This Week In 1980: April 6, 1980
Unless you happen to perform with your significant other (Sonny & Cher, Captain & Tennille) or record songs with them (Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, Beyoncé and Jay Z), chances are that any duets you do aren't going to be truly from the heart.
But when I was younger, I totally bought into the singers of duets like "Endless Love" and "We've Got Tonight" meaning every word. Maybe duets were just more emotional back in the early '80s? Two of the new entries on the singles chart this week in 1980 certainly were.
In a predictable turn of events, Queen hung onto the number 1 spot this week in 1980, with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" spending its sixth week on top of the Australian chart.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Desire" by Andy Gibb
Peak: number 90
This lead single from the other Gibb brother's third album, After Dark, had originally been recorded by Bee Gees, but when they chose not release their version, Andy's lead vocals were put on the track instead (although his siblings' background vocals can still be heard).
Number 46 "Crying" by Don McLean
Peak: number 27
It had been seven years since Don McLean had visited the top 50 with "If We Try" (the third of his top 10 hits), and it had initially looked like he wouldn't return to the chart with any of the songs included on his 1978 album, Chain Lightning. But thanks to his cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying" belatedly taking off in Europe, Don once again found himself with a hit on his hands. Not as successful as in the UK, where it reached number 1, or the US, where it took even longer to become a hit and reached the top 5 in 1981, Don's version of "Crying" also fell some way short of the chart-topping peak of Roy's 1961 original in Australia. But it was a nice version nevertheless, that suited his voice perfectly.
Number 44 "Don't Let Go" by Isaac Hayes
Peak: number 20
Next up, another remake - this time of a song originally released by Roy Hamilton in 1958 and covered multiple times since then. The disco track also brought its singer back to the chart after a length absense. Isaac Hayes' only other previous hit had been back in 1971-72 when "Theme From Shaft" reached number 11. Although he continued recording for some time, this would be Isaac's final hit under his own name, although he did provide the vocals for "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" as his South Park character, Chef, which reached number 14 in 1999.
Number 43 "Planet Claire" by The B-52's
Peak: number 43
Last week, we saw the arrival of "Rock Lobster" on the Australian top 50, and seven days later, another song by The B-52's joined it. As it turned out, "Planet Claire" had actually charted on the top 100 first, entering back in January, only to end up being eclipsed by "Rock Lobster". A less commercial track than the quirky but catchy "Rock Lobster", the "Peter Gunn"-sampling "Planet Claire" takes two-and-a-half minutes to get going, and I'd suggest may not have made the top 50 at all were it not for the runaway success of "Rock Lobster".
Peak: number 21
As romantic ballads go, they don't get more dramatic than this. But bizarrely, this love song performed by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright was taken from a sports comedy film called Fast Break, that had been released at the start of 1979. Eventually issued as a single at the end of that year, it became a monster hit in the US (number 4) and the UK (number 2). Although "With You I'm Born Again" is one of those songs where you really believe the singers are actually into each other, Billy and Syreeta weren't involved. She was married to bass player Curtis Robertson Jr at the time (and had previously been married to Stevie Wonder), while Billy was a closeted gay man.
Peak: number 30
There was also nothing going on between these two singers, who had attended high school together in Florida. Indeed, Teri DeSario was (and still is) married. K.C. (aka Harry Wayne Casey) from K.C. & The Sunshine Band was producing Teri's second album, Moonlight Madness, and ended up recording two duets with her on the LP - this remake of the 1965 song by Barbara Mason and a cover of "Dancin' In The Streets".
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):
Next week: new entries from Marianne Faithfull, The Dirt Band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and The Specials.