Tag Archives: Spandau Ballet

Top 40 Songs This Week: August 27, 1983- Songs 40-31

Hey Gang! We’re back with another Top 40 this week! This time, we go back to a time when MTV was coming into full swing, as cable television was coming into more and more homes. There were some acts that still did not catch on to the music video trend, and others full embraced it, and reaped the rewards. Now, let’s Return to August 27, 1983, and begin the countdown!

[If you’d like to see the YouTube video of the song, you can click on the song title. If you’d like to purchase or listen to the song on Amazon, you can click on the album cover]


40. “Saved By Zero” by The Fixx


This song was released just before The Fixx released their signature hit, “One Thing Leads to Another”. “Saved By Zero” was used in a 2008 Toyota campaign. OK, I just realized that when those commercials came out, I already had my current Toyota Corolla for 4 years – and I still have it to this day! Sure, you all have touch screens, and cameras in your car now. But, I bet you don’t have a cassette tape deck like I do!

39. “You’re Driving Me Out Of My Mind” by Little River Band


The Little River Band began changing musical direction here. Meh. It’s kind of like how Saturday Night Live has a great run, then goes into a transitional phase, which sucks, before they go on another great run.

38. Lady Love Me (One More Time)” by George Benson


Oh man! You can’t go wrong with the smooth sound of George Benson! This really brings me back to the early 80s. This song is a classic.

37. “King of Pain” by The Police


Another classic! This song from their Synchronicity album, was the final original single released by the band.

36. “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge


This is from MY James Bond movie. Cable TV was new in our house, and we had HBO, where I watched Octopussy several times a week. I’m not sure if this is a good song or not, but I do love it because it brings me back to that time.

35. “Kiss The Bride” by Elton John


This is my favorite Elton John song of the ’80s, if not of all time. What a great rocker!

34. “Don’t You Get So Mad” by Jeffrey Osborne


I love early ’80s R&B! And it doesn’t hurt that this song is by Rhode Island’s own, Jeffrey Osbourne. He is an awesome guy who does a lot of great charity work. So, he can be forgiven for letting The Bachelor use his signature song, “On the Wings of Love” in 2010.

33. “Never Gonna Let You Go” by Sérgio Mendes (with Joe Pizzulo & Leza Miller)


Classic early ’80s ballad that is awesome! I still listen to this.

32. “True” by Spandau Ballet


Classic early ’80s ballad that irritates me! I couldn’t stand this song when it was first released. I do like it now, as it does make me feel nostalgic about a better time.

31. “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant


This is one of those songs that come to mind when you mention ’80s music. I loved this when it came out. Then got sick of it, after the constant radio and MTV airplay – even after he released the better “Romancing the Stone” single. But, I like it again now, and limit how many times I listen to it.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think? Do you have any favorites, or any “I forgot about that one!” moments. This is going to be great week, so come back tomorrow to check out the next 10 songs!

Advertisements

Sax in the ’80s

Hi Everybody! This week Robert is taking a break from Deep Tracks. Instead, he is delving into an awesome topic – 80’s songs that feature a saxophone. Along with the synthesizer, I feel that the sax gives songs that classic ’80s signature sound. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that just about the only new song I’ve liked in recent years is “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. The late, great Big Man, Clarence Clemons (of E-Street Band fame) has a sax solo in that song.

This will be a two-part series, with 5 songs each day. Take it away, Robert


It has been a tough few weeks for fans of ‘70s and ‘80s pop culture. The recent deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Glenn Frey have taken many of us by surprise. We have all read about the lives and careers of these great artists, so I am not going to rehash all of that information. As I have been thinking about these three, I keep coming back to Glenn Frey, both his solo work and the music he created with the Eagles. For years I have enjoyed the great songs that he created on his own or with the legendary band. I vividly remember buying the Eagles single “New Kid in Town” and listening to it over and over again, each time feeling sadder and sadder for the new kid. As I moved into high school and college I gained a huge love and respect for all of the Eagles’ music. Frey’s solo work was also outstanding. Songs like “The Heat is On” and “Smuggler’s Blues” were on dozens of mixtapes that I made- forcing my friends to listen to these great songs.

Over the past week I have listened to many of Frey’s songs and have rediscovered two of my favorites, “The One You Love” and “You Belong to the City.” I also remembered that one of the reasons I love these songs is the use of the saxophone. Naturally, this lead me to thinking about other ‘80s songs that have the prominent use of a saxophone. It took some deep trips into my memory and a little research, but I have come up with my ten favorite ‘80s hits that feature the smooth sounds of the sax; I am defining “feature” as having, at minimum, a sax solo. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list, just my favorites and a nod to Glenn Frey whose music got me thinking about it. So here they are – in no particular order, my favorite ten ‘80s song with a clear saxophone element being used.


“The One You Love” by Glenn Frey

I begin this list with the song and artist that is the inspiration for this list. This is my favorite solo hit by Frey and comes from his debut solo album No Fun Allowed in 1982. The song reached #15 on the AT 40 and, while that is a respectable chart position, it does not really capture the full quality of this song. The saxophones are played by two musicians; the repeating theme in the song is played by Ernie Watts and the solo sax at the end of the song is played by Jim Horn (no, this is not a pun). This is a slow paced, somber tune that depicts a moral dilemma. The woman in the song is trapped between two men and must make a choice that is going to have a profound effect on both men, “Someone’s going to cry when they’ve learned they lost you / Someone’s going to thank the stars above.” Each man speaks to a different side of the woman which makes her decision extremely difficult. One of the men has hurt her before and the one she is with now treats her well, but she is not crazy in love with him. The chorus ask the question that is perfectly captures her choice: “Are you going back to the one who loves you / Or are you going to stay with the one you love?” There is no easy answer to this difficult situation, but we do know that this song gets Frey’s solo career off to an excellent start.

“Fortress Around Your Heart” by Sting

I will confess to being a huge fan of the Police and Sting due to the songwriting. My English teacher self loves Sting’s lyrics full of symbolism, imagery, and metaphors – call me a literary geek if you want, I will fully acknowledge and accept the label. On Sting’s first two solo albums, Dream of the Blue Turtles and Nothing Like the Sun, he seems to be trying to stylistically separate himself from the Police. He has abandoned the reggae influences for a more jazz based sound, hence the prominence of the horns. The saxophone on this track is played by the incomparable Branford Marsalis. The sax is spread throughout the song and blends nicely with Sting’s bass and guitar work. This will always be my favorite Sting song because of the lyrics. He takes an unusual twist and uses war imagery to capture a man who is regretting the way he has handled the relationship with his love. He wants to protect her, but he may have taken this to an extreme and now feel remorseful, “I recognize the walls that I once made / Had to stop in my tracks for fear of walking on the mines I’ve laid.” I believe his intentions were good, he just let things get out of hand. The chorus captures both this and his regret in doing so: “And if I built this fortress around your heart / Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire / Let me build a bridge, for I cannot fill the chasm / Let me set the battlements on fire.” I have always been a huge fan of Sting’s songwriting and this song is a prime example of this. I am looking forward to seeing him at the NBA All-Star game in a few weeks.

“Careless Whisper” by Wham! featuring George Michael

I have absolutely no problem in declaring my love for Wham!’s album Make It Big. It was one of my favorites in high school and my best friends and I nearly wore the grooves off of the record. This particular song ended up as the #1 song of 1985 (“Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” was #3) and I have always been fascinated with the raw emotions of the lyrics. The gorgeous saxophone is played by Steve Gregory and truly carries this somber song. When people think of this song Gregory’s excellent sounding horn comes to mind immediately. While this song is from the Make It Big album, it is a solo effort by George Michael and it clearly played an instrumental role in him embarking on a solo career soon after it’s success. The song is one of regret. The speaker has made an enormous mistake and lost his love, “Should have known better than to cheat a friend / And waste the chance that I have been given.” Now he is realizing that he has lost a very special relationship and realizing he can never get it back, “I’m never going to dance again / These guilty feeling got no rhythm . . . So I’m never going to dance again the way I danced with you.” The chorus is agonizing and full of guilt and hopelessness – he know he has lost her forever because of something he did. I am always caught by the bridge in this song, “Maybe it’s better this way / We’ve hurt each other with the things we want to say / We could have been so good together / We could have lived this dance forever / Now who’s going to dance with me.” As an adult who married his high school sweetheart, this song has always stayed with me and serves as reminder of being true to the one who is most important in my life.

“True” by Spandau Ballet

This 1983 hit may now be best remembered for making an appearance in Sixteen Candles – remember the dance scene?

This is Spandau Ballet’s only significant hit in the U.S., putting this song on the category of one hit wonder. If you only get one hit, it might as well be a memorable one like “True” that still makes us stop, listen, and reflect on our high school days. This slow jam of a song is a perfect fit for and a staple of high school dances in the ‘80s. I have fond memories of standing up against the wall, too embarrassed to dance to the fast songs and way too scared to ask anyone to dance to this one. Most memorable are the smooth vocals by Tony Hadley, the simple and repeating guitar plucks and the sax by Steve Norman. There is not much about the lyrics that has not been said, so I offer you a challenge: play this song sometime soon and try not to sway back and forth and hit those “dunt dunt (pause) dunt dunt” sounds. You can’t resist – and neither can I.

“Urgent” by Foreigner

I love Foreigner and the album 4 that this song comes from is one of the major reasons why. There are truly no bad songs anywhere on this album. This album, released in 1981, had five AT 40 hits with “Urgent” hitting #4. This is a great rock song with great guitar work by Mick Jones and Lou Gramm’s signature vocal style. The unforgettable sax solo is played by Junior Walker while the rest of the sax is played by Mark Rivera (although the video does not suggest this). The song as about a woman who just seems to have a burning need to be with the speaker. This is never meant to be a long term relationship, rather a quick-hit whenever needed. I have always enjoyed the pace of this song, lyrics included. I love the way they phrase lines like, “You play trick on my mind / You’re everywhere but you’re so hard to find / You’re not warm, you’re sentimental / You’re so extreme, you can be so temperamental.” This is a fantastic song that played a large role in getting me into music. Years later (1986) when I started dating my future wife, I quickly discovered that we do not have the same passion for or taste in music – except for this album. “Urgent” and 4 was one of the first albums we listened to together and, when it comes on now, we both really get into it.

Remember That Song: 7/7/15

Can you name the artist and song:

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn
Why, why, why?


Last Song: “True” by Spandau Ballet from the album True (1983)

Great job Andy (@andytorah)!!!

Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

 

Hits of the ’80s – Horrible and Great

Here is a wrap-up of the Horrible and Great hits of the ’80s. I threw all the songs from my previous lists of each year, and picked my least favorite and favorite songs of the decade.
So, this is basically a Greatest Hits compilation of the Hits – Horrible and Great series.

The Horrible Hits came quite easy to me, and fell right into place. My favorites were a little tougher. They are always rotating in and out. Since I love so much ’80s music, it is difficult leaving some songs off the list.
Well, without further adieu:

Horrible

10. If This Is It – Huey Lewis and The News

Stick with the up-tempo songs, Huey! I loved every song on the Sports album – except for this one. It’s slow, boring, and there’s no feeling in it.

9. Harden My Heart – Quarterflash

This is one of the most overplayed ’80s songs out there. I’ve heard this song more in the past couple of years than I did during the entire ’80s decade! And it’s not even on my iPod! This may not have made the list if it were not so overplayed. This song is a little to slow for me, but not slow enough to be a good ballad. I can’t change the station fast enough when it comes on the radio.

8. Two Hearts – Phil Collins

I love Phil Collins, but this was probably the most overplayed among his overplayed songs.

7. Smooth Operator – Sade

The Stuck in the 80s guys were told to keep this song off their Horrible list. It did sound like they wanted it on there though. So, I will place it on my list yet again. Is this even a song? It is more like slow torture! Slow, slow torture.

6. True – Spandau Ballet

Ah, Ah-Ah-ah, AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:

Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?

5. Stand – R.E.M.

This song is like a whiny “Hokey Pokey”. The only song I liked by R.E.M. was “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”, and then they disappeared.

4. Red Red Wine – UB40

Neil Diamond was a great songwriter. But, this was not one of his better songs, that’s for sure! I don’t know why it was remade, and I don’t understand why this was a hit. This is another song that comes on, and I can’t change the station fast enough.

3. Mandolin Rain – Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Bruce Hornsby has a unique sound on his piano. Unfortunately, every song I’ve heard by him sounds exactly the same. And they are all horrible. I can’t turn this song off fast enough as soon as I hear it.

2. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The “doggon” song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.

1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

How can I be happy when this crap comes on the radio!? Don’t tell me what to do, Bobby McFerrin! I was perfectly happy until this song came on and annoyed the crap out of me. Ooooooo! There’s no instruments. He makes all the sound effects with his mouth! Impressive! If I want that, I don’t have to subject myself to this dreck. I’ll just put on some Police Academy to watch Michael Winslow.


Great

10. Lost In Your Eyes – Debbie Gibson

My favorite Debbie Gibson song. Even people who weren’t into the teen music, at the time, liked this song. It is still great today.

9. Hard Habit to Break – Chicago

I still love this Chicago ballad! This was in the middle of their comeback during the David Foster years. I got sick of “You’re the Inspiration”, but I never got sick of this song. Unfortunately, the band became known more for their ballads. Their rock songs are just as good. But, “Hard Habit to Break” is one of my all time favorite Chicago songs.

8. Down Under – Men At Work

This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!

7. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.

6. Like a Prayer – Madonna

This was Madonna at the peak of her career. This is my favorite song by her.

5. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

This is a great song without the video. But, much like “At This Moment” is linked with Family Ties, “Here I Go Again” will forever be linked with the video and Tawny Kitaen. How many of us guys wished that we were that car?!? 24 years later I still love this song. It stands the test of time for me.

4. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

A perfect rock anthem. This is a fun song, that really rocks, and is still popular today. With all the great smash hits that Def Leppard has, this is one of the best.

3. The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics

A really emotional song that packs quite a punch. Paul Carrack sounds great. The music and message are just awesome.

2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

The ultimate ’80s song from the ultimate ’80s movie. You can’t think of one without the other. It even has staying power as this song is played while the losing American Idols are being booted. This song does get played alot, but somehow I cannot get sick of it.

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey

“Don’t Stop Believin'” is one of my all time favorite songs, even after all these years. Everybody still gets into this song. And a new generation has even found it, as it became extremely popular from the television show Glee. Don’t Stop Believin’ this song will live on forever.

Hits of 1983 – Horrible and Great

On March 13, 2009, Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1982 Podcast (Episode 159). Here is their list:

10. Mickey – Toni Basil
9. She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
8. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
7. Mr. Roboto – Styx
6. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel
5. Never Gonna Let You Go – Sergio Mendes
4. Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Air Supply
3. What About Me – Moving Pictures
2. Puttin’ On the Ritz – Taco
1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

Here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:

5. Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Even though I love ’80s Music, I definitely prefer David Bowie’s ’70s music. No, David Bowie, I don’t want to dance! I’d much rather be Major Tom a “Space Oddity“! “Let’s Dance” is bad enough as it is. What makes it worse is that it is an “earworm” song. In other words, it gets stuck in your head. As I write this, I have not heard the song in years. But, just mentioning the title gave me earwormage (is that a even a word?) big time!
Well, that’s why I start with the ‘Horrible’ list, and end with the ‘Great’ list.

4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics

Yes, this was the Eurythmics breakthrough hit, but I’m not a big Eurythmics fan. This song just drones on and on. Instead of ‘Sweet Dreams’, this song was more like a recurring nightmare when it came out. It was always on the radio and on MTV.
I do like the Eurythmics “Missionary Man” a lot. But, I just can’t take this song or “Here Comes the Rain Again“.

3. True – Spandau Ballet

Ah, Ah-Ah-ah. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:

Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?

2. Every Breath You Take – Police

I like The Police a lot. But, this song is one of my least favorites, and one of the most overrated songs of all time. I remember listening to the American Top 40 countdown of the top songs of the whole year, and this was number 1!! Really?!? “Synchronicity II” was my favorite song on the Synchronicity album by far – even though I don’t understand the lyrics too much.

1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The doggon song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.

Here is my top songs from that year:
Runners up:
10. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle: These legends made a song that was perfect for a wedding
9. Little Red Corvette – Prince: Probably my favorite Prince song. Not as overplayed as “1999”
8. Truly – Lionel Richie – My favorite Lionel Richie ballad
7. Africa – Toto: Great song by Toto. I love the music, and the lead singer Bobby Kimball has an incredible voice.
6. Mr. Roboto – Styx: A lot of people make fun of Styx because of this song, and how it made them more theatrical. But, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with music. There have been worse concept albums than Kilroy Was Here.

And Jeffster did a great cover of this in the TV show Chuck:

5. Photograph – Def Leppard

A great song by one of my favorite bands. Although Def Leppard had a couple of good albums before Pyromania (On Through the Night and High and Dry), “Photograph” became their first hit, and helped spur on the success of Pyromania. The video showed a lot of photos of Marilyn Monroe, so people incorrectly thought the song was about her. This is still a great song. Def Leppard has stood the test of time for over 30 years now.

4. Solitaire – Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and “How Am I Suppose to Live Without You” were overplayed. But I think this song was way better than both of them. It rocks, and Branigan had a great voice. It sounds like she put a lot of passion into this song. This song also launched songwriter Diane Warren’s career.

3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.

2. Down Under – Men At Work

This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!

1. Separate Ways – Journey

Silly video aside, this song rocks. As soon as you hear Jonathan Cain’s keyboard, you know what song is playing. It has a lot of energy and gets you pumped. After Journey had a very long hiatus, they went on tour with a new lead singer – Steve Augeri. Of course I went, and this was the song they came out playing first. What a way to come back! While I need to turn some songs off as soon as I hear them, I have to listen to this one all the way through when it comes on.

Here is the Live version with Steve Augeri: