Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown!!! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I hope you’re enjoying this trip down Memory Lane this week. We have a great mix of songs today, including a Long Distance Dedication. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 27, 1982, and move on with the coutndown!
In 1980, Billy Joel started to reinvent himself from Piano Man to Rock Star, with his Glass Houses album. The trend continues here with this song from his Nylon Curtain album. And we have all felt pressure, so we can relate to this song.
The Bee Gees did not record as much music in the ’80s as they did in the ’70s. However, they were still very active, writing songs for other artists, including this one. Dionne Warwick’s career did not end with Solid Gold. She hit the top 10 with this song.
I absolutely love this song! Stephen Stills sings lead on this one, and he co-wrote it with Rick Curtis and Michael Curtis. David Crosby did not rejoin the band until the Daylight Again album was under way, so his vocals were not featured on the album version of this song. Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles and Art Garfunkel provide backing vocals. So you still have great music and harmonies.
An awesome, yet overlooked song by Survivor. Of course, it can be understandable since it was featured on the Eye of the Tiger album. Not too many songs could survive competing against that title track. This Dave Bickler era of Survivor provided a lot of great songs, including this one.
This is perhaps my favorite Pat Benatar song. Unfortunately, at one point I had a roommate who was a guitarist, and he pointed out how awful the guitar solo is in this song. Now, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. But, I still love the song. Benatar is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time.
In the early ’80s, country-crossover hits were quite the rage. Here is another one. The song became Sylvia’s signature song and got her nominated for a Grammy award in 1983 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It also helped her take home the Academy of Country Music (ACM) award for Top Female Vocalist of 1982. She never had another crossover hit after this, but she still had plenty of more hits on the Country charts.
Meh. I’m not a huge Supertramp fan. It doesn’t help that one time, somebody stole my Journey Evolution cd out of the case, and replaced it with Supertramp’s Greatest Hits. I may forgive, but I do not forget.
This song reached number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it stayed for a record ten weeks before being replaced by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine”. Personally, I think he should have held that Jackson/McCartney crapfest out of the #1 spot. This was also the first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year,
I live and breathe the ’80s every day. But, sometimes even I need a jumpstart to kick my ’80s love into high gear. And I got that this past weekend when I saw my favorite group, Rubix Kube, in concert. Not only is the playlist awesome, and different, each time I see them, but they are extremely talented musicians. And if that is not enough, just being in the same venue with tons of people, who share the same love and passion for the most rad decade, is enough to totally rejuvenate you and get you on an ’80s high.
So Casey, Please play one of Rubix Kube’s signature songs, their cover of The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” for all my awesome fellow ’80s fans.
Hi Everybody! Here is the Return of the Return to the ’80s podcast!
We welcome Scott Ryan back to the show. This is the first of our Billy Joel album series. The gang discusses the loss of Tom Petty. Then there is some Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination talk. We have our regular segments, Play This, Not That, featuring the other Piano Man, Remember That Song, and ’80s Trivia. Then we get into our main topic – Billy Joel’s Glass Houses album.
Hey everybody! The Return to the ’80s podcast is making it’s um, Return very soon. We will be recording Episode 17. It will be the first in our Billy Joel series, as we discuss and listen to Joel’s classic 1980 album, Glass Houses.
We would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on Billy Joel? Have you seen him in concert? What are your favorite songs from the Glass Houses album? You can email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com, or leave a comment below, or visit us on Twitter or Facebook.
Welcome back to another installment of this week’s Top 40 countdown. If you missed the previous entries, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. So far, it’s been a pretty good week. Let’s see if it continues. Let’s Return to the week ending August 27, 1983, and move on with the countdown.
This smash hit by Bonnie Tyler is the second Jim Steinman song on this week’s countdown. This song still stands the test of time as I have heard it on several recent television commercials. And of course with the recent eclipse, the song has been getting even more airplay.
19. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King” by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
In the ’80s, there was a lot of nostalgia for the ’50s and ’60s. This song has that old time sound.
This song got by me. I had never heard it before. It isn’t too bad. This title track from Browne’s seventh album was the highest charted song from this album, which also includes “Tender Is the Night” – which I have heard of.
This pretty song was the 5th single released from the legendary Thriller album. They must have broken the budget with all the previous singles, because there is no music video for this. This song was written by Steve Porcaro (the keyboardist from Toto) and John Bettis.
This was the first single released off of Billy Joel’s album, An Innocent Man. I loved it when it came out. Then got sick of it as it played on MTV constantly. Then I missed it when the follow-up single “Uptown Girl” got overplayed even worse.
This is one of the more iconic songs of the ’80s. There is no mistaking which decade this song belongs to. And no, perverts, this isn’t about safe sex. This is an anti-establishment song. The following is from a very cool article from Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict. Sam Tweedle interviewed the writer/lead singer of Men Without Hats, Ivan Doroschuk. Sam asked Ivan about the origins of the song. Ivan explained that “The Safety Dance” is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s new wave music:
The inspiration for the song was from back in the days when Punk and “New Wave” were starting off and the discotheques were still playing disco music. But every now and then they’d slip in Blondie’s Heart of Glass or Rock Lobster by The B-52’s. Well, obviously, anybody who was into that kind of music would rush on the dance floor and start jumping up and down and would bang into the guys trying to do their disco two steps. I got thrown out of a lot of clubs because of that. So that’s basically the origin. I was kind of mad that they wouldn’t let me dance if I wanted to, so I took matters in my own hands and wrote an anthem for it.
That’s it for today. There were some very familiar songs, and others that don’t get much airplay on ’80s radio these days. Let’s see what tomorrow will bring when we wrap up the countdown.
Welcome to a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast! Paul’s partner-in-crime, Robert, is missing in action this episode as the soccer team he coaches is in a state tournament kicking ass and taking names. But, this is still a great episode. We welcome Scott Ryan to the show. He wrote thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history, which will be out on June 7. You can purchase the book at www.scottryanproductions.com. Even if you never watched the show, this is a great episode. [Note: I have never watched the show myself] We talk a little about the show, and Scott’s experience in writing the book. We also cover an arrangement of other ’80s topics. Play This, Not That features Billy Joel, and morphs into a great conversation about Billy Joel. We also have a new Remember That Song and ’80s Trivia. So, please check out this episode and let us know what you think. In addition to listening right here on the site, you can also listen on iTunes, or anywhere you get your podcasts from
– Paul, flying solo this episode, introduces author and podcaster, Scott Ryan
thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history
– Scott talks about how thirtysomething changed drama on television
– thirtysomething and the ’80s
– MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin’s involvement
– Writers Scott interviewed
– 2 degrees of separation from Tom Cruise – Scott and Tom Cruise compete for Ed Zwick’s time
– thirtysomething and the Emmys
– Scott’s podcasts
Red Room podcast
how the thirtysomething podcast led to the book
Paul turns Return to the ’80s into The Chris Farley Show talking about Scott’s latest podcast episode with Ken Olin
Billy Joel is another excellent song writer from the ‘80s who hit with songs like Uptown Girl, Tell Her About It, and later in the decade We Didn’t Start the Fire. In 1982 he released Allentown, and while it only reached #17 on the Billboard weekly charts (but #47 on the year end charts), this song packs an enormous punch. Joel describes life in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a typical coal mining town whose residents are dependent upon that coal and working in those mines for a living. The young people in Allentown are becoming restless because the life that they were promised is not coming to fruition. Their parents and teachers all promised them a comfortable life working with coal, but it is not happening:
Well we’re living here in Allentown
And they’re closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they’re killing time
Filling out forms
Standing in line
It is becoming harder and harder for these young people to stay in a town that is economically dying. This now becomes a metaphor for the working class in the Northeastern United States. This area once had an industry that was booming and could easily support those who were willing to work for it. Now, times are changing and, while the will to work is still there, the money is not.
Well we’re waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave . . .
So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Ever since the first time I heard this song, these lyrics have stick with me and still stand out today:
Every child has a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got
But something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our face
Billy Joel is trying to draw attention to a part of the country that is dying. An industry that was once vital to American life is now being left behind; those who are being left behind are suffering, caught in a situation not of their own making and not knowing what to do, caught in a trap of, as they see it, lies.
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. At this point in time, MTV was still in its infancy, as it just debuted 2 1/2 months ago. Some artists already threw their hat in the ring, and filmed music videos. Others were not yet ready to embrace this medium. So, this is a very interesting and transitional time. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and continue the countdown.
As far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with Billy Joel. This song was originally released in 1976 on his Turnstiles album. But, it didn’t have success until it was released on Joel’s live album, Songs in the Attic.
Another fun fact: Billy Joel confirmed that he wrote the song with Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes song “Be My Baby” in mind. Because of this, Ronnie Spector recorded her own cover version of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in 1977 with the E Street Band, soon after Joel released his first recording of the song on Turnstiles.
During this part of the decade, there were a lot of country-crossover hits. But, now we have a jazz-crossover hit! This is a song I would never have listened to back when it was released, but absolutely love it now. This song came off of Al Jarreau’s Breakin’ Away album, which was his most popular album, spending two years on the Billboard 200. it also won Jarreau the Grammy Award in 1982 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
This isn’t exactly one of Kenny Rogers’ most well known songs. But, it did reach number 14 on the Hot 100 and 5 in the US Country charts. It was off of his album Share Your Love, which was produced by Lionel Richie.
This was the first single released off of ELO’s 1981 album, Time, and became an international hit. I’m not sure if I would have heard of this song if it wasn’t featured in The Coffee Achievers TV commercials….
Well, if you’re gonna follow-up “Jessie’s Girl”, this is the way to do it. Rick Springfield proved he was here to stay with this Sammy Hagar penned tune. Just like “Jessie’s Girl”, this rocker came off of Rick Springfield’s 1981 international breakout album Working Class Dog, and would reach up to #9 on the charts.
I’m not sure what the U.S. presidential debate fact-checkers would say, but I believe that this is where the rage of the ’80s sax solo began. This was the first single released from Foreigner’s classic 4 album. The album was produced by “Mutt” Lange. The then-unknown Thomas Dolby played synthesizer on some tracks on the album, including this song. And the aforementioned sax solo was performed by by Motown great Junior Walker.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. So far, this has been a pretty solid week. And the best is yet to come! So come back Friday to see what the Top 10 was this week in 1981. And as usual, I would love to hear your thoughts on this countdown. See ya Friday!