So here’s my question of the week for you — what the hell is a “fancy dancer”?

I’ve been listening to a lot of ‘80s funk and R&B lately and I keep hearing that term pop up. There’s One Way’s “Pull Fancy Dancer/Pull,” Twennynine and Lenny White’s “Fancy Dancer,” and before those two there was the Commodores’ own song from 1976 called “Fancy Dancer.” I still don’t know what a fancy dancer is, though. I assume it’s someone who dances in a non-boring fashion — maybe a person who wears some attention-grabbing clothing or is simply superfly.

However, I do know that I’ve been talking about fancy dancers for the past three weeks now, and every time my unborn child starts kicking my wife, she calls him a fancy dancer. So it’s about time I figured out what the true definition is. Can anyone help? Better yet, were any of you a fancy dancer in the ’80s?

Mai Tai, Mai Tai
Curtis Mayfield, Love Is the Place
House of Freaks, Tantilla

This week, an abbreviated edition centering on the letter “C,” as we continue wading through the muck at the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the ’80s.

Petula Clark
“Natural Love” — 1982, #66 (download)

Also hitting #20 on the country charts, this was Clark’s 22nd and final Hot 100 hit.

Allan Clarke
“Slipstream” — 1980, #70 (download)

Allan Clarke was the lead singer of the Hollies for a good 90 percent of their career. He started releasing solo records in the early ‘70s but was never really able to muster any real hits on his own.

The Clash
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” — 1982, #45 (download)

The U.S. charts certainly don’t reflect the immense impact the Clash had on the music world. Twenty-two hits in the UK translated to just three in the States. But this is certainly one of those groups where charting singles really don’t tell the tale at all. I’m going to admit right here that I’m not a fan, and I think “Should I Stay or Should I Go” is actually a pretty weak song compared to tracks like “The Magnificent Seven” or “This Is Radio Clash.” And I’m also going to say that I liked Mick Jones better in Big Audio Dynamite. I know many of you are going to wonder what kind of crack I’m on, but hey, I’m just being honest here!

Merry Clayton
“Yes” — 1988, #45 (download)

Merry Clayton sang on “Gimme Shelter” with the Stones and background vocals on “Sweet Home Alabama.” Even though this was from the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing — a record that pretty much turned everything it touched into gold — “Yes” didn’t really get a lot of airplay.

Linda Clifford
“Red Light” — 1980, #41 (download)

A disco semi-star, her only ‘80s hit came from the soundtrack to Fame.

Climax Blues Band
“Gotta Have More Love” — 1980, #47 (download)

A shitty song from a shitty group, this is at least better than their massive follow-up “I Love You,” which supposedly even the band didn’t like.

“She Looks a Lot Like You” — 1982, #67 (download)

In the context of this post, it’s hard not to like this song. In reality, it’s produced pretty poorly and has underdeveloped verses. This was Clocks’ only hit.

Club House
“Do It Again (Medley With Billie Jean)” — 1983, #75 (download)

It’s amazing how Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” fit so well on top of each other. Curiously enough, the same two songs appeared mashed together just a little bit later by the group Slingshot.

Joyce Cobb
“Dig the Gold” — 1980, #42 (download)

This is such an incredibly bad song. If after listening to this you wish to hire Joyce to perform at a party, just visit her website. It’ll tell you more about her than I ever could.

Best song — Clocks, “She Looks a Lot Like You”
Worst song — Joyce Cobb, “Dig the Gold”

Next week, we go back to a full-length post and meet some better artists, including my wife’s favorite of all time!

About the Author

Dave Steed

Dave Steed is all about music; 80's and metal to be exact. His iPod will shuffle from Culture Club to Slayer and he won't blink an eye. He's never heard Astral Weeks but thinks "Dazzey Duks" by Duice is the bomb. It's an odd little corner of the world he lives in.

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