Good day, lovely folks. Welcome to the fourth episode of the Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast, a show in which me and my compatriot Thomas Inskeep discuss every song to hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart during the 1980s. When we last left off, we were just getting started with 1981. If you haven’t yet caught up, check out the first three episodes of the series.
The five tracks featured in this episode are…
“Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” by The Gap Band
“Don’t Stop The Music” by Yarbrough & Peoples
“Being With You” by Smokey Robinson
“Sukiyaki” by A Taste Of Honey
“A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)” by Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
And here are some show notes/secondary topics brought up as these songs are discussed.
-The Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson is easily one of the most influential and imitated singers in R&B music history.
-“Burn Rubber” was one of the biggest hits from The Gap Band’s decade-long run as R&B chart kings. They were one of the most successful acts of the era, and one of the acts with the least crossover success.
-Yarbrough & Peoples’ astounding level of “meh”-ness and their swagger-jacking of The S.O.S. Band.
-The “warm bath” theme returns with Smokey’s yacht rock (yacht soul?) classic.
-The conversation switches to Smokey’s incredible duet with Rick James, “Ebony Eyes”, which didn’t hit the Top 10. Then we revisit Rick & Teena Marie’s legendary “Fire & Desire”, a song which didn’t even receive a single release.
-The “Ebony Eyes” video, which we surmise had the second-largest cocaine budget of any video during the ’80s.
-Did A Taste of Honey deserve the 1979 Best New Artist Grammy?
-Ray Parker Jr.’s past as a virtuoso funk guitarist, then move away from Raydio, his move away from R&B, and his classics “The Other Woman”, “You Can’t Change That”, and “I Still Can’t Get Over Loving You”.
Have a listen in the player below. You can also stream the podcast on Liberated Syndication, directly download the podcast to your computer, or subscribe to us on iTunes. (note: the shows generally take a day or so to feed to iTunes.)
Oh, also we should give props to our intro and outro songs for this episode: Dynasty’s “I’ve Just Begun To Love You” and Skyy’s “Here’s To You”, two classics from 1980/81 that didn’t make it to the top of the charts, but are always at the top of our hearts.