Hey! Itâ€™s Wednesday, so letâ€™s continue taking a look at the letter G and the ass end of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal
â€œAll I Have to Do Is Dreamâ€ — 1981, #51 (download)
This checks in at #24 on my bottom 80 songs of the â€˜80s list. Iâ€™m a fan of the Bee Gees, and since Andy could have very well fit right in with his brothers, I canâ€™t say I dislike him either. This shit just wasnâ€™t necessary, though. At the time he recorded this he was dating Victoria Principal, but getting a little vajayjay shouldnâ€™t translate into a record. I wonder whose idea this was — Andyâ€™s, Victoriaâ€™s, or the drugs? Whichever way, someone should have spoken up and convinced them just to make this a â€œspecialâ€ gift to each other rather than subject us to it.
Robin Gibb and Marcy Levy
â€œHelp Meâ€ — 1980, #50 (download)
Hereâ€™s another pretty shitty track from a Gibb brother, a duet with Marcy Levy off the Times Square soundtrack. In the â€˜70s Levy sang with Bob Segerâ€™s band, the Gap Band and then Eric Claptonâ€™s band, among others. In 1988, she became half of Shakespeareâ€™s Sister (under the name Marcella Detroit). Robin also recovered from this mess, releasing two decent solo records in the coming years (1983â€™s How Old Are You and 1984â€™s Secret Agent).
â€œRich Manâ€ — 1981, #89 (download)
This has never really been on my radar before, but after listening to it again, I had to pull out the album (1981â€™s Somebodyâ€™s Knockinâ€™) and give it another shot. Itâ€™s definitely a country record, but with some nice bluesy influences that make it worth a second listen. Gibbs made herself a decent career through the country charts, and then in 1987 took more of a gospel turn and began to fade away. She’s one of the few blind artists to have hits in the decade, having been so since birth.
â€œWe Could Be Togetherâ€ — 1989, #71 (download)
With how well-known Debbie Gibson was, itâ€™s kind of hard to believe she really only had a three-year run at the charts. Her first album, Out of the Blue, gave us five hits in â€™87 and â€™88, and her second record, Electric Youth, gave us four more, including â€œWe Could Be Together,â€ which was the final one. From 1990 forward she only had two more charting singles. Deborah now has a decent theater career, and in 2007, she even introduced the public to Electric Youth: The Musical, which is something I hope I never, ever stumble across. And of course, the little girl didnâ€™t exactly age poorly, as proven when she displayed the ta-tas for all to see in the March â€™05 edition of Playboy.
â€œSeasons of Goldâ€ — 1982, #82 (download)
You know by this point that I hate these stupid mash-up tracks, but maybe itâ€™s because we havenâ€™t had one in a while that I donâ€™t find this to be so offensive. Gidea Park is essentially Adrian Baker, who is probably best known as one of the touring vocalists with the Beach Boys on three separate occasions, beginning in 1981. In addition to â€œSeasons of Gold,â€ Gidea Park also did â€œBeach Boy Goldâ€ and â€œCalifornia Goldâ€ in â€™81-â€˜82 and released various remakes of Beach Boys songs in the next couple years.
Johnny Gill and Stacy Lattisaw
â€œPerfect Combinationâ€ — 1984, #75 (download)
This is a pretty great R&B ballad from friends Johnny Gill and Stacy Lattisaw. Lattisaw had already had 10 songs on the R&B charts, while Gill was just starting his career, having had only two singles before this. Lattisaw was 18 at this point, and her sound and songs were starting to sound a bit more mature than when she started out at the age of 13. While she had a significant amount of hits, Johnny Gill became the household name as a member of New Edition and with hits like 1990’s “Rub You the Right Way.”
Mickey Gilley was already a country superstar at this point in his career, but adding a slightly poppier feel to his songs helped him cross over a few times. His biggest Hot 100 hit was his cover of â€œStand By Me,â€ off the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. â€œTrue Love Waysâ€ began a string of six straight and 10 of 11 to chart at #1 on the country charts as well.
â€œBlue Lightâ€ — 1984, #62 (download)
Off David Gilmourâ€™s second solo record, About Face. Iâ€™ve read that this track has been voted in the past as the worst solo song from any member of Pink Floyd. Itâ€™s no surprise how great I think it is, then, as I donâ€™t like Pink Floyd and, well, my taste usually sucks.
â€œI Canâ€™t Face the Factâ€ — 1989, #78 (download)
Although quite a different style, this would have almost been the perfect moniker for the solo career of Go-Goâ€™s drummer Gina Schock. â€œI Canâ€™t Face the Factâ€ is actually the only charting hit for Latin dance artist Gina Gomez.
Ah, such pathetic bullshit. First of all, guitarist Gregg Giuffria needed to be slightly more creative than naming his band after himself (we’ll revisit this in week #40), which doesnâ€™t flow off the tongue very well (it’s okay if it rolls nicely — like, say, Van Halen). Then, of course, thereâ€™s the problem of calling yourself a hard rock band and creating sappy-ass crap like â€œLonely in Love.â€ Now I know that last statement isnâ€™t quite fair, as every arena rock band in the â€˜80s created ballads, but thereâ€™s just a much different feel to this track as compared to â€œOpen Armsâ€ from Journey. â€œI Must Be Dreamingâ€ is slightly better, but not unlike 100 other bands in the same timeframe.
â€œOn a Carouselâ€ — 1982, #50 (download)
The rarest track of this post, Glass Moon was led by British singer Dave Adams. This Hollies cover was their only charting single.
â€œSolid Rockâ€ — 1983, #71 (download)
Named after Australian monitor lizards, this Aussie bandâ€™s only US hit comes from their first full-length, Spirit of Place. Whether actually true or not, Sprit of Place is billed as the first successful rock record to feature a didgeridoo as a main instrument.
If you look at the charts, the Go-Goâ€™s really didnâ€™t have much success. They only had four top 20 hits and eight total hot 100 tracks. But of course it was the fact that they were an all-woman band, with punk influences, that wrote their own songs and played all their own instruments, that really made them what they are. â€œGet Up and Goâ€ is the second single from Vacation and the only song that charted on that record aside from the title track. â€œYes or Noâ€ is their final single from the â€˜80s, off Talk Show, and is actually my favorite Go-Goâ€™s song.
Golden Earring only charted five songs in the US, while nearly 40 made it in their home country of the Netherlands. â€œThe Devil Made Me Do Itâ€ was the second single from their 18th album, Cut, which featured the bigger hit â€œTwilight Zone.â€ Itâ€™s also one of only a handful of songs in this series with curses in it! Oooh, naughty. â€œWhen the Lady Smilesâ€ probably should have been another big hit for them, but the lack of US success seems to be at least partially blamed on MTV for banning the video, which featured two rapes (one of a nun) and a dog eating part of the singerâ€™s brain. Banned. You donâ€™t say?
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â€œGot a New Loveâ€ — 1988, #86 (download)
Back when we were covering the letter F, I mentioned how I thought The Family was one of the worst projects Prince had some physical presence on. Good Question probably released the worst album on Paisley Park Records. â€œGot a New Loveâ€ is by far the best song on the self-titled record, which isnâ€™t saying much. Itâ€™s just a ridiculously bad mix of pop, dance and R&B from this duo out of Philadelphia, PA. Iâ€™m not sure what Prince saw in these guys to sign them in the first place, though in reality if you look at the stable of Paisley Park artists, almost all of them were one and done. Prince is a brilliant artist but not the greatest talent scout.
â€œSomeday, Somewayâ€ — 1981, #76 (download)
One of three songs penned by Marshall Crenshaw for Gordonâ€™s album Are You Gonna Be the One, â€œSomeday, Somewayâ€ didnâ€™t propel this rockabilly legend to stardom like many hoped, but at least partially paved the way for The Stray Cats to become huge in the following years.
Best song: Johnny Gill and Stacy Lattisaw, â€œPerfect Combinationâ€
Worst song: Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal, â€œAll I Have to Do Is Dreamâ€
Next week, weâ€™ll finish up the letter G with an extended post featuring one of the top Christian artists of all time and some classic rap tunes.