Friday, February 14, 2014

Super Hits 1982, Part 9

One more time.

Quincy Jones Featuring James Ingram, “One Hundred Ways,” #14, 4/17/82

Once more into the well for Jones, as this was his third single from the album The Dude, but the first since he took home five Grammies in February 1982, including Producer of the Year.  Sung by Ingram (who also handled lead vocals on the album’s previous single, “Just Once”), this song gives advice to those looking to romance their lover or spouse.  And given Jones has been married three times and is the father of seven children with five different women, I guess he would know about that sort of thing.

Quarterflash, “Find Another Fool,” #16, 4/17/82

Second single for the band with the Pat Benatar-soundalike singer, Rindy Ross, who could also play saxophone.  Her sax work is more prominently displayed on this single, which is arguably better than the first but charted lower. In retrospect, the band might have played down Ross’ ability to play saxophone, as that wasn’t common in the early ‘80s (Candy Dulfer broke that mold late in the decade).

Le Roux, “Nobody Said It Was Easy (Lookin’ for the Lights),” #18, 4/17/82

Southern rock at a point where the genre was colder than a flounder on ice.  The Allman Brothers and Wet Willie had broken up, Lynyrd Skynyrd was on hiatus after the plane crash (and the sequel group Rossington-Collins Band would implode in 1982 as well, with Rossington and Collins forming their own bands), and the Atlanta Rhythm Section was grinding slowly to a halt.  Le Roux was known as Louisiana’s Le Roux for their first few albums, and they had a minor hit in 1978 with “New Orleans Ladies.”  This would be their one and only top 40 hit.

Dr. Hook, “Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk,” #25, 4/17/82

I hope that’s a metaphor.  Tenth and final Top 40 hit for Dr. Hook (formerly Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show),  from their second LP on Casablanca Records, Players in the Dark.  (At least I think it was their second – trying to find an accurate discography on these guys is no easy task.)  The move to Casablanca from Capitol in 1980 turned out to be a disaster for the band, which had racked up four top 15 hits between late 1978 and early 1980, but by the time they made the switch, the label had been bought out by Polygram, label chairman Neil Bogart was gone, and the material they were getting (I don’t think many of the band members, if any, were songwriters) wasn’t lighting up the charts.

A Taste of Honey, “I’ll Try Something New,” #41, 4/17/82

Fourth and final Hit 100 hit for Hazel Payne and Janice Marie Johnson, who knocked out a #1 hit (and a Grammy award for Best New Artist) with “Boogie Oogie Oogie” in 1978, and a second top 10 hit with a remake of “Sukiyaki” in 1981.  This remake (Smokey Robinson wrote it and performed it with The Miracles in 1962, and Diana Ross and The Supremes combined with The Temptations for a top 30 hit with their version in 1969) would just miss out on the top 40.  Payne and Johnson would record one more album together in 1983 before calling it quits.

Glass Moon, “On a Carousel,” #50, 4/17/82

One-hit wonder from Raleigh, NC, who started out playing the type of music you would expect from the Carolinas: a hybrid of Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant.  Kind of surprising that their one chart hit, given that background, would be a remake of an old Hollies song, but there you go.  It seems like the band’s lineup changed over the years (one early member played acoustic guitar and flute, while their latter-day guitarist later toured with Earth, Wind and Fire).  Their first two albums (this is from the second, Growing in the Dark) are available for download.

Boys’ Band, “Please Don’t Stop Me Baby (I’m on Fire),” #61, 4/17/82

I have virtually nothing on these guys, other than they were a trio and the single came out on Elektra.  Don’t know if there was an album as well.  Cowriter Austin Roberts is best known for writing and singing the song “Rocky” (not about the boxer, about the hippie with the dying girlfriend), and singing the lead on the original theme for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

War, “You Got the Power,” #66, 4/17/82

First time on the Hot 100 in four years for the seminal funk-rock band, who started up business when former Animals lead singer Eric Burdon decided he needed a new, better backup band.  However, it wasn’t for lack of trying – War released two albums with MCA in 1979, neither of which generated a hit single.  A shuffle in band members (bassist B.B. Dickerson departed in 1979, while sax player Charles Smith was murdered the following year) probably didn’t help garner momentum.

Junior, “Mama Used to Say,” #30, 4/24/82

The only Hot 100 hit for Junior Giscombe, born and raised in London.  The song would hit #7 in his native United Kingdom and #2 on the American R&B chart, but this would be his biggest success.  Giscombe spent some time working with Thin Lizzy’s lead singer Phil Lynott, but the latter’s death in 1986 meant none of them were actually released.  All of the versions available for download appear to be re-recorded versions, so beware.

Tom Tom Club, “Genius of Love,” #31, 4/24/82

The one and only chart hit for the band led by erstwhile Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth – but what a hit it was.  Super catchy and danceable (it his #1 on Billboard’s Dance Chart, as did their song “Wordy Rappinghood”), it’s been sampled in dozens of other songs, most notably Mariah Carey’s #1 hit “Fantasy” in 1995.  Frantz and Weymouth (who have been married since 1977) have released six albums under the Tom Tom Club moniker, but their first self-titled effort, which contained “Genius of Love” was their biggest – in fact, its #23 peak was in the same neighborhood of nearly all of the Talking Heads albums.

Laura Branigan, “All Night With Me,” #69, 4/24/82

First hit for singer Branigan – no, it wasn’t “Gloria.”  It was the first single release from her first album, Branigan, and while this did hit the chart, it didn’t do much – and Laura Branigan might have have moved back into obscurity (Atlantic Records was having a hard time figuring out whether to launch her as a rock singer, dance chanteuse, or ballad singer) had “Gloria” not started getting played in clubs.  The result was Branigan became a popular artist – but this song has moved into obscurity.  And, since that debut album is out of print (although most of her studio albums after that are still available) and Atlantic hasn’t seen fit to put it on any of her best-ofs, it’s unavailable for download and is destined to keep being hard to find.

Al Jarreau, “Teach Me Tonight,” #70, 4/24/82

Third and final single from Jarreau’s Breakin’ Away, this one is a standard, co-written by Sammy Cahn and Gene De Paul back in 1953.  It’s been recorded dozens of times, by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Patti LaBelle, Neil Diamond, and Mike Love.  The DeCastro Sisters hit #2 with the song in 1954, which remains the most popular version to date.

Aurra, “Make Up Your Mind,” #71, 4/24/82

Oh, I already have.  Minor R&B group that started as an offshoot of the 1970s funk band Slave, this was their one and only Hot 100 hit.  A name change to Deja resulted in a few more hits on the R&B charts in the late 1980s.  Hard to find the original version as a download, but it can be done.  (This video includes their song "Are You Single" as well.)

Gamma, “Right the First Time,” #77, 4/24/82

Five-piece (at the time) band from San Francisco most notable for its individual members than what it did as a group.  The band was formed by Ronnie Montrose, and by the time this album was made the personnel included drummer Denny Carmassi (who had also been with Montrose, and would later join Heart during their hit-making years in the 1980s) and Mitchell Froom (who soon switched behind the glass to produce albums for Crowded House, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and then-wife Suzanne Vega).  The parent album, Gamma 3, is the only one of their first four that isn’t available for download.

Greg Guidry, “Goin’ Down,”#17, 5/1/82

No, the subject matter isn’t risqué. First hit for the singer/songwriter from St. Louis, whose songs were recorded by Climax Blues Band, Sawyer Brown, Johnny Taylor, and Reba McEntire (that’s an interesting mix).  He also contributed backing vocals to the Allman Brothers’ 1981 album Brothers of the Road (not that it’s Guidry’s fault, but reportedly that may have been one of the worst albums the Allmans ever made).  This would be Guidry’s only top 40 hit.

David Lasley, “If I Had My Wish Tonight,” #36, 5/1/82

Career backing vocalist (he’s worked with Jimmy Buffett, Irene Cara, Chic, Aretha Franklin, Melissa Manchester, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Luther Vandross… and that’s just skimming the surface) has recorded seven solo albums, but this is his only chart hit.  He’s also a songwriter – his credits include “The Blue Side” for Crystal Gayle, “Jojo” for Boz Scaggs, and “You Bring Me Joy” for Anita Baker.  He originally broke into music as a member of the traveling cast of Hair.  Not to be confused with similarly-named backing vocalist David Lindley.

O’Bryan, “The Gigolo,” #57, 5/1/82

To my knowledge, the only Hot 100 hit for a singer from Sneads Ferry, NC (you’ve all been there, right?).   Originally discovered by soul and funk producer Ron “Have Mercy” Kersey in the late 1970s, he got a push from Soul Train host/producer Don Cornelius when his first band fell apart.  He’s made five albums in total, the most recent F1RST in 2007.  (Warning:  not the best video quality.)

Duke Jupiter, “I’ll Drink to You,” #58, 5/1/82

First of two chart hits for the four-band group (originally five) from Rochester, NY, who released seven albums between 1978 and 1985, none of which made a significant dent in America’s consciousness.  (Nothing they recorded is available for download today.)  Broke up in 1986, and none of the members seem to have gone onto bigger things.  Sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d hoped – just remember the guy who sang lead vocals on “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” for The Four Seasons wound up teaching at my high school.

Gene Cotton, “If I Could Get You (Into My Life,” #76, 5/1/82

Cotton’s last chart hit, and a significant drop from 1978, when he notched three top 40 hits (“Before My Heart Finds Out,” “You’re a Part of Me,” and “Like a Sunday in Salem”).  A four-year gap between albums certainly didn’t help, nor did his being signed to Ariola Records’ American division (they closed shop in 1981); this single was released on equally tiny Knoll Records.  Haven’t heard anything from him since 1982, although he does maintain a website and has recorded new material.  Can't embed the video into this post, but use this link:

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