26 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 26 October 1981

If one thread ties this week in 1981's two new bubbling under debuts together, it's probably that neither release was from the artist's most successful period.  Let's take a look at them.
Marc Hunter's latest single was a loser on the Australian charts this week in 1981.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 31 "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Highest rank: 10th
Peak date: 30 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
This single was a live rendition of "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You", from Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's Nine Tonight (number 22, November 1981) - a live album drawn from two live shows in 1980.  The song is a cover version of a 1972 single by Otis Clay.

At this point in time, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band had placed six singles on the Australian top 100, with "Still the Same" (number 23, August 1978) being the biggest of those.  Bob and the gang would score their two biggest, and only top 10, hits in Australia in 1987 - peaking in the same month, no less - with "Old Time Rock & Roll" (number 3, August 1987) and "Shakedown" (number 9, August 1987).  Both of these tracks benefited from their inclusion in the movies Risky Business and Beverly Hills Cop II.

"Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" performed much stronger in the band's native US, where it reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band will bubble under again in 1986.

Position 33 "(Rock 'N' Roll Is) A Loser's Game" by Marc Hunter
Highest rank: 16th
Peak dates: 16 November 1981 and 23 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
New Zealand-born Marc Hunter was the lead singer of Dragon from 1973 until being fired from the band in early 1979 by his brother Todd.  Marc was fired following his increasingly erratic behaviour on stage.  Also around this time, Marc's drug use was spiralling out of control, and Todd has since commented the sacking was necessary to save Marc from himself.
Marc then embarked on a solo career, and although he did not achieve major success, he nonetheless landed two top 50 singles in Australia, with "Island Nights" (number 22, September 1979) and "Big City Talk" (number 41, August 1981).

"(Rock 'N' Roll Is) A Loser's Game" was the second single lifted from Marc's second solo album Big City Talk (number 54, August 1981).  Two further singles from the album were released, "Sideshow" (November 1981) and "Nothing but a Lie" (May 1982), but neither charted, or even bubbled under.

During Marc's tenure as front man for the group, Dragon notched up 8 top 100 singles on the Australian chart, with "April Sun in Cuba" (number 2, January 1978) and "Are You Old Enough" (number 1, October 1978) being their two biggest.  With new singer Billy Rogers, Dragon's first post-Marc release, "Love's Not Enough" (number 37, July 1979), was the band's only top 100 entry without Marc, and the group split by the end of the year.

Dragon reformed in August 1982, with Marc joining them as lead singer.  Their first release after reuniting, "Ramona" (number 79, December 1982), flew under the radar, but the follow-up, "Rain" (number 2, September 1983), put the band back on the map.

Marc would land another minor solo top 100 'hit' on the Australian chart, with "Communication" (number 78, May 1984).  Marc will bubble under again in 1994.

Sadly, Marc was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer in November 1997, and died from the disease in July 1998, aged 44.

Next week (2 November): Just one single bubbling under the top 100, but it's quite a big one that surprisingly was not a hit in Australia.

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