These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.

If there’s any doubt whatsoever that Donna Summer was the queen of the disco era, consider the following: in 1978 and 1979, Summer had three consecutive double albums top the Billboard chart, the first artist to accomplish that feat, and placed four separate singles atop the Hot 100, including a duet with Barbra Streisand (amazingly, “Last Dance,” practically the official anthem of disco nation, wasn’t one of the chart-toppers, stalling out at #3). All told, Summer had eighteen trips to the Top 40, the last one coming in 1989, surprisingly long after disco had been read its last rites. The track that barely crossed the threshold necessary to be called a Top 10 hit was the third single from her 1980 studio album, The Wanderer. It was the first album released by the newly formed Geffen Records, a label Summer jumped to after feeling Casablanca Records was exploiting her and taking her career and image in directions she disliked. The album was produced by Pete Bellotte and Giorgio Moroder, the pair of music-makers who could claim a fair amount of credit for the great success of Summer, having presided over her biggest hits. “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’,” while a nice enough song, is also a little lax compared to those efforts from just a year or two earlier, perhaps hinting at how rapidly the energy was draining from the disco movement. Things got a little rocky after that, as the next album Summer recorded–another double album effort, entitled I’m a Rainbow–was rejected by the label. They further insisted that Summers end her longtime working relationship with Bellotte and Moroder, pairing her with Quincy Jones instead. The album that resulted was a self-titled effort, released in July, 1982. Given the production and release dates, it’s entirely possible that Jones went straight from working with Summer to joining Michael Jackson in the studio to begin work on Thriller.

Previously…
“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
“Come See” by Major Lance
“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge
“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics
“The Bounce” by the Olympics
“Your One and Only Love” by Jackie Wilson
“Tell Her She’s Lovely” by El Chicano
“The Last Time I Made Love” by Joyce Kennedy and Jeffrey Osborne
“Limbo Rock” by The Champs
“Crazy Eyes For You” by Bobby Hamilton
“Violet Hill” and “Lost+” by Coldplay
“Freight Train” by the Chas. McDevitt Skiffle Group
“Sweet William” by Little Millie Small
“Live My Life” by Boy George
“Lessons Learned” by Tracy Lawrence
“So Close” by Diana Ross
“Six Feet Deep” by the Geto Boys
“You Thrill Me” by Exile
“What Now” by Gene Chandler
“Put It in a Magazine” by Sonny Charles
“Got a Love for You” by Jomanda
“Stone Cold” by Rainbow
“People in Love” by 10cc
“Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)” by the Four Tops
“Thinkin’ Problem” by David Ball
“You Got Yours and I’ll Get Mine” and “Trying to Make a Fool of Me” by the Delfonics
“The Riddle (You and I)” by Five for Fighting
“I Can’t Wait” by Sleepy Brown
“Nature Boy” by Bobby Darin

32 thoughts on “Top 40 Smash Taps: “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin'”

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