Tag Archives: Michael Sembello

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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Trivia Tuesday – 7/13/10

Question: What 80s pop star got her start on Star Search, but did not win, but came in second?


Last Week’s Question: What 1983 big-screen smash was hyped with the line: “Take your passion and make it happen”?


Answer: Flashdance

Flashdance was released in 1983, and was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year (behind Return of the Jedi and Terms of Endearment) by taking in almost $93 million.
Jennifer Beals starred as Alex Owens – a welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh by day, and a dancer at a tavern by night. She wanted to become accepted by a prestigious dance school, the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. During one of her performances at Mawby’s, the bar where she works, she attracts the attention of Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri), who is her boss at the steel mill, and he soon learns that Alex is one of his employees.

Alex’s best friends also work at Mawby’s, and they have their own aspirations to fame. Jeanie Szabo (Sunny Johnson) is a waitress who aspires to be a professional ice skater, and Jeanie’s boyfriend Richie Blazik (Kyle T. Heffner) is a cook who wants to be a professional stand-up comedian.

Alex needs professional dance instruction, so she gets a dance teacher and mentor who is a retired ballet dancer – Hanna Long (Lilia Skala), who encourages Alex to pursue her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. After Jeanie falls twice while auditioning for an ice show, she loses confidence in herself and becomes a dancer at a strip club, where she performs in the nude, and Alex goes there to rescue Jeanie.

Alex and Nick become lovers, but she later learns that he has an ex-wife named Katie (Belinda Bauer), and they have a hostile encounter in a local restaurant. Nick uses his contacts at the Conservatory to secure an audition for Alex, and just before the audition she goes to Hanna’s house and learns that Hanna died the previous night.

At the audition, Alex falls at the beginning of her routine, but starts over and completes the routine successfully. In the final scene, Alex runs out of the Conservatory building with a smile on her face and is hugged by Nick, who gives her a bouquet of red roses.

The Music

“Flashdance… What a Feeling” was performed by Irene Cara, who also sang the title song for the similar 1980 film Fame. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Golden Globe and numerous other awards. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1983. Despite the song’s title, the word “Flashdance” is not used in the lyrics. The song is used in the opening title sequence of the film, and is the music used by Alex in her dance audition routine at the end of the film.

Another song used in the film, “Maniac”, was also nominated for an Academy Award. It made Michael Sembello a one-hit wonder.

Here is Irene Cara’s video for “Flashdance… What a Feeling”:

While that was a great song, and she had great success with “Fame”, here is my favorite song by Irene Cara – “The Dream (Hold On To Your Dream)”. This is from the movie D.C. Cab: