This Week In 1980: June 1, 1980
There are some acts you wish would be more successful, and others where it's a blessing they haven't had more hits.
This week in 1980, one of each type arrived on the Australian singles chart with a song that would go on to reach the top 10. I'll let you work out which is which.
Enjoying a seventh week at number 1 this week in 1980 was "I Got You" by Split Enz. Would anything be able to knock it from the top?
Off The Chart
Number 95 "Singing The Blues" by Dave Edmunds
Peak: number 67
We saw his final Australian hit, "Girls Talk" on the first chart for the year, and this follow-up to top 50 miss "Queen Of Hearts" (later covered by Juice Newton) also flopped. The much-covered "Singing The Blues" was originally recorded by Marty Robbins.
Number 60 How Cruel by Joan Armatrading
Peak: number 60
A four-track EP (from November 1979) of songs that were "so good they couldn't wait" for Joan Armatrading's next album, Me Myself I (released in May 1980), How Cruel featured stand-along single "Rosie" (currently at number 55) as its first track.
Number 50 "Follow That Girl" by The Aliens
Peak: number 48
Their debut single had made the top 40, but the second release from the Melbourne band's recently released album, Translator, only just made the top 50, creeping in at number 50 in its 10th week on the top 100 and not getting much further. It's not my favourite local attempt at new wave, but "Follow That Girl" was certainly catchy enough to have done a little better. For the remainder of their existence, the band underwent major line-up upheaval and managed one more single, 1981's "I Don't Care", which didn't chart.
Peak: number 34
The latest single from Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons also fell short of recent efforts, "Hit And Run" (number 12) and "Shape I'm In" (number 22). With that momentum behind it and, as the lead single from a new album, Hats Off Step Lively, "All I Wanna Do" might have been expected to do better since it was another perfectly formed pop/rock tune. Joe Camilleri and pals wouldn't be back inside the top 50 for another couple of years.
Peak: number 2
It had been a hit three times in the 1960s (for The Righteous Brothers, Cilla Black and Dionne Warwick) but none of those versions of the song written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil charted as high as this remake by Long John Baldry and Kathi McDonald. John had recorded "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" once already - in 1966 on his album Looking At Long John - but his decision to perform it with the former Ikette and Janis Joplin's replacement in Big Brother And Holding Company resulted in both of them achieving their best ever chart position in Australia.
For Kathi, it was her only top 50 appearance locally, while for John - who earned his nickname due to his 6'7" height and once had a pre-fame Elton John in his band (and was the inspiration for "Someone Saved My Life Tonight") - it was his first hit since "Let The Heartaches Begin" in 1968. The success of this duet also meant that Hall & Oates' US number 12 cover of "You've Lost..." from 1980 was relegated to the B-side of "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear The Voices)", which was released here in 1981.
Number 40 "Come Back" by The J. Geils Band
Peak: number 31
In 1982, they'd enjoy two consecutive top 10 hits, but the American band's chart breakthrough in Australia came with this single from their ninth album, Love Stinks. Previously, their only other top 100 appearance had been in 1975 with "Must Of Got Lost", a more traditional rock song that peaked at number 72. Half a decade later, and The J. Geils Band had moved with the times and embraced new wave and disco influences, as demonstrated on "Come Back".
Peak: number 6
Ugh. What possessed people to buy this? The "Doop" of 1980, this debut single from the Belgian duo comprised of Marc Malyster and Gus Roan is like bad Oktoberfest music played on a Casio keyboard. Mercifully, it was The Veterans only hit in Australia, although they released two albums' worth of music.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):
Next week: the follow-up to Split Enz's long-running chart-topper, plus a new hit from a fellow New Zealander. And another Aussie rock classic from 1980.