Oh Sheila – Ready For The World | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Although overshadowed by nearby Detroit in the history of Top 40 music, Flint, Michigan was also the home base for some chart topping artists. In 1966, ? & The Mysterians reached #1 with the organ drenched 96 Tears.

1973 and 1974 saw hard-rockin’ Grand Funk Railroad hit the heights with We’re An American Band and The Loco-Motion. And 1985 was the year of Ready For The World.

The members of RFTW took their name from a line in one of their songs, Ceramic Girl. Unfortunately the six guys soon found out that – despite their name – no record label was ready for them.

So RFTW released Tonight on their own. The sextet’s personal promotion efforts paid off in local air play and ultimately a deal with major label MCA.

Both Tonight and another ballad, Deep Inside Your Love, peaked at #6 R&B, yet, failed to dent the Hot 100. Finally, the Prince-like sound of single number three, Oh Sheila, propelled it past Pop Life by Prince himself on its way to #1 on the Top 40.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Ready for the World

Lyrics Written by:

  • Melvin Riley Jr.
  • Gordon Strozier
  • Gerald Valentine