An entire letter in a week. You gotta love that, considering R, S, and T will take a few months. Here’s the entire letter Q for you, as we look at songs that charted no higher than #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the ’80s.
P.S. Thanks to those that recommended I purchase Pet Shop Boys’Á‚ Yes. I’m glad I did, as it’s a pretty awesome record. I’ve finally been able to cross that and Loz Netto’s Bzar off my list. I didn’t quite like Loz as much, but thanks to the reader who sent that to me as well.
It seems impossible that Stacey Q would have had four hits in the decade, but itÁ¢€â„¢s true. Ms. Q had two dance hits with her group SSQ in 1983 before they decided to just go with the name of their singer and release Á¢€Å“soloÁ¢€ material. She had two top 40 hits in 1986 with Á¢€Å“Two of HeartsÁ¢€ and Á¢€Å“We Connect.Á¢€ Á¢€Å“Shy GirlÁ¢€ was actually on her debut EP in 1985 but released after she had her two big hits. Á¢€Å“DonÁ¢€â„¢t Make a Fool of YourselfÁ¢€ is from her third album, Hard Machine.
Á¢€Å“Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)Á¢€ — 1989, #75 (download)
Checking in at #4 on my Top 80 Songs of the Á¢€Ëœ80s list, Q-FeelÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“Dancing in HeavenÁ¢€ to me is the definition of a lost gem. This track was actually way ahead of curve when it was released in 1982 and probably a bit dated when re-released in 1989. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t and still is, totally awesome. It appeared in the movie Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, (1985) but despite this fitting in great during that timeframe, it wasnÁ¢€â„¢t a single then. The voice you hear here popped back up in 1994 with Top 20 single Á¢€Å“In the House of Stone and Light,” none other than Martin Page. You gotta love the video here. He’s dressed up like a third string linebacker with a look and mannerism somewhere between Mark Mothersbaugh and Weird Al Yankovic. Seeing this, it’s not surprising they were never a hit.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/sXOKPRqIEwc" width="600" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Á¢€Å“Right Kind of LoveÁ¢€ — 1982, #56 (download)
Á¢€Å“Night ShiftÁ¢€ — 1982, #60 (download)
Á¢€Å“Take Another PictureÁ¢€ — 1983, #58 (download)
Á¢€Å“Talk to MeÁ¢€ — 1985, #83 (download)
Can you believe that Quarterflash had seven Hot 100 hits in the decade? I probably could only sing Á¢€Å“Harden My HeartÁ¢€ — the rest have faded into obscurity. The early recordings from the group all had pretty much the same saxophone sound to them so they are very easy to pinpoint at Quarterflash songs. Later songs like Á¢€Å“Talk to MeÁ¢€ still featured the saxophone, but seemed to have much more of a rock edge.
Quatro had been releasing music since 1973, but her peak was between Á¢€â„¢79 and Á¢€â„¢81. Both of these songs sound very Á¢€Ëœ70s but are pretty damn catchy.
Á¢€Å“Play the GameÁ¢€ — 1980, #42 (download)
Á¢€Å“Need Your Loving TonightÁ¢€ — 1980, #44 (download)
Á¢€Å“FlashÁ¢€ — 1981, #42 (download)
Á¢€Å“Calling All GirlsÁ¢€ — 1982, #60 (download)
Á¢€Å“I Want to Break FreeÁ¢€ — 1984, #45 (download)
Á¢€Å“ItÁ¢€â„¢s a Hard LifeÁ¢€ — 1984, #72 (download)
Á¢€Å“One VisionÁ¢€ — 1985, #61 (download)
Á¢€Å“A Kind of MagicÁ¢€ — 1986, #42 (download)
Á¢€Å“I Want It AllÁ¢€ — 1989, #50 (download)
The almighty Queen check in with nine of their 14 charting tracks in the decade not making the Top 40. Their nine songs makes them just one away from the Bottom Feeders record of 10 songs, still to come.
Á¢€Å“Play the GameÁ¢€ was somehow released between Á¢€Å“Crazy Little Thing Called LoveÁ¢€ and Á¢€Å“Another One Bites the DustÁ¢€ and wasnÁ¢€â„¢t a real hit. And the awesome Á¢€Å“Need Your Loving TonightÁ¢€ was the follow up to Á¢€Å“DustÁ¢€ and also didnÁ¢€â„¢t make it past #44.
Á¢€Å“FlashÁ¢€ is actually not the version called Á¢€Å“FlashÁ¢€â„¢s ThemeÁ¢€ on the Flash Gordon soundtrack. That version has the dialogue from the opening scene only, while the single version here has dialogue from various points in the movie.
I love Queen, so IÁ¢€â„¢d like to say otherwise, but 1980Á¢€â„¢s The Game was pretty much the last good record from the group. Hot Space (1982), The Works (1984), A Kind of Magic (1986), and The Miracle (1989) all had brief shining moments, but even the bigger hits like Á¢€Å“Body LanguageÁ¢€ and Á¢€Å“Radio Ga-GaÁ¢€ werenÁ¢€â„¢t all that great. A song like Á¢€Å“One VisionÁ¢€ tries to rock out but ends up missing the mark by a long shot. Á¢€Å“I Want It All” really is one of the few Queen singles from the latter half of the decade that really doesnÁ¢€â„¢t try any gimmicks in turning out a straight rock song; in so doing, it ends up being the best single of that era.
Á¢€Å“Mama Weer All Crazee NowÁ¢€ — 1984, #51 (download)
Quiet Riot flat out sucked. I would definitely like to hear their first two Japanese releases in the late Á¢€Ëœ70s with Randy Rhodes on guitar to see what they sounded like with him. But once QR starting releasing albums in the U.S., they progressively got worse as a band. 1983Á¢€â„¢s Metal Health is passable at best. Past that, the next three (Condition Critical (1984), QRIII (1986) and Quiet Riot (1988) are almost unlistenable. Somehow they kept releasing albums though right up until singer Kevin DuBrow died of a cocaine overdose in 2007.
Best song: Q-Feel, Á¢€Å“Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)”
Worst song: Quiet Riot, Á¢€Å“Mama Weer All Crazee NowÁ¢€
TOP 40 ONLY
Next week, another new letter — R!