Hi Everybody! Welcome back to the countdown! If you missed yesterday’s list of songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Where were you at this time in 1985? I was 14 and midway through my first year of high school. The beginning of the school year was exciting. I went to a catholic school from 2nd through 8th grade. Then I went to a good size public school for high school. The change was exciting. I got to go to a different classroom for every class, and I didn’t have to wear a uniform! However by this point, the newness wore off, and I wasn’t liking school too much, and didn’t do to well. Even though I wasn’t enjoying school at all, this was still a great time for music, movies, and TV. There will be a few familiar songs on today’s list of songs that bring us back to that great time of music. For my good friends in the U.K., there may be even more songs that bring you back to that time. Now let’s Return to the week ending January 12, 1985, and either relive, or discover the great music of that time.
[Also, I should point out that you can click on the song title to listen/watch the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon]
Before this artist became known as Alvin Stardust, he was known as Shane Fenton. He had success in the pre-Beatles era, hitting the UK top 40 with four singles in 1961–62. However, he became better known in the 70s and 80s with his Alvin Stardust persona. This song had reached up to #7 on the U.K. charts.
Love this! This is a novelty song that was a huge hit in the UK, peaking at #2, and spending 30 weeks in the Top 75. I am reading up on these songs before I listen to them, just so I can know the background. In a survey for dotmusic in 2000, this song was rated the 4th most annoying song of all time. That really got my attention! I just had to listen to it. This is from Wikipedia:
In a poll for Q magazine in 2003, a panel of music writers voted “Agadoo” as the worst song of all time, saying: “It sounded like the school disco you were forced to attend, your middle-aged relatives forming a conga at a wedding party, a travelling DJ act based in Wolverhampton, every party cliche you ever heard.” The panel also described it as “magnificently dreadful”.
No wonder I like this so much! I’d be one of those middle-aged relatives forming a conga, to this train wreck of a song, at a wedding reception.
Very cool funk/R&B song. Council Collective was a collaborative effort put together by The Style Council. It was put together to raise money for striking miners. The proceeds also went to the family of David Wilkie, a Welsh taxi driver who was killed during the miners’ strike.
This song was my introduction to Chaka Khan, and was a big comeback hit for her. It has an iconic introduction by Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Oh by the way, this was written and originally performed by Prince. But, Chaka Khan made it her own, and was a smash hit in the U.S. and U.K. It also won Prince the 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, as the songwriter.
To say that this was a smash hit, is just putting it mildly. This was Stevie Wonder’s biggest hit, topping a record 19 charts. This was one of those cases where the song was much bigger than the movie that it was featured in. In this case, it came from the 1984 soundtrack album The Woman in Red. This was actually Wonder’s only #1 hit in the U.K. He made it count though, as it topped the charts for 6 weeks, and it became Motown Records’ biggest-selling single in the UK, a distinction it still holds today.
Well, I learned something new, which I probably should have known. This song is from the album 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother), which was the soundtrack from the film Nineteen Eighty-Four. I never knew there was a soundtrack for that movie. I’m pretty sure I saw the movie, but I don’t remember it. There’s no need to go back and watch it, seeing that we are living it now.
Great soulful song by the awesome Yazoo singer. In my opinion, she is very underrated (at least in the States).
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. They seem to be getting better and better! What do you think so far? Also, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a long distance dedication. We’ll continue the countdown tomorrow.
Well, here we are. The Top 10 songs in the U.K. this week in 1983. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. There will be some very familiar songs on here for us in the U.S. However, there may still be some pleasant surprises. You can click on the song title to get to the song on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s Return to the week of March 6, 1983, and wrap up the countdown.
While this British Jamaican reggae band had only 1 hit in the U.S. (“Pass the Dutchie”), they had several hits in the U.K. between 1982 and 1984. This was their second biggest hit, peaking at #6 on this U.K. chart.
Unlike Musical Youth, the Thompson Twins had several big hits in the U.S. But, this was not one of them. It did come close, peaking at #45. However, this was a top 10 hit in several other countries, including here in the U.K. where it peaked right here at #9.
Here is another group that did not make it big in the U.S., with only two Top 40 hits. In the U.K., Madness was huge! And so was the group Madness. (my Brit friends get it) I wish this song made it over here in the U.S. I love it! “Our House” can really get stuck in your head, and this could have done the same.
We should all know this song, at least from the original version by Steam. And any sports fan knows this song when their team is about to beat their opponent at home. This is a girl band version of it. I love everything Bananarama does. This was yet another song that did not hit big in the U.S., peaking at #101. But, it was a top 10 hit here, peaking at #5. This was the fifth single released from Bananarama’s debut album, Deep Sea Skiving.
Forrest is not known in the States. But we all know this song from the 1974 original by The Hues Corporation. Forrest does a great job with this. I wish it would have made it in the U.S. so I could hear it more often on 80s stations and shows.
Maybe it’s possible that some of you may know this song. It was only a top 10 hit in every country in the world that has music charts, and was #1 in almost all of them. Not only was this a worldwide smash in 1983, but it became a huge hit all over the world once again when Jackson died in 2009. It wasn’t reaching the top spot again in most places. But, it was a top 10 hit just about everywhere.
And here we are at the #1 spot! This song was written by Jim Steinman, who is best known for being Meat Loaf’s producer. This was Bonnie Tyler’s biggest hit, topping the charts in several countries. I love this song, and most Steinman produced songs.
This was not planned, but it is definitely fitting that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is the #1 song. I got the idea of doing the Top 40 this week from the U.K., from a conversation I had with my best friend, who happens to be from Wales, which is where Bonnie Tyler is from. Bestie and I were talking about music. I had already known that there are a lot of songs that were huge in the U.K, but never made it here. But, this got brought to the forefront of my mind from our conversation, as I did not know some bands Bestie brought up. And there were singers I heard of, but didn’t know they were in a band. So, I thought it would be great to discover great new music.
I hope you all thought this was a good idea. Please let me know if you’d like to see more of these. I’ll be back with a new countdown in the near future. Maybe it will be from the U.S. or from the U.K.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been a great week of classic ’80s music. And as you will see, there are going to be no surprises in this top 10 today. They are all songs and artists that helped define the decade. So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and finish the Countdown.
Van Halen had been known for their hard driving guitar rock, led by Eddie Van Halen. But, it was this synthesizer based song that really brought Van Halen into the mainstream and gave them their only #1 single. “Jump” dominated the airwaves for a very long time, and the video was an MTV staple,
Here is another song that there could be no mistake as to which decade this was from. I do have to admit that The Thompson Twins did drive me and my minor OCD slightly insane in that they were not only NOT related, but there were THREE of them! Ugh!! But, that does not take away from the greatness of this song.
This was a time when Boy George and Culture Club were among the top artists of the music landscape. This was their third single released from the classic Colour by Numbers album. This is another song and video that could come from no other decade than the ’80s.
Well, this is not one of my favorite Lionel Richie songs at all. But, it is good to hear once in a while. And now I can say that I’m not as creeped out at seeing this Lionel Richie sculpture from the video:
as I was after I saw this recent I Love Lucy sculpture:
Let’s dance!!! The king of ’80s soundtracks scored big time with this smash hit song. It is one of Kenny Loggins’ most identifiable songs, and won a Grammy for Song of the Year. Great way to end a countdown!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Countdown. I feel like I used the workd “classic” quite a bit. But, it was a appropriate. There were so many signature ’80s songs this week. What a great year of music! We’ll be back with a new countdown soon. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
10. Mickey – Toni Basil
9. She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
8. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
7. Mr. Roboto – Styx
6. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel
5. Never Gonna Let You Go – Sergio Mendes
4. Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Air Supply
3. What About Me – Moving Pictures
2. Puttin’ On the Ritz – Taco
1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
Even though I love ’80s Music, I definitely prefer David Bowie’s ’70s music. No, David Bowie, I don’t want to dance! I’d much rather be Major Tom a “Space Oddity“! “Let’s Dance” is bad enough as it is. What makes it worse is that it is an “earworm” song. In other words, it gets stuck in your head. As I write this, I have not heard the song in years. But, just mentioning the title gave me earwormage (is that a even a word?) big time!
Well, that’s why I start with the ‘Horrible’ list, and end with the ‘Great’ list.
Yes, this was the Eurythmics breakthrough hit, but I’m not a big Eurythmics fan. This song just drones on and on. Instead of ‘Sweet Dreams’, this song was more like a recurring nightmare when it came out. It was always on the radio and on MTV.
I do like the Eurythmics “Missionary Man” a lot. But, I just can’t take this song or “Here Comes the Rain Again“.
Ah, Ah-Ah-ah. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:
Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?
I like The Police a lot. But, this song is one of my least favorites, and one of the most overrated songs of all time. I remember listening to the American Top 40 countdown of the top songs of the whole year, and this was number 1!! Really?!? “Synchronicity II” was my favorite song on the Synchronicity album by far – even though I don’t understand the lyrics too much.
Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The doggon song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.
Here is my top songs from that year: Runners up:
10. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle: These legends made a song that was perfect for a wedding
9. Little Red Corvette – Prince: Probably my favorite Prince song. Not as overplayed as “1999”
8. Truly – Lionel Richie – My favorite Lionel Richie ballad
7. Africa – Toto: Great song by Toto. I love the music, and the lead singer Bobby Kimball has an incredible voice.
6. Mr. Roboto – Styx: A lot of people make fun of Styx because of this song, and how it made them more theatrical. But, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with music. There have been worse concept albums than Kilroy Was Here.
And Jeffster did a great cover of this in the TV show Chuck:
5. Photograph – Def Leppard
A great song by one of my favorite bands. Although Def Leppard had a couple of good albums before Pyromania (On Through the Night and High and Dry), “Photograph” became their first hit, and helped spur on the success of Pyromania. The video showed a lot of photos of Marilyn Monroe, so people incorrectly thought the song was about her. This is still a great song. Def Leppard has stood the test of time for over 30 years now.
4. Solitaire – Laura Branigan
Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and “How Am I Suppose to Live Without You” were overplayed. But I think this song was way better than both of them. It rocks, and Branigan had a great voice. It sounds like she put a lot of passion into this song. This song also launched songwriter Diane Warren’s career.
3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.
2. Down Under – Men At Work
This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!
1. Separate Ways – Journey
Silly video aside, this song rocks. As soon as you hear Jonathan Cain’s keyboard, you know what song is playing. It has a lot of energy and gets you pumped. After Journey had a very long hiatus, they went on tour with a new lead singer – Steve Augeri. Of course I went, and this was the song they came out playing first. What a way to come back! While I need to turn some songs off as soon as I hear them, I have to listen to this one all the way through when it comes on.