Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 32

Written by Bottom Feeders, Music

I know I said I’d be quitting the intros for a while, but I had to put this all into perspective. I hadn’t thought about the scope of this series since I first agreed to do it, but the other night it kind of hit me and put me into shock.

This is post #32. Usually I get about 20 songs in each post. Which means over the course of this series so far I’ve posted somewhere around 640 songs. 640! That’s a good 50-disc box set there.

Then it hit me that we’re only on the letter F. Take out letters like X and Z and we’re still only about a quarter of the way through the entire series at this point. Again, this is the 32nd week; at this pace we’re looking at 120-plus weeks, total. So by the end we’re talking two years and a few months and probably around 2,500 songs. But the good news is that I still enjoy putting each week’s post together even after eight months of them. Whew.

Well, here’s another disc and a half’s worth of the eventual ultimate Bottom Feeders box set, as we continue looking at songs that charted from 41 to 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1980s.

Fleetwood Mac
“Sisters of the Moon” — 1980, #86 (download)
“Fireflies” — 1981, #60 (download)
“Family Man” — 1988, #90 (download)
“As Long as You Follow” — 1988, #43 (download)

“Sisters of the Moon” was the last of the four singles released in the U.S. off of Tusk (1979). Someone needs to introduce Kanye West to this one. The beat seems right up his alley for a sample.

“Fireflies” is from Fleetwood Mac Live (1980), written by Stevie Nicks and one of the three tracks recorded in Santa Monica for friends of the band.

“As Long as You Follow” is the only one of the four tracks here that’s still heard on the radio today. It was one of the two new songs on their Greatest Hits album (1988), which is widely thought to be the last album released on eight-track.

I know Lindsey Buckingham is a Popdose favorite, so I’ll let you guys talk about the Buckingham-penned “Family Man,” from 1987’s Tango in the Night, in the comments section.

A Flock of Seagulls
“The More You Live, the More You Love” — 1984, #56 (download)

It’s pretty amazing when you think of how well known A Flock of Seagulls is these days, considering they only had three big U.S. hits — “I Ran (So Far Away),” “Space Age Love Song,” and “Wishing (I Had a Photograph of You).” Of course, half their recognition factor can be credited to those silly haircuts they had in the early ’80s. But hey, any press is good press, right? I mean, these guys will be making money forever off “I Ran.” “The More You Live, the More You Love” was their final charting single in the U.S., and the guitar riff in it sounds almost identical to the one in “Space Age Love Song.”

Flying Lizards
“Money (That’s What I Want)” — 1980, #50 (download)

Here’s another band that could probably live off the residuals from one track for the rest of their lives. Their only hit, a cover of Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want),” has been used in countless commercials, movies, and TV shows. It’s another one of those songs that seems to be on every new-wave compilation in America. “Money” peaked at #50 in January 1980 (the second Hot 100 chart of the decade, in fact), then plummeted into the very ass end, where it spent two more weeks before dropping off the charts completely.

Dan Fogelberg
“Believe in Me” — 1984, #48 (download)

“Go Down Easy” — 1985, #80 (download)

“She Don’t Look Back” — 1987, #84 (download)

If I remember nothing else about Dan Fogelberg it’ll be Denis Leary on his No Cure for Cancer disc saying that he should sue Fogelberg for turning him into a pussy in the ‘70s. Normally I too would be saying that Fogelberg made some really shitty music, but I have much less of a problem with him than I probably should based on what you guys know about my taste. I actually think “Go Down Easy” is a pretty good song, and his 1979 album Phoenix is even better despite “Longer” being on it. “She Don’t Look Back” was by far his most rockin’ song to chart, though there was certainly nothing unique about it.

John Fogerty
“Centerfield” — 1985, #44 (download)
“Eye of the Zombie” — 1986, #81 (download)

Here’s yet another song that appears in a million places — “Centerfield” is used so much in so many places that it’s hard to believe it didn’t reach the Top 40. But you listen to the track today and, frankly, it sounds like a novelty song. “Eye of the Zombie” was the uninspired title track from Fogerty’s follow-up to Centerfield; it not only is a mess but has one of the creepiest album covers of the ‘80s.

Foghat
“Stranger in My Hometown” — 1980, #81 (download)

“Stranger in My Hometown” was Foghat’s first real attempt at moving away from their traditional blues-rock sound and more into new wave. From their Tight Shoes album, this certainly doesn’t sound like anything I’d expect from them. After Tight Shoes, the band kept a rotating lineup going, never sticking with the same members for more than two years, until the original lineup reunited in 1993.

Fools
“It’s a Night for Beautiful Girls” — 1980, #67 (download)
“Running Scared” — 1981, #50 (download)

From what I understand, the Fools were pretty damn huge in Boston during their heyday and still tour there pretty regularly. Neither of these songs represented them well, though, as they don’t show their sense of humor or their dirty side. They were known more for their song “Life Sucks … Then You Die” and for a dirty parody of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” called “Psycho Chicken.” In 1985 they rerelased their most successful album, World Dance Party, and included a song on it called “I Love Your Tits.” (They seem to have rereleased it in 2003 as — take a wild guess — World Dance Party 2003.) Quite a different vibe than “Running Scared.”

Steve Forbert
“Say Goodbye to Little Jo” — 1980, #85 (download)

If there’s one area in my collection that needs building up, it’s the Steve Forbert section. The only album of his that I own is Jackrabbit Slim (1979), which includes “Say Goodbye to Little Jo” and his bigger hit “Romeo’s Tune,” which is one of my favorite tracks of the ’70s, despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to listen to on my iPod since the organ is deafening. “Say Goodbye to Little Jo” is an awesome track, and I’m well aware that I need to acquire some more Steve Forbert in the near future.

Force M.D.’s
“Love Is a House” — 1987, #78 (download)

If you spell their name out, you get Force Musical Diversity’s — which sounds even more ridiculous then the shortened moniker they’re known by. “Love Is a House” is a decent “quiet storm” record that went to #1 on the R&B chart.

Foreigner
“Women” — 1980, #41 (download)
“Luanne” — 1982, #75 (download)
“Reaction to Action” — 1985, #54 (download)
“Down on Love” — 1985, #54 (download)
“Heart Turns to Stone” — 1988, #56 (download)

There is absolutely no denying that Foreigner was an absolute fuckin’ force to be reckoned with from the moment they stepped on the scene in 1976 straight through 1987’s Inside Information. I, along with way too many other people, usually just lump these guys together with Styx, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and such as the typical sound of arena rock in the ’80s, but that’s doing them a disservice. Lou Gramm is one of the best rock singers of the entire decade, and even though Foreigner’s big hits got a little bit lighter as the decade went on, they had no shortage of pure rockers. “Women” and “Luanne” maintain a bit of the band’s ’70s sound, while there’s no doubt the other three are ‘80s tunes. “Reaction to Action” is an underrated track that doesn’t quite get the respect it deserves.

QUICK HITS:
Best song — Steve Forbert, “Say Goodbye to Little Jo”
Worst song — The Fools, “Running Scared”

Next week we have two classic R&B artists, Terje Fjelde’s nightmare, and a woman I wouldn’t mind seeing naked (again).