32. “It’s Still Warm” by Dramarama
One of the things that has sadly been lost in the corporate consolidation of broadcast radio is the concept of the local hit, those songs and bands that maybe make only the mildest headway nationally but somehow manage to absolute enthrall one city or region. While the New Jersey formed band Dramarama had a couple minor hits on college radio and later commercial alternative radio, it was nothing like the impact they made on KROQ-FM. Their song “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You),” their second single, had no broader chart impact, but it was one of the biggest hit on KROQ and is still cited as one of the most request tracks in the station’s history. It surely was a major factor in the band relocating permanently to Los Angeles. Solidly established as one of the beloved band’s of KROQ, Dramarama continued to have success there that had no clear parallel apart from the safe haven of the radio station’s FCC-designated airwaves. Dramarama’s sophomore album, Box Office Bomb, was greeted with great excitement, with the single “It’s Still Warm” garnering enough love and attention that it nestled into the year-end chart alongside much bigger bands. The KROQ programmers may have been on to something. It’s a pretty damn great rock ‘n’ roll song.
31. “Hourglass” by Squeeze
One of the most fascinating thing about the retro love heaped on certain college rock bands and songs from the nineteen-eighties is the way that it totally skews impressions of popularity at the time. Asked to name Squeeze’s biggest U.S. hit, I suspect most would settle on “Tempted,” “Bacl Coffee in Bed,” “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” or one of the other tracks that have become staples of backward-looking radio. Instead, the song that can decisively claim the title of highest charting offering from Squeeze, peaking at a fairly amazing #15, is the lead single from the 1987 album Babylon and On. “Hourglass” benefited from generous MTV airplay and an almost annoying catchiness that was completely characteristic of the band. Indeed, it was so popular that its follow-up, the now largely forgotten phone number song “853-9537,” also managed to cross over into the Billboard Top 40, pairing it with its immediate predecessor as the only Squeeze songs to accomplish that feat.
40 and 39: “4th of July” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”
38 and 37: “Heartbreak Beat” and “Not My Slave”
36 and 35: “Alone Again Or” and “Absolute Perfection”
34 and 33: “Love Removal Machine” and “The Passenger”