Only five comments last week confirmed what I thought — that the start of the letter S was pretty terrible. There’s some bigger names this week and although I’m not a big fan of much of the music you’ll see below, maybe you will be. So enjoy more tracks from the Billboard rock charts in the ’80s.
Timothy B. Schmit
“Playin’ It Cool” 1984, #48 (download)
Bubbling under at #101, this was the title track of Schmit’s first solo record. Although I don’t really like much of his solo material, this track is at least better than the hit off the album, “So Much In Love.”
Schon & Hammer
“No More Lies” 1983, #42 (download)
It’s weird picturing that the guy who created the Miami Vice theme is on this track as the drummer. I don’t really know any of his work outside of his ‘80s theme songs so I have very little to compare to but this is pretty generic and probably could have been done by any rock drummer of the day. Neal Schon’s vocals on this track are pretty awful as well.
Remember that track “Bruce” by Rick Springfield that his record label put out without his permission in 1984? Put the lyrics to “No More Lies” over top and it might as well be the same song.
“No Refuge” 1982, #40 (download)
This is the title track from Schwartz’s second solo record, however nothing he kept for himself can compare to some of the major hits he gave to other artists, like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” or Paul Carrack’s “Don’t Shed a Tear.”
“Can’t Live Without You” 1984, #48 (download)
“Big City Nights” 1984, #14 (download)
“I’m Leaving You” 1984, #56 (download)
“Believe In Love” 1988, #12 (download)
“I Can’t Explain” 1989, #5 (download)
As much as I love metal, the more and more I listen to the Scorpions, the more I waver on the quality of their work. From ’76 to ’84 or so they released a good album followed by shitty one and kept repeating that same cycle over and over. While I like albums like Lovedrive and Blackout, Animal Magnetism just doesn’t have many quality songs on it. But then there’s Love at First Sting which of course contains the song that made them in the U.S., “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I listen to that album a couple times a year and sometimes I think it’s a brilliant slab of rock n’ roll and other times I barely like it. Despite the great solos in “I’m Leaving You,” today I just think it’s kind of weak. Not quite as weak as “Believe In Love” but close. Now if I’m writing this up a month from now, my opinion might be different. I’m not really sure what makes me go back and forth on them so much, but it’s always kind of been that way for me.
The Screaming Tribesmen
“I’ve Got A Feeling” 1988, Modern Rock #7 (download)
This was the only “hit” for the Screaming Tribesmen in the U.S. from their 1888 album Bones & Flowers.
Scruffy the Cat
“Moons of Jupiter” 1988, Modern Rock #23 (download)
I’m really diggin’ this tune from Boston based Scruffy the Cat. I don’t ever remember hearing this before so it must not have gotten much if any airplay in Philadelphia back in the day but after hearing this, I’m thinking their self-titled debut from which this track came, is worth a buck or two.
“House Behind A House” 1982, #29 (download)
“Boomtown Blues” 1983, #11 (download)
“Fortunate Son” 1986, #9 (download)
“Tightrope” 1986, #35 (download)
“The Aftermath” 1986, #9 (download)
“Blue Monday” 1989, #40 (download)
So I think it’s impossible to not like at least a handful of the classic Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band hits but overall I’ve never been a fan. Of these posted, I can do without another cover of CCR’s “Fortunate Son” and “Tightrope” is kind of cheesy but then again I do enjoy “Shakedown” from the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack, so “Tightrope” and “The Aftermath” should be right up my alley. And “Blue Monday,” well…two words. Road House! Of course these days if you want the modern version of Bob Seger you just listen to some Kid Rock.
Man, I kind of feel like an asshole (this week) as it just so happens I don’t like much of what’s showing up at the beginning of this letter and when we get to the Stray Cats, I’ll say much of the same. But Brian Setzer solo was much more of a pop artist than he was with the Cats and therefore almost by default I liked him better. It doesn’t hurt that “When the Sky Comes Tumblin’ Down” is a pretty fantastic song either, off his album Live Nude Guitars.
“Don’t Look Back” 1989, #22 (download)
“Don’t Look Back” was the lead track off his self-titled record from 1989. It’s a pretty bad ass song that reminds me a lot of Billy Idol.
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Best Song: Charlie Sexton, “Don’t Look Back”
Worst Song: Schon & Hammer, “No More Lies”
Also appeared in the Hot 100
Scandal (5): “Goodbye To You” “Love’s Got A Line On You” “The Warrior” “Beat of a Heart” “Hands Tied”
Peter Schilling (1): “Major Tom”
Scorpions (4): “No One Like You” “Rock You Like A Hurricane” “Still Loving You” “Rhythm of Love”
Bob Seger (9): “Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You” “Even Now” “Roll Me Away” “Understanding” “American Storm” “Like A Rock” “It’s You” “Miami” “Shakedown”
Michael Sembello (1): “Maniac”
707 (1): “Mega Force”
Charlie Sexton (1): “Beat’s So Lonely”
Phil Seymour (1): “Precious To Me”
Shalamar (1): “Dead Giveaway”