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. One thing I love about the countdowns in the early ’80s is the wide variety of music. There was still variety later on in the decade too, but nothing like this. Today, we have some rock, country, pop, R&B, and even an instrumental thrown in here. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and move on with the countdown…
At this point, I had still not heard of The Moody Blues. My introduction to them would not come until 1986 with “Your Wildest Dreams“. This song started off promising. But when Styx didn’t chime in with Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, I was disappointed. This isn’t a bad song. I can see how it got by me, though. I appreciate it more now then I would have back then.
Marty Balin was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship. He left the band in 1978. Since the only songs I know by that band from that era are the ones Grace Slick sung, I was not familiar with Marty Balin. This is another middle-of-the-road song for me. Not horrible, but not that good. But, now we will be leaving my uncharted territory, and start getting to more familiar songs.
I know a lot of people love Sting’s solo career. But, I really love these days when he was teamed up with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. This is a classic Police tune from their album Ghost in the Machine.
This was The Commodores’ last hit single with Lionel Richie in the band. This is another favorite of mine. It is just as good, if not better, than some of Richie’s other ballads. This song was also featured in the 1982 movie The Last American Virgin.
This country-crossover hit was written by written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ backing group The Hot Band. Juice Newton made this a smash hit, reaching up to #2 for two weeks, being kept out of the top spot by “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.Juice Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist in the C&W category.
This is another smash hit which peaked at #2 on the charts. This power ballad from Foreigner’s classic 4 album, was in the number 2 position in the week of November 28, where it was held off the number 1 spot by Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” for nine consecutive weeks, and then by Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” for a tenth week on January 30, 1982.
Time to get funky! This classic R&B hit earned Carl Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. If you are friends with a Bruno Mars fan, point them to this song to see what it’s all about.
To prevent confusion, this song was originally released as “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” so as not to be confused with the group’s No. 1 hit song “The One That You Love” which contains the lyrics: “Here I am, the one that you love.” It didn’t work with me because I still got confused.
When I was in junior high school, I was in a Catholic school. When we had dances, we had them in one of the classrooms, and moved the desks off to the sides of the room. One of the mothers would “dj” by playing tapes and albums on a stereo that somebody brought in. Whenever they wanted to play a slow song, it was always an Air Supply song. So these Air Supply songs bring me back to that time.
In addition to this smash hit that earned Mike Post a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, you may know this legendary music producer’s other work in television shows such as Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The A-Team, NYPD Blue, Renegade, The Rockford Files, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap, and Magnum, P.I.
As we drive off in tears at the end of the countdown for the day, let’s listen to the awesome, but sad, ballad by Quincy Jones and James Ingram. This song was featured in The Last American Virgin as Diane Franklin broke Gary’s and our hearts.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. I hope you are enjoying this. Let me know what you think so far. We are already halfway done. Come back tomorrow to see what other awesome songs were topping the charts this week in 1981.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 30-21. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31.
Ah, 1982! What a great time for music! These 10 songs alone have such diversity that we definitely don’t see in today’s countdowns, and may never see again. Today, there is some rock, country, pop, funk, R&B, and flat-out classic ’80s.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and continue the countdown.
This was the second single from the multi-platinum album Toto IV, which also contained the smash hits “Africa” and “Rosanna“. There are a few different theories of where the band name originated. In the early ’80s, band members told the press that the band was named after the dog in The Wizard of Oz. There was also a joke that the name came from Bobby Kimball’s “true” last name, Toteaux. The last theory is that after the completion of the first album, the band and record were still unnamed. David Hungate, after seeing the name Toto on the demo tapes (which Jeff Porcaro wrote in order to distinguish their own demo tapes from other bands’ in the studio), explained to the group that the words “In Toto” in Latin translated to “all-encompassing.” Because the band members played on so many different records and many different musical genres, they adopted the name “Toto” as their own.
Now, we’ll get to some country music. If a country song were to enter the Top 40 today, it would be a re-recorded pop version of the original version. But, back in the good ole days, the songs made it on the countdown in its original version. This song earned Juice Newton the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.
This smash hit by Laura Branigan, which I still love, is actually a cover. The original version was an international hit, performed in Italian, by Umberto Tozzi. I’m actually digging his version as well!
This song peaked right here at #23. But, if you remember this song from later in the decade, you are either from the U.K., where this song was re-released in 1987, or you are one of the few people that watched the 21 Jump Street spinoff, Booker. This song was the theme song for Booker, which was supposed to launch Richard Grieco into super-stardom. Oh well. We’ll always have If Looks Could Kill anyway.
Today, we close out with some classic ’80s New Wave. I was never really much of a New Wave fan back then. However, I am embracing it now. Unfortunately, now that I’m older, I don’t think I can quite pull of the Mike Score hairdo from back in the day:
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. We’ll continue the countdown tomorrow. Have you had any favorite songs, pleasant surprises, or “I never want to hear that song again” moments? Please let me know.