My apologies for less songs than normal and shorter write-ups this week. I’ve been under the weather for a little bit and the motivation level just isn’t there.Â But I haven’t missed a week yet and don’t plan too either, so we’ll start J with a smaller post and get a bigger one next week.Â In addition, I’m including Icicle Works’ “High Time” and Iron Maiden’s “Flight of Icarus” at the top as well as issues behind the scenes prevented me from fixing the links for streaming or download.Â So with that, enjoy more tracks from the ’80s Billboard rock charts that failed to reach the Hot 100.
(Steed note: My apologies for the delay in posting this morning. We had an issue with the songs being streamable so I wanted to get them working first.Â Thanks!)
â€œHigh Timeâ€ (download)
â€œFlight of Icarusâ€ (download)
The Jack Rubies
â€œBe With Youâ€ 1988, Modern Rock #18 (download)
The Jack Rubies were a London based band named after Jack Ruby, the guy that killer Lee Harvey Oswald after he assassinated President Kennedy. Their 15 minutes of fame in the US came from â€œBe With Youâ€ off their first major label album Fascinatinâ€™ Vacation. According to discogs they released only one more album after this.
I know Joe Jackson is loved around these here hills, but neither of these tracks do much for me. â€œRight and Wrongâ€ comes from Big World while â€œNineteen Foreverâ€ is the better track from the less than stellar Blaze of Glory record.
Listening to Jagger in the â€˜80s is kind of depressing. Maybe I just donâ€™t get it, but most of the Stones material in the decade was mediocre and Mickâ€™s solo material was just as boring. Pete Townshendâ€™s guitar work doesnâ€™t save â€œLonely at the Topâ€ and â€œSay You Willâ€ is straight by-the-book pop taking all the excitement out of Jaggerâ€™s vocals.
â€œTown Called Maliceâ€ 1982, #31 (download)
I think at some point this week Iâ€™m going to go back and dig up the Jam records and give them another shot. We talked in the original series about my hatred of the Style Council but the Jam never had anything cross over into the Hot 100. I canâ€™t rag on â€œTown Called Maliceâ€ as itâ€™s one of the best cuts on their final album, The Gift. Maybe Iâ€™m a little sour on the Jam because The Gift is the first album I heard from them and that probably isn’t a great representation of what they were capable of. Allmusic gives the previous three albums a full 5-stars each, so I think itâ€™s time I give them another chance.
â€œVoodoo Thingâ€ 1988, #30 (download)
Colin James is a Canadian artist that started out in â€™88 as a blues rock artist like you hear with â€œVoodoo Thingâ€ off his self-titled debut. He had some mild success with his next album (Sudden Stop) which generated a #7 rock hit in 1990 with â€œJust Came Back.â€ But that was about it for James in the US and over the years heâ€™s switched up his sound quite a bit making straight blues albums, swing records and even a soul album or two.
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â€œWhy Wonâ€™t You Stay (Come In, Come Out of the Rain)â€ 1987, #17 (download)
Way back when in the original Ass End of the â€˜80s when J rolled around, one of my faithful readers sent me some Melvin James and that was really the first time I had heard him as I hadnâ€™t listened to my rock collection in full at that point. I really dug this track then and I still do even though in the back of my mind I keep saying itâ€™s way too basic. His album — the Passenger — is much more of this type of music.
â€œJane Saysâ€ 1988, Modern Rock #6 (download)
You could call â€œJane Saysâ€ Janeâ€™s Addictionâ€™s most famous song even though it was never released as a single. Iâ€™ve actually never been a fan of the Nothingâ€™s Shocking version of the tune preferring the much more dynamic live version over this.
Hereâ€™s more of that cowpunk genre that Iâ€™m really quite unfamiliar with. However, I do own the albums from which both of these tracks come from (Lost & Found and Still Standing respectively) and both are pretty cool, upbeat and energetic. I like â€œGolden Ball and Chainâ€ was more than â€œWhite Liesâ€ though as I just find the latter a little awkward.
â€œPlanesâ€ 1989, #24 (download)
Letâ€™s start with Jefferson Airplane and get that atrocity out of the way. Five of the six members of the classic lineup reunited (Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen) with drummer Spencer Dryden being asked by Kantner to stay away. The resulting self-titled album was miserable. Some of the songs were performed live years earlier by the KBC band but most of the album sounds like completely dated — early â€˜70s rock with the most cheesy parts of the â€˜80s lumped on top in piles. Stay away!
I did go back about two months ago and listened to Modern Times, Winds of Change and Nuclear Furniture from Jefferson Starship though and Winds of Change is really the only one that is relatively solid. Thatâ€™s not reflected here though as â€œSorry Me, Sorry Youâ€ off Nuclear Furniture is the best of the four tracks above.
Best Song: Melvin James, â€œWhy Wonâ€™t You Stayâ€
Worst Song: Jefferson Airplane, â€œPlanesâ€
Also appeared in the Hot 100
Joe Jackson (2): â€œSteppinâ€™ Outâ€ â€œYou Canâ€™t Get What You Wantâ€
Michael Jackson (3): â€œBeat Itâ€ â€œThrillerâ€ â€œSay Say Sayâ€
The Jacksons (1): â€œState of Shockâ€
Mick Jagger (6): â€œJust Another Nightâ€ â€œLucky In Loveâ€ â€œDancing in the Streetâ€ â€œRuthless Peopleâ€ â€œLetâ€™s Workâ€ â€œThrowawayâ€
Jefferson Starship/Starship (13): â€œFind Your Way Backâ€ â€œStrangerâ€ â€œWinds of Changeâ€ â€œBe My Ladyâ€ â€œNo Way Outâ€ â€œLayinâ€™ it on the Lineâ€ â€œWe Built This Cityâ€ â€œSaraâ€ â€œTomorrow Doesnâ€™t Matter Tonightâ€ â€œNothingâ€™s Gonna Stop Us Nowâ€ â€œItâ€™s Not Over (â€˜Til Itâ€™s Over)â€ â€œWild Againâ€ â€œItâ€™s Not Enoughâ€