Itâ€™s amazing sometimes to see how music brings the world together.
I was food shopping with my wife last week and â€œ867-5309/Jennyâ€ by Tommy Tutone was playing in the store. Even though Iâ€™m not a big fan of most of the larger hits of the ’80s, it was the only song that caught my ear the entire time I was there. After the song ended, I found myself whistling it through the next few aisles. About five minutes later, this goth-looking dude with a ton of tattoos passed me and was singing the chorus. Not long after that I passed a couple that had to be in their 70s, and the old man was repeating the famous phone number to his wife. So, at least five minutes after “867-5309” was over, there was me, a goth kid, and an old man all still being entertained by it. Somewhere the guys from Tommy Tutone are smiling.
NEW SOUNDS FOR THE COLLECTION:
Riot, Restless Breed
Accept, Metal Heart
Europe, Wings of Tomorrow
Johnny Gill, Johnny Gill
This week we look at the final nine artists whose names begin with the letter C as we give you 15 more Bottom Feeders from the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the ’80s.
Crowded Houseâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Dream It’s Overâ€ is my second-favorite song of the decade. Unfortunately, that didnâ€™t translate into a love for Crowded House. I know there are a lot of people who think both their self-titled debut and their second record, Temple of Low Men, are great albums, but to me they’re both pretty boring.
â€œIâ€™m So Glad Iâ€™m Standing Here Todayâ€ — 1981, #97 (download)
Hereâ€™s a sweet little funky jazz ballad, with Joe Cocker singing lead. This was off their 14th album, Standing Tall; it was their final charting song.
â€œYou Look Marvelousâ€ — 1985, #58 (download)
You gotta love this track, which sprung from the popular catchphrase Crystal used on Saturday Night Live when he played Fernando Lamas. The two greatest lines of the song have to be â€œI love you young people today with your rock ‘n’ roll, like that Eddie Van Heflinâ€ — the background singers chime in with â€œVan Halen!â€ — and â€œDancing to me is like standing still, only faster.â€ The only surprising thing about the song is the full-blown dance beat. It certainly works well, though, and yields the first comedy track in the Bottom Feeders series thatâ€™s actually funny.
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â€œLet Me Sleep Aloneâ€ — 1980, #88 (download)
As far as I can tell, this disco track is the A-side to the only single Don Cugini ever released. The seven-inch was released on then-indie label Scotti Brothers, who didn’t list anything else with his moniker. Of all the songs weâ€™ve visited in this series so far, “Let Me Sleep Alone” was the hardest to come by for my collection. An eBay search today will yield no results.
The first of multiple shockers in this week’s post, itâ€™s unbelievable that â€œFire Womanâ€ only reached #46, as itâ€™s one of the best rock songs of the entire decade. Itâ€™s #66 on my Top 80 Songs of the â€˜80s list. â€œEdieâ€ ainâ€™t chump change, either. Both the Cult’s album Sonic Temple — which these two appeared on — and their previous record, Electric, are great albums to crank as you burn down the highway.
â€œIn Between Daysâ€ — 1986, #99 (download)
â€œWhy Canâ€™t I Be You?â€ — 1987, #54 (download)
â€œHot Hot Hot!!!â€ — 1988, #65 (download)
â€œFascination Streetâ€ — 1989, #46 (download)
â€œLullabyâ€ — 1989, #74 (download)
Although they released great singles like â€œThe Lovecats,â€ â€œLetâ€™s Go to Bed,â€ and â€œA Forestâ€ prior to these songs, â€œIn Between Daysâ€ was the first Cure song to hit the Hot 100, but barely. Both â€œWhy Canâ€™t I Be You?â€ and â€œHot Hot Hot!!!â€ were much better suited for college radio than the big time, but both â€œFascination Streetâ€ and â€œLullabyâ€ are the other shockers of this post — knowing how huge the Disintegration album was, Iâ€™m blown away that both songs werenâ€™t bigger hits. They’re #69 and #17 respectively on my Top 80 Songs of the â€˜80s list.
Curiosity Killed the Cat
â€œMisfitâ€ — 1987, #42 (download)
This is actually a pretty decent song, but the only hit for Britainâ€™s Curiosity Killed the Cat. The terrible video for “Misfit” was directed by Andy Warhol. Doesn’t Julian look a little bit like John Cusack?
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Curtie & the Boombox
â€œBlack Kisses (Never Make You Blue)â€ — 1985, #81 (download)
This is a pretty craptacular song, and it doesnâ€™t help that the band went with such a dumb name. The only reason this was even a minor hit is because it fit right in with everything else on the radio in 1985.
â€œ(Between A) Rock and a Hard Placeâ€ — 1989, #77 (download)
Most people seem to think that Cutting Crew were one-hit wonders thanks to the #1 smash â€œ(I Just) Died in Your Armsâ€ being on every â€˜80s compilation disc in existence. But they followed it up with â€œIâ€™ve Been in Love Before,â€ a #9 hit, and another Top 40 song called â€œOne for the Mockingbird.â€ â€œ(Between A) Rock and a Hard Placeâ€ doesn’t get anywhere close to the quality of those songs, but at least now that Iâ€™ve listened to it again I can get the Rolling Stones’ shitty â€œRock and a Hard Placeâ€ out of my head.
Best song — The Cure, â€œLullabyâ€
Worst song — Cutting Crew, â€œ(Between a) Rock and a Hard Placeâ€
Next week we move to the fourth letter of the alphabet, baby! Thatâ€™s hot hot hot!!!