Tag Archives: Shalamar

American Top 40 – May 28, 1977: Songs 30-21

Hi Everybody, welcome back to the Top 40 Countdown! If you missed yesterday’s list of songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today should be interesting, as I only knew four of the songs before today. There is definitely one on here that I think just about everybody on the planet knows. So, let’s go into hyperspace this Star Wars week, take a trip in the way back machine, and Return to the week ending May 28, 1977, and continue the countdown.

30. “Do You Wanna Make Love” by Peter McCann

We’ll begin today with an interesting song that I like. To me, the verses sound like an easy listening late ’70s/early ’80s song that you may hear on the soundtrack of a comedy-drama film. Then the chorus sounds like a country-crossover type of song. This song would be a huge hit, peaking all the way up at #5.

29. “High School Dance” by The Sylvers

Here is another interesting song. This may sound really strange, but this sounds like a mashup of The Beatles and the Jackson 5. It starts off sounding like a Paul McCartney led Beatles tune. Then the rest of the family joins in singing, and it the style and sound kind of reminded me of the Jackson 5. I could see how this could have been a fun dance song back in the Disco era ’70s.
Oh man, I called that one! I just looked up information on the band. It is a The Sylvers were a band of 10 siblings (there was one family member that was not in the band). The lead singer, Edmund, was the voice of Marlon Jackson in the 1971-1973 Jackson 5ive cartoon series.

28. “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles

Since I have the heart of a rocker, this was always one of my favorite Eagles songs. I love the hard driving guitar, Don Henley’s vocals, and the song’s story, which is about the excessive lifestyle of a couple – which is perfect for the ’80s. So I suppose the theme was ahead of it’s time.

27. “Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On” by The Addrisi Brothers

Here is another song that I had never heard before today. I had never heard of the Addrisi Brothers either, and they were somewhat local to me, as they came from my neighboring Winthrop, Massachusetts. When they were young, the two brothers, Don and Dick, were in their family’s acrobatic group, The Flying Addrisis. Then in the ’50s they got in touch with Lenny Bruce about starting a singing career and moved to California. They auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club, but did not get in. They would go on to be songwriters. Their most successful song was “Never My Love” which was performed by The Association.
“Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On” isn’t bad, and isn’t great. It’s pretty much a song of its time.

26. “Uptown Festival (Motown Medley) (Part 1)” by Shalamar

Shalamar was a disco group created by Soul Train creator/producer Don Cornelius.
“Uptown Festival” was Shalamar’s first single. It is a medley of Motown hits set to disco music. Here is the song list for this part of the song, which would peak at #22:

“Going to a Go-Go” / “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” / “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” / “Stop! In the Name of Love” / “It’s the Same Old Song”

25. “Mainstreet” by Bob Seger

Next up is the classic rock radio staple by Bob Seger. This was the fourth single released from his Night Moves album, and would peak at #24. This is one of those songs that I don’t hate, but I really need to be in the mood for it to listen to it all the way through.

24. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

This is Jimmy Buffett’s signature hit, and the go-to song for anybody going on a tropical vacation. Not only does everybody know this song, but almost everybody probably knows all the lyrics. If I’m wrong about that, then it’s my own damn fault.

23. “Whodunit” by Tavares

Holy Cliché, Batman! This song starts off with the “Whodunit” notes, reminding me of Inspector Gadget. Then, thankfully, the song turns into a very good R&B/Funk/Disco song. I really like this one. Hmmm. This could possibly be my new song pick of the day.

22. “Calling Dr. Love” by Kiss

Alright! Another rock song! You know what Kiss’ problem is? They are just so subtle. Anyway, I usually prefer Paul’s songs to Gene’s. But this is one Gene Simmons song (along with “I Love It Loud“) that I absolutely love.

21. “So In To You” by The Atlanta Rhythm Section

maxresdefaultThe Atlanta Rhythm Section is a southern rock band. They weren’t as popular as Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, but they are pretty good (well at least this song anyway). This was their biggest hit, peaking at #7.


Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. I enjoyed it. I hope you’re enjoying this trip back to the ’70s. We’ll be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.

Return to the ’80s Movie Soundtracks: Footloose

 Our coverage of the classic 1984 movie, Footloose, continues today. Yesterday was a review of the movie itself. Today, Robert is going to cover what very well may be the heart and soul of the movie - the music. Enjoy!

Movie-wise this is my absolute favorite not very good movie. The plot is weak, the acting is passable, and the dialogue is, at times laughable. Consider when Ariel is spitting mad at Chuck Cranston. During an argument, Chuck is being petty and jealous while physically roughing Ariel up a bit. Now, Ariel has every insult and curse at her disposal; and she opts for, “You’re so stupid!” It is difficult to find a positive review by any movie critic . . . and I don’t care- I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! One thing I have always enjoyed more than the actual film is the movie’s soundtrack. I have seen the movie countless times: several times in the movie theatre, nearly 30 times on VHS and a dozen times on Netflix (in fact, I have it on Netflix as I write this). All of these viewings do not hold a candle to the number of times I have listened to the soundtrack. I own it on vinyl, cassette, and CD – always at the ready in case someone asks about it or I just want to be washed away in nostalgic memories.

According to Billboard, the soundtrack has sold a total of 9,000,000 copies and was #1 on the album charts for weeks (April 21 – June 30, 1984). This soundtrack spawned six Top 40 songs with three of those being Top ten hits: “Footloose” #1, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” #1, and “Almost Paradise” #7. With all of this success, this soundtrack must be loaded with great songs, so let’s take a look.

Footloose (#1)  by Kenny Loggins (opening credits, bar scene, and prom)

Loggins is easily considered the “soundtrack king” of the ‘80s, and this song is one of the big reasons why. It is not his first soundtrack hit nor will it be his last in the ‘80s, but it may be the most popular. I recently took my younger daughter to a popular local event “Daddy Daughter Date Night.” It is an annual dinner and dance for fathers and their daughters (between first and fifth grades). During the dance portion, the DJ played Footloose and all of the girls screamed and rushed to the dance floor. As much as I love this song, the reaction of all of these young girls to a song released over twenty years before they were born gave me goosebumps; this must be a sign of a true classic. The video contains clips from the film. The original video release was Ren’s big dance scene – that never made sense to me because they used a different song in the film (see track 9).

Let’s Hear it for the Boy (#1) – by Deniece Williams (Ren teaching Willard how to dance)

Despite this song being a huge hit and being used in a funny montage in the movie, it may be my least favorite. It has a memorable chorus and a smooth dance beat, but it has never really appealed to me – I have no good reason – it just doesn’t.

Almost Paradise (#7) – Almost Paradise by Mike Reno (from Loverboy) and Ann Wilson (from Heart) (prom as well as an instrumental version in the music box that Ariel gives Ren)

There is not much I can say about this song. It is one of the all time great love songs from the ‘80s. I have danced to it with my girlfriend (now wife) and it will always be one of my favorite romantic songs that I cannot, and will not, turn off before it is finished.

Holding Out for a Hero (#34) – by Bonnie Tyler (tractor chicken race)

I love Tyler’s first big hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, but I think this song is even better. I am shocked it only reached #34 on the Billboard charts. This song has some grit and enthusiastic drive. It has some of my favorite lyrics on the soundtrack. I have even used these lyrics in my English classes when discussing the importance of heroes to society and literature and the difficulty we have pinpointing the constantly changing definition, “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where is the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?”

Dancing in the Sheets (#17) – by Shalamar (Ariel caught by father dancing at drive-in fast food spot)

This is a good, catchy dance tune. The first thing that pops in my mind now is a friend of mine who directed Footloose: The Musical at the high school where I teach. He was forced to cut this song because of its suggestive lyrics. C’mon, that is kinda funny. The video is from American Bandstand (remember that show?).

I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man) (#22) – by Kenny Loggins (decorating for prom)

This is Loggins’ second appearance on this soundtrack, and, while I possess the proper reverential love for the title track, I do like this song better. It should be impossible to separate a good soundtrack from the film; perhaps this becomes a reason that I really like this song. This song fits the movie perfectly, maybe even better that all of the others. Lyrically the song is about fighting for what you believe in and striving to achieve success. In the film, this song marks Ren’s success at the town council meeting and the beginning of the preparations for prom. This lyrics to this song serve an inspirational purpose and the fit perfectly for the film’s transition to the prom scene, “Looking in your eyes, I know I’m right / If there’s anything worth my love, it’s worth the fight / We only get one chance, and nothing ties our hands / You’re the one I want, listen to me / Nothing I want is out of my reach.”

Somebody’s Eyes – by Karla Bonoff (Ariel and Chuck sneaking away to the woods)

This is the only track on the original soundtrack that does not receive any primary attention in the film. It is heard in the background, playing on the radio that Ariel brings with her on a secret, and illicit, meeting with her jerk boyfriend. The song itself is an easy-to-listen to pop song with a good chorus and decent guitar solo. Bonoff’s vocals are haunting and soothing at the same time.

The Girl Gets Around – by Sammy Hagar (Ariel switching cars while driving down the highway)

This is the only true rocker on the original soundtrack. Honestly, Hagar is somewhat out of place here. Even though this appearance is before he joined Van Halen, he was already known as the Red Rocker and had a number of heavy guitar driven, popular songs. The song is great – it fits Hagar’s style and matches the scene in the film quite well. Despite this, it does not truly match the overall sound of this soundtrack. The video is from a live performance in St. Louis.

Never – by by Moving Pictures (Ren’s solo dance of frustration)

This is my personal favorite track. I love the rhythm guitar riff and I think the scene it is used in fits perfectly. I have always been a bit of a sap for the cheesy inspirational lyrics and this song has a great one, “If you don’t give your heart wings, you’ll never fly.” I do not even care that Kevin Bacon is not the one dancing in this scene- this song carries an uplifting message with a catchy beat.

The 1998 reissue of the soundtrack included four additional tracks, but I am sticking with the original release.

In the ‘80s there was such a strong connection between movies and their soundtracks. In some of those films the music played a prominent role. If you track Top 40 hits from soundtracks, you will see double digit numbers in ‘84, ‘85, and ‘86. Footloose is clearly one of the most famous and successful examples. The music on this soundtrack can be called nothing except iconic. I never tire of watching the movie or listening to this amazing soundtrack. Every list of best soundtracks is obligated to include this shining example at at near the top.

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.