Song of the Day: Bruce Hornsby & The Range, “The Way It Is”

"The Way It Is" was the title track and second single from Bruce Hornsby & The Range’s 1986 debut album. It makes references to the divide between rich and poor, segregation, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more as a way to say that while progress has been made, we can’t sit back and say "that’s just the way it is" to shortcomings in those areas. The song features a couple of long but excellent piano solos by Hornsby, which caught my ear first. The song reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary charts and #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart, #1 in Canada and The Netherlands, and the Top 10 in Belgium, Ireland and Spain in 1986-87, and was the #9 single in the US for 1987.

Song of the Day: Mr. Mister, “Kyrie”

From their 1985 album Welcome To The Real World, from which their previous hit, "Broken Wings," was drawn, Arizona-based Mr. Mister reached the #1 spot on the Hot 100, the Cash Box Hot Singles, the Mainstream Rock, and the RPM Top Singles (Canada) charts, and also scored a #1 in Norway. Kyrie eleison is Greek for "Lord, have Mercy," and is said toward the beginning of the Catholic Mass and in many other denominations as well. Richard Page, who wrote the song along with Steve George and lyricist John Page, said that the song was "a prayer." There were rumors that Page wrote the song while in the hospital after an accident, but they’ve proved to be false.

Song of the Day: Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”

Prog rock icons Yes seem like an odd fit with the music of the mid-’80’s, yet here they are. The first track on their 1983 album 90125 was written by guitarist Trevor Rabin, with input from Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and producer Trevor Horn. Released in late 1983, it reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in the US in ’83 and #1 on the Hot 100 in 1984.

Song of the Day: Robert Palmer, “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On”

When "I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On" came out in 1986, people seemed upset at the dancers and Robert Palmer’s "backup band" in the video, as I remember. It was written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and done first by Cherrelle in 1985, where it scored highly on the Billboard Hot Black singles chart (#8) and Hot Dance Club play chart (#6). For Palmer, it was the fifth single released from his 1985 album Riptide, and reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100.