Summer In Stereo #48

HERC sometimes fudges the cover art in his iTunes library - if he prefers the Japanese cover, that's what he'll tag his digital lossless files with.  He's not implying he has that super rare or audiophile quality Japanese pressing, he's simply giving himself some eye candy to look at while a song's playing.  Seems that habit has crept onto this blog as well.  Today's featured song hit the NME (New Musical Express) Singles chart at #30 on January 23rd, 1982.  By the time the song had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and debuted on Billboard's Dance/Disco Top 80 chart on April 10th, 1982, it had already peaked at #3 on the NME chart and fallen off entirely.  "Love Plus One"  later appeared on both the Mainstream Rock Chart and the Hot 100 after the song's video broke into MTV's regular rotation. HERC likes the song cause it sounds beachy and islandish without resorting to steel drums or a reggae riddim. It is light, breezy and yet somehow still manages to linger on his mind once it is over.

The similarly light and breezy "Digging Your Scene" by the unfortunately named Blow Monkeys debuted on the NME Singles chart on March 8th, 1986 at #43.  (In 1982, the chart was only 30 songs but by 1986 had expanded to 50 songs.) Though it eventually peaked at #8, it was off the UK charts by the time it debuted simultaneously on Billboard's Hot Dance/Disco - Club Play and Hot 100 chart on May 3rd, 1986.  HERC has always liked this song and often paired it with "Love Plus One" on mixtapes, mix CDs and now playlists.

Continuing in his light and breezy playlist mode, the third track in HERC's minimix is Swing Out Sister's "Breakout" which first showed up on the NME Singles chart  at #49 on November 1st, 1986 and eventually peaked at #3.  At which point, the master tapes must have been loaded onto a slow boat to China because the song didn't debut on any US charts for a full nine months.  Unlike the two songs above, "Breakout" made the Adult Contemporary chart and eventually topped it.  Over on the Hot 100, the song did manage to peak at #6 in November 1987, more than a year after it had debuted in the UK.  What other songs do you think would fit this light & breezy mood HERC has established?


Chris Daniel, the self-proclaimed 80's Man, has posted alternate versions of all three of these songs on his site if you want to check them out:

HERC's buddy and guest poster here at The Hideaway, Richie Powell aka DJRichieP, master vinyl archivist and benevolent major domo over at Fun With Vinyl, has additional alternate versions of "Digging Your Scene" in both mp3 and lossless.

DJ Paul T, vinyl archiver (he's DJRichieP's guru and mentor) and cheif cook, cashier and bottle washer over at Burning The Ground, has additional alternate versions of "Breakout" in mp3, lossless and 24 bit hi-def lossless formats.


  1. Swing Out Sister is the gift that's kept on giving since my first exposure to them with "Breakout" in the Fall of '87. It remains my 2nd favorite single of that year (behind Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"); and SOS itself continues to entertain, amaze & inspire me after all these years. Part Fifth Dimension, part Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66; their five album stretch (from 1987's "It's Better To Travel" through 1997's "Shapes And Patterns") is a high-water mark that few artists in my lifetime have managed to equal. 1992's "Get In Touch With Yourself", in particular, is among my Top 10 favorite albums of all time.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, world... Swing Out Sister are no mere footnote in the annals of chart history. They are as creative, and vibrant, as ever before... #Truth.

    Now, on with the countdown!

  2. Three great songs - love them all.

  3. You know I'm a big fan of the entire Pelican West album from Haircut 100. In their native UK, "Love Plus One" was track two on side one, but when Nick and the boys released Pelican West in the US "Love Plus One" was moved to the more prominent lead track position. I normally pull out Pelican West Plus CD during Spring Break every March and it stays in my vehicle until Labor Day so it is very much a summer song for me, too.

    Just yesterday, I declared "Love Plus One" to be the 4th best song of 1982 over at the My Favorite Decade blog.

    The other two are fine songs as well, they just don't have any summer connection for me. Also, they're "college" songs to me so there's no way I could pair them with a "high school" song like "Love Plus One" ;-) On the strength of "Breakout" I purchased the cassette of Swing Out Sister's It's Better to Travel album. I haven't listened to it in a loooong time, but in addition to "Breakout" I always enjoyed "Fooled by a Smile."