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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1980: August 3, 1980

Some artists are lucky to have a hit at all, while others visit the top 50 multiple times. And sometimes, a performer will be successful in a number of different guises - with a band, as a solo artist, in collaboration with other artists...

James Freud started his ever-evolving chart career in 1980

This week in 1980, an Australian singer whose career brought him to the top 50 in four different capacities landed his first ever hit as frontman of a new local band. He would go on to be part of two more bands and release solo recordings, all of which yielded chart hits.

The biggest chart hit in Australia this week in 1980 was "Can't Stop The Music" by Village People, which spent its fourth and final week at number 1.

Off The Chart

Number 99 "Danger" by The Motels

Peak: number 88

"Total Control" was on its last legs, but The Motels weren't able to replace it with another hit as this lead single from second album Careful fell way short of the top 50

Number 98 "Here Comes Another Heartache" by Darryl Cotton

Peak: number 89

And here comes another artist with a recent top 10 hit failing to reach the top 50 with their follow-up. Album Best Seat In The House had also faltered, peaking at number 56 in May.

Number 96 "After The News" by The Reels

Peak: number 65

The Reels had yet to land a major hit and at this stage were also struggling to even get back into the top 50. "After The News" would end up featuring on the band's second album, Quasimodo's Dream, released in May 1981.

Number 95 "Broken English" by Marianne Faithfull

Peak: number 75

I came to know this song when UK dance act Sunscreem covered it in 1992 - and while I loved all the other singles from their debut album, I did not care for "Broken English". That's doubly the case in its original form. Tortured is the word that comes to mind.

Number 45 "Modern Girl" by James Freud & The Radio Stars

Peak: number 12

He would go on to reach number 1 as part of Models, land a top 20 hit in 1989 from the most expensive album Mushroom Records had released up until that point and team up with Martin Plaza for another visit to the top 50 in the early '90s, but this is where James Freud's Australian chart career started. Twenty years old at the time, the late singer had played in a number of bands since his high school days - including Teenage Radio Stars with future Models band-mate Sean Kelly - but this was the first one that landed a single on the chart. And with debut release "Modern Girl" almost reaching the top 10, things were off to a good start. But album Breaking Silence and follow-up single "Enemy Lines" (released under James Freud's Berlin due to an Icehouse-type name change situation) failed to capitalise on the early success, and the Gary Numan-produced "Automatic Crazy" missed the top 100 entirely. By 1981, James dissolved the band and teamed up with Sean in Models the following year.

Number 44 "Emotional Rescue" by The Rolling Stones

Peak: number 8

Continuing in the rock-meets-disco vein that had produced 1978's "Miss You", The Rolling Stones returned to the same chart peak reached by that earlier hit with the title track of their latest album. ("Respectable" had peaked at number 19 between them.) But the shift in their sound didn't sit well with everyone in the band, with Keith Richards said to have disliked the musical direction, contributing to the friction between him and Mick Jagger. And while some fans might have felt like the Stones were selling out, enough others went out and bought "Emotional Rescue", which became the band's 22nd top 10 hit in Australia.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: a follow-up to a recent number 1, an upcoming number 1 linked to one of the biggest events of the year and the latest hit by an Australian band that was taking off in the US.

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