This Week In 1980: October 5, 1980
Girl groups (as opposed to girl bands) were thin on the ground in the early '80s — after having been a major part of music in the '60s and '70s, and returning to the forefront of pop in the '90s.
But one trio of singing sisters bucked the trend, adding eight Australian top 20 hits to their tally during the decade, including the song that arrived on the chart this week in 1980.
Jumping up to number 1 this week in 1980 was a woman who got her start in one of the biggest girl groups in music history. Ex-Supreme Diana Ross moved up with "Upside Down" for a four-week stretch on top.
Off The Chart
Number 92 The D.C. Hits E.P. by Daddy Cool
Peak: number 78
First released five years earlier, this four-track EP comprised the Australian rock band's four top 30 singles from 1971-72, including their chart-topping debut, "Eagle Rock".
Number 91 "Real Love" by The Doobie Brothers
Peak: number 53
The American band continued the trend of not being as successful locally as they were at home with this lead single from One Step Closer peaking almost 50 places below its top US position.
Number 83 "Lookin' For Love" by Johnny Lee
Peak: number 51
Also peaking at number 5 in the US was this country song from the film Urban Cowboy, which is not to be confused with a different "Lookin' For Love" performed by another Johnny.
Peak: number 78
The Xanadu hit streak came to a crashing halt with this fourth single from the soundtrack unable to match its predecessors. It was up to ONJ to fix that situation...
Number 72 Robot Wizards by Ward 13
Peak: number 72
A debut top 100 appearance for Sydney band Ward 13, who combined pub rock and new wave sounds on their first five-track EP.
Peak: number 33
When we saw The Two-Man Band's follow-up to "Up There Cazaly", "You Are Australia", tank earlier in 1980, I contrasted that single's lack of success with The Mojo Singers' sequel single, "C'mon Aussie C'mon (The New Era)", which had been a top 10 hit. Mike Brady and Peter Sullivan turned things around with another VFL-themed track, which brought them back into the top 50, albeit much further down the ladder. Not surprisingly, they revisited Cazaly for their next attempt at chart glory, "There's A Little Bit Of Cazaly In Us All", which we'll see when we reach 1981.
Number 37 "He's So Shy" by The Pointer Sisters
Peak: number 11
They'd already landed one top 10 hit in Australia as a trio in 1979, and Anita, June and Ruth Pointer almost did it again in 1980 with the lead single from their seventh album, Special Things. In fact, "He's So Shy" was unlucky not to crack the top 10, stuck at number 11 for five straight weeks. The song — originally written by Tom Snow and Cynthia Weil as "She's So Shy, and intended for Leo Sayer — saw the sisters move in even more of a pop direction than their R&B, country and rock past would have suggested, but the slick sound suited them. As did those vivid outfits in the song's music video — the first clip they ever made, which basically consisted of them walking down a corridor and getting in and out of a lift. Even more eye-catching: the costumes they wore as guest stars in The Love Boat the following year. We'd be seeing a lot more of The Pointer Sisters in the top 20 as the decade wore on.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):
Next week: more action inside the top 50, with the latest hits by a couple of gentlemen who'd been releasing records for years.