How addicted were you to watching E.T. that Summer? I can’t think of another movie I saw more in the theatres. I also don’t think I could watch it again. My adult brain can’t handle the logic, or lack thereof. I was also excited that we were getting finally getting MTV. Even though it had only been around for a year, people were hyping it up as highly influential. Maybe that’s hindsight, cause this Top 40 countdown from August 7th, 1982 is just beginning to shows signs of that. There’s plenty of folks on here that were radio-only stars.
40. The Gap Band – Early In The Morning
THW – Let’s get you started with something from the nexus of Greenwood, Archer & Pine in Tulsa, OK. The cowboy funkateers are in Top 40 for the second and last time from their album Gap Band IV. They are falling from their high #24 last week.
39. Journey – Still They Ride
Another track that’s about to tumble out of the 40 is Journey’s fourth Top 40 hit from their breakout LP, Escape. The ride slides down twenty notches from its peak of #19.
38. Herb Alpert – Route 101
Holy crap. Herb Alpert’s in the Top 40! With another instrumental? How does this guy do it? After two albums with middling success following the #1 Rise, Herb’s Fandango album unleashed the smoothest ode to the Western coastline highway anyone’s ever known. Seriously, who bought this track? And yes, there’s a video.
Fun Fact: The man who wrote this track, Juan Carlos Calderon, also wrote Eres Tu (Touch The Wind, a Top 10 track for Spanish singing group Mocedades in 1974.
37. Haircut One Hundred – Love Plus One
OHW – If it has a dumb name, it must be an 80s New Wave band. Their debut included a lot of great songs including Favourite Shirts, which hit #101 and this one which is at its height this week. Nick Heyward left the band in 1983 and has gone on to have a solid solo recording career and I would definitely recommend checking out Woodland Echoes, his last album released in 2017.
36. Billy Idol – Hot In The City
Here’s where the sneer meets the career, as we have Billy’s first Top 40 hit. It will eventually climb up to #23. Billy will needlessly remix and release a new version in 1987 which only hit #48, but also features a stupidly fun new video with his girlfriend attached to a crucifix.
35. .38 Special – Caught Up In You
The pride of Jacksonville is still smokin’ with this former #10. It’s also worth watching the video to see how these guys have yet to let the 70s go or even their second drummer. Also, the comments are hilarious.
A handful of these songs in the Top 40, such as this one, have been discussed before. You can check those out here.
34. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Your Imagination
The fourth Top 40 single from one of Hall & Oates best LPs, Private Eyes is inching up and only one spot away from its best showing. It will also hit #45 on the Soul charts. These two were starting to write smashs in their sleep and even though it’s not as well known as their others, I still really dig it.
33. John Cougar – Jack and Diane
This is the first of two John Cougar tunes which are both going up the charts at the same time. This little ditty will be John’s only #1 hit, but it will stay atop for a month. Honestly I can take or leave this song. I understand its quirky appeal and anthemic lyrics but what I really like is Kenny Aranoff’s drum beats starting at 2:53, which I think is a lost hip-hop sample. I just want that on a loop. If some rapper grabbed it, please tell me who.
32. Genesis – Paperlate
Here’s where you can really see the lines between Genesis & Phil Collins blur. This could be I Missed Again or No Reply It All. Do you know who did what? This sure isn’t your older brother’s Genesis.
From Three Sides Live, that must mean the fourth one is pre-recorded. And thus we have this track which is at its peak. All of us dorky kids with thin blue pens would sing paper-mate, paper may-ate.
31. Glenn Frey – I Found Somebody
When Glenn recorded his first solo album, he wanted to show the world that he was the reason the Eagles were one of the biggest bands in the world during the 70s. This was the first release from No Fun Aloud, which has one of the cheesiest looking album covers I’ve ever seen. This single showcases Glenn’s soulful romantic side, though it wouldn’t get any higher than its showing this week. And while it’s a fine song, it’s no Dirty Laundry.
30. Leslie Pearl – If The Love Fits Wear It
OHW – Leslie recorded an album with her sister Deborah called Pearl in 1977. For the next five years, she spent time writing songs and singing backup until she had a chance to record a solo album. And from that disc comes this missed opportunity by the Trojan company. JK, although I wonder how many of these songs she was writing with Meatloaf in mind, with titles like There Is Nothing So Expensive As A Woman Who’s Free For The Night and You’re The First Thing I Want But The Last Thing I Need.
in 1984 Leslie wrote the jingle, the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup, and said Bye Felicia to the music industry.
29. Jennifer Holliday – And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going
OHW, PFK – Since the mid-70s it’s been rare for a song from a Broadway musical to hit the Top 40, though it has happened once in a blue moon. This track is the Act I closer from Dreamgirls, sung by Jennifer Holliday who originated and played the role of Effie White for four years on stage, winning a Tony and a Grammy, all by the time she was 22.
You know, good for Jennifer Hudson, who later won an Oscar for the movie role of Effie, but damn, Holliday owns this song.
28. The Alan Parsons Project – Eye In The Sky
We’re gonna pretend this is the single version, so no Sirius prelude. Jordan ain’t coming out of the locker room. I want to focus on how APP’s songs sound so deceptively simple but are expertly layered and tricky as hell to sing. Eric Woolfson is not a master vocalist, but he knows what the song needs and gives it just enough. It almost feels like he’s above you when he sings it or at least staring down on you like a manager in a warehouse from an upper floor.
It would be their biggest hit ever, eventually reaching #3.
27. Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?
Even though this song was recorded and released in the Summer of 1981 in Australia, it wouldn’t enter the US Top 40 until this week coming in at #27. With one foot in the WestCoast style and the other in New Wave, in retrospect, it was a perfect single to be huge in 1982 as it will hit #1 for one week around Halloween.
26. Kim Wilde – Kids In America
THW – Kim debuted this song in England on January 1981, but sometimes you have to wait for good things, like almost a year and a half. This song tapped into the New Wave craze that we didn’t understand was already here. A quick geography question – where in East California is the New Wave coming to? Are we thinking Needles? Barstow? San Bernadino?
RFW – the Big 80s Countdown intros this song by pretty much reading its Wikipedia feed under 1980 version.
25. Pointer Sisters – American Music
June, Anita & Ruth were in their soft rock Westcoast phase when they released another 80s hit that few remember. This song features jazz legend Lee Ritenour on guitar. It’s hard to imagine that this peaked 14 spots higher than the original release of I’m So Excited, but there you have the US vibe under Reagan’s first term.
24. Eddie Money – Think I’m In Love
This future #16 hit brought Money some extra dividends after being cashed out of the Top 40 for three years. But it wasn’t until his 1986 comeback where Ed started making some consistent bank.
23. Gary U.S Bonds – Out of Work
This guy again. Bruce throws Gary another bone with a #21 track that the Boss wrote and produced. This would be Gary’s final Top 40 before he was unemployed again, by Billboard’s standards. And there you have the US vibe under Reagan’s first term.
22. Kenny Rogers – Love Will Turn You Around
Someone thought Kenny was a 5-tool talent and started putting him in movies such as the 1982 stinker and played-every-five-hours-on-HBO, Six Pack. Even though this would be another #1 Country and Adult Contempo hit [#13 pop], it feels like Kenny wrote and recorded this between takes on the race track.
21. Rick Springfield – What Kind of Fool Am I
Rick’s follow-up to Don’t Talk To Strangers is sitting on the ladder not knowing if it should go up or down. Spoiler alert – it goes down next week, for good.
- OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
- THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
- ML – Misheard Lyrics
- PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
- RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
- RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
- STA – Second Time Around