Friday, December 30, 2011

U2 - "New Year's Day"

New Year's Day - War (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered]

(Debuted April 2, 1983, Peaked #53, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

I could have not timed this song more perfectly unless the actual New Year's Day didn't fall on a weekend this year. So, for my final entry of the year, I'll toss out this U2 song that is a lot more familiar to listeners than its #53 peak position would normally indicate. However, in its initial chart run, U2 wasn't nearly as well-known as they soon became.

A song that was ostensibly about the Polish Solidarity movement, which was subjected to a crackdown by the Communist government in December 1981. Interestingly, Bono began the song as a love song to his newlywed wife on their honeymoon and eventually reworked the lyrics. As part of the LP War, which also included "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "40" and "Seconds," it helped set the Irish band's notoriety as a group that wasn't afraid to take a political stance.

That said, the thing worth pointing out in "New Year's Day" isn't its message but a musical matter. It's one of those songs that shows how important the rhythm section (bass and drums) is to a song. In essence, the two instruments combine to form a driving force -- like the timing chain/belt in an engine -- to propel the song forward. There's other interesting elements of the song, like The Edge's dual use of the guitar and piano, a rather simple melody and that wail that Bono gives before he begins the words. However, the song's base is what allows all of that to happen.

"New Year's Day" also included the line "Under a blood red sky..." That would be the title of U2's concert LP, recorded as they supported the War album.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spandau Ballet - "True"

True (Remastered) - True

(Debuted August 6, 1983, Peaked #4, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

Spandau Ballet's name came from an inscription a friend of the band found in the bathroom of a Berlin nightclub: "Rudolf Hess, all alone, dancing the Spandau Ballet." Hess was a former deputy of the Nazi party in Germany and was the last remaining convict in Germany's Spandau Prison from 1966 until his death in 1987. That said, the song "True" has absolutely nothing to do with him or his former cronies.

Instead, "True" is a romantic ballad that was a worldwide smash. In addition to its #4 showing on the American pop chart, it was a #1 single for four weeks in the U.K. and charted highly in about 20 different countries. It would be sampled on the 1991 P.M. Dawn hit "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" and appear in several movies over the years. The constant exposure has given "True" a place as a quintessential 1980s hit.

The song reflects the band's interests in jazz, soul and R&B and even mentions Marvin Gaye in one of its lines.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fixx - "Saved By Zero"

Saved By Zero - Reach the Beach (Expanded Edition) [Remastered]

(Debuted May 28, 1983, Peaked #20, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

The first Top 40 hit for the British group The Fixx featured a memorable (and oft-repeated) guitar and bass riff and echoing reverberated backing lyrics that lent it an ethereal quality. It fit in nicely with much of the moody, dark material coming out in its day by synthesizer-based acts.

Written by the group's members, the title refers to a Buddhist philosophy where "zero" represents a point where all material possessions are gone, as well as the corresponding debt and the bills needed to maintain those things. In effect, having nothing is seen as not only having nothing to lose but also nothing owed to anybody.

The video for the song (shown below) features a frustrated artist who is torn by his childhood rejections and his fear of "selling out" by his fans. As an added bonus, there is imagery galore: a woman falls through a ceiling window, singer Cy Curnin smears paint over his body, wine spills, a pair of hands in shackles rips through a canvas and a blind man shows up at an art show. And a lot of paint gets splashed around.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Billy Joel - "Allentown"

Allentown - The Nylon Curtain

(Debuted November 27, 1982, Peaked #17, 21 Weeks on the Chart)

Among all of Billy Joel's albums, The Nylon Curtain is perhaps one of his best conceptual statements, as well as one that is easily forgotten amongst bigger and poppier statements like Glass Houses and An Innocent Man. One of the themes explored in that album is the one that leads it off in "Allentown," which is about the death of the steel industry and its effect on those who rely on it to make a living.

It's a message I definitely picked up on, as a kid who grew up in a Northern town that had been largely built around one industry (in my case, paper mills). I watched those mills around me shut down, one at a time, until most of them were gone. When our parents were growing up, it wasn't uncommon for them to be told to try and get a job in one of the mills and seeking the certainty of a regular check and the protection of the union. However, that same advice wasn't given to me and my peers as it became obvious that the jobs there were drying up. Instead, I was encouraged to seek my fortune elsewhere, and that's what I did.

Today, there is a lot of talk about jobs and workers, not only from the politicians but from the voters as well. If anything, it's not a new concept; here are lines of a song from 30 years ago that explains the same situation as others are living through now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Berlin - "The Metro"

The Metro - Pleasure Victim

(Debuted May 28, 1983, Peaked #58, 10 Weeks on the Chart)

Despite having the name of a German city and featuring other European locales in this song, Berlin was one of the many groups to emerge from the Los Angeles scene in the late 1970s. Founded by bass guitarist John Crawford, the band was influenced by keyboard-driven acts like Kraftwerk and Ultravox rather than the "skinny tie" guitar-based power-pop of many of its contemporaries.

"The Metro" was one of the band's highlights. A synth-heavy, atmospheric tour de force, the song features random images from what appears to be a sudden breakup and the train ride back. It also was a great use of singer Terri Nunn's vocal range. The video (shown below) made use of Nunn's good looks and was a staple of MTV programming in 1983, which might surprise those who see the song only peaked at #58 on the pop chart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - "Hooked on Classics"

Hooked On Classics, Pts. 1 & 2 - Hooked On Classics

(Debuted October 31, 1981, Peaked #10, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

When Stars on 45 took a medley of Beatles songs to #1, it began a short-lived craze of merging a number of songs together into a single track united by an electronic drum beat. Stars on 45 released followup singles honoring Stevie Wonder and ABBA, and medleys of Elvis, the Beach Boys and one featuring the real Beatles (a mash-up of songs from their movies) appeared from those artists' record companies.

And then there was a series of "Hooked On..." records that saluted different styles. Swing had an album, as did country, but the first of them was called Hooked on Classics. It was essentially a medley of classical music set to a disco beat and was arranged by Louis Clark, who once directed the backing musicians for The Electric Light Orchestra. This time, he directed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. The album and single were so successful they spawned four more sequel LPs.

Surprising those who may have guessed there would be a limited interest in classical music by casual fans, the single made the Top 10 on the pop chart. In the case of younger listeners like me, it helped me to realize that some of it was already familiar from cartoons and movies. If anything, it gave me another musical outlet to look into, even if I didn't bother looking too deep into it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jeffrey Osborne - "I Really Don't Need No Light"

I Really Don't Need No Light - Jeffrey Osborne

(Debuted June 5, 1982, Peaked #39, 15 Weeks on the Chart)

After singing on a number of hits in the late 1970s as the singer of the group L.T.D., Jeffrey Osborne went his own way in 1982. His first solo single was "I Really Don't Need No Light," which Allmusic describes as "moody and rhythmic." It features a pulsing synth line, which lends it a contemporary feel, to go with a string arrangement that gives it a fuller sound.

It barely reached into the pop Top 40, but was a solid #3 hit on the R&B chart and crossed over to the adult contemporary chart as well.  It would quickly be overshadowed by its followup single "On the Wings of Love," but Jeffrey Osbourne made it clear he was striking out on his own right out of the box.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Glenn Frey - "The One You Love"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted August 21, 1982, Peaked #15, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

When The Eagles broke up in 1980, it wasn't long before its members were releasing solo material. Since Joe Walsh had already recorded solo material, it was natural for him. Former member Randy Meisner also appeared late in 1980 with a hit single, but the main creative members of the band didn't get started right away. In Glenn Frey's case, he released his first solo LP No Fun Aloud in 1982.

"The One You Love" was the second single from that album and the one that charted the highest. Frey's style with The Eagles had been described as "laid back," but his rendition of "The One You Love" is a little too laid back in places. The song is a lamentation about being on the wrong end of a love triangle, so its low-key mood is appropriate. However, the saxophone solo by Jim Horn that glides throughout makes the song even better.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)"

Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) - Bad Reputation (Remastered)

(Debuted July 31, 1982, Peaked #20, 14 Weeks on the Chart)

One of the biggest hits of 1982 was "I Love Rock & Roll," which seemed to be everywhere that spring. After spending six weeks at #1 on the pop charts, Joan Jett was suddenly a bigger star than even she probably expected to be. As a result of this sudden newfound fame, a single was issued from her previous Bad Reputation LP, which received little attention when it came out in 1981.

"Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" was -- like many of Jett's singles -- a remake. It originally was a #2 U.K.  hit for Gary Glitter in 1973 but wasn't a hit in the U.S. With its straightforward beat and crunching guitar riff, it was a perfect match for her style. For its second wind, it made the Top 40; not bad for an "old" song that was overlooked the first time around.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sparks - "I Predict"

I Predict - Angst In My Pants

Debuted May 15, 1982, Peaked #60, 7 Weeks on the Chart

Sparks was a duo made up of brothers Russell and Ron Mael. They were Los Angeles natives but moved to England in the early 1970s when they began to attract a cult following that weren't able to get in their home country. Despite a handful of hit singles in the U.K., they never had their first American hit until 1982 when "I Predict" was tagged as the only single from their Angst in My Pants LP.

The reason for their decade-long drought in the U.S. is apparent in "I Predict": they have a quirky nature and a twisted sense of humor. Neither of those qualities will make friends among American radio programmers, but the English audience clued in on it quickly.  Despite their short list of hit songs on this side of the Atlantic, the brothers are still recording as Sparks and still have a rabid fan base.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Rovers - "Wasn't That a Party"

Wasn't That a Party? - The Irish Rovers Collection

(Debuted February 21, 1981, Peaked #37, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

This is an appropriate song to take into the weekend. Explaining the happenings of a party where many of the participants probably aren't likely to remember what happened the next day, it was nice for somebody to put down the words so they knew what had happened when they woke up in the cooling tank at the local jail.

The Rovers were originally known as The Irish Rovers and had three hit singles in 1968 including the #7 song "The Unicorn." The band was formed in Canada but consisted entirely of members who had been born in Ireland or Northern Ireland. "Wasn't That a Party" was a song written and originally recorded by Tom Paxton, who had even more lyrics to describe the action.

The version of the song in the video below (as well as in the Amazon and YouTube links) is a new recording made after it was a hit. For some reason, the original version is hard to find in a video.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jim Photoglo - "Fool in Love With You"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted April 18, 1981, Peaked #25, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

Jim Photoglo (who sometimes recorded simply as Photoglo) was a singer/songwriter from the Los Angeles area. He charted two Top 40 singles in the early 1980s, and "Fool in Love With You" was the second and higher-charting one. His material wasn't much different from other L.A.-based material of its era, so his career fizzled out rather quickly. He would move on to Nashville and write country music, but returned to his solo career in the 1990s.

"Fool in Love With You" isn't likely to change anybody's outlook on whether it deserved a better shot (in fact, #25 is probably right where it should have gone) but it's not a bad song at all. In fact, I don't understand why it doesn't get played over the sound systems at supermarkets today. It has that inoffensive vibe to it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Moody Blues - "The Voice"

Long Distance Voyager - The Moody Blues

(Debuted August 8, 1981, Peaked #15, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

The British Invasion brought some significant changes to pop music in the 1960s, but changes in taste and generational shift have a way of altering the landscape. By the early 1980s, many of the bands that came ashore in the wake of The Beatles were nothing more than a pleasant memory. There were exceptions: The Rolling Stones were as vital as ever in 1981, The Who had not yet given their first farewell tour (though they clearly lost something when Keith Moon died) and The Kinks were still making solid albums. In the case of The Moody Blues, they evolved with the times.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, The Moody Blues experimented with classical music as they developed a unique sound. After a short hiatus in the mid 70s that saw various members work on their own projects, they returned in 1978 and featured more of an electronic sound that was more keyboard-oriented. That would be a very good thing as the 1980s dawned.

"The Voice" was the song that led off the group's 1981 Long Distance Voyager LP. It was partially a concept album inspired by the Voyager spacecraft that had made news in 1980-'81, so many of the songs were given an ethereal quality that pointed to the Cosmos. It was written by Justin Hayward, who also sings the lyrics.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chilliwack - "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)"

My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone) - Wanna Be a Star

(Debuted September 26, 1981, Peaked #22, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

Chilliwack is a Canadian group that had been together in one form or another since 1964. Their name was a native term for "going back up," as well as a small town located east of the band's home city of Vancouver. Their lineup fluctuated over the years, with singer/guitarist Bill Henderson being a constant member. Though a fairly continual presence on the hit charts in their own country, Chilliwack managed to get four singles into the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1970s, although none would reach the Top 40.

They finally got that elusive Top 40 American hit with "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" in 1981. It was also their first (and only) #1 single in Canada. The song was a catchy tune, featuring a chant that would remain in the listener's head once it stopped playing. The song brought two more albums and some minor hits, but the band ended up taking a lengthy hiatus in 1984.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Spinners - "Yesterday Once More/Nothing Remains the Same"

Medley: Yesterday Once More / Nothing Remains the Same (Remastered Remix Version) - Smooth & Sweet: The Spinners

(Debuted February 14, 1981, Peaked #52, 8 Weeks on the Chart)

The Spinners started off 1980 with their biggest hit in years by recording a medley. It combined one hit song from the past with a new song: "Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl" was a Top 10 hit. Their next single was "Cupid/I've Loved You For a Long Time" and it returned the group to the Top 40. Not wanting to mess up their hot streak, they went to the 1970s and a Carpenters song called "Yesterday Once More" but the good luck didn't stick around.

In all three of these singles, producer Michael Zager was the author of the "new" half of the medley. While releasing the medley was likely overkill, it was probably seen as a "safe" move by Atlantic records. However, the near-disco beat of "Yesterday Once More/Nothing Remains the Same" was out of place in 1981. In fact, it was probably about two years past its expiration date.

One last thing: while John Edwards does a good job singing the words of "Yesterday Once More," he shows once again how great Karen Carpenter's rendition was.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Korgis - "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime"

Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime - The Korgis Kollection

(Debuted October 11, 1980, Peaked #18, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

Today's entry features a song I didn't care for when I first heard it. At the time, it was too slow and plodding for my young hyperactive brain to focus on. It wouldn't be until literally decades later that I heard it on a rerun of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio shows (here's a list of stations that run the show weekly, complete with links to listen live) in 2008 and heard it with an entirely new perspective. In my case, the experiences of adulthood gave me a deeper appreciation of the lyrics.

Written and sung by Korgis member James Warren, "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" evokes John Lennon's early post-Beatles work both vocally and instrumentally. It's ironic that the song was sitting near its peak position on the chart just as Lennon was murdered. The haunting ballad would be the only chart hit The Korgis would get in the U.S. and would be re-recorded by the band as well as others over the years.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon - "(Just Like) Starting Over"

(Just Like) Starting Over - Power to the People - The Hits (Remastered)

(Debuted November 1, 1980, Peaked #1, 25 Weeks on the Chart)

Since the 80s Music Mayhem blog is focusing on the year 1980 this week, there is no more appropriate song to feature today than this one. There really isn't more that I can add about the song that isn't covered (and usually better) somewhere else. Most fans understand the significance of "(Just Like) Starting Over," and how the words took on a different meaning after Lennon's short encounter with Mark David Chapman.

On December 8, 1980 I was 8 years old and had little idea who The Beatles were. So when the news broke about John Lennon's murder, I wasn't really affected by it, but I definitely saw that many around me were. So I listened to what they were saying, and eventually tuned in to his music (and that of his former group) as I grew older. Just a few years later, I was hooked on Lennon's message and was conversant enough in The Beatles' material to know which album most of their songs were on.

I'm sure I'd have eventually gotten around to listen to his material, but Lennon's senseless death was the event that caused me to pay attention to his message. And it's a message that I'm already passing along to my own daughter, who is already listening to my Beatles CDs as she does some of her chores around the house.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

John Cougar - "This Time"

This Time (Single Version) - Nothin' Matters and What If It Did (Remastered)

(Debuted September 27, 1980, Peaked #27, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

As a young up-and-coming artist, John Mellencamp made several compromises on the way to his big break. First, he was given the name Johnny Cougar by his first manager because he thought "Mellencamp" sounded too ethnic for Americans to handle, despite that fact that he was the personification of middle America. He was also given a reputation as a Hell-raiser which was only partially warranted. Finally, despite the fact that he wrote his own material, his producers and record company had the final say about what his songs would sound like.

When he recorded the LP Nothin' Matters and What if it Did, he was still under that arrangement. Legendary guitarist Steve Cropper produced it, but Mellencamp didn't have a lot of say in what the finished product would sound like despite sinking a huge amount of money into it. Though it produced two Top 40 singles that helped keep his name in the spotlight and  led to his breakthrough American Fool album, he has downplayed the result ever since.

Actually, I like "This Time" as a song. It was a single that stood out among the material around it in late 1980, even if it offered little insight into the material he would bring out once he became famous enough to revert to his given name later in the decade. However, I know from experience that things that were painful to live through aren't always great places to revisit; besides, as his own song, John Mellencamp is free to feel as he wishes about it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John - "I Can't Help it"

I Can't Help It (Duet with Olivia Newton John) - After Dark

(Debuted March 29, 1980, Peaked #12, 13 Weeks on the Chart)

As 1980 dawned, both Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John were superstars. There were other similarities, too: both were born in England (he in Manchester, she in Cambridge), both were raised in Australia and both were living at that point in the United States. At the time, there was very little downside to having the two perform a duet, so they recorded two that would appear on Gibb's After Dark LP.

After Dark produced three hit singles. Despite having one Top 10 hit and the other two reaching #15 or better, it was a relative disappointment in the face of his first two albums that sold better and produced huge #1 singles. At the same time, Gibb's behavior was becoming erratic due to what turned out to be substance control issues. As a result, Gibb would be dropped from RSO Records' roster. He turned to acting, performing in the Broadway play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and hosting Solid Gold, as well as turning in guest roles on the shows Gimme a Break and Punky Brewster. Sadly, he passed away in 1988 just five days after turning 30.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kenny Nolan - "Us and Love"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted February 21, 1980, Peaked #44, 8 Weeks on the Chart)

Fans of 1970s music have heard Kenny Nolan's work, even those who only know him from his 1977 hit "I Like Dreamin'." He was a writer, producer and session performer before that hit brought him out front. Among his written material are the #1 singles "My Eyes Adored You" by Frankie Valli and "Lady Marmalade" by LaBelle, and his falsetto was heard in Disco Tex and the Sex-o-Lettes' "Get Dancin'." His solo career brought "I Like Dreamin'," followed by the Top 20 "Love's Grown Deep."

"Us and Love" would be Nolan's final chart hit as a performer. While not as memorable as his earlier hits were, it still managed to barely miss the Top 40. A new album appeared in 1982, but Nolan seemed to drop from the new music landscape as fast as he seemed to appear.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Hooters - "500 Miles"

500 Miles - Hooterization: A Retrospective

(Debuted December 9, 1989, Peaked #97, 4 Weeks on the Chart)

For the final entry from 1989, here's a song that was literally charting at the very end of the year. It was on the Hot 100 for exactly four weeks (though one of those weeks was frozen because Billboard releases a double-length holiday issue at the end of the year). When the first survey of 1990 appeared, this song had dropped away.

This is not a version of the 1993 Proclaimers hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles);" instead, it's a remake of a song that was written by Hedy West and performed by several acts during the 1960s folk revival including Peter, Paul & Mary, The Journeymen and The Kingston Trio. A version with new lyrics called "500 Miles Away From Home" was a huge country/pop crossover hit for Bobby Bare in 1963.

Featuring backing vocals by Peter, Paul and Mary (clearly heard as the song fades out), the lyrics explain that a man is far from home, out of money and either too proud or too ashamed to return. It ended up being the final Hot 100 listing for the Philadelphia-based band The Hooters before being dropped bu their record label. The new decade saw them gain popularity in foreign countries just as their fortunes flagged in the U.S., so they would focus on the international market before taking a hiatus in 1995.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tone-Loc - "Funky Cold Medina"

Funky Cold Medina - Lōc-ed After Dark

(Debuted March 4, 1989, Peaked #3, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

"Funky Cold Medina" is definitely a relic of the late 1980s. Built on top of a sample (from Van Halen's "Janie's Cryin'"), the song's lyrics mention Spuds McKenzie, the Love Connection TV show and even mentions the decade in one of its lines. A somewhat humorous look at dating, the narrator is relying on a potion to get lucky with the ladies but things keep going wrong. First, his dog gets the action. Next, he picks up "Sheena" at a club only to find out it was another man. Then, he finds a lady who wants to get married, which makes him get up and leave.

While it was a #3 hit, it was very similar in style, tone and subject to Tone-Loc's earlier hit "Wild Thing" and used the same guitar riff as its sample. While the kids definitely knew the difference, others may have thought they were listening to the same song. Even though both singles went platinum and the Loc-ed After Dark LP went to #1 on the album chart, the similarity may have killed his career momentum. He never had another Top 40 hit again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Information Society - "Walking Away"

Walking Away - Information Society

(Debuted November 26, 1988, Peaked #9, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was surprised to learn that "Buffalo Stance" was not taken from a New York artist, and today I have to admit that I'm once again surprised to learn about the place of origin for another act. In this case, I'm surprised Information Society was a Minneapolis-based group, since their electronic dance material sounded like it was done by a British group.

What doesn't seen to be a surprise is that there was a Star Trek fan in the group. Just as their earlier hit "What's On Your Mind" contained a sample of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock saying "pure energy," the song "Walking Away" begins with William Shatner as Captain Kirk saying, "It is useless to resist." Though I grew tired really quickly of their first hit, there was something about "Walking Away" that caught my ear in 1989 despite the fact that I wasn't a fan of dance/pop at all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Neneh Cherry - "Buffalo Stance"

Buffalo Stance - Raw Like Sushi

(Debuted April 1, 1989, Peaked #3, 24 Weeks on the Chart)

Sometimes even the guy who has all the answers can find something to learn. Here are some things I didn't know about Neneh Cherry: She was born in Sweden. She was based out of London. At the time the song came out, I would have bet anything that she was a New Yorker. I only would have been partially right, though. She grew up in New York City but quit school and moved to England when she was 14.

When she was working over there as a singer, she began a personal and professional relationship with Cameron McVey. In 1986, McVey was part of a duo named Morgan McVey and they recorded a B-side to one of their singles that eventually was re-recorded as "Buffalo Stance." The song was a fusion of rap, R&B, pop and the dance music that so thoroughly saturated the airwaves then. Because it was so different yet similar to other sounds heard on the radio and on MTV, it became a big hit, reaching #3 on the pop chart, topped the Billboard dance survey and reached #3 in the U.K.

On a personal level, "Buffalo Stance" taught me (and many of the kids I grew up with) what the word "gigolo" meant.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Cult - "Fire Woman"

Fire Woman - Sonic Temple (Remastered)

(Debuted May 27, 1989, Peaked #46, 11 Weeks on the Chart)

I'm amazed this was not a Top 40 song, since it was all over the radio and MTV when it was a current song. That said, I was spending a lot of time listening to rock stations and avoiding the local Top 40 station because I had gotten sick of having to hear New Kids on the Block once every other hour, mixed in several songs that seemed to have the same exact drum machine programmed behind it. And this song was tailor-made to be enjoyed by a 16 year-old boy.

The Cult was a British band fronted by Ian Astbury. Though it was their first American pop hit, they had been charting for years in their native U.K. and I had known about them from hanging around a record store while their Electric album came out in 1987. I really didn't pay any attention to them then, but that changed in '89 when "Fire Woman" blasted from my radio speakers. The guitar attack at the beginning hooked me quickly, but the relentless drive of the song was irresistable.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Siouxsie & the Banshees - "Peek-a-Boo"

Peek-A-Boo (Single) - Peep Show

(Debuted October 15, 1988, Peaked #53, 13 Weeks on the Chart)

In 1988, "Peek-a-Boo" sounded a lot different from what was being persented as hit music at the time. It was both refreshing and unsettling. And not surprisingly, it wasn't a pop hit because there was little room on the Hot 100 for nonconformity in 1988.

However, the song caught the ear of college radio, where the nonconformists tend to be more easily located. That burgeoning audience was finally served with its own survey when Billboard debuted its Modern Rock Tracks list on September 13, 1988. The very first #1 song on that chart was Siouxsie & the Banshee's "Peek-a-Boo."

Studio effects were used to give the song its distinctive sound. First, a recording that was recorded but not used on an earlier album was flipped upside down, with an accordion, bass and extra drum beat added. Siousie Sioux also recorded different lines of the song on different microphones, giving a sonic "image" of coming from different directions when listened to on headphones. The entire production took a year to finish; what was originally intended to be a B-side for another single eventually became too good to bury on a record.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jermaine Stewart - "Say it Again"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted March 19, 1988, Peaked #27, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

For the regular readers of this blog living in the United States...Happy Thanksgiving. Today's entry will be a short one.

Jermaine Stewart has already been featured on this blog for his hit "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" but his second biggest hit has been largely forgotten even though it would reach the Top 40 on its own. On that note, here's a video to give it a little more exposure. Although it was soon forgotten after its chart run, it actually stands out among some of the other material that hit in 1988.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Jets - "Make it Real"

Make It Real - The Jets Greatest Hits

(Debuted April 16, 1988, Peaked #4, 20 Weeks on the Chart)

Between 1986 and '88, The Jets had five singles reach the pop Top 10, which might be surprising to those who weren't around in the era. The last of those Top 10 hits was "Make it Real," which would also turn out to be the group's last Top 40 hit before the original lineup splintered apart and focused on other projects and interests. The group didn't break up in the sense that many bands do, since the members are all brothers and sisters. They were eight siblings (out of 17) from the Wolfgramm family, of Tongan ancestry but raised in Minneapolis.

In "Make it Real," the lyrics express a hope that -- on the anniversary of their meeting -- a couple still has a chance to get together. She still holds a flame in her heart, but he wasn't ready to settle down. There are two ways of looking at this: the first one says that she's being vigilant, while the other one wants to tell her to get over him if he isn't calling her back. In addition to reaching the pop Top 10, it was their second #1 single on the adult contemporary chart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Climie Fisher - "Love Changes (Everything)"

Love Changes (Everything) - Everything

(Debuted May 14, 1988, Peaked #23, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

The things that get remembered from childhood...when "Love Changes Everything" was a hit single, Rosie O'Donnell was working as whatever VH-1 called its VJs. After the video played, she came on and began a bit about how Climie Fisher sounded like something you would yell when you accidentally hit your hand with a hammer. She then went on to illustrate her point by pretending to do it.

Actually, Climie Fisher's name came from the last names of its two members. Simon Climie was the singer and Rob Fisher played the keyboard. Fisher had previously been part of another hitmaking duo earlier in the 1980s called Naked Eyes. The pair had met as a result of working together as studio musicians and wrote most of their own material. They recorded a pair of albums before moving on to other projects, and Fisher sadly succumbed to cancer in 1999.

"Love Changes (Everything)" comes across as a slickly produced record awash in the synthesizers that were nearly ubiquitous in the 1980s. It's also laden with catchy hooks that will stick in the back of the mind well after the song stops playing. If you don't mind a heap of sugar in your music, this song should be a nice little trip down a nostalgic lane; however, if you like less pop and more guitar sound, this might not be your tune.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Communards - "Never Can Say Goodbye"

Never Can Say Goodbye - The Very Best of Bronski Beat & The Communards

(Debuted January 30, 1988, Peaked #51, 9 Weeks on the Chart)

For my friends who tried to tell me in 1988 that disco was a long-dead relic of the 1970s, here's part of the fodder I tossed right back at them. "Never Can Say Goodbye" is a remake of a song that was one of the earliest disco hits (by Gloria Gaynor, which itself was a remake) done in the then-current Hi-NRG dance beat. At the time I was asking what the problem was with 1970s disco when the same songs were being recycled with a new beat, and was essentially told that the beat was what made the "new" versions better. I disagreed then and still do.

The Communards were a British-based dance group led by Jimmy Somerville, who was featured here a few weeks back as a member of Bronski Beat. It was the second of two Hot 100 hits for the band, and both were songs that had been big disco singles in the 1970s. Though "Never Can Say Goodbye" failed to reach the Top 40, it was a #2 dance hit, as well as a #4 hit in the band's native U.K.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Go West - "Don't Look Down - The Sequel"

Don't Look Down - Go West

(Debuted August 1, 1987, Peaked #39, 13 Weeks on the chart)

Go West was a British duo made up of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie. Their first LP in their native U.K. came out in 1985 and included a hit song called "Don't Look Down" which would later be remixed and titled "Don't Look Down - The Sequel." That would be the version that was released two years later in the U.S. and became their first Top 40 single Stateside. They would go on to notch a couple more Top 40 hits in the early 1990s.

"Don't Look Down" was a hit song during the early months of the school year. I know that because I moved to Tennessee for a short time that year (I grew up in northern New York and went back there in 1988). The cafeteria played a local Top 40 radio station over the speakers, which was something that never happened at my old school. Anyway, hearing "Don't Look Down" today brings an image in my mind of the new school's cafeteria and of myself trying to get along as an outsider.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kenny G - "Songbird"

Songbird - Duotones

(Debuted April 4, 1987, Peaked #4, 22 Weeks on the chart)

The instrumental was a dying format on the pop chart even in 1987. While dozens of hit songs were instrumentals during the 1950s and 60s, the form begin winding down in the 1970s and was nearly crushed by the death of Disco. By the 1980s, the few instrumentals that were hits were theme songs to movies or TV shows.

That didn't mean the format was dead, however. Jazz artists were still performing instrumentals and so were New Age artists, but they just weren't getting much attention with radio stations or music video channels. In fact, Kenny G (real last name Gorelick) had been playing professionally since he was still in high school, playing his saxophone for the Love Unlimited Orchestra, and continued as he worked his way through college. He signed his own record deal in 1982 but worked in collaboration with a number of artists as well.

In 1987, his Duotones LP let the rest of the world that wasn't focused on the jazz world know who Kenny G was. "Songbird" would become the first instrumental track to reach the pop Top 10 that wasn't a theme song in over a decade, and he soon became the biggest-selling instrumental artist in history.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Billy Idol - "Sweet Sixteen"

Sweet Sixteen - Whiplash Smile

(Debuted April 25, 1987, Peaked #20, 14 Weeks on the chart)

While it may seem contrary to Billy Idol's stage presence and image nowadays, in 1987 it really didn't seem like such a stretch for him to do a softer song. By that time, he had already done songs like "Eyes Without a Face," "To Be a Lover" and "Don't Need a Gun," so it wasn't too far out of left field for him. This time, however, he is accompanied by an acoustic guitar, which did seem to drop the pretense of his reputation.

I was a teenager at the time this song came out. In fact, my girlfriend at the time turned 16 during the song's run up the chart so the words stuck with me. However, today I'm struck how weird it is to have a thirty-something year old man singing what is essentially a love song to a sixteen year-old girl. However, despite the fact that Idol wrote the song, the story in the song is supposedly inspired by the story of an eccentric named Edward Leedskalnin, who is shown in a picture during the beginning of the video for the song. A girl he was engaged to in his native Latvia was called his "Sweet Sixteen," and she walked away shortly before the wedding. Later in life, he built a monument to her in Florida called the Coral Castle that is still open for tourists to see.

It wasn't exactly the "candy castle" that was mentioned in the words of the song, but perhaps "coral" didn't sound right in the lyrics.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dan Hill & Vonda Shepard - "Can't We Try"

Can't We Try (Single Version) - 80's Pop Hits

(Debuted June 6, 1987, Peaked #6, 24 Weeks on the chart)

During the late Spring and throughout the Summer of '87, it was hard not to notice "Can't We Try" because they tried to kill it with airplay. At the time, I was listening to both a Top 40 station and a station that leaned more toward adult contemporary and both had the song in heavy rotation. The video was a staple of VH-1 at the time as well. As a result, I got really sick of hearing the song. Now that the years have allowed me to put the song into its proper context, I really like it for its confessional nature and its melody. But it took several years to pass before I wanted to revisit it.

"Can't We Try" was a return to the chart for Dan Hill, who had scored with "Sometimes When We Touch" in 1978 and an introduction to Vonda Shepard, who would reappear on the show Ally McBeal a decade later. In both cases, the decade-long absence seemed like a comeback, but neither artist had stopped performing in the meantime.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kenny Loggins - "Meet Me Halfway"

Meet Me Half Way - The Essential Kenny Loggins

(Debuted March 7, 1987, Peaked #11, 25 Weeks on the chart)

In the 1980s, Kenny Loggins was the undisputed "Sultan of Soundtrack." If there was a movie that had a hit soundtrack, you could bet that there would be a Kenny Loggins song on it somewhere. And for the 1987 Sylvester Stallone film Over the Top, there was "Meet Me Halfway."

The movie hasn't exactly weathered the decades well, but had a soundtrack that was prototypical for its era, and Loggins' song was the biggest hit. The funny thing, that I rarely think of the film when I hear it. At the time, I had just started dating the girl I saw for the bulk of my time in high school. She lived about 2 miles from my house and I had to go all the way over to her house to visit her (as a parent today, I have less of a problem with that now than I did then). I specifically remember thinking at that time how nice it would be to meet her halfway occasionally.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sting - "Russians"

Russians - The Dream of the Blue Turtles

(Debuted January 18, 1986, Peaked #16, 13 Weeks on the chart)

Today is Veterans' Day here in the United States. It was once called Armistice Day, a time to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers in what we now call World War I. In 1918, it was hoped that lessons would be remembered and that no war on that horrible scale would ever be waged again. Sadly, the next generation was left to conduct another war that was even larger. After the second World War, it appeared there was always going to be a looming threat due to nuclear weapons. That is the driving force behind of Sting's song "Russians."

The song is definitely a relic of the Cold War. For those who weren't around then, there was a long period where the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were locked in a long battle that was more of an ideological war than one that had soldiers shooting at each other, but it was a real concern for more than forty years. At the heart of the threat was the understanding that both nations had nuclear arsenals that could easily ensure mutual destruction once a dispute went from a diplomatic matter to a more military one. The problem was felt around the world, as Sting (who wasn't Russian or American) pointed out.

Using a classical suite from the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, Sting asks the musical question about whether the Russians love their children while musing about how the concept of an "unwinnable war" was false. One line stands out for me, though: "There is no monopoly on common sense...on either side of the political fence." That's advice that still needs to be heeded.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - "If You Leave"

If You Leave - Pretty In Pink (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(Debuted March 8, 1986, Peaked #4, 20 Weeks on the chart)

I've mentioned on this blog before that I've always held a soft spot for redheads. And yes, that means I had a crush on Molly Ringwald when I was a teenager. I know I wasn't alone in that feeling, but I sometimes wonder whether my interest in redheads stems from her or if it's simply a matter of liking Molly Rongwald because I was predisposed toward redheads. It's the classic "chicken vs. egg" dilemma.

In any case, hearing this song immediately brings up an image of Molly Ringwald, thanks to the way it was linked with the film Pretty in Pink in 1986. If you watch the video below, you'll see that her image was even incorporated into that. It was the song played at the climactic moment of the film, when the "happy ending" gets ready to take place.

"If You Leave" was all over the radio and MTV in 1986. While I usually found myself growing tired of songs that have been grossly overplayed then, I somehow never felt that way about this one. I guess that was the effect the red hair had on me. Which was funny...because my girlfriend at the time was a brunette.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Til Tuesday - "What About Love?"

What About Love - Welcome Home

(Debuted September 20, 1986, Peaked #26, 14 Weeks on the chart)

In 1985, 'Til Tuesday made quite an impression with the hit single "Voices Carry." It would reach the Top 10 and featured a video about an oppressive relationship that was played heavily on MTV. However, the video focused more on the band's singer Aimee Mann and kinda pushed the three other members into the shadows during their scenes. That often spells trouble for a band's future direction, but they soldiered on the next year with a second LP called Welcome Home.

The album featured a lot more of Mann as a songwriter (the full group was credited for most of the songs the first time around) and was more earthy, which was quite a statement in the heavily synthesized, dance-friendly music landscape of the mid 1980s. One song that still pointed to the previous year's hit was "What About Love," a track that is sometimes forgotten even by the experts (in fact, Allmusic claims it missed the Top 40 when it went to #26).

Though sometimes seen as a low-key hit, "What About Love" was a nice single and played well among much of its competition in 1986. It also showed a blossoming talent for songwriting that Mann would enjoy during her solo career in the 1990s.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Talking Heads - "Wild Wild Life"

Wild Wild Life (2005 Remastered) - True Stories (Remastered with Bonus Tracks)

(Debuted September 6, 1986, Peaked #25, 20 Weeks on the chart)

The Talking Heads were one of those groups whose music is quite entrenched into 1980s culture, as well as its style. However, their songs aren't the big hits many would have expected. "Wild Wild Life" was their final hit, but it was only their third to reach the Top 40. Two of the band's more memorable hits -- "Once in a Lifetime" and "Road to Nowhere" -- didn't get into the Hot 100 during their initial chart runs (though the former scraped its way to #91 as a live track from Stop Making Sense).

By 1986, the band was beginning its breakup after more than a decade together. "Wild Wild Life" was taken from the "soundtrack" album from lead singer David Byrne's film True Stories. Only it wasn't really a soundtrack album at all. Instead of featuring the songs in the movie as sung by John Goodman (who appears in the video below), "Pops" Staples and others, they were performed by Byrne and his band as a condition of the financial backers of the film as a way of ensuring that some profit would arise.

Today, the song is probably better-remembered than the movie is.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Art of Noise - "Peter Gunn"

Peter Gunn - Reconstructed…For Your Listening Pleasure

(Debuted May 17, 1986, Peaked #50, 11 Weeks on the chart)

Around 1986, I placed a bunch of quarters into a video game called Spy Hunter. It the game, you were driving a tricked-out "spy" car equipped with a machine gun and your job was to eliminate the bad guys around you using a variety of weapons that could be picked up along the way, including oil slicks, smoke screens and missles. Evidently, there were also levels of the game that took place on the water and on icy roads, but I never got that far. I may have played it a lot, but I never said I was ever good at the game.

The theme music that played all through the game was an electronic adaptation of the Peter Gunn theme. I wasn't around during the TV show's 1958-'61 run, so I didn't know the song was a theme song to a TV show. Instead, I knew it because it showed up in some movies (like The Blues Brothers and Sixteen Candles), as well as that video game. The tune is incredibly catchy, though and I definitely was exposed to it at an early age.

The original version of the song was recorded by Henry Mancini, who composed the song. In 1959, Duane Eddy contributed his signature "twangy" guitar line to the song and took it to #27 on the chart. For Art of Noise's version, Eddy was called in to recreate his own sound to give it an air of "authenticity" among the electronic sound the band used. It would be the first of three singles the group would place in the Billboard Hot 100, each of which featured a guest artist.

Friday, November 4, 2011

General Public - "Tenderness"

Tenderness - Classic Masters

(Debuted November 17, 1984, Peaked #27, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

General Public was started from the ashes of the breakup of The Beat (known as The English Beat in the U.S.). Two members of that group, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, joined up with former Clash guitarist Mick Jones, Specials bassist Horace Panter and two ex-members of Dexy's Midnight Runners to forma a "supergroup" of sorts among English punk/ska/mod groups. Jones would leave the band during the recording of their first LP All the Rage, which included "Tenderness."

"Tenderness" would end up being the band's only chart hit in the U.S during the 1980s. It was well-received at the time, though not enough to be a major hit; however, time has been kind to the song due to its cheerful melody. It has appeared in several movies over the years, including Sixteen Candles and Weird Science, which have helped to keep it identified with the decade.

(Thanks to regular reader Brian for pointing out that General Public did have a pair of chart hits in the U.S. during the 1990s as well.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ray Parker, Jr. - "Jamie"

Jamie - Ray Parker, Jr.: Greatest Hits

(Debuted November 17, 1984, Peaked #14, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

When "Jamie" came out, I was in the seventh grade. At that time, I was starting to see the way some of my friends and classmates would start getting jealous over girls, even those who'd told them to buzz off. Though I wasn't yet learning the lessons of jealousy yet from a personal point of reference (that would come along about one year later), a song like "Jamie" made perfect sense to me at the time. Today, a man singing the words of this song may be called a stalker and slapped with a restraining order.

"Jamie" was Ray Parker, Jr.'s follow-up to the smash hit "Ghostbusters," which may have helped propel it a little higher than it may have otherwise finished. However, it was as high as he would ever get on the charts from that time forward. A lawsuit over plagiarizing the Ghostbusters theme would keep him busy and eventually sidetrack Parker's career. He managed to get a couple/ more singles into the Top 40, but neither would rise very high. For all intents and purposes, "Jamie" was his last decent hit song.

It's a shame that a guy who made his name playing guitar for Stevie Wonder, Barry White and Freda Payne and then enjoyed several hits as the force behind Raydio would be silenced due to a business matter. However, it may have seemed odd that the person who sang about leaving his "property" alone would be accused of plagiarizing, too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin - "Separate Lives"

Separate Lives (Love Theme from White Nights) - White Nights (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(Debuted October 5, 1985, Peaked #1, 20 Weeks on the Chart)

Here's a song whose impact on me has changed over the years. When it first came out in 1985 and went to the #1 spot on the pop chart, I thought it was a decent song and hoped to hear more from Marilyn Martin in the future. I also thought it was a better song than the other #1 hit from the movie White Nights (Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me," which wasn't actually included on the soundtrack LP). 

However, I was about to turn 13 at the time and was a lot less experienced in the way of relationships. So I missed a lot of the message of the song, which happens on the other side of a split, with both parties getting used to a new life trajectory that didn't include the other. The song was written by Stephen Bishop, best known for the songs "On and On" and the Tootsie theme "It Might Be You." Setting it up as an adult-styled duet paid off; in addition to reaching the top of the pop charts, it also went #1 on the adult contemporary survey as well. 

It's heart-wrenching to those who've been in that situation. But that's part of what makes music great.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pat Benatar - "Invincible"

Invincible - Seven the Hard Way

(Debuted July 7, 1985, Peaked #10, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

I remember seeing the video for this song on MTV during the Summer of '85. The video above was a recording from its early run there, when it still was tagged as an "Exclusive" that couldn't yet be seen on Night Flight, Friday Night Videos or HBO's Video Jukebox. Not only did I immediately recognize it as the best thing I'd heard from her since "Love is a Battlefield" two years earlier, I was hopped up to see the movie The Legend of Billie Jean. With the music video as an introduction, it looked like it would be really good.

Today, I still think the song is one of the best she's ever done. As for the movie...let's just say it was a major disappointment when I saw it. Time hasn't changed that fact at all. In fact, even Pat Benatar makes a point of expressing her displeasure about the film when she sings "Invincible" in concert. I still wonder how many tickets were sold for that movie on the basis of this song alone, rather than Helen Slater's immense hotness.

That said, it was still included on her next LP Seven the Hard Way, so Benatar fans weren't forced to also buy the soundtrack in order to have her complete body of work.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bronski Beat - "Smalltown Boy"

Smalltown Boy - The Age of Consent

(Debuted December 22, 1984, Peaked #48, 15 Weeks on the Chart)

I remember watching the video for "Smalltown Boy" on MTV twice during 1985, but never even heard it once on the radio. At the same time, the song was part of a promo featuring "new music" that MTV ran which featured the synthesized opening line. As a result, that melody stayed with me for a long time.

At the time, that was all that I knew about the song. I had guessed the "smalltown boy" in the song was running away from his life because he felt trapped. I was 12 then, and living in a small town myself, and probably projected my own feelings onto the words I heard in a way I could relate. Of course, I turned out to be very wrong about it. Bronski Beat's members were homosexuals and their songs often addressed problems they faced because of their orientation. The video shows that as well (with the protagonist getting the snot beat out of him by a gang because of who he was), but I never would have picked up on it at that age...I still had a lot to learn about the topic of homosexuality.

"Smalltown Boy" would be Bronski Beat's only chart hit in the U.S., but they enjoyed more hits in their native U.K. and across Europe. Lead singer Jimmy Somervile would resurface later in the decade as part of The Communards on a pair of songs that remade 1970s disco classics.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - "Runner"

(Debuted January 21, 1984, Peaked #22, 15 Weeks on the Chart)

One of the biggest stories of 1984 was the Olympic games in Los Angeles. With that in mind, several recordings took advantage of the coming games, including "Runner," which featured images of a torch bearer in its video and a synthesized intro that might have reminded some listeners of the theme to Chariots of Fire. It was an undeniably radio-ready single and was definitely timely. but received less interest than it eventually deserved.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band was formed in 1971 and is still an active band today. As a group that tended to lean to the progressive side, they were always a better album act than a hit-making one. As it turned out, "Runner" would be their only listing on the Hot 100 for the 1980s. Mick Rogers takes on the vocals; he was returning to the band after leaving in 1976.

"Runner" was added to the American version of the group's Somewhere in Afrika LP, but had not yet been recorded when that album was ready to issue in other countries. The album had been recorded as a celebration of South Africa, the nation where Mann had been born. It was also recorded in the face of Mann being banned from entering the country because of his anti-apartheid work.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Culture Club - "Miss Me Blind"

Miss Me Blind - Colour By Numbers

(Debuted February 3, 1984, Peaked #5, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

By 1984, it was hard to follow music and not at least be aware of Culture Club. For some, the focus was entirely on the group's very flamboyant singer Boy George. For others, the music was seen as an unusual blending of New Wave, reggae and calypso with a healthy dash of Blue-Eyed Soul. As you can see from the video below, they were all over the place stylistically, but that is one of the hallmarks of 1980s fashion.  In my case, I really didn't care for the group on a personal level -- I lived in a small town where Boy George would have been viewed in a very negative light -- but some of their songs really seemed interesting to me. "Miss Me Blind" was one of those.

I distinctly recall hearing the song on a radio station during the Spring of '84 and realizing that it could stand on its own without the accompanying video. Before that song, I largely saw Boy George as something of a cartoon character (this was the follow-up to "Karma Chameleon," after all); afterward, I paid more attention to the fact that he was part of a group. Perhaps that's a result of the video after all, since the three other group members play a larger part in it.

"Miss Me Blind" was a #5 hit in the U.S. and a big hit around the world, but oddly wasn't issued as a single in the band's native U.K.