The Ladder Of Oblivion

It’s lonely at the top.

OK, Peeps, it’s time to put away the hard boiled eggs and fake, non-biodegradable plastic grass.  You may want to keep the bunny ears on, however, since they may allow you to better hear this week’s non-gummy earworm.  Yep, Monday has hopped down the bunny trail yet again… and that means it’s time for The Nest to push aside all of the hollow chocolate rabbits and poisonous speckled jawbreakers so we can hunt up another forgotten rotten egg from that bottomless Easter basket we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s donning a pastel dyed mane and her finest Easter dress rave miniskirt for the occasion, while the Sponkies are working off their sugar high re-arranging the records.  It’s time to raise another lost hit from the dead…

Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a site that is an excellent reference for every weekly US Billboard Top 40 chart of the rock and roll era.  I haven’t quite wasted the time I normally would at such a treasure chest of fun information yet, but I’ve dug around those charts for a few of the years and made a find that inspired this week’s DVA post…

I shouldn’t have to tell you that Huey Lewis & The News were one of the biggest pop acts of the entire decade of the 1980’s.  They were truly at the heart of 80’s rock and roll, putting an almost endless string of singles into the rarified air of the charts… and despite how hard it is to get a #1 single, the sheer volume of gold records they spun allowed them to pull it off three times.  Can you name Huey Lewis’ three US #1 hits?

No, this one doesn’t count.

“The Power of Love” is pretty easy, as it rode the mega-blockbuster movie Back to the Future to the top of the charts in 1955 1985.  “Stuck With You” may come as a surprise, but it was a huge success in 1986… which may be the only reason it hasn’t been completely forgotten about in a mainstream radio culture seems more fascinated with early Huey than late Huey.

Early Huey.

So what was that third #1 hit for the band?  “Heart & Soul?”  “I Want A New Drug?”  “If This Is It?”  “The Heart of Rock and Roll?”  “Do You Believe In Love?”  “Hip To Be Square?”  Damn, these guys were a hitmaking machine.  But nope, none of those Huey hits that still get played to death today ever made it up to #1.

But this one did….

“Jacob’s Ladder,” the lost child of the Huey Lewis Greatest Hits collection, was a #1 fucking hit!  Can you believe that?  I couldn’t, but here’s the chart to prove it….

Six songs better than Bruce Willis.  Yes, Bruce Willis!!!!

In what was a crazy year for number ones on the Billboard Charts, “Jacob’s Ladder” unseated Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” for the top spot on March 14, 1987, only to get dethroned the very next week by Club Nouveau’s “Lean On Me.”  Not only is this song way down on the list of Huey Lewis songs you’d probably be able to rattle off the top of your head, but it didn’t even have a real music video in an era when MTV was such a force in the music industry that you HAD to have exposure there to get a hit.  While I’m sure I’d find a few more head-scratchers with enough time to pore over the list of weekly charts, “Jacob’s Ladder” seems like an early candidate for the most unlikely #1 song of the 80’s…

Almost as unlikely as me showing you a Jacob’s Ladder piercing (which you’ll have to look up for yourself, if you dare)…

But hey, “Jacob’s Ladder” was already on the DVA waiting list since I love it and it never gets played anymore.  Unlikely or not, good music is good music… and I’ll have more of it for your tender ears next Monday!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to The Ladder Of Oblivion

  1. I liked this song… it was great for car driving :o) me in my R5 (try to google it and to watch the photo without laughing) on the road where we made it step by step to our destination (with avoiding red lights on hills, because I wasn’t able to start with using the hand brake)

  2. franhunne4u says:

    I KNOW “Jacob’s ladder” – though I have to admit it was never one of MY favourites. I preferred Bad is bad.

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    I really like a lot of their songs, especially “Stuck on You”, but can’t say I remember this one.

  4. Piglove says:

    WOW – Stumped again. Nope never heard of this song. Dad is listening to it now. Hilarious. XOXO – Bacon

  5. Never heard of this one either…..guess it’s a contender for “most unknown popular song” or something??? Goodness…..where was I when it was a biggie?! Maybe I don’t want to remember the answer to that…………..hee hee


    • I know exactly where I was… in 6th grade, where we had a kickass stereo (at least for the 80’s) my class bought in a school charity auction the year before and which we brought with us to the next grade. We listened to the current pop station during winter inside recesses, so a lot of the big songs from early 1987 are permanent earworms in my brain. It might be the only reason I remember this song too!

  6. Trisha says:

    I never would have been able to name this one as one of Huey’s hits. I don’t think I ever knew it by name, despite Jacob’s ladder being one of the only lines I can understand from the chorus!

    • Huey doesn’t mumble like some really bad singers do, but he has a funny way of saying things. Every time I’ve played this song back the last few days, I’ve paid particular attention to how he says the word “angel” in the bridge to the first chorus. Damn, is a soft G sound really that hard to pull off?

      • Trisha says:

        It’s probably just my crazy brain that’s always heard it wrong. I always hear “step defy, step bonsai” it makes no sense but that’s always what I’ve heard!

  7. draliman says:

    Another video denied. I think rather than a copyright thing, it’s some sort of “taste” filter…
    Of course, I just had to look up “Jacob’s ladder piercing”. There were pictures. It was nasty.

    • Maybe the BBC (Everything in the UK is filtered through the BBC first, right?) thought the song was about the piercing, and made sure to shutter it as just more American rubbish. Shame on you, Huey Lewis!

  8. Merbear74 says:

    How did I miss this song?
    I’m with Draliman…I need eye bleach now and a bucket in case I hurl…

  9. ody N biskit; de bass terd internetz bee yond stoooooooooooopid two day; we R glad we can type thiz mesage; let a lone heer de song… which we cant due ~~~~~~ faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ♥♥

  10. I should have been able to answer this one, but I’ve been having a bad memory day. Garry too. Can’t find anything, can’t remember anything. If I remember something, I forget it a minute later. Huey Lewis and the News. Wow. That’s total nostalgia.

  11. Bruce Hornsby did Jacob’s Ladder, too. It was written by Hornsby and his brother, I think. I prefer Huey’s version.

  12. Ladybuggz says:

    Oh My, Ouchie Wawa!! it made my genitals Cringe looking at that piercing! Oh, and song not available in Canada….that’s why I went and looked up that ladder !! xxxxxxxrated! lol..

  13. How weird is that? I don’t think I EVER heard that song, if I did, I must have been on some ‘liquid-induced’ bender cuz I sure don’t remember. Huey’s was always feel good music.

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