Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today’s list has a lot of songs that were not big in the U.S., so they are new to a lot of us. And these are really good songs. It is always fun to discover new old music.
Again, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s continue the countdown.
This cover of the 1962 Marvin Gaye song was a huge hit for Paul Young in the U.K. It was a breakthrough song for him, and would go on to top the U.K. charts for 3 weeks. However, it did not fare well in the U.S., only peaking at #70. A few years later, this song was on the Ruthless People soundtrack.
Imagination is one of those bands that did not cross over well to the U.S., but were huge in the U.K. The English three piece band had a huge run in the early ’80s, scoring 9 Top 40 hits between 1981 and 1984. This song was one of them, peaking at 29.
This song is a cover of the 1963 Andy Williams song. U.S. audiences know The Beat as The English Beat. This was done to avoid confusion with an American band called The Beat, which was active at the same time. This song was on The Beat’s 1980 album, I Just Can’t Stop It. It wasn’t released until 1983. This was at the same time that the band was breaking up. It was their fifth and final top ten UK hit, and their highest charting single release ever.
Mark this one under “You learn something new everyday.” I learned that The Imposter is a pseudonym that Elvis Costello used. This song was on Costello’s 1983 album, Punch the Clock which also featured “Everyday I Write the Book”.
Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO) moved back to their old-school rock roots with this song, after their progressive pop phase with Xanadu. This was another song that was a hit in both the U.S. and U.K. It peaked at #13 in the U.K. and #19 in the U.S.
There is almost no information out there about this song, and it is not available on Amazon. But, I really like this one a lot. The Truth released several singles before their debut album in 1985. And this was one of those songs. This actually sounds like a 1979/80 ELO song.
Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. The hits are getting bigger and bigger. However, there are still two songs on today’s list that I was unfamiliar with. That’s always exciting for me. Now, let’s Return to the week ending and move on with the countdown. And as usual, if you’d like to listen to the song on YouTube, click on the song title. And if you want to listen or buy this song on Amazon, you can click on the album cover.
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!