Summer 1982 was one of the slowest turnover of Top 40 singles and albums in US music history. The Top 40 hardly changed at all from May to September. When that happens, even really great songs start to sound stale when you are playing for the same nightclub audience night after night. And there were many fabulous songs released for late spring and summer of 1982. But even the best of them eventually became boring … this bears witness to the fact that popular music only works if it is contiguous and segues from one group of songs to another group in a flowing fashion, week to week and month to month. When things get slow, however, deeper tracks on the albums, as well as tracks from non-charting albums by otherwise great artists, are the way to go.
One of the great albums of the year was from Fleetwood Mac, their first studio 80’s album, Mirage, released in June 1982. It would end up being packed with hits, but it took a while for them to take off. It seemed that the first single, “Hold Me,” would go on being played as their only hit until Christmas. Songs like “Gypsy” and “Love In Store” were heavily requested but still considered deep tracks until they finally started charting in the autumn.
“Oh Diane” was a track I fell in love with that could have easily been a hit back in the late 1950’s when Ricky Nelson was popular. This was real retro, courtesy of Lindsey Buckingham, and I used to give it a lot of play. It is such a perfect little gem. Sadly, the number of people who really cared if I played it or not was not that large. Eventually it was released as a single here in the US in February 1983, but failed to chart. It did reach #9 in the UK Top Ten and #8 in Ireland.
I think “Oh Diane” would be great song for the band to revive as retro is always in and this kind, that sounds like it might have been popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s, is always most welcome.