Although the Equal Rights Amendment wasn’t ratified in 1979, women’s roles within with the workforce, family and social structure was growing as fast as ever. Their voice was given a big boost in July of 1984 when Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro became the first female running mate in a Presidential election. She and Mondale would lose and it would be another thirty plus years before that happened again. But it also inspired the next generation of candidates such as Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar.
This countdown from October 6th, 1984 has a lot of iconic ladies of the 80s, who were taking control of their lives and careers as well as making the rules.
40. Jeffrey Osborne & Joyce Kennedy – The Last Time I Made Love
Joyce Kennedy was the bad ass lead singer for the funk rock band, Mothers Finest. So her talents are wasted on this sappy duet with Jefferey Osborne that won’t climb any higher than it is this week. Somehow my pea brain would get Joyce & Jayne Kennedy mixed up back then, most likely because Jayne had aerobics LPs out at the same time.
39. Naked Eyes – (What) In The Name Of Love
The fourth and final Top 40 hit for the New Wave duo of Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher is holding steady at #39. It was produced by legendary DJ & remixer Arthur Baker, who also had a hand in…
38. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Out Of Touch
…as he remixed the 12″ single release. Daryl wrote this as he was feeling lots of musical distance from his soul roots, you know cause soul really matters to him. Maybe too much. It will be the duo’s last #1 hit.
37. Barry Gibb – Shine Shine
OHW? – This was the only time that Barry hit the Top 40 on his own, even though he had two Top 10 duets with Babs in 1980-81. So is he a one hit wonder? I’ll let you decide as you listen to this mix of new wave pop and tropical rhythms. When the cruise director wants to play Hot Hot Hot, ask them to play this instead.
BTW, the video is hilarious – as the people freeze in place you can watch their champagne undulate from side to side in their glasses . Also, Barry loves white suits.
Fun Fact: Both Barry & Robin had their only Top 40 singles in 1984 peak at #37.
36. Lionel Richie – Stuck On You
PD – Lionel is falling down the countdown from its high of #3 like a Wacky Wally slowly tumbling down the paneling.
35. Sheena Easton – Strut
Sheena traded in her demure girl-next-door image and launched a stronger sexier persona with this Charlie Dore-penned track. Of course it should be a no brainer to walk out the door if someone makes you feel like a girl for hire, but sometimes you have to put your heel through someone’s head to get your point across
Also, see if you notice anyone familiar in the video.
34. Tina Turner – Better Be Good To Me
The first of two Tina Turner songs in the Top 40 is her follow up to her huge #1, What’s Love Got To Do With It. Tina’s polite but firm and she’s not putting up with any bullshit from anyone, especially those with a loose grasp on the truth. Written by Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn and Holly Knight, it will strut its way up into the Top 5 and garner her a Grammy for Best Rock Female. Hell yeah!
33. Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
THW – This is a trifecta of female strength. Chaka turns Prince’s sensitive plea of I feel for you. I think I love you into a demand that you will love and respect her back. You wanna rock her? You better bring the goods. And Stevie’s harmonica.
32. Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
And here’s the palette cleanser. It’s George & Andrew’s first week ever in the US Top 40, which they will take hold of for the next two years before George hangs on by himself for the rest of the decade. This would be the whitest song in the world were it not for the bass playing of Deon Estus. Also, choose life.
31. Dennis DeYoung – Desert Moon
OHW – Here’s a Top 10 song that has completely been lost to time. Originally written for the Styx follow-up album to Kilroy Was Here, it ended up on Dennis’ first solo LP when the band broke up.
30. Jermaine Jackson – Dynamite
When Michael ran out of singles to release, it was time for a Jermaine album. That’s how business was conducted in the Jackson family. Of course it also fell on the heels of a Jacksons album, but no matter. Jermaine still ended up with another Top 20 hit.
This album also featured a duet with Michael Jackson called Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming, which received considerable airplay as an album cut.
29. Billy Idol – Flesh For Fantasy
New Wave Jim Morrison loved to add a lot of drama and mystery to his music to make it sound cooler, though most of it sounds cheesy in retrospect. I do happen to think this one, a follow-up to Eyes Without a Face, sounds better than it did in 1984 for reasons I’m at a loss to explain. It’s stuck at its highest position this week.
28. Prince – Purple Rain
RFW – In the battle of Prince vs. Michael Jackson, Prince ruled 1984. [MJ wasn’t even second. That would be Lionel Richie.] The title track and third single from his film’s soundtrack enters the Hot 100 at #28, but will only make it to #2. This will be Prince’s second song to reference purple after his declaration of sky’s color in 1999. But as we all know he was a big America fan too. He even named a song of his after them.
Also, take that single edit and stuff it way down in the garbage. Either play the eight minute version or don’t play it all.
Fun fact: This was recorded live at First Avenue in Minneapolis in August 1983. When Prince passed away, there was no other song that people played or wanted to hear more. Not only could we easily mourn to it, we could bond together as it played in big crowds. It would re-enter the Hot 100 in 2016 and make it up to #4.
27. Elton John – Who Wears These Shoes?
Here’s Elton with an uptempo pop number as he plays with his original 70’s band, minus percussionist Ray Cooper. It was produced by Chris Thomas but next year he’ll work with Gus Dudgeon again. It will be another Top 20 hit for Elton, who’s had so many, you’re forgiven if you don’t remember them all.
26. Diana Ross – Swept Away
And that goes double for this lady. This will reach #19, but I’ll be damned if I could sing you the chorus. It will also reach #3 on the Soul charts and #1 on the Dance charts. It’s written by Daryl Hall & Sara Allen and produced by Daryl and Arthur Baker. [He’s all up in this countdown.]
25. Rick Springfield – Bop Til You Drop
The second single from Rick’s Hard To Hold soundtrack will bounce it was up to #20 in a few weeks. Then it will disappear until the future when we will remember and forget it once again.
24. Lindsey Buckingham – Go Insane
THW – Here’s the third Fleetwood Mac member to have a solo Top 40 hit in 1984. It will inch up to #23 before it maniacally laughs its way out of the Top 40.
23. David Bowie – Blue Jean
Bowie’s in the middle of his US mainstream hit-making phase and that’s not a bad thing. While it doesn’t create the same tingly excitement as Let’s Dance, Blue Jean hits the oh-yeah-I-forgot-about-this-one part of our brain. It will be another Top 10 hit for him. The song also inspired a 20 minute video directed by Julian Temple. The B-side, Dancing With the Big Boys featured a remix by….Arthur Baker.
Also, did he meet a sad girl named Jean or is he identifying a woman by her choice of pants?
22. Donna Summer – There Goes My Baby
Donna’s first Top 40 cover is a Drifters classic from 1959. It will fizzle out at #21, but it will up her streak to ten years straight with a song in the Top 40.
21. Rod Stewart – Some Guys Have All The Luck
Rod’s cover of a 1973 Persuaders track is on its way up to #10, besting the original by 29 spots. Robert Palmer’s version was a Top 20 hit in the UK in 1982 and Louise Mandrell had a #22 Country hit in 1986. Neither of those had the woo-ooh-ooh part after the chorus though. That was all Rod.
- OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
- THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
- PD – Previously Discussed
- PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
- RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
- RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
- STA – Second Time Around