Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #5: Billboard chart of October 26, 1985

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of Autumn 1985 as listed on the Top Jazz Albums chart in the October 26, 1985 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


wayne-shorter-atlantis-press-k-486376

#39: “Endangered Species” by Wayne Shorter, from the #39 album of the week, Atlantis. While Atlantis was Shorter’s 16th solo album, it was his first since 1974. During the intervening years, Shorter had mainly recorded as a member of Weather Report. This week marked the album’s debut on the jazz chart. Trivia: the pastel portrait of Shorter on the album cover was composed by actor Billy Dee Williams.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 32 10

wildromance

#38: “It’s All for You” by Herb Alpert, from the #38 album of the week, Wild Romance. The album had debuted on the jazz chart on September 14; this week would mark its last appearance on the jazz chart, although it had a slightly longer run on the Billboard 200.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 35 8
Billboard 200 151 10

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#37: “Imagination” by Al Jarreau from the #37 album, High Crime. This album, his fourth with producer Jay Graydon, was released in late 1984 and had debuted on the jazz chart on December 1, 1984. The album was nearing the end of its chart run on this date, having been on the chart for 48 weeks.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 53
Billboard 200 49 35
R&B 12 33
1985 Jazz Year End 7

first-circle

#30: “If I Could” by the Pat Metheny Group from the #30 album, First Circle. By this point, this album had been on the jazz chart for 54 weeks, having debuted more than a year earlier. It quickly rose to the #2 position, kept from the top spot by Wynton Marsalis’ Hot House Flowers album. It would retain a spot in the low 30’s on the album chart for a few months before falling off in March 1986. In February 1985, the album won the Grammy award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 75
Billboard 200 91 35
1985 Jazz Year End 3

benson

#23: “Beyond the Sea” by George Benson from the #23 album, 20/20. Benson’s big band take on this standard from 1946 was the last track on side one of this album and features Benson on a scat guitar solo, a rarity in the mid-80s. On this week, 20/20 was nearing the end its run on the jazz chart, having debuted back on February 16.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 3 48
Billboard 200 45 32
R&B 20 34
1985 Jazz Year End 5

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#22: “Smooth Operator” by Sade from the #22 album, Diamond Life. This song was a #5 single on the Billboard Hot 100. This album, the band’s debut, debuted on the jazz chart on March 30 and was enjoying its 31st week on the chart. However, it was nowhere near the end of its chart run, which ultimately ended in June 1986.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 5 66
Billboard 200 5 81
R&B 3 76
1985 Jazz Year End 14

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#20: “Run for Cover” by David Sanborn from the #20 album, Straight from the Heart. Recorded live in studio in front of a small crowd, this album mixes some songs from Sanborn’s earlier albums along with a few covers. The studio version of “Run for Cover” was released in 1981 on Sanborn’s Voyeur album. The song was written by, and features, bassist Marcus Miller. The album was number one on the jazz chart for 6 weeks in late March and April of 1985. In February 1986, the album would win the Grammy award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 74
Billboard 200 64 32
R&B 31 20
1985 Jazz Year End 4

r-395747-1112839368

#17: “Aural Oasis” by Wynton Marsalis from the #17 album, Black Codes (from the Underground).  This post-bop album was the highest charting debut on this October 26 chart. In February 1986, the album would win two Grammy awards: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist, and Best Jazz Instrumental Performance Group. Black Codes would go on to spend an incredible 30+ weeks in the top ten of the jazz chart, including 4 weeks at the #2 position (Stanley Jordan’s Magic Touch album was at #1 during those weeks – see #1, below).

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 42
Billboard 200 118 10

american-eyes

#14: “Oops!” by Rare Silk from the #14 album, American Eyes. This vocalized cover of Steps Ahead’s “Oops!” leads off this album, the quartet’s second. The album debuted on the jazz chart on April 13; on this date, the album was on its slow chart descent after spending the summer in the chart’s top ten.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 44
1985 Jazz Year End 10

earl_klugh-1984-soda_fountain_shuffle

#8: “Moonlight Dancing” by Earl Klugh from the #8 album, Soda Fountain Shuffle. Guitarist Earl Klugh has been a staple on the jazz charts since 1976. This 12th studio album, which debuted on May 11, had peaked on the chart a few months earlier, but was still enjoying top ten status. Klugh wrote and produced all ten songs on the album, including “Moonlight Dancing” which was track 4 on side one.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 3 44
Billboard 200 110 17
R&B 23 21
1985 Jazz Year End 13

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#2: “Love Will Find a Way” by George Howard from the #2 album, Dancing in the Sun. This song, the album’s lead track, is an instrumental cover of a song which original appeared on Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down album. The album debuted on May 11 and had spent the 6 weeks previous to this October 26 chart in the #1 spot. It wouldn’t exit the chart until June 1986.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 62
Billboard 200 169 4
R&B 47 25
1985 Jazz Year End 6

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#1: “The Lady in My Life” by Stanley Jordan from the #1 album, Magic Touch.
This Rod Temperton tune originally closed out Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. Magic Touch was Jordan’s major label debut and spent a remarkable 46 non-consecutive weeks in the #1 spot.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 86
Billboard 200 64 66
R&B 31 61
1985 Jazz Year End 2

bbjaz


As always, thanks to Herc of Herc’s Hideaway for research assistance and support.

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