If you came here looking for De La Soul, take it up with Tommy Boy. Let’s just continue to assess our confusion during the week of March 13, 1982:
25. Harden My Heart – Quarterflash
Seafood Mama is giving us a double dose with their debut single sliding down the charts from their high of #3. Thankfully they changed their band name which reflects an old Australian saying they overheard their produced John Boylan (Little River Band) mention – “Quarter flash, three-quarters foolish.”
24. Daddy’s Home – Cliff Richard
A man with tons of hits in the UK trying to hold on to his foothold here with a “live” version of an oft-covered Shep & the Limeliters tune. What did I say about Sister Sledge and My Guy? Same applies here. Don’t need your creepy version, Cliff.
23. Do You Believe In Love – Huey Lewis And The News
Here’s another band in the countdown with a connection to Clover. [Former member, Alex Call wrote Tommy Tutone’s hit.] This song started out as We Both Believe In Love released by a band called Supercharge in 1979. The writer, Mutt Lange, rewrote it and offered it to the News and it became their first Top 40 hit.
22. Take Off – Bob & Doug McKenzie
The third Canadian artist on the countdown – we have reached peak Canuck here. SCTV comedians Dave Thomas & Rick Moranis do their McKenzie brothers schtick [blah blah blah, eh?, you hoser] along with Rush frontman Geddy Lee singing the vocals. Now I know where Jack Black got his thing from. In fact, Take Off
sounds a lot like this
21. Tonight I’m Yours – Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart kept on having hits through the 80s ripping through genres like the Children of the Corn. He had just massacred disco when he decided to annihilate New Wave with Top 20 songs that only his hardcore fans and financial manager remember.
20. I Can’t Go For That – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Being twice as nice. Repeating the same old lines. That.
Things Daryl Hall doesn’t go for!
Congratulations you just won the $20,000 Pyramid. Man, that Dick Van Patten was always a good partner.
19. Should I Do It – The Pointer Sisters
The Pointer Sisters had recorded Country music before, such as the hit Fairytale in 1974, which was covered by Elvis but had mostly crossed over to soulful soft rock by the 1980s. So when they recorded this in 1981, this should have been pushed at Country radio. But Tanya Tucker recorded an even more countrified version and bombed it. So Tanya…no you shouldn’t.
18. Chariots Of Fire – Vangelis
The ultimate playground song in 1982. We would hear it and do it everything in super slow motion. I’m even typing this at half-speed.
How did Vangelis (hard or soft G, depending on if you give a damn) have a #1 hit with this? How did we collectively as a nation decide this was better than the Go-Gos or Joan Jett? Outside of little kids and their grandmas, how many people walked into Record World and said: “Damn, I gotta get that 45 and crank that up when I get home?” What a trainwreck that must have been for radio DJs. You would definitely have to do a station ID before and after you play it and hope that anyone listening in their cars didn’t fall asleep and crash. Or you could play it into the #12 song. Or…
17. Make A Move On Me – Olivia Newton-John
The mullet may be have been saying no, but everything else was saying yes
. Liv’s second horny single from the Physical
LP to make the Top 5 was written by Tom Snow and her longtime collaborator and producer, John Farrar.
16. Key Largo – Bertie Higgins
OWH – I find this song greatly annoying which means it’s perfect for karaoke [PFK]. Trust me if you do karaoke with any other intention rather than to annoy everyone in that bar you’re not doing it right.
But let’s set another thing straight. Bertie Higgins has never seen Key Largo. This song sounds like it was written after falling asleep in front of the TV after a two-day bender of Schlitz and coke. First of all Bogie & Bacall had nothing going on in this movie except trying to foil a bunch of robbers together as Bacall was married to Lionel Barrymore. Yes, B&B were married in real life, but man old Humph was on wife #4 so it wasn’t the romance of a lifetime. And “Here’s looking at you, kid.” was a quote from Casablanca which starred Bogart but not Bacall. You’re mixing up your movie references, Bert. Might as well have thrown in some Gone With The Wind quotes in there.
15. Love In The First Degree – Alabama
And the winner for best country group is….Alabama! Sound familiar? It feels like they were the only country group around for like 20 years winning every award tossed their way. They only had a handful of pop hits in the early 80s with this one as their biggest before they disappeared, only to show up again in the late 90s as everyone was riding shotgun on the Shania Twain.
14. Bobbie Sue – Oak Ridge Boys
NAOWH & PFK – cause if you want to annoy a crowd, there’s nothing like a low register Bah-Bah, Bah-Bah, Ba-ah-bee See-ew to get a bunch of bottles thrown at you. That’s if you’re doing it right.
13. Through The Years – Kenny Rogers
Oh Jesus, the early 80s country trifecta. Video did not kill the radio star. It was sappy milquetoast bullshit like this that did.
Little Bobby: Woolworths is having a sale, Grandma. Three 45s for a $1.
Bobby’s grandma: How splendid. I’ll buy the new Kenny Rogers and that song by Vanjellis. You can pick out one for yourself, Bobby.
12. Pac-Man Fever – Buckner and Garcia
Bobby’s choice. I understand that arcades were big business in 1982 and that Pac-Man was mass marketed to us kids from watches to cereal to a Saturday morning cartoon. But this song blows Blinkey. If anything it’s a time capsule to show how lost we were during the Reagan years. BTW – I have fun insisting to Deadheads that the Garcia in this song was Jerry.
11. Spirits In The Material World – The Police
Ok, we’re back. Thank God. Sting wrote this on a Casio. That sounds like a joke but when Sting does it, it gonna sound good. The song completely drowns out guitarist Andy Summers mostly on purpose and unfortunately, it would be the first of many small rifts that would precipitate their breakup two years later. Now that I think of it, this song might be a better representation of the Reagan reign.
Rock over New York. Rock over London. We’ll be back with the Top 10 soon.
OWH – One Hit wonder
NAOWH – Not a one hit wonder
PFK – Perfect for karaoke