Category Archives: 1984

Top 40 Songs This Week – November 10, 1984: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. If you are in the U.S., I hope this countdown has provided a little escape from the election day craziness. This has been a great week of music. For those of us who grew up around the time of this countdown, we were so lucky to enjoy some great music. Now let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and wrap up this countdown.


10. “Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung

Earlier in the countdown, we had a song by Tommy Shaw in the wake of the band Styx falling apart. Now we have the former Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung with his solo effort. This is an outstanding song, that would peak right here at #10.

9. “Hard Habit to Break” by Chicago

Thanks to producer, David Foster, we were right in the middle of Chicago’s renaissance. I do get slightly annoyed that most people only know of Chicago from their power ballads, even though they have some incredible rock songs. But, with a song like this, I can totally see why. This is one of my favorites by them. I love that both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sing on this. I love both of their voices. Great combination!

8. “Blue Jean” by David Bowie

David Bowie (still can’t believe he is gone) was still making an impact on the music world at this point. This song was off of his Tonight album, which was his follow-up to the mega-successful Let’s Dance album. This song was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which would be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career. He was nominated for several, but this was his only win, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

7. “Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner

This song is from Tina Turner’s huge comeback album, Private Dancer. This song was originally recorded and released in 1981 by Spider, a band from New York City with one of the co-writers, Holly Knight, as a member. Of course Tina had the most successful version. The song won Tina Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, one of four Grammys awarded to Turner in that ceremony.

6. “Out of Touch” by Daryl Hall & John Oates

There weren’t too many acts as big in the ’80s as Hall & Oates.This was their lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It would be their last #1 hit. The song was also their 14th straight top 40 hit since 1980.


Before we continue, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week in 1984:

The number one country song was “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” by John Schneider (Yes, that John Schneider from The Dukes of Hazzard)

Topping the Rock charts was “I Can’t Hold Back” by Survivor

Number one on the Adult Contemporary charts was “What About Me?” by Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes and James Ingram

The Number 1 album was Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution

And topping both the R&B and the Dance charts is our #5 song on the Hot 100 this week:

5. “I Feel For You” by Chaka Kahn

While Prince was a megastar performer himself, he also wrote music covered by other artists. This was one of them. Prince wrote this song, and it was on his debut album. It was also covered by The Pointer Sisters on their 1982 album, So Excited!.
Then Chaka Kahn took over, and this song would start a big comeback for her. Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) did the rapping. And Stevie Wonder is on the harmonica.

4. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

This was Wham!’s big breakthrough hit. It became their first American and UK number-one hit. To be honest, I really hated this song when it first came out. I like it now because of its nostalgic value. It should also be noted that while it was at the top of the charts for two weeks, it prevented the next song from becoming a #1 hit…

3. “Purple Rain” by Prince

Yes, perhaps Prince’s signature song, this never hit #1 (still can’t believe he is gone). That doesn’t change anything though. This is an iconic song of the decade. For a lot of people, when you mention the ’80s, one of the first images that come to mind is the cover of the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie poster. And if you listened to our Prince episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, you would know that there is a Journey connection here. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain from Journey asking him to hear it, worried it might be too similar to “Faithfully“, a Journey single composed by Cain which had recently been in the charts. Cain reassured Prince telling him the songs only shared the same four chords. Prince was extremely sensitive to Copyright infringement. It’s good to see he put his money where his mouth was, and was careful himself.

2. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder

This was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful hits. It was featured in the Gene Wilder (still can’t believe he’s gone) movie The Woman in Red. The ballad won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards.

1. “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)” by Billy Ocean

I always loved Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a good one. It won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.


Well that wraps up this week’s Countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Did you have any favorites or least favorites? Let’s do another one of these in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – November 10, 1984: Songs 20-11

Welcome back as we continue the countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. In my opinion, this week’s songs just keep getting better and better. Sometimes, there is a little lull, where there are songs that are just meh. But every day has been solid so far, and it will continue. So, lets Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and continue the countdown.


20. “The War Song” by Culture Club

This song does not get as much attention in the U.S. as much as a lot of Culture Clubs hits. I like this. I don’t know if it’s because of the quality of the song, or because it does not get played to death on radio. This was the lead single from the band’s third album Waking Up with the House on Fire, and peak at #17 in the U.S. It cracked the top 10 in several other countries.

19. “No More Lonely Nights” by Paul McCartney

This is one of my favorite McCartney tunes that I still love to this day. This was from the soundtrack of Give My Regards to Broad Street. I still haven’t seen that movie yet.

18. “What About Me?” by Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes & James Ingram

I have no idea how this song got by me. I love it! And I love all three singers. What a great combination. Then add in the fact that this song was written by David Foster and Richard Marx, and this is pure gold.

17. “Lucky Star” by Madonna

This was the beginning of Madonna becoming an ’80s icon. She would be cemented in with that status with her next album, Like a Virgin. But, the songs from her self-titled debut album, including this song, laid the groundwork. This was Madonna’s fourth single released from that album, and her first Top 5 hit, peaking at #4.

16. “Some Guys Have All the Luck” by Rod Stewart

“Some Guys Have All the Luck” was written by Jeff Fortgang, and originally performed by The Persuaders in 1973, and became a Top 40 hit. Rod Stewart’s version here was more successful, peaking at #10.
Jeff Fortgang was only in the music industry for three years. He went on to become a doctor in Psychology, and still practices in the Boston area today.

15. “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters

I always get excited when I get to play some Pointer Sisters! This song was originally released in 1982, from their album So Excited! and was a Top 40 hit, peaking at #30. It was re-released, after being slightly remixed, on their 1984 album, Break Out, and hit the charts once again, peaking at #9 this time.

14. “On the Dark Side” by Eddie & The Cruisers / John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

indexRhode Island in the house!! John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (who are from my home state of Rhode Island) performed this song for the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack. This is a fun Springsteenesque rocker. They have a lot of other great songs, but this is their signature song.

13. “Penny Lover” by Lionel Richie

This was the fifth and final single released from Lionel Richie’s classic, Grammy winning, Can’t Slow Down album. As with all the other singles taken from Can’t Slow Down (“All Night Long (All Night)”, “Running with the Night”, “Hello” and “Stuck on You”), “Penny Lover” was a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending two weeks at #8 in December 1984.

12. “All Through the Night” by Cyndi Lauper

I’m starting to see a pattern this week. This is yet another favorite song of mine by an artist. This was Cyndi’s fourth Top 5 hit in the U.S. It was off her classic She’s So Unusual album. It was originally written and performed by Jules Shear in 1983. In an article in the Chicago Tribune, Jules Shear said, “[it’s] like a big bonus really. Cyndi Lauper does a song (‘All Through the Night’) that’s on a solo record of mine. I just thought, ‘No one’s really going to hear this.’ Then she does it, and it becomes a Top 5 song.”

11. “Strut” by Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton was very popular in the early-to-mid ’80s, and this song was no exception to that success. This would be a Top 10 hit, peaking at #7.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. This week is moving right along! We will wrap up the countdown tomorrow. As the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger.

Top 40 Songs This Week – November 10, 1984: Songs 30-21

Welcome back as we continue this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31. My addiction to MTV was still in full force this week. There are some classics here today. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and move on with the countdown.


30. “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar

Sammy’s signature song. This is a classic song and classic video. In 1994, Sammy was interviewed on the show In the Studio, and said this about the song:

“I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn’t go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.’ I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt.”

29. “Teacher, Teacher” by .38 Special

Another great song! This was the theme for the film, Teachers. I really need to get back and revisit this movie. I remember enjoying it at the time. And check out this cast: Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, Richard Mulligan, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover, and Morgan Freeman.

28. “The Wild Boys” by Duran Duran

Yet another classic song. This was one of Duran Duran’s biggest hits, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was pretty cool too. It had a post-apocalyptic feel too it, like the Mad Max movies. The video should have been good. It cost over one million British Pounds to make, which was a staggering amount for a music video at that time.

27. “Walking On a Thin Line” by Huey Lewis & The News

This was the fifth and final single released from the Sports album. All the previous singles from the album was severely overplayed. This song was one of my favorites from the album, and I don’t ever remember hearing it on the radio! This was Heuy Lewis and the News’ commentary on the Vietnam War.

26. “It Ain’t Enough” by Corey Hart

This song ain’t played enough! As much as I like “Sunglasses At Night“, it would be nice to hear some more of Corey Hart’s other work.

25. “Sea of Love” by The Honeydrippers

Originally a #1 R&B hit in 1959 by Phil Phillips. The Honeydrippers were formed by former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. The band also included fellow former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and other friends and well-known studio musicians. They scored a big hit with this song, peaking at #3. The band released only one recording, an EP titled The Honeydrippers: Volume One. With the EP’s success, Plant stated that a full album would be recorded, but it never was.

24. “I Can’t Hold Back” by Survivor

My favorite song by Survivor. This was the first single released from the Vital Signs album, which was the first Survivor album featuring Jimi Jamison on lead vocals.

23. “Swept Away” by Diana Ross

This isn’t bad for a dance song. We are broken away from disco, and now have the ’80s sound in full swing now. This song was written by Daryl Hall with Sara Allen.

22. “Cool It Now” by New Edition

This title track to New Edition’s second album, was their big breakthrough. It would peak at #4 on the Hot 100. They were trying really hard to be the new edition of The Jackson 5. They did have some pretty decent music, including this song.

21. “Who Wears These Shoes” by Elton John

I didn’t remember this song at all. It was released off of elton John’s Breaking Hearts album, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)“. This may be blasphemous on this page, but I much prefer Elton John’s ’70s music to his ’80s music. He does have some really good ’80s songs. But a lot, like this song, are just middle-of-the-road.


Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think, now that we are halfway through? Any favorites? The countdown is just going to keep getting better. Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.

Top 40 Songs This Week – November 10, 1984: Songs 40-31

Welcome back to another week of Top 40 music! I am so worn down by this election season. And now it’s time to celebrate the end of this disgusting chapter in U.S. politcs. And what better way to celebrate than to take a shower, and listen to some great music. And this is going to be a great week of music! We are Returning to the week ending November 10, 1984. This week we had just elected Ronald Reagan to his second term as president. I was only 14 at the time, but I don’t remember the campaign being so dirty back then. So let’s go there, and Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and begin the countdown.

[Reminder: If you want to hear the song/watch the music video, you can click on the song title]


40.”Tears” by John Waite

This was John Waite’s follow-up to “Missing You“, and was overshadowed. That is a shame because this is a pretty good song. It kind of sounds like a song Bryan Adams would do. A good mid-tempo rocker. Not a bad way to begin the countdown.

39. “Cover Me” by Bruce Springsteen

This song was the second single released from Bruce’s classic Born in the U.S.A. album. It was originally written for Donna Summer, but Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager, thought the song was a potential hit. So he kept it for the upcoming Springsteen album.

38. “Hello Again” by The Cars

This was the fourth single released off theCars’ classic Heartbeat City album. The video was directed by Andy Warhol. This song is part of the opening montage of the Return to the ’80s podcast.

37. “We Are the Young” by Dan Hartman

There is not much denying which decade this song is from! This song was Dan “I Can Dream About You” Hartman’s last #1 dance tune. I wish dance music these days sounded like this!

36. “Sugar Don’t Bite” by Sam Harris

I never heard of this song before. It sounds like Loverboy played on high speed. Sam Harris was the grand champion singer of Star Search in its premiere season in 1983.

35. “Girls With Guns” by Tommy Shaw

After the band Styx melted down following the Kilroy Was Here album, Tommy Shaw struck out on his own for a while. This was his debut single, and what a way to start!

34. “Drive” by The Cars

It didn’t take long for The Cars to make another appearance on this countdown! This was the third single released from Heartbeat City. This is a little different sounding Cars song. Not only is it a ballad, but instead of Ric Ocasek singing lead, the band’s bassist, Benjamin Orr sang lead. The music video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton. It is mainly known for featuring model Paulina Porizkova, who would later become Ric Ocasek’s wife.

33. “Valotte” by Julian Lennon

This title track to Julian Lennon’s debut album was his first single released in the U.S. It may be a blessing and a curse that he looks and sounds like his legendary father.

32. “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince & The Revolution

downloadThis is one of my favorite Prince songs. Still can’t believe he’s gone. This song was the opening track on the Purple Rain soundtrack as well as the film.

31. “We Belong” by Pat Benatar

What a great way to end today’s list of songs! This is one of my favorite Benatar tunes. This was the lead single off of her 1984 album Tropico. The song earned Benatar a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance alongside Linda Ronstadt, Tina Turner, Madonna, and Whitney Houston (won by Whitney).


Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. Not a bad way to start the week, right? Is everybody else ready for this election season to end too? We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown.

Top 40 Songs This Week – April 14, 1984: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been a great week of classic ’80s music. And as you will see, there are going to be no surprises in this top 10 today. They are all songs and artists that helped define the decade. So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and finish the Countdown.

10. “Jump” by Van Halen

Van Halen had been known for their hard driving guitar rock, led by Eddie Van Halen. But, it was this synthesizer based song that really brought Van Halen into the mainstream and gave them their only #1 single. “Jump” dominated the airwaves for a very long time, and the video was an MTV staple,

 

9. “Adult Education” by Hall & Oates

There’s nothing like  Hall & Oates to transport you back to the ’80s. This classic song was recorded for their greatest hits album  Rock ‘n Soul Part 1

 

 

8. “Hold Me Now” by The Thompson Twins

Here is another song that there could be no mistake as to which decade this was from.  I do have to admit that The Thompson Twins did drive me and my minor OCD slightly insane in that they were not only NOT related, but there were THREE of them! Ugh!! But, that does not take away from the greatness of this song.

7. “Here Comes the Rain Again” by The Eurythmics

This is one of my favorite Eurythmics songs. This is yet another song with that classic ’80s sound. Annie Lennox just has such an incredible voice.

 

6. “Miss Me Blind” by Culture Club

This was a time when Boy George and Culture Club were among the top artists of the music landscape. This was their third single released from the classic Colour by Numbers album.  This is another song and video that could come from no other decade than the ’80s.

 

5. “Automatic” by The Pointer Sisters

I love The Pointers. This song, led by Ruth Pointer’s deep vocals, is one of their several signature tunes. It was the second single released from their legendary Break Out album.

 

Now, we have reached the part of the countdown where we find out was topping some of the other charts this week.

The #1 Country song this week in 1984 was  “Thank God for the Radio” by The Kendalls.

Topping the R&B charts was “She’s Strange” by Cameo.

The best Rock  song in the country this week was our #15 song on the Hot 100 –  “You Might Think” by The Cars.

The #1 Dance tune was our #16 song on the Hot 100 – “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News.

For the 17th and final consecutive week, the #1 Album in the country was  Thriller by Michael Jackson. Next week it will be taken over by the Footloose soundtrack.

And the best Adult Contemporary song is also our #4 song on the Hot 100 this week:

4. “Hello” by Lionel Richie

Well, this is not one of my favorite Lionel Richie songs at all. But, it is good to hear once in a while. And now I can say that I’m not as creeped out at seeing this Lionel Richie sculpture from the video:  

as I was after I saw this recent I Love Lucy sculpture:

 

3. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

Speaking of creepy, this video was aired on MTV all the time. There is no way this song would be this high up the countdown if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson singing the chorus.

 

 

2. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins

This iconic Phil Collins ballad came from the movie soundtrack of the same name. I still haven’t seen the movie yet, but love the song. The vocals and drums in this song are incredible.

1. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

Let’s dance!!! The king of ’80s soundtracks scored big time with this smash hit song. It is one of Kenny Loggins’ most identifiable songs, and won a Grammy for Song of the Year. Great way to end a countdown!


Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Countdown. I feel like I used the workd “classic” quite a bit. But, it was a appropriate. There were so many signature ’80s songs this week. What a great year of music! We’ll be back with a new countdown soon. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

 

Top 40 Songs This Week – April 14, 1984: Songs 20-11

Welcome back as we continue this week’s Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and continue the countdown, and listen to a Long Distance Dedication.

20. “Tonight” by Kool & The Gang

Any day that has a countdown that starts with Kool & the Gang is a great day!! I love, love, love this forgotten gem from their album, In the Heart. Great music, great vocals, and great ’80s choreography. Classic!

19. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson

This classic duet introduced the English speaking world to Julio Iglesias. I love Willie Nelson, so I really like this song. I sadly missed out at being able to see Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings live. But, I have gotten to see Willie a couple of times, and he knows how to put on a great show.

18. “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen

Ah, Queen. My favorite band! This has always been a favorite of mine. The keyboards and vocals are just so mesmerizing. The link on the song title is for the original video. But, I just have to share this as well. Who can forget Queen’s performance of this song at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium? Freddie just held thousands and thousands of people in the palm of his hand. Incredible.

17. “Girls” by Dwight Twilley

This is a song and artist I had never heard of before. From his name, I thought Dwight Twilley would be a country singer. But, this is a pop-rock song. This and a 1975 song called “I’m on Fire” were his biggest hits.

16. “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis & The News

This was the second single released from Huey Lewis and the News’ huge breakthrough album, Sports. Unfortunately, like all the other singles released from Sports, this song was so overplayed. But, it is a little nostalgic listening to it now, all these years later.

15. “You Might Think” by The Cars


This was already a great song on it’s own. But, the music video just puts it over the top. It is one of my favorite videos of the ’80s. So much fun. It won the first MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.

14. “They Don’t Know” by Tracey Ullman

This song has an interesting history. It was originally written and recorded by Kirsty MacColl in 1979. It got a lot of radio airplay in the U.K. However, a strike at her distributing company prevented it from being released as a single. Since nobody could buy it, it didn’t make the U.K. charts. Then in 1983, Tracey Ullman, who was already well known in the U.K., but not known at all in the U.S., recorded this song. Kirsty MacColl sang the backing vocals on Ullman’s version. It became a #2 hit in the U.K., then was released in the U.S. the following year. It broke the top 10 in the U.S., peaking at #8.


And now our Long Distance Dedication. I should say VERY Long Distance Dedication. We have a letter from Robert. It says:

Dear Casey,

I had the great fortune of being a son of an Army dad. As a military family we were forced to move a lot. I had to learn to make friends quickly and be ready to move at any time. With 2 months left of my 6th grade year, my dad told us that we were moving to Germany. I was both disappointed and excited. I was sad to leave my friends and change schools again, but I was excited to experience living in a foreign country. You see Casey, my mother is Dutch and I was born in Holland. I soon learned that I would be living only three hours away from my birthplace and my mother’s home town. I would have the chance to spend a lot of time in Holland and get to know my Dutch grandparents (Oma and Opa). Shortly after arriving in Germany, my sister and I were sent to Holland to spend a month with my grandparents while my parents got all of our living arrangements in order. I was scared – I did not know much Dutch and didn’t know anyone other than a few relatives. As it turns out that summer turned out to be one of the best I ever had. I met three people – all about my age – who lived on my grandparents street, Rudi, Inge,and Anke all had similar interests that I did. Best of all, they were learning English in school and used me to practice. While I helped them with English, they helped me learn Dutch and translate my awful bumblings to my grandparents. We spent everyday together. They showed me around town and I explained English slang that they heard on TV. Best of all we spent many hours listening to music. That summer was full of great songs, but one of our favorites was by Toto. Even today, when I hear this song I think of Holland, summer, and my three friends. I returned to the United States after I graduated high school and I have never seen Rudi, Inge, or Anke since. But every time I hear this song, I think of them. Casey, would you please play “Africa” by Toto for Rudi, Inge, and Anke, my best friends from Holland.

Well, Robert…Here is your long distance dedication:

That was Toto from their 1982 album Toto IV. That went out from Robert to his best friends from Holland – Rudi, Inge, and Anke.

[the funny thing is that I do have readers from all over the world. So it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they will actually see this. That would be so cool!]

Now…on with the countdown.


13. “Love Somebody” by Rick Springfield

Classic, rockin’ Rick Springfield! This was from his movie and soundtrack Hard to Hold.

12. “Eat It” by “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” was already well known by the time his parody of “Beat It” came out.  And then his popularity skyrocketed.  It was so much fun to finally hear some comedy on mainstream radio! I actually kind of felt let down, when the song started, and it  was “Beat It” playing instead of “Eat It”.  “Weird Al” is still going strong today, as he just released his latest studio album, Mandatory Fun, just last year.

11. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

We have arrived at one of the most iconic songs of the decade.  Fun Fact: This song is actually a cover. It was originally written and performed by Robert Hazard in 1982. But, Cyndi made it her own, and propelled her to immediate worldwide fame.

 


Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. 10 more to go! I hope you are enjoying this countdown as much as I am! And thanks to Robert once again for the Long Distance Dedication. I hope you all come back tomorrow to check out the rest of the countdown.

Top 40 Songs This Week – April 14, 1984: Songs 30-21

Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed yesterday’s songs, you can always go ahead and check them out. There were some classics songs yesterday, and we get more of the same today. What were you doing this week in 1984? I was heading down the home stretch of junior high school, and getting ready for high school. Cable TV was still new in our area. I had my MTV for less than a year at this point. So, there were a lot of changes and transitions at this point in my life. And by this point, music had pretty much transitioned from the soft pop and disco sound of the late ’70s/early ’80s to the classic ’80s sound. Let’s continue the countdown, and see what was popluar this week of April 14, 1984…

30. “A Fine Fine Day” by Tony Carey

download

We begin today’s list of songs with a pleasant surprise for me. I had never heard of Tony Carey before. It turns out that he was the keyboard player for the rock band Rainbow for a short time in the mid-to-late ’70s. After he left Rainbow, Carey embarked on a solo career. That career did not exactly take off, but he had a pretty good hit with this song.

29. “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel

This fun, doo-wop song was the fourth single released from Billy Joel’s classic album, An Innocent Man. A lot of his songs from that album got overplayed, but this was one that I never really grew tired of. I also enjoyed the video. It did fool me though. I had never known, until in recent years, that it is actually Billy Joel singing all the lead and backing vocals on this track.

28. “99 Luftballons” by Nena

This is classic ’80s! It was an anti-war protest song by the band from Germany. The original German version was such a huge success that an English version was also created (“99 Red Balloons“). I believe that the German version still got most of the airplay in the U.S. One thing I know for sure is that “Captain Kirk” are about the only words I understand in either version.

27. “The Language of Love” by Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg is best known for his soft rock hits in the early ’80s (“Longer“, “Leader of the Band“, and “Same Old Lang Syne“). But this was my introduction to him, and it is my favorite of all his songs. I always just felt that this was a bright, upbeat tune.

26. “Leave It” by Yes

This is an interesting song and video by the prog-rock band, Yes. There is nothing wrong with your screen. The video was shot upside down, and was one of the first music videos to use computer-generated imagery.

25. “The Authority Song” by John Cougar Mellencamp

This is a classic by John Cougar Mellencamp. This is off of his 1983 album, Uh-Huh, which was the first album in which he used his real last name, going from being known as John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp.

24. “Got a Hold On Me” by Christine McVie

This is Fleetwood Mac’s keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie’s biggest solo hit. This is probably my favorite song of the day. Christine McVie is very good and very underrated.

“Don’t Waste Your Time” by Yarbrough & Peoples

We’ll take a break for a minute, and check out a song that debuted this week. This one is “Don’t Waste Your Time” by the R&B duo of Yarbrough & Peoples. I had never heard this song before. It’s not a bad song. But, I chose it so you could check out a V-E-R-Y young Ice-T towards the beginning of the video, driving the Mercedes.

On with the countdown….

23. “Come Back and Stay” by Paul Young

This was another pleasant surprise for me. I don’t remember this song at all. It kind of has a pop-rock-new-wavey feel to it.

22. “Head Over Heels” by The Go-Go’s

Another classic tune by a classic band.

21. “Don’t Answer Me” by Alan Parsons Project

We’ll finish up today’s list with a cool song and video. The video tells it’s story through a comic book. Alan Parsons was known as being more prog-rock, but this song has more of a pop-rock Wall of Sound style. Yet another ’80s classic.


I hope you guys are enjoying this week’s countdown. Let me know what you think so far, as we are halfway through. Tomorrow, we will be back to continue the countdown, and we will have Long Distance Dedication.

Top 40 Songs This Week – April 14, 1984: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody, it’s about time for another Top 40! This week, we are Returning to the mid-’80s: specifically 1984. This was a very good year for movies and music. There was one movie, which was released 2 months before this countdown, that heavily influenced the music landscape. You’ll know what movie I’m talking about before we even finish this first list of songs. This week’s countdown is also brought to you by my flu-induced fever. So, if I seem a little more crazy than usual, and don’t make sense, we’ll blame it on the fever, and you can just go ahead and click on the song titles to enjoy this awesome music! So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and begin the countdown!

40. “Borderline” by Madonna


What a great way to start the countdown! This is one of my favorite Madonna songs, and was her first Top 10 hit. 31 years later she is still releasing new music. She just released her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, last month. Her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon proved that she still has a presence. However, Jimmy Fallon’s over-the-top ass kissing was even more over-the-top than usual in the interview. Even though I didn’t care too much for the song itself, her performance of “Bitch I’m Madonna” was outstanding, and proved that she’s just as good as any pop star out there today (which really isn’t saying much – but still).

39. “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar


Here is the first song in this countdown from the movie Footloose. This song also came off of the R&B group’s eighth album, Heartbreak. This was Shalamar’s first album without Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley.

38. “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” by Deniece Williams


OK, is everbody starting to see a trend here already? This was a huge hit from Footloose. It hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, as well as the dance and R&B charts. This song also had backing vocals by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who would go on to become known as the duo Boy Meets Girl.

37. “One in a Million” by The Romantics


This song was from The Romantics’ fourth album, In Heat. That album was better known for the hit, “Talking in Your Sleep“. This song peaked right here at #37. That sounds about right.

36. “Oh, Sherrie” by Steve Perry


YES!!!! “You should’ve been gooooone/Knowing how I made you feel/And I should’ve been goooone/After all your words of steel” This was the Journey singer’s biggest solo hit. This was written for Steve Perry’s then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford (who also appears in the video). Lucky for us, he decided to jinx his relationship by writing a song for her instead of going with the traditional tattoo-of-her-name jinx. This song is a stand out on Perry’s Street Talk album, which is solid with outstanding songs.

35. “No More Words” by Berlin


This was Berlin’s first Top 40 hit, and my favorte song of theirs.

34. “Holding Out For a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler

Footloose song #3 so far. This is one of my favorite songs from that soubndtrack. It is a great rocker. I love Bonnie Tyler’s edgy voice. The music is awesome too. It was written by Jim Steinman (who wrote a lot of Meatloaf’s biggest hits) and Dean Pitchford. This song also played during an awesome part of the Footloose movie.

33. “The Kid’s American” by Matthew Wilder

The only song I knew Matthew Wilder had was “Break My Stride.” This is the song that prevented him from being a one hit wonder. This song isn’t too bad. I don’t know if I’ll run out and buy it, but I kind of like it. It’s a good upbeat song, and even has a dueling sax solo!

32. “Show Me” by The Pretenders


This song was off of the Pretenders’ third album, Learning to Crawl. This was the first album they came out with after two of their members, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon both died of drug overdoses. This song isn’t mind-blowing, but it is a solid Pretenders tune. If you like the band, you’ll like this song.

31. “Breakdance” by Irene Cara

Breakdance
This was a perfect song at the peak of the break dancing craze. This song would peak at #8, making it Irene Cara’s third (and last) Top 10 hit.


Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. I’m still alive, and able to type, so I’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown. There are going to be some more classics this week, so please come back.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 12, 1984: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s top 40 countdown. Every song in this top 10 is just pure classic ’80s. You can catch up if you missed songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. Now, let’s Return to the week ending May 12, 1984, and finish up the countdown.

10. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

A beautiful ballad from Cyndi’s debut album, She’s So Unusual. This song was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1985 Grammy Awards.

9. “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry

This was Steve Perry’s biggest solo hit, from his debut album Street Talk. This song was written by Perry for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, who also appeared in the music video.

8. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

This is the second song from the Footloose soundtrack on this countdown. Out of the many soundtrack songs that Kenny Loggins performed in the ’80s, this is probably the most recognizable.

7. “You Might Think” by The Cars

The groundbreaking video for this song was one of the first videos to use computer graphics. This is one of the best music videos of the ’80s, and the song itself is outstanding as well.

6. “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson

In this video, is Julio Iglesias overdressed, or is Willie Nelson underdressed?

5. “Love Somebody” by Rick Springfield

Awesome Rick Springfield song. This is from his Hard to Hold album, which was the movie soundtrack for Hard to Hold.

4. “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” by Deniece Williams

I’m thinking that Footloose had a pretty decent soundtrack! I got sick of this one pretty fast when it came out, but I like it a little more now. And it was featured in a great scene in the movie where Ren was teaching Willard how to dance. This song was a #1 hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.

3. “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins

This is an ultimate ’80s song. This is one of my favorite Thompson Twins songs, and I still love it.

2. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins

This classic Phil Collins tune got overplayed on the radio when it came out. There have been several covers ever since, and is constantly used in every singing competition show on television. Years removed from it’s initial release, I am liking this song once again.

1. “Hello” by Lionel Richie

Speaking of overplayed songs, we have now arrived at our #1 song. I love Lionel Richie. But, I don’t even think this is in his top 5 ballads. It’s still a great song, and one of Richie’s best known songs.

I don’t know about you, but I think this was a pretty good week of ’80s songs. 30 years later, these songs still sound great. We’ll be back next week with another round of a top 40 countdown. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 12, 1984: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody, welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. We will continue with songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Today we have a great group of songs. I don’t think there’s a bad one here. So let’s Return to the week ending May 12, 1984, and continue the countdown.

20. “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar

Here is another hit song from the blockbuster Footloose soundtrack. I had never realized that this was released as a single. I just knew the song from the soundtrack. Shalamar was a group created by concert promoter Dick Griffey with help from Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Jody Watley had been a member of this group, but left just before this song came out.

19. “The Reflex” by Duran Duran

Next up is the future #1 hit, “The Reflex” by Double Duran (as they were known as to the late, great MTV VJ J.J. Jackson).

18. “Miss Me Blind” by Culture Club

“Miss Me Blind” was the third single released from the Colour by Numbers album. It had peaked at #5 on the countdown, and was the band’s sixth consecutive Top 10 hit. The backing vocals on this song are performed by Jermaine “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” Stewart.

17. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger

This is the song that put Night Ranger on the map. This was one of the more popular songs of the ’80s.

16. “The Authority Song” by John Cougar Mellencamp

This hit song was off of the album Uh-Huh. This was the first album in which John Cougar started using his real last name – Mellencamp.

15. “Breakdance” by Irene Cara

This was Irene Cara’s final Top 10 single. Ironically, this came out just after I got out of my Break Dancing phase.

14. “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel

Classic song from 1983’s An Innocent Man album. I still like this song today. One thing I had learned in recent years was that Billy Joel sings all the backing vocals in addition to his lead vocals. He recorded 14 different background tracks which were mixed into the song.

Long Distance Dedication

Now we’re up to our Long Distance Dedication. And I am thrilled that I have actually received a dedication from a listener. It comes from Jim, and he writes:

Dear Casey…er, Return To The 80s,

I would like to send out a long distance dedication to the 1980s. When they first came into my life I was hesitant. The late 70s were a good time to be a kid, so I wasn’t ready to let go of them. The 80s soon calmed my fears, though, and we became really good friends. Then, not long after I started college, they went away and were replaced by the 90s. College life was a big enough change…now all of a sudden the music and fashions were changing, and usually not for the best. I really could have used my old friend during those formative years, but the 80s were just becoming a distant memory. Could you play Randy Vanwarmer’s “Just When I Needed You Most” for me?

Thanks,
Jim from Akron OH

OK, Jim. Here is your Long Distance Dedication

That was “Just When I Needed You Most” by Randy Vanwarmer. It was a Top 10 hit peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent two weeks atop the US Billboard adult contemporary chart. Thanks so much for the letter, Jim!

And the countdown continues.

13. “Tonight” by Kool & the Gang

I had forgotten about this song. And I love it. This is my pick for song of the day.

12. “Head Over Heels” by the Go-Go’s

Classic Go-Go’s.

11. “They Don’t Know” by Tracey Ullman

This is another song I had forgotten about. Before she gained fame in the U.S. as a comedic actress, and introducing the world to The Simpsons, she was a singer. This song came off of her debut album, You Broke My Heart in 17 Places. “They Don’t Know” was a remake of a 1979 Kirsty MacColl song, which sounds like a ’60s girl group song. The video for “They Don’t Know” featured a cameo from Paul McCartney; at the time Ullman was filming a minor role in McCartney’s film Give My Regards To Broad Street.

Well, we have almost arrived at our top 10. So, what did you think of these songs, or this countdown in general? And I would like to thank Jim once again for his awesome Long Distance Dedication. I would love to see more of these, so please send your dedications to returntothe80s@gmail.com and/or returntothe80s@yahoo.com.