They Will Get By: Five Questionable '80s Comebacks from '60s Artists
|Eddie Money and Ronnie Spector|
"You Got It" (1989)
Twenty-four years after his last charting solo appearance, Roy Orbison hit it big with "You Got It." Unfortunately he had died the month before. The song was written by fellow Wilbury's Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne but one might argue that the formula had been written decades before. With its thundering timpanis and fluttering strings, "You Got It" was a classic Orbison tune that could have fit on any setlist of his career -- except he didn't get any of the songwriting royalties for it.
"Touch of Grey" (1987)
Curiously, "Touch of Grey" is the Grateful Dead's only real radio hit. It was also their first attempt at a music video. It would appear that the best way for the Dead to "get by" was for them to become the Dire Straits. With plucky '80s synths and a bare minimum of guitar noodling, this was the Dead at their commercial peak and creative low.
Eddie Money and Ronnie Spector
"Take Me Home Tonight" (1986)
By 1986 Eddie Money was looking for a comeback of his own. After striking it big with his debut a decade earlier, the boy from Levittown was having little luck on the charts. "Take Me Home Tonight," which pairs Money with Phil Spector's muse Ronnie Spector, was just the ticket. The song features Spector singing the chorus to the Ronnette's 1963 hit "Be My Baby" as the chorus to "Take Me Home Tonight." It proved to be Money's biggest hit, charting almost as well as the original, and relaunched both of singers' careers for the rest of the '80s.