Today’s song of the day is the country-crossover hit, “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1981. It replaced Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” at the top spot. Parton’s song returned to the top spot—the last time, to date, that the pop chart featured back-to-back “country” singles in the top position.
According to The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, Rabbitt first got the idea for the song in the ’60s when he was sitting in his small apartment on a rainy night. He sang, “I love a rainy night, I love a rainy night” into a tape recorder, but didn’t complete the song until 1980, when he discovered the tape in his basement. He finished the song with the help of fellow songwriters Even Stevens and David Malloy.
“I Love a Rainy Night” came during Rabbitt’s peak popularity as a crossover artist. The follow-up to “Drivin’ My Life Away” (number one country, number five Hot 100), the song was Rabbitt’s only Hot 100 number one. But his crossover success continued with the follow-ups “Step by Step” and “You and I” (the latter a duet with Crystal Gayle).
In celebration for topping the charts on this day in 1984, today’s Song of the Day is “Jump” by Van Halen. The single was released on December 21, 1983 as the lead single from the 1984 album. s early as 1981, Eddie Van Halen had written the keyboard part that would eventually become this song. It led to contention within the group as David Lee Roth thought it would look like they were selling out to get more radio play. Well it became their first and only #1 with Roth, and everybody loved it. Damn Eddie for making one of the most successful rock bands even more successful! But, using a synthesizer instead of a guitar as the lead instrument was a huge departure for Van Halen. When this first came out, and we heard those keyboards, many people felt Eddie was about a good a keyboard player as guitarist. However, halfway through the song, Van Halen reminds us that they had one of the greatest guitarists in rock as he played an incredible guitar solo.
Here are a few other fun facts:
1984 was the first album recorded at Eddie Van Halen’s 5150 studio.
Eddie used the outro guitar solo at the very end of this song to come up with the idea for the intro guitar riff to Van Halen’s later hit, “Standing On Top (Of The World).”
In an interview with Mix magazine, Daryl Hall said that the Hall & Oates song “Kiss On My List” was an influence on this one. Said Hall: “[Eddie] Van Halen told me that he copied the synth part from ‘Kiss on My List’ and used it in ‘Jump.’ I don’t have a problem with that at all.”
The music video was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards, and won “Best Stage Performance” for the video.
Today’s song is “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton. “For Your Eyes Only” is the theme to the 12th James Bond movie of the same name, written by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson. It reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number eight on the UK Singles Chart. It was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1982.
“9 to 5” was Easton’s first single release in the United States, which was renamed “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” for its release in the US and Canada to avoid confusion with Dolly Parton’s hit movie title song “9 to 5“. “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” became Easton’s first and only number 1 hit in the US and topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in Billboard magazine. “Modern Girl” was released as the follow-up and peaked at number 18.
Bill Conti – who was also responsible for the Bond film’s score – had originally written “For Your Eyes Only” thinking about Donna Summer or Dusty Springfield, singers he thought “fit the Bond style”. Film studio United Artists suggested Sheena Easton, an up-and-coming singer who had just recently had a couple of hits.
Easton is the only artist (to date) to be seen singing the theme song to a Bond movie during its opening titles. The song was released as a single in June 1981, at the same time as the film’s launch. It became a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in the UK, number 1 in the Netherlands and top five in the US (peaking at #4). It remains one of Easton’s biggest hits.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of the release of Jody Watley’s self-titled debut solo album, today’s Song of the Day is Jody’s “Looking for a New Love”. It was released in January 1987 as the first single off of that album. The single hit number two for four consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1987 and spent three weeks at number-one on the Billboard R&B chart. In case you’re curious, it was stuck behind Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and U2’s “With or Without You” for two weeks each. But, the song one of the biggest pop and R&B singles of 1987.
At the 30th Annual Grammy Awards of 1988, Watley won the award for Best New Artist (beating out Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D’Arby and Swing Out Sister), and was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Contrary to popular belief, the catchphrase “Hasta la vista, baby” did not originate from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day – it originated as a lyric from this song, released four years prior to T2.
Other guys will have me, they’ll appreciate my love
Tell me, how does it feel?
Now you’re like the rest, unworthy of my best
Hasta la vista, baby