Hey Everybody, welcome back to a brand new Top 40 countdown!! This week we will Return to a time when the ’80s were a brand new decade – 1980. This one is so early in the decade that Jimmy Carter was still President. And as far as music goes, the classic ’80s sound had not been fully established yet. There is quite a variety of music that we get to listen to this week. This was a time of country crossover hits, easy listening, R&B, and some rock – not hair band rock yet. Taking a quick glance at this week’s songs, it looks like there are more songs that I don’t know than songs that I do know. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 3, 1980, and discover some new music!
40. “Starting Over Again” by Dolly Parton
We start with a really good Country Crossover song. I actually didn’t know that Dolly had done this song. I had known about this song through Reba McEntire. Reba’s version actually sounds just like this one.
This Country song, “Starting Over Again”, was written by the Queen of Disco – Donna Summer and her husband Bruce Sudano. This song was based on Sudano’s parents’ divorce.
39. “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson
When The Jackson 5 left Motown for Epic Records, Jermaine Jackson who was married to Hazel Gordy, the daughter of Motown owner Berry Gordy, decided to remain with Motown as a solo artist. When this song started, I thought it sounded like a Stevie Wonder song. Ah, no wonder why I thought that! Jermaine had recorded a couple of unsuccessful albums so Berry Gordy became concerned about his son-in-law’s waning career. When he heard a track Stevie Wonder was working on called “Let’s Get Serious,” he thought it would be ideal for Jermaine and persuaded Stevie to let his son-in-law record it. Stevie Wonder even provided some vocals in this song.
38. “Wondering Where the Lions Are” by Bruce Cockburn
Oh man, I bet Bruce Cockburn got made fun of by his classmates when he was a child! When he became a recording artist, why did he not change his last name?!? This song isn’t bad. It’s the classic Singer/Songwriter music from that time. The music kind of reminds me of Jewel’s early music before she thought she could be a Country singer. This was Cockburn’s only Top 40 hit in the U.S.
37. “Let Me Be the Clock” by Smokey Robinson
Please be an alarm clock so you can wake me up when this song is over. Next!!
36. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
Queen is my favorite band, so I love this song – even if it is overplayed. This was Queen’s first #1 hit in the U.S. Not long after Freddie Mercury died, the surviving members of Queen putting together a Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, where different artists would perform with the band. I remember them doing this song, and getting emotional at the part “Are you ready,” and then everybody sang, “Ready Freddie.”
Ah, the digital age! I found it! This starts with the Led Zeppelin classic “Thank You”, then goes into “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
And here is the regular video for the song
35. “The Seduction (Love Theme from American Gigolo)” The James Last Band
This is an instrumental song. Not a very exciting one either.
34. “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” by The Clash
Forgot about this one. This was the third and final single from their classic London Calling album. This is a very good song. We needed it after that last song.
33. “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree
This classic Soft Rock tune is probably my favorite of the 10 songs we are covering today. This was the first single from Robbie Dupree’s self-titled debut album, and would be his biggest hit.
32. “Fire in the Morning” by Melissa Manchester
This is another outstanding Soft Rock song. I did not know about this song before. I was mainly familiar with Melissa Manchester’s hits “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “You Should Hear How She Talks About You“. I really like this song a lot.
31. “And the Beat Goes On” by The Whispers
The Whispers were formed in 1964, and they did not have their first Top 20 hit until this song came out in 1980. They would go on to have an even bigger hit – 1987’s “Rock Steady“. This is a really good song. Nice way to end today’s portion of the countdown.
What do you think of the countdown so far? Did you find any new songs here that you like? There were a couple of stinkers in there, but I think overall this is a pretty good countdown so far.Follow @returntothe80s