When Doubt Creeps Across My Mind

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Twenty-Ten Favorite

The UK soul-rock band Mamas Gun, named after an Erykah Badu tune, has always drawn from 70s funk & R&B as their base, leaning on the grooves as much as their warmth and optomism. To get reach the next level in their band’s growth, they took four years off between their third album, Cheap Hotel and their fourth, 2018’s Golden Days, which was recorded live in three days. Between that time singer Andy Platts formed a side project with multi-instrumentalist/ producer Shawn Lee called Young Gun Silver Fox, releasing two albums of the best WestCoast inspired pop of the decade. That experience had a heavy effect on Andy and he brought that sensibility into the band for their next album as well as adopted a smoother singing style. This was most evident on this soulful slow burner, The Spooks, which I am featuring here.

Making Good Conversation

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I’ve mentioned in a previous post about 1981 about how it just exists, or per Newman, has no feel. This countdown from October 24th, 1981 reinforces the fact. It’s not about whether the songs are good or bad, but whether they are memorable. Many of these are not. We also have not had a lot of turnover since August as at least 10 of these tracks, 25% of this countdown, was in the Top 40 two months ago.

You’re wearing out your welcome. You guys are on notice.

40. The Go-Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed

New Wave continued to stick its out head once in a while. Don’t know how many times if any this played on that new cable channel, MTV. At the very least it is a catchy pop song written by guitarist Jane Wiedlin with Terry Hall of The Specials, who was about to leave and form Fun Boy Three. As popular as this was, it will only get up to #20.

39. The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys Medley

PD – This pointless medley has already peaked at #12. It’s currently taking up a spot that could have been given to Devo’s Working In A Coal Mine or Blue Oyster Cult’s Burning For You.

38. Diana Ross – Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

The Boss’ first release with her new label, RCA pops into the Top 40 as her last release for Motown hangs out in the Top 5. How many other artists have done that before? I don’t know. Please tell me. I’m thinking the Beatles. Maybe Charlie Rich?

37. Burton Cummings – You Saved My Soul

THW – Burton is a Canadian legend, not only as the lead singer of the Guess Who but for his lengthy solo career as well. This song was written for the movie, Melanie in which he co-starred with Glynnis O’Connor. It won a Genie (the Canadian Oscar) for Best Original Song in a movie. In the States, it became his second and final Top 40, sitting at its peak this week.

36. Moody Blues – The Voice

PD – The MBs are getting hoarse as they whisper down the charts from a high of #15. But at least they bagged a #1 album when Long Distance Voyager spent three weeks at the top during the past Summer.

35. Billy Squier – In The Dark

Bill’s second Top 40 hit has made it as far as it will go. It’s the kind of early 80s rock from an album that will sell millions in its day but will seem quaint and useless in the future.

34. Juice Newton – Queen Of Hearts

PD – Newton’s #2 smash is starting to run out of…., ummmm, gas? No. Momentum? No. Dammit. It’s not coming to me.

33. Diesel – Sausalito Summernight

OHW – Part of the mini-Dutch invasion of the early 80s featured this band whose track is thumping like a disco up to its high of #25. This uptempo pop-rocker about a ride from LA to Frisco in a piece of junk car would strike gold in Canada reaching #1.

32. Lulu – I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)

PD – This is one of two records in the countdown released by the US subsidiary label, Alfa Records. [#37 is the other.] They also released Billy & the Beaters’ I Can Take Care Of Myself, which hit #39 in June. They will fold in 1982, but Billy’s At This Moment, which has just peaked #7,9 will be purchased by Rhino Records in 1986 and make a big comeback.

31. Barry Manilow – The Old Songs

RAR – Here’s another hit that was sung but not written by Barry “I Write The Songs” Manilow. Man, the balls on that guy. This future #15 was penned by David Pomeranz and Buddy Kaye.

30. Bee Gees – He’s A Liar

How Deep Is Your Love. To Love Somebody. Stayin’ Alive. Classics all. But one of the best songs recorded by the Bee Gees is this forgotten gem from the Living Eyes LP, the follow-up to 1979’s Spirits Having Flown. Oh, how things have changed. The Gibb family was so pissed at Robert Stigwood for robbing them blind that their retribution, outside of lawsuits, was to write a song, in which they see him through a window of his house with their woman. They kill him and try to get away with her but they crash their car into his limousine at the end of the driveway, flying through the windshield, barely surviving but still as crazy as a werewolf on a full moon. This is the angriest you’ll ever hear Barry Gibb on record. Too Much Heaven, this is not.

This should have climbed higher than #30. Then again, I can’t believe it made the Top 40 at all.

29. Atlanta Rhythm Section – Alien

RAR – This is the first of two shout outs to Atlanta, a large Southern city that didn’t have much going for it since the World Of Sid & Marty Krofft closed in 1976. ARS was the only cool thing happening but they were really the boys from Doraville. Regardless, this was their final Top 40 hit, a melancholy mellow affair that is peaking this week at #29.

28. ELO – Hold On Tight

PD – By 1981, Electric Light Orchestra had shortened its name officially to ELO. Now they are known as Jeff Lynne’s ELO. So this is officially ELO’s last Top 10 hit.

27. Marty Balin – Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love)

THW – Jesse Barish, the man who wrote Hearts and Jefferson Starship’s Count On Me, also wrote Marty’s follow-up which is at its zenith. Barish also released an album called Flute Salad in 2008.

26. Olivia Newton-John – Physical

This simple record about getting busy just would not work with a man singing it. It had to be someone “pure”, like ONJ. It would completely change her career as it would Top the charts for two and half months and be adopted by aerobics classes everywhere.

25. Foreigner –  Urgent

PD – I’ve mentioned before that Foreigner had two speeds: horndog and tender horndog. Both are on display within this Top 20.

24. The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Rock. Check. New Wave. Check. Reggae. Sure. Punk. Why not? No one else like them? Absolutely. One of the few rock bands that did not try to squash disco but sat along beside it, which is why they melded into the burgeoning New Wave dance scene. When this hits #3, it will be their biggest hit until Synchronicity is released in 1983.

23. The Commodores – Oh No

Lionel’s last Top 10 with the Commodores, which will get there by Thanksgiving, is on the charts at the same time as Lionel’s first solo Top 10.

22. Carl Carlton – She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)

THW – Carl is so determined to describe what a bad mama jam is, I’m surprised this 45 didn’t come with pictures. Instead, it’s Carl who’s shirtless on the cover. This funk jam is peaking here and will spend eight agonizing weeks at #2 on the Soul charts behind Endless Love. Is there no justice?

21.  Foreigner – Waiting For A Girl Like You

RAR – Thomas Dolby was hired to play keyboards on Foreigner’s fourth album. For the recording of this song, he was told to create something for the intro. So he pulled out his Minimoog and created not only something romantic and ethereal but also the familiar lead lick. And a #2 smash was born.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD –  Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
  • STA – Second Time Around

Bound By All The Rest

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I loved listening to American Top 40 shows with Casey Kasem as I grew up in the 80s and then again in the 2000s until the beginning of this decade when Sirus XM replayed them. Then SXM got cheap, stopped airing them and decided to just do the same Billboard Top 40 countdowns except with the MTV VJs running the show. That’s all fine and good. However as our access to history has increased, the cupy should have better. Instead these shows would get lazy and cut and paste some of the info from Wikipedia entries, so much so, that I had a special alert called RFW [Ripped From Wikipedia] when that would happen. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t use that designation anymore. Just assume now that it occurs every song, every single time, just like on this show from October 18th, 1986.

20. Madonna – True Blue

In 1986 MTV held a make your own video contest for this song. This is one of my least favorite Madonna songs, but I still listened to it over and over again to get some good ideas. And with my parents video camera I planned to create something to submit. But eventually I gave up. I had no idea they were going to devote a whole day on the channel to showing all of the submitted videos.

19. Eddie Money – Take Me Home Tonight

Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek passed away last month within two days of each other. Coincidentally they shared a few months together in the Top 40 during 1986, including this week with Ric at #33 and Eddie moving into the Top 20. This will be Money’s first Top 10 hit when it reaches #4 in Mid-November.

18. Eurythmics – Missionary Man

I’ll assume this song was about a religious follower and not someone who was boring in the bedroom. I think the lyrics can support both arguments. The Eurythmics would have only one more Top 40 after this – Don’t Ask Me Why, which peaked at #40 in 1986.

17. Daryl Hall – Dreamtime

THW – Dave Stewart shows up again, this time playing the guitar solo on Daryl Hall’s first solo hit which is definitely artier than anything Hall & Oates had done during the 80s. Daryl is waking up to the fact that this song has run its course since it peaked at #5 two weeks ago.

16. Carl Anderson & Gloria Loring – Friends & Lovers

OHW, PD – That’s it? Those are my two choices. Reminds me of that line in the Blues Brothers when they ask the bartender what kind of music they have – We got both kinds. We have Country. And Western.

15. Boston – Amanda

After an eight year wait, Boston is back with their third album, Third Stage as if they never left, acting like the musical trends of ’78 never shifted. This song debuted at #51 at the end of September and will spend two weeks at the top as soon as the calendar turns to November.  Note to Tom Scholz – I know you spend a lot time making these records. But dude the drums on this song suck.

Fun fact: I have a neighbor named Mandy who was born Amanda, so she’s represented by two different #1 pop songs.

14. Human League – Human

Raise your hand if you thought this band would ever get another #1 hit. This is the first of three Jimmy Jam/ Terry Lewis compositions in the Top 20 this week, part of a monster year for them. Funny that they were fired by Prince from the Time only three years ago.

13. Huey Lewis & The News – Stuck With You

I don’t care who you are or what you look like, no one wants to hear the word stuck when their partner is discussing their relationship. And failing to take the bait and not wanting to change phone numbers and addresses is no reason to stay together. I pity the wedding parties that had to dance to this.

Fun fact: The woman in the video, Keely Smith married Pirece Brosnan and they have been happily stuck together since.

12. Loverboy – Heaven In Your Eyes

More Top Gun mush, this time from Loverboy whose ballads were all beginning to run together, like three-day-old warmed up bowl of oatmeal.

11. Anita Baker – Sweet Love

RAR – Seeminlgy out of nowhere, Miss Baker showed up to save our souls with this sultry jazz pop offering. But she had been working hard since her stint with Chapter 8 in the late 70s and it finally began to pay some dividends. From the album Rapture, this will be Top 10 on the Soul, AC & Pop charts, on its way to #8. Her follow-up in two years will be even better.

10. Billy Joel – A Matter Of Trust

Billy wanted to be a rock star so bad. He tried to convince himself he was and tried to convince his fans with songs like this. But no matter how many times he rides his motorcycle in the rain, we all know that in his heart he was a jazzman.

9. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force – All Cried Out

PFK – I had a girlfriend at the time that told me that if we broke up she would play this song nonstop until I came back. I decided to test out her theory. I never saw her again.

8. Robert Palmer – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Robert loved to cover osbcure contemporary R&B songs, so his version of Cherrelle’s Top 10 R&B dance track was par for Palmer’s course. Although every time I hear his lower register vocals they sound as if after his says the titular line, he wants to follow it up with a “but since you’re turned on, may i offer you some?” suggestion. Amanda will not be swayed and keep him at #2.

7. Glass Tiger – Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)

Filling the role of Canadian Teen Beat idols, here’s Glass Tiger (you know, like jumbo shrimp) with a mid tempo shuffle that’s sounds like a Bay City Rollers outtake. This band is still around and released an album of new material earlier this year and embarked on a very polite cross country tour with fellow Canuck Corey Hart.

6. Stacey Q – Two Of Hearts

THW – Can a song that hit #3 be considered lost or forgotten? If so, put this one on that list. Or the Madonna clone list. This was also a big hit in South Africa. During Apartheid. There’s no joke there. I just thought that was interesting.

5. Don Johnson – Heartbeat

OHW – This pile of gutter trash opened the door for Bruce Willis’ hunk of monkey phlegm the following year. But I would have welcomed a collection of ragtime classics from Ted Danson.

4. Genesis – Throwing It All Away

The second single from Invisible Touch is stuck at its peak this week. We’ll just assume the subject matter was inspired from the collapse of his first marriage like all of his other hits.

3. Cyndi Lauper – True Colors

PFK – This will be Cyndi’s second and final #1 next week and will endure as a standard in the LBGT community. Can’t believe this was originally written for Anne Murray. And funny how my kids only know the version from the Trolls movie.

2. Tina Turner – Typical Male

You are now witness to a Phil Collins trifecta. While he sings #4 and would cover #3 in 1998 to the delight of dentists everywhere, here he is again, playing drums on Tina’s #2 smash. If this song was written with Miss Turner in mind, I’d like to see the original deposition, please. Or the video, if there is one. [Wait, there is.]

1. Janet Jackson – When I Think Of You (2 wks at #1)

Here’s Miss Jackson (I’m kind of nasty) with her first of ten Pop #1s. It’s a nice change of pace from her first two Control singles. While the first two showed off her no-nonsense confident woman persona, this one shows her sweet effeverscent side. You can just imagine her beautuful smile shining through, rosing up those cheeks as she laughs and exclaims feels so good.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD –  Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
  • STA – Second Time Around

The Times I Can Reminisce

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During the week of October 18th, 1986, I was so focused on the Mets playing in the World Series that I don’t remember much about anything else that happened during those nine days. There’s a lot of soft music in this countdown so I’m sure these were playing in the background somewhere. Maybe they made it into my brain but not like the memory of watching Ray Knight with his hands on his helmet getting squeezed by Rick Aguilera as he crosses home plate for the Game 6 win. It still gives me chills.

40. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Way It Is

This band’s first single, Every Little Kiss only made it up to #72. The second one fared much better as it will travel all the way up to #1. It put the band on the map, even though they had already lost one of their members, David Mansfield.

But while it’s nice to write a song about how racism is bad, saying that’s just the way it is isn’t really going to advance the cause.

39. Triumph – Somebody’s Out There

THW – The Canadian trio had a Top 40 hit in 1979 called Hold On. It would be another seven years before they crossed the Frontière Internationale for atheir second and last. This will end up going all the way to #27.

Fun fact: Mike Levine, the guy who usually played the keyboard parts for Triumph, did not play any keyboards on their 1986 album, The Sport Of Kings.

38. Miami Sound Machine – Words Get In The Way

PD – I heard that once Gloria Estefan became a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins, they like to play this song when a player is about to be cut.

37. Lionel Richie – Love Will Conquer All

RAR – This countdown is filled with, what I call, Hallmark rock – mellow songs that borrow their lyrics from Hallmark cards. Even though this will hit the Top 10, Lionel had officially fallen the f off.

36. Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling

PD – Back to back LR with a former #2 that was kept off the top by the Huey Lewis charmer Stuck With You.

35. Nu Shooz – Point Of No Return

THW – This song was the follow-up to their left-field hit, I Can’t Wait. It’s down from its peak of #28 last week. It also made the R&B Top 40 as well. Not bad for a White couple from Portland.

34. Billy Ocean – Love Zone

Finally a bit of soul. If the storm is going to be quiet, at least make it a little funky. Billy’s former Top 10 has been drifting off target, spending its last week in the Top 40.

33. Ric Ocasek – Emotion In Motion

OHW – Many folks know Ric as the leader and main songwriter of the Cars. He did have a long solo career, recording two aolo albums before leaving the band. From his second, one of the softer things Ric created. He wrote & recorded lots of other interesting and engaging singles that no one heard of, but his main passion was producing as this article alludes to. Ric passed away last month.

32. Aretha Franklin – Jumpin’ Jack Flash

I like that the Queen decided to rock out and cover this song, if only just to snatch it away from the Stones. Too bad it only made it up to #21.

31. Corey Hart – I Am By Your Side

Canadian Corey Hart’s sixth Top 40 hit is on its way to the Top 20 where it will peak at #18. Hoser.

30. Peter Cetera & Amy Grant – The Next Time I Fall

RAR – Cartman brings along his Christian patsy and amasses his second number one with a song co-written by Bobby Caldwell. He will now have within four months as many #1s as Chicago has had over 17 years.

29. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

I had a discussion about Say Anything recently with a few folks and someone asked me why Lloyd chose this song to play on the boombox. I reminded that person that it was playing on the car radio when they first knocked boots in the back seat of Lloyd’s car. And, I shit you not, their reply was ‘they were lucky it wasn’t that Peter Cetera song.’

28. Toto – I’ll Be Over You

RAR – Toto hired a new lead singer Joseph Williams for their 1986 album, Fahrenheit. His first job? Sing back up for Steve Lukather, who co-wrote this future #11 hit with Randy “You Needed Me” Goodrum.

27. Van Halen – Love Walks In

Eddie: Hey guys, check out my new Oberheim OB8. (plays opening chord sequence to Love Walks In)

Sammy: That sounds beautiful. It reminds me of a poster I once saw with a little kitty on a tree branch. It said hang in there. Mind if I write some lyrics to that?

26. Run DMC – Walk This Way

Reverand Run, DMC and Jammaster Jay turned a classic rock song into a rap jam as a straght cover with pumped up beats and attitude. This is the song that officially ended Sugarhill Records mafia-like hold on hip-hop and completely changed the game. After this, the field became wide open for indies to start having success and eventually crossing over to the Pop charts. Oh, and it gave a fledgling band called Aerosmith a new lease on life.

25. Oran ‘Juice’ Jones – The Rain

OHW – I have so many questions, but first, let me say this. The song is a work of art. Written by Vincent Bell (not the guitarist who recorded the theme to Airport) it tells the story of a sad man who finds out that his lady is cheating on him as he catches her holding hands with him in the rain. So now he’s sad and wet. He then calmly lets her know that the relationship is over and they part their separate ways.

Then comes part two when we get to hear what the conversation was really like. So his girl comes home to her doting partner, warm Swiss Miss cooking in the kitchen. Then Juice goes straight up gangsta, let’s her know she’s cold busted and that she’s lucky he was wearing his lynx coat today. Otherwise, he would have popped a cap in her and that hush puppy-wearing crumb cake’s ass. [Side note: dude why are you wearing a $3700 dollar coat in the rain?]

But instead he chilled. That’s right. He chilled. He took all of her money back, canceled her credit cards, and sold her Gucci handbags and blue diamonds. Which makes me wonder if he was so rich, why he didn’t just hire a PI to follow her if he was suspicious? Why risk getting water stains on a lynx coat? No dry cleaner in the world is going to undo that.

There was another “juice’ who got angry with a woman. He should have chilled too.

Fun fact: You without Oran “Juice” Jones is like cornflake without the milk.

24. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

There was a way we could have avoided all of this Bon Jovi business. If we had only supported the original version of this song which Desmond Child wrote for Bonnie Tyler. Had that been a hit for her, maybe the fans vote for Depeche Mode to get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018?

23. New Edition – Earth Angel

One of the most enduring doo-wop classics in the pre-rock era was this song by the Penguins, which was a Top 10 hit in 1954. It has seen countless pointless covers such as this one by New Edition, which was recorded for The Karate Kid II soundtrack. No doubt it was selected because of its inclusion in the film Back To The Future the year before. It peaked at #21 last week.

22. Cameo – Word Up

THW – Ow! The funk has arrived.  It took ten years and twelve albums for Cameo to get their first Top 40 hit and it will glide by the people all the way to #6.

Fun fact: Asheville, NC native Aaron Mills joined Cameo as their bassist on tour in the late 70s and played on many of their recordings, including Word Up!

21. Journey – Girl Can’t Help It

By the time they recorded Raised on Radio, Journey was down to a trio. But the hits kept on coming, like this one on its way up to #17 and one of the few songs of theirs I enjoy.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD –  Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
  • STA – Second Time Around

Floating In A Beam Of Light

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In 1982 the US was in the midst of a major recession that was deeply felt by many industries, no more so than record companies. Money which was usually spent on developing new talent was quickly  diverted towards proven winners. Plans became conservative, risks were averted, recordings and releases slowed down. And that’s why you end up with Top 20s like this –  not good, not bad, but not very exciting either. Just…there.

We had only 15 #1s in 1982, with six of them spending at least a month up top. By 1985, only three years later, we’d have 26 different chart-toppers. And talk about gumming up the works – almost half of these Top 20 songs have been hanging around for at least two months or longer, including the top six.

But I digress. Here’s the Top 20 from October 8th, 1982:

20. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)

Now that Joan Jett was a big star, Boardwalk Records decided to reissue her first album as Bad Reputation and pulled this single from it which is at its peak this week. Joan & her band rock the hell out of it, but once you realize it was written by Gary Glitter, you may start to get sick. BTW: The B-side to Gary’s version of this song is I Would If I Could But I Can’t. You can’t make this stuff up.

19. Michael Martin Murphey – What’s Forever For

After a six-year absence on the Pop charts, Triple M is back with another Top 20 forgoing his skills as a sodbuster and instead questioning the properties of infinity. This would also go to #1 on the Country charts beginning a streak of hits for him through the 80s.

18. Laura Branigan – Gloria

You may think of Sally Struthers. Or Van Morrison. But when I hear this song I think of Gena Rowlands, because somehow for years I thought this was the theme song to the John Cassavetes-directed movie she starred in called Gloria. However it’s just an American cover of a 1979 Italian song by Umberto Tozzi that would kick off Laura’s career rocketing its alias up to #2.

17. Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong

PFK, RAR – I guess with a title like this, you’d expect it to climb to the top. That’s where the fans of the song and the film An Officer & A Gentlemen lifted it in the Fall of 1982. It is definitely the oddest successful duet in history. I mean, how the hell do you blend your voice with Cocker’s? It sounds like Jennifer is barely there, keeping her distance from the microphone as if she was afraid that Joe might flail around, have a heart attack and crush her.

16. Santana – Hold On

RAR – When Ian Thomas released The Runner in 1981, it bombed in the US. However, it ended up as his most successful LP due to the fact that songs he wrote on the album were remade as hits by Manfred Mann & Santana. The latter artist is clutching to the Top 20 about to move up one final notch before letting go. Is it just me or does singer Alex Lighterwood sound like Steve Perry on ludes?

15. John Cougar – Hurts So Good

PD – This song has been in the Top 40 since May and is still inflicting pain on the Top 20. It will spend one more week on before crumblin’ down and out while his other little ditty continues to shine.

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

PD – As I listen to this, I imagine two ten-year girls finishing up an episode of Solid Gold pulling out their Goody hairbrushes and singing into them in front of a mirror together. It’s then that I realize that Melissa is really talking to herself. That’s who she’s in love with.

13. Juice Newton – Break It To Me Gently

Juice covers a 1962 Brenda Lee hit and is about to take it into the Top 10. For me personally, just rip the band-aid off.

12. Elton John – Blue Eyes

Elton kept churning out the hits in the 80s and he’s in full-on crooner mode as he’s stuck at the twelve mark. Although it doesn’t get played much anymore, this track is surprisingly sweet and tender. This will be the last Top 40 song that Elton wrote with Gary Osborne supplying the lyrics.

Fun fact: The drum part was not played by long-time EJ band member Nigel Olsson, but instead by Jeff Porcaro.

11. Olivia Newton-John – Heart Attack

Livvy was enjoying new career heights as she released her Greatest Hits Vol. 2 collection. Co-written by Steve Kipner, the guy who penned Physical, this was one of two new songs recorded for the compilation, on its way to a high of #3.

10. A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)

Don’t know about you, but I heard this as a New wave geography lesson, as in the country with Tehran as the capital was many miles from wherever the singer was.

9. America – You Can Do Magic

RAR – This band, now cut down from three to two, had a mini-comeback in the early 80s. After a six-year absence (where did I hear that before?), they embraced the WestCoast sound and came roaring back into the Top 10 with a song written and produced by Argent’s Russ Ballard.

8. Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby

Maybe you get another visual when you hear this song, but all I can think about is sweet Stacy losing her virginity to a stereo store salesman named Ron in a baseball dugout. Thanks a lot, Cameron.

7. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)

Once you first heard that slick groove laid down by Jeff Porcaro and Thunder Thumbs Johnson, you knew it was all over for the Doobie Brothers. [They’d recover, but not with Michael]. Mic Mac hit the Top 10 on the Pop, Soul & AC charts with this one. It would also be sampled to great effect by Warren G for his Top 10 single in 1993 Regulate. [but this is the video you need to watch.]

Fun fact: The woman singing on this song is Michael’s sister, Maureen.

Fun fact 2: Mike had to give Lieber & Stoller a songwriting credit because they said it infringed on their song, originally recorded by Chuck Jackson. Really?

6. Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger PD

5. Men At Work – Who Could It Be Now PD

4. Alan Parsons Project – Eye In The Sky PD, RAR

3. Chicago – Hard To Say I’m Sorry PD

2. Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra PD

1. John Cougar – Jack & Diane (2 wks at #1) PD

And now we come to our anti-climactic ending. Five of these six remaining songs were or will be a #1. [Sorry Alan.] Between them they’ll spend 15 weeks at the top from July 24th to October 30th. Most of these are still played today on either 80s or AC/ Yacht rock formats, with the exception of the biggest hit, Eye of The Tiger. It became so associated with Rocky III and even more so, the unironic sentiments of early 80s music that the future generations have embraced it as a funny artifact rather than a quality pop song. I can’t argue with that. I still have memories of my elementary school class gathering around our music teacher’s piano to sing this song. I rarely made it through without laughing.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD – Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
  • STA – Second Time Around

Concerned With Yesterday

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It’s the week of October 9th, 1982. The theme park EPCOT is finally open in Orlando. Why does that matter? Because that’s the amusement park Walt Disney actually wanted to open in the 60s. But when he died in 1966, the folks in charge moved ahead with a different plan and opened the Magic Kingdom instead. If you took a plane ride down to Florida at this time, you may have switched to Channel 7 in your arm rest console to listen to a playlist called Pop Showdown, which may have included some of these songs.

40. Rick Springfield – I Get Excited

It feels like every time I discuss a different countdown from the 80s, there’s a Rick Springfield song stuck somewhere in it, one that no one remembers. This will crawl to the unexciting high of #32.

39. Toni Basil – Mickey

OHW – And on the other end of the energy spectrum, we have choreographer turned singer Toni Basil with a proto-New Wave song that will reach #1 just before Christmas. This is actually a cover of a ChinniChap track called Kitty for an English band, Racey that was a hit in the UK in 1979.

38. 38 Special – You Keep Runnin’ Away

And here’s a true special at #38. It’s 38 Special. I swear that Billboard did stuff like this on purpose, like when Eighteen With A Bullet by Pete Wingfiled hit #18 with a bullet on Nov. 22nd, 1975.

37. The Who – Athena

Even though Pete Townshend wrote this song about meeting actress Theresa Russell, the lyrics are a gigantic mess sounding at once misogynistic and at times the product of a cocaine hangover nightmare. If they were written down on a nightstand pad, they should have been left there. This will be the last Who Top 40.

36. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Southern Cross

I’m not sure which numbered comeback this was, but it’s notable because it was in name only. David Crosby wasn’t on their two biggest hits from Daylight Again but this one which will still reach #18 before year’s end. Art Garfunkel and Timothy B Schmit added the extra vocals to the harmonies.

35. REO Speedwagon – Sweet Time

REO Speedwagon had 13 Top 40 hits within a ten year period. Most of them are largely forgotten like this one, which will hit #26. At least their accountant remembered. Hopefully.

34. Sylvia – Nobody

OHW – I always loved that part of a cheating song which included someone calling the other lover and then hanging up when the wrong partner picked up. I loved prank calling random numbers as a kid and sometimes I would call a number and not answer when they reached them. So I wonder how many times I was somebody’s “nobody”?

33. Rush – New World Man

OHW – Yes you read that correctly. This was Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Rush’s only US Top 40 hit. It doesn’t make any sense to me either but I’ll let guitarist Alex Lifeson discuss it even further.

32. Evelyn King – Love Come Down

Miss bottle of bubbly escaped the disco era by creating lots of smooth well-crafted soul funk, like this future #1 R&B and Top 20 pop song.

31. The Gap Band – You Dropped A Bomb On Me

THW – Was this on the Iron Eagle soundtrack? It should have been. It should also have been a bigger hit than it’s #31 showing. If this doesn’t fill your dancefloor, you’re doing it wrong.

30. Toto – Make Believe

Toto had three Top 10 hits from Toto IV. This one, released between Rosanna & Africa is at its peak this week. But to me it’s the album’s hidden gem.

29. Kim Carnes – Voyeur

Kim easily moved into synthpop and fully commits with the title track to her new album. Although it’s hardly remembered today as it stalls at #29, I would rather hear this than Bette Davis Eyes any day of the week.

28. Steel Breeze – You Don’t Want Me Anymore

THW – The pride of Sacramento is moving up the charts to an eventually zenith of #16. This was produced by Kim Fowley and this is always mentioned as his final production, which is incorrect. In 1986 he produced Don’t Cry Wolf by the band London, which was his last.

27. Neil Diamond – Heartlight

RAR – E.T. was such a huge film in 1982. It touched kids and adults alike, even big kids like Neil Diamond who along with Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager wrote a song directly inspired by it. Considering that the film was only released four months previous, that’s quite a turnaround. Neil had to pay Universal Studios a boatload of money  to use the ideas and imagery from the film, but the song will hop on a bike and ride all the way up to #5. It will be Neil’s last Top 10.

26. Glenn Frey – The One You Love

RAR – Glenn Frey wasn’t the first original Eagle to have a solo Top 40 hit. That would be Randy Meisner. He wasn’t even the first to have a Top 20 {Randy again.] But this track will be the highest charting to date once it reaches #15. As you listen to this romantic ballad, you can understand why.

25. Eddie Money – Think I’m In Love

PD – Between 1979 and 1986, Eddie had one Top 40 hit and this was it. It’s falling down from #16.

24. Aretha Franklin – Jump To It

Aretha was trying to ignite her pop career once again and got it started with this Luther Vandross-penned and produced track. It will hit #23 on the Pop charts but spend seven weeks on top of the R&B charts, as well as provide a soundtrack to lots of double dutch competitions.

23. Kenny Loggins with Steve Perry – Don’t Fight It

Westcoast Kenny. This time, heavily inspired by Raiders of The Lost Ark he’s ready to embark on a High Adventure, as if he was in the Boy Scouts. He even included bull whip sounds on the album’s first single, a duet with Steve Perry that also features a guitar solo by Neil Giraldo. It will hit #17.

22. Kool & The Gang – Big Fun

One of my favorite Kool & the Gang songs for a very simple reason: the jazzy melancholy chords betray the title making it a song that sounds better in the morning than it does at night. Their LP, As One, didn’t spawn any US Top 20 hits but it’s an underrated album in their catalog.

21. Fleetwood Mac – Gypsy

By the time F’Mac figured out that Stevie Nicks was an asset, she started saving the good songs for herself. This was was written around the time of the Tusk sessions. Her plan was to put it on her solo debut, but held off and decided to record it for the next F’Mac album, Mirage dedicating it to her friend Robin, who had leukemia. This week, as the song travels through the Top 40 up to its high of #12, her friend passed away.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD –  Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
  • SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
  • STA – Second Time Around

Crushes Don’t Come With Warning

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Twenty-Ten Favorite

From L.A. by way of Copenhagen, here is the duo Quadron, who have created their unique version of electronic neo soul during the last decade. They released their debut in 2009 and their follow-up, Avalanche was released four years later in 2013, and in the process, they snagged an opening spot on tour with Mayer Hawthorne the following year. Since then we haven’t heard much from them. Singer Coco O. has fallen in with the Vulfpeck crew and Robin Hannibal’s efforts are focused on the group, Rhye.

Among the landscape of contemporary popmusic, Avalanche is a hidden gem, filled with smooth savory moments fusing bittersweet soulful melodies over sparse funk grooves. Here’s one of my favorites from that album:

Reality Is A Knife

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The bulk of this top 20 from October 6th, 1984 is a best of the 80s collection of pop songs. To this day most of them are still frequently played and held up as musical representations from the decade of greed. They also feature iconic artists that are about to or in the middle of creatively peaking.

20. Laura Branigan – The Lucky One

Singer-songwriter Bruce Roberts released two albums of his own before take a break in the 80s, sitting back and writing songs for other artists all the while collecting fat checks. This autobiograpical hit is at its peak this week.

19. Fixx – Are We Ourselves?

The Fixx’s fourth straight Top 40 hit is quizically climbing up to its #15 high. If you find yourself watching the video for Tina Turner’s Better Be Good To Me and wonder why lead singer Cy Curnin was in it, this is why.

18. Night Ranger – When You Close Your Eyes

This is where I ask you to read the blog, The Music Of My Life for a great take, personally & historically on this song, though I may like it a little more than he does.

17. The Jacksons – Torture

The Jacksons were trying to piggyback on the success of Thriller with a Victory tour and album. But all they ended up doing was lighting Michael on fire and giving him more reasons to stay solo. This single was way better than the State Of Shock trainwreck if only because no one was desprately screaming look at me over and over. The video is freaking hilarious featuring an S&M slave, moonwalking skeletons and a stand-in wax figure of Michael. It will be their final Top 40 hit.

16. John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band – On The Dark Side

I’ll never understand how this band became popular, even if it was for a minute. The Eddie & the Cruisers movie was brutal [was there nohing else on HBO?] and the music didn’t match the period at all. And if you like Springsteen that much, stick with the original. He’s up at #10 about to take over the world.

15. Pointer Sisters – I’m So Excited

STA –  This was originally released as the second single from the So Excited LP in 1982 and reached #30, which wasn’t too bad. Then after the Pointers had two big hits in early 1984, this single was remixed, added to new pressings of their album Break Out and released as a single. This time it will climb up to #9 and become an 80s classic.

14. Huey Lewis & The News – If This Is It

PD – Huey et al’s fourth straight Top 10 from Sports is falling after a peak of #6. That would not be it from said LP as they would have one more Top 20 single from it.

The blog Noblemania has a series called The Girl In the Video where they track down women in 80s videos and interview them. Here’s the link to the interview they did with the two ladies from this video.

And then from Amazon Women on the Moon, there’s this.

13. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It

PD – Tina’s falling as she wraps up ten weeks in the Top 10 with three of them at #1. But this comeback story is just beginning.

12. Bananarama – Cruel Summer

Summer is over and so this one is naturally on the way out as well. Originally released a year previously, it became Bananarama’s first hit peaking at #9, written by all three ladies and Steve Swain and Tony Jolley from the band Imagination.

11. Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)

Billy’s first US Top 40 hit was back in 1976, a #22 track called Love Really Hurts Without You. It took another eight years for his second one, but it will travel all the way to the top and establish him as an 80s hitmaking machine. Billy also recorded a version of this song called European Queen. You can see evidence of this in the video when the poster to the right of him changes during a scene break as he walks down the stairs.

10. Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me

Twelve years after his debut album, The Boss would continue his mid-80s reign with the second single from Born In The USA, no video needed. It will reach #7 for his third Top 10 and his second in a string of eight Top 10s.

9. Scandal feat. Patty Smyth – The Warrior

OHW, PD – I wonder how many stockbrokers sang “shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang. I am the warrior” at they pointed their fingers at the corner office windows after the sale of more junk bonds.

8. Madonna – Lucky Star

ML – I swear I heard Madonna sing I just think of you and I start to blow and thought to myself that doesn’t make any sense. That’s because the line is I just think of you and I start to glow, you know, like a star…duh.

Here are the Sigma Studios production notes for the Lucky Star sessions, if you’re into that kinda thing.

7. Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life

PD – Prince has written four songs on this countdown. One happens to be a cover. Two are by him and one was written for an early influence of his, Sheila E., who’s peaking this week.

6. Chicago – Hard Habit To Break

Chicago had been moving into West Coast music terrtory ever since they invited David Foster to produce them. This is one of their best offerings within that genre as Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin take turns telling the story of a girl they neglected who left only to have them realize they screwed up. I believe the movie stars Meg Ryan.

5. Cyndi Lauper – She Bop

PD – This song is slowly letting go of its hold on the charts after its climax at #3 two weeks ago.

4. John Waite – Missing You

PD – In between Tina & our current #1, John Waite stopped at the top for an I’m Not In Love update on 80s relationships.

3. The Cars – Drive

PFK – The Cars biggest hit single and most covered by far was sung not by Ric Ocasek, but by bassist Benjamin Orr. Fret not for Ric, who recently passed away, because he met his wife of thirty plus years, Paulina Porzikova on the video shoot.

2. Stevie Wonder – I Just Called To Say I Love You

It’s crazy to think, but this is Stevie Wonder’s biggest hit. Of all time. Everywhere. It was #1 on just about every chart in landed on – Pop, Soul, AC. It was his only #1 in England and is still ranked as the largest selling Motown single over there. It was also #1 in thirteen other countries. Not bad for the lead single on a Gene Wilder movie that no one saw.

And then there’s this.

1. Prince & The Revolution – Let’s Go Crazy (2 wks at #1)

Two weeks. One of the best songs in Prince’s catalog was number for only two weeks. That’s criminal. And it features one of his best B-sides, Erotic City on the 45 flip, too. The song also recharted in May 2016 and reached #25.

Fun fact: When a Minnesota Twins baseball player hits a home run, they play this song. As they led the league in team home runs with over 300, that’s a lot of Prince love.

KEY

  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML –  Misheard Lyrics
  • PD – Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
  • STA – Second Time Around

Manic Moves & Drowsy Dreams

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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.

KEY

  • 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

 

The Music’s Seeping Through

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We talk a lot about our musical heroes passing away, what it means to us and how it takes a part of us with them.  We’ve been hit hard in the last few years but as much as we lament, most of them were taken way after their prime years. Imagine then it’s September 27th, 1980 and as you listen to this Top 20, we had just lost John Bonham, which was th end of Led Zeppelin. In the next few months we’ll lose John Lennon, which is the official end of the Beatles and we’ll lose Steve McQueen, which is the end of cool.

20. Stephanie Mills – Never Knew Love Like This Before

The woman who played Dorothy in the orginal run of The Wiz on Broadway has clicked her heels to find herself in the Top 20. It will eventually rise all the way up to #6. She’ll have one more Top 40 in 1981 a #40 duet with Teddy Pendergrass called Two Hearts before she gets kicked out of Oz for good. Nasty wizard.

19. Billy Joel – Don’t Ask Me Why

Billy is peaking with his third Glass Houses single, but lets his Long Island out when he tells you not to acts him why.

18. Pointer Sisters – He’s So Shy

Whenever I hear this song, I think of the Pointer Sisters appearance on an episode of The Love Boat. Issac the bartender wants to be a big star and is going to impress a record executive on the ship using June, Anita & Ruth as his background singers. But when it comes time for him to sing, he gets a case of stage fright. The Pointers take over and Isaac stands there frozen on stage, cause he’s…well, you know.

17. Robbie Dupree – Hot Rod Hearts

THW – Robbie is having his second big hit of the year cruising up to its future high of #15. His take on high school sweathearts pressing their respective sweatshirt & sweater tagainst each other gets a little confusing during the chorus. The couple is driving down the boulevard, but who or what are the hungry sharks up from the bottom for another bite? Did they crash their car into Sea World?

16. Doobie Brothers – Real Love

How the hell do you follow up a monster like What A Fool Believes and the Minute By Minute LP? If you’re the Doobies you get out of Michael McDonald’s way and let him do his thing. And his thing is to soulfully ramble about sad love affairs over an easy yet slightly funky groove. It’s moving itself slowly up to #5.

15. Electric Light Orchestra – All Over The World

John Lennon was quoted as saying that this was one his current favorite songs in 1980 and it’s easy to see why. It’s direct catchy pop with layered harmonies and lots of orchestral synth flourishes. Another Xanadu smash. At least the soundtrack was crushing it.

14. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – You’ll Accomp’ny Me

YOU’LL xCCOMP’xY ME

Chuck, I’d like to buy an A.” “There’s one A.” “What?!? Why?” [ugly buzzer sound] “Sorry, you already guessed Y, buddy. Sarah, would you like to solve the puzzle?”

13. Ambrosia – You’re The Only Woman

Peaking at #13, here is Ambrosia’s second Top 40 from the album One Eighty. It would be the last Top 40 for the band. Bassist Joe Puerta would join Bruce Hornsby’s Range in 1985 with great success.

Also here is a really awful cover of this song which will hit the Top 40 in 1990.

12. Barbra Streisand – Woman In Love

Popular record artists turning into producers was nothing new in 1980. But the disco backlash almost made it a neccasity. The Bee Gees were on top of the world in 1979, but were getting burned by the limelight heat so they moved into heavy songwriting and production mode. After years of working with brother Andy, they tackled other singers such as Babs who will have the biggest album of her career with Guilty. This song will be a #1 very soon, making it her 4th year in a row with a charttopper.

11. Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu

A place where nobody dared to go. That’s called the movie theatre wherever this was playing. Ba-dum-bum. Thankfully the music was entertatning as ELO & Liv pair up for another Top 10 hit,

10. Kenny Loggins – I’m Alright

This is the point in time when Kenny Loggins becomes Movie Kenny with this Caddyshack song on its way up to #7. I would love to see someone do a mash-up of this with Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.

Fun fact: Eddie Money sings a line in this song. That’s him at :50.

9. Larry Graham – One In A Million You

OHW – The man who likes to add some bottom created a first-dance wedding song in 1980, originally written by soul singer Sam Dees. It would not hit one [#9] but would sell a million copies.

8. Irene Cara – Fame

Coco is trying to live forever with her sixth straight week in the Top 10 after peaking at #4 last week. But for God’s sake leave your shirt on, Coco. You don’t need to do that. Leave it on!

7. Eddie Rabbitt – Drivin’ My Life Away

If it’s 1980, then there must be some Country crossing over. Eddie’s LP Horizon yielded this, his first Top 10 hit steering its way up to #5, but there was another cut that would soon provide his biggest smash.

6. Paul Simon – Late In The Evening

Late In The Evening is at its zenith this week, featuring some awesome double drumstick drumming from Steve Gadd, who is also on song #12 and who played that famous opening lick on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. Coming from the One Trick Pony soundtrack, it’s one of the liveliest songs Paul had ever recorded to date. How does such joyous music come from such a sad sack like Simon?

5. Johnny Lee – Lookin’ For Love

OHW – Out of the six Top 40 singles from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack this one will be the biggest, reaching its peak this week. That said, this will forever be Wookin’ Po Nub because once Buckwheat sings a song, it’s eternally his.

4. George Benson – Give Me The Night

This song takes me back to those late nights of driving with my parents through Manhattan at midnight after NY Cosmos games. It was late. I was tired. But the city was still lit up and had a palpable energy that left me enthralled

3. Queen – Another One Bites The Dust

We had a pool table in our house and a neighborhood kid who was older than me would watch my brother and I occasionally. Halwaysys wanted to play pool, but he wasn’t very good. I remember him making a bet that if he missed a shot, he would bite the dust. He missed badly, and then we watched him eat dirt from one of our plants. I bet he’s a cop now.

2. Air Supply – All Out Of Love

Graham Russel Hitchcock is running out of breath unable to take over the #1 position. For as many hits as they will come to have in the US, this will be their only one in England.

1. Diana Ross – Upside Down (4 wks at #1)

Nile and ‘Nard were approached by Diana Ross to produce what would be her last album for Motown. [not sure anyone knew that yet.] Since their pop career with Chic was about to crash [not sure anyone knew that yet.] they approached this project with the seriousness and sensitivity of seasoned pros. Diana ended up dissing the final mix, so she had someone else mix it, bringing up her vocals to the front and turning down the funk. [this song was funkier?] It would be the biggest hit of her career – #1 Pop, Soul & Disco. You can watch Nile talk more about it here.

Here’s the Chic mix and the one we all know and love. Also MJ is singing background vocals.

KEY

  • 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
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