As part of a semi-recurring series, I thought that I’d pull up the Billboard Hot 100 for this corresponding week from a year in the early ’80s and note the songs that were debuts.
I’m opting with 1982 again as it was the year during which I listened to more Top 40 radio than I ever would again.
(there are also a lot of missing issues during the Junes of the first half of the ’80s in Google’s online archive of Billboard magazine, but ’82 is there)
So, here are the songs which debuted on the Hot 100 during the week of June 5, 1982 as my final summer before entering high school was beginning…
Genesis – Paperlate
from Three Sides Live
(debuted #90, peaked #32, 14 weeks on chart)
Following the success of ’81′s Abacab, Genesis issued Three Sides Live - three sides of live material and – at least in the States – a fourth one consisting of studio material.
Paperlate - like Abacab‘s No Reply At All - featured the the Earth, Wind & Fire horn section giving the song some kick. More than just a lament over an undelivered daily, the ever increasingly commercial trio seems to be warning against slavish devotion to routine.
Ambrosia – How Can You Love Me?
from Road Island
(debuted #89, peaked #86, 4 weeks on chart)
When I pulled up the chart for this week in ’82, I wasn’t surprised that most of the songs debuting were well-known to me. Ambrosia’s How Can You Love Me? was not.
I didn’t recognize it as I listened to it, either, but it certainly surprised me as, like most listeners, I know Ambrosia for their soft rock smashes like How Much I Feel and Biggest Part of Me.
How Can You Love Me? is punchy, guitar-driven rock and maybe the world wasn’t ready for such a thing from the L.A. quartet and the song would prove to be their final hit.
Jeffrey Osborne – I Really Don’t Need No Light
from Jeffrey Osborne
(debuted #88, peaked #39, 15 weeks on chart)
There was essentially one urban station in our range that went by the moniker of The Blaze, but I didn’t spend much time there while surfing the dial. So, I wasn’t really familiar with Jeffrey Osborne’s time as the lead singer of LTD.
But several of his solo hits did make their way to the playlists of the pop stations to which I was partial, so I did hear I Really Don’t Need No Light on occasion. It’s actually a rather catchy, light funk track that I probably enjoy more now than I did then.
Chic – Soup For One
from Soup for One soundtrack
(debuted #87, peaked #80, 6 weeks on chart)
Not only did Chic notch some major hits during the late ’70s with Le Freak, I Want Your Love, and Good Times, the group’s members continued to have an influence on pop music into the ’80s.
Bassist Bernard Edwards worked with acts like Diana Ross, Adam Ant, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, ABC and Duran Duran. He also produced Robert Palmer’s Riptide as well as the debut album by The Power Station, whose line-up included Palmer and Chic drummer Tony Thompson.
Meanwhile, guitarist Nile Rodgers produced pretty much every album during the first half of the decade including releases by Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, INXS, Madonna, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, and Thompson Twins.
And, yet, Soup For One – a song I hadn’t heard as the title track for a movie I’d never heard of – is pretty unmemorable.
Ashford & Simpson – Street Corner
from Street Opera
(debuted #85, peaked #56, 10 weeks on chart)
The songwriting duo of husband and wife Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson penned songs for most of Motown’s biggest acts, but only managed to reach the pop Top 40 twice as artists. Street Corner wasn’t one of them.
I didn’t hear Street Corner much, if at all, on radio at the time. The only time I really do recall hearing it was on America’s Top 10 – Casey Kasem’s weekly television countdown – as it was a much bigger hit on the R&B charts.
But the song did catch my ear at the time. It reminded me of songs like George Benson’s Give Me The Night and Brothers Johnson’s Stomp! from the previous summer, both of which I totally dug.
Larry Elgart & His Manhattan Swing Orchestra – Hooked on Swing
from Hooked on Swing
(debuted #83, peaked #31, 12 weeks on chart)
The London Philharmonic had reached the Top 10 with a medley of classical compositions in early ’82 and, later that summer, Meco would reach the Top 40 by stitching together some classic movie themes.
And, over the previous year, Dutch studio group Stars On 45 had also scored hits with medleys of songs by The Beatles and Stevie Wonder.
So, true to form, record labels proved willing to flog the medley equine until it was of no interest to anyone but Elmer’s.
Cheap Trick – If You Want My Love
from One On One
(debuted #81, peaked #45, 10 weeks on chart)
Sure, Cheap Trick had lost a bit of mojo since rocketing to superstardom a few years earlier with Cheap Trick At Budokan, but how could a song as stellar as If You Want My Love fail to even reach the Top 40?
This lack of love for Cheap Trick also baffled ticket-scalper Mike Damone that summer in Fast Times At Ridgemont High as he asked. “Can you honestly tell me you forgot? Forgot the magnetism of Robin Zander, or the charisma of Rick Nielsen?”
(of course, Damone apparently forgot the magnetism and charisma of Bun E. Carlos)
Glenn Frey – I Found Somebody
from No Fun Aloud
(debuted #77, peaked #31, 13 weeks on chart)
Though I’m not as opposed to The Eagles as The Dude was in The Big Lebowski – in which his abiding hatred of the group gets him tossed from a cab – I’ve never been much of a fan, either. Maybe it was the overkill of hearing their music so much on radio as a kid.
So, I had minimal interest in Glenn Frey’s solo debut. However, the languid I Found Somebody is pleasant enough.
Chicago – Hard To Say I’m Sorry
from Chicago 16
(debuted #75, peaked #1, 24 weeks on chart)
I know that Chicago has some seriously devoted fans, but I’ve never been much more than lukewarm toward most of their music. Here and there is a song I like, but, mostly, I’m indifferent.
Hard To Say I’m Sorry would prove to be inescapable that entire summer and remained so as we returned to school in September. I always found the version with Get Away – which I heard as often as the truncated single – to be a bit jarring.
Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
from Eye Of The Tiger
(debuted #73, peaked #1, 25 weeks on chart)
Sure, the lyrics are pretty goofy – I think I realized that even in ’82 when Rocky III was one of the summer’s biggest flicks and Survivor’s theme was everywhere – but the music is sonic adrenalin.
Rick Springfield – What Kind of Fool Am I
from Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
(debuted #57, peaked #21, 12 weeks on chart)
Though I don’t usually seek them out, when one of the dozen or so tracks on the iPod by Rick Springfield shuffles up, I’m likely listening to the entire song. The guy had some catchy tracks.
I would have guessed the the mellow rocking What Kind Of Fool Am I had been a Top 10 hit. It certainly seemed to be as popular as Don’t Talk To Strangers, the first single from Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet on the stations I was listening to.