You Never Know Who May Be Listening To You

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We were still season ticket holders to the New York Cosmos in 1982, even though the NASL was struggling. Man, they had such a stacked team I can’t believe they ever lost to anyone. As the Summer turned to August I watched them beat the Montreal Manic 3 to 2 at Giants Stadium in front of almost 40,000 people as the loudspeakers pumped up the crowd with some of these August 7th, 1982 Top 20 hits.

20. Stevie Wonder – Do I Do

This was one of four new tracks that Stevie recorded for his greatest hits package, Original Musiquarium, Part 1. [yes, there was no part 2. Or everything else is part two. It depends on how you look at it.] This one is a mutha of a jam, just those guitar lines during the chorus give me chills and that’s only one of the many top-notch players on this track. Stevie wouldn’t record many more multi-musician jams after this, preferring to work by himself on a synth workstation.

Mark from the Big 80s countdown intros this by mentioning that we’re not gonna hear Stevie’s improved rap or the Dizzy Gillespie (!) solo, but we do. They actually play all 10 minutes of it, even the Earl’s playin’ by himself, man break down.

19. Karla Bonoff – Personally

OHW – Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff debuted with her first album in 1977, just at the time that Linda Ronstadt was at the height of her powers. Which is why Karla was always in Linda’s shadow. Then even shared a lot of the same session players (Andrew Gold, Waddy Wachtel) and sang some of the same songs (Someone To Watch Over Me), but the comparisons were unfair. It wasn’t until 1982 and third album that she had some success that was her own, kinda.

See, Glenn Frey loved obscure soul and found a song written by Paul Kelly recorded by Jackie Moore called Personally. He thought it would be a great one for Bonnie Raitt to record, but somehow it ended up in Karla’s hands, who took it out of obscurity and into the Top 20. Here’s Karla’s video and yeah, she’s still hanging with Andrew.

18. Juice Newton – Love’s Been A Little Hard On Me

Juice is embracing a little synth work in her Country pop and continues to have success. The #7 song is tumbling hard and fast, but not as hard as Juice who gets beat up by her dorky boyfriend in her video, which was made for $18. Anyone ever remember seeing this? At least she has a good sense of humor, which she alternates by looking like a psycho.

17. Soft Cell – Tainted Love

OHW – Even tough this New Wave classic has already peaked at #8 it’s going to hang in the top 40 for the rest of August and a total of 43 weeks on the Hot 100.

16. Donna Summer – Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)

Geffen Records treated Donna like shit. It’s hard to imagine the thought process in which you sign one of the biggest artists on the 70s and then shelve her second album, I’m a Rainbow. I’ve heard it. They’re idiots. They ten teamed Donna up with Quincy Jones who was really getting hot as an R&B producer for her 1982 Donna Summer LP. Q & Rod Temperton came up with this burner which would get Donna back into the Top 10 in a few weeks. Considering one of the most iconic artists of the disco era could still have hits in the early 80s, they should have bowed down to her success.

15. Melissa Manchester – You Should Hear How She Talks About You

Melissa was enjoying a long successful career, but it wouldn’t be until her tenth album, Hey Ricky, that she would collect her biggest hit. On its way up to #5, here’s a track that Charlie “Pilot of the Airwaves” Dore first recorded in 1981 that would open up Melissa to the world of aerobic dance soundtracks. And it even features one of those Shamayalan twists at the end a la Chuck E’s In Love.

14. Paul McCartney – Take It Away

After John Lennon’s murder in December 1980, Paul felt lost and returned to the only thing that gave him solace: music. He went down to Montserrat in early 1981 to record with Sir George Martin & Stevie Wonder. After officially breaking up WIngs he continued to write and record more tracks for what would become his third solo album, Tug Of War. Because he had so many big hits in the early 80s, I feel this one gets continually overlooked, but it’s one of my favorites from that period.

With twin drum legends, Ringo & Steve Gadd in each ear, he had wife Linda and new collaborator Eric Stewart from 10cc record an ode to the thrills of music. Every time I listen to it, it sounds like Paul is telling himself to keep going, keep playing. The audience wants it. You love it. And you never know who may be listening to you.

13. Dazz Band – Let It Whip

OHW – We’re not gonna get funkier than this as we move up the charts, so have big fun and let it whip before the Dazz Band fall off the charts. If you want to work on your breakdancing chops, whip out the Joystick.

12. The Go-Go’s – Vacation

The lead single to the Go-Go’s new album is going to get them another Top 10 hit, eventually hitting #8. And there’s a cheesy video to go with it.

11. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Wasted On The Way

The label may say CSN, but don’t be fooled. This is a Stephen Stills/ Graham Nash product with Crosby’s name forced on it so that those two wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for the recording of it. Kinda sounds like a healthcare plan, doesn’t it? This future #9 track is actually Stills, Nash & (Timothy B.) Schmit. No Croz at all.

10. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me

This track was ruling over the Summer of 1982. I talked about it before back in May and here it is still in the Top 10. A definitive 80s smash and a signal that pop was gonna more synthy.

9. The Motels – Only The Lonely

The Motels finally break into the Top 10 and leave a light on for you, especially if you’re all alone. Lonely in a motel – that’s why they created pay-per-view.

8. REO Speedwagon – Keep The Fire Burnin’

This was the lead single of REO’s tenth album, Good Trouble, which I find is a snoozefest. But I guess their momentum was strong enough to propel this into the Top 10. And as long as you’re drowsy…

7. Air Supply – Even The Nights Are Better

….go ahead and get yourself a blanket and pillow. You’ll be out like a light within three minutes and fifty-seven seconds. But you may be jarred awake if you hear this.

6. Toto – Rosanna

Toto almost had a #1 hit but couldn’t quite topple the league of humans or the tiger’s eye. That’s OK though since they won 158 Grammys for this song. One of the few hits that have Steve Lukather singing vocals. And is it need you all the way or meet you all the way? I’m not looking it up.

5. Chicago – Hard To Say I’m Sorry

Cetera unleashes his inner Cartman for a future #1 hit from the movie, Summer Lovers. This makes If You Leave Me Now sound like In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Didn’t Chicago used to have horns? Caution: do not listen if you are a diabetic.

4. Fleetwood Mac – Hold Me

This song has a very unique distinction. It’s in the middle of a seven-week run at #4. If that’s not a record then it’s just an incredible frustrating stretch for the band.

Also, I’d love to slide into a sandpit full of guitars.

3. The Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra

In 1977 SMB got into a box on stage, they spun it around and disappeared. Then with a flick of the wand, they said the magic words – Abracadabra – and poof, they reappeared into the Top 10 on the way to #1, the band’s third and final.

Fun fact: In 1976 SMB kicked Chicago out of #1 with Rock N Me. In 1982 SMB kicked Chicago out again with this one.

And for you stoners, there’s this.

2. John Cougar – Hurts So Good

JC moves up a notch, politely trying to infuse pain on the band at the top. But they won’t feel it, cause they are survivors.

1. Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger (3 wks at #1)

PFK – Do you know why this song even exists? Stallone was filming Rocky III and wanted to use Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust during the training sequences. But they declined. Somehow Sly got hooked up with Jim Peterik the keyboardist for the struggling band and commissioned him to write it. It will spend six weeks at the top, give the band a career and endless lawsuit settlements as republicans keep using this song without permission.

KEY

  • 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

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