It’s coming up on that time of year again! Since last year’s inaugural Return to the ’80s March Madness Tournament was a success, we will make this an annual thing. Last year was all about Hall & Oates (with “Out of Touch” being their most popular song among Return to the ’80s readers.
For those of you who discovered this site within this past year, here’s how this works. We take an artist, and place their 16 biggest hits in brackets, and have the same format as the NCAA basketball tournament. Two songs will be pitted against each other for several days, and the winner moves on in the tournament. We keep narrowing it down, until we have a winner. You can vote on this site, as well as on Twitter, and the main Facebook page and the Facebook group page. I will add the votes together.
This year I’m going to need your help to get this started. I am having a difficult time choosing which artist to cover. This is where you come in. I have listed some of the top musical icons of the ’80s. So, please vote for the artist who you would like to see in this year’s tournament. I will leave the voting open for a week. You can vote here, and in the Facebook Group. The Facebook page and Twitter don’t allow enough options, so those pages won’t be used until the actual tournament begins. I have listed Phil Collins (his solo and duet stuff – not Genesis), Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and Bon Jovi. I should also note that only the singles that charted in the ’80s will be in the actual tournament. I have also allowed the option to write in somebody that is not on the list.
Thank you so much for your help! This should be fun! And unlike any political election, no matter who wins, we all win.
Welcome back to the conclusion of this week’s countdown! If you’d like to go back too check out the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. It has been fun going back to this transitional part of my life. We may have been heading into the ’90s, but there are definitely some classic ’80s songs here. So, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and wrap up this week’s countdown.
The synth-pop group followed up their smash hit, “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” with another Top 10 hit. In that previous song, they had sampled Leonard Nimoy’s voice from the Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy”. In this song, they sampled William Shatner as James T. Kirk saying “It is useless to resist us” from the Star Trek episode, “Mirror, Mirror”, and James Doohan as Scotty saying “Let’s Go See!” from the Star Trek episode, “Wolf in the Fold”. They did not have any other top 10 hits after this song. Maybe they needed to sample Doctor McCoy saying “I’m a doctor, not a ____”.
My second ’80s crush of this countdown! This was the first song released from Samantha’s third album, I Wanna Have Some Fun. I always loved her music. And 16-18 year old me really appreciated that every one of her songs at that time were about sex or love…but mostly sex. Pretty much the pop version of the band Kiss.
This was one of Sheena Easton’s biggest hits in the U.S., peaking at #2. After having a strong run throughout the early ’80s, this would be her final Top 10 hit. This song was written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Daryl Simmons, who were quite the powerhouse at that time.
This awesome ballad would be Tiffany’s final Top 10 hit. I personally think she is very underrated. She has a very cool and unique voice, and puts a lot of emotion into her songs. And she is another ’80s artist who is still out there recording new music….most recently, 2018’s Pieces of Me.
2-3-4!!! Bon Jovi was not slowing down one bit at this time. This was the 2nd single released from the New Jersey album, and was the 2nd of 5 Top 10 songs from that album alone. That was the most top 10 hits for any hard rock album.
Thanks Wikipedia for letting us know that the title is a reference to the phrase “doin’ the wild thing,” a euphemism for sex. Duh!!!! This song would peak at #2. It is a lot of fun. I do like rap with guitar and heavy drums. As usual, if a rap song has a great rock sound to it, that means it was stolen. In this case, it used an uncredited sample of Van Halen’s “Jamie’s Cryin'”. There was a lawsuit that was settled out of court.
Great power ballad by the Canadian rock group, Sheriff. This song was released in 1983 with minor success. Then in November 1988, Brian Philips, Program Director at KDWB in Minneapolis, and WKTI in Milwaukee began playing the song, and eventually other radio stations nationally followed suit. The song shot up to number 1, which was four years after the band separated in 1985. Freddy Curci held the final note of the song for 19.4 seconds, making it the longest-held note for a male pop singer. Curci went on to form the supergroup Alias, and is still with them to this day.
This was the third song released from Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl album (after “Knocked Out” and “The Way That You Love Me”), but this is the one that shot her up to superstardom. This was the first week the song topped the charts, and would stay here for 3 weeks. She had a long string of hits in a short time after this. And the former Laker Girl already had a huge career as a choreographer in many, many music videos and blockbuster movies.
Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. We’ll be heading back to the U.K. next time. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.