Thursday, March 5, 2009

That was good...what ELSE ya got?

Talking About an artist's big hit is BORING.....what always fascinated me was what they did for a follow-up. Usually the next single after a hit would have been a hit as well, or at least be remembered as the decades rolled on...but that's not always the case, and that's what we're here to talk about today. Let's start with those red leather-clad dudes the Romantics


In 1984, The Romantics shot up to Number 3 with their hit "Talking In Your Sleep" (here's the 12-inch remix). So.....what to do for a follow-up? They actually released what I think is a better song, but it only made it to number 37 on the Billboard chart and the Romantics were soon forgotten about. That song was "One In A Million". I think the hook is catchy and it should have made it higher than 37.....and ask anyone today about this song and you'll more than likely get stares, frowns and perhaps red leather pants thrown in your face.


In 1979 Rupert Holmes hit it BIG with his album Partners In Crime, most likely due to his monster number one hit "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)". When you think back to that piece of crap song you think to yourself "Thank God he never released anything else".....but he DID....off the same album...and both songs were Billboard top-40 hits, too.......go on....try to name them.......I THOUGHT so......
So....how do you follow-up a cute little ditty about finding true love with the one you're already with....a song that even back then we knew we'd be hearing in every bar and wedding reception for decades to come? How about a song about a paranoid boyfriend that stalks his current girlfriend because he think she's cheating on him, but has no proof at all....he just KNOWS...."I know who left those smokes behind" he yells at his woman.....who probably is just blowing off this dude cause he's all old and beard-y.

This has got to be the CREEPIEST billboard top 6 song EVER.

"Him" made it to number six, and the song still gives me chills........that "Whoo-wooo" solo he does in the middle......couldn't the producer have said "Uh...Rupert.....DON'T DO THAT"........I guess not. The next single, "Answering Machine" also made it to the top 40.....number 32 to be exact. In this one our hero keeps calling up his girlfriend, probably the same one he accuses of cheating on him in "Him", and keeps getting the beep before he can finish his tirade. Hey Rupert, come out of retirement...perhaps you can make a comeback by writing a song about a 50+ year old man that keeps sending "add as friend" requests to a high school girl on Facebook....but she never adds him...and he gets mad....then the cops show up and take the old perv away....THAT would be a GREAT song......

I look back on it now and think "did top 40 radio REALLY play these songs...cause I do NOT remember that. But then again, I was 13, John Lennon had just been shot, and I was too busy going through puberty to notice.

Everyone THINKS that Modern English is a one hit wonder. Fact is that in this country the only song they're remembered for, "I Melt With You", only made it to number 78 on the billboard singles chart in 1982. I guess they could be called a no-hit wonder. Strange how time has been kind to I Melt With You. Their follow-up 2 years later, "Hands Across The Sea" was a better song in my opinion and it should have finally broken them here. Alas, it only made it to a pitiful #93 in the states.

22 comments:

Ray-Ray said...

Great blog. I totally agree about Modern English. In fact, the entire "Ricochet Days" album is worth owning. Modern English, in my opinion, never got the attention/respect that they rightfully deserved. And sadly, they seem to be solely remembered for "I Melt With You," which I hardly consider to be their best song.

Monica said...

I love "hands across the sea", I forgot this romantics song and when I heard it I it came back, I just forgot ALL about "One in a million"!!!!!!!

Jim said...

Oh, now, you can't pick on Rupert too much. He has actually done quite well himself. Not only that, he in forever linked with (and actually appeared in) the forgotten No Small Affair w/Demi Moore and Jon Cryer. I don't know if he had much to do with selecting songs for the soundtrack, but Malcolm McLaren's take on Bow Wow Wow's "Eiffel Tower" is fabulous, and the late, lamented Paul Delph's "Only One Thing" is also a good chunk of the 80s. My vinyl of the No Small Affair OST is rather well-worn.

As for The Escape Song, well, I resisted it too. It's not so bad in hindsight (unless you've spent time as a DJ, I guess).

Messy Tessy said...

HIM! HIM! HIM! is one of my guilty pleasures. What a great "bad" song.

私が告白した:私は利用された said...

HIM used to be played quite often on our only local radio station in the early 80s. I could never remember the name of the performer and I am glad today I get to put a face to that voice. That slim belt and rolled up sleeve :-} ~ chwee (singapore)

rickdog said...

Find more Romantics in my mp3blog and forum searches:

HERE
and
HERE

Find more Modern English in my mp3blog and forum searches:

HERE
and
HERE

MikeBC said...

I think Ink and Paper is better than I Melt with You or Hands Across the Sea!

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