Hi Everybody! Welcome back as we finally conclude the countdown. I’m sorry it took so long to wrap this up, but sometimes real life happens. If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. What a blast going down memory lane! Now, let’s Return to the week ending August 27, 1983, and wrap up the countdown.
And don’t forget, if you click on the song title, you can see the video of the song. If you click on the album cover, you can listen to or purchase the song on Amazon.
The great David Bowie re-invented himself once again with the Let’s Dance album. This classic was the second song released off of that album. Bowie was one of the many of our 80s icons that passed away last year. He is missed.
This is a great signature song for Stevie Nicks’ solo career. Stevie is almost 70 and still going strong. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Stevie was asked how it felt to be turning 70 in 2 years. She said:
I don’t like that number. I see lots of people my age, and lots of people who are younger than me, and I think, “Wow, those people look really old.” I think it’s because they didn’t try. If you want to stay young, you have to make an effort. If I wanna walk onstage in a short chiffon skirt and not look completely age-inappropriate, I have to make that happen. Or you just throw in the towel and let your hair turn white and look like a frumpy old woman. I’m never gonna go there.
This cover of the Irving Berlin song was a huge hit for Taco, eventually peaking at #4. This made Irving Berlin, then 95, the oldest ever living songwriter to have one of his compositions enter the top ten.
This song was so overplayed that I would cringe every time I’d hear The Eurythmics. Luckily, enough time has been removed that I really love their music. I have no problem skipping over this one though. But, I love anything else they do.
Speaking of overplayed songs, this was the king of them. I clearly remembering listening to the year end countdown in December, and being so disappointed that this was the #1 song of the year. I love just about everything else from the Synchronicity album. But I guess I’m a weirdo. At least it’s better than a stalker.
That wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed this. There will definitely be more countdowns coming up. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. If you are in the U.S., I hope this countdown has provided a little escape from the election day craziness. This has been a great week of music. For those of us who grew up around the time of this countdown, we were so lucky to enjoy some great music. Now let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and wrap up this countdown.
Earlier in the countdown, we had a song by Tommy Shaw in the wake of the band Styx falling apart. Now we have the former Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung with his solo effort. This is an outstanding song, that would peak right here at #10.
Thanks to producer, David Foster, we were right in the middle of Chicago’s renaissance. I do get slightly annoyed that most people only know of Chicago from their power ballads, even though they have some incredible rock songs. But, with a song like this, I can totally see why. This is one of my favorites by them. I love that both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sing on this. I love both of their voices. Great combination!
David Bowie (still can’t believe he is gone) was still making an impact on the music world at this point. This song was off of his Tonight album, which was his follow-up to the mega-successful Let’s Dance album. This song was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which would be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career. He was nominated for several, but this was his only win, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
This song is from Tina Turner’s huge comeback album, Private Dancer. This song was originally recorded and released in 1981 by Spider, a band from New York City with one of the co-writers, Holly Knight, as a member. Of course Tina had the most successful version. The song won Tina Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, one of four Grammys awarded to Turner in that ceremony.
There weren’t too many acts as big in the ’80s as Hall & Oates.This was their lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It would be their last #1 hit. The song was also their 14th straight top 40 hit since 1980.
Before we continue, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week in 1984:
While Prince was a megastar performer himself, he also wrote music covered by other artists. This was one of them. Prince wrote this song, and it was on his debut album. It was also covered by The Pointer Sisters on their 1982 album, So Excited!.
Then Chaka Kahn took over, and this song would start a big comeback for her. Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) did the rapping. And Stevie Wonder is on the harmonica.
This was Wham!’s big breakthrough hit. It became their first American and UK number-one hit. To be honest, I really hated this song when it first came out. I like it now because of its nostalgic value. It should also be noted that while it was at the top of the charts for two weeks, it prevented the next song from becoming a #1 hit…
Yes, perhaps Prince’s signature song, this never hit #1 (still can’t believe he is gone). That doesn’t change anything though. This is an iconic song of the decade. For a lot of people, when you mention the ’80s, one of the first images that come to mind is the cover of the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie poster. And if you listened to our Prince episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, you would know that there is a Journey connection here. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain from Journey asking him to hear it, worried it might be too similar to “Faithfully“, a Journey single composed by Cain which had recently been in the charts. Cain reassured Prince telling him the songs only shared the same four chords. Prince was extremely sensitive to Copyright infringement. It’s good to see he put his money where his mouth was, and was careful himself.
This was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful hits. It was featured in the Gene Wilder (still can’t believe he’s gone) movie The Woman in Red. The ballad won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards.
I always loved Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a good one. It won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.
Well that wraps up this week’s Countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Did you have any favorites or least favorites? Let’s do another one of these in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, this has been an incredible week of music – especially the previous 10 songs. And now we have reached the top 10, which has some more classic music I think you’ll enjoy. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and find out what were the biggest hits that week.
Next up is another song from a debut album of an ’80s powerhouse. This song was the second single released from Culture Club’s Kissing to Be Clever album (after “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me“). This song is one of my favorite Culture Club songs.
Easily my favorite Branigan tune! I love all her music, but this is #1 for me. What an incredible talent she was. I was so upset when she died on August 26, 2004. This song was the lead single from the Branigan 2 album. This debuted on the charts the same week her breakthrough hit, “Gloria“, dropped off the charts.
I think everybody here may have possibly heard of this song, maybe. We all know that Eddie Van Halen famously plays the guitar solo here. But, you may not know this fun fact: there were a few members of Toto who played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar, bass guitar), Steve Porcaro (synthesizer), and Jeff Porcaro (drums).
Now it’s the part of the countdown where we see what was topping the other charts this week:
This song was my introduction to David Bowie. Bowie has always reinvented himself. This was during his pop period. I liked this song a lot, and there are so many great songs on the Let’s Dance album, that I like even more.
We have now arrived at the #1 song this week. And what a way to end! My big ’80s crush – Irene Cara. This is her signature song, but she has so many other great ones that get overlooked. I love her voice and music. Even though this song gets all the airplay, I still love it.
Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I’m going to try to keep this going next week by Returning to the year that The Empire Strikes Back came out. Then the following week – the week the new Star Wars movie is coming out – we are going to Return to (yes we’re going there) 1977! So, that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. There have been some flat-out classics so far this week, and today is no different. You can go back and check out songs 40-3130-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been one of the better Top 40 weeks, so let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and finish the countdown.
Well, here’s a blast from the past. Hall & Oates were a staple of the ’80s music scene. But, this song is often overlooked. This song is actually a cover, originally done by Mike Oldfield (with Maggie Reilly on vocals) in 1982. Hall & Oates made it their own, and made it a big hit, topping out at #6 on the charts.
Just like Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield had a great hot streak in the early-to-mid ’80s. This song, Springfield’s first single from his Living in Oz album, would be his fourth top 10 hit, peaking right here at #9. It was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, but lost to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.
This synthpop song just screams ’80s! But, did you know that this was a cover? It was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. The original recorded version was released by Lou Johnson in 1964. Sandie Shaw also released a version of this song that same year, and it was a #1 hit in the U.K., Canada, and South Africa.
The 1964 versions and this ’80s version were each a product of their time. I like all the versions, but of course, I prefer Naked Eyes.
This is a nice ballad by one of my favorite bands – Styx. This song is from their divisive album, Kilroy Was Here. This was the beginning of the end of the original run of Styx, but you wouldn’t know it here.
Lionel Richie immediately proved that he could have a successful career post-Commodores, with his incredible self-titled debut album. This ballad was the third single released from that album, and was his third top 10 hit in a row. Kenny Rogers, who often collaborated with Richie, provided the backing vocals on this song.
Men At Work is just pure ’80s. They were on a hot streak at this time. The combination of Colin Hay’s voice and Greg Ham on sax, gave Men At Work a very unique sound. Everyone knows “Down Under“, but this is one of their better songs as well.
Speaking of unique sounding, this song was a worldwide smash hit. The song’s title refers to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London. You could not escape this song when it was first released, but man was it fun!
All week we have been hearing from artists who had been around for a while, but were introduced to me with the ’80s tunes in the countdown this week. This is another one. I remember first hearing this song on the radio while eating breakfast before school. This song was from the album of the same name, and was part of many of David Bowie’s reinventions. This is a great song from a great album.
Culture Club followed their world-wide smash hit debut, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, with this song. I like this one better. Culture Club was one of those bands that I didn’t care much for back then, but enjoy much more now.
Before we uncover this week’s #1 song, lets see what was topping some of the other charts this week:
What a Feeling! and what a way to end the countdown! A few years earlier, Irene Cara hit it big with the theme song for Fame. Somehow, she outdid herself with this classic from the movie, Flashdance. This song won all kinds of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This is a well deserved #1 hit.
Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. This has got to be one of the best countdowns we’ve covered so far. 1983 was such an incredible and pivotal year of music. Do you agree? We’ll be back with another countdown in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome to the Return of the Top 40!!! And what a week to jump back into this! These were the biggest hits in the U.S. 30 years ago this week. There are going to be some true classics this week. Remember, you can click on the song title to see the video. This is going to be exciting, so let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending March 9, 1985, and begin the countdown.
What better way to Return to the countdown than to begin with one of my favorite Chicago songs. Not only is this a fun, upbeat song, but the video is totally awesome! The first half is Indiana Jones-like, and the second half was influenced by Casablanca.
Boy, summer does sound good about now! This classic Don Henley song went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The video won the Video of the Year at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, and also won that year’s awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography.
It’s always great to hear Jeffrey Osborne, who is from my home state of Rhode Island. This song is off of his 3rd album, Don’t Stop. I had never heard this song before. It is more uptempo than most of his other songs that have been released. I’m liking this one!
This is a very fun dance song by the family DeBarge. This song was written by legendary songwriter Diane Warren. This song reached all the way up to #3 on the Hot 100 charts, making it the biggest hit by DeBarge.
This was the fifth and final single released from the classic album, Heartbeat City. This is another song that I was unfamiliar with. This ballad isn’t too bad. Not one of my favorites by them, but not too bad.
This collaboration between David Bowie and the jazz fusion band the Pat Metheny Group, was recorded for the soundtrack to the film The Falcon and the Snowman – a movie I never heard of, which starred Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. This has that classic David Bowie new wavey sound to it.
This is a nice song, written, composed, and produced by Lionel Richie as a tribute to Marvin Gaye, who had died earlier in the year. This is one of those songs that I remembered as soon as I heard it. This song was Diana Ross’ last major hit on the US pop singles chart, hitting the Top 10 in the spring of 1985.
Well, I’m getting better at digging up these Prince videos! If you are new to these countdowns, Prince usually makes an appearance. However, he is about the only artist that does not allow their music on YouTube, or just about anywhere else on the internet, for that matter. So I normally substitute it with another song. The is the second Prince song in a row I was able to find. This song was the final single to be released from the Purple Rain soundtrack.
Turn it up!! Now, we’re in my wheelhouse! This was the lead single released from Autograph’s debut album, Sign in Please. It would be their only Top 40 hit, reaching No. 29 in the Billboard 100. In 1985, Guitar Player magazine awarded Steve Lynch “Guitar Solo of the Year” for this song.
Well, that wraps up the countdown for today. It will continue tomorrow. Did you like these first 10 songs so far? Even though I was 14 at the time of this countdown, I only remembered about half of these songs. I would have thought it would have been more. Did you discover any new music here? Give me your thoughts on the countdown, and what you were doing at this time in 1985.