Welcome back to this weeks Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can still check them out. We have a pretty good variety of music today. We have Pop, Rock, and R&B. Oh, and maybe a little bit of…Disco [shudder]. So, let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending January 5, 1980. On with the countdown!
Unfortunately, in the U.S., Abba is mainly known for “Dancing Queen.” But, they were much more than that. They were a very good pop band. This was a nice song, which was their first single from the Voulez-Vous album.
I think Dionne Warwick had many other songs that were better than this one. But, this song did win her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In a couple of weeks from now, Dionne Warwick, along with Glen Campbell, would host a 2 hour special called Solid Gold ’79. It was a 2 hour special which counted down the top 50 songs of 1979. It was so successful that in the fall of this year, Solid Gold would become a weekly series, hosted by Dionne Warwick.
British prog-rock band The Alan Parsons Project were beginning to catch on in the States at this point. In the late ’70s/early ’80s, they were actually more popular in the U.S. than in their own home country. This is a pretty good song if you are into progressive rock.
Yes kids, before he voiced Chef on South Park, Isaac Hayes was a huge Soul singer and songwriter. He co-wrote Dionne Warwick’s “Déjà Vu” from earlier in this countdown. He also co-wrote “Soul Man,” which was first performed by Sam & Dave, then further popularized by The Blues Brothers. And, of course, he is best known for providing the musical score for the 1971 movie Shaft, and won the Best Original Song Academy Award for the “Theme from Shaft.” This made him the third African-American, after Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel, to win an Academy Award in any competitive field.
Let’s put it this way, this song finally gets better when the DISCO kicks in at the 1:45 mark. Yes, Disco actually improved this song. Thank you Donna Summer!
This song was recorded for Streisand’s album, Wet. It was also a new track on Donna Summer’s greatest hits album, On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2.
That wraps up the countdown for today. Today wasn’t a bad day, but I’m hoping tomorrow will be better. I know that I love 4 of the songs that are coming up tomorrow, and I’m not familiar with 6 of them. Maybe will discover more awesome music tomorrow. See you then!
[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text
Welcome to a new year of the Top 40 Countdown! We’ll begin the first week of this year with the first top 40 countdown of the ’80s. This should be an interesting week as these songs were released in 1979. At this point in my life, I was still listening to whatever my parents were listening to. There are several songs, in each list this week, that I was unfamiliar with. If you’re anything like me, get ready to redeem any iTunes gift cards you may have gotten over the holiday season. There may be some good songs that you will discover this week, and will want to download. So, let’s Return to the week ending January 5, 1980, and begin the countdown!
We’ll begin the countdown with a nice, soulful song. I mainly know The O’Jays from their ’70s hit “Love Train“.
This R&B ballad would be The O’Jays last single to reach the top 40 on the pop charts as a group.
Rita Coolidge had a string of hits in the mid-’70s. This song was a big comeback single in 1979 for Coolidge. She would go on to sing one of my favorite James Bond themes – “All Time High” from Octopussy. I like this song a lot too.
The first countdown of the ’80s has music all over the map. We go from Southern Rock to Rap. This iconic song by the Sugarhill Gang pretty much kickstarted the rap craze. One incredible fact about this song is that it was recorded in a single take.
Next up is an instrumental jazz song from Herb Alpert’s 1979 album, Rise. This song makes me feel like I’m on hold with my health insurance company. While listening to this, I’m waiting for the song to be interrupted with: “Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold, and the next available operator will take your call.”
This is one of my favorite Eagles songs. The songwriters were just a bit talented: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bob Seger and J. D. Souther. This song reached the #1 spot on the Hot 100 for one week in November of ’79. It would be the Eagles’ last chart topper.
This song may have been released in 1979, but it totally has a classic ’80s sound. I love it!
Fun Fact: The baby on the cover of the single is M founder, Robin Scott’s daughter Berenice. She is currently a singer and piano/keyboard player and composer.
This is a cover of Barbara Mason’s 1965 R&B hit.
Teri DeSario is a singer from Miami, and was a high school classmate of Casey (the lead singer and songwriter or KC and the Sunshine Band). Casey produced DeSario’s second studio album, Moonlight Madness. He liked Barbara Mason’s “Yes, I’m Ready,” and the record label president of Casablanca Records, Neil Bogart, had the idea to record the song as a duet. It would go on to be a #2 hit on the Hot 100.
That wraps up the first 10 songs of the countdown. I get a little nervous when I go early into the decade because I may be unfamiliar with a lot of the songs. But so far, there is no reason to fear. I think this was a good start to the countdown. There were even a couple of songs, “Rapper’s Delight” and “Pop Muzik”, that would be a huge influence on a lot of the music that was to come in the ’80s. We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown. I hope to see you then!