Hi Everybody, it’s about time for another Top 40! This week, we are Returning to the mid-’80s: specifically 1984. This was a very good year for movies and music. There was one movie, which was released 2 months before this countdown, that heavily influenced the music landscape. You’ll know what movie I’m talking about before we even finish this first list of songs. This week’s countdown is also brought to you by my flu-induced fever. So, if I seem a little more crazy than usual, and don’t make sense, we’ll blame it on the fever, and you can just go ahead and click on the song titles to enjoy this awesome music! So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and begin the countdown!
What a great way to start the countdown! This is one of my favorite Madonna songs, and was her first Top 10 hit. 31 years later she is still releasing new music. She just released her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, last month. Her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon proved that she still has a presence. However, Jimmy Fallon’s over-the-top ass kissing was even more over-the-top than usual in the interview. Even though I didn’t care too much for the song itself, her performance of “Bitch I’m Madonna” was outstanding, and proved that she’s just as good as any pop star out there today (which really isn’t saying much – but still).
Here is the first song in this countdown from the movie Footloose. This song also came off of the R&B group’s eighth album, Heartbreak. This was Shalamar’s first album without Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley.
OK, is everbody starting to see a trend here already? This was a huge hit from Footloose. It hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, as well as the dance and R&B charts. This song also had backing vocals by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who would go on to become known as the duo Boy Meets Girl.
YES!!!! “You should’ve been gooooone/Knowing how I made you feel/And I should’ve been goooone/After all your words of steel” This was the Journey singer’s biggest solo hit. This was written for Steve Perry’s then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford (who also appears in the video). Lucky for us, he decided to jinx his relationship by writing a song for her instead of going with the traditional tattoo-of-her-name jinx. This song is a stand out on Perry’s Street Talk album, which is solid with outstanding songs.
Footloose song #3 so far. This is one of my favorite songs from that soubndtrack. It is a great rocker. I love Bonnie Tyler’s edgy voice. The music is awesome too. It was written by Jim Steinman (who wrote a lot of Meatloaf’s biggest hits) and Dean Pitchford. This song also played during an awesome part of the Footloose movie.
The only song I knew Matthew Wilder had was “Break My Stride.” This is the song that prevented him from being a one hit wonder. This song isn’t too bad. I don’t know if I’ll run out and buy it, but I kind of like it. It’s a good upbeat song, and even has a dueling sax solo!
This song was off of the Pretenders’ third album, Learning to Crawl. This was the first album they came out with after two of their members, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon both died of drug overdoses. This song isn’t mind-blowing, but it is a solid Pretenders tune. If you like the band, you’ll like this song.
This was a perfect song at the peak of the break dancing craze. This song would peak at #8, making it Irene Cara’s third (and last) Top 10 hit.
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. I’m still alive, and able to type, so I’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown. There are going to be some more classics this week, so please come back.
10. We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewart
9. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News
8. Spies Like Us – Paul McCartney
7. All Cried Out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
6. Sleeping Bag – ZZ Top
5. Love Touch – Rod Stewart
4. Crush On You – The Jets
3. Holding Back the Years – Simply Red
2. Broken Wings – Mr. Mister
1. That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick and Friends
This was another tough one for me. I didn’t have too much of a problem with the Horrible songs. But there were so many songs that I liked, I had a hard time narrowing it down. If I compiled a list again for this year next week, there could be 10 totally different songs on the list. But, this is what I have right now.
First, the Horrible:
5. Kiss – Prince and The Revolution
I think that only dogs can hear Prince singing this song. It is waaaay to high pitched for me, and gives me quite the headache. I much prefer his Purple Rain songs, and a few others. But this song just goes right through me.
4. Take My Breath Away – Berlin/h3>
The Top Gun soundtrack had some great songs, such as Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, “Playing With the Boys” (despite the association with that horrific volleyball scene in the movie), and Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes”. This Berlin song just ruins the whole thing. It’s long, boring, droning song. “Heaven In Your Eyes” should have been the only ballad on this soundtrack – unless they got Soundtrack King Kenny Loggins to record one.
3. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News:
This song spent 3 weeks at number 1! Are you kidding me!?! I think they were still be rewarded for their Sports album. This song was off of the Fore album. For me, “Stuck With You” feels like “If This Is It, Part 2”. And if you look at my list of 1984 Horrible Hits, you will notice that I didn’t think too much of that song either.
2. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
Much like Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”, this song was probably a huge hit because of it’s innovative video. This song was way too overrated. I love Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, but I could never change the station fast enough when this crappy song came on.
1. Nikita – Elton John
I love a lot of Elton John’s songs. But, he also has many horrible songs. And this clunker is the bottom of the barrel for me. I like some of Elton’s 80s songs. But it’s songs like “Nikita” that make me prefer his songs from the ’70s.
And here are the Great hits of 1986:
10. Burning Heart – Survivor: This song was on the Rocky IV Soundtrack. It wasn’t as big a hit as “Eye of the Tiger”, but it’s still a really good song. Great for working out or running to at the time.
8. Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen: This was the first Van Halen song with Sammy Hagar as the lead singer. They proved that they could be successful without David Lee Roth. There was not a bad song on the 5150 album. And “Why Can’t This Be Love” proved that they could perform great ballads as well as rockers.
6. Your Love – The Outfield: The Outfield’s popularity exploded in the U.S. with the release of this song. This is a fun song that I enjoy a lot.
5. All I Need Is A Miracle – Mike + The Mechanics
This Supergroup was formed by Mike Rutherford of Genesis, and featured Paul Carrack and Paul Young (not to be confused with the Paul Young who sang “Every Time You Go Away”) on vocals. This is a really good, upbeat song. “The Living Years” is probably my favorite song from the ’80s, but this song isn’t too bad itself.
4. Amanda – Boston
After having a string of great songs in the late ’70s, Boston hadn’t had anything new for 7 years. Then they finally came back in 1986 with their Third Stage album, and “Amanda” was the lead single. The song went number one for 2 weeks in a row. Boston was consistenly great, and this is no exception.
“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” was the theme song for the Romancing the Stone sequel, Jewel of the Nile. Billy Ocean has a great voice, and this was a fun song.
2. You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi was a pretty good rock band, with two albums under their belt, when they released Slippery When Wet. When “You Give Love a Bad Name” was released as the first single, the band’s popularity went through the stratosphere. This was a great song as people that were into rock liked it, and people that were more into pop were still drawn to this.
1. Glory of Love – Peter Cetera
I was always a Chicago fan, so I was sad when Cetera left the band. But the band went on to continue being successful, and Peter Cetera didn’t do to shabby himself. “Glory of Love” was Cetera’s first solo song, and it was a smash hit. It was on his album Solitude/Solitaire, and was the theme song for The Karate Kid Part II. I could not get enough of this song when it came out.