Over the next couple of days we’re checking in on some tunes that ultimately fell short of making American Top 40 on the charts at the times of this past weekend’s countdowns. First up, let’s take a deeper dive on 6/17/78.
#101: Linda Clifford, “Runaway Love”
A couple of the songs featured aren’t ones that I knew much about before getting ready to assemble this post. Bubbling Under at #101 for the third week in a row is one of them, a sweet, silky jam from R&B singer Linda Clifford. She was more than a bit unlucky, as the two biggest of her four Hot 100 hits both peaked at #41 (one was a disco-fied version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”). “Runaway Love” eventually made it to #76. However, Clifford did get played on AT40 once: her #54 cover of “If My Friends Could See Me Now” was a Long Distance Dedication on the 9/22/79 show. She turned 71 just last week.
#97: Samantha Sang, “You Keep Me Dancing”
Samantha’s U.S. chart magic ran dry as soon as Barry Gibb walked out of the studio. This follow-up to “Emotion” is in its last week on the chart, down from a #56 peak. I definitely heard it on the radio in 78; the 70s on 7 would do well to swap it in 10% of the time they want to play her big hit. It’s not bad at all.
#89: REO Speedwagon, “Roll with the Changes”
You gotta wonder what kind of chart noise this and “Time for Me to Fly” would have made had they been originally released after Hi Infidelity. Might be the most rockin’ thing REO ever did, and certainly a certified member of the Great-AOR-Songs-of-the-Late 70s/Early 80s Club. Absolutely one of my fave pieces of theirs, it had topped out at #58 the week before.
#86: Andrew Gold, “Never Let Her Slip Away”
The follow-up to “Thank You for Being a Friend” is debuting this week. Reached only #67. I don’t know that I was previously familiar with this one, but it’s a real charmer. Rumor has it that J. D. Souther and Timothy B. Schmitt are doing backup.
#85: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “I Need to Know”
This one’s also in its first week on the chart. “Breakdown” had noodled its way to a one-week stop at #40 back in February; “I Need to Know” peaked one spot shy of that in the first week of August. Deserved a much better fate.
#74: Kansas, “Portrait (He Knew)”
Yet another follow-up to a hit single from a couple of months earlier. This prog tune received a little airplay in Cincinnati; only climbed ten spots higher than what we see here. TIL it was written about Einstein.
#47: Plastic Bertrand, “Ça plane pour moi”
Plastic Bertrand was the stage name for Roger Jouret, who hailed from Belgium. Wikipedia tells me, however, that Jouret is not actually the vocalist on “Ça plane pour moi” –instead, we’re hearing another Belgian, Lou Deprijck, the writer of this flatly-delivered marvel with a dash of “Fun, Fun, Fun” tossed in. Regardless, it’s another one of those songs I’d have loved to have announced by Casey, even for just one week (certainly I’d pick it over K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s tepid cover of “It’s the Same Old Song”). Alas, this was as high as it climbed.
Come back tomorrow if you so desire for some additional low-peaking fun from 83.