Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #6: Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart of August 20, 1988

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of late summer 1988 as listed on the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart in the August 20, 1988 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


shaw

#25: “Put It Where You Want It” by George Shaw and Jetstream, from the #25 album of the week, Skywalkers. This classic Crusaders tune was the lead track from this covers album; that’s the Crusaders’ Wilton Felder on saxophone. The album had premiered on the Contemporary Jazz chart on July 9; this week marked its final appearance.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 19 8

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#24: “Spread Love” by Take 6, from the #24 album of the week, Take 6. The a capella gospel album premiered on the chart this week before having a surprising ten week. The album spent 2 full years on a Billboard chart that went through 3 names during those two years: “Spiritual,” “Inspirational,” and, finally, “Contemporary Christian.” The album won a Grammy award for Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus while this song won for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 19 10
Billboard 200 71 19
R&B 41 22
Spiritual/Inspirational 3 104

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#23: “River Song” by Dave Grusin and Don Grusin, from the #23 album of the week, Sticks and Stones.  Keyboardists Dave and younger brother Don put out this album on Dave’s GRP label (Dave is the G in GRP). This album only charted for 2½ months, but Dave was too busy to mind – he won the best original score Oscar in 1988 for his soundtrack to The Milagro Beanfield War.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 14 10

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#22: “Nothing Can Come Between Us” by Sade from the #22 album, Stronger Than Pride. This was a successful single from a huge album – the single peaked at #3 R&B and #21 Adult Contemporary. Despite the fact that only lead singer Sade Adu appears on the album covers, the label and musicians insist that Sade is a band name.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 21 12
Billboard 200 7 45
R&B 3 44

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#19: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Patti Austin from the #19 album, The Real Me. This album, Austin’s seventh, consists mainly of standards updated with modern arrangements. This cut was written by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 musical Roberta. This version was arranged and produced by David Pack (Ambrosia) and features sax work from Ernie Watts.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 7 16
R&B 56 14

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#16: “Los Cabos” by the Rippingtons from the #16 album, Kilimanjaro. The band’s second album, this album had debuted on the Contemporary Jazz chart at #9 on April 30; it was near the end of its chart run on this date.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 3 20
Billboard 200 110 15
1988 Jazz Year End 14

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#14: “The Power of Suggestion” by Richard Elliot from the #14 album, The Power of Suggestion. The title track from this instrumental pop album was featured on many of the emerging smooth jazz radio stations at the time. That’s bassist Cliff Hugo doing his best imitation of Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets. The album premiered on the Contemporary Jazz chart July 23 and was still on its ascent.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 12 14

crusaders-1988-life_in_the_modern_world

#13: “Coulda’, Woulda’, Shoulda'” by The Crusaders from the #13 album, Life in the Modern World.  The band was well into its third decade at this point and its popularity was waning. This track  features the usual stellar performances from pianist Joe Sample and the aforementioned Felder. This week, the album’s fifth on the chart, marked its peak.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 13 10

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#9: “The Key to You” by David Benoit from the #9 album, Every Step of the Way. David Pack makes a second appearance on this flashback playlist, this time as songwriter and vocalist on this track which dented the Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at #40. The song was co-written by Benoit, who contributes several piano solos. The album, Benoit’s eleventh, was nominated for a Best Jazz Fusion Performance Grammy award.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 4 22
Billboard 200 129 14
1988 Jazz Year End 15

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#7: “Local Hero” by Yellowjackets from the #7 album, Politics. This was the album’s seventh week on the chart and was still climbing. This album won the Grammy award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. On their 1992 live album, Live Wires, the band would rename this song “The Dream” and feature Michael Franks on vocals.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 5 20
1988 Jazz Year End 20

simple-pleasures-522bac8f23684

#4: “Drive My Car” by Bobby McFerrin from the #4 album, Simple Pleasures.  A Beatles cover from a huge summer album. The album would hold the #1 spot on the Contemporary Jazz chart for 4 weeks, June 11 – July 8 and later for 6 weeks, October 1 – November 11, but wouldn’t exit the chart until the following May.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 1 54
Billboard 200 5 55
R&B 12 41
1988 Jazz Year End 3

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#3: “Claire’s Dream” by Spyro Gyra from the #3 album, Rites of Summer. The lead track from the group’s 1988 offering, this track was written by saxophonist/producer Jay Beckenstein. Following this week at #3, the album would spend 4 weeks in the top spot before being ousted by the above McFerrin album.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 1 20
Billboard 200 104 8
1988 Jazz Year End 12

basia_-_time_and_tide_album_cover

#2: “Time and Tide” by Basia from the #2 album, Tide and Tide. The video for this track received some airplay on MTV and boosted the single to several charts: #19 Adult Contemporary, #26 pop. The album spent the month prior to this August 20 chart in the #1 spot. It charted a remarkable 62 consecutive weeks, from February 20, 1988 through April 15, 1989.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 1 62
Billboard 200 36 77
1988 Jazz Year End 2

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#1: “Lesley Ann” by David Sanborn from the #1 album, Close-Up.  In the top spot in only its fifth week on the chart, this would be its only appearance at #1. It would remain on the Contemporary Jazz chart, however, through April 1989. This track features guitarist Hiram Bullock, producer/bassist Marcus Miller, and vocals by Michael Ruff. The album won the Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist).

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Contemporary Jazz 1 40
Billboard 200 59 28
R&B 38 19
1988 Jazz Year End 9

jazzchart


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

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