Friday, August 1, 2014

The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 80's*: #100-91

Any time you do a music countdown, you have plenty of good songs to feature.  The disappointing part is always the cutoff--which songs make it and which don't?

We strongly considered "Freak-A-Zoid", "Say Say Say", "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" by the Gap Band, "I Want Her", "It's Gonna' Take A Miracle" from Deniece Williams, Stevie Wonder's "Skeletons", and "Just Be Good To Be" by the S.O.S. Band.  Those songs either didn't have the support of The Top 100 R&B Songs*, or they didn't have good enough competition in achieving their chart ranking.




This group had quite a decade on the R&B chart, with 23 hits in the 80's and 11 Top 10's.  Keep in mind these are their R&B numbers; they weren't near as successful on the Popular chart.  Cameo had a #1 hit with this in 1987, taking over from Luther Vandross's popular song "Stop To Love". 



"Keep On Movin'"
Soul II Soul

This group from London catapulted to the top with their first release.  "Keep On Movin'" went Platinum and reached #1 for two weeks.  The competition was not great, however, and that's a key factor in our rankings.


"Hangin' On A String (Contemplating)"
Loose Ends

The first release from this London trio hit #1 for one week against the six-week #1 "Rock Me Tonight" by Freddie Jackson.  Respect.


"What Have You Done For Me Lately"
Janet Jackson

Unlike the Popular chart, Janet Jackson didn't have any long-running #1's on the R&B chart--this one right here was her longest at two weeks.  It was just beginning to get comfortable when "Kiss" by Prince took over.


"Dance Floor"
Zapp & Roger

Zapp scored two big R&B hits in the 80's.  Sandwiched between two monster R&B hits of 1982 (Jennifer Holliday's "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and Aretha Franklin's "Jump To It"), this song still found its way to #1 for two weeks.  It also faced competition from "Love Came Down" by Evelyn "Champagne" King.


Gerald and Sean Levert are sons of Eddie Levert of the O'Jays.  They formed this act with Marc Gordon, and scored a #1 smash of two weeks in 1987.  "Casanova" went Gold for the group. 


"Love Is A House"
Force M.D.'s

The next artist is from the same area as the System, though they called Staten Island home.  The Force M.D.'s landed a #1 song in 1987, taking over from Levert's "Casanova".  Other songs out at the time included Michael Jackson's "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "I Need Love" from L.L. Cool J. 

Force M.D.'s collected 16 career R&B hits, but none bigger than this one.

"Say You, Say Me"
Lionel Richie

Here's one of six songs that Lionel Richie places in The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 80's*.  "Say You, Say Me" was the first R&B #1 of 1986, sandwiched in between the big hits "Don't Say No Tonight" by Eugene Wilde and "That's What Friends Are For" from Dionne & Friends.  "Say You, Say Me" was included in the movie White Nights


"Don't Disturb This Groove"
the System

This New York City group scored their biggest career hit when this song wrestled the R&B title away from Prince's song "Sign 'O' The Times" in 1987.  It also competed against Atlantic Starr's "Always".  "Don't Disturb This Groove" was the biggest career hit for the System.


"Head To Toe"
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

This Harlem trio released three songs before coming up with this smash.  They were both assembled and produced by Full Force.  The next two songs in our countdown battled head-to-head for four weeks, with each splitting the time at #1.  They were so close that they wind up being right next to each other in this salute to The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 80's*.  "Head To Toe" went Gold for Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam.
We are underway in our latest music special, a tribute to the outstanding R&B songs of the 80's.  We will present ten each day all the way until #1.  Join us tomorrow! 

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