Thursday, October 11, 2018

Cash Box's First Top Compact Discs Chart (1984)

Beginning with the September 15, 1984 issue, Cash Box magazine began charting Compact Disc sales. Here's a look at that very first CD chart:

click image to enlarge

Check out those suggested list prices of $15.98 - $21.98. In today's dollar, that's $38.37 - $52.78.

Months later, Billboard would publish 2 Compact Disc charts starting on June 1, 1985, separating the pop and classical genres.

The final Cash Box Compact Disc chart appeared in the June 25, 1988 issue with Van Halen's OU812 in the top slot.

How close is that initial CD chart to the Cash Box Top 200 album chart for the week of September 15, 1984? I'm glad you asked:

Album CD ChartAlbum Chart
Purple Rain 11
What's New 289
Thriller 349
Synchronicity 4142
Dark Side of the Moon 5-
Born in the U.S.A. 64
90125 7127
1984 829
Heartbeat City 95
Eliminator 1022
Can't Slow Down 116
Footloose 1240
An Innocent Man 1326
Meddle 14-
Star Tracks 15-
In the Digital Mood 16-
Trumpet Concertos 17-
Avalon 18-
Future Shock 19139
Digital Domain 20-
Rock 'N Soul Part 1 2129
Brandenburg Concertos Vol. 1 22-
Brandenburg Concertos Vol. 2 23-
Windham Hill Sampler Vol. 1 24-
Chariots of Fire 25-
Beethoven: Sym. 9 26-
Autumn 27*
Greatest Hits Vol 2 28-
Best of Alan Parsons Project 29-
Rumours 30-

*Autumn was #27 on the jazz chart on that date

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lost Adult Contemporary Hits - February 1980

Below is the Adult Contemporary Chart from the February 9, 1980 issue of Billboard (click image to enlarge). There's lots of good stuff there, but I found twelve songs among these 50 with which I either have no memory or I've never heard until now. Here's a closer look at that dozen:

"Stay With Me Till Dawn"
Judy Tzuke
From the album Welcome to the Cruise
Written by Judy Tzuke & Mike Paxman
Produced by John Punter

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary47
 Hot 100101

1) How have I not heard this gorgeous ballad until now, and 2) how did it not chart higher? Is the whole album as well-written? And now I'm down a rabbit hole...

Barbara Mandrell
From the album Just for the Record
Written by Kye Fleming & Dennis Morgan
Produced by Tom Collins

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary38
 Hot 100102

I'm not much for country music and as soon as the plaintive slide guitar starts wailing I'm ready to bail. It's got a nice chorus, but not so much that this will get played again around here any time soon.

"It's Like We Never Said Goodbye"
Crystal Gayle
From the album Miss the Mississippi
Written by Roger Greenaway & Geoff Stephens
Produced by Allen Reynolds

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary17
 Hot 10063

Pleasant enough crossover attempt, but I won't be humming this one later on today - nothing memorable.

"I Don't Want to Talk About It"
Rod Stewart
From the album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Written by Danny Whitten
Produced by Tom Dowd

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary44
 Hot 10046

Why didn't Rod Stewart and Bonnie Tyler ever record a duet?

"The Very First Time"
Michael Johnson
From the album Dialogue
Written by Randy Goodrum
Produced by Brent Maher & Steve Gibson

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary29
 Hot 100101

A decent soft rocker in the vein of Johnson's other stuff, so if you like that, you'll like this one. Could use a better guitar solo and bridge, but I'll listen again.

"Loving You With My Eyes"
Starland Vocal Band
From the album 4x4
Written by Margot Kunkel & Taffy Danoff
Produced by Barry Beckett

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary13
 Hot 10071

I had this group pegged as "one hit wonders" so this is certainly unexpected. Sounds like a Broadway show tune ballad that (understandably) never saw the stage. It keeps plodding along anyway. Pass.

"You Are My Miracle"
Roger Whittaker
From the album Mirrors of My Mind
Written by Roger Whittaker
Produced by Walter J. Ridley

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary35
 Hot 100-

As expected, this is more easy listening than soft rock. Whittaker's pleasant baritone is immediately recognizable, but this elevator music isn't his best effort. From time to time, I enjoy listening to a radio station that subscribes to the America's Best Music service and I feel confident this tune must be on their playlist.

"Make Believe It's Your First Time"
Bobby Vinton
From the album Encore
Written by Bob Morrison & John Wilson
Produced by Bobby Vinton

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary17
 Hot 10078

I've heard the Carpenter's version, but I'll be doggone if Vinton doesn't try to make this own by changing the arrangement and adding a backbeat. Sure, I'll take Karen Carpenter's pure voice over Vinton's sliding from pitch to pitch, but a good song is a good song. If my math is correct, Vinton was in his mid-40's when this was recorded; he'd hit the AC chart one more time following this one.

"All Things Are Possible"
Dan Peek
From the album All Things Are Possible
Written by Dan Peek & Chris Christian
Produced by Chris Christian

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary6
 Hot 10078

Peek left the band America and teamed up with Chris Christian to record this, one of the first Contemporary Christian crossover singles. I dig the way the verse goes into the chorus and the wordless, Brian Wilson-esque bridge.

"Holdin' On For Dear Love"
From the album Lobo
Written by Johnny Slate, Steve Pippin & Larry Henley
Produced by Bob Montgomery

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary13
 Hot 10075

I enjoy the mid-tempo shuffle groove of this one. And finally we're treated to a sax solo! It's good, not great, but it has its moments.

"I Don't Want to Be Lonely"
Dana Valery
Single only release
Written by Mark Mueller
Produced by Kyle Lehning

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary23
 Hot 10087

I like it but I'd like more if it was sped up a bit. Valery (who, the Internet tells me, is a an Italian-born South African-reared singer, actress, and television performer) has a pleasant voice. Tasty guitar solo leading into the key change.

"Looks Like Love Again"
Dann Rogers
From the album Hearts Under Fire
Written by D. Marino
Produced by Ian Gardiner

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary6
 Hot 10041

Dann is the nephew of Kenny Rogers and this thing is catchy as hell. Same producer and label as Terry Williams' "Blame It on the Night" from the same year and the two pair nicely if you're into sequencing your soft rock. Williams sang in First Edition with Dann's Uncle Kenny if you want to bring it full circle.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

MFD Random Five #37

In which I click the shuffle icon on the iTunes app and listen to the first five songs that pop up from the years 1976-85.

  1. "How Do I Make You" by Linda Ronstadt (1980, Asylum)
    I've got mad love for Linda's Mad Love album and this was the first of three Top 40 singles from it. Equal parts The Knack and Blondie, this single just lets Linda rock a bit. And now I've got to hear the whole album today. Probably more than once.

  2. "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge (1979, Cotillion)
    The best Chic song ever recorded - that's saying something. And this shuffle did me right with the full 8+ minute version. Joyful. Bernard Edward's bass playing in this one? Fuggedaboudit.

  3. "(I Lost My Heart to a) Starship Trooper" by Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip (1978, Ariola Hansa)
    The less said about this cheap, disco Star Wars cash-in, the better. Lead vocals by a future ex-wife of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brighman.

  4. "Sushi Girl" by The Tubes (1981, Capitol)
    Even though I was vaguely aware of The Tubes from their duet with Olivia Newton-John on the Xanadu soundtrack, my formal introduction to the group happened a few years later when a high school buddy loaned me his cassette of The Completion Backward Principle, a collection of catchy power pop co-written and produced by David Foster. This song is side A, track 2. I wore that tape out. And then returned it. Sorry, Jim.

  5. "Short People" by Randy Newman (1977, Warner Bros.)
    Newman's songs are always wonderfully written, with clever lyrics, memorable melodies, and characteristic harmonies. This song is no exception, but it is indeed a puzzle why this was Newman's only Top 40 hit under his own name. When it was released, I was a bit undersized and underdeveloped (mentally and physically), so I misinterpreted Newman's message. This angered me and I would take out my frustrations by yelling at the radio playing the song. An 11 year old boy yelling at a pop song on the radio caused more than a little concern for my mother, bless her soul.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Promo posters as seen on "WKRP in Cincinnati" #39

Album: The Temptations - Power (Gordy, 1980)
Episode:  Season 3, Episode 4, "The Baby"
Original air date: Saturday, November 22, 1980

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Charting the Charts: Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) (1982)


Here's a look at how the 1982 album New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) fared on the album charts in various publications:

Date Billboard 200 Cashbox 200
Feb 19 131
Feb 26 125 152
March 5 118 133
March 12 99 116
March 19 92 107
March 26 79 99
April 2 72 98
April 9 69 96
April 16 69 95
April 23 86 92
April 30 83 88
May 7 90 86
May 14 100 86
May 21 104 113
May 28 106 133
June 4 113 147
June 11 118 149
June 18 151 158
June 25 200 169
July 2

Billboard, January 29, 1983, p. 80

Rolling Stone, April 14, 1983, p. 73

Smash Hits, September 30, 1982, p. 25

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