1989 Waterfront – Cry

1989 Waterfront – Cry  

Phil Cilia and Chris Duffy were two singers from Wales who were members of the Cardiff band The Official Secrets. When that band collapsed, the duo joined forces and began recording as Waterfront.

They signed with Polydor Records and released their first album in 1989. Chris and N Henry co-wrote the song Cry, and Glenn Skinner produced the single. It reached #17 in the UK and #10 in the US Hot 100.

The single nearly reached the top of the Adult Contemporary chart but stalled at #2. 

A few months later that year, the single Nature Of Love peaked at #63 in the UK, #70 on the Hot 100, and only #44 on the AC chart.

The band appears to have broken up shortly after. Chris released a solo album in 1992 that even contained three songs co-written by Phil.

The band reunited for public performances a few times before recording a new album in 2009.

The band announced that they finally had regained control of their catalog of recordings in 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterfront_(band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cry_(Waterfront_song)

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1988 Scarlett and Black – You Don’t Know

1988 Scarlett and Black – You Don’t Know 

Robin Hild had been the keyboard player for the British band Big Supreme and met Sue West when the two of them were working on an album for Doctor and the Medics in 1986. That band had an international hit with a song from that album, their cover of Spirit In The Sky.

Robin and Sue were each studio musicians and songwriters and began working together on their own album using the name Scarlett and Black. Their first two singles did not do much, but a remix of the second one later became their sole hit record.

The pair wrote You Don’t Know and the remix in 1987 began reaching the charts. By early 1988, the single had peaked at #20 on the Hot 100 and reached #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Thanks to additional remixes, the record also reached #32 on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart.

The group had a connection to the Go-Gos. Their hit single included background vocals from Jane Wiedlin and they also released the single Let Yourself Go-Go which had background vocals from Belinda Carlisle.

The band was unable to reach the Hot 100 a second time and don’t appear to have released any other recordings after 1988.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlett_and_Black
https://www.last.fm/music/Scarlett+&+Black/+wiki

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1987 Bruce Willis – Respect Yourself

1987 Bruce Willis – Respect Yourself 

Bruce Willis began pursuing a career as an actor after briefly working as a security guard and then as a private detective. His big break came when he beat out over 3,000 other actors and won a starring role in the Moonlighting television show in 1985. 

The comedic air of the show and the brash character of his role sometimes allowed Bruce to sing, and it was probably inevitable that he would begin recording music. The only surprise was the label he signed with: Motown!

His first single was a cover of a 1971 song by the Staple Singers, Respect Yourself. Bruce had some help on the song; the Pointer Sisters backed up his singing and June Pointer even sang one verse. The single reached the top ten on both the US and the UK charts in 1987.

Later that year, Bruce landed two more records on the Hot 100, but they did not perform as well. A remake of Young Blood stalled at #68, while a cover version of Under The Boardwalk only reached #59 on the Hot 100 a few months later. Surprisingly, Under The Boardwalk reached #2 in the UK.

Two albums failed to move his music career back on track, but after starring in Die Hard in 1988 ignited his career as an action hero, he may simply have stopped focusing on his singing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Willis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respect_Yourself
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Boardwalk

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1986 Falco – Vienna Calling

1986 Falco – Vienna Calling 

Johann Hölzel was born in 1957 in Vienna and grew up in Austria. In the early seventies, he began playing bass guitar and singing in local bands. He used several stage names, finally settling on Falco. He soon began recording his own songs.

Falco’s first charting single was Der Kommissar. Falco and Robert Ponger co-wrote the song and Robert produced his single. The lyrics were in German, which helped the record reach the top of the German chart in 1982, but it failed to chart in the UK or on the Billboard Hot 100.

The single -did- reach #22 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. Perhaps that led the British band After the Fire to record and release the song with English lyrics in the second half of 1982. The single failed to catch at first, and the band announced their break-up in December. The following year, a video for the song began to get heavy airplay on MTV. Their single raced up the charts, reaching #5 on the US Hot 100 but stalling at #47 in the UK.

 

Falco had another hit or two in Austria and/or Germany and released a second album in 1984.

In 1985, he released Rock Me Amadeus, a song he co-wrote with Rob and Ferdi Bolland (who also produced the record). Thanks to 21 additional versions produced by Rob (including a few with English lyrics), the single reached the top of the charts in the UK, the US, and at least ten more countries.

A funny thing happened when Falco was on his way to pick up his trophy for becoming a one-hit-wonder: he had a second hit.

The same crew wrote and produced his next single, Vienna Calling. They released it in late 1985. The single peaked at #18 on the US Hot 100 in May 1986. The record fared better in the UK, where it reached the top ten.

He even appeared on American Bandstand, where he performed both songs.

After that, the hits kept coming, but only in Austria and Germany.

Shortly after finishing his last album, and before he could stage a comeback, Falco died when his car crashed into a bus in 1998. He had several posthumous hits from that album (but only in the two countries where his career started).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falco_(musician)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Kommissar_(song) 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Me_Amadeus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Calling

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1985 Air Supply – Just As I Am

1985 Air Supply – Just As I Am 

An Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1975 introduced singers Chrissie Hammond and Russell Hitchcock and guitarist Graham Russell to each other. They began performing as a harmony group until Chrissie left. Jeremy Paul then joined the group in 1976, contributing vocals and playing bass guitar.

The band’s first single reached the top ten in Australia that year. They spent several years chasing another hit until Graham spent 15 minutes writing the song Lost In Love in 1979. The song became a top twenty hit in Australia, but a newly recorded version of the song became an international hit that reached #3 on the US Hot 100. 

Seven more top five hits followed in the US, three of which also reached the top of the Adult Contemporary chart.

American singer/songwriter Rob Hegel co-wrote the song Just As I Am with Dick Wagner and released it as a single in 1982. The record did not chart in the US.

In 1985, Air Supply recorded and released their eighth album. The first track on the album was a cover version of Just As I Am. They released it as a single that peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 and reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

No more singles from the band reached the top forty on the Hot 100, but two more of their singles reached #13 and #12 on the Hot 100 within the next two years. 

The band split up for a few years after releasing a Christmas album in 1987. They reformed in 1991 and became popular in Southeast Asia during the next decade.

Out of nowhere, in 2010, the band released two more singles that reached the top thirty on the Adult Contemporary chart. Their single Dance With Me became their first charting record in over 15 years!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Supply
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Supply_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_as_I_Am_(Rob_Hegel_song)

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1984 Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It

1984 Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It 

While music videos existed before MTV arrived on the scene, the network made it possible for anybody with a record to publicize. Many videos were little more than bands lip-synching to their records, but the nature of videos quickly expanded to allow mini-dramas to take place on the screen.

And that made it easy for bands to stand out from the crowd. Like Twisted Sister. The band began life as Silver Star in 1972. The group’s lineup changed dramatically over the next four years, after which frontman Danny Snider joined the group. Danny then changed his name to Dee Snider.

They initially patterned themselves on the New York Dolls and their music varied from glam rock to punk. Their performances were as much spectacle as music, similar to attending an Alice Cooper concert.

By 1978, the band had moved into heavy metal and went through several more lineups before settling into the lineup that recorded most of their records. Twisted Sister played in a variety of clubs in the New Jersey and Long Island areas before abandoning the US and moving to London.

They began recording demos and signed with Secret Records, a punk label. Their record label went out of business, but an appearance on the UK music television show The Tube led to a contract with Atlantic Records in 1983 and their second album.

It was their third album, Stay Hungry, that came out in 1984 and finally brought them a measure of success. Dee wrote the single We’re Not Gonna Take It. The video revolved around teenage angst and featured enough slapstick-style humor to play almost every hour on MTV. 

The single peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and the video became controversial thanks to the way it depicted parents and teachers.

Actor Mark Metcalf played Niedermeyer in the film Animal House. The song ended with two of Niedermeyer’s lines from the film so it was fitting that Mark played the lead role of the suffering high school student in the video.

MTV refused to air Twisted Sister’s next video and the band’s fortunes failed quickly. Dee recorded an album with studio musicians without any help from other members of the band, but Atlantic insisted on treating it as a Twisted Sister album. Nobody cared, Dee left the band, and the band disintegrated by 1987.

Twisted Sister became a one-hit-wonder.

The band has reformed from time to time and still sometimes appears in concert.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twisted_Sister
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We%27re_Not_Gonna_Take_It_(Twisted_Sister_song)

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1983 Frida – I Know There’s Something Going On

1983 Frida – I Know There’s Something Going On 

ABBA became one of the most successful pop music acts of the seventies, selling several hundred million albums and singles. While the band continued releasing records after 1980 that became hits in other countries, all they had to show in the US for their efforts were two singles that reached #27 and #63.

By 1982, the band had broken up and several members began solo careers. Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad had already released two solo albums in 1971 and 1975, and she recorded her first post-ABBA album with producer Phil Collins.

Russ Ballard had been the lead singer on Hold Your Head Up for Argent, and he went on to a career as a songwriter. Some of his hits included Liar by Three Dog Night, New York Groove for Kiss’ Ace Frehley, and You Can Do Magic for America. He also wrote I Know There’s Something Going On, which became Frida’s first single from the album.

The record first reached the charts in the US in late 1982 and peaked at #13. 

While the record reached the top five on the charts in a large number of countries, it failed to even reach the top forty in the UK. 

Frida never reached the Hot 100 again.

Ironically (or maybe on purpose), Russ also wrote Agnetha Fältskog’s first single that charted in the US after ABBA’s breakup, The Heat Is On. It peaked at #29 on the Hot 100 in late 1983.

Agnetha had a second record reach the Hot 100 (a duet with Peter Cetera in 1987), but it vanished after three weeks and without getting any higher than #93.

ABBA reformed and released a new album and a few singles in 2021. While the album peaked at #2 in the US, none of the singles reached the Hot 100.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anni-Frid_Lyngstad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anni-Frid_Lyngstad_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Know_There%27s_Something_Going_On

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1982 Kim Wilde – Kids In America

1982 Kim Wilde – Kids In America

This article was included in one of my books!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YNY2HHN/ 

Kim Wilde’s father was a teen idol, and her brother Rickie recorded a record that was #1 in Sweden when he was only eleven, so Kim grew up surrounded by show business.

In 1980, she accompanied her brother to one of his recordings to sing backup vocals and caught the attention of producer Mickie Most (who was the producer for songs by Herman’s Hermits, Donovan, the Animals, and a lot of other British acts).

When Mickie expressed an interest in recording Kim, Rickie went home and worked up Kids In America. Their father helped finish up the lyrics for the song, and Kim went back and recorded it. Mickie was not completely happy with the recording, but working on a remix left him happier. It took another year, but they finally released the finished record in 1982.

Sales in the UK were much better than expected; the record reached #2 and sold over a half-million copies. They eventually released the record worldwide, which sold over three million copies. The single only reached #25 on the US Hot 100.

Kim continued to have a string of hits in the UK through 2006. The only other time she reached the US top forty was with her version of You Keep Me Hanging On. That record reached #1 on the Hot 100, thanks to the kids in America who helped make it the biggest record of her career.

Kim was also extremely popular in Germany, where her records hit the charts nearly as often as they did in the UK. She even appeared regularly on German television shows to promote her records.

She still does live appearances and recorded her 14th studio album in 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Wilde
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Wilde_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_in_America

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1981 Balance – Breakin’ Away

1981 Balance – Breakin’ Away 

The original lead singer for the Blues Magoos was Peppy Castro. The band reached the Hot 100 with We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet in early 1967. The single peaked at #5.

The band broke up in 1968, but Peppy recruited new backup musicians and released a few more albums. Peppy appeared as one of the stars of the Broadway production of Hair

in 1973, he formed a new group using mostly Long Island musicians, but none of Barnaby Bye’s records did well. 

Peppy formed the band Balance in 1981 with two other musicians, Bob Kulick on guitar and Doug Katsaros played keyboards and arranged their music. Studio musicians were used to complete the band’s first album.

The first single from the album put them close to the middle of the top forty. Breakin’ Away reached #22 on the Hot 100 in 1981.

The band’s second singleFalling in Love, reached #43 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Sadly, it stalled at #58 on the Hot 100 and the band never reached either chart again.

Balance began recording their second album in early 1982. Over 200 employees were terminated by CBS, Epic, and Portrait Records, and their label stopped supporting the band. They recorded a single on Polydor Records that got released in 1983, but when that failed, the band disbanded.

An Italian record label convinced the band to record a new album in 2009 and the band started making live appearances again in 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_(band)

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1980 Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune

This entry is now included in Lost or Forgotten Oldies Volume 3

https://www.amazon.com/Rembert-N-Parker/e/B071Z4GXNT/

1980 Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune

Steve Forbert was born in Mississippi and moved to New York City in 1976 to pursue a career playing guitar and harmonica and writing songs. He drifted from Greenwich Village, where he played mostly folk music.

He signed with Nemperor Records and released his first album in 1978.

Jackrabbit Slim, his second album, contained Romeo’s Tune, his most successful single. He wrote the song about a girl from his hometown. The album cover dedicated the song to Florence Ballard of the Supremes, who had died in 1976. The single peaked at #11 in early 1980. Bobby Ogdin, the piano player on the song, had previously worked for Elvis.

The album cover dedicated the song to Florence Ballard of the Supremes, who had died in 1976. The single peaked at #11 in early 1980. Bobby Ogdin, the piano player on the song, had previously worked for Elvis.

Say Goodbye To Little Jo, the second single from his album, was the only record that peaked at #85 in 1980. Steve never charted on the Hot 100 again.

Steve appeared in Cyndi Lauper’s video for Girls Just Want To Have Fun in 1983. He played her boyfriend. I assume that was him carrying the flowers around in the house.

Steve’s 2003 album, Any Old Time, was a tribute to the music of Jimmie Rodgers, who was from the same town in Mississippi as Steve. The album received a Grammy nomination for the Best Traditional Folk Album (the award that year went to John Carter Cash, June Carter Cash, and Chuck Turner for Wildwood Flower).

Songs steve has written have been recorded by several Country Artists, including Rosanne Cash, Marty Stewart, and Keith Urban. Twenty-one artists contributed covers of his songs to the 2017 tribute album, An American Troubadour: The Songs of Steve Forbert.

Steve has recorded twenty studio albums, including Early Morning Rain, which he released in 2020.

He recently recorded a cover of Goodtime Charlie’s Got The Blues since, as he explained it, “The lonesome lyrics seem to sync right up with the self-quarantine, Coronavirus strangeness of daily life.”

You can find his homepage on the web at https://www.steveforbert.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Forbert
https://www.thewinnebago.com/shows/steveforbert

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.
We specially priced one eBook at only 99 cents!

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