Category Archives: 1980

Episode 8: Year in Review – 1980

year-in-review-cover

This podcast episode should be more upbeat than the last episode. But, it doesn’t start that way. We recorded this podcast the same night we recorded the Alan Thicke/George Michael/Carrie Fisher tribute. Immediately after we finished recording the tribute, we got the news that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother, had just died. But, I think we recovered nicely. Since 2016 was such a crappy year for most of us, Robert and I decided to go back to happier times, and take a look back at the year 1980. We count down the top 10 songs from that year. And in between, we take a look at the top movies, television shows, toys, and news items.
So, if you want to escape for a little while, sit back, relax, and Return to 1980.



Opening

– R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds

Play This, Not That

John Waite
Instead of This (“Missing You”)

Play That (“Change”)

Remember That Song

Last Song: “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour –
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize / When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies / You don’t have to follow me / Only you can set me free

Great job Kurt Torster!!!

’80s Trivia

Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?

Main Topic – 1980

10. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

9. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel

Top 10 movies of 1980
10. The Blues Brothers
9. The Blue Lagoon
8. Smokey and the Bandit II
7. Coal Miner’s Daughter
6. Private Benjamin
5. Any Which Way You Can
4. Airplane! Paramount
3. Stir Crazy
2. 9 to 5
1. The Empire Strikes Back

 

8. “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.
7. “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney

Top 10 Television Shows
10 Little House on the Prairie
8. Three’s Company
House Calls
7. Alice
6. The Jeffersons
5. The Love Boat
4. M*A*S*H
3. 60 Minutes
2. The Dukes of Hazzard
1. Dallas

Long Distance Dedication from Realweegiemidge at https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/

6. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
5. “Do That To Me One More Time” by Captain and Tennille

Popular Toys in 1980
2XL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnAhaZ5vlg8
Big Trak – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6V-tuOf3dE
Tuneyville Choo Choo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvKbokD99Do
Candi Color ‘n’ Curl – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYDSuxRSlwA
The Empire Strikes Back collection – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Z9b_UN9ds

Long Distance Dedication II from Rob ‘The Snyderman’ Snyder

4. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson
3. “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John

Books released
William Golding, Rites of Passage
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Sports
Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)

World Series
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)

NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia (4-2)

Wimbledon
Women: Evonne Cawley d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-1 7-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. McEnroe (1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6)

Events of 1980
Miracle on Ice – (February 22) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88
Mount St. Helens (May 18)
Release of Pac-Man arcade game
CNN becomes the first 24hrs News Station
U.S. Boycotts Moscow Summer Olympics
Ronald Reagan elected president (11/4)
Who Shot JR?
John Lennon killed by Mark David Chapman (12/8)

2. “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd
1. “Call Me” by Blondie


Come find us at:
https://rtt80s.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

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Top 40 Songs This Week – May 24, 1980: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we conclude this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. This has been an interesting week. There have been some great songs, and some I could have gone without listening to again. But, today is going to be the best of the bunch. So, let’s return to the week ending May 24, 1980, and check out the top 10 songs of the week.

10. “Cars” by Gary Numan

What a way to start! In my opinion, this is one of the signature songs of the ’80s. The synthesizers and guitarmake the song instantly recognizable. Even though this song was technically released in 1979, this is a totally ’80s classic.

9. “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross began the decade and his career with his incredible self-titled debut album. This is one of the songs that helped make it so successful. This is one of my favorite songs by him. It doesn’t hurt that Michael McDonald is on here with the backing vocals. This is probably Christopher Cross’ most rockin’ song.

8. “Hurts So Bad” by Linda Ronstadt

This is a really good song by Linda Ronstadt. I know the Eagles were her band early on in the ’70s. They were no longer with her at this point, and were actually on the verge of a breakup themselves around this time, but this song sounds a lot like the Eagles. This was a cover of a 1965 Top 10 hit by Little Anthony & The Imperials.

7. “Stomp!” by The Brothers Johnson

We have a ’70s leftover here. I do like this song a lot. It’s a fun Funk/Disco tune. But, this would be more at home in the ’70s. It’s better than any of the songs that are on the radio these days.

6. “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia

Here is a great guilty pleasure. If I post this song on Facebook, it gets a ton of hits, likes and comments. Ambrosia was a very good soft rock band of the late ’70s/early ’80s. They have nice music to chill too.

5. “Sexy Eyes” by Dr. Hook

Here is another ’70s leftover. Dr. Hook was another popular act of the mid-to-late ’70s. This is another soft rock band. I was familiar with this song as well as “When You’re In Love with a Beautiful Woman“.


Now, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week. The rock chart was not in existence yet. And with all the soft rock and ballads on this countdown, there may not have been enough rock songs to have a top 40 list.

The #1 Country song was “Starting Over Again” by Dolly Parton

Topping the Dance chart was “A Lover’s Holiday”/”The Glow of Love”/”Searching” by Change

The best Adult Contemporary tune was “The Rose” by Bette Midler

The #1 R&B song was “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson

And the #1 album was Against the Wind by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

Now…on with the countdown…

4. “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer” by Kenny Rogers with Kim Carnes

This is my pick of the day. I love this duet. Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes sound so good together. This song was written by David Ellingson and Kim Carnes. They presented it to Kenny Rogers and he was going to do it as a duet with somebody else. But, Kenny said, “why don’t you and I do it?” It would become a #3 smash hit, and a #1 hit on the Country charts.

3. “Lost in Love” by Air Supply

Here is Air Supply’s big breakthrough hit in the States. Air Supply was the ultimate soft rock group of the ’80s. They were very consistent.

2. “Funkytown” by Lipps, Inc.

As we approach the #1 song, we have yet another classic ’80s song. There are some songs that really helped define the musical landscape of the decade, and this is one of them. On paper, you would think I would be sick of this song. But, I still love it so much! And I like the Pseudo Echo cover version of this song even more. That song has more of a rock edge than a disco sound, and still has that classic ’80s sound.

1. “Call Me” by Blondie

We have arrived at our #1 song. And we have another classic! This song was a #1 hit for 6 straight weeks. I don’t think I listened to the radio too much back then, but I do remember this getting played a lot. I love the guitar work in this song. And how can you not love Debbie Harry?!? I think this is a great way to end the countdown. In a ballad heavy countdown, we end with a rocker.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it. Man, oh man, The Force Awakens next week! To celebrate, we are going to countdown the biggest songs of the week that the original Star Wars opened. Yes, we are going to be rebels,and return to the week ending May 28, 1977. I am debating making it a ’70s week next week on Return to the ’80s.
So, let me know what you think of this week’s countdown, and let me know if you would like a ’70s theme for Remember That Song and the Quote of the Day. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – May 24, 1980: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody! It’s time to continue the countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can still check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Today, there will be quite a few songs you know. This is going to be a ballad heavy day today. Let’s Return to the week ending May 24, 1980, and continue the countdown.

20. “Little Jeannie” by Elton John

I love this song! I forget that this is an ’80s song, and not one of Elton John’s ’70s hits. This song came from the 21 at 33 album, and peaked all the way at #3, and was a #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart.

19. “She’s Out of My Life” by Michael Jackson

This ballad was the fourth single released from Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album. We haven’t even entered the Thriller era yet at this point, and he was already breaking records. This song peaked at #10 marking the first time any solo artist had ever achieved four Top 10 hits from one album.

18. “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree

indexThis is my pick for Song of the Day. This is one of my favorite soft rock songs of the late ’70s/early ’80s. I have somewhat recently learned that this type of music actually has a genre name – Yacht Rock (Thanks Jim)! A couple of months ago, there was a new station added to Sirius/XM, called Yacht Rock. This song really brings me back, and reminds me of good times.

17. “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd

Is it possible to like a song, and hate it at the same time? I love the music and sound. But, the lyrics “We don’t need no education” makes me cringe so bad. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. I don’t have too many pet peeves, but this, and “Booga-booga-booga! Ah-ah-ahhh!” from St. Elmo’s Fire drive me so crazy, it makes me want to hand Jason his machete, and say, “OK, do your thing and put me out of my misery”.

16. “Breakdown Dead Ahead” by Boz Scaggs

Back to some Yacht Rock! I love a lot of Boz Scaggs’ music. This isn’t one of my favorite songs by him, but I still like it a lot. This was off of Scaggs’ ninth album, Middle Man, which featured members of Toto as the session musicians.

15. “Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)” by The Pretenders

This was The Pretenders’ breakthrough hit. It peaked at #14 in the U.S. However, it was a #1 hit in Januuary in the U.K., making it the first #1 hit of the ’80s in the U.K.

14. “Coming Up / Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” by Paul McCartney and Wings

This is a typical Paul McCartney earworm song. McCartney played all the instruments on this song, and his wife, Linda, shared harmonies with him.

13. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

I only know a few Bette Midler songs, and this is one of them. “The Rose” was the second single released from the soundtrack of the movie of the same name, and was a smash hit. Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “The Rose”, beating out some powerhouses like Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.

12. “I Can’t Help It” by Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John

Next up, a future Solid Gold host, and my first crush. Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John sound good together. This is a good song, written by Andy’s big brother, Barry Gibb.
Andy Gibb would play this song on Punky Brewster on the episode “Play It Again, Punky” where Gibb would guest star as Punky’s piano teacher.

11. “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

The best thing about this song? It’s not “Old Time Rock and Roll” or “Like a Rock”. This is a good song, which features Glenn Frey on background vocals. “Against the Wind” won the Grammy award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.


That wraps up today’s list. I hope you enjoyed it. Like I said, this was ballad heavy. But, I think they were all some pretty good songs. There will be less ballads tomorrow, and some absolute ’80s gems that I know you’ll like. So, please come back tomorrow when we wrap up the countdown.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – May 24, 1980: Songs 30-21

Hi Everybody! Time to continue the countdown. If you missed the previous 10 songs, you can still check them out. This countdown doesn’t have the awesome songs we heard last week. But, there are many songs here that we never hear on the radio. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 24, 1980, and continue the countdown.


30. “Should’ve Never Let You Go” by Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka

This duet by Neil Sedaka and his daughter, Dara, would be Neil’s last appearance on the Hot 100 charts. This is a pretty good soft pop song with a late ’70s sound. Dara has a good voice.

29. “Cupid/I’ve Loved You a Long Time” by The Spinners

1545780I love this medley by The Spinners. “Cupid” is the classic Sam Cooke tune. Hardcore Journey fans may know that Sam Cooke was a huge influence on Steve Perry’s sound. So, I love Sam Cooke. I am not familiar with the other song, “I’ve Loved You a Long Time” by Michael Zagar. I can’t find that song online. It looks like he is mainly known for a disco song called “Let’s All Chant“. The Spinners did a great job integrating the two songs together.

28. “The Seduction” by The James Last Band

downloadJames Last was a German composer. This song, which is the love theme to the Richard Gere film, American Gigolo, is an instrumental jazz tune. So, if you have a hankering for some instrumental jazz, then this song is for you. I kind of like this.

27. “Wondering Where the Lions Are” by Bruce Cockburn

This was Canada’s own Bruce Cockburn’s only top 40 hit in the U.S. The sound reminds me of Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight“.

26. “With You I’m Born Again” by Billy Preston and Syreeta

This duet was released as a single from the soundtrack of the Gabe Kaplan movie, Fast Break. I had never heard this song before, but it would be a #4 hit on the Hot 100.

25. “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson

This title track from Jermaine Jackson’s 1980 album was Jermaine’s first #1 R&B hit. The song was produced by Stevie Wonder, who also has some vocals on this song. It was Billboard’s #1 Soul hit for the entire year of 1980, beating out brother Michael’s platinum-certified mega-hit “Rock With You” which was #2 for the year.

24. “Pilot of the Airwaves” by Charlie Dore

I love this song by English singer-songwriter and actress Charlie Dore. It has that country-crossover sound, which reminds me of Juice Newton. The harmonies, on this song, are outstanding as well.

23. “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” by The Clash

This classic tune by The Clash was their final single released from their 1979 album, London Calling. The words “stand by me” dominate the chorus. However, the song was titled “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” so us dummies wouldn’t get it confused with the Ben E. King hit.

22. “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel

This is Billy Joel’s second entry on the countdown this week. This is a classic, fun, rock song, which famously begins with sound of glass breaking (probably from the “glass house” of the album title).

21. “Heart Hotels” by Dan Fogelberg

downloadThis nice ballad came off of Dan Fogelberg’s sixth studio album, Phoenix, from 1979. That album also gave us the classic Fogelberg hit, “Longer“.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think of this week’s countdown. I can tell you that it is going to keep getting better and better. I am familiar with all of them. They are all very good, yet you don’t hear them on the radio. So, please come back tomorrow and check them out.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – May 24, 1980: Songs 40-31

Welcome back to a new week of the Top 40! In preparation for the upcoming new Star Wars movie, last week we covered the Top 40 from the weekend that Return of the Jedi was released – May 1983. Now, we’re working our way back through more Star Wars movies. This week, we will check out the Top 40 from the weekend that The Empire Strikes Back opened. The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980. So, we will see what was topping the charts the week ending May 24, 1980. As is the case with most people, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite of the series. I normally march to the beat of my own drum, and don’t go along with the masses. But, that is not the case here. I was 9 years old when this was released (I would turn 10 in September), so I was still collecting Star Wars figures and playsets. At this time, I was also really into collecting baseball cards. When The Empire Strikes Back came out, I also collected all the trading cards for the movie. I read all the Star Wars books I could get my hands on. The movie was also showing at a local movie theater, which only cost $1. So, I saw this movie many, many times in the theater. I had written about my Star Wars story in previous articles and will be reposting them during Star Wars week. So, let’s get to the music. I did not get my hopes up with the quality of songs at this time in the ’80s. But man, there was no need for concern! There are several songs that I never heard of until today. But, there is going to be some really great stuff too! So, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1980, and begin the countdown!

40. “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band

Not a bad way to start a countdown! This is the anthem for anybody that has had their heart broken. Instead of a slow song that makes you cry, this is a great rocker that makes you stand up and pump your fist in the air. A year from now, The J. Geils Band would be releasing their classic Freeze Frame album. This song has the same style as the songs from that album.

39. “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love) (Parts 1 and 2)” by The Isley Brothers

downloadThis is a song I had never heard before. This is the total opposite from the previous song. This is a quiet storm ballad perfect for some sexy time. If you play this song in the bedroom, then you won’t need to worry about what the J. Geils Band says about love.

38. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel

Oh yeah! There’s nothing like some classic Billy Joel! This is one of those songs that you think, “Do I really need to listen to this again for the bazillionth time?” Then the song starts, and the answer is “Yes”. And as I get older, I can relate to this song more and more.

37. “We Live For Love” by Pat Benatar

Here is an awesome and underplayed rock song. This came off of Benatar’s In the Heat of the Night album, which also featured her breakthrough hit, “Heartbreaker“.

36. “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You” by Barry Manilow

My parents were Barry Manilow fans, so I grew up listening to his music. They had an 8-track of a concert of his. I would get bored, but there was a part of the show, that I enjoyed, where he sings all the commercial jingles that he had written. I had never heard of this song before. After listening to this, I’m thinking that maybe I had heard it, but just zoned out. What am I writing about, now? Oh yeah, “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”. This song was published in 1941, and became a #1 hit for Harry James and his orchestra in 1942. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, whenever I hear there is a song by somebody “and his orchestra”, I fall asleep instantly, only to wake up from nightmares of seeing Lawrence Welk on my grandparents’ TV. The only good thing about this song is that after it was over, the much better “Could it Be Magic” autoplayed.

35. “Headed for a Fall” by Firefall

Here is another song I had never heard before. It’s not bad, but not great either. I haven’t been missing anything all these years. This band does have that classic late ’70s/early ’80s rock band sound. It’s a little bit of a slow rocker, but the guitar work in this song is really good.

34. “Lady” by The Whispers

downloadThis is a good R&B ballad from the group who would bring us the 1987 hit,”Rock Steady“.

33. “Let Me Love You Tonight” by The Pure Prairie League

MI0001778792It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but this is one of those songs that did not look familiar to me. But, as soon as it hit the chorus, I remembered it. This may have been on a previous countdown I covered. That is Vince Gill on lead vocals. Not a bad song at all by this country rock group.

32. “Gee Whiz” by Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters can do it all! In a career that has spanned 5 decades so far, she has starred in musical theater, films and television, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings. I think I may have first seen her on the original Muppet Show. I believe she is mainly known for being a Broadway star. This song sounds like it could be a ballad from a Broadway Show. She has a really good voice. I kind of like this one.

31. “Let Me Be the Clock” by Smokey Robinson

And we go back to an R&B ballad. This song could have just as easily been released in the ’60s or ’70s. It appeared on Smoky Robinson’s 1980 album Warm Thoughts. This is another song on this countdown that’s not great, but not too bad either.


Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think. And let me know if you have any fond memories of The Empire Strikes Back. I think the countdown may continue on Wednesday. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. So, it will be posted either tomorrow night or sometime Wednesday.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – January 5, 1980: Songs 20-11


Welcome back to this weeks Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can still check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. This is a good day if you like lite rock and classic rock. And there is one huge surprise, a history making moment for Return to the ’80s. So, let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending January 5, 1980. On with the countdown!

20. “You’re Only Lonely” by J.D. Souther


This was singer/songwriter, J.D. Souther’s biggest hit, which would peak at #7. Souther was best known as a songwriter who wrote some of the Eagles biggest hits. He was also influenced by Roy Orbison, which is pretty obvious with this song. I had actually thought that this was a cover of a Roy Orbison song. But, this was an original song.

19. “I Want You Tonight” by Pablo Cruise


I really like this one. I thought Pablo Cruise was a person – possibly a Spanish relative of Tom Cruise. I was wrong. Pablo Cruise is a pop/rock band out of San Francisco that formed in 1973. So, this was a nice little discovery for me. Pablo Cruise is still around, and mainly tour in California.

18. “This Is It” by Kenny Loggins

Here is an awesome, pre-soundtrack era Kenny Loggins tune. I don’t want to go back and check right now, but if I’m not mistaken, Michael McDonald has been involved at some point in every countdown we have covered so far. Here is his contribution – backing vocals for this song. He and Loggins also co-wrote this gem. “This Is It” won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

17. “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince

We have arrived at an historical moment for Return to the ’80s! I actually found a Prince video where it is actually Prince singing! I don’t need to substitute this with another song this time. If you are curious, I probably would have gone with “Brand New Lover,” my favorite Dead or Alive song.
And this isn’t a bad Prince song to have. I had never heard of this one, and I don’t think it’s bad. I like a lot of Prince’s early music. So, hurry up and listen to this before Prince discovers that this slipped through the cracks, and is available on the internet.

16. “Jane” by Jefferson Starship


I love this Jefferson Starship song. This was off of the 1979 album Freedom at Point Zero, which was the first for the new lead singer, Mickey Thomas. This was also the first album after Marty Balin and Grace Slick left the group. Grace Slick would rejoin the band on the next album in 1981, Modern Times. I think this was a great song to kick off the new era of Jefferson Starship.

15. “Better Love Next Time” by Dr. Hook


Here’s another discovery for me that I kind of like. This song has that classic late ’70s/early ’80s Lite Rock sound.

14. “Head Games” by Foreigner


Oh yeah!! Here is a great rocker by Foreigner! This was the title track of Foreigner’s third album. I think we all know somebody who likes to play head games, so we can totally relate to this song.

13. “The Long Run” by The Eagles


This is a nice song by the Eagles, which was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey. This title track would eventually reach up to #8 on the charts.

12. “Cruisin'” by Smokey Robinson


I had always thought of Smokey Robinson as an oldies singer. But, it seems like he’s been on an awful lot of our countdowns of the ’80s. This is a good R&B song. I thought I had heard it before. Why does this sound familiar? Oh yeah! It was covered by Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow, now famous for her uncoupling from Chris Martin. They covered the song for the 2000 film Duets. I’ll take the Smokey version.

11. “Cool Change” by The Little River Band


This is one of my favorite songs by the Australian group, Little River Band. In the ’80s, I had heard of the Little River Band, but did not know any of their music. Then, while on liberty in Bahrain during Operation Desert Shield, I bought a 90 minute mix tape which included a song by the Little River Band called “As Long As I’m Alive.” I instantly fell in love with that song. So I went back, and bought the full Little River Band tape that this song was on – Get Lucky (1990), and I also bought their Greatest Hits album. “Cool Change” is on that Greatest Hits album, and I still listen to it quite a bit.


That wraps up today’s list. I am actually enjoying the songs this week. I hope you are too. We’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up the countdown. See you then!

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Top 40 Songs This Week – January 5, 1980: Songs 30-21


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!

30. “Chiquitita” by Abba


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.

29. “Déjà Vu” by Dionne Warwick


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.

28. “Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was a Fool)” by Foghat


This isn’t a bad song by the classic rock band Foghat, from their Boogie Motel album. It’s definitely no “Slow Ride,” but it’s definitely a good late ’70s song.

27. “Damned if I Do” by The Alan Parsons Project

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.

26. “Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp


I’m sorry, but for some reason, Supertramp really irritates me. They had a string of hits in the ’70s, but whenever they come on the radio, and can’t turn the station fast enough.

25. “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac

I love Fleetwood Mac, especially the Stevie Nicks songs. This is a nice ballad from the band’s Tusk album.

24. “Don’t Let Go” by Isaac Hayes

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.

23. “Wait for Me” by Hall & Oates

Well you can’t go wrong with a countdown that has a Hall & Oates song. I was not familiar with this one, but I do like it. This was from their 8th studio album, X-Static.

22. “Don’t Do Me Like That” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I kind of have to be in the mood for Tom Petty in order to listen to a lot of his music. After playing this song for the countdown, I discovered that I’m not in one of those moods today..

21. “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer

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!

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Top 40 Songs This Week – January 5, 1980: Songs 40-31

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!

40. “Forever Mine” by The O’Jays


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.

39. “I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love” by Rita Coolidge

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.

38. “Train, Train” by Blackfoot

I had never heard of this song before. It is a very cool Southern Rock tune. That is Blackfoot frontman Ricky Medlocke’s grandfather, Shorty, playing the harmonica in the introduction.

37. “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang

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.

36. “Rotation” by Herb Alpert


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.”

35. “Romeo’s Tune” by Steve Forbert

This song definitely has that ’70s singer/songwriter sound. Steve Forbert recorded several songs, but none as commercially successful as this one.

34. “Heartache Tonight” by The Eagles

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.

33. “Half the Way” by Crystal Gayle

This is a song I had forgotten about from Country crossover queen, Crystal Gayle. As soon as I heard the chorus, I remembered it. This would be Crystal Gayle’s final solo top 20 pop hit.

32. “Pop Muzik” by M

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.

31. “Yes, I’m Ready” by Teri DeSario with K.C.

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!

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Top 40 Songs This Week – October 4, 1980: Songs 10-1

Welcome back for the conclusion of this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 4, 1980, and wrap up the countdown.

10. “Xanadu” by Olivia Newton-John

Even though I never saw the movie, I always loved this title song by ONJ and ELO.

9. “Lookin’ For Love” by Johnny Lee

This was a good week for movie soundtracks! We had 2 songs from Fame, 2 from Xanadu, and this is the second from Urban Cowboy. Critics slammed this song. However, the public loved it, making it a smash hit, staying at the top spot of the Country Music charts for 3 weeks, and reaching number 5 on the Hot 100.

8. “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins

The soundtrack songs continue to hit it big. Next up – Caddyshack! This was also the beginning of Kenny Loggins run as ’80s soundtrack king. He also got a little help from Eddie Money on the backing vocals.

7. “Woman In Love” by Barbra Streisand

I’m not a big fan of Babs. But, I do like this song. It doesn’t hurt that it was written by the Bee Gees. After the Bee Gees were on top of the world in the late ’70s, they spent most of the ’80s writing songs for other people. In 1980, Barbra asked Barry Gibb to write an entire album for her. The result was Guilty, which was her biggest selling album up to that point. “Woman In Love” was the lead single off of that album.

6. “Late in the Evening” by Paul Simon

This is a fun song by Paul Simon.

Now is the part of the countdown where I tell you what was topping the other charts this week in 1980.

Topping the Country charts was “Do You Wanna Go to Heaven” by T.G. Sheppard

This was the first of 4 straight weeks that “Funkin’ For Jamaica” by Tom Browne topped the R&B charts.

While Dionne Warwick’s “No Night So Long” was #23 on the Hot 100 this week, it topped the Adult Contemporary chart.

This week in 1980 was the second week at #1 on the Dance charts for Geraldine Hunt with “Can’t Fake the Feeling.” This would be a #1 Dance song for 7 straight weeks!

Now we’re talkin’!! The #1 album of the week was The Game by Queen.

Now, on with the countdown.

5. “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt

I love Eddie Rabbitt! This is one of my favorites by him. This song had been a number 1 hit on the Country charts, and crossed over to the Hot 100, and peaked right here at #5.

4. “Give Me the Night” by George Benson

This is probably one of my favorite songs of the countdown this week.

3. “Upside Down” by Diana Ross

This was a huge worldwide hit for Diana Ross. I liked this song when it came out. But, I think this was the first song that I remember getting overplayed.

2. “All Out of Love” by Air Supply

I still love this song by Air Supply.

1. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen

And the #1 song this week is by one of my all-time favorite bands. And I don’t care what anybody else thinks, but Freddie Mercury has the best voice in rock history! I will be buying their new album, Forever when it comes out on November 10 this year.

That wraps up this week’s countdown. I tend to prefer the songs in the middle of the decade. But, I think this has been one of the better countdowns so far – even though there were barely any rock songs. I hope you enjoyed this countdown as well. We will be back with a new week soon. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – October 4, 1980: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody. welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Today’s list is still a little heavy on the soft rock side. Some of these were a little more familiar to me than yesterday’s list. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 4, 1980, and continue the countdown.

20. “Look What You’ve Done to Me” by Boz Scaggs

This classic soft rock song is from the John Travolta/Debra Winger movie Urban Cowboy. Boz Scaggs wrote this song with legendary composer/producer David Foster. The Eagles also provide backing vocals on this song.

19. “Don’t Ask Me Why” by Billy Joel

Classic Billy Joel tune from his Glass Houses album.

18. “Jesse” by Carly Simon

Bitter much?

17. “Never Knew Love Like This Before” by Stephanie Mills

I always loved this song. I remember taping this song off of the radio. I think when it started, I thought it was a different song. But I was liking it, so I didn’t stop the tape. This song won Mills her first Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

16. “Hot Rod Hearts” by Robbie Dupree

Robbie Dupree hit it big with his song “Steal Away,” which reached all the way to #6 on the charts earlier in the year. This follow-up single didn’t do too shabby either, peaking at #15. Unfortunately, he did not have any other big hits after this.

15. “He’s So Shy” by The Pointer Sisters

This was a big hit for the Pointer Sisters before they really hit it big with their Break Out album a few years later.

14. “You’ll Accomp’ny Me” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

I was not familiar with this song from Seger’s Against the Wind album. Not too bad.

13. “All Over the World” by The Electric Light Orchestra

I received a ton of feedback when Olivia Newton-John’s “Magic” was a Remember That Song answer recently. The movie Xanadu was getting a lot of love. I have never seen that movie, but I love the songs, “Magic“, “Suddenly“, and the title track. I hadn’t heard of this song before. I figured I would like it since I like all the other songs from the movie that I had heard so far. I was wrong. I do like a lot of ELO songs, but I was not crazy about this one. Maybe I would have liked it better if I saw it in the movie back in the day. Or maybe this is one of those songs that may take a few listens.

12. “Fame” by Irene Cara

Here is the second song this week from an ’80s crush of mine – Irene Cara. I still love this song. It still gives me a boost of energy when I’m working out. This won the Academy Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. This is a classic ’80s song.

Here is the song in the movie:

And here is Irene Cara performing:

11. “Real Love” by The Doobie Brothers

I’m not sure if we’ve had a countdown without Michael McDonald in one form or another. I used to never like Michael McDonald at all. ESPECIALLY with the Doobie Brothers. But, as Rocky wisely said (I bet you never thought you would see those words all in the same sentence) in Rocky IV, “If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.”

Here are the Doobies performing the song live

And here is the studio version of the song

Well, that wraps up today’s list. I hope you are enjoying these songs so far. The top 10 is going to be even better! We’ll be back with the Top 10 on Friday.

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