Welcome back as we continue this week’s Top 40 countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out Songs 40-31 and Songs 30-21. A lot of times, this is the part of the countdown I love because there are great songs that may not have landed in the Top 10, which means that they don’t get much airplay on the ’80s radio stations and shows. This countdown does not disappoint.
If you’d like to listen to the song, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video and click on the album cover to get the song on Amazon.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending November 8, 1986, and continue the countdown!
Wow, Corey Hart had another song besides “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender“?! You would never know it, but he actually had nine Top 40 hits in the U.S. This one, off of his Fields of Fire album, would peak at #18.
This was the third single released from the iconic Control album, and was the first #1 song for Janet (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty). It made her and her brother Michael Jackson the first, and so far only, siblings to both have solo number-one hits on the Hot 100. At the time she was 20 years old, making Janet the youngest artist since Stevie Wonder to top the Billboard Hot 100.
Climbing up from #27 to #18, this Bruce Hornsby & The Range tune would go on to be a #1 hit. This was the second single released from their debut album, The Way It Is. I was never a fan of this song, but some things will never change. That’s just the way it is.
This ballad would be Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force’s first Top 10 hit, peaking at #8. They would later top the charts with “Head to Toe” and “Lost in Emotion“. We may not have heard the last of Lisa Lisa. In June of 2019 Lisa Lisa signed with Snoop Dogg’s Army, part of the Snoop Dogg Entertainment Company.
Great ballad by the recently deceased Ric Ocasek. This was the only solo hit by The Cars frontman. The song jumped from #22 to #16 this week, and would top out at #15. After the Cars released their Greatest Hits album in 1985, the group split up to pursue solo careers. Just as Ocasek had this one Top 40 hit, singer/bassist Benjamin Orr did the same with “Stay the Night“.
Huey Lewis & The News did not rest on their laurels after their Sports album. They followed that classic album with another great one – Fore!. This was the second song released from that album, and would top out at #3. Fun fact: the song features Pro Football Hall of Famers and then-San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott singing backup vocals.
Lionel Richie has so many smash hits that some get lost in the mix. This is one of them. I totally forgot about this one. It was a Top 10 hit, topping out at #9 on the Hot 100. It would also be Richie’s tenth number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Great ballad by Toto with legendary guitarist Steve Lukather on lead vocals along with guest vocalist Michael McDonald. Lukather recently published a book called The Gospel According to Luke which I would love to check out.
Former Chicago bassist/singer Peter Cetera followed up his smash hit “The Glory of Love” with this awesome duet with Amy Grant. It was also a success, becoming another #1 hit. Bobby Caldwell and Paul Gordon wrote the song for Peter Cetera to sing, and did not know, at the time, that he was leaving the band Chicago. According to Caldwell, “We did indeed write the song for Chicago and their lead vocalist Peter Cetera. We had his voice in mind, but Paul and I were unaware that he was leaving Chicago at that time, and when we heard the news our hopes were dashed. However, a short time later, I got a call at home from Cetera himself who stumbled upon our demo cassette tape of the song in producer/arranger David Foster’s office. He loved the tune and wanted to record it as a duet. It was simply meant to be—the song landed with the singer we wanted.” This song would bring Contemporary Christian music artist Amy Grant to the mainstream.
This song was Anita Baker’s first big hit single, peaking at number two on the US Billboard R&B chart, number three on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100. This song won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards.
That wraps things up for today. As the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger! So, come back tomorrow, and see what the Top 10 hits of the week are from this week in 1986.
Hi Everybody! Time for a new Top 40 countdown! This week, we are Returning to 1989. This is one of the last countdowns that I would have heard before I left for Navy Boot Camp, and be cut off from all pop culture for a couple of months. This should be an interesting week. Some of these songs were new to the countdown, and they would be big hits as I was graduating boot camp. Other songs had been out for a bit, so I knew them very well. And of course there are songs that were new to the countdown, but would not last long, and would be gone by the time I left boot camp. So, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and begin the countdown!
Also, you can click on the song title to listen to/watch the video on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon.
This Bangles smash hit broke into the Top 40 right here. This ballad would eventually top the charts. After topping the charts with “Walk Like an Egyptian”, this song helped the Bangles be only the third all-female group to score multiple number-ones in the United States, after the Supremes and the Shirelles.
This was the second single released from the Up Your Alley album (after “I Hate Myself for Loving You”). This is one of those awesome songs that I had forgotten about. It has that classic late ’80s/early ’90s rock sound. It had peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Time to sound like a broken record…this is another one I vaguely remember. This was not as a big a smash as Minogue’s cover of “Locomotion”, but it is still a decent throwback to late ’80s pop. Kylie Minogue is still releasing new music to this day. She just released her 14th studio album, Golden, last year. Her single, “Dancing“, was a #1 hit on the U.S. Dance charts.
I remember this song, but didn’t realize it was from the ’80s. This was released from Vanessa Williams’ debut album, The Right Stuff, and was her first top 40 and first number-one hit on the Billboard R&B chart, where it stayed at the top of the chart for two weeks.
Unless you lived under a rock in the late ’80s, you know this song. It was Poison’s biggest hit, staying at the top of the chart for 3 straight weeks. I loved it when it was first released. But, it got exhausting hearing it everywhere all the time. Of course, some of that was self-inflicted, as I had the 45 of this song. After keeping my distance for a while, I do enjoy going back to this.
I always loved this song, from the great Chicago 19 album. I don’t remember the version from this video. There seems to be a lot of electric guitar in it, which is pretty cool. From September ’88 through this time of February ’89, I had a job working for the newspaper The Providence Journal. I would deliver papers for paper routes that did not have any paperboys. After that, I would go back to the office, and go back out and bring newspapers to people that called in, saying that they didn’t get their paper. So, while I was driving around delivering papers, Chicago 19 would be in heavy rotation in my car. Any of those songs immediately bring me back to that time.
Sadly, Bobby Brown is known more for his problems, including the train wreck involving the relationship between him and Whitney Houston. We forget how huge a star he was at this time in the late ’80s though. This song was a #1 hit. The album from which it came, Don’t Be Cruel, topped the Billboard 200 album charts, and spawned 5 top 10 hits. It was the best selling album of 1989.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think so far? What were you doing at this time in 1989? Also, feel free to email me a long distance dedication to Returnto80s@gmail.com. We’ll be back tomorrow, to continue the countdown.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back as we continue the countdown! I understand that as we get into the late 80s, we are starting to lose that classic 80s sound. So, this can be depressing for some. But for me, this was a great time. I had just graduated high school. And because I was working a part time job, I was starting to get my own money. So of course I spent a lot of it on music. The late 80s were good to me as I was coming into my own.
Now, let’s Return back to the week ending November 5, 1988, and continue the countdown!
Great way to start the countdown today! I loved Vixen from the time they first came out and released this song. I actually had this on a 45. If you like this song, you should check out Vixen’s entire self-titled album. Every song is great, and the album would be one of my top “desert island” choices. It should also be noted that Richard Marx was one of the writers of this song.
This was the second single released from Rod Stewart’s awesome Out of Order album. I had lost hope in Stewart staying “forever young” as he was only focusing on big band music in recent years. However, he just released a new pop album, Blood Red Roses on September 28, 2018.
I had totally forgotten about this song. This was the other song released from Elton John’s Reg Strikes Back album, after “I Don’t Wanna Go On with You Like That”. With the exception of a few songs, I still much prefer his 70s music.
This song was inspired for the Girl, Shannon Rubicam, when she saw an actual falling star at one of Whitney Houston’s concerts at the Greek Theatre. The folowing is from Wikipedia: “Initially, the duo did not consider recording it, and instead submitted the song to Clive Davis hoping he would decide to use it on Houston’s next album. He rejected it, suggesting that it did not suit her. The song was then offered to and recorded by Belinda Carlisle for her 1987 release Heaven on Earth, at the insistence of her label, but Carlisle disliked it and refused to include it on the album.”
Well that worked out for Boy Meets Girl, as it became their signature hit.
This was Anita Baker’s biggest hit on the Hot 100 as it would go on to peak at #3. It also topped the Billboard R&B chart for 2 weeks. It also won Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal performance and Best R&B Song.
This was never one of my favorite Def Leppard songs. However, it was their only #1 hit. I have warmed up to it over the years, and love it now. Part of the reason is the nostalgia factor, and part of it is that it is a great song!
That wraps up today’s list of songs. And what a great list it was! What do you think? What were some of your favorites? What were you doing this week in 1988. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, please come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Once again, we have a crazy diverse day. We have hair bands, R&B, and pop. And, we also have a Long Distance Dedication! So, let’s Return to the week ending March 25, 1989, and continue the countdown.
We begin today with Poison’s cover of the Loggins and Messina hit, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”. The Loggins and Messina version reached all the way up to #4 in 1972. While Poison didn’t go as high with the song, they did manage to reach #10. This song was kind of a let down for me. But, next year, Poison would release what I feel was their best album – Flesh and Blood.
This is one of those songs that I didn’t recognize by the title, but remembered it when I heard it. This has that classic late-80s New Wavey synthpop sound. This song was a worldwide hit for the Canadian synthpop band.
Oh Good Lord!!! I forgot that we are now in a point in time where the New Kids were white hot. Well, I was never a part of their target audience, so this is not my thing. They are local to me, so I am happy for their success. Donnie is awesome in Blue Bloods, and I actually do enjoy the A&E show, Wahlburgers. I still haven’t been to one of those restaurants yet. By the way, who would have thought that 26 years after this song, New Kids On the Block would still be touring?!?
“Superwoman” is the second single from R&B singer Karyn White’s self-titled debut album, Karyn White (1988). It became her second U.S. top ten hit and second U.S. R&B number-one hit.
Here is a nice R&B song by Karyn White. She had a nice string of hits in the late ’80s through early ’90s. She then left the music business to start a family. In 2012, she released her first studio album in 17 years – Carpe Diem.
Here is the second song, of this list, titled “You Got It” (minus “The Right Stuff”). I remember this song very well, but thought this was an older song from the ’60s. This song reached #9, and was Orbison’s first Top 10 hit in 25 years. Unfortunately, Orbison never saw this return to the charts, as he died of a heart attack the previous December at the age of 52. A couple of his Traveling Wilburys played on this song – Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and electric guitar, and Tom Petty on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.
Ugh, I can’t “Stand” this song! I don’t know what it is about R.E.M., but they just irritate me. This song just sounds like an annoying children’s song. I will give them credit for having a unique sound.
Now we’re up to our Long Distance Dedication. This is the feature that reminds us what popular music is all about…songs helping us to express important feelings. Here is a letter from Robert from Nebraska:
This dedication is for the most important person in my life. I had the great experience of growing up in Frankfurt, Germany. I was part of military family and we moved quite a few times. I was a quiet, shy boy and I had a few good friends, but always had difficulty being comfortable in groups, especially if girls were present. I never really dated much – until the beginning of my senior year when I met Diana. I had signed up for the bus to take us to an away football game. The buses were crowded and I was forced to sit next to one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. Naturally, I was nervous and had trouble even looking as her- not to mention talking to her. During the football game we gave each other side glances and on the trip home we again sat together- not because we had to this time. When we got back to the school, I somehow summoned enough courage to ask for her phone number. The rest, as they say, is history. We became inseparable and did everything together. Eventually, the time came to return to the U.S. for college. We decided to go to school in Nebraska – I just could not imagine being without her. I was leaving the first week of July and she would leave at the end of August. We spent every day until that week in June. These were the best days I had ever had. I was worried that things would not work out while we were apart and these could be the last days I would ever see her. Casey, would you please play “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx. This song reminds me of the great times I spent with Diana and how much she meant to me. Thank you.
P.S. Casey, everything did work out. This summer we will celebrate our 25th anniversary with our four wonderful children. Even today this song reminds me of her and that summer after our senior year.
Robert. Here is your long distance dedication
From 1987, that was “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx, a long distance dedication from Robert in Nebraska, to his wife Diana.
This is, by far, my favorite Guns N’ Roses tune! It is such a perfect rock song. From Steven Adler’s awesome drumming to Slash’s classic guitar sound, to Axl’s voice, which is perfect for this song. They are just firing on all cylinders at this point. I think that if they all got along, kept their s*!t together, they would have survived through the grunge era. Everybody has been waiting for the original lineup to get back together for years. And after Eddie Trunk’s recent interview with Steven Adler, there is a buzz about this happening. I’m not holding my breathe though.