Happy Friday, everybody! It’s time for another fun-filled edition of CHART ATTACK!, this time from one of those weeks where I heard every one of these songs on the radio on a daily basis. Ahh, those were the days. It’s June 4, 1988! Let’s start attackin’!
10. Anything For You – Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine Amazon iTunes
9. Make It Real – The Jets Amazon iTunes
8. I Don’t Want To Live Without You – Foreigner Amazon iTunes
7. Foolish Beat – Debbie Gibson Amazon iTunes
6. Piano In The Dark – Brenda Russell Amazon iTunes
5. Together Forever – Rick Astley Amazon iTunes
4. Everything Your Heart Desires – Daryl Hall & John Oates Amazon iTunes
3. Naughty Girls (Need Love Too) – Samantha Fox Amazon iTunes
2. Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz Amazon iTunes
1. One More Try – George Michael Amazon iTunes
10. Anything For You – Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
I am finding it hard to believe that this is the first time these guys have appeard on CHART ATTACK!. It makes no sense to me. I must admit to you that I have a soft spot for anything sung by Gloria Estefan between 1985 and 1990. I listened to my Let It Loose cassette more times than I care to mention, and I’m pretty sure I own 45s of at least three songs from that album. And I especially love the ballads, despite the fact that they’re the John Williams equivalent of pop tunes. You know how it always takes you a second to remember the themes from Superman, Indiana Jones and Star Wars without confusing them? Yeah. "Anything For You" is "Don’t Wanna Lose You" is "Cuts Both Ways" is "Here We Are," etc. "Anything For You" is one of the few to hit #1, and the only #1 while the band was still receiving name-billing: although Miami Sound Machine has remained her backing band, Estefan essentially became a solo artist following this album.
I don’t want to harp on this, since I mentioned it in regards to Kim Wilde last week, but Gloria Estefan is still quite hot. And she really wasn’t that hot when her career first started. She’s like the Alison Krauss of pop music. (Two! Two analogies in one entry!)
9. Make It Real – The Jets
Oh, The Jets. How I loved The Jets. I actually saw The Jets in concert. Westbury Music Fair. Stacey Q opened. She came out to sign autographs at intermission and fainted. Anyway, great show, at least to my 10 year-old ears. Here’s what I never understood about The Jets. They were a Polynesian family group, right? Here’s a picture of them:
Okay, everybody who’s not an illegitimate child or adopted, raise your hand. NOT SO FAST, WHITE GUY IN THE MIDDLE! I swear, I never could figure out why this guy looked absolutely NOTHING LIKE the others guys and girls in the band. My theory is that he was just hanging out near them one day, back when they were just performing at county fairs and stuff, and snuck in – and because there are so many damn people in the band, nobody ever picked up on it. "What? Oh, yeah, I’m your brother. Seriously, I am. There’s like 17 of us. Trust me, I’m one of them."
And here’s why I think I’m on to something – this guy, known as Eugene Wolfgramm, eventually must have been found out, because he left the band, changed his name to Gene Hunt, and formed the group Boys Club. I am not making this up. Doesn’t everybody see? There’s a family scandal going on here, and I’m the first to pick up on it! You’ll all thank me one day when the truth comes out.
Shit, I’m only on #9. Gotta move on. No time to actually, you know, talk about the song in question.
8. I Don’t Want To Live Without You – Foreigner
It’s true. I don’t want to live without you, Chart Attack! readers. Live without your (blog) love. You see, I’m lost without your (blog) love. I repeat this line because it took me about 20 minutes to remember which of the testicularly challenged Foreigner songs this was. I do remember the video for this one getting heavy rotation on MTV. You remember how beautiful it was, right? Not only because of the time-lapse nature footage, or the romantic clips of people falling in love, but because Foreigner don’t appear in the video at all? That’s the most beautiful part!
All that 6/4/88 is doing so far is revealing what a pussy I am. I like Gloria Estefan ballads, and I think the pre-chorus to this song ("I’m longing for the time…") is pretty. In fact, I might learn this one on piano or guitar and see if it scores me any points with the wife, who I’m relatively certain has given up on this website. I’m guessing that performing it on melodica is not going to do me any favors, though.
is pretty. In fact, I might learn this one on piano or guitar and see if it scores me any points with the wife, who I’m relatively certain has given up on this website. I’m guessing that performing it on melodica is not going to do me any favors, though.
Foreigner are touring this summer with Def Leppard and Styx. Great: two bands with new lead singers, and one band who has lowered every song down about four steps. Where do I sign up?
"I Don’t Want To Live Without You" was Foreigner’s last appearance in the Top 40, ever. And don’t pull that "never say never" bullshit because I can say pretty confidently that Foreigner are not making a comeback.
7. Foolish Beat – Debbie Gibson
When I was 10 years old, I had a huge crush on Debbie Gibson. I just watched the video for "Foolish Beat" and the whole thing just came flooding back. Even the big hair didn’t bother me.
I know this argument is null and void now that she’s posed for Playboy, but is it not amazing how clean-cut you could be at 16 and still have a hit back in 1988?
So then I went looking for other Debbie Gibson clips. The best clip I found was her performing "I Wanna Destroy You" with the Circle Jerks at CBGBs in 1990.
I’m like two seconds away from going into a tangent about "Electric Youth," but I’ll restrain myself. Instead, I’ll just say that I think we should give Debbie some props. This is the week that "Foolish Beat" entered the top 10. Three weeks later, it hit #1, and at 16 years old, she became the youngest person ever to write, record AND produce a #1 hit. Beat THAT, Tiffany.
6. Piano In The Dark – Brenda Russell (download)
Guilty pleasure alert! Guilty pleasure alert! If you don’t immediately remember this one, just imagine this: if the drum beat from "No One Is To Blame," the bass line from "Sign Your Name," the finger snaps from "Father Figure" and the keyboards from just about every ’80s ballad ever released had some kind of orgy, the love child would clearly be "Piano In The Dark." I like this track, but I know for a fact that Mike absolutely adores this track, so maybe he’ll talk about it in the comments. I don’t have too much to say about it, except for the fact that for a song called "Piano In The Dark," there’s very little piano. There’s a short little piano solo in the middle, but the rest is synth.
You may be wondering: who’s the guy in the middle who sounds suspiciously like Michael McDonald, and subsequently just makes me wish that the song really did feature Michael McDonald? Why, it’s none other than Joe "Bean" Esposito, the star of our very first LOST SOUNDTRACK CLASSICS series! Yes, the man who sings "You’re The Best" also is featured on "Piano In The Dark," and was even nominated, along with Russell, for Best Pop Duo at the 1988 Grammy Awards.
Other than a minor hit in the early ’80s, "Piano In The Dark" was Brenda Russell’s last appearance on the charts. She also wrote "Get Here," which was eventually a hit for Oleta Adams, and is a co-writer of the current Oprah-produced musical The Color Purple. Beat THAT, Tiffany.
5. Together Forever – Rick Astley
Man, do I long for the days where I could just turn on the Lite-FM station and hear this one. Oh, wait, I forgot – I can hear this song every single day of my entire life on the Lite-FM station. This is yet another song that I always seem to specifically hear when I’m sitting in a dentist’s chair. "Never Gonna Give You Up" is considered the more popular of Astley’s two #1 hits, but I swear that I hear this one more often. Or you know what, maybe I’m just confused, since they’re pretty much the same damn song.
4. Everything Your Heart Desires – Daryl Hall & John Oates
I was a big fan of Hall & Oates when I was a kid. Big Bam Boom was one of the first records I bought with my own money. And maybe it’s because I was so young, but the time between Big Bam Boom (1984) and Ooh Yeah! (1988) seemed like an eternity. Furthermore, as a highly astute 11 year-old, I felt that H&O had effectively sabotaged their career by taking a hiatus, as they would never be that big again. I guess I was right on that front – "Everything Your Heart Desires" was their last appearance in the Top Ten. ("So Close" came, uh, so close.) However, as an 11 year-old, I also wasn’t taking into account the duo’s long history and tireless climb that got them to the point where they deserved a break. All I knew was that "Everything Your Heart Desires" was a significant disappointment to me, and seemed somewhat anticlimactic after four years away.
3. Naughty Girls (Need Love Too) – Samantha Fox
Are you shitting me? This song made it to #3? Really?
I guess I’m just getting lazy, but I don’t feel like I have much to say about "Say It Loud (I’m Trashy And I’m Proud)" or whatever the name of this song is. But here’s something interesting about Samantha Fox. I just looked at the tracklist for her Greatest Hits (of course she has a greatest hits disc! Snow has a greatest hits disc! Hilary Duff has a greatest hits disc!), and 7 out of 18 songs have needless parentheses. I will allow her one exception, as she covers "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction," but it must be understood that this exception is only in regards to parentheses, not the actual cover itself, which frightens me based on concept alone. The others, however, are unacceptable. And I’m not even discussing songs with parentheses that didn’t make it onto the Greatest Hits disc! You know, songs like "Hurt Me! Hurt Me! (But The Pants Stay On)". Hey, wait a minute…that one’s pretty good!
Samantha Fox "live", y’all:
2. Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz (download)
…and this is pretty much as good as it was ever going to get for Johnny Hates Jazz. Frankly, I don’t know what happened: good song, creative band name…this is it? I know they broke the Top 40 with "I Don’t Want To Be A Hero," but I wouldn’t recognize it if you put a gun to my head. Even Breathe had more than one recognizable hit.
Here’s the video. Check out that George Michael stubble!
Here’s the video. Check out that George Michael stubble!
I know what you’re dying to know: where are Johnny Hates Jazz now? Good question. I don’t know about most of the band, but I can tell you that if you call lead singer Clark Datchler by his God-given name, he’ll most likely punch you in the face. No, he’s now known as (are you ready for this?) NIGHTFOXX. NIGHTFOXX!!! I love it. If you check out his website for long enough, you’ll eventually hear a sample of a NIGHTFOXX cover of "Shattered Dreams." I can’t believe I stuck around long enough to hear it, actually.
1. One More Try – George Michael
1988 pretty much belonged to George Michael. "One More Try" was the third of four consecutive #2 singles from Faith, and stayed at #1 for three weeks. These days, three weeks isn’t anything impressive, but in 1988, it was the second longest-running #1 single of the year, tied with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Of course, being a big George Michael fan, I knew that already, but I learned something new while writing this entry: "One More Try" was the last single to hit $1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart by a white male artist until this year, when Robin Thicke released "Lost Without U."
I always liked "One More Try," but the live version greatly improves upon the original. The song’s tempo was slower, which may sound a bit like torture, but is saved by an excellent gospel feel. Take a listen:
George Michael – One More Try (Live Gospel Version) (download)
And that brings us to the end of another chart attackin’ week! As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting – your comments are the best part of each entry. Have a great weekend and see you next time!