Top 40 Songs This Week – May 12, 1984: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody, welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. We will continue with songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Today we have a great group of songs. I don’t think there’s a bad one here. So let’s Return to the week ending May 12, 1984, and continue the countdown.

20. “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar

Here is another hit song from the blockbuster Footloose soundtrack. I had never realized that this was released as a single. I just knew the song from the soundtrack. Shalamar was a group created by concert promoter Dick Griffey with help from Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Jody Watley had been a member of this group, but left just before this song came out.

19. “The Reflex” by Duran Duran

Next up is the future #1 hit, “The Reflex” by Double Duran (as they were known as to the late, great MTV VJ J.J. Jackson).

18. “Miss Me Blind” by Culture Club

“Miss Me Blind” was the third single released from the Colour by Numbers album. It had peaked at #5 on the countdown, and was the band’s sixth consecutive Top 10 hit. The backing vocals on this song are performed by Jermaine “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” Stewart.

17. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger

This is the song that put Night Ranger on the map. This was one of the more popular songs of the ’80s.

16. “The Authority Song” by John Cougar Mellencamp

This hit song was off of the album Uh-Huh. This was the first album in which John Cougar started using his real last name – Mellencamp.

15. “Breakdance” by Irene Cara

This was Irene Cara’s final Top 10 single. Ironically, this came out just after I got out of my Break Dancing phase.

14. “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel

Classic song from 1983’s An Innocent Man album. I still like this song today. One thing I had learned in recent years was that Billy Joel sings all the backing vocals in addition to his lead vocals. He recorded 14 different background tracks which were mixed into the song.

Long Distance Dedication

Now we’re up to our Long Distance Dedication. And I am thrilled that I have actually received a dedication from a listener. It comes from Jim, and he writes:

Dear Casey…er, Return To The 80s,

I would like to send out a long distance dedication to the 1980s. When they first came into my life I was hesitant. The late 70s were a good time to be a kid, so I wasn’t ready to let go of them. The 80s soon calmed my fears, though, and we became really good friends. Then, not long after I started college, they went away and were replaced by the 90s. College life was a big enough change…now all of a sudden the music and fashions were changing, and usually not for the best. I really could have used my old friend during those formative years, but the 80s were just becoming a distant memory. Could you play Randy Vanwarmer’s “Just When I Needed You Most” for me?

Thanks,
Jim from Akron OH

OK, Jim. Here is your Long Distance Dedication

That was “Just When I Needed You Most” by Randy Vanwarmer. It was a Top 10 hit peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent two weeks atop the US Billboard adult contemporary chart. Thanks so much for the letter, Jim!

And the countdown continues.

13. “Tonight” by Kool & the Gang

I had forgotten about this song. And I love it. This is my pick for song of the day.

12. “Head Over Heels” by the Go-Go’s

Classic Go-Go’s.

11. “They Don’t Know” by Tracey Ullman

This is another song I had forgotten about. Before she gained fame in the U.S. as a comedic actress, and introducing the world to The Simpsons, she was a singer. This song came off of her debut album, You Broke My Heart in 17 Places. “They Don’t Know” was a remake of a 1979 Kirsty MacColl song, which sounds like a ’60s girl group song. The video for “They Don’t Know” featured a cameo from Paul McCartney; at the time Ullman was filming a minor role in McCartney’s film Give My Regards To Broad Street.

Well, we have almost arrived at our top 10. So, what did you think of these songs, or this countdown in general? And I would like to thank Jim once again for his awesome Long Distance Dedication. I would love to see more of these, so please send your dedications to returntothe80s@gmail.com and/or returntothe80s@yahoo.com.

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6 thoughts on “Top 40 Songs This Week – May 12, 1984: Songs 20-11”

  1. I love Shalamar…except for this song, and of course it’s the only one they play on the radio.

    “The Reflex” is my song of the day, but “Tonight” is a close second.

    I don’t remember “Breakdance.”

    1. I don’t remember hearing anything else from Shalamar. I had not known, until fairly recently, that Jody Watley was in the group.
      And you’re welcome. Feel free to send more requests whenever you want.

      1. Shalamar was a staple on R&B radio, but didn’t get any other Top 40 exposure. Dead Giveaway was my favorite. It might have gotten some play on Night Tracks, come to think of it.

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