Tag Archives: Countdown

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 – October 17, 1981: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. This has been a great week of music so far. And there are some classics here today. And don’t forget, you can click on the song title to get to the YouTube video to listen to the song. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and wrap up this week’s countdown.


10. “The Night Owls” by The Little River Band

We begin the top 10 with a decent rock song. This is off of The Little River Band’s Time Exposure album. The album was produced by George Martin. This was the band’s last album with Glen Shorrock on lead vocals until 1988, and with lead guitarist David Briggs.

9. “Hard To Say” by Dan Fogelberg

This was Dan Fogelberg’s third Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This song is notable for featuring the late (I still can’t believe I’m saying that) Glenn Frey.

8. “Who’s Crying Now” by Journey

download-1This was the first single released from the legendary Escape album. This began the hugely successful commercial run of Journey, 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees. Do hear more about Journey, check out the first episode of the Return to the ’80s Podcast:

7. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

This was the first single from Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album, Bella Donna. It was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell, inteneded to be a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song. However, Jimmy Iovine, who was also working for Stevie Nicks at the time, arranged for her to sing on it. This was a good call, because these two unique voices sound great together.

6. “Private Eyes” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

How could a song with a handclap in the chorus be bad? This classic Hall & Oates tune was a staple on MTV. It would go on to be a #1 hit, holding that top position for 2 weeks.

5. “Step by Step” by Eddie Rabbitt

This country-crossover hit was also the #1 song on the country chart this week, and would peak right here at #5 on the Billboard 100.

4. “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton

This was the theme song of the 12th James Bond movie of the same name. Easton is the only artist (to date) to be seen singing the theme song to a Bond movie during its opening titles. This song was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1982.

3. “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones

This song was my introduction to The Rolling Stones. I didn’t have MTV yet, but I did see the song on the television show, Solid Gold. The basic track of this song was written during the 1978 sessions for the Rolling Stones’ album Some Girls. It was at first cut as a reggae-rock track named ‘Never Stop’, but after dozens of takes the band stopped recording it and it was shelved. In 1981, with the band looking to tour, engineer Chris Kimsey proposed to Mick Jagger that archived songs could be put in the set. It was re-worked to the classic that we now know, and was recorded for the Tattoo You album.

2. “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

This is Lionel Richie’s third entry on this countdown. This was recorded as the title track of the film adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel Endless Love. The song ended up being a bigger hit than the movie, reaching number 1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981.


Before we reveal the #1 song, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week.

The #1 R&B song this week was “When She Was My Girl” by The Four Tops.

Topping the Dance charts was “Do You Love Me” by Patti Austin.

The #1 album this week was Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones

And the #1 Adult Contemporary tune is also the #1 song on the top of the pop charts this week…

1. “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross

And we have another movie soundtrack song. Coming off his mega-successful self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross followed up with this smash hit. This would be a #1 hit for 3 weeks. The song also won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Although his music was still great, Christopher Cross’ popularity faded away quickly once everybody started getting their MTV. This was definitely his high point.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Let me know your thoughts on this list, and on any part of the countdown. We’ll count down a different year in the near future. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 17, 1981: Songs 20-11

Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. At this point in time, MTV was still in its infancy, as it just debuted 2 1/2 months ago. Some artists already threw their hat in the ring, and filmed music videos. Others were not yet ready to embrace this medium. So, this is a very interesting and transitional time. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and continue the countdown.


20. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Billy Joel

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with Billy Joel. This song was originally released in 1976 on his Turnstiles album. But, it didn’t have success until it was released on Joel’s live album, Songs in the Attic.
Another fun fact: Billy Joel confirmed that he wrote the song with Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes song “Be My Baby” in mind. Because of this, Ronnie Spector recorded her own cover version of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in 1977 with the E Street Band, soon after Joel released his first recording of the song on Turnstiles.

19. “We’re In This Love Together” by Al Jarreau

downloadDuring this part of the decade, there were a lot of country-crossover hits. But, now we have a jazz-crossover hit! This is a song I would never have listened to back when it was released, but absolutely love it now. This song came off of Al Jarreau’s Breakin’ Away album, which was his most popular album, spending two years on the Billboard 200. it also won Jarreau the Grammy Award in 1982 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

18. “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)” by Lulu

This was the fourth and final US Top 40 hit for the Scottish songstress. Lulu is best known for her title track songs for the movies To Sir With Love, and The Man with the Golden Gun.

17. “Super Freak (Part 1)” by Rick James

U can’t touch this Rick James smash hit (unless you’re M.C. Hammer), which topped the pop, R&B and dance charts in the US.

16. “When She Was My Girl” by The Four Tops

This was the Mowtown legends’ return to the Top 40. It was the first song released from their new record label Casablanca Records. The song also became an international hit.

15. “Share Your Love With Me” by Kenny Rogers

This isn’t exactly one of Kenny Rogers’ most well known songs. But, it did reach number 14 on the Hot 100 and 5 in the US Country charts. It was off of his album Share Your Love, which was produced by Lionel Richie.

14. “Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You” by Bob Seger

This song was originally performed by Otis Clay in 1973. Bob Seger’s cover of this song is the most successful version of the song, reaching number five on the pop singles charts.

13. “Hold On Tight” by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

This was the first single released off of ELO’s 1981 album, Time, and became an international hit. I’m not sure if I would have heard of this song if it wasn’t featured in The Coffee Achievers TV commercials….

12. “I’ve Done Everything For You” BY Rick Springfield

Well, if you’re gonna follow-up “Jessie’s Girl”, this is the way to do it. Rick Springfield proved he was here to stay with this Sammy Hagar penned tune. Just like “Jessie’s Girl”, this rocker came off of Rick Springfield’s 1981 international breakout album Working Class Dog, and would reach up to #9 on the charts.

11. “Urgent” by Foreigner

I’m not sure what the U.S. presidential debate fact-checkers would say, but I believe that this is where the rage of the ’80s sax solo began. This was the first single released from Foreigner’s classic 4 album. The album was produced by “Mutt” Lange. The then-unknown Thomas Dolby played synthesizer on some tracks on the album, including this song. And the aforementioned sax solo was performed by by Motown great Junior Walker.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. So far, this has been a pretty solid week. And the best is yet to come! So come back Friday to see what the Top 10 was this week in 1981. And as usual, I would love to hear your thoughts on this countdown. See ya Friday!

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 17, 1981: Songs 30-21

Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31. One thing I love about the countdowns in the early ’80s is the wide variety of music. There was still variety later on in the decade too, but nothing like this. Today, we have some rock, country, pop, R&B, and even an instrumental thrown in here. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and move on with the countdown…


30. “The Voice” by The Moody Blues

At this point, I had still not heard of The Moody Blues. My introduction to them would not come until 1986 with “Your Wildest Dreams“. This song started off promising. But when Styx didn’t chime in with Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, I was disappointed. This isn’t a bad song. I can see how it got by me, though. I appreciate it more now then I would have back then.

29. “Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love)” by Marty Balin

Marty Balin was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship. He left the band in 1978. Since the only songs I know by that band from that era are the ones Grace Slick sung, I was not familiar with Marty Balin. This is another middle-of-the-road song for me. Not horrible, but not that good. But, now we will be leaving my uncharted territory, and start getting to more familiar songs.

28. “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police

I know a lot of people love Sting’s solo career. But, I really love these days when he was teamed up with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. This is a classic Police tune from their album Ghost in the Machine.

27. “Oh No” by The Commodores

This was The Commodores’ last hit single with Lionel Richie in the band. This is another favorite of mine. It is just as good, if not better, than some of Richie’s other ballads. This song was also featured in the 1982 movie The Last American Virgin.

26. “Queen of Hearts” by Juice Newton

This country-crossover hit was written by written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ backing group The Hot Band. Juice Newton made this a smash hit, reaching up to #2 for two weeks, being kept out of the top spot by “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.Juice Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist in the C&W category.

25. “Waiting For a Girl Like You” by Foreigner

This is another smash hit which peaked at #2 on the charts. This power ballad from Foreigner’s classic 4 album, was in the number 2 position in the week of November 28, where it was held off the number 1 spot by Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” for nine consecutive weeks, and then by Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” for a tenth week on January 30, 1982.

24. “She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)” by Carl Carlton

Time to get funky! This classic R&B hit earned Carl Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. If you are friends with a Bruno Mars fan, point them to this song to see what it’s all about.

23. “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” by Air Supply

To prevent confusion, this song was originally released as “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” so as not to be confused with the group’s No. 1 hit song “The One That You Love” which contains the lyrics: “Here I am, the one that you love.” It didn’t work with me because I still got confused.
When I was in junior high school, I was in a Catholic school. When we had dances, we had them in one of the classrooms, and moved the desks off to the sides of the room. One of the mothers would “dj” by playing tapes and albums on a stereo that somebody brought in. Whenever they wanted to play a slow song, it was always an Air Supply song. So these Air Supply songs bring me back to that time.

22. “The Theme from Hill Street Blues” by Mike Post

indexIn addition to this smash hit that earned Mike Post a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, you may know this legendary music producer’s other work in television shows such as Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The A-Team, NYPD Blue, Renegade, The Rockford Files, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap, and Magnum, P.I.

21. “Just Once” by Quincy Jones Featuring James Ingram

As we drive off in tears at the end of the countdown for the day, let’s listen to the awesome, but sad, ballad by Quincy Jones and James Ingram. This song was featured in The Last American Virgin as Diane Franklin broke Gary’s and our hearts.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. I hope you are enjoying this. Let me know what you think so far. We are already halfway done. Come back tomorrow to see what other awesome songs were topping the charts this week in 1981.

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 17, 1981: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody! Let’s do another Top 40 Countdown! We go back to 35 years ago this week. At this time 6th grade was well underway. It’s Halloween season. This must have been getting towards the end of my trick-or-treating days. But it was, and still is, my favorite time of the year. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and see what was hitting the U.S. charts at this time.


40. “Burnin’ For You” by Blue Öyster Cult

This classic rock band was big in the ’70s. After this point, the height of their popularity was fading away. This song was the biggest hit off their 1981 album, Fire of Unknown Origin.

39. “In The Dark” by Billy Squier

This was Squier’s follow-up single to “The Stroke” from his Triple Platinum 1981 album Don’t Say No.

38. “The Old Songs” by Barry Manilow

This one’s for you, you Fanilows! This old song was Manilow’s eleventh number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, spending three weeks at number one.
My parents were fans of Barry Manilow. It’s a miracle I made it through the rain of that period in my life. Could it be magic that helped me not want to rip my ears off every weekend in New England during the late ’70s? I mean, I’m envious of Tony from the Copacabana. But by daybreak, it looks like we made it, and now I can’t smile without you guys.

37. “Sausalito Summernight” by Diesel

I had never heard of this song before. Diesel is a Dutch pop/rock group that became one of the few Dutch acts to chart in the U.S. when this song hit the Top 40. This song sounds a lot like The Steve Miller Band’s Rockin’ Me Baby.

36. “Lady (You Bring Me Up)” by The Commodores

This is my favorite Commodores song, and it was one of the band’s last big hits before Lionel Richie left for his legendary solo career.

35. “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” by Ronnie Milsap

As often happened in the early ’80s, we have a country-crossover hit. I was not really a country music fan until the ’90s (with the exception of Alabama). But, there were some crossover artists I really enjoyed, and Ronnie Milsap is one of them.

34. “The Beach Boys Medley” by The Beach Boys

In the ’80s, there was a craze of medley hits, beginning with “Stars on 45”. The Beach Boys hopped on this bandwagon, with some success. Here is a list of the songs in the medley:
“Good Vibrations”
“Help Me, Rhonda”
“I Get Around”
“Little Deuce Coupe”
“Shut Down”
“Surfin’ Safari”
“Barbara Ann”
“Surfin’ U.S.A.”
“Fun, Fun, Fun”

33. “Alien” by The Atlanta Rhythm Section

This song has that classic ear;y ’80s easy listening vibe. Not the most exciting song, but I really like the harmonies. They kind have an Eagles sound to them too.

32. “He’s a Liar” by The Bee Gees

Unfortunately, by this point, The Bee Gees were pigeonholed as a disco act after their incredible success with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. They had some great rock songs before that point, and after that point, including this overlooked gem.

31. “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John

A lot of people slightly older than me, fell in love with Olivia Newton-John after her role as Sandy in Grease. I was a little late to the party, because this song was my introduction to ONJ, and I was in love. This is the first week “Physical” hit the top 40, and would climb all the way to the top of the charts.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. We are off to a damn good start! So let’s Return tomorrow to continue the countdown. What were you doing this week in 1981?

Top 40 Songs This Week – September 25, 1982: Songs 10-1

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21. and 20-11.
I don’t know about you, but I think this has been a fantastic week of music so far. And I’m sure you will all enjoy the top 10 this week! Once again, if you want to listen to the song, just click on the song title. Now let’s Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and wrap up the countdown.


10. “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)” by Donna Summer

This song was the lead single off of Donna Summer’s self-titled 1982 album. The album was produced by Quincy Jones, and Jones and Rod Temperton who wrote Micahel Jackson’s “Rock with You”, were also the writers on this song.

9. “Hurts So Good” by John Cougar

Great, classic rock song by John Cougar (pre-Mellencamp). This song, off of his American Fool album, could not quite grab the top spot, as it peaked at #2.

8. “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne

A great song associated with a great movie – Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This was the highest-charting single of Browne’s career, topping out at #7. It would also be his last Top 10 single. But, what a way to go out!

7. “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men at Work

We now arrive at the debut of Men at Work. This was their first hit, off of their debut album, Business as Usual. This song was inspired by Colin Hay having been hounded by bill collectors prior to making it big.

6. “Eye in the Sky” by The Alan Parsons Project

Now, time for som Prog Rock. I love this song. It really brings me back to the early ’80s. The heart of the band was Alan Parsons (duh) and Eric Woolfson. Other than that, they brought in session musicians. Before they started the band, Alan Parsons was an assistant engineer for the Beatles’ last two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be, and in 1973 he engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Not too shabby!

5. “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” by Melissa Manchester

Perhaps best known for her 1978 hit, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, this song was Melissa Manchester’s biggest hit. It peaked right here at #5 this week. It earned Manchester the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the year 1982, besting nominated performances by superstars Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John as well as Juice Newton and Laura Branigan. Quite a feat. Another cool fact about this song is that two members from the band Toto played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).

4. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

This began my love of the band Survivor. “Eye of the Tiger” was easily my favorite song at the time. As much as I love Rocky III, this song made it even better.
It’s so crazy that Survivor is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Jimi Jamison, the band’s lead singer through most of the ’80s, had followed me on Twitter before he died. And what’s just as amazing is that Survivor’s original lead singer (who also performed this song), Dave Bickler, also follows me. Aaaand we have interacted!

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So we interacted, AND he is recording new music! 12 year old me would have never thought that this would happen.

3. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago

This was Chicago’s big comeback. They had not had a hit since 1978’s “No Tell Lover”. The Chicago 16 album was Chicago’s first album with Warner Bros. Records, and their first with legendary producer, David Foster. They changed their sound, and became commercially successful again.


Before we get to the top 2 songs of the week, let’s check out what was topping some of the other charts this week:

The Number-One Country tune was one we have already seen in this countdown – “What’s Forever For” by Michael Martin Murphey

Topping the R&B charts was another song we’ve already seen in this countdown – “Jump to It” by Aretha Franklin

The rockingest song in the country this week was “Everybody Wants You” by Billy Squier

Number one on the Dance charts was “Love Come Down” by Evelyn King

And the number one Album this week contains 2 songs that are in the Top 10 this week – John Cougar’s American Fool

2. “Jack & Diane” by John Cougar

We already heard one song in this top 10 from John Cougar. Now it’s time for a little ditty about Jack & Diane. This was Cougar’s biggest hit, topping the chart for 4 weeks. John said that the clapping in this song wasn’t supposed to be included in the finished song. It was recorded with the clapping in order to help keep tempo and then it was to be removed. However, he realized the song did not work without it.

1. “Abracadabra” by The Steve Miller Band

We finish the countdown with The Steve Miller Band, which may be great news to some. However, The Steve Miller Band is one of those bands that I can’t quite warm up to. Being a rock fan, I guess I’m supposed to like them. But, I can only enjoy their songs for about a minute before I lose interest. This song isn’t horrible though, so it definitely does not ruin a great week of music.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I know these countdowns are popular, so I will try to do them more often. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we see the next one.
In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – September 25, 1982: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21.
Just like the previous songs, this list has a mixed bag of styles. There is rock, country, pop, and R&B. This was a very interesting time. The ’70s were disappearing, but we have not really gotten to the classic ’80s sound yet. Looking over this list, everybody here had gotten their start in at least the ’70s or earlier. So let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and continue the countdown.


20. “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

I love when the list starts with a great rock song! I used to love this song – until 5 minutes ago when I found out that this is actually a Gary Glitter song. Now this song takes on a whole new meaning. If you aren’t aware of Gary Glitter’s history, I don’t want to get into details here, but you can look him up. But. I’ll still listen to Joan Jett’s version, and rock out to it.

19. “Hold On” by Santana

This is a very good Santana song, which features Alex Ligertwood on vocals. Santana is still around today. Just this year the album Santana IV was released and reunited the ’70s classic lineup of Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Mike Carabello and Michael Shrieve. This was the first time in 45 years they recorded together.
I know that most of us say that music sucks these days. But, I feel that it’s just Top 40 music that sucks. A lot of our bands are still releasing new work, but we never hear about it through normal channels. You just need to know where to look. As I am writing this, I’m thinking that I can help keep us informed.

18. “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy” by Jermaine Jackson

This is the title track of Jermaine Jackson’s final album for for Motown Records.
He married Berry Gordy’s daugther, Hazel, just as he started his solo career, while still playing with the Jackson 5. When The Jackson 5 left Motown for CBS records, Jermaine broke with the group and stayed loyal to Motown. After Jermaine’s 9th studio album here, he left Motown for Arista Records.

17. “Only Time Will Tell” by Asia

I really enjoy all of supergroup, Asia’s songs. The band consists of John Wetton (former bassist/vocalist of bands including King Crimson, Family, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK and Wishbone Ash), Steve Howe (guitarist of Yes), Geoff Downes (keyboardist of Yes and The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Atomic Rooster). This song, “Only Time Will Tell”, is my favorite by them.

16. “Think I’m In Love” by Eddie Money

Gotta love Eddie Money! This song is classic. It was just after this that Money’s career was starting to fall apart. I’m sure his drug use didn’t help. But, he did have a huge comeback a few years later with the album Can’t Hold Back, which featured “Take Me Home Tonight” and “I Wanna Go Back.” As far as I know, his most recent work was in this Geico commercial:

15. “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) by Michael McDonald

This song was off of If That’s What It Takes, Michael McDonald’s first solo album away from The Doobie Brothers. I think that in every single countdown I’ve covered, Michael McDonald has been involved in at least one song that week in one way or another, whether it’s singing lead, backup, part of a duet, or even written. I was not a fan at all. Now I’m loving everything he has done. I think my friend Jim performed some sort of jedi mind trick on me. Hey, whatever works, right? I like this song a lot now, where in the past, I may have skipped right over it. Now, somebody has to get me to like Bruce Hornsby, and one other band which will be featured in the top 10 this week.

14. “Blue Eyes” by Elton John

I know this may be blasphemous on this site, but I much prefer Elton John’s music in the ’70s than I did in the ’80s. There are some ’80s songs by him I love. But, overall there is nothing like his earlier music. This is one of those songs I don’t love. I do like it a lot if I’m in the mood for it. Otherwise, this is kind of boring for me.

13. “Love Will Turn You Around” by Kenny Rogers

Earlier, we heard my favorite Asia song. Now we get to hear my favorite Kenny Rogers tune! This was also the theme song for the movie Six Pack, in which Kenny Rogers starred. I watched it constantly when it came on HBO. I haven’t seen that movie in years. I really need to revisit it though. In addition to Rogers, the movie stars some other actors you may have heard of: Diane Lane, Erin Gray, and Anthony Michael Hall.

12. “You Can Do Magic” by America

This was a small comeback for the folk rock duo, America. This is a pretty good song. It does have that late ’70s/early ’80s sound to it.

11. “Take It Away” by Paul McCartney

Not the greatest song in the world. But, it should be noted that this song features Ringo on drums, and produced by George Martin.


Well, that wraps up today’s list. We’ll be back to finish up the Top 10 songs on Friday.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 21, 1988: Songs 10-1

Hi Everybody! Welcome back as we conclude this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and songs 20-11. This is an interesting top 10, as there is quite the variety of music. Now, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1988, and wrap up the countdown.

10. “Two Occasions” by The Deele

We kick off the top 10 with an R&B ballad. I had never heard of The Deele until recently. There were a couple of music moguls as part of this group – Babyface and L.A. Reid. I remembered this song when I heard it. I like it.

>9. “Everything Your Heart Desires” by Hall & Oates

As we were approaching the end of the decade, we were approaching the end of Hall & Oates’ great run of hits. This song would peak at #3, and become the duo’s 16th, and final, Top 10 hit.

8. “Wait” by White Lion

We are back with another rock song. I loved White Lion. The rocked, and had a little different sound than some bands at the time. Mike Tramp has an interesting voice, and Vito Bratta is an awesome guitarist. This song was White Lion’s big breakthrough hit.

7. “Electric Blue” by Icehouse

Icehouse, not to be confused by the early ’90s hair band Firehouse, was an Australian synthpop band. This is another song that I recognized as soon as I heard it. This song was written by Icehouse lead singer Iva Davies (who happens to turn 60 today) and John Oates. I really enjoy this song.

6. “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” by Foreigner

This rock ballad would also be Foreigner’s 16th, and final top 40 hit.

5. “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” by Samantha Fox

As I mentioned earlier in the week, even though I was more of a rock fan, I loved freestyle music too. So I was a huge fan of Samantha Fox. This was big hit for Samantha, peaking at #3.

4. “Always On My Mind” by The Pet Shop Boys

Earlier in the decade, Willie Nelson had a huge hit with this song. The Pet Shop Boys were successful with it as well, with their own synthpop take on it.

 


Now let’s take a look at what was topping some of the other charts this week:

Topping the Rock charts was “The Valley Road” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, which we saw at #25 on the Hot 100 this week.

The #1 R&B hit was “Mercedes Boy” by Pebbles

The biggest Country hit was “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” by Kathy Mattea

Topping the Dance charts was “Like a Child” by Noel

The biggest Album this week was Faith by George Michael

The #1 Adult Contemporary hit is also our #3 hit on the Hot 100 this week:

3. “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz

This song was a worldwide hit for the English pop group. It was a #5 hit in England in 1987. A year later it would be even more successful in the U.S., hitting #2.

2. “One More Try” by George Michael


The ’80s were a good time for George Michael. He had some huge hits as a member of Wham!, and he had an even bigger solo career. This was a #1 hit off of his classic Faith album. This is one of those songs that I didn’t care for much back then, but love it now.

1. “Anything For You” by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine already had a handful of big hits in the U.S. by this point. But, this was their big breakthrough hit throughout the rest of the world. Just about every hit for Estefan this point forward was an adult contemporary song.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. Thanks so much for checking it out. I hope you enjoyed it. There will be more to come in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.