Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 80's*: #50-41

We have arrived at the halfway point in another exciting music special.  What follows are ten more songs, getting us closer to the #1 R&B Song of the Decade*.


"Flashdance (What A Feeling)"
Irene Cara

In addition to possessing an amazing voice, Irene Cara has also acted in television shows including Electric Company and Roots 2 and movies Fame, D.C. Cab, and The Cotton Club, and she is a dancer.  This model for a vocal performance never did get to #1, but posted five strong weeks at #2 behind Mtume's "Juice Fruit".


Here's another of the great R&B hits from 1986, a song which held on for four weeks at #1 against competition such as "What Have You Done For Me Lately", Stephanie Mills's "I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love" and "On My Own".  The song has been hurt recently by a lack of exposure on YouTube, allowing other songs to pass it.


Ray Parker, Jr.

Parker of course led the group Raydio until 1982, then enjoyed a career in the 80's as a solo artist.  This song likely would have enjoyed a much more comfortable stay than two weeks at #1 R&B had it not been for the eight-week #1 "When Doves Cry" and the four-week #1 "Caribbean Queen" that were out at the same time.



"Freeway Of Love"
Aretha Franklin

This one didn't have the competition of others in this range, but it still scored five weeks at #1 for the Queen.



Midnight Star

We love the name of this album--No Parking on the Dance Floor.  This was the final #1 R&B smash in the year 1984--it closed up shop for the year as a chart-topper of five weeks, going against songs like "Solid" from Ashford & Simpson.



"If It Ain't One Thing...It's Another"
Richard "Dimples" Fields

Here's one way to make it big, if you can swing it.  Richard "Dimples" Fields purchased his own cabaret in the heart of San Francisco, the Cold Duck Music Lounge, and became the headlining act.  After his solo career, he went to the other side of the mixing board, producing for artists such as Pat Benatar and the Ohio Players.  Here's a # 1 R&B smash of three weeks, that achieved that ranking against "That Girl", "Let It Whip", and "It's Gonna' Take A Miracle".



Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie's masterpiece competed against "Somebody's Watching Me", Cameo's "She's Strange", and "Let's Hear It For The Boy".  It was a #1 smash for three weeks and sold over two million copies. 


"Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)"
Billy Ocean

This is an appropriate time to remind you that this is a music special that only considers the R&B chart, and not the overall population.  The song we just heard, Lionel Richie's "Hello", is far ahead of this song on the Popular chart, but we are presenting The Top 100 R&B Songs*.

Billy Ocean had been around for a long time, but his Suddenly album thrust him front and center.  He scored a #1 R&B smash for four weeks, going against songs like "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince, "Ghostbusters", and Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You".



"On My Own"
Michael McDonald and Patti LaBelle

These two highly talented artists combined for one great record in 1986 that spent four weeks at #1 on the R&B chart.  It bested songs like "Kiss", Janet Jackson's "Nasty", and "I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love" by Stephanie Mills.



"Missing You"
Diana Ross

Ms. Ross took this ode to Marvin Gaye to #1 for three weeks on the R&B chart against competition from "Mr. Telephone Man" and "Nightshift".

Ten more R&B winners are in the books.  If you haven't caught all six segments of the special, check out the archived posts to the left of the web site.  We'll also be publishing a handy guide with links to all of the segments when we wrap up The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 80's* in four more days.

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