27 July 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 27 July 1981

There isn't really anything connecting this week in 1981's new entries bubbling under the top 100, other than two of them are loosely connected to 'heroes', and two are by Australian bands.  Let's take a look.
The Sports: whoever was listening to the radio in 1981 was not buying this track.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 27 "When We Go Out Tonight" by The Sports
Highest rank: 21st
Peak date: 24 August 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
At this point in 1981, Melbourne band The Sports had placed 8 singles within the Australian top 100, with "How Come" (number 21, July 1981) being the highest-peaking of those.  The band's most enduring hit, though - at least in my perception - is "Who Listens to the Radio", which peaked at number 35 in December 1978.
"When We Go Out Tonight" was the second and final single lifted from The Sports' forth and final studio album Sondra (number 20, June 1981).  Its release followed "How Come".  I do not believe I have heard this track before - it has the catchiness typical of front man Stephen Cummings' songwriting, including his TV jingles, so I am surprised it was not a bigger hit.
The Sports went on to place one final single within the Australian top 100, with "Sunshine Superman" (number 72, December 1981).  The band's lead singer, Stephen Cummings, embarked on a solo career following the demise of The Sports in late 1981, and we will see Stephen bubble under a number of times, starting in 1989.

Position 28 "The Last Number One" by Little Heroes
Highest rank: 18th
Peak date: 31 August 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
My impression is that we seem to see a lot of Australian acts in the Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 list, and here is yet another one.  Like The Sports above, Little Heroes also formed in Melbourne.
"The Last Number One", the band's third single, was their first to almost chart in Australia.  The song appears on the band's debut album Little Heroes (number 81, August 1981), which spawned no top 100 singles.

Little Heroes would score their first top 100 hit in 1982 with "One Perfect Day" (number 12, June 1982), which would also be the band's only top 40 entry.  Little Heroes placed three other singles within the Australian top 100, before splitting up in 1984.
Position 35 "Believe It Or Not (Theme from "The Greatest American Hero")" by Joey Scarbury
Highest rank: 7th
Peak date: 19 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
This single went on to peak at number 2 on 26 April 1982, and spent 26 weeks in the top 100.
"Belive It Or Not..." (I am not typing out the full title every time) is a song I have vivid memories about hearing/seeing on TV as a 3 year-old child in 1982.  I guess I must have watched The Greatest American Hero, even though I recall little else about the TV series, other than the Superman-like guy flying through the air.
Of course, "Believe It Or Not" went on to be a major hit in Australia, reaching number 2 in April 1982.  But, initially, the single was a flop, stalling outside the top 100.  I am guessing that The Greatest American Hero started to air - or become popular - in Australia in late 1981/early 1982, leading to a renewed interest in the single.

Internationally, "Believe It Or Not" peaked two weeks at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in August 1981, and number 1 in New Zealand in October 1981 (they always seemed to be ahead of us).  The single charted twice in Ireland, originally peaking at number 19 in November 1981, and then re-entering at number 28 in October 1982, almost a year later.  Oddly, the single did not chart in the UK.
Believe it or not, this track would become Joey's only top 100 entry in Australia.

Next week (3 August): Two new entries bubbling under the top 100.

< Previous week: 20 July 1981                                            Next week: 3 August 1981 >

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