Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. This has been an exciting week for ’80s music! Today, there may be a few songs we haven’t heard much of. However, this list is covered with very familiar songs, and legendary artists. Let’s conclude this week’s countdown, and check them out!
Bucks Fizz was a U.K. pop group that had enormous success in Europe from 1981-84. Although they had no hits in the U.S., they had a string of top 10 hits in the early ’80s. This song was their 6th Top 10 hit.
This song by the synth-pop group, would peak at #3 in the U.K. It did not chart on the Mainstream U.S. chart, but did hit #1 in the U.S. Dance Clubs. I love this band, and Alison Moyet’s voice is so mesmerizing for me.
This one is a bit familiar to everyone around the world. This was the opening track on Thriller, and the fourth single released. It would peak right here this week at #8 in the U.K., and reach #5 in the U.S.
Has anybody seen the Elton John movie, Rocketman? I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard it wasn’t that great. Anyway, this was one of Elton John’s biggest hits of the ’80s. It would peak at #5 in the U.K. and #4 in the U.S.
This was the third single released from Wham!’s debut album, Fantastic. I was not familiar with this song. If I had heard of it when it was first released, I would have made fun of it. I was in the beginning of my rocker phase, and Wham! singing about bad boys would have been funny to me.
Here is a smash hit by the late, great David Bowie, from his iconic Let’s Dance album. This song was written by Bowie and Iggy Pop in 1977, and actually first appeared on Iggy Pop’s debut solo album The Idiot. But, this version was the more successful.
Here is another music legend. This song was Rod Stewart’s final #1 single in the U.K. As the decade went on, Stewart was actually more popular in the U.S. He had a huge amount of success with his Out of Order album in the U.S. This song, from his Body Wishes album, peaked at #14 in the U.S.
And we wrap up this week’s countdown with what I consider one of the most overrated and overplayed songs of the ’80s. There were so many much better songs on their Synchronicity album. However, this is the one that became their signature song. It was a #1 hit in the U.S. for 8 straight weeks, and was #1 here in the U.K. for 4 straight weeks. I may think the song is overrated, but there’s no denying its success. And it does give me nostalgia for the ’80s. So there’s that.
Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. What a great week of music! I hope you enjoyed it. What were some of your favorite songs? The next Top 40 will be back in the U.S. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
The Midge Ure-led New Wave band never charted high in the U.S. However, this is a different story in the U.K. where they scored seven Top 10 albums and seventeen Top 40 singles. This song, from their 6th album Quartet, would peak at #18.
Mike Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist and composer. Scottish vocalist Maggie Reilly, who had collaborated with Mike Oldfield since 1980, performed the vocals on this song. While it did not chart in the U.S., this song was a smash hit all over the rest of the world, topping the charts in many countries. It would peak at #4 here. In the U.S., Mike Oldfield may be best known for his 1973 song, “Tubular Bells“. Don’t recognize that name? Well it is best known here as the theme for the film, The Exorcist.
Kajagoogoo was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. with their smash, “Too Shy”. But, they had a few more hits in the U.K., including this one. This was the third single released from their debut album White Feathers. It would peak at #13 here.
This is the first of two Top 40 hits for the Scottish band H2O. It was released just ahead of their debut album, Faith. It would peak right here at #17. Their follow-up single “Just Outside of Heaven” reached No. 38 later the same year. They had no more hits after that, which led to their break-up in 1985.
Long before Shaquille O’Neal came out with his Shaq Attaq sneaker line (which you would need to take out a second mortgage in order to afford), this jazz-funk band, Shakatak, went on a string of hits in the U.K. This song would peak right here at #15.
The legendary Bob Marley recorded this song in 1978. It was released on his posthumous 1983 album Confrontation. According to Wikipedia, the title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as “Buffalo Soldiers”, that fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. Marley linked their fight to a fight for survival, and recasts it as a symbol of black resistance.
Oddly, this song was covered by Vanilla Ice in 2008.
The soulful Youngstown, Ohio native didn’t score very big in his home country. But, he had a big hit with this song in the U.K., where it peaked at #6. I like this song a lot. It has a “Turn Your Love Around” vibe to it.
Shalamar had limited success in the States, unfortunately. They should have been way bigger. But, our friends in the U.K. appreciated them! This song did do pretty well in the U.S., peaking at #22. But, it landed all the way up to #8 in the U.K. This was off of Shalamar’s album, The Look, which would be the final album with Jody Watley as part of the group as she would embark on a successful solo career.
Here is another song that was moderately successful in the States (charting at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, #21 on the Soul singles chart and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart), but shot up the charts in the U.K., peaking right here at #11.
What a great list today! I think this was my favourite of the week so far. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. We’ll take a day to take this all in, and wrap up the countdown on Friday.
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today’s list has a lot of songs that were not big in the U.S., so they are new to a lot of us. And these are really good songs. It is always fun to discover new old music.
Again, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s continue the countdown.
This cover of the 1962 Marvin Gaye song was a huge hit for Paul Young in the U.K. It was a breakthrough song for him, and would go on to top the U.K. charts for 3 weeks. However, it did not fare well in the U.S., only peaking at #70. A few years later, this song was on the Ruthless People soundtrack.
Imagination is one of those bands that did not cross over well to the U.S., but were huge in the U.K. The English three piece band had a huge run in the early ’80s, scoring 9 Top 40 hits between 1981 and 1984. This song was one of them, peaking at 29.
This song is a cover of the 1963 Andy Williams song. U.S. audiences know The Beat as The English Beat. This was done to avoid confusion with an American band called The Beat, which was active at the same time. This song was on The Beat’s 1980 album, I Just Can’t Stop It. It wasn’t released until 1983. This was at the same time that the band was breaking up. It was their fifth and final top ten UK hit, and their highest charting single release ever.
Mark this one under “You learn something new everyday.” I learned that The Imposter is a pseudonym that Elvis Costello used. This song was on Costello’s 1983 album, Punch the Clock which also featured “Everyday I Write the Book”.
Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO) moved back to their old-school rock roots with this song, after their progressive pop phase with Xanadu. This was another song that was a hit in both the U.S. and U.K. It peaked at #13 in the U.K. and #19 in the U.S.
There is almost no information out there about this song, and it is not available on Amazon. But, I really like this one a lot. The Truth released several singles before their debut album in 1985. And this was one of those songs. This actually sounds like a 1979/80 ELO song.