Welcome back as we continue this week’s Top-40 Countdown! We are beginning to wind down. If you missed the previous songs, you still can catch songs 40-31 and 30-21. We get another good list of songs today! Yesterday’s theme seemed to be heavy on the R&B side. Today’s songs are heavy on the dance/freestyle side. This is another solid list of songs. As I had mentioned previously, I was a little nervous heading into this week trying to follow up 1983’s Top 40 list. But, 1988 was pretty good in its own right. So let’s Return to the week ending April 23, 1988, and continue the countdown with songs 20-11.
20. “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” by Foreigner
If this song came out now, I probably would not like it. But, since I was crushing on Debbie Gibson at the time that this came out, I liked it. Debbie Gibson actually was/is very talented. She could sing, dance, play her own instruments and *gasp* write her own music!
18. “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz
This is a very good late-’80s song. I do remember it being played on the radio a lot, but I didn’t mind it.
17. “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” by Samantha Fox
I was always into rock music. But, for some reason (other than her looks) I loved every song Samantha Fox did in the late’80s/early ’90s. This is a fun song with the hip-hop group Full Force backing up Samantha.
16. “Always On My Mind” by Pet Shop Boys
I love Willie Nelson’s original version of this song, but the Pet Shop Boys did a really good job making it their own. The Pet Shop Boys version is more of a dance song. In this video, the song doesn’t really start for a couple of minutes. There’s a bit of a skit at the beginning. I think the old guy that is in the cab is the bad guy from Lethal Weapon 2:
“Diplomatic immunity” BAM!!!
“Has just been revoked!”
15. “Rocket 2 U” by The Jets
This is a good dance song by The Jets. They were really on a roll in the late ’80s with a long string of hits. This isn’t my favorite song by them, but it’s pretty good.
Long Distance Dedication
I have not received any Long Distance Dedications yet. Feel free to email them to me at email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now this is not going to be a typical dedication today.
Dear Casey Return to the ’80s,
Today would have been Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark’s 54th birthday. Sadly, he died of a codeine overdose at the young age of 30 on January 8, 1991. In such a short time, he left quite a legacy, writing and playing some of the best rock songs of all-time. While Vivian Campbell is rocking it as Def Leppard’s guitarist, it is heartbreaking that Steve Clark is no longer with us. With that, today’s dedication goes out to Steve Clark and his fans. It is one of the most popular Def Leppard songs, and one that Clark co-wrote: “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”.
Now back to the Countdown.
14. “Electric Blue” by Icehouse
The song title and band name did not ring a bell with me. But, it’s another one of those songs that I remembered as soon as I heard the chorus. Icehouse was an Australian rock/synthpop band. This song was written by Iva Davies of Icehouse and John Oates (yes, THE John Oates). Oates has stated that if Davies had not released the song under the Icehouse name then it would have been a Hall and Oates track.
They probably could have used this song at this point in their career. I really like this one a lot.
13. “One Step Up” by Bruce Springsteen
I had forgotten about this one. It’s OK. Not very exciting.
12. “Some Kind of Lover” by Jody Watley
I Don’t remember this song at all – even after I heard it. This was the fourth single released from Jodey Watley’s self-titled debut. I remember “Looking for a New Love” and “Don’t You Want Me“. This song is OK. I like those other songs better though.
11. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson
We’ll wrap up today’s portion of the countdown with this MJ classic. This is one of my favorite songs by him. I’m a sucker for songs that have a choir (with the exception of the way overplayed “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner). So I love this song and “Will You Be There“. This song was the fourth single released from the legendary Thriller follow-up, Bad.
Are you still liking this countdown so far? There are more great songs in the top 10. And once again, surprisingly, there aren’t too many songs on the list, if any, that I’m sick of. We’ll be back tomorrow with your Top-10.
Welcome back as we continue this week’s Top-40 Countdown! If you missed yesterday’s list, you can catch songs 40-31. Today’s songs do not disappoint! There are quite a few R&B songs that I really like a lot. Most of the songs for today are very good, and you don’t hear very many of them on the radio anymore. Let’s Return to the week ending April 23, 1988, and continue the countdown.
30. “I Want Her” by Keith Sweat
This was the first single from Keith Sweat’s debut album, Make It Last Forever. In addition to making it all the way to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, “I Want Her” topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart for three weeks, and became the most successful number one single of 1988 on the Billboard Hot R&B chart.
29. “Piano In the Dark” by Brenda Russell
This is a really good song that became Brenda Russell’s biggest hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 8 on the R&B Chart and number 3 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. This song got heavy airplay at the time it came out, but I didn’t mind it.
28. “Check It Out” by John Cougar Mellencamp
This song is OK. I much prefer his earlier work. In other words – John Cougar > John Cougar Mellencamp
27. “Pamela” by Toto
I had not remembered this song. I like most of Toto’s songs, including this one.
26. “You Don’t Know” by Scarlett & Black
Scarlett and Black were a pop duo of Robin Hild and Sue West who are from the U.K. They had been backing vocalists for Doctor and the Medics (“Spirit in the Sky”). In 1987, they released their self-titled debut album. “You Don’t Know” was the first single off of that album and peaked at #20. They weren’t able to capitalize on this hit, as their next single, “Let Yourself Go-Go” did not do well at all. The duo was short lived as they broke up after that.
Sue West went on to play with Sparkle Jet UK from the mid 90’s to early 2000’s, and Robin Hild continues to work as a songwriter.
25. “I Wish I Had a Girl” by Henry Lee Summer
I did not know anything about this song. I really like it. In this song Henry Lee Summer sounds like a mashup of John Fogerty and John Cougar doing “Hurts So Good”. After reading about him, this makes sense. Like John Cougar, Henry Lee Summer is from Indiana.
24. “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx
After years of making a career as a backup singer, and writing songs for other artists, Richard Marx finally burst into public conciousness in 1987 with his smash, self-titled debut album. This was the third single released from that album. He went on a huge hot streak becoming the first solo artist to have his first seven singles hit the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. This song is a perfect song to lead into the summer.
23. “Fishnet” by Morris Day
This is another song that did not look familiar when I saw the title, but remembered it as soon as I heard it. This song was Morris Day’s most successful solo hit.
22. “Two Occasions” by The Deele
This is the second song in a row that did not look familiar when I saw the title. But I remembered this one at the chorus. The Deele had a couple of famous members in their group – Babyface and L.A. Reid. This is another really good song that I like.
21. “Wait” by White Lion
I loved this song when it came out. There weren’t any other rock songs that sounded like it. I like most White Lion songs. This is a very good way to wrap up today’s list of songs.
So, did you enjoy today’s songs as much as I did? It may not be the 1983 list, but this one is holding it’s own. There are going to be some more good songs this week as well.
Hi Everybody, It’s a new week, and time for a new countdown. I don’t think there is any way that any other week can beat last week’s 1983 countdown. This week, we’ll jump ahead to 1988. This is the year I graduated high school. So at this point in time, I was getting ready to wrap up school. The weather was getting a lot nicer, and school was getting more laid back. What were you doing back then?
I was 17 at the time of this countdown, so I figured that I would know every song on here. I figured wrong. I think there are more songs on here that I don’t remember than ones that I do! This can be a good thing. I love discovering new (to me) music. I hope you enjoy this week’s countdown. Let’s Return to the week ending April 23, 1988, and begin the countdown.
40. “One Good Reason” by Paul Carrack
About the only non-Mike + The Mechanics Paul Carrack song I knew was “Don’t Shed a Tear” – which I love. I figured I would like this one too. I was right. And then I remembered it when the song hit the chorus. This was the title track of Paul Carrack’s third solo album, which also featured the aforementioned “Don’t Shed a Tear.”
39. “Strange But True” by Times Two
This song is OK. It has a typical late-’80s sound, which isn’t bad. I had not heard of this song until I covered it in the One Hit Wonders series.
Times Two was a duo of Shanti Jones and Johnny Dollar. Their their only hit, “Strange But True”, came from their 1988 debut album ,X2. That same year, Times Two was the opening act for Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue Tour.
In 1990, the band released a follow-up EP called “Danger Is My Business” and a new single, “Set Me Free.” Neither made any impact on the charts.
Johnny Dollar now goes by Giovanni Di Morente and performs with El Radio Fantastique in the San Francisco Bay area.
Shanti Jones’ band is Sex and Reverb and he has produced several CDs.
38. “Everything Your Heart Desires” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
Here is a forgotten hit of the ’80s. This is not nearly as good as their heyday in the earl-mid ’80s, but it’s still not bad.
37. “Going Back to Cali” by LL Cool J
This came out when I didn’t listen to too much rap anymore. But I loved Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, and this song by LL Cool J. This song, from the Less Than Zero soundtrack, was produced by Rick Rubin.
36. “My Girl” by Suave
This remake of the 1964 Temptations classic actually isn’t too bad. It kind of reminds me of Club Nouveau’s “Lean On Me” remake.
35. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
Everybody knows this song. Those of us that were around, when this song came out, could not escape from it on the radio or MTV. And thanks to “Rickrolling,” the young internet generation knows about it too.
Welcome to the conclusion of this week’s countdown. We have arrived to the top 10 songs in the country this week in 1983. If you missed the previous songs, you can catch up by checking out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. All of today’s songs may be very familiar to you. But, they are all great songs. Now, let’s Return to the week ending April 16, 1983, and count down the top 10 songs.
10.”Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” by Culture Club
Yes!! No, that’s not me being excited about this song. I was just answering the question. Culture Club falls into that “Wham!” category for me. They are both bands that I did not care for at the time that they were around, but I appreciate them more now. This song does bring back that ’80s nostalgia, but they had better songs. This was Culture Club’s breakout hit though. It reached all the way up to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for 3 weeks, from the end of March through the beginning of April. It was kept out of the top spot by the song that is still #1 this week.
9. “Der Kommissar” by After the Fire
Here is a classic ’80s song! This was first recorded by Falco in 1981. A year later, After the Fire recorded this song, and it became their only hit.
8. “Separate Ways (World’s Apart)” by Journey
One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. Break out the air keyboards, and jam away!!
7. “One On one” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
Classic Hall & Oates song from a time when they were on top of their game.
6. “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran
This is the first Duran Duran song I ever heard, and it is one of my favorites. It is yet another classic ’80s song. Great video too.
5. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson
What do you get when you combine the ultimate ’80s pop icon and one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived? Epic ’80s Awesomeness!!
4. “Jeopardy” by The Greg Kihn Band
Honestly, if your grandchildren or great grandchildren want to know anything about ’80s music, you could just show them this top 10 list! This is another classic ’80s song, and typical great ’80s video.
3. “Mr. Roboto” by Styx
I love Styx, and this is a fun song from the Kilroy Was Here album. Unfortunately, this caused a huge rift in the band that they could never recover from. The band started to move into a more keyboard oriented direction. This did not sit well with guitarists James Young and Tommy Shaw. Shaw ended up leaving the band for a while. He eventually came back. Then Dennis DeYoung was kicked out.
2. “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners
This was a huge hit for Dexys Midnight Runners. It was also their only hit in the U.S. They were much more popular in the U.K. This is another classic ’80s song, yet it does not have any synthesizers. This was such a huge hit for them that next week it actually unseats the upcoming #1 song.
1. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
This was “Billie Jeans”‘s 7th week in a row at the #1 spot. This was the second single released off of the legendary Thriller album. Since the first song released was “The Girl Is Mine”, I would say that it was “Billie Jean” that propelled Thriller to the status of best-selling album of all time and sealed Jackson’s status as an international pop icon.
Did you enjoy this week’s songs. We’ll be back next week. If you listened to The American Top 40 with Casey Kasem back in the day, you know that a popular spot in the show was the Long Distance Dedications. If you would like to make a long distance dedication, you can email them to me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to have fun with them too. They don’t have to be serious. The only requirement would be to have the song be from the ’80s and earlier. In the ’80s Casey Kasem used to play some dedicated songs from the ’60s and ’70s. So, we could do the same here. So, until next week, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.