Tag Archives: Men At Work

Top 40 Songs This Week: August 27, 1983 – Songs 10-1

Hi Everybody! Welcome back as we finally conclude the countdown. I’m sorry it took so long to wrap this up, but sometimes real life happens. If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. What a blast going down memory lane! Now, let’s Return to the week ending August 27, 1983, and wrap up the countdown.

And don’t forget, if you click on the song title, you can see the video of the song. If you click on the album cover, you can listen to or purchase the song on Amazon.


10. “China Girl” by David Bowie


The great David Bowie re-invented himself once again with the Let’s Dance album. This classic was the second song released off of that album. Bowie was one of the many of our 80s icons that passed away last year. He is missed.

9. “”I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” by Culture Club


Culture Club was one of the biggest acts in the early 80s. I was not on board with that at the time. But, now their music brings me some wonderful nostalgia.

8. “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” by The Human League


In my opinion, The Human League is very underrated. I really like this song a lot. It has that classic 80s sound. I also recommend their 2011 album, Credo. They still sound the same, which is great!

7. “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks


This is a great signature song for Stevie Nicks’ solo career. Stevie is almost 70 and still going strong. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Stevie was asked how it felt to be turning 70 in 2 years. She said:

I don’t like that number. I see lots of people my age, and lots of people who are younger than me, and I think, “Wow, those people look really old.” I think it’s because they didn’t try. If you want to stay young, you have to make an effort. If I wanna walk onstage in a short chiffon skirt and not look completely age-inappropriate, I have to make that happen. Or you just throw in the towel and let your hair turn white and look like a frumpy old woman. I’m never gonna go there.

6. “It’s a Mistake” by Men at Work


In the early ’80s, there were very few acts that were as hot as Men at Work. This was the third single released from their Cargo album, and peaked right here at #6.

5. “Puttin’ On the Ritz” by Taco


This cover of the Irving Berlin song was a huge hit for Taco, eventually peaking at #4. This made Irving Berlin, then 95, the oldest ever living songwriter to have one of his compositions enter the top ten.

4. “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer


The disco queen, and fellow New Englander (Boston, MA), transitioned brilliantly into the ’80s, making this her signature song.

3. “Maniac” by Michael Sembello


This was another huge hit from the Flashdance soundtrack. The following year, he would release another song from a movie soundtrack – “Gremlins…Mega Madness“.

2. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by The Eurythmics


This song was so overplayed that I would cringe every time I’d hear The Eurythmics. Luckily, enough time has been removed that I really love their music. I have no problem skipping over this one though. But, I love anything else they do.

1. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police


Speaking of overplayed songs, this was the king of them. I clearly remembering listening to the year end countdown in December, and being so disappointed that this was the #1 song of the year. I love just about everything else from the Synchronicity album. But I guess I’m a weirdo. At least it’s better than a stalker.


That wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed this. There will definitely be more countdowns coming up. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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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.

Remember That Song: 7/11/16

Can you name the artist and song:

Young and wired
Set to explode in the heat
You won’t tire
‘Cause Baby, you were born with the beat


Last Song: “Be Good Johnny” by Men at Work from Business as Usual (1982)

Oh no, Ma, Oh no, Da, I’ll be your golden boy
I will obey every golden rule
Get told by the teacher not to day-dream
And told by my mother

Sax in the ’80s, Part II

Today, Robert wraps up his series on great songs that feature a saxophone. What are some of your favorites? Please leave a comment below. To kick off the conclusion of this week’s series, here is the legendary, late Clarence “Big Man” Clemons:

Now, take it away, Robert!


“Only the Lonely” by The Motels

As much as I love ‘80s music there were a few bands that barely registered in my collection. The Motels are one of this bands; I did have copies on a mixtape of this song, but I have never purchased an entire album by them. This song come from their most successful album, 1982’s All Four One, and reached #9 on the AT 40. The vocalist, Martha Davis, is well known to ‘80s fans, but the rest of the band toiled in relative obscurity as far as name recognition goes. The subdued sound that this band creates in this song is memorizing with the sax being played by Marty Jourard who is also the band’s keyboardist. Once again, here is a song that has great phrasing. The verses follow a simple pattern – the first two lines of each verse has a pause after two words and then continues. The third line is a longer one that has no pause. They are, in essence creating a music with words. It goes like this, “We walk (pause) the loneliest mile / We smile (pause) without any style / We kiss all together wrong no intention.” Here we have another song about the end of a relationship, this time though, I think the music first perfectly.


“Who Can it be Now?” by Men at Work

Here we have the first hit single from the Australian band that took the American music charts by storm in the early ‘80s and, honestly, sort of just faded away. This song comes from their first album Business as Usual and it hit #1 on the AT 40 in October of 1982. Men at Work feature the quirky vocals of Colin Hay who is clearly an icon of early ‘80s music as well as being in constant rotation on MTV. The saxophone is being played by Greg Ham who also doubles as the keyboard player. The sax is not limited to just a solo here, though. It establishes the song’s theme and has the sound that makes the song instantly recognizable. The song captures something we have all felt, thought, or said out loud at one time or another: “Just leave me alone!” After several pleas for solitude, Hay reveals a possible reason that he is being bothered, “Is that the man come to take me away? / Why do they follow me? / It’s not the future that I can see / It’s just my fantasy.” Is there a good reason for him to be taken away? I’m not sure, but I am sure that the success Men at Work had with their first two albums is well deserved. Their unique, fun style is something that we are missing today. I wish all of them were still around and making this intriguing music like this.


“Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx

Many ‘80s pundits consider 1987 as the end of the true sound of ‘80s music. Maybe. I tend to extend my definition of ‘80s through 1987 with a few good tunes from 1988 when the changes in musical styles are very apparent and the ‘80s’ sound seems to get lost. One major reason I consider 1987 as a vital part of ‘80s lore is that I graduated high school in 1987 and the rise of Richard Marx. Richard Marx’s debut album was released in the Spring of 1987 about the time I graduated; it was the first album I bought after starting college. This song, the third single released from Richard Marx, was on the charts in early 1988 and reached #2. The sax is played by David Boruff and is full of the emotional sadness that the lyrics capture. This sad, sultry ballad is about an intense summer love that is no more. The speaker is lamenting what has been lost, “Summer came and left without a warning / All at once I looked and you were gone / And now you’re looking back at me / Searching for a way that we can be like we were before.” He is just not the same without her and improving the situation does not look like a possibility. He is stuck in the memories of that summer and cannot find a way to break free of them. The chorus captures this perfectly, “I remember how you loved me / Time was all we had until the day we said goodbye / I remember every moment of the endless summer nights.” We tend to take the time we have with others for granted and when the time is over we realize that we cannot get it back – it is gone forever.


“Do You Believe in Love” by Huey Lewis and the News

I saw Huey Lewis and the News in concert in Frankfurt, Germany in November 1986. The tour was in support of their Fore! album, which I liked, but the most memorable songs were “The Heart of Rock & Rolll”, “Walking on a Thin Line”, and this early hit. This song was released in 1982 and reached #7 on the charts. The first time I heard this song I was immediately drawn in by the harmonious background vocals- I thought (and still do) they sounded so cool. The band’s saxophonist is Johnny Colla, although they typically include an entire horn sections on tour in the ‘80s called The Tower of Power horns. The song is not complex – just a lonely man looking for a woman, “I was walking down a one way street / Just a looking for someone to meet / One woman who was looking for a man.” No hidden meanings here, just a plain old love story.


“You Belong to the City” by Glenn Frey

It seems fitting to end this list with another song from the artist who inspired it. This 1985 release was written specifically for the television show Miami Vice. It helped the soundtrack album reach #1, but the song itself climbed to #2, being kept out of the top spot by Starship’s “We Built this City.” The video itself is clearly influenced by the television show; it features Frey walking through a city at night wearing a Sonny Crockett type suit. The unforgettable sax that begins the song is being played by Bill Bergman. Lyrically the song is about someone who seems to be running away from something and has come to “the city” to escape the past, “You were on the run trying to get away from the things you’ve done.” Unfortunately a sense of boredom has set in, “The moon comes up and the music calls / You’re getting tired of staring at the same four walls.” Clearly a change was desired, but in a sense of frustration, “So much has happened, but nothing has changed.” This is one of Frey’s most successful and well known solo hits a perfect way to close my favorite ‘80s hits that feature a prevalent sax sound.


I am well aware that I have most likely left some great sax work in some big songs. It is difficult to include all of them, for instance “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money. It made the first draft of my list, but ultimately, I thought these others were stronger so I left it off. Please do not be offended if I left off your favorite. There were many more sax songs in the ‘80s than I remembered at first. As I kept digging, I found more and more.

The inspiration for this list, Glenn Frey, is such an enormous musical talent that it would be useless to rehash what he has done – you already know about that. As the years continue to roll by, we will be forced to say goodbye to a lot of our favorite artist from the glorious ‘80s. There is no way to avoid it, so let us, instead, celebrate them by remembering and cherishing what they created.

Throw Back Thursday: “Down Under” hits #1 this week

If you are on social media these days, you may be all too familiar with Throw Back Thursday, or #TBT if you will. Sometimes I get annoyed, but other times I enjoy seeing people’s old pictures.

I figured #TBT would be appropriate for me today. Yesterday was my 6 year Blogiversary. But, that first article was just a simple introduction. It was 6 years ago today that I published my first full-fledged article. Men-At-Work was an iconic ’80s band. So, I couldn’t go wrong featuring them in my first article.
I left the article unedited, other than adding a picture. I am also embedding the video. I must not have known about embedding videos back then. Since I had, ummmm, 0 people following my blog back then, chances are you haven’t seen this yet. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on the poll! I forgot about that. I should do more polls on this site.

Enjoy!


Men at Work’s “Down Under” hit number 1 on January 15, 1983 which came from their debut album Business as Usual.

“Down Under” was Men at Work’s biggest hit. It is the first song that comes to mind when you mention the group. The song is also synonymous with Men at Work’s native Australia. If it was not for this song, how many of us would have heard of Vegemite sandwiches?

The band had a great run in the early 80’s. Sure, they are most known for “Down Under”, but “Who Can It Be Now?” was also a big hit. “Be Good Johnny” was also a fun song, and now I have an ear-worm!

“be good be good, be good be good, be good be good…”

Three other songs I love are “Overkill“, “It’s a Mistake“, and “Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 28, 1983: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, this has been an incredible week of music – especially the previous 10 songs. And now we have reached the top 10, which has some more classic music I think you’ll enjoy. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and find out what were the biggest hits that week.

10. “Straight From the Heart” by Bryan Adams

This is a great way to start the Top 10! Bryan Adams’ big breakthrough single is still one of my favorites by him.

9. “My Love” by Lionel Richie

This awesome ballad was the third single released off Richie’s self-titled debut solo album. Kenny Rogers also provided backing vocals on this track.

8. “Time (Clock Of the Heart)” by Culture Club

Next up is another song from a debut album of an ’80s powerhouse. This song was the second single released from Culture Club’s Kissing to Be Clever album (after “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me“). This song is one of my favorite Culture Club songs.

7. “Solitaire” by Laura Branigan

Easily my favorite Branigan tune! I love all her music, but this is #1 for me. What an incredible talent she was. I was so upset when she died on August 26, 2004. This song was the lead single from the Branigan 2 album. This debuted on the charts the same week her breakthrough hit, “Gloria“, dropped off the charts.

6. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

And the hits keep on rolling! This single off of Prince’s 1999 album was his first to break the top 10. This is one of my favorite Prince songs.

5. “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby

Once again, we have another classic ’80s tune. This was Thomas Dolby’s only top 40 hit in the U.S. It peaked right here at #5. One more thing before we move on to the next song. Science!

4. “Overkill” by Men At Work

Men At Work were extremely hot in the early ’80s. This was in the heart of their big run. The second single from their second album, Cargo, would peak at #3.

3. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

I think everybody here may have possibly heard of this song, maybe. We all know that Eddie Van Halen famously plays the guitar solo here. But, you may not know this fun fact: there were a few members of Toto who played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar, bass guitar), Steve Porcaro (synthesizer), and Jeff Porcaro (drums).


Now it’s the part of the countdown where we see what was topping the other charts this week:

Topping the Country charts was the legendary Merle Haggard with “You Take Me For Granted”

The #1 Rock song was “She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes

The best R&B song was “Save the Overtime (For Me)” by Gladys Knight and the Pips

The #1 Adult Contemporary song was “My Love” by Lionel Richie

The #1 album was (yep, you guessed it) Thriller

And the #1 Dance song is also our #2 song

2. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

This song was my introduction to David Bowie. Bowie has always reinvented himself. This was during his pop period. I liked this song a lot, and there are so many great songs on the Let’s Dance album, that I like even more.

1. “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

We have now arrived at the #1 song this week. And what a way to end! My big ’80s crush – Irene Cara. This is her signature song, but she has so many other great ones that get overlooked. I love her voice and music. Even though this song gets all the airplay, I still love it.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I’m going to try to keep this going next week by Returning to the year that The Empire Strikes Back came out. Then the following week – the week the new Star Wars movie is coming out – we are going to Return to (yes we’re going there) 1977! So, that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – June 18, 1983: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. There have been some flat-out classics so far this week, and today is no different. You can go back and check out songs 40-31 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been one of the better Top 40 weeks, so let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and finish the countdown.

10. “Family Man” by Hall & Oates

Well, here’s a blast from the past. Hall & Oates were a staple of the ’80s music scene. But, this song is often overlooked. This song is actually a cover, originally done by Mike Oldfield (with Maggie Reilly on vocals) in 1982. Hall & Oates made it their own, and made it a big hit, topping out at #6 on the charts.

9. “Affair of the Heart” by Rick Springfield

Just like Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield had a great hot streak in the early-to-mid ’80s. This song, Springfield’s first single from his Living in Oz album, would be his fourth top 10 hit, peaking right here at #9. It was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, but lost to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

8. “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

This synthpop song just screams ’80s! But, did you know that this was a cover? It was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. The original recorded version was released by Lou Johnson in 1964. Sandie Shaw also released a version of this song that same year, and it was a #1 hit in the U.K., Canada, and South Africa.
The 1964 versions and this ’80s version were each a product of their time. I like all the versions, but of course, I prefer Naked Eyes.

7. “Don’t Let It End” by Styx

This is a nice ballad by one of my favorite bands – Styx. This song is from their divisive album, Kilroy Was Here. This was the beginning of the end of the original run of Styx, but you wouldn’t know it here.

6. “My Love” by Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie immediately proved that he could have a successful career post-Commodores, with his incredible self-titled debut album. This ballad was the third single released from that album, and was his third top 10 hit in a row. Kenny Rogers, who often collaborated with Richie, provided the backing vocals on this song.

5. “Overkill” by Men At Work

Men At Work is just pure ’80s. They were on a hot streak at this time. The combination of Colin Hay’s voice and Greg Ham on sax, gave Men At Work a very unique sound. Everyone knows “Down Under“, but this is one of their better songs as well.

4. “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant

Electric Avenue Single Cover Speaking of unique sounding, this song was a worldwide smash hit. The song’s title refers to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London. You could not escape this song when it was first released, but man was it fun!

3. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

All week we have been hearing from artists who had been around for a while, but were introduced to me with the ’80s tunes in the countdown this week. This is another one. I remember first hearing this song on the radio while eating breakfast before school. This song was from the album of the same name, and was part of many of David Bowie’s reinventions. This is a great song from a great album.

2. “Time (Clock Of the Heart)” by Culture Club

Culture Club followed their world-wide smash hit debut, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, with this song. I like this one better. Culture Club was one of those bands that I didn’t care much for back then, but enjoy much more now.

Before we uncover this week’s #1 song, lets see what was topping some of the other charts this week:

The number one country song this week was – “You Can’t Run From Love” by the gone too soon Eddie Rabbitt

Topping the R&B charts was “Juicy Fruit” by Mtume. I never heard of the song or the band.

Sitting on top of the rock charts was this week’s #14 song, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

The number one adult contemporary song was our #13 song this week – “Never Gonna Let You Go” by Sergio Mendes

For the 17th, and final consecutive week, the #1 album was the legendary Thriller by Micahel Jackson

The #1 dance song brings us to our Hot 100 number one song this week:

1. “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

What a Feeling! and what a way to end the countdown! A few years earlier, Irene Cara hit it big with the theme song for Fame. Somehow, she outdid herself with this classic from the movie, Flashdance. This song won all kinds of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This is a well deserved #1 hit.


Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. This has got to be one of the best countdowns we’ve covered so far. 1983 was such an incredible and pivotal year of music. Do you agree? We’ll be back with another countdown in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Remember That Song: 7/15/14

Can you name the artist and song:

Look at this face
I know the years are showing
Look at this life
I still don’t know where it’s going


Last Song: “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work from Business as Usual (1981)

Great job Jim and Robert (@mishouenglish)!!

All I wish is to be alone
Stay away, don’t you invade my home
Best off if you hang outside
Don’t come in – I’ll only run and hide

Remember That Song – 1/14/14

Can you name the artist and song:

With a kiss you can strip me defenseless
With a touch I completely lose control


Last Song: “Down Under” by Men At Work from Business as Usual (1981)

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish), Cooly!!, Wilhelmina (@williesun) and Frida (@carrjam94)!!

I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast

Remember That Song: 1/22/13

Can you name the artist and song:

Sweet Janis cried
“Lord won’t you buy a Benz for me”
Jimmy was right
Castles made of sand slip to the sea


Last Song: “Overkill” by Men at Work

Great job Jim and Marissa (@MarissaRapier)!!

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps its just imagination