Category Archives: 1980

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 4, 1980: Songs 30-21

Hi Everybody. welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. If you enjoy soft rock music, then today’s the day for you! I had only heard of the first two songs you’ll hear. The rest were new to me. Let’s Return to the week ending October 4, 1980, and continue the countdown.

30. “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson has been churning out hits for almost 60 years! And this is one of his most recognizable of the bunch. In 1980, Nelson appeared in his first leading movie role in the film Honeysuckle Rose. In the movie, he played an aging musician. Again, this movie came out 34 years ago! Willie is still going strong today, releasing one or two albums a year.

One interesting fact about this song: Willie was approached by the executive producer of Honeysuckle Rose on a plane ride, and was asked to write the theme song for the movie. So, he picked up a barf bag, and quickly wrote the song on it.

29. “Emotional Rescue” by The Rolling Stones

This isn’t the greatest Rolling Stones song in the world, but it’s not the worst either.

28. “Someone That I Used to Love” by Natalie Cole

This song is a sad ballad. It sounds like it could be featured in a romantic comedy after a couple breaks up and one of them is walking in the rain.

27. “Midnight Rocks” by Al Stewart

This is a good folk-rock song. I thought it sounded like it could have been an Alan Parsons Project song. I then found out that from 1975-1978, Al Stewart’s music was produced by Alan Parsons. So, you can still hear the influence here.

26. “Dreamin'” by Cliff Richard

In the late ’50s through early ’60s, Cliff Richard was very successful. Then came the Beatles. Then he disappeared for a while. But Richard was making a big comeback here. I really like this song! It would go onto be a top 10 hit in the U.S. and in the U.K.

25. “You’re the Only Woman (You & I)” by Ambrosia

Ambrosia was pretty big in the mid-late ’70s. But, this was the beginning of the end for them. This song would go on to reach #13 on the Hot 100 chart, and #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

24. “How Do I Survive” by Amy Holland

This pop-disco song was from Amy Holland’s debut album. It helped earn her a Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist. She lost to Christopher Cross (who happened to pretty much own the Grammys that year). Amy Holland’s album was produced by Michael McDonald, who I am a huge fan of now. They would get married three years later, and they are still married today.

23. “No Night So Long” by Dionne Warwick

This is a nice soft rock song by Dionne Warwick, who at the time, was the host of the brand new show Solid Gold.

22. “One in a Million You” by Larry Graham

Here is another soft rock song that I like. He sounds like Boz Scaggs in this song. Larry Graham was the bass player for Sly & the Family Stone and frontman for Graham Central Station.

21. “The Wanderer” by Donna Summer

This sounded familiar to me when I heard it. This was Donna Summer’s first single released from the album of the same name. This was her first album with Geffen Records. With this album, the Queen of Disco was starting to move away from disco.

That wraps up today’s list. How are you liking this so far? The hits will keep on coming tomorrow.

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 4, 1980: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody, welcome to a new Top 40 Countdown. This week, we will Return to the dawn of the ’80s – the week ending October 4, 1980. I always get nervous when we get to the very early ’80s, because I really don’t want to listen to the ’70s leftover disco music, and miss out on the classic ’80s sound. However, those fears are unwarranted here. This is going to be a great week of music. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 4, 1980, and begin the countdown.

40. “Let Me Be Your Angel” by Stacy Lattisaw

Stacy Lattisaw was an influential R&B star. She has an incredible voice in this song – especially for a 13 year old! She would go on to have a successful career throughout the ’80s. Then she retired from the music business in 1990 at the ripe old age of 23.

39. “Lady” by Kenny Rogers

What happens when you have one of the greatest crossover artists of all time sing a song written by the lead singer of The Commodores? You have yourself a smash hit that becomes a #1 song on three music charts – Country, Hot 100, and Adult Contemporary, as well as htting #42 on the Top Black Singles chart.
Not only did Lionel Richie write this song, he also produced it. The song’s success gave his career a great boost. His days with the Commodores were numbered, and he would embark on an incredible solo career.
Kenny Rogers already had a successful career going for himself, and would continue to have a string of hits throughout the ’80s.

38. “I’m Almost Ready” by The Pure Prairie League

This is a very good song by the Pure Prairie League, with future Country music legend Vince Gill on the lead vocals. And with this video, not only do you get a good song, but you also get to see the opening of Solid Gold. Ah, the good ole days!!

37. “Whip It” by Devo

Classic ’80s! This was my introduction to Devo. They had a unique look, especially with those hats, and they had a unique sound.

36. “Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara

Longtime readers know of my love for Irene Cara. She already scores points with me for being on one of my favorite children’s television shows – The Electric Company. I have yet to hear a song by her that I don’t like. This is a beautiful ballad from the movie Fame. This won’t be the only song by Irene Cara from this movie on this week’s countdown.

35. “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” by The Charlie Daniels Band

This is a very cool Southern Rock song.

34. “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

Ow! Music whiplash! We go from Southern Rock to a Disco dance song.

33. “Dreamer”by Supertramp

For some reason, Supertramp tends to be grating to me. But, I don’t mind this song.

32. “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” by Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder still has an incredible voice. Did you catch his performance of “Sir Duke” on The Tonight Show? He still sounds the same. In the immortal words of Joan Rivers, “Can we talk?” I’m sure Stevie Wonder has a lot of people in his life – friends, family, people who work for him. They do realize he’s blind, don’t they? Then why doesn’t one of them tell him that his big-ass ponytail looks stupid!?! The rest of his head is completely bald. I just want to take scissors to that ponytail! Ugh!! OK, rant is over.

31. “Who’ll Be the Fool Tonight” by The Larsen-Feiten Band

Sounds like it could be a Chicago song.

We’ll wrap up today’s list with a very good song that I was unfamiliar with. This sounds like a song that the band Chicago would do.

Well, I’m liking these songs so far. We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 3, 1980: Songs 10-1

Welcome back once again as we wrap up this week’s Top-40. If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. This is a pretty decent top 10. Let’s Return to the week ending May 3, 1980, and jump into the top 10 songs.

10. “Hold On to My Love” by Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin is best known for his 1966 hit “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted“. “Hold On to My Love” has more of a disco sound to it. This song, written by Robin Gibb, would become Jimmy Ruffin’s second biggest hit.

9. “Sexy Eyes” by Dr. Hook

This is a nice soft rock song, which sounds like a layover from the ’70s. This song makes me want to put on some roller skates, and take a spin around the rink.

8. “I Can’t Tell You Why” by The Eagles

This was the first Eagles song to feature Timothy B. Schmit on lead vocals. This was the first song finished for the album, The Long Run, which was the band’s last studio album before their infamous breakup in 1980.

7. “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel

Great rock song from Billy Joel’s Glass Houses album. The guitar in the song sounds like it was heavily influenced by The Beatles.

6. “Fire Lake” by Bob Seger

Middle of the road Bob Seger tune. I don’t know how this got ranked so high. It’s not bad, but it’s also not that great.

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

“We don’t need no education”. Uh…yeah, it kind of sounds like you do! If you can get past that and past “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”, then this is a good song.

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

This sounds like it would be a good ballad in a Broadway musical. I like both of their voices.

3. “Lost in Love” by Air Supply

This was Air Supply’s breakout hit in the U.S. Listening to Air Supply brings me back to my Junior High School dances. Whenever it was time for a slow dance, somebody would throw on an Air Supply album.

2. “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross

Awesome Christopher Cross song. This was the first single released from his classic self-titled debut album. That whole album is great, and this song stands out. And I don’t know if I ever heard a song I didn’t like that has Michael McDonald on background vocals.

1. “Call Me” by Blondie

And we have reached the #1 song. This worldwide smash hit was #1 in the U.S. for 6 straight weeks. I really do love Blondie rock songs. This was a great way to wrap up the countdown.

Well, that concludes this week’s Top-40. I hope you enjoyed it! Next week we will head more towards the middle of the decade. Until then, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 3, 1980: Songs 20-11

Hi everybody, if I didn’t chase you off after yesterday, Welcome Back!! I am in a much better mood today. I actually like every single song on today’s list. If you missed the previous songs this week, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. So lets jump into it, and Return to the week ending May 3, 1980, and check out songs 20-11.

20. “Think About Me” by Fleetwood Mac

This is not one of Fleetwood Mac’s best known songs, but it’s pretty good. I always preferred Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham songs, and was not into Christine McVie songs. But, as I have gotten older, I appreciate McVie’s music much more now. This is a good one.

19. “Brass In Pocket (I’m Special)” by The Pretenders

Classic Pretenders song. This was their breakthrough song from their self-titled debut album.

18. “Cars” by Gary Numan

Awesome, classic ’80s tune.

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

This is the first song from today’s list that I did not remember. I like this soft rock song a lot. It was written by Andy’s big brother, Barry Gibb. I like a lot of Andy Gibbs’ songs, and I love Olivia Newton-John’s soft rock music. So this is a great combination.

16. “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl (Medley)” by The Spinners

My parents (especially my dad) were big fans of The Four Seasons, so I grew up listening to them. “Working My Way Back to You” was always my favorite song by them. And I absolutely love what The Spinners did with the song. Especially when they get to the “Forgive Me Girl” part of the song.

Long Distance Dedication

Speaking of my parents, today’s Long Distance Dedication goes out to my mom. It is Mother’s Day this weekend, after all! My mom was/is a huge Beatles fan. But, her all-time favorite performer, bar none, is Neil Diamond. She owned everything that he ever released, be it an album, 45, 8-track, cassette, or cd. And I lost count of how many times she has seen him in concert. So, I’ll play a song that I’m sure most of us would love, and is also part of my DNA – “Sweet Caroline”. It annoys the ever-living crap out of me that Red Sox fans somehow have taken ownership of this song. But, I still love this song nonetheless. I have great memories of my mom playing this song, which she had on a 45. Happy Mothers Day, Mom!!

And now on with the countdown.

15. “Hurts So Bad” by Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt’s version of the classic Little Anthony & The Imperials 1965, “Hurts So Bad“, was the most successful of the many versions that have been released over the years. I think I also remember this song being in a commercial. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember which one. Maybe a Band-Aid commercial? I do like this song.

14. “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia

This is another great soft rock song. I had forgotten about this one, but I remembered it as soon as I heard it. Ambrosia was a really late ’70s/early ’80s soft rock band. This song really brings me back.

13. “Pilot of the Airwaves” by Charlie Dore

Oh wow, I actually remember this one too! It didn’t sound familiar when I saw the song title, and I didn’t remember that dude, Charlie Dore. Oops! Charlie is a woman. And I remember this when it was on the radio all those years ago. She kind of reminds me of Juice Newton. I really like this song a lot. It has one of those early ’80s Country crossover sounds.

12. “Special Lady” by Ray, Goodman and Brown

And once again, here is another song that I didn’t remember from seeing the song title. But, it all came rushing back as soon as heard the song start in a cappella:
“You must be a special lady, and a very exciting girl”
This is a very good R&B slow jam song.

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

Kenny Rogers has done so many great duets with different people, including Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Sheena Easton, and Ronnie Milsap. But, this song is one of my favorites. It is also one of my favorite songs by Kim “Bette Davis Eyes” Carnes.

So, what did you think of today’s music? Better than yesterday? We will wrap up the countdown on Friday with the top 10 songs. It’s going to be a good Top 10. There’s just one song on the list that is going to annoy me, although the music for that song is good. If any of you like to write and/or like to speak proper English will know what I mean.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 3, 1980: Songs 30-21

Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! Today we will continue on with songs 30-21. You can go back and check out songs 40-31 if you missed them. You may also want to go back to that one, or any other list from the countdown after you listen to this crap! Just to give you a fair warning, in my opinion, this is the worst list so far. It does recover a little bit towards the end. But, the damage is done. I’m cranky now, so even the few songs I like here may feel my wrath. If you dare, let’s Return to the week ending May 3, 1980 and continue the countdown.

30. “Off the Wall” by Michael Jackson

OK, this isn’t starting out too bad. But, this is not exactly Michael Jackson’s best.

29. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

Bette Midler had about three hit songs, and this was one of them. It is kind of sappy, but I don’t mind it. This song was recorded by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits. Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for this song. Not too shabby.

28. “I Pledge My Love” by Peaches and Herb

Ugh!! This is Peaches and Herb begging to have one of their songs played as a wedding song. I guess “Daddy’s Little Girl” was already taken, and Mother/Son songs aren’t too popular.

27. “Heart Hotels” by Dan Fogelberg

I like Dan Fogelberg. Just not this song! I was listening to this song, and then forgot that it was playing.

26. “Do Right” by Paul Davis

What the hell is going on here! I wanted to like this song because I like Paul Davis’ other songs, “I Go Crazy” and “Cool Night“. Too many boring songs in a row now.

25. “Too Hot” by Kool and the Gang

Another mellow song, but still better than the last few songs. I love Kool and the Gang, and this song isn’t too bad. It’s my favorite one today up to this point.

24. “Funky Town” by Lipps, Inc.

Oh, thank God!! This may technically be a Disco song, but this is a classic ’80s tune. Beginning May 31, this song would start a four week run as a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This is a breath of fresh air on a list that has been pretty boring.

23. “Any Way You Want It” by Journey

We’re on a roll now! I did play this one to death, but I still do like it every time I hear it. This was the opening track of Journey’s Departure album, which was the first CD I ever bought.

22. “Breakdown Dead Ahead” by Boz Scaggs

Just like Dan Fogelberg and Paul Davis from earlier in this list, I like Boz Skaggs. So I did not get my hopes up for this song. But, I was not disappointed with this song. This list has made a nice recovery.

21. “Stomp!” by The Brothers Johnson

This is an OK Disco song. But, we better wrap this list up before it gets bad again.

So, did I overreact to how bad today’s list was? I can tell you that tomorrow’s list is going to be way, way better. And the top 10 is going to be even better than that! So today was only a small glitch for me. So, hopefully I’ll be fully recovered tomorrow after listening to today’s list. I’ll just have to remember the good times.

[Won’t you take me to…Funkytown!]
 

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 3, 1980: Songs 40-31

Hey Everybody, welcome back to a brand new Top 40 countdown!! This week we will Return to a time when the ’80s were a brand new decade – 1980. This one is so early in the decade that Jimmy Carter was still President. And as far as music goes, the classic ’80s sound had not been fully established yet. There is quite a variety of music that we get to listen to this week. This was a time of country crossover hits, easy listening, R&B, and some rock – not hair band rock yet. Taking a quick glance at this week’s songs, it looks like there are more songs that I don’t know than songs that I do know. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 3, 1980, and discover some new music!

40. “Starting Over Again” by Dolly Parton

We start with a really good Country Crossover song. I actually didn’t know that Dolly had done this song. I had known about this song through Reba McEntire. Reba’s version actually sounds just like this one.

This Country song, “Starting Over Again”, was written by the Queen of Disco – Donna Summer and her husband Bruce Sudano. This song was based on Sudano’s parents’ divorce.

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

When The Jackson 5 left Motown for Epic Records, Jermaine Jackson who was married to Hazel Gordy, the daughter of Motown owner Berry Gordy, decided to remain with Motown as a solo artist. When this song started, I thought it sounded like a Stevie Wonder song. Ah, no wonder why I thought that! Jermaine had recorded a couple of unsuccessful albums so Berry Gordy became concerned about his son-in-law’s waning career. When he heard a track Stevie Wonder was working on called “Let’s Get Serious,” he thought it would be ideal for Jermaine and persuaded Stevie to let his son-in-law record it. Stevie Wonder even provided some vocals in this song.

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

Oh man, I bet Bruce Cockburn got made fun of by his classmates when he was a child! When he became a recording artist, why did he not change his last name?!? This song isn’t bad. It’s the classic Singer/Songwriter music from that time. The music kind of reminds me of Jewel’s early music before she thought she could be a Country singer. This was Cockburn’s only Top 40 hit in the U.S.

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

Please be an alarm clock so you can wake me up when this song is over. Next!!

36. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen

Queen is my favorite band, so I love this song – even if it is overplayed. This was Queen’s first #1 hit in the U.S. Not long after Freddie Mercury died, the surviving members of Queen putting together a Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, where different artists would perform with the band. I remember them doing this song, and getting emotional at the part “Are you ready,” and then everybody sang, “Ready Freddie.”

Ah, the digital age! I found it! This starts with the Led Zeppelin classic “Thank You”, then goes into “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.

And here is the regular video for the song

35. “The Seduction (Love Theme from American Gigolo)” The James Last Band

This is an instrumental song. Not a very exciting one either.

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

Forgot about this one. This was the third and final single from their classic London Calling album. This is a very good song. We needed it after that last song.

33. “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree

This classic Soft Rock tune is probably my favorite of the 10 songs we are covering today. This was the first single from Robbie Dupree’s self-titled debut album, and would be his biggest hit.

32. “Fire in the Morning” by Melissa Manchester

This is another outstanding Soft Rock song. I did not know about this song before. I was mainly familiar with Melissa Manchester’s hits “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “You Should Hear How She Talks About You“. I really like this song a lot.

31. “And the Beat Goes On” by The Whispers

The Whispers were formed in 1964, and they did not have their first Top 20 hit until this song came out in 1980. They would go on to have an even bigger hit – 1987’s “Rock Steady“. This is a really good song. Nice way to end today’s portion of the countdown.

What do you think of the countdown so far? Did you find any new songs here that you like? There were a couple of stinkers in there, but I think overall this is a pretty good countdown so far.