We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free. Memorial Day speech – May 26, 1983
Hi Everybody, I’m sorry for the lack of posts this week. Yours truly ran a 5K obstacle course race this past weekend. At the end of one of the obstacles, I had to jump from a barrel into water, then run up a bank. When I landed in the water, I had the pleasant surprise of landing on the side of a rock just right so my ankle twisted and sprained pretty good. Being the lunatic that I am, I did end up finishing the race. But, when I took my shoe and sock off when I got home, my ankle literally blew up like a balloon. Luckily, it’s just a sprain. But, it is very difficult to think and write with my laptop while lying on my back with my leg raised. Hopefully, I’ll be back better than ever by next week. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some fun ’80s commercials. See you soon!
Ahh, Remember the days when there would be a craze about something that wasn’t electronic? The Rubik’s Cube, an iconic symbol of the ’80s turns 40 today. The Rubik’s Cube had six sides, with each side covered with nine stickers. The colors were white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. You would twist and turn all the rows until the colors were scattered all over the place. In order to solve the puzzle, you had to get each side all the same color.
Without cheating, I could usually get 2 sides. But, that was about it. I think I got 3 sides once by accident. But the easiest way to get all the colors to match would be to peel the stickers off, then stick them back on where you wanted them to be.
However, you could tell that the person cheated because you could see the stickers bent up a little. Here is how I could solve the puzzle:
Yes, you could pull the blocks apart, and then piece them back together. The downside to that was that the blocks would be a little loose after you did that, and they would wiggle a little. But, you could show your friends that you solved the puzzle, and not let them touch it.
In 1982, there was a World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. There were pavilions that represented each country (similar to the World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot). The inventor of the Rubik’s cube was Erno Rubik, who was from Hungary. Outside the Hungarian pavilion was this giant Rubik’s Cube that turned by itself:
The craze was huge in the early to mid 80’s. Everybody had one. If they didn’t have the actual cube, they had the keychain version. And there are also many kinds of competions on who can slove it the fastest. Here are some other different competitions:
– Blindfolded solving
– Solving the Cube with one person blindfolded and the other person saying what moves to do, known as “Team Blindfold”
– Solving the Cube underwater in a single breath
– Solving the Cube using a single hand
– Solving the Cube with one’s feet
There was also the spinoff Rubik’s Snake:
If you get a Rubik’s Cube nowadays, there probably wouldn’t be a challenge in solving it. All you would need to do is look online, and get the steps there. I guess that beats peeling the stickers off.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s top 40 countdown. Every song in this top 10 is just pure classic ’80s. You can catch up if you missed songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. Now, let’s Return to the week ending May 12, 1984, and finish up the countdown.
10. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
A beautiful ballad from Cyndi’s debut album, She’s So Unusual. This song was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1985 Grammy Awards.
9. “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry
This was Steve Perry’s biggest solo hit, from his debut album Street Talk. This song was written by Perry for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, who also appeared in the music video.
8. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
This is the second song from the Footloose soundtrack on this countdown. Out of the many soundtrack songs that Kenny Loggins performed in the ’80s, this is probably the most recognizable.
7. “You Might Think” by The Cars
The groundbreaking video for this song was one of the first videos to use computer graphics. This is one of the best music videos of the ’80s, and the song itself is outstanding as well.
6. “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
In this video, is Julio Iglesias overdressed, or is Willie Nelson underdressed?
5. “Love Somebody” by Rick Springfield
Awesome Rick Springfield song. This is from his Hard to Hold album, which was the movie soundtrack for Hard to Hold.
4. “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” by Deniece Williams
I’m thinking that Footloose had a pretty decent soundtrack! I got sick of this one pretty fast when it came out, but I like it a little more now. And it was featured in a great scene in the movie where Ren was teaching Willard how to dance. This song was a #1 hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
3. “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins
This is an ultimate ’80s song. This is one of my favorite Thompson Twins songs, and I still love it.
2. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins
This classic Phil Collins tune got overplayed on the radio when it came out. There have been several covers ever since, and is constantly used in every singing competition show on television. Years removed from it’s initial release, I am liking this song once again.
1. “Hello” by Lionel Richie
Speaking of overplayed songs, we have now arrived at our #1 song. I love Lionel Richie. But, I don’t even think this is in his top 5 ballads. It’s still a great song, and one of Richie’s best known songs.
I don’t know about you, but I think this was a pretty good week of ’80s songs. 30 years later, these songs still sound great. We’ll be back next week with another round of a top 40 countdown. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
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?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
Hello again everybody, and welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the previous 10 songs, you can go back and check them out. Let’s just jump into things today, and Return to the week ending May 12, 1984, and continue the countdown.
30. “Automatic” by The Pointer Sisters
This is the Pointers second entry in this week’s Top-40. This was released off of The Pointer Sisters’ appropriately named album, Break Out. Oldest sister, Ruth, did an outstanding job providing the lead vocals on this song.
29. “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions
This was my introduction to the Scorpions. It was “Love at First Sting!”
28. “Self Control” by Laura Branigan
Laura Branigan was mainly known for her smash hit, “Gloria”. But she had so many other great songs, including this one. What an incredible voice!
27. “The Heart of Rock ‘n Roll” by Huey Lewis & The News
Like most of the songs that were released off of the Sports album, this song got a ton of radio and MTV airplay, to say the least. This used to be a good song until it got played to death.
26. “White Horse” by Laid Back
Um, OK. This song is about heroin. I think you need to be on heroin to enjoy this one.
25. “Borderline” by Madonna
Ah, the good old days! I still love all the very early Madonna music. I was really, really hoping her last album would be great. Oh well. Maybe in her next “reinvention”, she should go retro. This song was always one of my favorites by her.
24. “A Fine, Fine Day” by Tony Carey
This is a solo effort from the former Rainbow keyboardist. Not bad, not great.
23. “No More Words” by Berlin
This is my favorite Berlin song, which was their first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
22. “I’ll Wait” by Van Halen
This is the second single from the classic 1984 album. It’s not my favorite song from the album. But I do love the keyboards at the beginning of the song.
21. “Don’t Answer Me” by The Alan Parsons Project
We’ll wrap up today’s list of songs with my pick for the best song today. This was the first music video from The Alan Parsons Project.
Did you have any favorite songs today? There were only 2 on today’s list that I did not remember, and I was not too crazy about either one. There are going to be some good classics tomorrow, so come back.
Hello again everybody, and welcome to the Top 40 Countdown. We’ll count down the most popular songs in the USA straight off the Billboard Top 40 chart from the week ending May 12, 1984. By this time, MTV was well established. So there will be several well produced music videos. This is going to be an outstanding week of music. There is going to be quite a variety of awesome ’80s music.
Let’s Return to the week ending May 12, 1984 as our countdown begins….
40. “Modern Day Delilah” by Van Stephenson
Van Stephenson breaks into the Top 40 this week with his biggest hit, “Modern Day Delilah”. Stephenson, a singer-songwriter, was mainly known for writing songs for other artists such as Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, Dan Seals, Janie Fricke, John Anderson, and Restless Heart. In the ’90s, Stephenson became tenor vocalist in the country music band BlackHawk. He had to leave the group in early 2000 to battle cancer. Sadly, he died on the morning of April 8, 2001 as a result of the disease. But, he did leave behind some good music, including this song, “Modern Day Delilah”.
39. “Stay the Night” by Chicago
Next up, another song breaking into the Top-40 this week. This is the song that put Chicago on my radar. While this is an outstanding song, the music video is even better. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear this song is Peter Cetera clinging to the hood of the red convertible and the incredible car-chases.
38. “Love Will Show Us How” by Christine McVie
As far as Fleetwood Mac members going solo, Stevie Nicks was the most successful, far and away. But, Christine McVie’s 1984 self-titled album was moderately succesful, as it featured “Got a Hold on Me” and this song, “Love Will Show Us How”.
37. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
Next up is this week’s biggest drop, going from 24 to 37. Let’s face it, the only reason the song was in a position to be ranked so high in the first place (it actually peaked at #2 at one point), was a certain familiar voice that sings the chorus.
36. “My Ever Changing Moods” by The Style Council
Here is another Top-40 debut this week. “My Ever Changing Moods” would eventually be The Style Council’s biggest hit, peaking at #29. I only knew The Style Council from having the only song on the Vision Quest soundtrack that I would usually skip by – “Shout to the Top.”
This song isn’t too bad. Parts of it reminds me of Santana’s “Smooth.”
35. “Jump (For My Love)” by The Pointer Sisters
This song came out in the middle of The Pointer Sisters’ incredible string of hits in the ’80s. The original title of this song was just “Jump”. However the “(For My Love)” was added to avoid confusion with Van Halen’s smash hit that was released earlier in the year.
34. “Run Runaway” by Slade
Next up in the countdown, we have ourselves a glam metal band. Slade was probably best known for being a huge influence on other bands such as Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, and of course Quiet Riot. Quiet Riot’s big breakthrough came from covering Slade’s “Cum On Feel the Noize“. They also covered Slade’s and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now“.
With the resounding success of “Cum On Feel the Noize“, attention was given to Slade. So they began a comeback in the mid-’80s.
“Run Runaway” is a great song that has a Celtic Rock sound to it.
33. “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)” by Joe Jackson
This is a good song that seems to have Jazz influences.
32. “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk
This song by the British synthpop band Talk Talk is probably better known from No Doubt’s successful remake. This is a very good song, no matter who performs it.
31. “Show Me” by The Pretenders
And we’ll wrap up the countdown today with “Show Me” from the Pretnders’ third album, Learning to Crawl.
Fun fact: Chrissie Hynde named the album “Learning to Crawl” because her daughter, Natalie Rae Hynde, was learning to crawl at the time that Hynde was trying to determine a name for the album.
Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s music. There will be more ’80s awesomeness as the week goes on.