Hey Everybody! Welcome 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. We had an amazing list of songs yesterday. Will it be just as good today? Let’s Return to the week ending January 19, 1985, and continue the countdown to find out.
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.
As promised earlier, Don Henley is back. I put this song higher on this list not because I like it better than End of the Innocence, rather it is more clearly a protest song. The most memorable part of this song is the chorus and that rhythm guitar. It is that simple chorus “All she wants to do is dance” that is repeated many, many times. I think that this serves to get the song’s message across in a strong manner. With all of the things going on around us like:
They’re pickin’ up the prisoners
And puttin ’em in a pen . . .
Crazy people walkin’ round with blood in their eyes . . .
Wild-eyed pistols wavers who ain’t afraid to die . . .
Well the government bugged the men’s room
In the local disco lounge
We still have the inclination to do nothing. We know there are problems out there, that shady dealings go on and on, that we are in danger even, but too many of us say nothing or do nothing; we are content with just letting things go on so we can stay absorbed in our own little worlds, oblivious to danger or violations to human rights. Henley exudes a sense frustration that so many of us are willing to remain silent and not do anything unless it affects us directly. The song ends with this unbelievable lack of concern:
‘Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin’ off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance
I really like Don Henley’s solo work (he will show up twice on this list). I think he is an excellent songwriter and has been since his days with the Eagles. So saying, I was first caught by Bruce Hornsby’s piano playing (Hornsby will also show up on this list) on this song. Once the listener gets through the piano, Henley’s lyrics hit like a punch to the gut. This song revisits the classic struggle of Innocence vs. Experience (expertly set up by British poet William Blake in the Romantic era). This struggle depicts the change we all have to go through as we age – the innocence of youth and how it clashes with experience of adulthood. Henley sets up this conflict by first looking at childhood:
Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
This idealistic youth quickly takes a turn for the worse:
When happily ever after fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
While we all have different experiences, we all grow and learn that the world is not as nice and beautiful as we thought it was. These are tough lessons to experience, but they are unavoidable. There is no real protest yet, until Henley writes:
O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
This is a direct criticism of Ronald Reagan and his policies that damaged the Heartland and farmers of America. Henley wants to go back to a time when life was simpler and all of these issues and problems did not matter. Unfortunately, Henley knows that this is impossible and ends this song with:
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
This is the tragedy of life. For most of us it begins carefree, but policy and politicians get in the way and ruin it.
Hi Everybody! We have Robert back again this week to continue the Going Solo series. Today he will be covering Don Henley, who came into prominence with the Eagles. After the band’s breakup in 1980, Don Henley had an incredibly successful solo career in the ’80s. I love all his work both in the Eagles and in his solo career. The music is great, and the lyrics to most of his songs are outstanding. He can paint quite a picture. Now, before Hell Freezes Over, let’s hop in the Fast Lane with Robert as he takes us on a tour of Don Henley’s music.
Don Henley: Building the Perfect Solo Career
In 1977 I was eight years sold. I had received my first radio the previous summer and I was really getting into music. I listened to that radio every day and every night, sneaking it under my covers if need be. I had not bought any records – just pure radio. There were many songs that I liked, but one really stood out. It touched me so much that it became the first 45 I ever bought. I don’t think I really understood the song, “New Kid in Town”, I just knew that it made me sad. This was when I became an Eagles fan. I would not buy any of their albums until college, but I borrowed a few and learned everyone one of their songs that was played on the radio. A few years later, as I was really getting into music, I learned that the Eagles were considered one of the all times great rock bands, but they broke up in 1980. That song that I loved so much was one of their later successful singles.
Fast forward to 1984. I was living in Germany by this time, but the radio was still one of my constant companions. In Germany we received one American radio station – AFN. The station had to appeal to many listeners so the programming was eclectic. I made it a point to tune in to AFN every Sunday from 2-6 pm – that was when they broadcasted The American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. This was truly one of the highlights of my week. I actually kept a notebook that listed all of the #1 songs (geeky, I know – but this was before the age of the internet). Some time in early 1985 a song really caught my attention. The voice was so familiar – I knew I had heard it before. The song was “The Boys of Summer” and the singer was Don Henley. The voice of that great song from my childhood was releasing his own music! I needed to go buy it.
After begin a vocalist and drummer for the Eagles, Don Henley began his solo career in 1981 with the release of the album I Can’t Stand Still. This album was moderately successful with the biggest single being “Dirty Laundry” (which I like way more now than I did then). Henley also released a duet with Stevie Nicks called “Leather and Lace.” In addition he gave a song, “Love Rules” to the soundtrack to the classic ‘80s film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (if you do not have this soundtrack, check out the scene with Stacy and Rat when they are looking at yearbooks). This was an admirable start for Henley as a solo artist, but even better music was on the way.
In late 1984, Henley released a song that would place him firmly in the chronicles of ‘80s rock. The song “The Boys of Summer” came from the album Building the Perfect Beast. This song had everything that I liked in a song: good beat, clear guitar work, great vocals, and lyrics that had some meaning to them. I bought this album on the strength of this one single and I was not sorry. This album made me a true Henley fan. Over the next several years I bought everything I could find that he was a part of.
I remained a huge fan of Don Henley’s music and was again rewarded with an even better album in 1989 End of the Innocence. I was honestly blown away by the music and lyrics that Henly created here. I continued to follow Henley and the Eagles through the reunions and some new music, but nothing compared to these excellent classic albums of the ‘80s.
Now I have a dilemma. Return to the ‘80s typically features an entire album. Forgive me, but I am going to emulate the Toto article and choose my favorite ten songs from these two albums.
The opening cymbals and guitar riff make this song instantly recognizable to most fans of ‘80s music. This excellent tune examines a strong summer love that has disappeared despite the promises that were made. The male voice in this song realizes, maybe too late, that that woman was the best he could get, “I thought I knew what love was / What did I know? / Those days are gone forever / I should just let them go, but. . .” – you know the chorus. This song received the appropriate accolades: it won the video of the year at the MTV music awards and Henley won the Grammy for best rock male performance. The song needs to be included in any list of the greatest songs of the ‘80s.
This song is a bit unusual for Henley (or the Eagles), in that it is a completely keyboard driven rock song – keyboard solo included. I liked this song very much the first time I heard it – I love the feel of this song. It is an easy scene to picture- the beach, the sun, people of all types – all centered around the Sunset Grill where the owner “calls all his customers by name.” Henley, as usual, displays his writing chops, “You see a lot more meanness in the city / It’s the kind that eats you up inside / Hard to come away with anything that feels like dignity / Hard to come away with any pride.” I admire songwriters who are strong in the lyric category. Some of my notable favorites are Prince, Sting, and, because of lines like this, Henley.
I decided to put this song on the list instead of “Not Enough Love in the World” (which reached #34 on the Billboard charts) because, simply put, this is a better song. As an English teacher, I try hard to make some concepts clearer for students to understand. I use rock music every chance I get. Springsteen, Bon Jovi and this song show up every year. This somber, piano driven song, highlights the classic struggle between the way things are and the way they used to be. Some may dismiss this song because it does not have a catchy chorus or rhyming lines. Do not make this mistake. This is an agonizing song that captures middle America as well as John Cougar’s “Rain on the Scarecrow“.
Whenever this song comes on the radio, someone in my family always criticizes it for not saying anything except “All she wants to do is dance.” Granted it does say this line at least fifteen times, but there is much more to this song than the chorus, a good beat, and an infectious rhythm guitar. This song is about complacency. We see all these bad things around us, but most are unwilling to help or even pay attention to what is going on. Henley is urging us to take action and help solve some of the country’s problems; do not just go on like nothing is happening. This song has depth for those who listen closely.
Did you ever like a song and were not too sure why? This is one of those songs for me. I like the catchy rhythm guitar and solo. I like the imagery of the difficulty of accomplishing something while our eyes are closed. Besides, it is not often that a rock song will have allusions to French poets.
This album is full of great songs, but this may be my favorite. Many will recognize Bruce Hornsby’s stylings on the piano, but Henley’s lyrics make this song great. He captures the human propensity to return to older days when things were simpler. Clearly life has always been complex and full of pitfalls, but we do not recognize this until we are older. Most of us idealize our youths – clearly I do by writing for Return to the ‘80s. All of my memories of those days are perfect. My adult self understands this is impossible. As we age, we see and experience the negative aspects of life and, because it is harsh, we return to the memories of our youth. Enough philosophy! This song is excellent and once again shows what a great writer Henley is.
This song brings back memories of college. I was a catering student manager (which I enjoyed); in the summer the five student managers ran the entire kitchen which remained open for summer students. We did everything: cooked, cleaned, washed dishes, mopped – everything. They were long days, but we made it fun; we all became great friends and hung out after work, too. One night after a particularly hard day, we were mopping – and this song came on the radio (yes, we mopped each night with the music blasting). The chorus of the song was perfect! It became a ritual to play this song right before we left for the night. The song itself is a great love-ish song where the singer is trying to convince a woman that her life is not over. After a difficult break up is experienced, we need to take time to heal and then get back in there and not let it ruin the rest of our lives.
Another great, albeit, somber song. I was first drawn in by the song’s title. Henley uses this idiom to show how so much can happen in such a short amount of time. The character, Harry, has had enough of his hustle and bustle Wall Street life – so he just disappears. The narrator of the song does his best to explain Harry’s, and therefore, our, situation: “Lying here in the darkness / I hear the sirens wail / Somebody’s going to emergency / Somebody’s going to jail / If you find someone you love in this world / You better hang on tooth and nail / The wolf is always at the door.” Yet another great Henley verse to ponder.
I like to think of this song as a philosophical love song. Clearly a difficult breakup has occurred. The natural reaction is to be upset, bitter, and let it affect the rest of your life and relationships. Henley says that we need to grow and get to a place where we are able to forgive the other person as well as ourselves. The song’s bridge says this perfectly, “There are people in your life who’ve come and gone / They let you down and hurt your pride / Better put it all behind you; life goes on / You keep carrying around that anger, it will eat you up inside.” This is a touching song that challenges us to forgive others. The video is a live performance from 1990.
I chose this song for three reasons: 1. Lyrically, this captures Henley’s personal philosophy, 2. That searing guitar is just too good to deny, and 3. Axl Rose is the backup vocalist. There have been plenty of examples of Henley’s writing here, but again he shows his knack for placing strong ideas inside of lines that rhyme: “Too many tire tracks in the sand of time / Too many love affairs that stop on a dime / I think it’s time to make a few changes ‘round here.” The lyrics set up an aggressive song that is enhanced by those guitars that hit you like a slap in the face. Need more aggression? Add some vocals by one of the most known singers of the late ‘80s, Axl Rose. What you have here is just a great rock song.
There you have it – one of the best songwriter/vocalist/drummer from the ‘70s and 80s. I have loved Don Henley’s music, but his lyrical content is second to none. Let me throw in a little English teacher love here. In 1990 Henley helped form the Walden Woods Project which set out to save Walden pond, one of the most sacred spots in American literature. It is the place that Henry David Thoreau lived for two years and became his inspiration for Walden, one of the most respected books in the entirety of the American literary canon. Don Henley is more than just a drummer or a songwriter. He has made himself a clear, strong voice in the American environmental movement, as well as a deserving member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with the Eagles). His work in the ‘80s is timely and powerful. All of the tracks on both of these albums deserve to be featured here and listened to over and over again.
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.
Hi Everybody. I’ve been so tired lately, that I can’t concentrate enough to right a decent article. But, I still want to share with you. While sitting at my desk at work all day, I usually either listen to podcasts or music. Today I decided to play some songs on my iPod. As of this second, there are 12,782 songs on my iPod.
So, let’s have some fun. I will hit the ‘Shuffle’ button, and share the first ten songs that get played. I will not skip any, so it is possible that there will be some non-80s songs. The odds are even greater that there will be at least a few ’80s songs on here. Let’s get started. Hopefully, this will not be too embarrassing. Feel free to make fun of me if you want. I stand behind my music! Wait..let me make sure there is no Justin Bieber. Just kidding, I really didn’t need to check. There is a 100% chance that you will NOT hear any Justin Bieber here. I really hope there are songs on here that you will enjoy. And you may even discover new music. Here..We..Go!!
“Heart and Soul (Live)” – Huey Lewis & The News
This was on a Sports special edition that I downloaded from iTunes
“Crazy Train (Live)” by Ozzy Osbourne
From Ozzy’s Live at Budokan album
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Warrant
In my opinion, Warrant is one of the most underrated bands of all time. This is a really good song off of the Cherry Pie album.
“Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” by Patty Smyth and Don Henley
I still love this song. Can’t get enough of Patty Smyth.
“Mary, Mary” by Run DMC
That’s right, I love Run DMC! Why you buggin’?
“867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone
The odds are pretty good that there would be at least one ’80s essential on this list.
“Trial By Fire” by Kiss
One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite Kiss albums – Asylum
“Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers
What a great song to relax to!
“Love Chaser” by Europe
Here is another underrated hair band. This is a really good song you may not have heard of unless you have The Final Countdown album.
“I Will Not Go Quietly” by Don Henley
Awesome rocker by Henley, with Axl Rose on the backing vocals.
Well that was something completely different. I hope you enjoyed. And phew, nothing embarrassing! I may have to do this again sometime. Let me know what you thought of this article.
And it would be great if you guys listed out some songs that are on your iPod too.