27 April 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 27 April 1981

In September last year, I started re-capping the Predictions for National Top 100 Singles (later 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100') lists from the Kent Music Report chart in 1981.  But these lists started publication over four months earlier, in April 1981.  Why did I skip past the first few months?  I just forgot to start writing about them in April 2021, that's all... but now I am playing catch-up.  So, brace yourself as I dust off some early 80s Australian chart flops.
 
Sister Sledge were not the only sister act bubbling under on the Australian chart this week in 1981.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 6 "I Can't Stand It" by Eric Clapton and His Band
Highest rank: 5th
Peak dates: 4 May 1981 and 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
Eric Clapton's biggest hit in Australia at this point had been his version of Bob Marley and The Wailers' "I Shot the Sheriff" (number 11, November 1974).  He would go on to land a bigger hit, with his MTV Unplugged acoustic versions of "Tears in Heaven" and "Layla", a double A-side single, reaching number 7 in April 1993 and spending a whopping 41 weeks in the ARIA top 150.
 
"I Can't Stand It" was the lead single from the English guitar maestro's seventh studio album Another Ticket (number 30, April 1981).  While the single did not chart in Eric's native UK, it reached number 7 in Canada in April 1981, and number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1981.

We will next see Eric bubble under in 1987.
 

 
Position 7 "Hello Again" by Neil Diamond
Highest rank: 3rd
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

American singer, songwriter, and sometime actor Neil Diamond released his first single in 1962, and his first album in 1966.
 
"Hello Again" was recorded for the soundtrack album to the 1980 movie The Jazz Singer (number 10, March 1981), which was credited as a Neil Diamond release.  Neil also stars in the film.  The single peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981, and was a top 40 hit in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.  "Hello Again" also peaked at number 51 in the UK in February 1981.

Although Neil Diamond is a name I am familiar with, I don't actually know much of his music, and I can't say I enjoyed listening to this one.  I had to turn it off half-way through.

Neil will next join us in 1984.



Position 8 "Night Rider" by Kevin Johnson
Highest rank: 8th
Peak dates: 27 April 1981, 4 May 1981 and 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

Australian singer Kevin Johnson's first single was released in 1967.  His biggest hit would come in 1973, with "Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)", which peaked at number 8 on David Kent's retrospective Australian charts.

This track was lifted from Kevin's fifth studio album Night Rider (number 72, May 1981), which was his last album to chart.  Kevin would, however, have one final charting single, with "Reasons" (number 98, October 1981).



Position 13 "Marching Feet" by MEO 245
Highest rank: 13th
Peak date: 27 April 1981
Weeks on below list: 1 week

Australian band MEO 245 formed in Hobart in 1978.  The group placed two singles on the Kent Music Report top 100 chart, with "Lady Love" (number 43, December 1980) being the biggest of those.

The group only released one album Screen Memory (number 69, August 1981), but curiously, neither "Lady Love" nor "Marching Feet" appear on it.

MEO 245 disbanded in 1983.



Position 14 "Telephone Lines" by Linda George
Highest rank: 11th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
 
English-born Australian singer Linda George, initially known as Miss Linda George, placed six singles on the Australian chart between 1973 and 1980.  The biggest of those was "Mama's Little Girl", which peaked at number 8 in October 1974.

"Telephone Lines" was a non-album release from Linda.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about it, as the song does not appear to be available to listen to anywhere online.
 
 
Position 16 "It's My Job" by Jimmy Buffett
Highest rank: 5th
Peak date: 25 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 8 weeks
 
American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett is one of the richest recording artists, with an estimated wealth of $900 million in 2017.  Despite that, I've never heard of him before... but country music is not my thing.
 
Jimmy's biggest hit in Australia, and his only single to reach the top 40 here, was "Come Monday", which peaked at number 19 in November 1974.

"It's My Job" was lifted from Jimmy's tenth studio album Coconut Telegraph (number 51, April 1981).  The single peaked at number 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981.

We will see Jimmy again in June 1981.
 

 
Position 17 "All American Girls" by Sister Sledge
Highest rank: 14th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
American sibling vocal group Sister Sledge formed in 1971.  They landed their first Australian chart hits in 1979 with the disco classics "He's the Greatest Dancer" (number 22, July 1979) and "We Are Family" (number 19, September 1979).  The sisters' biggest hit in Australia, however, came in 1985, when "Frankie" reached number 10 in September of that year.  Aside from these three hits, no other Sister Sledge single peaked higher than number 50 in Australia.

"All American Girls" was the title-track from Sister Sledge's fifth studio album, which did not chart in Australia.  The single peaked at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981, number 41 in the UK in March 1981, number 8 in the Netherlands in March 1981, number 6 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1981, and number 27 in Germany in April 1981.

I think I've seen this one on a repeat of Countdown during rage retro month before; but I am not certain of that.

Sister Sledge will next bubble under in 1994.
 
 
 
Position 18 "Back of the Woods" by Atla
Highest rank: 18th
Peak dates: 27 April 1981 and 4 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 2 weeks
 
Here's one I'm certain I have seen on a Countdown repeat on rage, as I distinctly recall the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (or 'Mountie') uniforms worn in the video, embedded below.

Atla were an Australian band, and this single was their only "charting" release - of sorts.  It seems the Countdown exposure did not help them.
 
No other release from the band is listed on discogs.com at the time of writing.
 

 
Position 19 "Love You to the Limit" by Cheetah
Highest rank: 9th
Peak dates: 11 May 1981 and 18 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks

Cheetah were another Australian band, and another one whose Countdown exposure with this track (a performance of this song from the show is embedded below) did not help its chart success.

Cheetah were fronted by English-born sisters Chrissie and Lindsay Hammond.  The group placed four singles on the Kent Music Report top 100 between 1978 and 1982, with their first hit, "Walking in the Rain" (number 10, November 1978), being their biggest by far.

"Love You to the Limit" was written and produced by Vanda and Young, although obviously they did not give credit for plagiarising the riff from The Troggs' "Wild Thing" from 1966.

Cheetah's only album Rock & Roll Women, which did not chart, contains this song, but not their biggest hit.

"Love You to the Limit" was Cheetah's final Australian chart entry.



Next week (4 May): Three new singles bubbling under the top 100.

                                                                              Next week: 4 May 1981 >

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