Let’s look at five songs that didn’t make it to at least #40 (and also weren’t much longer for the Hot 100) from the week of the recently played 85 countdown. Shaking things up today by starting with the smaller numbers and moving toward #100. I know how to live it up!
#62: Kinks, “Do It Again”
We’ve got two cuts from LPs that James had bought around this time. Word of Mouth got into heavy rotation in our dorm room for several weeks; it’s got a few nice tracks, particularly “Living on a Thin Line.”
“Do It Again” is one of the all-time great #41 songs, and the video contains a number of striking images: the cleaning women dancing in the dark while waiting for the Tube, Davies-as-Harlequin banging the drum, Davies-as-one-man-band encountering his greasy alter ego from “Come Dancing.” I could still listen to it several times a day.
#70: George Benson, “20/20”
Benson’s last trip to the pop charts. This is heading down after climbing as high as #48. Not sure how much I heard it at the time, but it’s pretty sweet–might even be MFD-approved! Cute video, too, but I just realized: those charming kids are now in their 40s; I wonder if either wound up with some sort of show biz career.
#82: Deep Purple, “Knocking at Your Back Door”
The lineup that gave the world “Smoke on the Water” reassembled in 84, eight years after Deep Purple had disintegrated (though a couple of them had left/been fired three years before that) and found fans still interested in what they had to offer. Perfect Strangers was another of James’s purchases and he was known to fire it up on occasion. I find the lyrics to its best-known song more than a trifle silly, but it’s not a terrible jam. “Knocking at Your Back Door” was fresh off a #61 peak. I heard it a bunch on Double Q.
#89: Bruce Cockburn, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”
This would spend only three weeks on the chart and climbed just one position higher. Another one that got played a decent amount on WKQQ during that winter of 85. It’s a moving, heartfelt piece–I wasn’t mature enough at the time to pay close enough attention and recognize what Cockburn was (justifiably) angry about.
In a bit of a coincidence, HERC mentioned this song in a Mixtape Monday post just yesterday (I’d already planned to include it here–honest!).
#95: Tommy Shaw, “Lonely School”
The follow-up to “Girls with Guns” only made it to #60 and is about to fall off. I believe this is also one of HERC’s favorites!
I know I heard “Lonely School” some around this time, but I wound up much more familiar with “Remo’s Theme (What If)” from later in the year–that catchy thing should have been a big hit.