1985 The Time – Jungle Love

1985 The Time – Jungle Love 

A provision in the contract that Prince signed with Warner Brothers Records allowed him to recruit other artists for the label and produce their music. After seeing the 1980 film The Idolmaker, Prince became inspired to create a band that would create music similar to his early records. He signed up Minneapolis funk/R&B band Flyte Tyme as the nucleus of his new band and added guitar player Jesse Johnson to the band. He also recruited his childhood friend Morris Day as the new lead singer.

Prince dubbed the new band The Time. Perhaps the best-known members of the band were Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who later became extremely successful songwriters and producers.

The band’s first album did not feature any of the band’s members except Morris; Prince played all the instruments on the album and Morris followed detailed instructions for the vocals. Two singles from the 1981 album reached the top on the R&B chart and #14 on the US Dance chart, but the best they could manage on the Hot 100 was one record that reached #90.

Prince appears to have convinced Morris to fire Jimmy and Terry from the band after a blizzard in Atlanta caused them to miss a performance, so they were gone from the band before the filming of the film Purple Rain.

Their third album again featured mostly Prince on the instruments, although Jesse finally go to play guitar on the recordings. The first single from the album, Jungle Love, finally gave the band some success on the Hot 100, where the record reached #20 in 1985. The single again took the band into the top ten on the R&B chart and reached #9 on the US Dance chart.

The album also spawned another top forty single on the Hot 100 when The Bird made it to #36.

In 1985, the band simply fell apart. Morris left to pursue a solo career while several members continued playing together as The Family. 

The band reunited in 1990 and even managed to reach the top of the R&B chart and #9 on the Hot 100 with their new singleJerk Out.

Several more reunions and disbandments have followed over the years. Morris continues to lead a band called Morris Day and the Time but can only do so by paying Prince’s estate (the owner of the trademark) for the privilege.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_(band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Love_(The_Time_song)

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1984 Culture Club – It’s A Miracle

1984 Culture Club – It’s A Miracle

In 1981, Lieutenant Lush often sang with Bow Wow Wow in London’s Blitz Club. He then decided to start his own band using the stage name Boy George. He recruited three more musicians and that band became Culture Club.

EMI paid for the band to record a few demos but cast the band aside after they heard the results. Virgin Records then signed the band to a recording contract (and Epic Records picked them up in the US).

The band’s first two singles failed to even reach the top 100 in the UK, but things changed with their third single, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. The record reached the top of the charts in 23 countries but stalled at #2 in the US thanks to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.

Culture Club had a lot of hit singles in 1982 and 1983. The band’s next four singles in the UK all reached the top three on the charts. Their record companies released several different singles in the US, but the band still managed to get five top ten singles there.

The band released It’s A Miracle as their second 1984 single. It peaked at #4 in the UK while only reaching #13 on the US Hot 100.

The video that was made for the song had the band running counter-clockwise around a game board on the floor. It almost qualifies as a clip show since pieces of earlier videos become activated as the band members circulated around the board.

By 1986, internal friction tore the band apart. They managed a reunion in 1998 that generated a new album and a few more hits in the UK before splitting up again.

It took years, but the band finally reunited and released a new album again in 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_Club
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_Club_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Miracle_(Culture_Club_song)

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1983 Stevie Nicks – If Anyone Falls In Love

1983 Stevie Nicks – If Anyone Falls In Love

Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and became a part of one of the most successful bands in history. The band recorded the album Tusk in 1979 and went on a world tour for the next two years.

Stevie spent some of her downtime during the tour writing songs for a solo album. She founded Modern Records in 1980 with Danny Goldberg and Paul Fishkin so she would have a label to release her new material on. Her first two singles from the album reached the top ten on the Hot 100, after which two more singles reached the top twenty and the top forty.

The Wild Heart came out in 1983 and the first single from the album was the hit Stand Back. The single featured an uncredited synthesizer performance by Prince. It reached the top ten on the Hot 100, #2 on the US Rock chart, and #12 on the US Dance chart.

The next three charting tracks from the album reached the airplay-only Top Tracks list, peaking at #12, #35, and #19.

Sandy Stewart is a singer, songwriter, and keyboardist from Houston. She worked with Stevie on the album, playing synthesizers and piano and singing lead and backup vocals. She also co-wrote three of the songs on the album with Stevie. The next singleIf Anyone Falls In Love, was one of them.

The record peaked at #14 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the US Rock chart.

Sandy also co-wrote Stevie’s next single, Nightbird, but it only reached #33 on the Hot 100.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Nicks
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Nicks_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Stewart_(musician)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Anyone_Falls

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1982 Eddie Money – I Think I’m In Love

1982 Eddie Money – I Think I’m In Love 

After moving to California and adopting the stage name Eddie Money in 1968, Eddie began playing in clubs. He signed with Columbia Records and released his first album in 1977. By the middle of 1978, he had released three singles that reached the top twenty-five on the Hot 100.

After that, he struggled to return to the charts. He finally got there again in 1982.

Guitarist Randy Oda joined the band Ruby in the early 1970s. The band included Tom Fogerty, the former rhythm guitarist from Creedence Clearwater Revival. He and Tom co-wrote many of the songs on the band’s albums.

In 1982, Eddie and Randy co-wrote the song I Think I’m In Love. Eddie shot a video that interspersed clips of his band performing the song with black and white scenes that were echoes of a Gothic Vampire film.

The single peaked at #16 on the Hot 100 and also reached the top position on the US Mainstream Rock chart.

After Eddie released the song on an album, Arnold Schwarzenegger used the song in his Total Body Workout video.

The successful single helped reignite Eddie’s career, and he continued charting hits through 1992.

Complications from cancer led to Eddie’s death in 2019.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Money
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Money_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Oda
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_I%27m_in_Love_(Eddie_Money_song)

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1981 Eagles – Seven Bridges Road

1981 Eagles – Seven Bridges Road 

Steve Young was primarily a Country singer/songwriter who began recording music in 1968. His second album contained his most notable composition, Seven Bridges Road.

The original song referred to Woodley Road in Montgomery, Alabama which crossed over a series of bridges. He wrote the song during the sixties and first recorded it on his second album in 1969. 

Performances at the Troubador of the song had exposed the Eagles to the song. When the Eagles began playing larger venues, they began warming up for their shows by singing the song in a locker room. Later, they began singing the song when they first took the stage; they sang the song a cappella while standing around a single mike. 

In 1980, the band released a live album that included Seven Bridges Road. The recording became a single that reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #17 on the Adult Contemporary Chart in early 1981.

 

The band had essentially fallen apart during 1980 and only put together the live album due to contract requirements. It would be 1994 before the Eagles returned to performing and recording and arrived on the Hot 100 again!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagles_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Bridges_Road

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1980 Natalie Cole – Someone That I Used To Love

1980 Natalie Cole – Someone That I Used To Love 

Natalie Cole was the daughter of Nat King Cole. She began recording for Capitol Records in the mid-seventies and immediately had a string of albums that did well on the pop charts and often topped the R&B charts.

Her last charting single in 1977 (Our Love) did well on both charts, but became her last single to chart on the Hot 100 for almost three years. 

Songwriter Michael Masser had his first major hit in 1973 when he co-wrote Touch Me in the Morning, a chart-topping solo single for Diana Ross. He and Gerry Goffin co-wrote Someone That I Used To Love and convinced Bette Midler to record the song for her 1977 album. Michael produced the recording and was convinced it would be a hit. Bette and her manager felt her album already had enough slow ballads and finally convinced Atlantic Records to leave the song off her album.

In 1980, Michael got a second chance with the song. He produced a version for Natalie that Capitol Records released as a single. The record became a hit, reaching #21 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart. It also reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

It turns out that Michael really, really wanted a bigger hit from the song. In 1989, he produced a version for Barbra Streisand. Columbia Records put the song out as airplay only and it reached #25 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Natalie began fighting drug addiction, and her career suffered. She eventually beat the addiction after a six-month stay in a rehab facility.

It would be 1987 before she reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Cole
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Cole_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Someone_That_I_Used_to_Love

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1979 Peter Frampton – I Can’t Stand It No More

1979 Peter Frampton – I Can’t Stand It No More 

After working on four studio albums and one live album as a member of Humble Pie, Peter Frampton began a solo career in 1971. By 1975, Peter had released four solo studio albums and had failed to reach the charts with any of his eight singles.

He then recorded a series of live performances in 1975 that became a live album in 1976: Frampton Comes Alive! The album became the top-selling album of 1976 in the US and spawned two top ten singles (and one single that peaked at “only” #12).

The title song from his studio album in 1977, I’m in You, reached #2 on the Hot 100, and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) also reached the top twenty that year.

And then his luck ran out.

Perhaps one of the most disappointing films of the seventies was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a film that starred Peter and the Bee Gees.

 Instead of launching songs from the film onto the charts, the 1978 film brought a halt to the careers of almost everybody who appeared in it.

To make matters worse, Peter was in a serious car wreck in the Bahamas that nearly killed him. He did not return to the studio to record a new album until 1979.

Peter wrote and produced the first single from the album, I Can’t Stand It No More. The record reached #14 on the Hot 100 in 1979.

When he prepared to tour in Brazil in 1980, a plane crash killed four passengers and appeared to destroy all his guitars. He eventually got back one of the guitars in 2011.

Peter may have recovered, but his career did not: he never reached the top forty again, and only reached the Hot 100 one last time in 1986. He simply continued to tour and record new music.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Frampton
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Frampton_discography#Singles

1978 Barry Manilow – Even Now

1978 Barry Manilow – Even Now 

After releasing two top ten singles and one #1 single from a 1976 album, Barry Manilow’s only new single releases in 1977 included a pair of songs from his live album. Daybreak didn’t reach the top twenty, and It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve didn’t reach the Hot 100 at all.

A new album followed in 1978, and the result was much better. Christian Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow wrote the first single, Can’t Smile Without You. David released his own recording of the song in 1975, but it doesn’t appear to have charted. Barry recorded the song in 1977 and released it as a single in 1978. His single reached the top of the Adult Contemporary chart and reached #3 on the Hot 100 and remains in rotation on most oldies stations.

Marty Panzer wrote the lyrics for at least 100 songs for Disney and over thirty of Barry’s songs, including Even Now. Barry wrote the music and co-produced the song with Ron Dante. Ron sang lead vocals for the Archies on the 1969 hit record Sugar, Sugar, and did some backup vocals for many of Barry’s records. Ron also co-produced the first nine of Barry’s albums between 1973 and 1981.

Barry’s single became his ninth chart-topping record on the Adult Contemporary Chart but only reached #19 on the Hot 100.

Barry has identified the song as one of his favorites. 

He had three more top ten singles on the Hot 100 in the next year, after which his big hits continued primarily on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Manilow
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Manilow_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Even_Now_(Barry_Manilow_song)

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1977 Dean Friedman – Ariel

1977 Dean Friedman – Ariel

Dean Friedman grew up in Paramus, New Jersey. He saved up his change, and when he turned nine in 1964, he bought his first guitar with a bag full of quarters.

Dean wrote his own songs and cut demo tapes that he submitted to record labels. In 1975, he signed a recording contract with the Lifesong record label. His first album generated two singles, the first of which failed to chart.

His second single was Ariel, a song about an unusual young woman from Paramus. The record peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 in 1977, the only time he reached that chart.

His second album in 1978 contained a duet with singer/songwriter Denise Marsa. Lucky Stars may not have charted on the Hot 100, but it reached #3 on the UK chart and the top ten in Australia and New Zealand.

Sixteen more albums followed, with the most recent coming out in 2017.

There was some controversy in the UK over one of Dean’s singles in 1981.

McDonald’s Girl mentioned the fast food location by name, so the BBC would not allow the song to be played on the radio in the UK. The song took on a life of its own, and thirty years later, The Blenders recorded the song. Their version was used in the background of an ad campaign that McDonald’s ran to promote their new coffees.

Dean continues to tour and record new music and maintains a website at http://www.deanfriedman.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Friedman

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1976 Cledus Maggard – The White Knight

1976 Cledus Maggard – The White Knight

James Huguely worked at Leslie Advertising in Greenville, South Carolina before pursuing a career as a recording artist. Songs about CB radio became a niche market for a few years in the mid-seventies, and James recorded an album of songs as Cledus Maggard & the Citizen’s Band.

The first single from the album told the story of a trucker who was using his CB radio to outsmart the local police until he ran up against a smokey who outsmarted him. The single The White Knight topped the Country chart and reached #19 on the Hot 100 in 1976.

A more involved version of the song ran over seven minutes but had the same sad ending for the narrator.

A similar song (Kentucky Moonrunner) only reached #85 on the Hot 100 and couldn’t get any higher than #42 on the Country chart. A few more singles followed that fared even more poorly.

James became a producer for the television show Magnum, P.I. He continued writing and producing other television shows and films, including 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cledus_Maggard_%26_the_Citizen%27s_Band

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