We move on this week to the sixth letter of the alphabet and look at more tunes that hit the Billboard rock charts in the 1980s but failed to cross over into the Hot 100.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
“Tip On In” 1981, #44 (download)
“One’s Too Many (and A Hundred Ain’t Enough)” 1981, #41 (download)
“Look At That, Look At That” 1986, #20 (download)
“How Do You Spell Love” 1987, #22 (download)
“Rock This Place” 1989, #10 (download)
One of my favorite underrated groups of the ‘80s, most people know them for the excellent “Tuff Enuff” which pushed them to mainstream radio, but before that they were pretty straightforward blues rock and I’d bet a hell of a fun bar band.
Their first album to give them hits was Butt Rockin’ from 1981 which contained the blues cover “Tip On In” and “One’s Too Many” co-written by singer Kim Wilson and Nick Lowe.
Fast forward five years to the Tuff Enuff album where they added a pop edge into the blues to create killer numbers like the title track and “Wrap It Up”. “Look At That, Look At That” was also from the record but was a little too traditional blues for mainstream radio.
The next album – Hot Number – generated “Stand Back” for the mainstream media and the blues cover “How Do You Spell Love?” for rock radio.
Their last album of the decade was Powerful Stuff, er – only by title. It’s a pretty uninspired album with generic tunes like “Rock This Place” sadly being the best of the bunch.