Category Archives: Top 40

Top 40 Songs This Week – April 4, 1981: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody, Welcome back to the Top-40. This week, we’ll go back in time a little, and head over to the week ending April 5, 1981. It looks like this is going to be another great week for a countdown! I like several songs for each day of posts this week. As usual, we will start with songs 40-31.

When I first looked at the list of these 10 songs, I only knew 3 of them. However, there were 4 additional songs that I knew, but didn’t recognize by the titles. It is so great rediscovering songs! I hope you think so too. So, let’s jump into it, and Return to the week ending April 5, 1981.

 

 

40. “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin'” by Donna Summer

The streak remains alive. This is another #40 song that I never heard of. Even after hearing it, it did not sound familiar. This song is not bad, but not great either. It’s the basic ’80s Donna Summer pop song bordering on disco.

39. “The Party’s Over (Hopelessly In Love)” by Journey

I know this song very well. I didn’t know that it was a top-40 song though. So, it was a nice surprise seeing it here. “The Party’s Over (Hopelessly In Love)” was a studio track that was recorded, and placed at the end of Journey’s live album, Captured. It was a great concert from their Departure tour. This was the last Journey album for keyboard player and founder member, Gregg Rolie. He would be replaced by Jonathan Cain, and Journey would enter a new phase, beginning with their Escape album.

Captured is a must-buy for anybody who wants to hear some live Journey from the Infinity/Evolution/Departure years. And after the concert is over, you are treated with this awesome song, “The Party’s Over (Hopelessly In Love)”. A perfect way to end an album.

38. “I Love You” by The Climax Blues Band

This is one of the songs that I did not know from looking at the title and band. But, I remembered it as soon as I heard it. This is a typical easy listening early ’80s song. This song is OK. It’s not something I’m going to rush and buy. But, it’s not one of those songs that makes you want to change the radio dial right away when it comes on. There’s a little guitar solo in the middle of the song that reminds me of George Harrison’s guitar in “Something“.

37. “Turn Me Loose” by Loverboy

Oh yeah! Here’s another song I know and love! Loverboy was a great band in the ’80s, but disappeared when Grunge arrived in the ’90s. I still love their music, and this is one of the better songs.

36. “How ‘Bout Us” by Champaign

This is yet another song that I did not remember at all until I listened to it. I like this song. It’s another Easy Listening song recorded by the R&B group Champaign. This song was on the band’s debut album of the same name, the title track peaked at #12 on the Hot 100. It would be Champaign’s most successful song.

35. “You Better You Bet” by The Who

This is the last song that I already knew before listening to it today. It is one of my favorite Who songs. It would be The Who’s last single to reach the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
You may not know this, but “You Better You Bet” was the 4th video ever to be aired on MTV. It would also be the 54th video to be aired, making it the first video to be shown on MTV more than once.

34. “Hearts On Fire” by Randy Meisner

Here’s another song that I remembered as soon as I heard the chorus. And if Randy Meisner’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the founding member of the Eagles. He was best known for the song “Take It to the Limit“, which he wrote and sang. In 1977, Meisner split with the Eagles due to exhaustion, and fighting with Glenn Frey. During the Hotel California tour, Meisner got painful stomach ulcers and the flu. This made it difficult for him to hit the high notes in “Take It To the Limit”, so he did not want to sing it. During one show Frey aggressively demanded that he sing it as an encore the two got into a physical confrontation backstage, and Meisner angrily departed. He left the bad at the end of the tour, and went home to Nebraska to spend time with his family. He would go on to a solo career, which would produce hits like this song, “Hearts On Fire”. I like this one a lot.

33. “It’s a Love Thing” by The Whispers

I did not remember this song. They almost sound like Kool & the Gang. Or maybe Kool & the Gang sound like them. After all, The Whispers were formed in 1964. Most of us may know The Whispers from their big hit “Rock Steady” in 1987. I actually like “It’s a Love Thing” more. It still has a little disco sound though. But, it is a good R&B song.

32. “Living Inside Myself” by Gino Vannelli

I didn’t recognize this song by the title. I thought Gino Vannelli’s name sounded familiar. But, I totally remember this one!! This is an ultimate Easy Listening song, and I really like it a lot. Talk about a guilty pleasure! It’s a definite early ’80s song. It sounds like it’s in the same vein as “Arthur’s Theme” or “It Might Be You“. This is probably my favorite surprise of the countdown so far.

31. “Sweetheart” by Frankie and the Knockouts

Here is the last song of the day. I did not remember this one at all. They kind of remind me of Hall & Oates. This song is OK. I had never heard of Frankie and the Knockouts. Apparently they wrote and released the original versions of Eric Carmen’s 1987 hit single “Hungry Eyes” as well as the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” (both of which were featured in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing).

Well that wraps up the first 10 songs of the countdown this week. It’s funny how the only songs I initially remembered were rock songs. But, there were some nice surprises. Were there any for you? The next 10 songs will be just as interesting.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 28, 1987: Songs 10-1

Wow, the weeks seem to be flying by! It’s time to wrap up another week of top-40 songs. If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11.

This is a pretty good Top-10. There is a variety of ballads, dance songs, and rockers. So, let’s Return to the week ending March 28, 1987, and listen to the Top-10 songs this week.

10. “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” by Aretha Franklin & George Michael

I was never a George Michael fan or an Aretha Franklin fan. But, I like the two of them together on this song. This song would eventually top the charts for 2 weeks.

9. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

So far, this top 10 is looking good. I like this song a lot. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” was nominated for Best Group Video, and Best Direction at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and earned Crowded House a Best New Artist award.

8. “The Final Countdown” by Europe

The keyboard riff for this song made “The Final Countdown” one of the most instantly recognizable songs of the ’80s. I still like this song a lot. However, this is another one of those instances where the band is mainly known for one song even though they have so many other great ones. Hell, there are even better songs on The Final Countdown album itself such as “Rock the Night“, “Carrie“, and “Cherokee“. But, that doesn’t take anything away from this classic.

7. “Come Go With Me” by Exposé

Freestyle time! Often imitated, but never duplicated, Exposé burned the trail for freestyle girl groups. The Cover Girls, Sweet Sensation, and even Destiny’s Child owe a bit of thanks to Exposé.
“Come Go with Me” was the first single released from Exposé’s smash debut album, Exposure. It would eventually peak at #5, and remain in the Top 40 for 12 weeks.

6. “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram

A great duet. I’ve still never seen An American Tail, for which this song was written. But, I feel like I have since this was on MTV all the time when it came out. I do still like this song though.

5. “Mandolin Rain” by Bruce Hornsby & The Range

The only good thing about this Bruce Hornsby song is that it isn’t “Mandolin Rain”. Oh, wait. Aaarrrrgh!!!!

4. “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Genesis

Radio and MTV had a knack for playing Genesis and Phil Collins songs over and over so much until we all got sick of them, and then they still kept playing them. Invisible Touch is an incredible and classic album. Every song on it was great, including this one. But, radio and MTV ruined it, and I got sick of it.
Years removed, I can finally listen to this song again, and enjoy it. Only in small doses though.

3. “Let’s Wait Awhile” by Janet Jackson

“Let’s Wait Awhile” was the fifth single released from Janet Jackson’s classic album, Control. This is a nice ballad.

2. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship

This smash hit is the second song in the top 10 to be featured on a movie soundtrack. It was the theme for the Andrew McCarthy/Kim Cattrall movie, Mannequin. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” would be a #1 hit, which made Grace Slick the oldest female artist to have a number one single in the United States (only to be broken in 1999 by Cher for her song “Believe”).

1. “Lean On Me” by Club Nouveau

And the #1 song this week is Club Nouveau’s cover of the Bill Withers 1972 hit, “Lean On Me“. I don’t mind this song because I don’t hear it too often. This version won a Grammy award in 1987 for Bill Withers, as the writer, for Best R&B Song. A couple of years after this, Club Nouveau’s version was featured in the Morgan Freeman movie, Lean On Me.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Top-40. We’ll be back next week for a new week of Top-40 music. I can’t seem to find my Delorean. As soon as I find it, I’ll figure out what coordinates to set for next week’s countdown. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 28, 1987: Songs 20-11

Hey Gang, welcome back to the Countdown! Today we will countdown songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31 and songs 30-21. These may not be the top-10 songs, but this is my favorite stretch of songs we’ve covered so far. Let’s go to it, and Return to the week ending March 28, 1987, and check out songs 20-11.

20. “The Finer Things” by Steve Winwood

This is one of my favorite songs by Steve Winwood. I love the verses so much. The chorus is OK.
But, it just feels like there is a lot of passion when he sings the verse:

While there is time
Let’s go out and feel everything
If you hold me
I will let you into my dream

19. “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Here’s a song you may or may not have heard of. Once upon a time, there was this little band from New Jersey called Bon Jovi. They had a couple of mild hits, so they may have flown under the radar.
I kid of course. “You Give Love a Bad Name” made Bon Jovi one of the best known bands of the ’80s, and “Livin’ On a Prayer” made it known that they were here to stay. Of course, I still love this song, but it did get to be a tad overplayed. I think Bon Jovi even got sick of it, as they recorded a different version of the song on the first greatest hits compilation, Cross Road, instead of including the original.

18. “Respect Yourself” by Bruce Willis

Surprisingly, I actually respect this Bruce Willis song. Willis was another actor who hopped on to the music airwaves along with Eddie Murphy and Don Johnson.
He did a really good job covering this classic 1971 soul song, originally performed by The Staples Singers. Of course it didn’t hurt that his version also featured June Pointer of the Pointer sisters.

The Staples Singers’ version peaked at #12 on the Hot 100, and Willis’ version shot all the way to #5. Yippie Ki-yay!!!

17. “That Ain’t Love” by REO Speedwagon

I really enjoyed REO Speedwagon – especially the Wheels Are Turnin’ album. I also love this rocker from their Life As We Know It album (which also featured another hit that I love – “In My Dreams“).
There aren’t too many songs I don’t like by REO. They have a huge catalog of hits, and this is among my favorites of the bunch.

16. “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel

The only good thing about this song is that it isn’t “Sledgehammer“.

15. “What You Get is What You See” by Tina Turner

I love Tina Turner, but a lot of her songs were overplayed in the ’80s. However, this wasn’t one of them. This was one of my favorite songs by Tina, but I did not see it on MTV or hear it on the radio too much when it came out. Then again, maybe that is the reason it is one of my favorites. I still like this one a lot.

14. “Sign O’The Times” by Prince

I don’t remember this song. And since Prince’s music is not on the internet, I still don’t remember it. However, since it’s just Prince and not Prince and the Revolution, I can pretty much guarantee that I don’t like it.

Since I can’t play Prince, we can catch this awesome Sheila E. drum solo. Love her!!

13. “Jacob’s Ladder” by Huey Lewis and The News

This is one of my favorite Huey Lewis and The News songs. This is the same situation as Tina Turner’s “What You Get is What You See”. All of Huey Lewis’ music was overplayed. But the one song I loved, did not get much airplay. One thing about the song I just learned in recent years is that this song was written by Bruce Hornsby. I don’t like Bruce Hornsby’s music at all, but maybe he writes better music for other people.

12. “Midnight Blue” by Lou Gramm

Here is another song that I love! This was Foreigner’s lead singer’s first solo hit. I still listen to this one.
I did get to see Lou Gramm perform with Foreigner when they opened for Journey on the big Journey comeback Arrival Tour. Apparently, Lou Gramm almost died a couple of years before that. He had a brain tumor, which was removed. He had a tough recovery, but he came back. He sounded great that night. They had an incredible set list too. It’s too bad that it was still light out when they were on, and nobody else got into it until they played “Hot Blooded” (one my least favorite, and most overplayed songs) at the end.
Lou Gramm is no longer with Foreigner, but at least we can still go back and listen to some old Foreigner music, and some of Lou Gramm’s very solid solo work.

11. “Let’s Go” by Wang Chung

What a way to close out the countdown today!! I had forgotten about this song. This is easily my favorite song by Wang Chung. Why is it that the only song I ever hear by them is “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” and to a lesser degree, “Dance Hall Days“? I had not heard this song since it first came out. Radio – You are fired!! I already downloaded this song, and listened to it a bunch of times. Now I’m in a good mood!

Alright, nothing’s gonna stop us now as we wrap up this final countdown of the week tomorrow. There is going to be a great variety of music in the Top-10. I know you’ll be waiting, so I’ll see you tomorrow!

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 28, 1987: Songs 30-21

Welcome back to the Top-40 songs for the week ending March 28, 1987. Feel free to check out songs 40-31 if you missed them. As the countdown continues, I was surprised to discover that there were still quite a few songs I either never heard of, or totally forgot. Let’s just jump into it today, and Return to March 28, 1987:

30. “Come As You Are” by Peter Wolf

This is a song that I had forgotten about. A few years before this song came out, I discovered that the lead singer for the J. Geils Band was NOT J. Geils, when Peter Wolf launched his solo career and released the hit song “Lights Out“. I knew that I would remember “Come As You Are” when I heard it, and was correct. This song would reach all the way up to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

29. “Dominoes” by Robbie Nevil

This song did not ring a bell with me. I didn’t even remember Robbie Nevil. I was expecting him to be one of the Neville Brothers, but was way off. He is way poppier (is that even a word?). You instantly know that this is a song from the mid-late ’80s when you hear it. It sounds vaguely familiar now that I hear it. Nevil is probably better known for his hit song “C’est La Vie”. I like “Dominoes” better. It is definitely a product of its time, which is perfectly fine in my opinion.

28. “Brand New Lover” by Dead or Alive

I know two songs by Dead or Alive – this one and “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, and I like both of them a lot.

27. “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party” by The Beastie Boys

I loved the Beastie Boys when they first came out. I loved the mash-up of rock and rap. According to an interview they had on NPR, This song was actually a parody of party and attitude songs, such as “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and “I Wanna Rock“. But, the irony was lost on most listeners (including me).

Now, invite all your friends and have soda and pie. I hope that no bad people show up…NOT!!!

26. “Looking for a New Love” by Jody Watley

This was Jody Watley’s first hit. It reached all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1987, and was kept out of the top spot by Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and U2’s “With or Without You”. In 1988 the song was nominated for two Soul Train Music Awards for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video, and Best R&B/Soul Single, Female. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

This song’s not bad. It just feels like Janet Jackson Lite. This is a good song if you’re in the mood for ’80s dance music.

25. “Stone Love” by Kool & the Gang

Here is another song I had forgotten about, but knew that I would remember it once I heard it. I like Kool & the Gang a lot (although I could live without hearing “Celebration” and “Ladies Night” ever again). They did not have many hit songs after this one, but this one is really good.

24. “The Honeythief” by Hipsway

This song and band did not sound familiar at all to me. This is another song that you instantly know what time period this came from. Not bad. Not great.

23. “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdock

This is the second song in a row that I didn’t know. I never heard of Shirley Murdock. At a time when Bon Jovi and Def Leppard were at the top of their game, this song was not exactly in my wheelhouse. But I like this song a lot. It is a really good R&B ballad. Shirley Murdock started out singing gospel music in her native Toledo, Ohio, and you can hear it. She has a really good voice. I’ll have to check out more of her music.

22. “You Got It All” by The Jets

I liked The Jets a lot. This ballad was played a lot at our dances. This song was written by Rupert Holmes, most famous for the song, “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)“.

21. “Walking Down Your Street” by the Bangles

This is a really good, fun song by the Bangles. Plus, it got the DJ’s to play something other than “Walk Like an Egyptian“! This was the 4th and final single released from their smash hit album, Different Light.

I hope you enjoyed today’s songs. We’ll be back with songs 20-11. There will be more great tunes on the way.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 28, 1987: Songs 40-31

Welcome back to this week’s Top-40. This week, we will Return to 1987 and see what the top 40 songs were for the week Ending March 28. Socially, I was finally coming into my own at this time. I had been shy and awkward, but I eventually broke out of my shell. It was around this time that I started dating my first girlfriend. So, some of these songs really bring me back. Since this week’s countdown is a little later in the decade than last week, I remember most of these songs. At first glance, there are some that I don’t remember. But, I remember every song in the top 20. And like the rest of these ’80s countdowns, there is a great combination of pop, dance, and rock music.

Now, let’s Return to March 28, 1987, and check out songs 40-31:

40. “Serious” by Donna Allen

Well, song #40 is keeping the streak alive…I don’t remember this one. I do Remember Donna Allen though. She was a long-time backup singer for Gloria Estefan. She then launched a solo career, and scored a top-40 hit with this song.

She just attempted a comeback by competing on The Voice, NBC’s hit singing competition. In the opening round, she got Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera to turn their chairs. She went with Team Adam. She then got eliminated in the next round by Tessanne Chin, who would go on to win the competition.

Donna Allen has a good voice. It would be nice to see her be successful again. In the meantime, let’s Return to her glory years, and check out her hit, “Serious”:

39. “La Isla Bonita” by Madonna

Not a fan of this song. I do like a lot of Madonna’s earlier work, just not this song.

38. “I Will Be There” by Glass Tiger

I didn’t remember this song. Glass Tiger is mainly known for their songs “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” and “Someday”, which I like. I also remember that Glass Tiger opened for Journey on their Raised On Radio tour. I like this song a lot.

37. “Light of Day” by The Barbusters (Joan Jett & The Blackhearts)

I always liked this rocker a lot. I did not know that it was actually written by Bruce Springsteen. This song was performed by Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox with their fictitious band The Barbusters (which was really The Blackhearts) in the movie Light of Day. I saw the movie around the time it came out. I haven’t seen it since the ’80s, so I don’t remember too much of it. I may have to watch it again. In the meantime, I’ll settle for this fun song:

36. “Can’tcha Say (You Believe in Me)” by Boston

I love this band, and I love this song! They were huge in the late ’70s when they released their first two albums. It took them about 8 years to release their third album – Third Stage. I’ll have to see if I still have the cassette stored somewhere, but I’m pretty sure I remember that there was a long statement in the liner notes giving the excuses of why it took so long between albums. I think they mentioned something about their recording studio being flooded out, and there were all sorts of equipment failures.
Ugh, who cares?! It was a really good album, and worth the wait. And this was one of my favorites.

35. “What’s Going On” by Cyndi Lauper

Yeah Cyndi, what’s going on? I love Cyndi Lauper, but this song got by me. I don’t remember her remaking this Marvin Gaye classic. She made this song her own, and did a great job with it.

34. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” by Cutting Crew

This was Cutting Crew’s debut smash hit. This week, it was early in its run. The tune would reach #1 in May, and stay there for 2 weeks.

33. “Smoking Gun” by Robert Cray Band

I was definitely not a Robert Cray fan, so I didn’t know this song. I appreciate the Blues much more now, and I like this song. This song got Cray nominated for the 1987 <strong>MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist in a Video.

32. “Candy” by Cameo

I kind of remember this song when I hear it. I mainly know Cameo for their hit song “Word Up”. This song is pretty good too. I’m not a Gamer myself, but for any Gamers out there, this song is featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and can be heard on the Bounce FM radio station in the game.

31. “I Wanna Go Back” by Eddie Money

This is one of my favorite songs by Eddie Money, and I still love it. This could be a theme song for this site – “I Wanna Go Back ’cause I’m feeling so much older, but I can’t go back I know”. And as a pleasant surprise, I discovered that Gregg Rolie also did this song on his 1985 debut solo album. If you don’t know who Gregg Rolie is, he was the keyboardist for Journey before their Escape album. He was also the lead singer of the band before Steve Perry arrived.

There are some Eddie Money songs that get overplayed (paradise would be not having to hear about the Two Tickets to get there), but this one I can listen to over and over.

So what do you think of these songs so far. Do you have any memories of 1987?

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 20, 1982: 10-1

I now present to you, the top-10 songs this week in 1982. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs
40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. The top-10 is a great combination of pop and rock songs. So, lets Return to March 20, 1982, and finish this countdown.

10. “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner and Garcia

A novelty song if there ever was one. At the height of “Pac-Man Fever” and the rest of the arcade craze, this song was released, and capitalized on that craze. It actually peaked at #9 on March 27, 1982 (next week).
The duo that performed the song was Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia. After the huge success of “Pac-Man Fever”, they signed a record deal with Columbia/CBS Records. They never wanted to become a novelty act known for songs based on video games. But when they signed the record deal, the company insisted on a full album of video-game songs, although the duo had intended to write mostly pop music. They caved in to the demands, and released a full album of Pac-Man Fever. Here is their playlist:

Pac-Man Fever (Pac-Man)
Froggy’s Lament (Frogger)
Ode to a Centipede (Centipede)
Do the Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)
Hyperspace (Asteroids)
The Defender (Defender)
Mousetrap (Mouse Trap)
Goin’ Berzerk (Berzerk)

They never hit it big again.

9. “Shake It Up” by The Cars

Classic Cars tune. This song came out in the middle of their great run of hits.

8. “Mirror Mirror” by Diana Ross

This song is at #8, and I never heard of it before. Or if I did, I blocked it out. This song isn’t bad. At this point, I would probably rather listen to this one instead of “Upside Down” again. According to Wikipedia, “Mirror Mirror” is a 1982 rock-styled hit song. I think Wikipedia’s definition of rock, and my definition of rock are quite different. This is more of a pop song. You can just feel the disco fading away with this song. One other note about this song: It was written by Dennis Matkosky and Michael Sembello, who also wrote “Maniac” from Flashdance (and performed by Sembello). I’m not a Diana Ross fan by any stretch of the imagination. I was kind of dreading having to listen to this song, but it’s really not too bad. I’m not going to rush and buy it, but it’s OK.

7. “Make a Move On Me” by Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John was on of the first crushes I ever had. Just sayin’. This song was the follow-up to Newton-John’s smash hit “Physical”. I really like this song a lot too. At this point, I prefer “Make a Move On Me” over “Physical“.

6. “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s

This instantly recognizable song is the The Go-Go’s signature song. “We Got the Beat” was originally released in the UK in 1980, and became popular in clubs in the UK and U.S. They went on to re-record the song for their debut album Beauty and the Beat, and was featured in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
“We Got the Beat” was the Go-Go’s biggest hit spending three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. There was one song that kept it from becoming #1. And that song is the #1 song from this week.
For what it’s worth, “We Got the Beat” was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. I haven’t looked at that list, but I would not be surprised if “Ice Ice Baby” was on there too.

5. “Sweet Dreams” by Air Supply

This is a typical Air Supply song. So, if you like Air Supply, you’ll like this. If you don’t like them, then you won’t like this song. I don’t remember this song from the radio. But, my parents had an Air Supply Greatest Hits album, and this song was on there. I fall in the camp that likes Air Supply. I did not listen to too many love songs when I was young, but when I did, it was usually Air Supply. I still have not seen them perform live yet, but I do hear that they put on a good show.

4. “That Girl” by Stevie Wonder

This is one last song that I had not heard of. I love Stevie Wonder’s voice, but I don’t like too many of his ’80s songs. I prefer his old music. “That Girl” was a new single on Wonder’s album-era greatest-hits compilation, Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I. At first listen, I’m not liking this song too much.

3. “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band

Here is the second J. Geils Band song on the countdown this week. This smash hit had been at #1 for 6 weeks before this week. Now, like we did at a Rubix Kube concert, start singing The Smurfs theme, then click Play for this song…

2. “Open Arms” by Journey

The ultimate power ballad, by one of my all-time favorite bands. Most of you know the story about this song by now. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain began writing the song when he was with The Babys. But, singer John Waite wanted nothing to do with it. Not long after that, Cain was in Journey. He eventually finished the song with Steve Perry. It was actually almost left off of the Escape album because Neal Schon did not like it. Luckily, the song made it on the album, and was released as a single. It would go on to be their highest charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It was #2 for six weeks. It was kept out of the top spot by “Centerfold” as well as this week’s #1 song. Not too shabby. And after this song came out, other rock bands saw how successful this song was, so it almost became mandatory to have at least one power ballad on a rock album.

1. “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Here is this week’s #1 song. And I never heard of this one before! Just kidding. Anybody alive, at the time that this song came out, could not escape it. This is the song that put Joan Jett on the map. She is awesome. This song has been overplayed, but I still like her a lot.

One thing I did learn was that this is actually a remake. “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975. Joan Jett first heard this song in 1976 when she was in England touring with The Runaways. Joan Jett made the song her own, and it became a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, beginning with this week.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s countdown. With the positive feedback I’ve been getting, we’re going to keep on rolling and be back with a new countdown next week. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: as a wise man once said…”Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 20, 1982: 20-11

Welcome back to the Top 40 of March 20, 1982. Today, we will find out which songs charted from 20-11. If you missed the beginning of the countdown, you can take a look and (listen) to songs
40-31 and 30-21.

The next 10 songs are a little heavy on the Easy Listening side. There are still a lot of songs left that you don’t hear too much of these days. So, lets Return to March 20, 1982, and continue the countdown.

20. “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” by Rod Stewart

I was not familiar with this song. This is off of Rod Stewart’s album Tonight I’m Yours, which also featured the song “Young Turks“. “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” has that similar sound. I like a lot of Rod Stewart’s music. However, I don’t like too much of his music after the ’80s. He should try going back to his roots instead of jamming Standards down our throats. Thankfully we can always Return to the ’80s, and listen to his good music all we want.

19. “Take Off” by Bob and Doug McKenzie

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas created the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie for the show SCTV, eh.
Bob and Doug were dim-witted, beer-chugging brothers were on a very popular sketch on the show called the Great White North. Like most sketch comedy, they had some key catch phrases, such as “take off, you hoser!”, and ending “eh” to the end of their sentences. They became icons in Canadian culture, which led them to having their own movie, Strange Brew, and led them to recording albums. One of those albums was The Great White North. With the help of Geddy Lee, from the legendary band Rush, the single “Take Off”, from that album, became a big hit, eh.

18. “Freeze Frame” by The J. Geils Band

In 1981, The J. Geils Band released the album Freeze Frame. The first single off of that album, “Centerfold”, caused the band’s popularity to skyrocket. The song “Freeze Frame” was released as a single to follow up “Centerfold“, and became the second consecutive million-selling Gold-certified hit from the album. I like this song. The image I take away from this is the band throwing paint all over the place in the video.

17. “Should I Do It” by The Pointer Sisters

Just before the Pointer Sisters’ popularity soared in the ’80s with “I’m So Excited”, they had a very good album called Black & White. It had the hit song “Slow Hand“, which reached #2 on the charts. They also had a hit with this song, as it reached up to #13. “Should I Do It” is a mix of Country and Doo Wop/Old School Girl group. I Love it! The only reason that I already knew about this song is that I own the album.

16. “Take It Easy On Me” by The Little River Band

Here is another Easy Listening hit. I was not familiar with this song. I did not know who The Little River Band was until they came out with the 1990 album, <strong>Get Lucky. I loved the songs “As Long As I’m Alive” and “Listen to Your Heart” from that album. This led me to check out their older stuff. I did hear “Help is On the Way” and “Reminiscing” before, but never knew it was The Little River Band that performed them.
I don’t remember “Take It Easy On Me”. It’s probably on my iPod too. I like this song. It’s not a stand-out song, but it’s nice to listen to. It doesn’t hurt that George Martin produced this song.

15. “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg

This is an ultimate Soft Rock song. Dan Fogelberg write this song as a tribute to his father, Lawrence Fogelberg, a musician and the leader of a band, who was still alive at the time the song was released.

14. “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis

Good song – especially for an instrumental. Overrated movie. I have been getting back in to running, and training and running in races. I don’t have this song on my iPod. I wonder if I should try running to it. It would either help, or it would make me run in slow motion.

13. “Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins

Here is another Easy Listening song. I always forget that this was an ’80s song. For some reason, I always think of this is as a ’70s tune. In 2009, VH1 ranked “Key Largo” #75 on its program 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. I like this one a lot.

12. “Bobbie Sue” by The Oak Ridge Boys

The year before this song was released, the Country legends, The Oak Ridge Boys crossed over to mainstream with their smash hit, “Elvira“. This song reached #1 on the Country Singles chart, and did pretty well on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking right here at #12. This is a fun Country song, with a little feel for late ’50s/early ’60s rock-and-roll.

11. “Spirits in the Material World” by The Police

The Police had a short, but very successful run. They released a total of 5 studio albums in 5 years, and they hit it big every time. “Spirits in the Material World” was the first single released off of their penultimate album, Ghost in the Machine. Classic Police.

Well, that’s the end of this portion of the countdown. The next time, we will wrap up with the top 10 songs. Are there any surprises with the 10 songs you just saw/listened to? The top 10 is going to be fun. There is going to be something for everybody. There will be some rock ‘n’ roll that you will love, a novelty song that actually ate up the competition and landed in the top 10, and still some more Easy Listening hits, which may or may not put you to sleep and cause you to have some sweet dreams. In the meantime, I’ll see you next time we Return to the ’80s.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 20, 1982: 30-21

The countdown continues as we take a look back at the Top 40 songs from the week ending March 20,1982. In case you missed it, you can check out songs 40-31. Songs 30-21 are an awesome variety. This completes the first half of the countdown, and there are still quite a few songs that are new to me. See if you discover new music with me now as we Return to March 20, 1982…

30. “Harden My Heart” “Find Another Fool” by Quarterflash

Sorry about that. I got a little confused. I thought “Harden My Heart” was the only song Quarterflash ever recorded. Attention 80s on 8, and any other radio station that plays ’80s music: Permanently delete “Harden My Heart” from your playlist, ASAP. And play this one instead! What a great rockin’ song!! Great way to start this part of the countdown.

29. “Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers

These days, he may be more known for the bad plastic surgery on his face (eeesh), but in the late ’70s/early ’80s Kenny Rogers was one of the biggest stars on the planet, with good reason. His Country-Crossover music was a perfect fit for the time. This hit is a great ballad. My mom picked this song out for the Mother-Son dance at my wedding.

28. “My Guy” by Sister Sledge

This song I’m very familiar with, but I did not know that Sister Sledge covered it. Sister Sledge, best known for 1979’s “We Are Family”, remade this 1964 Mary Wells classic. They did a good job with it. It sounds pretty close to the original.

27. “When All Is Said and Done” by Abba

Abba is best known for their smash hit songs in the ’70s. However, I think they songs that they had in the early ’80s were just as good, and maybe even better – this one included. A lot of people stick their nose up to Abba when all they think of is “Dancing Queen”. But I challenge them to listen to “The Winner Takes It All” and “Thank You for the Music“. And check out this one. It’s a very good song that does not get airplay.

26. “One Hundred Ways” by Quincy Jones Featuring James Ingram

This is song that I was not familiar with. When I saw that it was a James Ingram song (along with uber-producer Quincy Jones), I was looking forward to listening to it – and was not disappointed! This song and “Just Once” appeared Quincy Jones’s album The Dude, which earned him triple Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. “One Hundred Ways” won him the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

25. “Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)” by Stevie Nicks

I love just about everything Stevie Nicks does, and this is one of my favorites.

24. “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by Rick Springfield

Great song that came out in the middle of Springfield-mania.

23. “Daddy’s Home” by Cliff Richard

I did not know anything about this song. Cliff Richard was a very successful singer from 1958-1963. Does the year 1963 ring a bell? Yes, that marked the beginning of Beatlemania. When the Beatles arrived, many, many acts were affected, including Ciff Richard’s. He had some other hits throughout the ’60s, but nowhere near the level where he once was. In the late ’70s Richard had a little resurgence that ran throughout the ’80s. This song is a throwback to late-50s music.

22. “(Oh) Pretty Woman” by Van Halen

Van Halen was pretty successful at remaking some classic songs (“You Really Got Me“, “Dancing in the Street“), and this was one of them. The Roy Orbison original is great, and Van Halen made this version their own.

21. “Do You Believe In Love” by Huey Lewis and the News

And we’ll close out the countdown today with one of my all-time favorite Huey Lewis and the News songs. I get sick of a lot of songs, but for some reason, I still enjoy this one a lot.

What did you think of today’s countdown? Any surprises? We’ll be back with songs 20-11. I just did a sneak peak, and there are still several songs that I don’t know/remember. I’m looking forward to the next 10 songs, and I hope you are too!

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 20, 1982: 40-31

Well, the Top 40 This Week series went over pretty good, so we’ll do another one this week. This week, we’ll go back a little earlier in the decade, and Return to 1982. I was not a regular listener of Top 40 radio back then. We did not have cable TV yet (hence, no MTV), so the only music I
was famliar with was what my parents listened to, and the rock music I listened to (Van Halen and AC/DC).
At first glance of this top 40 list, I am only familiar with 23. There may be some more songs that I remember when I hear them, but I have a feeling I’m going to discover new old music. And I hope you do too. So let’s Return to the week ending March 20, 1982, and check out the bottom 10 songs of the Top-40, and see how many we remember.

40. “Just Can’t Win ‘Em All” by Stevie Woods

Right off the bat, here is a song I was not familiar with. This song prevented Stevie Woods from being known as a one-hit wonder, as he had a previous top-40 hit with “Steal the Night”. After “Just Can’t Win ‘Em All”, Woods did not have another hit in the U.S. After his fame fizzled in the U.S., he moved to Germany. He died in Berlin of diabetes-related complications on January 28, 2014.
This song isn’t bad, but it’s not something I’m going to hurry up and buy.

39. “Don’t Let Him Know” by Prism

This is another song that I didn’t know. What a pleasant surprise! Prism was a Canadian rock band. I hadn’t heard of them, but they did win the Canadian music industry Juno Award for Group of the Year in 1981.
“Don’t Let Him Know” is a very good song. It also happens to be co-written by a pre-fame Bryan Adams, who also contributed to several Prism songs.

38. “Goin’ Down” by Greg Guidry

This makes the 3rd song in a row that I did not know. Greg Guidry was an American singer-songwriter. He wrote songs for Climax Blues Band, Robbie Dupree, Exile, Johnny Taylor, Sawyer Brown, and Reba McEntire.
He released the album Over the Line, which produced two hit singles, “Goin’ Down” (US #17, US AC #11) and a duet with his sister Sandy, “Into My Love” (US #92). After this, he continued to write songs, but he did not release another album until 2000. Greg Guidry died in a fire on July 28, 2003. Boy, this top 40 is starting off pleasantly.
Here is the Easy Listening hit “Goin’ Down”.

37. “Love in the First Degree” by Alabama

The streak is over! I am very familiar with this song. I didn’t listen to much Country music in the ’80s. But, Alabama was always one of my favorite bands. “Love in the First Degree” is a nice ballad and it was the group’s fifth straight No. 1 single (and second multi-week No. 1) on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart.

36 47 ’65 LOVE AFFAIR –•– Paul Davis (Arista)-4 (36)

36. “’65 Love Affair” by Paul Davis

Well, that was short lived. I was not familiar with this song either. This was Paul Davis’ highest charting hit, but I am more familiar with two of his other songs – “I Go Crazy” (1977) and “Cool Night“, which was recorded at the same time as “’65 Love Affair”.

I like “’65 Love Affair” a lot. It reminds me of old school Hall & Oates. I’ll try to get over the fact that 3 out of the first 5 artists are dead (Paul Davis died on April 22, 2008 – one day after his 60th birthday) and enjoy this song. This is another one I’ll have to buy.

35. “Nobody Said It Was Easy (Lookin’ For the Lights)” by Le Roux

This is another new song for me. LeRoux is a pop/rock band from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This countdown is going to cost me a lot of money! This is another one I’ll have to buy. This song reminds me of the late-’80s country band Restless Heart, but a little more rock sound.

34. “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone

You know the song. You’ve dialed the number. An ultimate, awesome ’80s tune. I still like it today.

33 34 TELL ME TOMORROW (Part 1) –•– Smokey Robinson (Tamla)-10 (33)

33. “Tell Me Tomorrow (Part 1)” by Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson is a Motown legend, but I’m not a big fan. This song is alright. But, while you’re listening to this, I’m going call 867-5309 again.

32. “On the Way to the Sky” by Neil Diamond

I know this song because my mother is one of the biggest Neil Diamond fans on earth. I was not a big fan of this phase of his career. I much prefer his older, rockin’ music. This song is OK. If you like Easy Listening music, then this is for you.

31. “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner

We’ll wrap up the first 10 songs with my favorite Foreigner song. They were on top of their game here. This is off of their classic 4 album. If I hear “Hot Blooded” or “I Want to Know What Love Is” one more time, I may pull my hair (or what’s left of it) out! But this one I can listen to more than any of their other songs.

Are some of these songs new to you? I thought this was a good combination of easy listening and rock. We’ll be back tomorrow for songs 30-21.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 10, 1984: 10-1

Here are the top songs from this week in 1984. If you need a recap, you can see what we had for songs 40-31 this week in 1984, songs 30-21, and 20-11.
Let’s Return to the week of March 10, 1984, and enjoy the top-10 songs.

10. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club

Culture Club had a string of big hits, but this was their biggest hit in the US. It had spent three weeks at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1984. At this point it was still in the top 10.

My memory of “Karma Chameleon is from when I was in Junior High school. I was some place (maybe a school bazaar) where there was a raffle for all different items. You buy a bunch of tickets, and put them in the cans in front of the items. One of the items I threw a ticket in for was 45s of “Karma Chameleon” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. These 45’s were the first things I ever won in my life.

9. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

This is one of the most recognizable songs by the King of the ’80s Soundtracks. Kenny Loggins could make a movie so much better with his music. The Footloose soundtrack had a lot of great songs, and this was a stand-out track. Personally, this is my second favorite Loggins tune on the soundtrack – “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” is my favorite. I heard the music and saw the music videos way before I saw the actual movie. So, I was a little confused with the warehouse dance scene when Ren (Kevin Bacon) was dancing to a different song (“Never” by Moving Pictures) instead of “Footloose” like the video showed on MTV.

8. “Here Comes The Rain Again” by the Eurythmics

I should write an article about the songs/bands that I did not care much about when they came out, but appreciate them much more now. This would be in that list. I like this song a lot now. Annie Lennox has an amazing voice.

7. “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis & The News

Huey Lewis & The News had some moderately successful hits in the early ’80s. When their third album, Sports, was released, it launched them into the stratosphere. Their first single off of that album, “Heart and Soul”, was a top-ten hit. This song was their follow-up, and it also reached the top-ten reaching all the way to #6 at some point. Unfortunately, like all the other singles released from the Sports album, radio stations and MTV played this over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over….again until we got sick of it….and-over-and-over-and-over. (You want a new drug? I want a new song!) and-over-and-over-and-over.
When this song started to fade away, then came “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. The melody sounded so much like “I Want a New Drug” that Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism.

6. “Nobody Told Me” by John Lennon

This song was recorded, but not completed, shortly before John Lennon’s death. The song was later completed by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 1983 and released as the first single from Lennon and Ono’s album Milk and Honey in 1984.

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5. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

This was the debut single for Rockwell, who is the son of Motown CEO Berry Gordy Jr. This was his only hit. And this may not have even been a hit if it wasn’t for that familiar voice that is heard in the chorus.

4. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

And here is that familiar voice from the previous song. “Thriller” was quite the event when it debuted on MTV. There was nothing like it at all at the time that this came out. Not only was the video legendary, but the song itself isn’t too shabby.

Here is the normal length song:

Here is the full video:

3. “99 Luftballons” by Nena

It doesn’t matter if you prefer your ballons luft or your balloons red. In either German or English, this was a great, classic ’80s tune.

Here is the original German version:

And here is the English version:

2. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

This song introduced Cyndi Lauper to the world. This is the “unusual” one’s signature hit. If this would have been Lauper’s only song, she would have still been an ’80s icon. But, she went on to record so many other great songs. This was a fun song and video. You can’t go wrong if you have Captain Lou Albano in a video, even if he does have rubber bands dangling from his cheek.

1. “Jump” by Van Halen

The number 1 song this week in 1984. Eddie Van Halen is considered to be one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived. So, of course his band’s only number 1 hit features Eddie mainly playing…keyboards. At the time, this was easily my favorite song. It took radio and MTV longer than usual to get me sick of it. I even like the song “1984” from the album because it would lead into “Jump”. On the bus, our indoor track team was traveling to a meet, and we were listening to the 1984 album on somebody’s boombox. When “1984” was on, somebody yelled out, “Alright! The song that gets you psyched for Jump!” For some reason, that stuck with me.

The video always cracked me up. Eddie has got to be on something good, because he has a weird grin through the whole entire video!

Well this was a lot of fun. We’ll take a look back at a different year next time. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

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