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.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21. and 20-11.
I don’t know about you, but I think this has been a fantastic week of music so far. And I’m sure you will all enjoy the top 10 this week! Once again, if you want to listen to the song, just click on the song title. Now let’s Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and wrap up the countdown.
This song was the lead single off of Donna Summer’s self-titled 1982 album. The album was produced by Quincy Jones, and Jones and Rod Temperton who wrote Micahel Jackson’s “Rock with You”, were also the writers on this song.
A great song associated with a great movie – Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This was the highest-charting single of Browne’s career, topping out at #7. It would also be his last Top 10 single. But, what a way to go out!
We now arrive at the debut of Men at Work. This was their first hit, off of their debut album, Business as Usual. This song was inspired by Colin Hay having been hounded by bill collectors prior to making it big.
Now, time for som Prog Rock. I love this song. It really brings me back to the early ’80s. The heart of the band was Alan Parsons (duh) and Eric Woolfson. Other than that, they brought in session musicians. Before they started the band, Alan Parsons was an assistant engineer for the Beatles’ last two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be, and in 1973 he engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Not too shabby!
Perhaps best known for her 1978 hit, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, this song was Melissa Manchester’s biggest hit. It peaked right here at #5 this week. It earned Manchester the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the year 1982, besting nominated performances by superstars Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John as well as Juice Newton and Laura Branigan. Quite a feat. Another cool fact about this song is that two members from the band Toto played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).
This began my love of the band Survivor. “Eye of the Tiger” was easily my favorite song at the time. As much as I love Rocky III, this song made it even better.
It’s so crazy that Survivor is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Jimi Jamison, the band’s lead singer through most of the ’80s, had followed me on Twitter before he died. And what’s just as amazing is that Survivor’s original lead singer (who also performed this song), Dave Bickler, also follows me. Aaaand we have interacted!
So we interacted, AND he is recording new music! 12 year old me would have never thought that this would happen.
This was Chicago’s big comeback. They had not had a hit since 1978’s “No Tell Lover”. The Chicago 16 album was Chicago’s first album with Warner Bros. Records, and their first with legendary producer, David Foster. They changed their sound, and became commercially successful again.
Before we get to the top 2 songs of the week, let’s check out what was topping some of the other charts this week:
We already heard one song in this top 10 from John Cougar. Now it’s time for a little ditty about Jack & Diane. This was Cougar’s biggest hit, topping the chart for 4 weeks. John said that the clapping in this song wasn’t supposed to be included in the finished song. It was recorded with the clapping in order to help keep tempo and then it was to be removed. However, he realized the song did not work without it.
We finish the countdown with The Steve Miller Band, which may be great news to some. However, The Steve Miller Band is one of those bands that I can’t quite warm up to. Being a rock fan, I guess I’m supposed to like them. But, I can only enjoy their songs for about a minute before I lose interest. This song isn’t horrible though, so it definitely does not ruin a great week of music.
Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I know these countdowns are popular, so I will try to do them more often. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we see the next one.
In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Hey Gang! Welcome to a new week of some Top 40 music! This week we will be checking out a Top 40 from 1983. At this time in 1983, I was just finishing up 7th grade, and getting ready for my last year of junior high school. A month from now, I would be going on one of my best childhood vacations. We went to Colorado to go see my grandparents for their 50th anniversary. That side of my family is scattered all over the country, so it’s always a great time when we all get together. We stayed with my aunt and uncle and 2 cousins. We had a blast! In addition to visiting my grandparents, we took several day trips, and hung out at a pool with a giant diving board. In between, when we were hanging out at the house, if Rocky III wasn’t on, then it was Six Pack, or The Who’s “final” concert. Those three shows seemed to be in heavy rotation on HBO at that time. We were constantly quoting Rocky III. Then the main event of the trip was my grandparents’ 50th anniversary party. All of my aunts and uncles, and most of my cousins were there, and it’s a time that I will always remember fondly.
As far as the music goes, that last remnants of ’70s music was gone, and we were beginning to start the classic ’80s sound. So, I personally think this is going to be a fun week of music. Now, let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and begin the countdown.
I did not remember this song at all. But, there is no mistaking which decade this song is from. The keyboards at the beginning, and a sax solo in the middle give it that classic ’80s sound.
Christopher Cross had an incredible debut in 1980. He followed that up with 1983’s Another Page. That album included his smash hit “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)“. It also had the song, “Think of Laura“, which was for the daytime soap opera General Hospital. I really enjoyed this song, “No Time for Talk”. It was a pleasant surprise for me, and a great way to begin the countdown.
I’m so glad I’ve been able to finally find some Prince videos! This isn’t on YouTube, and it’s a little slower to load, but it’s worth it! I really enjoy Prince’s early work. This song was originally released in 1982. But, it did not crack the top 40. Then after “Little Red Corvette” came out, he gained many fans. So, “1999” was re-released and finally became a big hit, peaking at #12.
Alabama was my gateway into country music. Throughout the ’80s, I hated country music – with the exceptions of Alabama and Kenny Rogers, and maybe a handful of songs. When I was in the Navy, almost everybody seemed to be a country music fan. It drove me crazy, and everybody was trying to get me to like it. But, we did find some common ground in the form of Alabama. The music is great, and their harmonies are just incredible. I eventually became a country music fan in the ’90s when rock and pop music were really sucking.
In the country music world, it seems like every song Alabama released became a number hit. “The Closer You Get” was no exception. I still like this one a lot.
This was the first time I had seen Stevie Nicks, and I’ve been hooked ever since! Stevie Nicks was hugely successful with Fleetwood Mac, and helped send them into the stratosphere of success. But, she has had just as successful solo career. In the early days of MTV, this is one of the songs that helped launch that career.
This is the second surprise of the day. Due to his smash hit, “Lady in Red“, I always that of Chris DeBurgh as an easy listening/lite rock staple. But, this song rocks! I mean there’s no confusing this with Metallica, but this song still rocks pretty good.
Fans of the podcast, Stuck in the ’80s, are very familiar with this song as it is the theme for their PPTMN segment (Please Please Tell Me Now). “Is There Something I Should Know?” was Duran Duran’s first #1 hit in the U.K. It was also a big hit in the U.S., peaking at #4. Duran Duran is just a flat-out classic ’80s band. And this song has that classic, unique Duran Duran ’80s sound.
I cannot give Laura Branigan enough praise. I love all of her music, and she has an incredible voice. I think she is so underrated. This song was always one of my favorites by her. This song was the follow-up to “Gloria“, and became Branigan’s second consecutive Top Ten hit. I love these songs that start off low, and build up as the song goes on until the singer is really belting it out. It is done so well in this song.
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think so far? Where were you at this time in 1983?
We’ll be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.
Welcome back to this weeks Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can still check them out. We have a pretty good variety of music today. We have Pop, Rock, and R&B. Oh, and maybe a little bit of…Disco [shudder]. So, let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending January 5, 1980. On with the countdown!
Unfortunately, in the U.S., Abba is mainly known for “Dancing Queen.” But, they were much more than that. They were a very good pop band. This was a nice song, which was their first single from the Voulez-Vous album.
I think Dionne Warwick had many other songs that were better than this one. But, this song did win her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In a couple of weeks from now, Dionne Warwick, along with Glen Campbell, would host a 2 hour special called Solid Gold ’79. It was a 2 hour special which counted down the top 50 songs of 1979. It was so successful that in the fall of this year, Solid Gold would become a weekly series, hosted by Dionne Warwick.
British prog-rock band The Alan Parsons Project were beginning to catch on in the States at this point. In the late ’70s/early ’80s, they were actually more popular in the U.S. than in their own home country. This is a pretty good song if you are into progressive rock.
Yes kids, before he voiced Chef on South Park, Isaac Hayes was a huge Soul singer and songwriter. He co-wrote Dionne Warwick’s “Déjà Vu” from earlier in this countdown. He also co-wrote “Soul Man,” which was first performed by Sam & Dave, then further popularized by The Blues Brothers. And, of course, he is best known for providing the musical score for the 1971 movie Shaft, and won the Best Original Song Academy Award for the “Theme from Shaft.” This made him the third African-American, after Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel, to win an Academy Award in any competitive field.
Let’s put it this way, this song finally gets better when the DISCO kicks in at the 1:45 mark. Yes, Disco actually improved this song. Thank you Donna Summer!
This song was recorded for Streisand’s album, Wet. It was also a new track on Donna Summer’s greatest hits album, On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2.
That wraps up the countdown for today. Today wasn’t a bad day, but I’m hoping tomorrow will be better. I know that I love 4 of the songs that are coming up tomorrow, and I’m not familiar with 6 of them. Maybe will discover more awesome music tomorrow. See you then!
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It feels like this has been a weekly segment lately! Sadly, Donna Summer died this morning after a battle with cancer. According to TMZ, she was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.
She may be known as “The Queen of Disco”, with smash hits in the 70s such as “MacArthur Park“, “Hot Stuff“, and “Bad Girls“, but she continued to have success in our ’80s.
Here is a list of Donna Summer’s hits that reached the Top 10 in the U.S. in the ’80s:
“On the Radio”
Peaked at #5 in 1980:
Peaked at #3 in 1980:
“Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)”
Peaked at #10 in 1982:
“She Works Hard for the Money”
This is the one everybody knows. It peaked at #3 in 1983:
“This Time I Know It’s for Real”
This was her last top 10 hit, peaking at #7 in 1988: