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Subject: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/19/07 at 1:15 am

I was thinking the other day about how 80s group The Fixx had NO Top 40 hits in their native UK.  There are quite a few bands and singers out there who never had a big hit in their home country.  What are some of them?


Canada had a few ...

Trans-X
  - UK Top 40 hit (minor US hit) with Living on Video in 1985.  It as well as the original 1983 french version Vivre Sur Video were big in the clubs, but if you didn't go clubbing, listen to dance radio, or purchase dance compilation albums in Canada, you might not know this song or group existed

Lime
  - Big overseas, but like Trans-X, no hits outside of the dance chart

Promises
  - Their late 70s hit Baby It's You was an international smash.  It (As well as their album and other singles) flopped in both the US and Canada

♦ JJ Barrie
  - No Charge was a one hit wonder at the Top of the UK chart in 1976.  It did nothing in Canada

Chéri
  - Led by singer Rosalind Hunt, sister of Freddie James (Get Up and Boogie) and daughter of Geraldine Hunt, all naturalized Canadians.  They had a US Top 40 (one hit wonder) in 1982 with Murphy's Law which saw no chart action in the Canadian Top 100

Voggue
  - The duo of Chantal Condor and Angela Songui.  They were popular overseas with Dancin' the Night Away, but outside of the Dance chart, did nothing in Canada.  Chantal did have a minor Canadian hit called A Little Lovin'  in 1989

Deliverance
  - Late 70s Christian Rock combo led by Alberta born Paul Janz and his brothers Denny and Ken Janz.  Apparently they were big in Germany, but they only managed 1 "minor" hit in Canada with the 1979/80 ballad Leaving LA (which also saw minor action in the US chart as well).  In the mid 80s, Paul Janz started his solo (pop music) career which brought him many hits in Canada, one such being Close My Eyes which is still my favourite song of all time

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Marty McFly on 07/19/07 at 1:22 am

The only one I can think of now is The Stray Cats. When they first tried out the rockability-inspired pop, it didn't catch on in the U.S. around 1979-'81, but it did in Europe, which led to their success back in the States.

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/19/07 at 1:54 pm


The only one I can think of now is The Stray Cats. When they first tried out the rockability-inspired pop, it didn't catch on in the U.S. around 1979-'81, but it did in Europe, which led to their success back in the States.


They were indeed first popular in Europe.  They had two UK Top 40s ('Runaway Boys' and 'The Race is On' that never made it into the charts in North America)

-------------


Here's a few more for America ...

The A's - An early 80s rock band from Philadelphia who became one hit wonders with a song called 'A Woman's Got the Power' in 1981.  It just missed the US Hot 100, but it was a Top 30 hit in Canada

Womack and Womack - Husband and wife duo of Cecil Womack and Linda Cooke (daughter of Sam Cooke).  In the 80s and early 90s, they had several international hits such as 'Love Wars' (UK #14, 1984) and 'Celebrate the World' (UK #19, 1989), yet they unfortunately had no US Hot 100 hits.  Their biggest hit 'Teardrops' (UK #3, 1988) also made them one hit wonders in Canada (CAN #29, 1989)

707 - Early 80s AOR band from Michigan.  They had 2 minor hits in the US Hot 100:  'I Could Be Good For You' (US #52, 1980) and'Mega Force' (US #62, 1982).  The latter which was the title track to the film of the same name was a Top 40 hit in Canada

The Kingbees - Early 80s rockabilly band from Los Angeles whose lone hit 'My Mistake' hit US #81 in 1980.  They were led by Canadian born singer Jamie James who also wrote the song, qualifying them for Canadian Content, which helped send the song to #24 in Canada



Here's some from the UK ...

The Drivers - Early 80s British rock trio who signed with a Toronto based record label and scored a Top 40 hit in Canada with 'Tears on Your Anorak' in 1983.  To my knowledge, they had NO hits in the UK (but don't quote me on that).  While on tour to support their lone album 'Short Cuts', lead singer Nick Van Eede met guitarist Kevin MacMichael (who was the guitarist of Fast Forward, the Canadian band who supported The Drivers on the tour) and eventually led to the formation of Cutting Crew

Lords of the New Church - early-mid 80s post-punk new wave group led by American singer Stiv Bators.  They had three hits in the UK, all which bubbled under the Top 75: 'Dance With Me' (UK #85, 1983), 'Let's Live For Today' (UK #91, 1983) and 'M Style' (UK #97, 1984).  They were one hit wonders in Canada with 'Open Your Eyes' (CAN #34, 1982)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Paul on 07/19/07 at 2:28 pm

British 'supergroup' Asia had enormous success almost everywhere in the early-80s apart from, er...Britain, where their biggest single just scraped into the Top 40...

A couple of their albums sold reasonably, but nothing compared to their success is other territories...

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 07/19/07 at 2:53 pm


British 'supergroup' Asia had enormous success almost everywhere in the early-80s apart from, er...Britain, where their biggest single just scraped into the Top 40...

A couple of their albums sold reasonably, but nothing compared to their success is other territories...


Apparently they're touring again, as I heard on the radio the other day that they're gonna be in my neck of the woods later this month...and with their original line-up!  8)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Paul on 07/19/07 at 3:04 pm


Apparently they're touring again, as I heard on the radio the other day that they're gonna be in my neck of the woods later this month...and with their original line-up!  8)


That's cool...will you be partaking?  :)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 07/19/07 at 3:16 pm


That's cool...will you be partaking?  :)


I'm not really sure...

I loved the group back in the early-80s, but I don't know if I'd pay to go and see them now...or if hubby would even be interested in seeing them with me! 

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Henk on 07/19/07 at 3:45 pm

American new wave/punk band The Shirts (Annie Golden, Art LaMonica, Ronnie Ardito, John Piccolo, Robert Racioppo and John Criscione) were only popular in the Netherlands.

They scored a  Dutch #4 hit with "Tell Me Your Plans" (1978) and a #12 with "Laugh and Walk Away" (1979).


On a sidenote: Annie Golden starred in the 1979 movie "Hair".

Subject: Re: Laurie Anderson

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 07/19/07 at 8:37 pm

May I say yet again I am impressed with Whistledog's trivia; and Henk....how many people have heard of "The Shirts."
I have...

Laurie Anderson (b. June 5, 1947, MFA Columbia U., sculptor, violinist, performance artist, composer, songwriter, singer, film maker)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Superman_%28For_Massenet%29

Anderson had music released earlier on the 1750 Arch Records compilation "Women In Electronic Music--1977,"* which was insular to the athe arts scene and academics.  In 1980, music archivist B. George released Anderson's "O Superman" on his indie One Ten Records.  How many of you have heard of Meredith Monk?  About as many as would have heard of Laurie Anderson if British DJ John Peel (of Peel Sessions fame) had not picked up on "O Superman."  Peel began airing "O Superman" and the public's interest grew.  Warner Brothers had enough confidence in Anderson to sign her.


Warner Brothers release of "O Superman" saw the song rise all the way to #2 on the British Charts and to #1 in the Netherlands.  In her native U.S.A., it never even bubbled under the Hot 100. 

On college radio it was a different story.  Among the New Wavers, the No Wavers, and the lovers of "strange music," Anderson found a loyal audience.  Dr. Demento broadcast the single many times as well.  "Oh Superman" b/w "Walk the Dog" enabled Anderson to take her stage show "United States," on tour.  This was followed by a 5-record boxed set called "United States--Live" and studio albums "Big Science" and "Mister Heartbreak," which reached #124 and #60 on the U.S. album charts respectively. 

Ironically, Anderson's work became more pop-song structured by the mid-80s, exemplifed by the "Strange Angels" album.  In fact, "Babydoll," from that album, hit #7 on the U.S. "Modern Rock" charts, but this does not qualify as "Top 40."  Nonetheless, Anderson remains synonymous with "performance artist," and her recordings, performances, and lectures are anticipated by enthusiastic fans a quarter century after her initial pop success.

I am sentimental about Laurie Anderson because she is one of the greatest influences on my interests in music to this day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Anderson
http://www.americancomposers.org/laurieanderson.jpg

*http://www.newworldrecords.org/album.cgi?rm=view&album_id=17117

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 07/19/07 at 8:41 pm




On a sidenote: Annie Golden starred in the 1979 movie "Hair".

She was also in "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1984) as a lounge singer.  A lot of Downtown hipsters were in that movie, though!

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Foo Bar on 07/19/07 at 9:54 pm


Lords of the New Church - early-mid 80s post-punk new wave group led by American singer Stiv Bators.  They had three hits in the UK, all which bubbled under the Top 75: 'Dance With Me' (UK #85, 1983), 'Let's Live For Today' (UK #91, 1983) and 'M Style' (UK #97, 1984).  They were one hit wonders in Canada with 'Open Your Eyes' (CAN #34, 1982)


What?  No mention of their cover/parody of Madonna's  Like a Virgin?  For shame! :)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 07/19/07 at 10:16 pm


What?  No mention of their cover/parody of Madonna's  Like a Virgin?  For shame! :)

But I like BiGod 20's "Like a Prayer" better!

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/19/07 at 10:18 pm


May I say yet again I am impressed with Whistledog's trivia


Thanks Max :)  I've got more ...


From America ...

Roni Griffith - Early 80s Hi-NRG singer who was popular in the clubs, but saw no success in the US Hot 100.  She was a one hit in the UK with (The Best Part of) Breakin' Up (UK #63, 1984) and in Canada with Desire (CAN #34, 1981), the latter which is advertised on the German issue of the Desire  single ...

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/336/fa1sr0.jpg


SPYS - A short-lived project formed in 1981 by ex-Foreigner members Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi (who both left Foreigner after the 'Head Games' album).  Their 1982 single Don't Run My Life only reached US #82, but it scored a #24 placing on Toronto's CHUM-FM, a Top 30 chart which somewhat helps define hit singles in Canada

Gamma - A brief early 80s rock band formed by Ronnie Montrose.  They released 3 albums between 1979-1982, and a 4th (comeback) album in 2005.  They were somewhat of a cult success, but only managed 2 minor hits in the US Hot 100 with: I'm Alive (US #60, 1980) and Right the First Time (US #77, 1982).  The latter reached #27 in Canada

Paul Lekakis - New York born dance singer infamous for his sex themed 1987 single Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room).  The song only got to US #43 and UK #60, but it went all the way to #2 in Canada

Maria Vidal - Her 1984 single Body Rock  (from the film of the same name) was an International smash, but it just barely scraped into the US Top 50

Jennifer Rush - New York singer who initially was not a big success in her homeland.  Her 1985 single The Power of Love was #1 in the UK before it reached North America in 1986.  It eventually soared to #1 Canada, but it stalled at #57 in the US.  A 2nd single called Ring of Ice  also saw the UK Top 40 in 1985.  Her first (and only) US Top 40 hit was the 1987 Elton John duet Flames of Paradise

Kasim Sultan - As a session guitarist and member of Utopia, he found moderate success in America, but as a solo artist, he had no US Hot 100 hits.  His 1982 single Don't Break My Heart  reached #34 in Canada

George Thorogood and the Destroyers - His song Bad to the Bone as well as a few others were popular sure, but get this:  He had zero Top 40 hits in America :o  Their 1982 cover of the classic Isley song Nobody But Me was a Top 40 hit in Canada


Here is one from South Africa ...

Juluka - They were a world music group from South Africa led by British born singer Johnny Clegg.  I happened upon a site that listed Top 40 hits in South Africa, and they did not appear.  Their 1983 single Scatterlings of Africa  was a Top 40 hit in Canada (CAN #29, 1984) and even reached #44 in the UK, but was not a hit in America.  Clegg later went on to form a group called Savuka and had another Top 40 hit in Canada with 'Cruel Crazy Beautiful World' (CAN #34, 1990) which (along with 2 other songs) were minor his in the UK.  They also had no success in America

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/19/07 at 10:19 pm


What?  No mention of their cover/parody of Madonna's  Like a Virgin?  For shame! :)


I almost mentioned that one, but it went uncharted.  I wish it had of been a hit though.  It was a great version! :)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Henk on 07/21/07 at 5:15 am

Although they don't really qualify, I'd like to mention The Trammps.

I know they had a big hit in their home country (with "Disco Inferno", which peaked at #11 in US), but other than that their songs saw little to no chart action in US (Pop Singles/Billboard Hot 100 Charts, that is). "That's Where the Happy People Go" (#27), "Hold Back the Night" (#35) and "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart" (#64) are all.

In The Netherlands however they've had 10 Top 40 hits. Oddly enough, "Disco Inferno" isn't one of them (it got stuck in bubbling under section).

Love Epidemic: #11, 1974
Shout: #5, 1975
Trusting Heart: #31, 1975
Save a Place: #36, 1975
Hooked for Life: #22, 1975
Zing Went the Strings of my Heart: #11, 1975/1976
Hold Back the Night: #12, 1976
That's Where the Happy People Go: #25, 1976
New York City: #15, 1978
Move: #34, 1984

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Gis on 07/22/07 at 9:05 am

I do remember being on holiday in Orlando and we kept hearing songs by Bush on the radio and I kept asking 'who's this?' to my friernd and she got quite irritated in the end as they were British and I'd never heard of them.

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/28/07 at 3:39 pm

Here's one from America ...  ROBIN BECK

With no hits at all her American homeland, she was internationaly popular with a pair of German hits in 'Save Up all Your Tears' and 'First Time', the latter which topped the UK chart in 1988.  'First Time' was also recently remixed and re-sung by Robin Beck in a fantastic new remix version by a Sweedish dance group called SUNBLOCK

Though it never charted here in Canada, I remember the original 'First Time' real well from it's use in Coca-Cola advertisements.  It's still a song I enjoy!

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/28/07 at 4:26 pm


Here's one from America ...  ROBIN BECK

With no hits at all her American homeland, she was internationaly popular with a pair of German hits in 'Save Up all Your Tears' and 'First Time', the latter which topped the UK chart in 1988.  'First Time' was also recently remixed and re-sung by Robin Beck in a fantastic new remix version by a Sweedish dance group called SUNBLOCK

Though it never charted here in Canada, I remember the original 'First Time' real well from it's use in Coca-Cola advertisements.  It's still a song I enjoy!
Never liked Robin Beck's First Time for it knocked Enya of the number one spot.

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/28/07 at 4:40 pm


Never liked Robin Beck's First Time for it knocked Enya of the number one spot.


#2 is a good spot for Enya.  It's like they say .. the ones at the top of the chart are the ones that get old fast. 

Look where Enya is now 8) 

But where is Robin Beck? lol

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/28/07 at 4:45 pm


#2 is a good spot for Enya.  It's like they say .. the ones at the top of the chart are the ones that get old fast. 

Look where Enya is now 8) 

But where is Robin Beck? lol
True, where is she?

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/28/07 at 4:49 pm


True, where is she?


Robin Beck still puts out CDs (Independent mostly), and apparently she can be seen touring with Sunblock performing 'First Time' at small venues.  Meanwhile, Enya is putting out triple platinum CDs, and selling out arenas all over the world! 8)

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/28/07 at 5:20 pm


Robin Beck still puts out CDs (Independent mostly), and apparently she can be seen touring with Sunblock performing 'First Time' at small venues.  Meanwhile, Enya is putting out triple platinum CDs, and selling out arenas all over the world! 8)
BTW, Enya has never performed in concert based arenas.

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: whistledog on 07/28/07 at 7:11 pm


BTW, Enya has never performed in concert based arenas.


Not even with Clannad?

I would've thought she could sell out Wembley

Subject: Re: Bands/Singers without big hits in their homelands ?

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/29/07 at 3:19 am


Not even with Clannad?

I would've thought she could sell out Wembley
As a solo artist, she is a perfectionist, she has actually said herself that she cannot recreate the studio sound live on stage, especially when she record her distinctive vocal sound by multi-tracking her voice (eight times, I believe).

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