Monday, February 6, 2017

35 Years Ago - Lost Adult Contemporary Hits

Below is the Adult Contemporary Chart from the February 6, 1982 issue of Billboard (click image to enlarge). There's lots of good stuff there including not one, but two singles from soft rock king Barry Manilow. However, I found a dozen songs among these 50 with which I either have no memory or I've never heard until now.

Below is a Mixcloud show containing all of those 12 tunes followed by an annotated playlist which includes my initial thoughts on hearing these songs for the first time (that I remember), in countdown order:

"If I Were You"
From the album Lulu
Written by Jerry Fuller & John Hobbs
Produced by Mark London

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary27
 Hot 10044

This is a solid AC tune, full of Fender Rhodes piano, strings, backing vocals and a funk-lite bass line to move everything along; all that's missing is tenor sax solo. I'd never heard of this song or album, but Lulu was still in good voice. I'd give this one a B-.

"All Our Tomorrows"
Eddie Schwartz
From the album No Refuge
Written by Dave Tyson & Eddie Schwartz
Produced by Eddie Schwartz & Dave Tyson

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary40
 Hot 10028

Another tune that must not have gotten much airplay in my area. The material's a little weak - this one never seems to go anywhere. Decent guitar solo, though. Since I graded the first track, I'll do the same here: C-

"Natural Love"
Petula Clark
Single only release
Written by J. Harrington, J. Pennig, K. Espy, P. Gernhardt
Produced by Tony Scotti

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary24
 Hot 10066

A bit too country for my tastes. In 1982, this would have sent me scrambling to change the radio station. These days, I'm older so now I'd walk over to the remote control to change the station. Better yet, I need to get one of dem dere Amazon Echo thingamajigs so I don't even have to get up. My lack of country music knowledge means I'm not qualified to give this one a grade.

"Blue Moon with Heartache"
Rosanne Cash
From the album Seven Year Ache
Written by Rosanne Cash
Produced by Rodney Crowell

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary37
 Hot 100-

This has enough crossover power that I'm surprised it didn't actually crossover to the pop charts. Not my thing when I was 15, but it is gorgeous to those older ears. I could do without the steel guitar, but oh those vocal harmonies on the chorus. A-

"Tell Me Tomorrow"
Smokey Robinson
From the album Yes It's You Lady
Written by Gary Goetzman & Mike Piccirillo
Produced by George Tobin in association with Mike Piccirillo

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary31
 Hot 10033

This reminds me a lot of George Benson's "Turn Your Love Around" (which is on the above chart at #18) and that's a good thing. The verse melody is weak, but I dig the groove and the sax solo ain't bad. B+

"Only One You"
T.G. Sheppard
From the album Finally!
Written by Bucky Jones & Michael Garvin
Produced by Buddy Killen

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary20
 Hot 10068

See comments for "Natural Love" above.

"Just Can't Win 'Em All"
Stevie Woods
From the album Take Me to Your Heaven
Written by Greg Mathieson, Trevor Veitch, Bill Bowersock & Matt Vernon
Produced by Jack White

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary15
 Hot 10038

What a great find. Sounds like something you'd find in the Radio Daze CD series. I'm surprised this one charted R&B because I'm not hearing much R&B, just a solid pop tune with a yacht rock groove (courtesy of "Ride Like the Wind") and country-ish background harmonies. Works, tho. B+

"More Than Just the Two of Us"
From the album Sneaker
Written by Michael Carey Schneider & Mitch Crane
Produced by Jeff Baxter

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary17
 Hot 10034

There's nothing wrong with this ballad, but there's not much to get excited about, either.  I was expecting something different from a band that took its name from a Steely Dan song and was produced by a Doobie Brother. Sounds more like mid-70s Eric Carmen to me. B-

"Those Good Old Dreams"
The Carpenters
From the album Made in America
Written by Richard Carpenter & John Bettis
Produced by Richard Carpenter

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary21
 Hot 10063

I like the rolling along feeling of this one but, again, I could do without the slide guitar. But we all know the star here is the pure voice of Karen. If this one doesn't make you feel good, you're at the wrong blog. B

"Another Sleepless Night"
Anne Murray
From the album Where Do You Go When You Dream
Written by Charlie Black & Rory Bourke
Produced by Jim Ed Norman

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary11
 Hot 10044

This is pure derivative cheese, but it's fun and catchy so I'll be singing it later today. B

"Perhaps Love"
Placido Domingo & John Denver
From the album Perhaps Love
Written by John Denver
Produced by Milton Okun

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary22
 Hot 10059

Ye gods. Perhaps the less said about this song, the better. F

"Could It Be Love"
Jennifer Warnes
From the album Best of Jennifer Warnes
Written by Randy Sharp
Produced by Jim Ed Norman

 U.S. Billboard charts peaks:
 Adult Contemporary13
 Hot 10047

I can't tell if this shuffle is trying to be a country song or a '50s doo-wop feel. Without much of a melody, I guess it doesn't matter. The guitar work saves it from being totally bland. D+

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