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 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 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!