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.

Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon was born in Jamaica, in 1966. By the time he arrived on American soils as a music industry figure in the mid nineteen-eighties, rubbing shoulders with the diverse likes of Chuck Berry and KRS-One, he had rechristened himself Shabba Ranks. He employed the Jamaican deejay practice of toasting (which was basically rapping), which made him sound especially unique to U.S. ears more accustomed hearing Jamaican accents delivered with the languid singing of a Peter Tosh or Bob Marley. He had three modest Top 40 hits in the U.S., first with the Maxi Priest collaboration “Housecall”, in 1991, and last working with Johnny Gill on the track “Slow and Sexy,” in 1992. In between the two, he partnered with the English reggae singer Deborahe Glasgow on a song called “Mr. Loverman,” which was a Top 5 hit in the U.K., but could get no higher than #40 in the States. The track in question actually belonged to Glasgow first, released under the title “Champion Lover” on her 1989 self-titled album. Ranks kept releasing music throughout the nineteen-nineties to great success in the U.K. and to increasing indifference in the States. It’s been almost fifteen years since his last full-length effort, but there was recently word that there’s apparently new material in the works.

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
“Who Do You Think You’re Foolin'” by Donna Summer
“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
“Give It to Me Baby” and “Cold Blooded” by Rick James
“Who’s Sorry Now?” by Marie Osmond
“A Love So Fine” by the Chiffons
“Funky Y-2-C” by the Puppies
“Brand New Girlfriend” by Steve Holy
“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by Bonnie Pointer

25 thoughts on “Top 40 Smash Taps: “Mr. Loverman”

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