Back at the beginning of July in the daily Briefs, I started the Official snicks Top 100 Lost Hits of The 80's, spotlighting the 100 greatest minor hits of that decade. The songs you don't hear on any 80's nostalgia show. Songs that missed the top ten, or top twenty ... or top forty, and over the last five months I hope some of these forgotten gems may have rung a long dormant bell, or for younger readers, provided a pop music history lesson.
Here is the complete list, including my favorite lost song of the decade. Thank you for taking this 80's road trip with me ... but it's not over yet! I'll be featuring a new Lost Hit once a week in the Wednesday Briefs, so the history lesson will continue!
Let the countdown commence, and remember ... keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!
100. Animotion - "I Engineer"
99. Donna Allen - "Serious"
98. Holly Knight - "Heart Don't Fail Me Now"
Holly is one of my 80's pop music icons. She wrote or co-wrote some of the most memorable hits of the decade, including "Love Is A Battlefield," "Invincible," "Better Be Good To Me," "The Best," "Never," and "Obsession," She released her self-titled album in 1988, and it contained a killer version of "Battlefield," as well as her own stab at solo pop stardom, "Heart Don't Fail Me Now." Unfortunately, it flopped, peaking at #60 in October of '88. But she still has that legacy of songs, including my personal anthem, "The Warrior."
97. Olivia Newton-John - "Tied Up"
96. Nu Shooz - "Should I Say Yes?"
95. Diana Ross - "Pieces Of Ice"
94. Honeymoon Suite - "Feel It Again"
93. Kim Carnes - "Does It Make You Remember"
92. Jane Wiedlen - "Blue Kiss"
91. Quarterflash - "Find Another Fool"
90. Lone Justice - "Ways To Be Wicked"
89. Laura Branigan - "Spanish Eddie"
I've mentioned before that Laura is my 2nd all-time favorite singer, and there are a couple of her songs on this list. "Spanish Eddie" was the first single off her 1985 album Hold Me, and the album and song were a huge chart disappointment coming off the enormous success of 84's Self Control. "Spanish Eddie" peaked at #40 in September of 85, but on the plus side, the album is now a collector's item (but I'll never sell mine).
88. Toni Childs - "Don't Walk Away"
87. Divinyls - "Pleasure & Pain"
86. Missing Persons - "Give"
85. Shannon - "Give Me Tonight"
84. Wendy & Lisa - "Waterfall"
83. Jennifer Rush & Elton John - "Flames Of Paradise"
82. Martha Davis - "Don't Tell Me The Time"
81. Eight Seconds - "Kiss You (When It's Dangerous)"
80. Cyndi Lauper - "Hole In My Heart (All The Way To China)"
National treasure Cyndi should have had a surefire hit with the single from Vibes, but both the movie and the song tanked, with "Hole In My Heart" peaking at an abysmal #54 in August 1988. You can't even find it on most Cyndi "Best Of" albums, although it certainly qualifies.
79. Julian Lennon - "Stick Around"
78. Josie Cotton - "Jimmy Loves Maryann"
77. Irene Cara - "The Dream"
76. Martha & The Muffins - "Black Stations/White Stations"
75. Benjamin Orr - "Stay The Night"
74. Eurogliders - "Heaven (Must Be There)"
73. Sheila E. - "The Belle Of St. Mark"
72. Alisha - "Baby Talk"
71. Tony Carey - "A Fine, Fine Day"
70. Barry Gibb - "Shine Shine"
69. Models - "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
68. E.G. Daily - "Say It, Say It"
67. Kim Carnes - "Invisible Hands"
66. Sheena Easton - "Do It For Love"
65. OXO - "Whirly Girl"
64. The Other Ones - "We Are What We Are"
63. Adam Ant - "Strip"
62. Asia - "Go"
61. Diana Ross - "Eaten Alive"
60. Til Tuesday - "What About Love"
The faboo Aimee Mann and company hit it big in 1985 with "Voices Carry," but the first two singles from their terrific second album deserved more recognition. "Coming Up Close" missed the top forty, but "What About Love" managed to make it to #26 in November 1986.
59. Shannon - "Do You Wanna Get Away"
58. Ann Wilson - "The Best Man In The World"
57. Klymaxx - "Man Size Love"
56. Felony - "The Fanatic"
55. Olivia Newton-John & David Foster - "The Best Of Me"
54. Kim Carnes & Barbra Streisand - "Make No Mistake, He's Mine"
53. Spider - "New Romance (It's A Mystery)"
52. Bardeux - "When We Kiss"
51. David Bowie - "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)"
50. Laura Branigan - "Shattered Glass"
49. Climie Fisher - "Love Changes (Everything)"
48. Spandau Ballet - "Only When You Leave"
47. The Family - "The Screams Of Passion"
One of my favorite Prince droppings was this short-lived Paisley Park super-group that featured Susannah Melvoin (one-time Prince fiance and sister of Wendy of Wendy & Lisa), Paul Peterson, Jellybean Johnston and for some reason... Jerome! They hit the Hot 100 just once, with "The Screams Of Passion," which peaked at #63 in October 1985, but they're probably best known for recording the first version of "Nothing Compares 2 U."
46. Nik Kershaw - "Wouldn't It Be Good"
45. The Church - "Under The Milky Way"
44. Pia Zadorable - "The Clapping Song"
43. Deborah Allen - "Baby, I Lied"
42. Diana Ross - "Swept Away"
41. Donna Summer - "Dinner With Gershwin"
40. Sheena Easton - "Almost Over You"
39. Rita Coolidge - "All Time High"
38. Human League - "Mirror Man"
37. Dan Hartman - "We Are The Young"
36. Lindsey Buckingham - "Go Insane"
35. Chilliwack - "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)"
34. Olivia Newton-John - "The Rumour"
The first of two songs from Olivia in the top 40, "The Rumour" should have been a huge comeback hit after being away for a couple of years, but inexplicably, it was one of the biggest flops of her career, peaking at #62 in September 1988.
33. Kim Carnes - "Crazy In The Night"
32. Partland Brothers - "Soul City"
31. The Motels - "Remember The Nights"
30. Wax - "Right Between The Eyes"
29. Quarterflash - "Take Me To Heart"
28. Face To Face - "10,9,8"
27. Gino Vanelli - "Hurts To Be In Love"
26. Barbra Streisand - "Left In The Dark"
25. Toni Basil - "Over My Head"
24. Patty Smyth - "Never Enough"
23. Chris DeBurgh - "High On Emotion"
22. Donald Fagen - "IGY (What A Beautiful World)"
21. Sheena Easton - "You Could Have Been With Me"
20. Wild Blue - "Fire With Fire"
19. Melissa Manchester - "Thief Of Hearts"
18. Romeo Void - "A Girl In Trouble"
They're probably best known for "Never Say Never," but they only had one chart hit, when "Girl In Trouble" reached #35 in October 1984. They also had one of my favorite episodes of Bands Reunited, as faboo lead singer Debora Iyall recounted the struggles the band had with the record label over their "image" (Debora's looks), and their label finally dumping them just as they were beginning to find Top 40 success. Bastards.
17. Alan Parsons Project - "Prime Time"
16. Laura Branigan - "The Lucky One"
15. Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, James Ingram - "What About Me"
14. Olivia Newton-John - "Soul Kiss"
13. Tina Turner - "One Of The Living"
11. Fire, Inc. - "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young"
Jim Steinman was on a roll starting in late 83. Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse Of The heart" was an enormous success, and Air Supply had one of the biggest hits of their career with "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All," and Barry Manilow had his final Top 20 hit with "Read 'Em and Weep." In 1984, he was approached to contribute two songs to the soundtrack of Streets Of Fire , and he formed the impromptu band Fire, Inc., which featured Holly Sherwood on vocals. "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" and the equally faboo "Nowhere Fast" still hold up almost 30 years later, even though they were both notable flops at the time, with the latter not even charting, and "Tonight" peaking at #80 in June 1984.
10. "Midnight Blue" by Louise Tucker and Charlie Skarbek
What do you get when you cross Beethoven's "Sonata Pathétique," synthpop, a hot beardo, and an English mezzo-soprano opera singer? You get the 10th greatest lost hit of the 80's! In 1982, Opera star Louise Tucker teamed up with record producer Charlie Skarbek to create the album Midnight Blue - A Project With Louise Tucker, which combined classical music with synthpop. The title track was a duet between Louise and Charlie, and its unique sound helped it to climb to #46 on the Billboard chart in August of 1983.
9. "Talk To Me" by Fiona
I'm sure I may be the only person (beside her immediate family) who owns four Fiona albums, but I absolutely adored this passionate, raspy-voiced, but sadly forgotten 80's rock chick. She starred with Bob Dylan and ... Rupert Everett? in the 87 rock flop Hearts Of Fire, and made a notable appearance on Miami Vice as a psycho stalker of Don Johnson, but music was her first love. She was never able to achieve chart success, though, even though she offered up some faboo mid-80's pop/rock. Like her first single "Talk To Me," which should have announced her as the dynamo she was, but flopped on the chart, peaking at #64 in May 1985.
8. "Hanging On A Heart Attack" by Device
We've had a few songs from the faboo Holly Knight on the list, as a solo singer, songwriter, and member of the group Spider, and here she is one last time as a member of another short-lived 80's group, Device. They released one album in 1986, with lead singer Paul Engemann, who would later go on to front Faux Animotion. Despite Holly's success with other artists, chart success continued to elude her, and the failure of Device would continue that trend. But they did give us one great album of perfect mid-80's pop, including the awesome "Hanging On A Heart Attack," which somehow stalled at #35 in August 1986.
7. "What About Me" by Moving Pictures
Moving Pictures had a huge hit in their native Australia in 1982 with "What About Me," which spent six weeks at #1 down under, but it had an unusual history on the Billboard chart. Released in September 82, it started climbing the Hot 100 ... very slowly, eventually peaking at #29 in February 83 in its 22nd week on the chart. It was re-released seven years later, where it climbed the Hot 100 again, this time peaking at #46 in October 1989. Even though it never conquered the charts, it's a timeless pop song.
6. "The Captain Of Her Heart" by Double
One of the most gorgeous, melodic songs of the decade, Swiss duo Double took "The Captain Of Her Heart" to #16 in September 1986. But has she decided to get on with her life, or join him in his obvious watery grave?
5. "Saddest Victory" by Sandy Stewart
Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Sandy Stewart was the BFF of Stevie Nicks for many years (until they had a mysterious falling out that lasted many years), and co-wrote "Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind," one of the only bright spots on Stevie's album Street Angel and "Too Far From Texas," from Stevie's album Trouble In Shangri-La. She also wrote one of Stevie's greatest solo hits, "If Anyone Falls" for Stevie's synthtastic 83 album The Wild Heart. In fact, "Saddest Victory" would have fit in nicely on that album, but Sandy saved it for herself for her own 83 solo album Cat Dancer. Sadly, and inexplicably, "Saddest Victory" missed charting on the Billboard Hot 100, which makes this song, more than any other song on this countdown, a true "lost" 80's gem.
4. "Voyeur" by Kim Carnes
Kim Carnes has more songs on this list than other artist, and her last entry proves my belief that "Bette Davis Eyes" was as much a curse as it was a blessing for her career. It was an enormous hit (nine weeks at #1), but nothing she followed it up with could hope to compare to its success. She gave it a valiant try, though, with the title track to my 2nd favorite album of the decade, and a synthrock classic. "Voyeur" was a ballsy choice to follow up the radio and family friendly BDE, and it did earn her a Grammy nod for Rock Vocal, but both the album and single were notorious flops. The album was the lowest charting follow -up to a #1 album in Billboard history (until 6 years later when Mr. Mister took that title away), and the song sputtered out at #29 in October 1982.
3. "I Couldn't Say No" by Robert Ellis Orrall & Carlene Carter
And here we have my favorite duet of the 80's, with singer/songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall and the faboo Carlene Carter. Maybe it's my favorite because it looked like my elementary school music teacher singing with the hot hippie chick who lived down the street and would occasionally babysit. It peaked at #32 in May of 1983, and is completely undeserving of its forgotten status.
2. "Night Moves" by Marilyn Martin
Like Sandy Stewart at #5, Marilyn Martin had a strong Stevie connection at the beginning of her career. She heard her sing backup on stage for Joe Walsh, and hired Marilyn for her tour, and asked her to sing background vocals on the Rock A Little album. She also gave Marilyn the song "Sorcerer" for the Streets Of Fire soundtrack. The president of Stevie's record company heard her amazing vocals and asked her to duet with Phil Collins on "Separate Lives," from the soundtrack of White Nights. The song hit #1 and has become an 80's classic. So hopes were high when her self-titled debut album was released in January 1986. Sadly, a sustained pop music career was not in the cards for Marilyn, as the album stiffed, and the faboo first single "Night Moves" stalled at #28 in March. None of the other singles from the album charted, and her 88 album completely flopped. Marilyn left music and became a successful realtor, but has just released an album of "songs of faith and inspiration." But "Night Moves" is how I'll remember her and that fantastic voice. And of course, the music video, one of the best and creepiest of the decade, with Marilyn vamping it up and those ... guys on meathooks.
Next page! The #1 Greatest Lost Hit of the 80's....
1. "Holdin' On" by Tane' Cain
Tane' Cain had a very brief stint on the chart, but it did yield my favorite forgotten pure pop song of the 80's. Tane was destined for a career in showbiz. Her father was B movie legend Troy Doug McClure, and she married Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who wrote the classic ballad "Faithfully" for her (her picture can be seen in the music video). In 1982 Jonathan helped his wife secure a record deal, and produced her self-titled debut album, and wrote most of the songs on the album, including the first single "Holdin' On." It hit the Billboard Hot 100, and quickly charged into the Top 40, where it stalled at #37 in October 82. Her album flopped, and she was dropped from her record label
Tane' and Jonathan divorced a couple of years later, and she went back to her maiden name (and possibly had some work done), where as Tane' McClure she became one of my favorite Queens of 90's Skinemax.
But it was "Holdin' On" that first caught my attention, and to me is the epitome of hair-tossin' early 80's girl power pop, which is my favorite genre of music. A little Quarterflash ... a little Benatar ... wrapped up with a great hook. And because absolutely no one remembers it, it's a clear choice for my favorite Lost pop song of the 80's.