1989 to 2021 Rod Stewart

While his last solo top forty single came out in 2010, Rod Stewart has continued to release both covers of older songs and some new songs.

This week he released a new singleOne More Time.

Rod co-wrote the song with Kevin Savigar.

The video is similar in one way with his 1989 duet with Ronald Isley: Rod is once again backed up by three attractive dancers. This time, however, the trio does a more complete job of lip syncing with the record.

This Old Heart Of Mine reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and topped the Adult Contemporary chart in 1990. We can only hope radio picks up his newest release as well!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Stewart_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Old_Heart_of_Mine_(Is_Weak_for_You)

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1987 Level 42 – Lessons In Love

1987 Level 42 – Lessons In Love

Mark King and Phil and Boon Gould met and began playing in various bands while still in school on the Isle of Wight. Phil met keyboard player Mike Lindup when they studied music in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Robin Scott created the pop project M in the late seventies. The group gained international fame with the song Pop Musik in 1979. Wally Badarou played keyboards on the recording. Phil and Mark also worked as part of that project, and they began rehearsing with Wally to create a jazz-funk style of music.

The group Level 42 grew out of those early sessions. The group soon comprised Phil, Mark, Boon, and Mike, who took their name from the answer to the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Wally did not join the group, but became an unofficial fifth member who co-wrote songs, co-produced their recordings, and even sometimes played keyboards and synthesizers for them.

By 1981, the group had recorded a single that broke into the top forty on the UK chart. More hits followed, but the group did not reach the top forty in the US until Something About You reached the US Hot 100 in 1986. That single peaked in the top ten in both the UK and the US.

While the group’s next single (Leaving Me Now) reached 15 on the UK chart, it did not break into the Hot 100. A remix of the title song from their album World Machine got onto the US Dance Chart, where it peaked at #15.

Level 42 recorded their next album in early 1986. The lead single from the album, Lessons In Love, quickly reached the top of the charts in five countries and #3 in the UK, their highest charting record in their home country. The group toured in the US that year as well, and that helped the single reach #12 on both the Hot 100 and the US Dance chart in 1987.

The group also owed some of their success in the US to a video for the single.

Level 42 had three more top ten singles in the UK in the next year. Nine more of their singles charted in the UK top forty by the end of 1994. Sadly, the group failed to do that well in the US: their next single stalled at #83 on the Hot 100 in 1987, after which they failed to reach any of the US charts again.

Boon and Phil had left the group by the end of 1987. Mark and Mike have recruited new members as necessary and still lead an active group that tours and played a concert in Canada in 2020.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_42
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_42_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lessons_in_Love_(song)

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1986 Van Halen – Love Walks In

1986 Van Halen – Love Walks In 

Friction between David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen had grown while the band (Van Halen) grew increasingly successful. David finally left the group in 1985 and began work on a solo career.

Eddie searched around for a replacement and offered the job to several artists who turned him down. Patty Smyth was happy with her solo career and eight months pregnant, so it did not seem like the right time to her. He discussed Daryl Hall was offered the job after Eddie saw a Hall and Oates concert in 1985, but he continued working with John Oates while also releasing solo material.

Eddie’s Ferrari mechanic also worked on Sammy Hagar’s car, and he introduced the two. Sammy had just had the hit I Can’t Drive 55 and a successful tour. The two quickly decided he was a good fit for the band.

Van Halen and Sammy were each scheduled to perform at Farm Aid in September 1985 (Hall & Oates also performed at that Farm Aid). 

Unfortunately for viewers watching the concert on the Country Music Channel, Sammy’s language became offensive enough that the channel cut away from their performance and reran tapes from earlier in the day.

After announcing Sammy’s membership in the group, the band finished and  released the album 5150 in March 1986.

The first single from the album, Why Can’t This Be Love, reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

The second single from the album reached #6 on the Mainstream Rock chart but stalled at only #22 on the Hot 100. The group created a video for Dreams using a live performance at the Whiskey A Go Go in 1993.

The first song the band wrote with Sammy was Love Walks In, which became the third single from 5150. Sammy has claimed that aliens have contacted him multiple times, and he wrote the lyrics of the song about his interactions with the aliens. Eddie played both keyboards and guitar on the studio recording.

The single also reached #22 on the Hot 100 but did slightly better on the Mainstream Rock Chart, where it reached #4.

Sammy stayed with the band through 1996 and rejoined them from 2003 to 2005. The band had more hit records with Sammy singing lead than they did with David Lee Roth: Sammy had 9 top forty hits on the Hot 100 to David’s 7. On the Mainstream Rock Chart, Sammy initially had 23 top forty singles to David’s initial 13; each of them had two more hits on that chart (but no additional Hot 100 hits) during their later reunions with the group.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Halen
https://societyofrock.com/31-years-ago-a-mistake-brings-sammy-hagar-and-eddie-van-halen-together-onstage-for-the-first-time/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Halen_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Walks_In

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1985 Don Henley – Sunset Grill

1985 Don Henley – Sunset Grill

Don Henley and Glenn Frey first worked together in 1971 as members of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band. They eventually recruited a few more members and formed the Eagles.

I first saw the group when they were supporting their second album as the warm-up act for Procol Harum in the Summer of 1973. They had been touring mostly in the Northeast, and their mild country-pop music probably was a bit jarring to the crowds that showed up for Procol Harum. The Nashville crowd greeted their performance with a lot of enthusiasm, and the reception clearly cheered up the group.

The Eagles did fairly well in the rest of the seventies but splintered and broke up in 1980. Don began recording solo albums. His first album, I Can’t Stand Still, only spawned one hit record (Dirty Laundry, which reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart).

His second album, Building The Perfect Beast, came out in 1984 and included four successful singles. Boys Of Summer and All She Wants To Do Is Dance both hit the top ten on the pop charts and number 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Not Enough Love In The World was the least successful of the four singles, only reaching #34 on the Hot 100 that Summer (but it peaked at #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart). Don co-wrote the song with his frequent co-writer, guitarist Danny Kortchmar and keyboardist Benmont Tench (one of the founding members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).

The last single from the album was Sunset Grill. Don Henley wrote the song, again with assistance from Danny and Benmont. He produced the single with help from Danny and Greg Ladanyi. Patty Smyth sang backup vocals and Randy Newman provided the synthesizer programming.

The record peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 and reached #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1985. It also reached #18 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

It would be 1989 before Don released any more singles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Henley
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Henley_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunset_Grill_(song)

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1984 Billy Squier – Rock Me Tonite

1984 Billy Squier – Rock Me Tonite

Billy Squire grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He learned to play the piano and guitar and formed his first band when he was 14 years old. Four years later, he performed in public for the first time at a club in Boston. A few years later, he and a friend formed Magic Terry & the Universe, the first of several short-lived bands he became a member of.

Billy was the main songwriter and frontman for the band Piper, beginning in the mid-seventies. They recorded two albums and opened at Madison Square Garden for Kiss, but the band fell apart by the end of the decade. Capitol Records signed Billy to a solo contract in 1979.

Billy’s first album, The Tale of the Tape, did not produce any hit records. A drum break on his second single, The Big Beat, later became one of the most used samples in hip hop.

In 1981, Billy released his second album, Don’t Say No. The first single from the album, The Stroke, peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 and reached #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart. That recording also was often sampled.

Billy’s first single in 1982, Everybody Wants You, reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. It barely reached the Hot 100, where it peaked at #32.

Billy had planned to use Mutt Lange to produce his 1984 album, but switched to Jim Steinman when Mutt became unavailable. Billy wrote Rock Me Tonite, the lead single from the album. It not only became his biggest hit on the Hot 100 when it reached #15 in 1984, but it also became his second single to top the Mainstream Rock chart.

Billy never again reached the top forty on the Hot 100. By 1993, he had scored 18 top forty singles on the Mainstream Rock chart, seven of which reached the top ten.

Billy has continued to appear live occasionally, including tours with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band in 2006 and 2008. As a volunteer for the Central Park Conservancy, he has maintained 20 acres of Central Park in Manhattan for over 17 years.

Billy has his own website at http://www.billysquier.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Squier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Squier_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Me_Tonite

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1983 Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson – Tonight, I Celebrate My Love

1983 Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson – Tonight, I Celebrate My Love

Roberta Flack began studying piano at age nine and became so proficient that she earned a full scholarship to Howard University. She became a music teacher and also started writing and singing music. Roberta recorded her first album in 1969. Clint Eastwood used a song from that album, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, in the film Play Misty For Me. The single topped the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart in 1972.

Robert Peapo Bryson grew up on his grandfather’s farm in South Carolina. He joined a group, Al Freeman and the Upsetters, when he was only 14. Al had difficulty pronouncing his name, so he began appearing as Peabo Bryson.

Two years later, Peabo toured with Moses Dillard and the Tex-Town Display. After hearing him sing at a recording session with that group, Bang Records signed him to a solo contract to write, arrange, and produce music. He placed several singles a year on the R&B chart starting in 1975, recording for Capitol Records after they bought all his recordings from Bang in 1977.

In 1980, Roberta and Peabo recorded the double album Live And More, which contained ten live recordings and four new studio recordings. The pair wrote the single Make The World Stand Still on that album, and it reached #13 on the R&B chart.

They worked on another album of duets in 1983 on the album Born To Love. Barry Mann and Michael Masser wrote the lead single from the album, Tonight I Celebrate My Love. They filmed a performance video for the song to promote it. The record reached #16 on the Hot 100, #5 on the R&B chart, and #4 on the AC chart.

Roberta only reached the top forty on the Hot 100 one more time. She recorded Set The Night To Music with Maxi Priest in 1991. The single peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the AC chart.

Peabo continued to have a seemingly endless string of hit records on the R&B chart into the nineties. He even topped the Hot 100 in 1992 when he recorded A Whole New World. Disney used the duet with Regina Belle in their animated film Aladdin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peabo_Bryson
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peabo_Bryson_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonight,_I_Celebrate_My_Love

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1982 Beach Boys – Come Go With Me

1982 Beach Boys – Come Go With Me 

Once the sixties ended, the Beach Boys ran out of hit records. They didn’t have a hit single again until 1976 in spite of recording some amazing songs. That year, they reached the top five on the Hot 100 with Rock and Roll Music and barely reached the top thirty with It’s Okay. During the next four years, they reached #40 with only one single (Good Timin’) and failed to get even that high with over a dozen other singles.

The band made it back up to #12 in 1981, but that single was a cheat of sorts: The Beach Boys Medley simply mashed up pieces of eight of their earlier hits.

That year, the band also released a double album, Ten Years of Harmony. It collected songs from their Brothers Records albums from 1970 to 1980.

One of the songs on the album, Come Go With Me, had been released in 1978 on their M.I.U. album, but had never been a single. Some of the band members refused to work on that album, which possibly helped Al Jardine get the rare chance to sing lead vocals. Al asked Brian to arrange the horns for the song, which he reported did immediately at Sunset Sound Recorders while dressed in a bathrobe.

To help promote the new compilation album, they released the song as a single.

The original version of the song by the Del Vikings failed to chart in 1956, but reached #4 on the Hot 100 when a new label re-released the same recording in 1957. The Beach Boys version peaked at #18 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

The band had a few more minor hits before topping the Hot 100 one last time in 1988 with Kokomo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beach_Boys_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Go_with_Me
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.I.U._Album

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1981 Gary Wright – I Really Want To Know You

1981 Gary Wright – I Really Want To Know You

Gary Wright grew up in New Jersey and had his first television at the ripe old age of seven on a television show that was filmed in New York City, Captain Video and His Video Rangers.

He studied keyboards and began playing in rock bands while in high school. He and Billy Markle recorded his first single for in 1960 for  20th Century Fox Records. The record company billed them as Gary and Billy; the single failed to chart nationally.

Gary studied to be a doctor, but put that career aside and joined the band Art. They changed their name to Spooky Tooth and recorded a few albums in the late sixties. He left the group to pursue a solo career in 1970. He signed with A&M and eventually recorded two unsuccessful albums for the label.

Gary worked on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album in 1970, the beginning of a long-term friendship with George. He not only played on all of George’s solo albums, but some other records that George produced (including two of Ringo’s hit singles).

From 1972 to 1974, Gary reformed Spooky Tooth. He then signed with Warner Brothers Records and returned to the studio, and recorded his third solo album. The album contained his two most successful singles. Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive each reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1976. Dream Weaver also reached #14 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Gary toured with three keyboard players and a drummer to support the album. His shows helped popularize the use of synthesizers.

It would be five years before he again released a record popular enough to reach the top forty. In 1981, he co-wrote a song with Ali Thomson, I Really Want To Know You. The single peaked at #16, which became Gary’s last record to reach the Hot 100.

Gary’s first two hit records had different versions recorded later. Chaka Khan covered Love Is Alive on her 1984 album I Feel for You. Her version had a new title, My Love Is Alive.

Gary re-recorded his hit Dream Weaver for the soundtrack of Wayne’s World in 1992.

Gary continued recording and touring through 2011.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Wright
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Really_Wanna_Know_You

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1980 Lobo – Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love

1980 Lobo – Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love 

Roland Kent LaVoie began recording music in 1964. He failed to have much success until he signed with Big Tree Records and began recording as Lobo.

He had seven top forty singles on the label, three of which reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart. 

His last hit on Big Tree came in 1975 with the release of Don’t Tell Me Goodnight. He wrote the single, which peaked at #27 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the AC chart.

and one last hit:

In 1976, Lobo released an album in Europe on Philips Records. Phillips did not release either of the singles in the US. He then signed with Curb Records, but did not complete an album with them.

Lobo signed with Curb/MCA Records in 1979 and released his first US album in four years. The lead single from the album, Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love, reached #23 on the Hot 100 and again took him to the top of the AC chart.

Lobo’s next single stalled at #75 on the Hot 100. Unhappy with the support he was getting, Lobo managed to get out of his recording contract. He moved to Nashville, and began recording on his own label, Lobo Records.

He never again charted on the Hot 100, but had some success on the Country charts in the early eighties.

The release of compilation albums that contained his earlier hits led to increasing popularity in Asia. He recorded a new album in Taiwan in 1989 and later re-recorded some of his old hits as well as an album of covers of standards. He even toured Southeast Asia beginning in 2006.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobo_(musician)

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1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

Yvette Marie Stevens grew up in Chicago with a father she described as a beatnik. At age 13, a Babalawo of the Yoruba community gave her the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi.

She formed an R&B group, the Crystalettes, and later began singing in the group Lyfe. She met and married another member of the group, Hassan Khan. This led to her using the name Chaka Khan. Besides singing, Chaka sometimes played bass and percussion.

When the American Breed fell apart in 1969, members of the group formed a new band, Smoke, that soon after became renamed Rufus. Chaka joined the group in 1972 when Paulette McWilliams left. Ike Turner asked her to become one of the Ikettes, but she turned down the invitation and stayed with Rufus.

Stevie Wonder wrote Tell Me Something Good for Chaka, and that single took Rufus to #3 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1974. A long string of successful recordings followed over the next few years.

While remaining a member of Rufus, Chaka signed with Warner Brothers and released her first solo album in 1978. The lead singleI’m Every Woman, was written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson and produced by Arif Mardin.

The single peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and reached the top of the R&B chart.

Rufus recorded a few albums without Chaka, but she participated in their final album, which was recorded live at the Savoy in 1983. She then pursued her solo career exclusively. While a few of her singles reached the Hot 100, most of them were more successful on the R&B chart.

The 1989 remix of I’m Every Woman reached the top of the US Dance chart.

In 2011, Chaka received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque.

In 2015, Chaka was the first dancer eliminated on Dancing With The Stars. In 2020, she performed as a contestant on The Masked Singer television show.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaka_Khan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaka_Khan_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Every_Woman

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