paradise Drive.”

1980-57: The Bar-Kays, “Move Your Boogie Body”

So here’s one of the songs that helped bring together R&B, funk and disco.

Peaking at #57 the first week of the decade, this one sounds like a mix of every ’70s disco song, and two soon-to-be-classics from 1986: Cameo’s “Word Up” and Prince’s “Kiss.” Only thing missing here is Morris Day, I guess. The Bar-Kays had several R&B hits in the ’70s and ’80s, but they would go on to have only two more HOT 100 entries. What’s wild is that all three of the songs sound so incredibly different- almost as if performed by three separate groups.

Nope. Don’t remember this one.


Memorable lyric: “I betcha if you let yourself go you won’t regret you got up. You gonna be dancing, prancing, fancy dancing. You’ll be the star of the show.”