This week in 1981 there were another two new singles bubbling beneath the top 100 that would not eventually break through. Shall we take a look?
Beyond the top 100:
Position 19 "Hearts on Fire" by Randy Meisner
Highest rank: 10th
Peak date: 27 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
Randall Meisner was a founding member of Eagles (no 'The'), as their bass player. He also provided backing vocals for the band, and sang lead on their 1975 single "Take It to the Limit", which I am surprised to learn only peaked at number 30 in Australia in April 1976. If our charts had incorporated airplay, "Take It to the Limit" probably would have been number 1 for about 20 weeks, as it was still on heavy rotation when I was in kindergarten in 1983. Gotta love Australian FM radio in the 80s... I actually thought for a long time that Eagles' "New Kid in Town" (number 16, March 1977) and Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" (number 6, May 1978) were new songs in 1983-4, as radio was still playing them so frequently then - at least on the station(s) my parents listened to.
Randy was also in the band Poco, who bubbled under in January 1990, but quit the band before their first album was released.
Randy's solo chart career only yielded one moderate hit single in Australia, with "Deep inside My Heart" (number 34, May 1981), which featured uncredited (on the single) guest vocals from Kim Carnes. Like most people, I once wrongly assumed Kim Carnes was a one-hit wonder, but she seems to show up quite frequently on side projects like this, as well as having her own non-"Bette Davis Eyes" moderate hits.
"Hearts on Fire" was the second single lifted from Randy's second studio album One More Song (number 83, April 1981). The single peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks in March 1983 - thank you Craig, if you're reading this, for giving me your copy of Joel Whitburn's Billboard Hot 100: The Eighties book, as without it I would not have been able to verify this fact (thanks to the bug-laden Billboard website). This was Randy's highest-peaking single on the Hot 100.
"Hearts on Fire" was Randy's final single to (sort of) chart in Australia.
Position 21 "Rugby League Song (N.S.W.)" by Danny McMaster
Highest rank: 16th
Peak date: 20 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
I think I've written before that I would literally rather watch paint dry than watch a game of football or rugby, or 99.9% of other sports, for that matter. But there's one thing that's even worse than sport - songs about sport. Ugh. The only good thing I can say about this one is that some kind (?) soul has uploaded it to YouTube, which I was not expecting for a flop single about sport by an Australian singer from 41 years ago. I guess there are some things we can be thankful for about ardent sport fans.
"Rugby League Song (N.S.W.)" was written by Danny, who had no other 'charting' singles. I think I can safely assume that this single was most successful in New South Wales.
A reader has kindly informed me that a Danny McMaster narrated Australia's Funniest Home Videos in the 1990s, around the time that Jo Beth Taylor was hosting. Could this be the same guy?
Next week (20 July): Three new singles bubbling under the top 100.
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