Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 14
It’s the last week for the letter D, as we take a look at more tracks that hit the Rock charts but failed to cross over to the Billboard Hot 100.
“Expresso Love” 1981, #39 (download)
“Solid Rock” 1981, #56 (download)
“Twisting By the Pool” 1983, #12 (download)
“One World” 1985, #8 (download)
“Ride Across the River” 1986, #21 (download)
“Expresso Love” and “Solid Rock” are from their third album, Making Movies. “Expresso Love” is almost a perfect Dire Straits song showcasing Mark Knopfler’s great guitar skills.
“Twisting By the Pool” is the one that non die-hards might not recognize. It’s from a four-song EP they put out called ExtendedancEPlay and sounds different from all their other singles.
Both “One World” and “Ride Across the River” come from their first really commercial record in Brothers in Arms. Both the tracks fit the album very well but outside of listening to the record in full, neither do much for me.
“Breaking the Chains” 1983, #32 (download)
“Into the Fire” 1984, #21 (download)
“Just Got Lucky” 1985, #27 (download)
“The Hunter” 1985, #25 (download)
“Dream Warriors” 1987, #22 (download)
“Prisoner” 1988, #37 (download)
“Walk Away” 1989, #48 (download)
Dokken has a great hair metal voice and Lynch was one of the best hair metal guitarists of the time however their long standing feud over money, power, respect essentially overshadowed the music after a while.
Under Lock and Key (’85) is a pretty great album from start to finish and all the others have moments – like “Prisoner” off Back for the Attack. But then again, maybe I’m overrating them as “Breaking the Chains” and “Walk Away” pretty much suck. So maybe I’m just not sure how I feel about them after all.
“One Of Our Submarines” 1983, #17 (download)
“One Of Our Submarines” used to be my second favorite Thomas Dolby song behind “She Blinded Me with Science” but it’s become my favorite over the years simply because I’m tiring of hearing the big hit at this point.
It was released in the US on the Blinded By Science EP and then subsequently put on the second and future pressings of Dolby’s first album, The Golden Age of Wireless.
“South of the Border” 1989, #30 (download)
If I didn’t have Joel Whitburn to tell me so, I would have never figured this to be from 1989. Written solely by Tom Johnston this pedestrian number comes off their 1989 reunion album Cycles – which contains some of the most uninspired crap you’ll hear coming out the decade.
“Last Cigarette” (Modern Rock) 1989, #13 (download)
Here’s one of those group that you just can’t fathom how they missing hitting the big time. So many power pop bands site Dramarama as an influence and yet they never had any real hits. Every album they made before they broke up in 1994 was an excellent slab of catchy as hell pop with some blues thrown in for good measure. The guys should have had some mega-hits like “Last Cigarette” but for some reason, just never did get their big break.
“The Edge of Forever” 1986, #37 (download)
The Dream Academy’s self-titled debut is an incredibly underrated album. “Life in a Northern Town” is simply a brilliant song and tracks like “The Love Parade” and “The World” are wonderful pieces of pop music.
“The Edge of Forever” is known less as being a Dream Academy single than for it is being played in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off though.
Dreams So Real
“Rough Night in Jericho” 1988, #28 (download)
I’ve never heard anything from Dreams For Real other than this track, but if they are like this one, then it might be worth me picking up their album which shares its name with the single.
They were a rock group from Athens, GA that released three studio albums before breaking up in 1992. Their first indie record was produced by Peter Buck which got them a deal with Arista for release of this album.
Jazz Fusion really isn’t my thing at all, so I have very little knowledge of the Dixie Dregs, who called themselves simply The Dregs starting in 1981. “Crank It Up” isn’t a bad tune though – coming from Industry Standard – their only album featuring vocals. They are courtesy of Alex Ligertwood of Santana.
“Green-Eyed Lady” 1988, #29 (download)
David Drew was a rocker from Manhattan. This was his only taste of success – a cover of the Sugarloaf hit. Is it a crime to say that I enjoy Jordan Knight sampling the original for a track on his solo debut more than I like this song?
“Déjà Vu (Da Voodoo’s In You)” 1981, #52 (download)
Les Dudek is a name you should know, but he could have been known even more had he chosen a different career path. He started out as a session guitarist for the Steve Miller Band and Boz Scaggs and was offered a place in Journey, but chose to go solo instead. Despite making some pretty good music, he didn’t have much chart success.
“Girls on Film” 1983, #19 (download)
Strangely enough, “Girls on Film” never crossed over to the Hot 100. Duran Duran broke big time in the US of course with Rio in ’82 and then Capitol decided to re-release their self-titled debut with a slightly different track listing. The bigger hit, “Is There Something I Should Know” was added to the record and the single version of “Planet Earth” shows up but the lead track “Girls on Film” still gets played today. Without the re-release it might have ended up being a deep cut instead.
“Shot of Love” 1981, #38 (download)
“Neighborhood Bully” 1983, #37 (download)
“Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)” 1985, #19 (download)
“Band of the Hand (Hell Time, Man!)” 1986, #28 (download)
“Got My Mind Made Up” 1986, #23 (download)
“The Usual” 1987, #25 (download)
“Silvio” 1988, #5 (download)
“Slow Train” 1989, #8 (download)
“Everything Is Broken” 1989, #8 (download)
I don’t like Dylan’s voice and therefore that pretty much makes it impossible to like him. But I can’t bash the guy, I mean he is one of the greatest artists alive. I recognize that, but he just doesn’t float my boat. So rather than embarrass myself by talking about shit I don’t know (though I own and have listened to all his ‘80s stuff and even think Biograph is kind of good) – I’ll just mention where each of these is from and let you do the talking about him.
“Shot of Love” is the title track from his 1981 album which was his last Christian album.
“Neighborhood Bullies” is from Infidels, which musically is very strong.
“Tight Connection To My Heart” comes from Empire Burlesque which I understand is considered his strongest album of the decade.
Some of his collaborations I like a little more than his solo work, like “Band of the Hand (Hell Time, Man!)” which is Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and was the theme song to the movie of the same name.
“Got My Mind Made Up” is also a decent track featuring Tom Petty on guitar and featured on Knocked Out Loaded.
“The Usual” is my favorite heard probably because of it sounding more like a track from the guy that plays guitar on it – Mr. Eric Clapton. You can find this track on the Hearts of Fire soundtrack.
“Silvio” was a collaboration with the Greatful Dead that appeared on Down in the Groove which would be released a year before Dylan & the Dead. Of course in typical fashion, not liking Dylan and hating the Dead, somehow I kind of enjoy this live record while it seems like every critic in the world hates the crap out of it. Eh, what can I say? It’s not like I ever pull it out or anything.
And then finally is “Everything is Broken” from the rather decent Oh Mercy, his last album of the decade.
Best Song: Thomas Dolby, “One Of Our Submarines”
Worst Song: Doobie Brothers, “South of the Border”
Also appeared in the Hot 100
Dire Straits (5): “Skateaway”, “Industrial Disease”, “Money For Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”
Diving for Pearls (1): “Gimme Your Good Lovin’”
Divinyls (1): “Pleasure and Pain”
Dokken (3): “Alone Again”, “In My Dreams”, “Burning Like a Flame”
Thomas Dolby (3): “Europa and the Pirate Twins”, “She Blinded Me With Science”, Hyperactive”
Doobie Brothers (2): “The Doctor”, “Need a Little Taste of Love”
The Doors (1): “Gloria”
Dream Academy (1): “Life in a Northern Town”
Duke Jupiter (2): “I’ll Drink To You”, “Little Lady”
Duran Duran (10): “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Rio”, “Is There Something I Should Know”, “Union of the Snake”, “New Moon On Monday”, “The Reflex”, “The Wild Boys”, “A View To A Kill”, “I Don’t Want Your Love”, “All She Wants Is”