My Generation Will Put It Right


It’s amazing that as the year winds down and we enter the holiday season, radio playlists get very soft. Case in point, the week of December 20th, 1986. Minus a few songs, this countdown is an aural Twinkie.

20. Timbuk 3 – The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

OHW – Talk about a leftfield hit, this one came from out of nowhere by a married couple od DIY musicians. Between the two of them, they play everything on the record. It’s gonna inch up one more spot before going dark. It’s a shame this was their only hit because they had a lot more interesting tunes such as this one.

19. Billy Ocean – Love Is Forever

Billy’s ballads were already a might treacly. But when he started recorded Hallmark card reject songs like this one, it was the beginning of the end. Collect your money, Billy. Your fans will soon be done with puberty and won’t be back.

18. Kool & The Gang – Victory

Here’s some more weak-ass funk. Scratch that. This is boring phone-it-in dance-pop that will somehow still hit the Top 10. The funk is long gone for this band, as well as any good ideas. Singer JT Taylor split after this album, and the next one, released in 1989, is even worse.

17. Howard Jones – You Know I Love You… Don’t You?

HoJo’s third album One To One was manhandled by producer Arif Mardin who made it sound beautiful but complicated, veering too far away from what initially worked. I have a feeling the record company interfered. So this single, which is at its peak, is the only hit from it, and you may not even remember it.

16. Genesis – Land Of Confusion

Invisible Touch is the Genesis album that finally rode Phill the Shill’s coattails into the luxury life. This will be the third consecutive Top five hit from the album and includes a video containing lots of celebrity puppets created by Splitting Image living through a Reagan nightmare.

15. Survivor – Is This Love

Oh Jesus. You guys are back again? Was there a specific quota to fill for midwest rock, like a reverse Can con?

14. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

PD – This is a shot to the heart but not like the one Travolta gives Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. It’s a real shot that destroys my ventricles. Actually, it’s more like a shot to the nads. Nirvana couldn’t get here soon enough.

13. Janet Jackson – Control

If he hasn’t done anything for you lately because he’s a nasty boy, there’s nothing left to do but take control. Janet grabs her life by the scruff of its neck and Jam & Lewis create some of their finest electronic funk riffs for her third consecutive Top 10.

12. The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong

RAR – Chrissie Hynde had to redo her band once again, so her followup to Learning To Crawl took longer than expected. Still, it yielded this bubbly Top 10 that may or may not have been inspired by her then-husband Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.

11. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – War

Bruce was so massively popular in the mid-80s, he could release a five LP box set of live recordings, and folks would line up to buy it, even from the back of a delivery truck. It would debut at #1 on the album charts and stay there for seven weeks and, to this day, is one of the best selling live albums of all time. He released his cover of the Edwin Starr #1 hit from a September 1985 performance in Los Angeles. It will be his eighth consecutive Top 10 single.

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

PD – Good for Bobby Caldwell for writing a #1 hit. Unfortunate for us that it featured Cartman and Wonder bread. Excellent for dentists whose patients slowly say How when it starts playing in the exam room so they can quickly look at your molars.

9. Ben E King – Stand By Me

Ben is one of a handful of artists to have a Top 10 twice with the same song. Good for him. Unfortunately, I have heard this song so much in my life because of that, that its simple charm has worn thin.

8. Robbie Nevil – C’est La Vie

This one immediately got stuck in my ear back then and I became obsessed with it. Little did I know that the song began its life on a Beau Williams album released in 1984. Robbie and producers Alex Sadkin & Phil Thornally polished it up and made it the earworm it is today. It will only climb to #2, held back by song #5 and #22. Robbie would later create music for High School Musical & Hannah Montana. Hey, he got a job. That’s OK.

Fun fact: While Robbie was tearing up the charts, brother Alex was getting a recurring role on one of the hottest shows on TV at the time, Cheers as Martin Teel, Rebecca’s new boss.

7. Huey Lewis & The News – Hip To Be Square

PFK – Here’s a song that was written so well that, according to Huey, nobody understood that it was ironic. Damn us! We also didn’t understand why you hired football players as your backup singers, but hey to each his own.

6. Billy Idol – To Be A Lover

Here’s Billy doing a revved up New Wave dance version of a Stax record first recorded by Willam Bell in 1968 called I Forgot To Be Your Lover. The original is sung like a soulful apology, whereas Billy decided to turn it into a demand. Whether you liked it or not, he was going to spend his life making love to you. So be prepared, if you’re just hanging out and watching TV. This could happen.

5. Gregory Abbott – Shake You Down

OHW, PFK – Here’s a #1 song that has been lost to time. It was also a #1 Soul hit, #2 AC, and a Top 10 UK smash. Billboard listed it as the third biggest song of 1987. If you’re unsure what this composition is about, Wiki P gotcha hooked up.

4. Duran Duran – Notorious

DD2 was down to a trio by 1986 with only Simon, John & Nick carrying the band forward. So they brought pal, Nile Rodgers in to give the group a leaner, funkier sound. Thus it ends up being my favorite LP of theirs. The song will be kept off the mountain by the current #1.

3. Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight

So too for this 45. Hey, white people need some rock songs with tribal passages to clod around to, which is why I love this clip.

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

PD – This was last week’s #1 and apart for that cheesy drum machine, showed the world the talent that Bruce would bestow on us for the next thirty-plus years.

1. The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian (1 wk at #1)

I bet their record label thought they were done with any more popular singles from their second album, Different Light, But this, their third single, opened the band up to many riches when it went to #1 and spent a week up there. I like that three members sing lead on this one, but the video is painful to watch. I had the album, had seen The Bangles live earlier that year and they played this song. I had no inkling this would be huge.


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


To Work Much Harder Than This


It’s Christmas 1986. Were you having a Smoky Mountain Christmas with Dolly Parton? Or sharing A Christmas Gift with John Denver? Or ignoring the holidays like I was to listen to these songs from the week of December 20th, 1986?

40. Georgia Satellites – Keep Your Hands To Yourself

OHW – This is just a simple 12-bar blues number that peeked and poked its way through the reverb-heavy dance-pop landscape up to a #2 showing. It was kept out by Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer. Now tell me which one you would rather listen to right now.

39. Madonna – True Blue

PD – Madonna wrote this for her then-husband, Sean Penn. They’ll be divorced in three years. But she continues to get royalties from this former Top 10.

38. Tina Turner – Two People

Tina’s followup to Typical Male lands in the Top 40, but it won’t go any farther than #30 in early 1987. Folks that that was a let down from the massive success of Private Dancer. But honestly, any new music from Tina was a triumph, especially in establishing her legacy.

37. Billy Joel – This Is The Time

Was this played at every graduation in 1987 or just the ones on Long Island? I’m sure this is why Green Day wrote Good Riddance.

36. Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life

From the soundtrack to the Jonathan Demme film True Stories, here’s the last Top 40 single for the Talking Heads tumbling from its high of #25. The video, which consisted of band members and various actors singing karaoke and dressing up as other stars such as Prince, Billy Idol & Madonna, was on high rotation at MTV.

35. Boston – Amanda

PD – This song had no video. For MTV. In 1986. It still went to #1. The power of Boston.

34. Nancy Martinez – For Tonight

Here’s dance-pop from Quebec, Canada. Nancy’s second album came South of the border and yielded this #32 hit. And then she took off for the Great White North.

33. Pointer Sisters – Goldmine

This sounds like a Bananarama reject, not fitting for the sisters Pointer. Their name got it into the Top 40, but it will not travel any farther than where it is this week. They need to put it in a cart and wheel it down a shaft. It will be the Pointers’ last Top 40 song.

32. Cyndi Lauper – Change Of Heart

Cyndi’s followup to True Colors is on its way to a #3 placement. It features backing vocals by the Bangles and guitar work by Nile Rodgers. It was co-written by singer-songwriter Essra Mohawk who also wrote some songs for Schoolhouse Rock, such as this one.

31. Samantha Fox – Touch Me (I Want Your Body)

One year prior, Sam Fox was name-checked in Elton John’s Wrap Her Up. Now here she was moaning and groaning through her first Top 40 song. The song will finish with a #4 climax before falling down the charts and forgetting your name. And please do not confuse her with the porn star of the same name, even though the song may suggest otherwise.

30. Miami Sound Machine – Falling In Love (Uh-Oh)

Miami Sound Machine’s album Primitive Love was set loose in August of 1985, but it was still spawning hits into 1987, such as this one which will slowly climb up to #25. Also that uh-oh, uh-oh should be played on a loop throughout each Dolphins game.

29. Run DMC – You Be Illin’

The second Run DMC Top 40 hit is at its high this week. And if you’re not sure what illin’ means, in this song, it’s referred to as being a dumb ass. But if you’re acting wild and crazy, having a good time, you could be illin’ too.

28. Carly Simon – Coming Around Again

Carly had been MIA from the charts for most of the 80s until this track, which used in the 1986 film Heartburn. It was her first Top 40 since 1980’s Jesse, but unfortunately would be her last, after its climb to #18. And if you like circles like me and things coming around again, you can consider this the sequel to her first hit, That’s The Way I Heard It Should Be.

27. Madonna – Open Your Heart

Once Madge debuted in the Top 40 with Holiday, it felt like she never left the charts again in the 80s [She actually took most of 1988 off, but I digress.] This is her second one in the Top 40 on the way to becoming her fifth #1 single. It’s a pleasant little slice of dance-pop that sounds so innocuous; you don’t even realize it’s filled with sexual innuendoes. She’s so good at selling it you don’t know you’re buying it.

Also, this video is creepy AF. What the hell is a little kid doing at a peephole strip club?

26. Human League – Human

PD – Right after Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis recorded Control with Janet Jackson, they got an assignment to work on the next Human League album. Another song that’s so beautifully produced, you might forget it’s about some cheating jackass that needed to fill a void. The Shyamalan twist is that she cheats on him too. Burn.

Also, using the I’m only human excuse to explain away an affair is not going to fly in the real world.

25. Kansas – All I Wanted

RAR – This is about as far removed from Carry On Wayward Son as Kansas will get. Gone are the violin solos and prog-rock riffs. Enter vanilla sap. It will reach #19 and be their final Top 40 hit.

24. Lionel Richie – Love Will Conquer All

PD, RAR, SXMFU – This is former #9 is so soft, it makes Wonder Bread feel like a brick.

Sirius XM’s Big 80s Countdown mentions that this was Lionel’s tenth AC hit in a row. It was his tenth, just not in a row. He’d eventually have eleven. And when the Top 40 and R&B hits dried up, he continued to rack up an additional 10 Top 40 hits on the AC chart. Someone, please give him back the funk.

23. Cameo – Word Up!

THW, PD – At least it never left Larry Blackmon and thank God it didn’t, otherwise this former #6 smash might not have existed. And someone needs to keep a better eye on him in the recording studio so that he doesn’t hurt himself so much.

22. Billy Vera & The Beaters – At This Moment

STA, THW – This was originally recorded for a Live album at the Roxy in Hollywood for the album Billy & the Beaters. It was released in 1981 and made it up to #79. Then on Family Ties, this song was played every time that Alex got horny for his lab partner, Ellen. And because so many people watched the show, they all wanted to know what the song was, prompting the reissue label, Rhino, who owned the rights to rerelease it. And to everyone’s surprise, not the least Billy’s, it became a #1 hit in early 1987.

Fun Fact: Billy & the Beaters was produced by Steely Dan/ Doobie Brother member, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.

21. Glass Tiger – Someday

This Canadian quintet pumped out another heartbreak anthem for the post-puberty Smash Hits set. Produced by Jim Vallance, it’s on the way to a #7 zenith.



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


The Banks Of Chaos In My Mind


And now the top half of the Top 40 from the week of December 13th, 1980.

20. Blondie – The Tide Is High

Blondie is in line to get their third #1 with a cover of the 1967 recording by the rocksteady trio, The Paragons, although they may have been more familiar with the 1978 Gregory Issacs version.

19. The Korgis – Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime

OHW – Sometimes, a song is so simple yet captures a certain feeling that makes it worth repeated listening. The Korgis were a quartet from London featuring two formers members of Stackridge. They had this leftfield Top 20 hit in late 1980, which is one spot form its high. The original single is nearly impossible to find because the band re-recorded the track when they released Dumb Waiters on CD, which is now out of print.

Fun fact: The Korgis recorded All I Want For Christmas Is You about ten years ago, so if you’re tired of Mariah’s version, here you go.

18. Diana Ross – It’s My Turn

Diana had been cultivating a disco following in the last few years but decided to throw a bone to her MOR fans with the title track to this 1980 film starring Jill Clayburgh & Michael Douglas. It’s on the way to the Top 5 and seemingly killed all the momentum for releasing any more singles from Diana.

17. Devo – Whip It

OHW – The men from Akron spent three weeks at #14 before spending another two at #17, which is where they are this week. I forget that this song was originally a hit in late 1980, which means its success was strictly from sales and airplay and hardly any video exposure. But once MTV came around in mid-81, they played this one like crazy. Speaking of which, this video is a giant WTF with ridiculous misogyny that just doesn’t fly or come off as funny as the band intended. And lady, why are you blaming the drummer Alan? It was Mark who was whipping that woman.

Fun fact: The whipping sound in the song was made on a Minimoog.

16. The Police – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

If I’m feeling out of sorts, all it takes is some Police to get me back together. Sting’s simple song about the fact that word matter will make it to #10, back to back Top 10s for the group.

15. Christopher Cross – Never Be The Same

RAR – The third single from CC’s multi-Grammy-winning debut is stalling out at #15, though it would be his first #1 AC hit. Dig that horse gallop woodblock thing he’s rocking throughout.

14. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

No one plays guitar with more joy, soul, and warmth and can still be funky as hell than Nile Rodgers. Bernard Edwards is one of the melodic bass players ever, and Tony Thompson is a monster drummer. Put a diva like Diana Ross out front who possesses one of the purest and most effortless voices in music, and you can guarantee you’ll have a hit every time. It’s too bad this relationship between Chic and Diana soured for a while because I would love to have heard further collaborations between the two.

P. Diddy used the break in the song for his monster production of Biggie’s 1997 #1 Mo Money, Mo Problems.

13. Heart – Tell It Like It Is

Heart is about to rack up their first Top 10 in the 80s with a cover of Aaron Neville’s 1967 hit. It’s gonna get up to #8 in early 1981 and was tacked on to their Greatest Hits/ Live LP.

12. Daryl Hall & John Oates – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling

This was the first cover that Hall & Oates recorded that made the Top 40, and it was their biggest hit since Rich Girl in early 1977. But there was much more to come this decade, and these brothers were about to get righteous.

11. Air Supply – Every Woman In The World

You’re every woman in the world to me? Every woman? What the hell does that mean? The best woman in the world, I get. Are you saying she’s just like everyone else, or are you saying she’s every single female in the world wrapped into one? That sounds a bit greedy if you ask me.

10. Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot

PFK – Pat puts her first Top 10 notch in her lipstick case with this pop-rocker, written by Eddie Schwartz. It will end up being one of her defining classics from her catalog.

9. Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb – Guilty

RAR – The second single from Guilty is one of two duets on the album and the only track written by all three Bee Gees. It will unashamedly climb to #3 and will be Barry’s first solo (kind of) entry into the Top 40. It will also win a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal – Duo or Group in 1981. The album was such a massive hit for Babs that it spawned a sequel in 2005 called Guilty Pleasures. Barry made the demo available to the public in 2006.

8. Barbra Streisand – Woman In Love

PD – One year into the 80s, and the Gibbs have yet to slow down. Even though they didn’t release an album this year, Barry and his brothers were responsible for five Top 40 hits, including this monster #1, which spent three weeks at the top and went to #1 in the UK. Don’t sleep on Babs. As long as she’s still with us, you never know what other great things she has yet to deliver.

7. Bruce Springsteen – Hungry Heart

Seven years after his debut, the next big thing in rock hits the Top 10. Harnessing all of the power of the E. Street Band into a pop song was difficult, but it paid off on his LP, The River, and one of his most triumphant records to date. It’s gonna eat up two more notches before settling in at #5.

6. Neil Diamond – Love On The Rocks

PFK – Originally titled Scotch On the Rocks, here’s the first single from The Jazz Singer soundtrack. The movie bombed out, but the album proved to be Neil’s biggest. This track is gonna roll it itself up to #2, kept off the mountain by John Lennon, the way it should be. This was also Neil’s biggest hit in South Africa going to #1 there, yet another reason to fight Apartheid.

5. Stevie Wonder – Master Blaster (Jammin’)

Stevie’s first album of the 80s, Hotter Than July, gave us this #5 track, a tribute to Bob Marley, which feels forgotten within his catalog. But damn, he’s had a lot of hits, so that’s gonna happen. Rather than do everything himself, he plays here with a full band, which allows for its live airy vibe.

4. John Lennon – (Just Like) Starting Over

I can’t tell how many times this song was played in our house that Christmas. It was to the point that I’d hear those three triangle hits, and I’d run and hide. This song was recorded only four months before he was shot, which would have been last week with respect to this chart, placing it at #6. We waited five years for new music from John, and when we finally did, it was over. It was already a big hit for him, but after his death, it will rocket up to #1 and stay there in tribute to him for five weeks.

3. Queen – Another One Bites The Dust

PD – Here’s the second #1 from Queen’s The Game, which owes as much to the songwriting prowess of bassist John Deacon as it does to the power of Bernard Edwards’ melodic bass lines. It also will hit #2 on the Soul charts as well as the Disco charts. Yes, had it not been for Stevie Wonder, Queen would have had a #1 R&B song.

2. Leo Sayer – More Than I Can Say

RAR – And had it not been for Kenny Rogers & John Lennon, Leo would have had his third #1 hit. Instead, this cover, originally written by Sonny Curtis & Jerry Allison of The Crickets, will spend a total of five weeks as a bridesmaid.

Fun fact: This song was played in early setlists by The Beatles.

1. Kenny Rogers – Lady (5 wks at #1)

RAR – Congratulations, Kenny. And congratulations, Lionel. This is the biggest for both of them to date. Even though Kenny would have more hits in the 80s, including another #1, it was songwriter Lionel Richie would have a lot bigger hits. He was still a Commodore at this point, but just barely. He had one more Lady song left to give them.


  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • PD – Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • STA – Second Time Around


Take Me Along When You Slide On Down


By the time this countdown was released, it had only been five days since John Lennon was murdered in front of his home in New York City. We were still in shock that man who asked us to give peace a chance was now gone. He had just turned 40 that October, and his physical body has been gone from earth almost as long as it was here. His death shrouded that holiday season in sadness, making it challenging to hear Happy Xmas (War Is Over) or the repeated spins of (Just Like) Starting Over, which was in the Top 10.

Here are the songs from the week of December 13th, 1980, that played as a de-facto wake to one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

40. Stephanie Mills – Never Knew Love Like This Before

PD – Hanging in the Top 40 for one more week, here is the original Dorothy from The Wiz with a former #6 smash, a great one to couples skate together.

39. Roger Daltrey – Without Your Love

OHW – When you’re a member of a famous rock band, you get bored sometimes. That’s usually where the solo albums come in. Daltrey took it a step further and stared in a motion picture about bank robber John McVicar, then recorded a soundtrack to it. This mellow acoustic ballad, written by Billy Nicholls, falls from its high of #20. It will be Roger’s only solo Top 40.

38. Tierra – Together

OHW – The Latin band, Tierra, formed in the wake of early 70s groups such as Malo and their hit Sauvecito. And in the spirit of Sunday picnics in the park comes this cover of The Intruders’ 1967 release, which made it up to #48. Tierra, as a team, will march this one up to #18. Also, sweet call back in the break down to another Intruders hit, Cowboys to Girls.

37. Pointer Sisters – He’s So Shy

PD – Here’s a song that was initially written for Leo Sayer called She’s So Shy. But when his producer, Richard Perry, moved on to producing the Pointers, he had writers Tom Snow and Cynthia Weil change it to he and a #3 was born. That’s sister June singing lead.

36. Donna Summer – The Wanderer

PD – Here’s another #3 stumbling down the charts. It would be Queen of Disco’s highest charting song for three years until She Works Hard For The Money equaled this peak.

35. Steely Dan – Hey Nineteen

Imagine the luck in finding a nineteen-year-old girl to be interested in you as a man in your early 40s and then blowing it because you’re pissed she doesn’t know who Aretha Franklin is. She’s the actress who played Matt Murphy’s partner in the Blues Brothers movie from that Summer. Duh. Also, don’t you blaspheme up in here.

And, sweet drum licks, Wendel.

34. Dr. Hook – Girls Can Get It

The pride of Union City, NJ caps off a big 1980 with another Top 40 hit, written by Leslie “If The Love Fits Wear It” Pearl. These guys can make anything sound sleazy. It is sitting at its zenith.

33. Cliff Richard – Dreaming

PD – Cliff’s first of two hits in the Top 40 falls from its peak of #10. Originally called Dreamin’ in the UK, Cliff asked Chuck Woolery for a G and stuck one at the end of the title for the US release.

32. Eddie Rabbitt – I Love A Rainy Night

Eddie had been crossing over from the country charts since 1979. But he was gearing up for a big 1981 with the second single from his LP Horizon. This ode to evening storms will hit #1 on the Pop, AC & Country charts.

31. Andy Gibb – Time Is Time

Andy started off his career with three straight #1s and six Top 10s. Released as a single from his Greatest Hits LP, it will be his third Top 40 hit in 1980 and will peak at #15 in early 1981. After one more Top 40, he’ll begin hosting Solid Gold with Marilyn McCoo later in the year.

30. Doobie Brothers – One Step Closer

Nearly five years after Michael McDonald joined the Doobies, the ride was coming to an end with this track being the last Top 40 hit he performed on with them. It will top out at #24 next month. I’ve always liked the way the song starts off. It sounds like something Good Morning American would play as they come back from a commercial break.

29. Barry Manilow – I Made It Through The Rain

Can someone please mash this up with this track? Maybe sprinkle a little Missy E in there?

28. Olivia Newton John & Cliff Richard – Suddenly

Pals Livvy and Cliff team up for a duet from the movie Xanadu. It’s the fifth Top 20 song from that soundtrack on its way up to #20. If you have trouble sleeping, you might want to try watching the song clip from the movie.

27. John Cougar – This Time

The Coug’s second Top 40 hit is at its final resting place. It deserved a better showing as it’s quite enjoyable, fun and swinging, whereas his ensuing music became too serious the more progressed through the 80s and became famous.

26. Don Williams – I Believe In You

OHW – Here’s a dude that doesn’t get mentioned often as Country legend, but most definitively should. Maybe it was gentle singing style or his lack of crossover success. He started as a founding member of the Pozo-Seco Singers in the mid 60s, before he racked up 17 #1s on the Country charts, including this one. This ballad is two spots away from its high.

25. Kool & The Gang – Celebration

Break out the yellow ribbons and celebrate. The hostages will be coming home in another month. No one knew that then, but when it happened the played this song loudly. It would be #1 two weeks after that.

24. Rod Stewart – Passion

Even the President needs passion. What the hell does that mean? Do you know something about Rosalind that we don’t? He’s already admitted that he’s lusted in his heart. What do you want to guy to do? Rod ends his trilogy of sleaze with this future Top 5.

23. Harry Chapin – Sequel

Harry became a big pop star since he drove his Taxi up to #24 back in 1972. So he thought he’d write a song about how he’d rub in the face of his former girlfriend, using the same melody as his previous hit, thus – Sequel. I generally like Harry’s music, but this is just six and a half minutes of boredom and should be called Seek Hell. JB from The Hits Just Keep On Coming has a hilarious take on Taxi and Sequel.

22. Randy Meisner – Deep Inside My Heart

The former Eagle and Poco member finally has his first solo Top 40 hit. He pulls a “Whenever I Cal You Friend” on Kim Carnes, who adds her lead vocals to this record but is not credited.

21. Waylon Jennings – Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)

This tune is third Country song thus far in the Top 40, and it’s by an outlaw legend. Waylon was tapped as the balladeer on the TV show, The Dukes Of Hazzard and wrote & sang its theme. A year and a half after the show’s debut, it was released as a single. It’s his third and final Top 40 hit, and it will climb no higher, even it jumped a dirt ramp in the General Lee.


  • 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 Change Is Gonna Come


It is folks. It most definitely is. I got a good feeling.

Here’s the Top 20 from December 8th, 1984.

20. Jack Wagner – All I Need

OHW – When Rock Springfield left General Hospital in 1983, the producers tried to create a new singing doctor for the show, which is why this exists. Unfortunately, they forgot that Rick had talent and a decade and a half of music experience when they hired Jack. That’s probably why this future Top 10 will be his only hit.

19. Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run)

PD – Here’s Billy’s second hit in the Top 40 and first #1 with an eight-letter title. He’s in for at least two more of those before the decade is over.

18. Huey Lewis & The News – Walking On A Thin Line

Huey and the guys had a streak of 11 Top 10 hits out of 12. This is the one that didn’t make it, sitting at its peak this week. A forgotten and rare serious song in their catalog that tells the tale of the story of a soldier making emotional adjustments coming home from war.

17. Corey Hart – It Ain’t Enough

Corey politely sits at his song’s final resting place as his second Top 20 of the year. It’s not remembered as well as it should be.

16. Julian Lennon – Valotte

Four years after his dad was murdered in NY, son Julian has a song in the Top 20 destined to crack the Top 10. Everyone was amazed at how much he sounded like John, and that doubt added to his success. This song was inspired by and written in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, as he recorded his debut there. But it also sounds like a thinly veiled homage to his father.

15. Prince & the Revolution – Purple Rain

PD – I miss this dude. Also, Dewey Bunnell would like his royalty check or at least a nice edible arrangement.

14. Sheena Easton – Strut

PD – Sheena pouts and walks out the door as her former #7 hit tumbles down the charts. Her next single will be a blush-inducing collaboration with the artist at #15.

13. Survivor – I Can’t Hold Back

If I heard someone say that they can’t hold back and that they’re on the edge, I’m calling a suicide prevention hotline for them. Or at least making them watch this.

12. Tina Turner – Better Be Good To Me

PD – Damn right, you better. In addition to being on the megasmash Private Dancer album, this former Top 5 will also be included the Miami Vice soundtrack next Fall.

11. Madonna – Like A Virgin

Madonna is a world-class button pusher. She always knows the right ones to press to get the result she’s after. Who else in their right mind would record a song with this title then roll around the stage in a wedding dress while she sings it? This Tom Kelly/Billy Steinberg composition will hit #1 and stay on top during the holiday season for six weeks.

Also, this is Chic with Madonna singing lead, so you can’t lose.

10. Pat Benatar – We Belong

PFK – All of the songs in the Top 10 either hold steady or move up. This one moves up for notches on the way to garnering Pat back to back #5s. Also, if someone you’re dating sings this to you at karaoke, you better into them or run like hell.

9. New Edition – Cool It Now

Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike, if I like the girl, who cares who you like? Lead singer Ralph Tresvant tries to downplay his machismo and show his sensitive side in this proto new jack jam, which owes as much to doo-wop as it does to hip-hop.

Fun fact: Ralph Tresvant had a Top 10 hit in 1991 called Sensitivity.

8. Lionel Richie – Penny Lover

What the hell is a penny lover? I imagine it’s someone who walks along the beach staring at the sand with a metal detector in their hand. Yeah, I’d ask them to walk on by.

7. The Honeydrippers – Sea Of Love

THW – This was Robert Plant’s first appearance in the Top 10 since early 1970 when he sang Whole Lotta Love. Jeff Beck played the guitar solo on Rod Stewart’s Infatuation, which hit the Top 10 earlier this year as well as on the #12 song. And then there’s Nile Rodgers, who plays rhythm guitar on this and has two other songs in the Top 20 that he produced.

6. Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights

RAR – When you wite a lot of great songs, the good ones are going to be largely forgotten. But as you wait in line at your local CVS and this comes on, you know you’re gonna light up and think, “Wow. I forgot about this one.” And it comes complete with two tasty solos from David Gilmour.

5. Cyndi Lauper – All Through The Night

Here’s the fourth straight Top 5 hit from She’s So Unusual. It’s a Jules Shear cover, originally recorded for his 1983 Watch Dog LP.

4. Duran Duran – The Wild Boys

D2 loved Nile Rodgers’ work on The Reflex remix so much, they hired him again to produce a one-off single that was included on their live album, Arena. It will only rise #2. I can only imagine what this hysterically dramatic tune sounded like before Nile polished it up.

3. Chaka Khan – I Feel For You

THW, PD – Take a Prince song, add a rap by Melle Mel, a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder, let Arif Mardin produce it and let Chaka Khan wail on it. That’s how you create a monster hit. It also features a sample of Stevie’s Fingertips Pt 2 in there as well. Now turn it up and pop and lock to your heart’s delight.

2. Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

PD – Wham!’s first #1 finally slips off the mountain. But don’t worry, the ride’s just begun. In a few weeks, Careless Whisper will debut on the Hot 100 at #37.

1. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Out Of Touch (1 wk at #1)

PD – Hall & Oates cap off an incredible run during the first half of the 80s with another #1. After releasing heir ninth studio album, Voices in 1980, this is what they accomplished: 14 Top 40 hits, 11 Top 10s, 5 #1s. They had 7 Top 40 hits in the 70 and will generate another 8 after this leaves the top.


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



Summer’s Out Of Reach


I’m not sure if after-school specials did more harm than good to our generation. But they were usually suitable for lots of unintended laughs, which is why I loved watching them. ABC was often the best at these, but then CBS threw their tam in the ring. There was one that aired around this time called Hear Me Cry about two completely different kids that were both contemplating suicide. As you would expect, the acting is hilariously over-the-top. I won’t bore you with any more details except that one kid kills himself, and the other is destroyed for life by it. Then it ends.

I spent lots of time by myself, and unfortunately, this movie made me feel like I should feel ashamed about that. I lived for many years with that feeling until I became an adult and realized that it was OK to be alone, especially if that’s what you wanted. So thanks, CBS. Well done.

Here’s the first twenty from the Top 40 countdown during the week of December 8th, 1984.

40. Billy Ocean – Loverboy

Here’s the first of two Billy Ocean songs on the countdown as he enters a successful five-year period as a smooth, soulful pop singer. It’s on its way to a bridesmaid position of #2, kept off the mountain by a careless whisper.

39. John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band – Tender Years

STA – There are five songs in the Top 40 from movies this week. But this is the only one whose film isn’t in the theaters. Eddie & the Cruisers had an unlikely resurgence due to endless showings on HBO and JC, and the boys were the benefactors. This track is their second Top 40 hit, on the way up to #31 after initially bombing out at #78 earlier in the year.

38. Sheila E. – The Belle Of St. Mark

Here’s Sheila’s second Top 40 hit, also written by Prince. It will crawl up to #34 but would only peak at #68 on the Soul charts.

37. Philip Bailey & Phil Collins – Easy Lover

OHW, PFK – Phils a deux team up for a duet about a woman who is anything but easy (unless it’s Sunday morning) that will hit #1 in many countries but only #2 in the US. It’s Philip Bailey’s only solo pop hit away from Earth Wind & Fire. Phil Collins didn’t even release an album in 1984, yet he hit the top 40 that year with Genesis, as a solo artist, and as a duo.

36. Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes & James Ingram – What About Me?

RAR – Here is the rare trio to appear in the Top 40 falling from its #15 peak. The song, written by David Foster and Richard Marx, was initially planned as a trio with Lionel Richie & Barbra Streisand. It also charted on the Country, AC & Soul charts. But when was the last time you heard this?

35. U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)

U2 gets their first burst of chart success with this Brian Eno/ Daniel Lanois production written in tribute to Martin Luther King, who had just had his birthday officially recognized as a holiday in the US the year previous. I need to point to Bono (I’m sure others already have) that MLK was shot in the evening, not during an early morning. And I just found out that Chrissie Hynde sings back up on this.

SXMFU – Alan Hunter  mentions on the Big 80s Countdown that this song will go to the top of the charts, but it will only top out at #33.

34. Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer

Here’s a song that was originally written by Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers. He brought it to Don, who wrote some lyrics to it and released it as his first single from his second album. The video featuring former bandmate Glenn Frey was popular at the time and won several awards. But Don is a dick and won’t let anyone watch it on YouTube. But here it is anyway.

33. Ray Parker Jr. – Jamie

PFK – From his compilation album, Chartbusters, here’s a new single from RP2 featuring his trademark love, respect, and understanding of women. It’s his sixth Top 40 hit, and he’ll take it up to #14.

32. Toto – Stranger In Town

Hot off the heels of the success of Toto IV, here they are with a new single, which sounds like it’s about Jack the Ripper. David “Africa” Paich sings lead vocals while the new lead singer oohs in the background. Two more notches, and then it’s outta here.

31. Dennis DeYoung – Desert Moon

OHW, PD – This is the reason that Dennis is not in Styx anymore.

30. Rebbie Jackson – Centipede

OHW – Rebbie was 34 when she released this track from her debut, written by her little brother, Michael. 34 was old by Jackson standards. This was almost two years before Janet had her first Top 40 hit, and she was 19.

Fun fact: Rebbie’s debut included a cover of Prince’s I Feel 4 U, which Chaka Khan also recorded. She released her version first, and it is on this week’s chart.

29. REO Speedwagon – I Do’Wanna Know

Releasing this as their first single from Wheels Are Turning almost derailed the whole album. It’s a by-the-numbers uptempo pop-rocker with a tinge of faux-rebellion thrown in for good measure. Maybe it sounds incredible live, but the album performance does not. Thus it’s at its final resting place.

28. Chicago – You’re The Inspiration

RAR – Peter Cetera signed a very lucrative deal with Hallmark, and here’s the first collaboration between the two. If sending a greeting card was too impersonal, you can give someone this 45. Unless you’re over ten years old.

27. Bob Seger – Understanding

From the forgotten Arthur Hiller-directed film Teachers comes this forgotten Bob Seger Top 20 hit. It will reason its way up to a #17 high.

26. Dan Hartman – We Are The Young

Dan was 34 when he recorded and released this single, which means he wasn’t really among the young. So according to my 22-year-old nephew, the song is canceled. Next, he’s going to investigate Dan’s REM patterns to see if his dreams could have ever indeed been about “you.”

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

PD – I get the feeling that someone in Silicon Valley heard this song and decided to create technology that would eliminate future derivatives of this narrative if only to save Stevie from himself.

24. The Cars – Hello Again

The fourth single from Heartbeat City is inching up the charts to an eventual zenith of #20, making it four Top 20s from that LP. Andy Warhol directed the video and also appeared as the bartender.

23. Bryan Adams – Run To You

Here’s the first single from BA’s ultra smash, Reckless. It will quickly jog up to #6. I love how Canadians are so polite that even in their cheating songs, they are still very complementary to the ones they are screwing around on, effusing them with praise such as having a heart of gold possessing a true love. How gallant.

22. Jermaine Jackson – Do What You Do

Here’s the second Jackson in the Top 40, and neither one is Michael. 1984 was an overall good year for the family with Michael, Rebbie & Jermaine getting Top 40 hits as well as the Jackson themselves and their popular Victory Tour. You can even see Janet now and then on Diff’rent Strokes.

21. Bruce Springsteen – Born In the U.S.A.

From the book, Every Breath You Take: Songs That We Love To Misunderstand comes this entry – a rallying jingoistic cry that reminds everyone that America is #1, so saith Ronnie. Or that we’re pieces of shit for sending kids off to fight an unwinnable war then spitting on them when they returned. It will stomp up to a #8 finish.



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



Let Me Take You To The Max


I must have been listening to the radio a lot and watching MTV like a fiend in late 83. Almost all of these songs are in the soundtrack to my life, especially Say Say Say. That’s the one I most equate with having my first girlfriend, Melissa. It was the first song we danced to when we met at a Halloween shindig. (I use dance very loosely.) Before I knew it, we started dating, sending letters to each other, talking on the phone as we watched videos together. There has never been a time in my life that I heard Say x 3 and not felt the first flush of innocent romance again.

So here are the Top 20 songs from November 26th, 1983.

20. Air Supply – Making Love Out Of Nothing At All

PD – For a group that sang Lost In Love, All Out of Love, and The One That You Love, they truly made love out of nothing at all.

19. Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack – Tonight, I Celebrate My Love

PD – Our second duet on the countdown features the first appearance by the pride of Greenville, SC, Mr. Peabo Bryson. The celebration seems to be wrapping up as they begin their fall down that charts.

18. Prince – Delirious

The most popular Prince song that you don’t remember. But this former #8, buoyed by the strength of his 1999 LP, was also used to promote the 1991 John Candy film of the same name. Forgot about that one too?

17. Sheena Easton – Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)

PD – Sheena’s phone gets disconnected, and Ma Bell is reaching out to touch her by kicking her down the charts after a brief visit in the Top 10.

16. Irene Cara – Why Me?

Irene had six Top 40 hits. Four of them were from movie soundtracks. So just as we call out Kenny Loggins for his movie songs (or not), we should do the same for Irene. This was a rare non-soundtrack single for her, which is probably why you don’t remember it.

15. The Fixx – One Thing Leads To Another

PD – Man, doesn’t this song resonate in 2019? This is the Fixx’s biggest hit falling from its zenith of #4.

14. Duran Duran – Union Of The Snake

My parents were hosting a holiday party around this time and they were wondering why a couple they invited hadn’t shown up. So they called them and found out that their babysitter bailed on them. Guess who got volunteered to do the job? So I was dropped off at this couple’s house while they went over to mine to get tanked up. I don’t remember them giving me any instruction for watching their young daughters, bedtimes, dinner…nothing. All I remember was that the two of them played this 45 in their bedroom as loud as they could over and over while I tried to watch Porky’s in the other room.

13. The Motels – Suddenly Last Summer

RAR – Not all songs have to be lyrically deep and musical complex to be considered excellent. Sometimes it’s just about capturing a vibe. And that’s what Martha Davis & the Motels do on this ode to holding on to the past. Also, the video is creepy as hell and features Lewis Skolnick gettin’ freaky.

12. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart

PD – OK, so then what is going across Bonnie’s heart to block it? Does Jim Steinman understand what an eclipse is? Is he saying that Bonnie’s heart goes black? Or does everything get eerily quiet and peaceful? From the volume of this former #1, I doubt it. I’m sure this song made Meat Loaf try to heal his throat and get sober as quick as he could.

11. Culture Club – Church Of The Poison Mind

Here is another artist that was taking over by 1983. Boy George and pals are a notch away from having their fourth Top 10 this year with a Motown-influenced stomper about close-minded idiots.

10. Michael Jackson – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)

MJ has two songs in the Top 10 a year after Thriller was released. That’s how 1983 went for him. This is the first time that the term tenderoni was used in a mainstream song. [The earliest use I could find in a song was on the O’Jays 1975 album cut, She’s Only A Woman.] Of course, MJ protege Bobby Brown had a Top 10 hit in 1989 with Roni. Van Camp has yet to get a royalty check.

The video for Thriller would be first shown on MTV one week after this countdown.

9. John Cougar Mellencamp – Crumblin’ Down

JC wrote the pop songs that Bruce couldn’t until Bruce finally did. JC knew that day was coming and started his long name change process. This Top 10 was his first release as JCM before one day becoming JM.

8. Huey Lewis & The News – Heart And Soul

Here’s a ChinniChap tune that was first recorded by Exile back in 1981, then the Bus Boys in 1982, before Huey and the gang recorded it for their Sports LP. It became the first of many hits for them from that LP and sits at its final resting place this week.

7. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Say It Isn’t So

The first single from the Hall & Oates compilation, Rock N Soul, Vol. 1, is the ninth Top 10 single for the duo so far in the 80s. It will climb to #2, kept down by a truckful of Mac & Jack’s Wonder Potion. Also, nice shoes.

6. Pat Benatar – Love Is A Battlefield

Pat tacked an extra song onto her Live From Earth LP and ended up with a #5 hit. Written by Holly Knight & Mike Chapman, it is the closest she ever came to being a dance artist. Also, Mr. Mackey likes to sing it when he gets wasted.

And the video features Nathan Huffhines Arizona.

5. Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel The Noize

THW, PFK – Top five are in the same position as last week, which means these whispering troublemakers won’t climb any higher than their #5 position. It’s funny to think people called this heavy metal when it was just a Slave Slade cover taken seriously by some L.A. guys.

4. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands In The Stream

PD – Note to Kenny – if you go out looking for Dolly Parton, you don’t need a comb to find her, let alone a fine-tooth one. You’re only gonna get it caught in her wig.

3. Billy Joel – Uptown Girl

When Billy met Christie, he began to de-sour and sweeten, which is why you had tracks like this on An Innocent Man. It would have gone to #1 had it not been for the two=headed buzzsaw ahead of it. Also, Frankie Valli would like his royalty check, please.

2. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – Say, Say, Say

This is going to be #1 in two weeks, and stay up there for six more. This is MJ’s seventh Top single in 1983. The recording for the song began before the Thriller sessions and was finished up while Mac & Jack’s first duet peaked at #2 earlier this year. It was held up for the release of the patchwork Tug Of War LP and probably not to compete with MJ’s juggernaut. By the way, if you’ve never heard the song with some of the leads reversed, here it is.

ML –

1. Lionel Richie –All Night Long (All Night) (3 wks at #1)

Fiesta forever! This is about as funky as Lionel ever got post-Commodores, so enjoy it. And if you hear someone label this as yacht rock, please throw a wine cooler at them.

Fun fact: The video was directed by Bob Rafelson, the man who also directed the Jack Nicholson films, Five Easy Pieces & The Postman Always Rings Twice.


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

Like Thunder Under The Covers


As we entered the holiday season during the week of November 26th, 1983, we were still reminded daily of the international unrest between the Russians and us as the nuclear arms race kept heating up. On November 7th, Russia mistakenly thought we were in the midst of an airstrike against them. People got to see what life would be like after a nuclear holocaust with The Day After. It must have sucked to have been an intelligent fearful adult back then. Thankfully I was not and could enjoy life blissfully listening to these Top 40 hits.

40. Kim Carnes – Invisible Hands 

Was it only two years before this release that Kim lit the world on fire with Bette Davis Eyes? And now she can barely get a song into the Top 40. This one is peaking at #40, and there’s not much to it – a lot of drum machines, synth noises, and the chorus repeated over and over. It features Steve Lukather on guitar and the current rhythm section of Heart, Mark Andes & Denny Carmassi.

39. DeBarge – Time Will Reveal

The second most significant family act on Motown enters the Top 40 with another ballad, written by Bobby, Bunny & El, who produced it. It will go #1 Soul and #18 on the Pop charts, showing off El’s falsetto range.

38. Barry Manilow – Read ‘Em And Weep 

This is the first of three Jim Steinman songs in the countdown, which means we are at peak sufferage. Barry “I Rarely Write The Songs” Manilow shares a love of bombast with Steinman, so it was only natural that he would one day cover one of his songs.

37. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride 

THW – Matthew gets his first Top 40 hit with a song that runs all the way up to #5 before breaking. This faux-reggae track reflects how much we changed as a society, continually working and moving, never stopping to take a break, especially when it comes to dreamers. Matthew would have a second career as a producer and score success with No Doubt’s debut album, Tragic Kingdom.

Fun fact: MW was in a duo with Peter Darmi and released an album under Matthew & Peter called Under The Arch. Here’s a smooth folk album track, Smiles.

36. JoBoxers – Just Got Lucky 

OHW – Sitting at its peak, here’s a song that takes me right back to late 83. The British New Wave band JoBoxers (who didn’t sue these guys) was led by American Dig Wayne. They had a few Top 10 hits in the UK, including this one, an upbeat 60s-flavored track.

35. Elton John – I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

The key to Elton having three decades of success was that he rarely followed the trends. And during the few times he did, the results were mighty weak. (I’m looking at you, disco Johnny B. Goode) He just set out to write timeless pop songs. And when he & (mostly) Bernie hit the mark, the results were life-changing. This song is as melodically haunting as lyrically heartwrenching, thinking about being far away from someone you love, trapped like a prisoner or a soldier or a bearer of dire circumstances. I’m not missing anyone right now, and it goes straight to my heart with each listen. And capping it off with one of Stevie Wonder’s most beautiful harmonica solos makes it one of the best in EJ’s catalog. Can you imagine being in the studio after he did this take?

The video is a heartbreaker too. Poor dude leaves his girlfriend to join the Army, and as he sits in his bunk thinking about her, she kills her loneliness by dancing with a Paul Young lookalike.

ML – well, Army girl….nope….wait on me girl. But, mother, never….nopebut more than ever.

34. Asia – The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

This is the fourth Top 40 single from the supergroup, Asia, which is at its final resting place. Amazingly the group continues recording and touring to this day.

33. The Rolling Stones – Undercover Of The Night

Sometimes the tensions between Jagger and Richards work to their disadvantage as on this track, which will nevertheless reach the Top 10. This is about as political as the Stones got, but musically this song is a mess. I can’t believe they tortured Charlie Watts with that drum beat on which he can barely keep up.

32. The Human League – Mirror Man

Here’s a song written as a musical tribute to Northern Soul, a genre filled with lots of R&B stompers & Motown deep cuts. The follow-up to (Keep Feeling) Fascination is falling from its zenith of #30.

Spoiler alert: The Mirror Man is actually Adam Ant.

31. Dionne Warwick & Luther Vandross – How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye?

This is the first of four duets in the countdown, back when additional, featuring, and special guests were not as commonplace as they are now. We must have been in a very collaborative mood back then. This is Luther’s second time in the Top 40, even as he’s established himself as an R&B mainstay. And by the way, no one remembers this song.

30. David Bowie – Modern Love

Speaker of Luther, here’s a guy who utilized Vandross’ talents on his 1975 Young Americans LP. He’s in with his third Top 40 hit from Let’s Dance, his most popular album in terms of singles, that tumbles from its #14 high.

29. Rick Springfield – Souls

The third single from Living In Oz is floating up the charts where it will be the 23rd most popular song before disappearing from everyone’s memory.

28. Jackson Browne – Tender Is The Night

This title had been used as a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a 1962 film starring Jennifer Jones & Jason Robards, a 1961 song by Tony Bennett, and an album by Johnny Mathis before Jackson used the phrase himself. He turned into a song that reached #25 last week.

27. Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart

PD – This song was initially written by Trevor Rabin for his eventual debut. Then he formed a band called Cinema with Alan White & Chris Squire of Yes and hired Trevor Horn to produce them. Horn heard Rabin’s demo and convinced Cinema to record OOALH, which they did. In early 1983 Jon Anderson joined the band and sang lead on this recording. Once he became a member, the group turned into a new version of Yes. And the rest is history.

26. Rufus with Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody 

This is my jam! Chaka hooks up with Rufus one final time for a live album called Stomping At The Savoy, on which they recorded four new studio tracks. It was a big #1 hit on the Soul charts but will only hit #22 on the Top 40. Damn you, white people!

25. Peter Schilling – Major Tom (Coming Home) 

OHW – We heard Bowie at #30. Now here’s German Peter Schilling borrowing David’s Major Tom character from Space Oddity to give us an unofficial remake of the astronaut lost in space floating in his tin can. It will travel to #14 by the end of the year before bidding Auf Wiedersehen.

24. Big Country – In A Big Country  

OHW – This anthemic rocker put the big in Big Country and made everyone try to play their guitar like a bagpipe. That effect was via the use of an e-Bow, but we all thought they were tech geniuses. Twas the Scottish band’s only US hit, globe-hopping up to a #17 high. This song makes me feel so good, and I still love rocking this tune to this day.

23. Journey – Send Her My Love 

Another midtempo ballad by Steve Perry and company, the fourth from their LP, Frontiers, which is stuck at #23.

22. The Police – Synchronicity II 

YESSSS! Thank you for reminding us that you can rock and think at the same time. This song is five minutes of unrelenting tension that never releases even after the song finishes. It will top out at only #16 before the year is over, mainly because we all had the album by then. It also helps that The Day After premiered on TV this week.

21. Olivia Newton-John – Twist Of Fate 

Here’s a new Livvy tune that will peak at #5 in early January. Written by Steve Kipner & Peter “Player” Beckett, it will be the first single from the Two of A Kind soundtrack, starring ONJ and John Travolta. The flip side of the 45 is Take A Chance, a duet between the two. All of this mess was too little, too late.


  • OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
  • THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
  • ML – Misheard Lyrics
  • PD – Previously Discussed
  • PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
  • RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
  • STA – Second Time Around
  • WPWFU – White People, We F(_)cked Up
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