I now present to you, the top-10 songs this week in 1982. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs
40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. The top-10 is a great combination of pop and rock songs. So, lets Return to March 20, 1982, and finish this countdown.
10. “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner and Garcia
A novelty song if there ever was one. At the height of “Pac-Man Fever” and the rest of the arcade craze, this song was released, and capitalized on that craze. It actually peaked at #9 on March 27, 1982 (next week).
The duo that performed the song was Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia. After the huge success of “Pac-Man Fever”, they signed a record deal with Columbia/CBS Records. They never wanted to become a novelty act known for songs based on video games. But when they signed the record deal, the company insisted on a full album of video-game songs, although the duo had intended to write mostly pop music. They caved in to the demands, and released a full album of Pac-Man Fever. Here is their playlist:
Pac-Man Fever (Pac-Man)
Froggy’s Lament (Frogger)
Ode to a Centipede (Centipede)
Do the Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)
The Defender (Defender)
Mousetrap (Mouse Trap)
Goin’ Berzerk (Berzerk)
They never hit it big again.
9. “Shake It Up” by The Cars
Classic Cars tune. This song came out in the middle of their great run of hits.
8. “Mirror Mirror” by Diana Ross
This song is at #8, and I never heard of it before. Or if I did, I blocked it out. This song isn’t bad. At this point, I would probably rather listen to this one instead of “Upside Down” again. According to Wikipedia, “Mirror Mirror” is a 1982 rock-styled hit song. I think Wikipedia’s definition of rock, and my definition of rock are quite different. This is more of a pop song. You can just feel the disco fading away with this song. One other note about this song: It was written by Dennis Matkosky and Michael Sembello, who also wrote “Maniac” from Flashdance (and performed by Sembello). I’m not a Diana Ross fan by any stretch of the imagination. I was kind of dreading having to listen to this song, but it’s really not too bad. I’m not going to rush and buy it, but it’s OK.
7. “Make a Move On Me” by Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John was on of the first crushes I ever had. Just sayin’. This song was the follow-up to Newton-John’s smash hit “Physical”. I really like this song a lot too. At this point, I prefer “Make a Move On Me” over “Physical“.
6. “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s
This instantly recognizable song is the The Go-Go’s signature song. “We Got the Beat” was originally released in the UK in 1980, and became popular in clubs in the UK and U.S. They went on to re-record the song for their debut album Beauty and the Beat, and was featured in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
“We Got the Beat” was the Go-Go’s biggest hit spending three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. There was one song that kept it from becoming #1. And that song is the #1 song from this week.
For what it’s worth, “We Got the Beat” was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. I haven’t looked at that list, but I would not be surprised if “Ice Ice Baby” was on there too.
5. “Sweet Dreams” by Air Supply
This is a typical Air Supply song. So, if you like Air Supply, you’ll like this. If you don’t like them, then you won’t like this song. I don’t remember this song from the radio. But, my parents had an Air Supply Greatest Hits album, and this song was on there. I fall in the camp that likes Air Supply. I did not listen to too many love songs when I was young, but when I did, it was usually Air Supply. I still have not seen them perform live yet, but I do hear that they put on a good show.
4. “That Girl” by Stevie Wonder
This is one last song that I had not heard of. I love Stevie Wonder’s voice, but I don’t like too many of his ’80s songs. I prefer his old music. “That Girl” was a new single on Wonder’s album-era greatest-hits compilation, Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I. At first listen, I’m not liking this song too much.
3. “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band
Here is the second J. Geils Band song on the countdown this week. This smash hit had been at #1 for 6 weeks before this week. Now, like we did at a Rubix Kube concert, start singing The Smurfs theme, then click Play for this song…
2. “Open Arms” by Journey
The ultimate power ballad, by one of my all-time favorite bands. Most of you know the story about this song by now. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain began writing the song when he was with The Babys. But, singer John Waite wanted nothing to do with it. Not long after that, Cain was in Journey. He eventually finished the song with Steve Perry. It was actually almost left off of the Escape album because Neal Schon did not like it. Luckily, the song made it on the album, and was released as a single. It would go on to be their highest charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It was #2 for six weeks. It was kept out of the top spot by “Centerfold” as well as this week’s #1 song. Not too shabby. And after this song came out, other rock bands saw how successful this song was, so it almost became mandatory to have at least one power ballad on a rock album.
1. “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Here is this week’s #1 song. And I never heard of this one before! Just kidding. Anybody alive, at the time that this song came out, could not escape it. This is the song that put Joan Jett on the map. She is awesome. This song has been overplayed, but I still like her a lot.
One thing I did learn was that this is actually a remake. “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975. Joan Jett first heard this song in 1976 when she was in England touring with The Runaways. Joan Jett made the song her own, and it became a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, beginning with this week.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s countdown. With the positive feedback I’ve been getting, we’re going to keep on rolling and be back with a new countdown next week. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: as a wise man once said…”Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”Follow @returntothe80s