We covered the Top 40 countdown for the weekend that Return of the Jedi came out, and the weekend that The Empire Strikes Back came out. Now, Return to the ’80s is going back to a long, long time ago, in a galaxy…well right here, and counting down the Top 40 songs from the weekend that Star Wars was released. The movie was released on May 25, 1977. This countdown is from the week ending May 28, 1977. Far out, man! Us older ’80s kids will remember a lot of these songs. If I had to watch movies only from one decade that wasn’t the ’80s, I personally would choose the ’70s over the ’90s. This should be an interesting week. I think I’ve only heard of 16 songs out of the 40 – and 6 of them are in the top 10. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1977, and begin this countdown of groovy tunes.
Well, if you’re a Streisand fan, this is a great start to a countdown. I’m not a fan. I appreciate that she does have a beautiful voice. But, I can only take her in very small doses – as in a half a song at as time. This does sound like a typical late ’70s Babs. So, if you do like her, this is a very good song.
I had never heard this song before. I actually kind of like it. It has a timeless sound to it. It could have been released in the ’70s, ’80s, or even today if there was good music today. This was off of Natalie Cole’s third album, Unpredictable, it spent five weeks at #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
This song “Everybody Be Dancin'” by the rock group Starbuck, is neither a dance song nor a rock song. There’s a reason why I never heard this song before now…it’s not that good, but it’s not horrible either. And there is not really any mistaking for which decade this song came from.
It only took a few songs to get to one that I know. I really like this song a lot. It would be a #1 hit on this chart for three weeks, beginning July 30. Then The Emotions took over the top spot for four weeks with “Best of My Love“. Then in September, “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” jumped back in to the top spot. Andy is credited as being co-songwriter with his brother Barry. Andy said the following in the book The Bee Gees – Tales of the Brothers Gibb by Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, and Andrew Hughes:
So, once we discussed it all and got the deal together, me and Barry locked ourselves in a bedroom and Barry just started writing. When Barry writes, it is very hard to collaborate with him, because he is so quick. And before I knew it he was starting to do the chorus of [‘I Just Want to Be Your Everything’], and I thought, ‘Wow what a hook!’. He’s an expert at his craft. Within about 20 minutes, he’d written a number one record; and then we went right into another one, [‘(Love Is) Thicker than Water‘]
This is the best song we’ve gotten to so far, which I had never heard before now. I think it has a funk rock sound. This was the biggest U.S. hit for John Miles. It would peak two spots further on this chart, at #34. However, it hit #2 on the Disco chart. Once again, there is no denying which decade this came from.
You know it. You love it. You may have run up the 72 stone steps leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to it. But, wait. I thought Bill Conti did this song. Well, for the first time that I know of, the countdown is going to have the same song twice on the same countdown. Spoiler alert – You won’t hear Bill Conti’s version for a while. This version, by Maynard Ferguson is a jazz version of the song. Well, it sounds very much like the version you know, except this song has Maynard Ferguson playing some killer trumpet to give it more of a jazz sound than a disco sound.
Also known as (by me anyway) Hall & Oates do Disco. I had never heard this song before. It is the opening track of their album, Bigger Than Both of Us, which also contained the hit “Rich Girl“. This is not the classic Hall & Oates that we know. It does sound pretty good when Daryl Hall starts singing.
Growing up, before I started listening to my own music, there was a lot of Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow being played in my house. So, I am very familiar with this song. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. This is one of his better songs. It was a #1 hit on this chart and the adult contemporary chart. This song is a bit deceiving. From the title, it sounds like a couple has made it through a difficult time, and are happy together. But, no. They moved on with their lives separately, and thought they were happy, until they saw each other again.
Looks like we made it
Left each other on the way to another love
Looks like we made it
Or I thought so till today
Until you were there everywhere
And all I could taste was love the way we made it
This song was Dean Friedman’s only hit in the U.S., peaking at #26. This song sounds like a poor man’s Billy Joel tune. There is one interesting fact about this song. It generated controversy because the song refers to Ariel as a Jewish girl. The record label wanted him to get rid of the verse, that mentions her being Jewish, because they felt that radio stations would use that as an excuse to not play the song. Dean stayed strong, and kept the verse.
This is a nice ballad, that is without a doubt, from the ’70s. This actually sounds like something Andy Gibb would sing. Kenny Nolan was mainly known as a songwriter. You may have heard of a couple of his songs – Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adored You” and Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade“. Not a bad way to end the list of songs today.
Well that wraps it up for today. Do any of you have memories from 1977? Unfortunately for me, I have a feeling that there are a lot of you reading this, who weren’t born yet. Let me know what you all think of this countdown so far.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. In addition to more hits from this week in 1988, we have a Long Distance Dedication today! Now, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1988, and move on with the countdown.
This is a cover of The Temptation’s classic 1964 hit. This was Suave’s first and biggest hit. There’s a good reason why we haven’t heard much else from him. Suave, whose real name is Waymond Anderson, was sentenced to life in prison in 1993 for arson murder. He torched a crack house near the USC campus, which resulted in the death of a drug addict. He is still in prison. However, new information has been presented that he was in Jackson, Mississippi, visiting his sister the day of the murder. A minister in Jackson also said that he saw Suave in church that day. There were witnesses that implicated Suave, but they have since changed their stories saying that they were placed under duress by the police. This sounds like it could be a Dateline special.
This was the fourth single to be released from Whiteney’s second album, Whitney. Initially, Houston did not want to record the song. But, Arista Records CEO Clive Davis believed the song would go to number one if she recorded it, so she obliged. I suppose that Clive Davis did know what he was doing pre-American Idol.
“Where Do Broken Hearts Go” did indeed become a number one hit – Houston’s seventh consecutive one in the U.S.
I feel like this is a continuation of “Never Gonna Give You Up“. The music sounds the same. And if he’s never gonna give, never gonna give, never gonna give you up [damn earworm!], then that means that you will be Together Forever. So, this all makes sense now – 27 years later! The songs ARE related!
This is a Bruce Springsteen song that was originally released on the B-side of “Dancing in the Dark“. In 1988, Natalie Cole covered the song and ran away with it, making it a Top 10 single. I was never a big fan of this song. I also get confused between this song and Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love.”
Long Distance Dedication
We have now arrived at a staple of American Top 40 – The Long Distance Dedication. Most of us have had childhood friends that we have long lost touch with – either because they moved away, or we moved away. Robert sent in a letter that most of us can relate to. He says,
Good friends are important to all of us – and I have two of the best. In 1981 I moved to Frankfurt, Germany with my military family. I was nervous: no friends, a new school AND a new country. I clearly remember my first day of seventh grade. I slowly walked to the bus stop and stood away from everyone. There was not a soul I knew. As the bus pulled up I reluctantly boarded and took a seat by myself. I kept my eyes forward – scared to say anything – until I heard a voice ask me if it was alright to sit next to me. I looked up, said “Yes” and my life was changed forever. I was too nervous to notice that someone else was standing away from the group and not talking – and now he was sitting next to me. His name was LeRoyce and he had just moved to Germany as well. We continued our conversation all the way to school. As fate would have it, we had a few classes together and we got to know each other even better. We spent hours together and I met his younger brother Marvin. The three of us became inseparable. We helped each other through the hard times of growing up. We survived junior high and high school together – never letting each other down. Naturally, high school ended and we were forced to go our separate ways and create our own lives. Unfortunately, after graduation we lost touch. It was not until 12 years later that I made a good attempt to locate LeRoyce and Marvin. I was successful! I found that they were both living in Louisville, Kentucky. I got a hold of them, booked a flight and our reunion was set. I cannot describe the absolute joy of being back together with my best friends. We had a great time and vowed to not let so much time pass between our get togethers. We now meet every summer, rotating between Louisville and my home in Nebraska. In fact, they will be here in July. One bond we have always shared was music. We spent countless hours listening to our favorite songs. One of those songs never fails to remind me of them every time I hear it. Casey, would you please play When Doves Cry by Prince for LeRoyce and Marvin – it was one of our favorite songs and it always reminds me of those great times we spent together. We still listen to it every time we reunite now.
OK, Robert. Here is your long distance dedication:
I was never much of a fan of this song. Despite that fact, MTV and radio constantly played it. I don’t hate it as much now, but I’m still not a fan. “Wishing Well” was a #1 hit. It did take a while though, as it was on the charts for 17 weeks before topping the charts.
Well, this song gets my vote for song of the day. I loved this song when it came out, and I still do. “Piano in the Dark” was in heavy rotation as I was sorting mail at the post office. This would be Brenda Russell’s biggest hit, peaking at number 6 on the Hot 100. It also earned Russell two Grammy Award nominations in 1989, including one for Song of the Year.
That’s it for today. We will wrap up the countdown on Friday. As always, please let me know what you think of the countdown so far, and if you have any memories from 1988 that you’d like to share..
10. Red Red Wine – UB40
9. Wild Wild West – The Escape Club
8. I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That – Elton John
7. Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson
6. Don’t Be Cruel – Cheap Trick
5. Pink Cadillac – Natalie Cole
4. A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins
3. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
2. Wishing Well – Terence Trent d’Arby
1. Kokomo – Beach Boys
Ho-hum. Boring. You tell me which Pebbles song is better:
Alright, I’ll call it a draw!
9. Wishing Well – Terence Trent d’Arby
There’s a reason he was a one-hit wonder:
8. Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen
7. She’s Like the Wind – Patrick Swayze
Didn’t Dirty Dancing take place in the ’60s? They should have kept only ’60s songs on the soundtrack. I loved Patrick Swayze the actor – but not the singer. It didn’t help that these songs seemed to play on an endless loop on MTV and on the radio.
She’s Like the Wind
6. I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That – Elton John
Here he goes again. The legendary Elton John came out with another crappy ’80s song. So disappointing, and so overrated and overplayed.
5. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
I loved ’80s rock, so you would think that this would be in my wheelhouse. But, this song just grated on me. I could not stand this song and “Welcome to the Jungle” – the 2 songs that they were best known for. Give me “Paradise City”, “Mr. Brownstone”, and later on, “November Rain” any day.
4. Pink Cadillac – Natalie Cole
I don’t like this song at all. I don’t like Bruce Springsteen’s version either. Every time this comes on, I confuse Natalie Cole with Patti LaBelle. At least this is better that that creepy, spine-tingling “duet” Cole did with her dead father.
3. A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins
I may have liked this song the very first time I heard it. But after it was on the radio for the 50th time on the first day, I was already sick of it. And it kept coming on the radio and on MTV for what seemd like a few times an hour for at least a few months. It made me want to stay away from any electronic devices, or else I would go insane. Then “Two Hearts” came out, and made me long for this one.
2. Red Red Wine – UB40
Neil Diamond was a great songwriter. But, this was not one of his better songs, that’s for sure! I don’t know why it was remade, and I don’t understand why this was a hit. This is another song that comes on, and I can’t change the station fast enough.
1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
How can I be happy when this crap comes on the radio!? Don’t tell me what to do, Bobby McFerrin! I was perfectly happy until this song came on and annoyed the crap out of me. Ooooooo! There’s no instruments. He makes all the sound effects with his mouth! Impressive! If I want that, I don’t have to subject myself to this dreck. I’ll just put on some Police Academy to watch Michael Winslow.
There were also some great hits that year:
10.Wait – White Lion
I loved White Lion when I first heard them. They set themselves apart from most of the rock bands at the time. The lead singer, Mike Tramp, had a unique voice, and Vito Bratta was an awesome guitarist.
9. Faith – George Michael
This is probably my favorite George Michael song. It is a nice simple song that has a great beat.
8. Heaven Is a Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle
The Go-Go’s were great, but Belinda Carlisle did not have a shabby solo career. She was in her prime with this song. I love it.
Peter Cetera’s best known solo song was “Glory of Love”, but I really liked this one a lot. I always felt that this song was underrated.
6. Man In the Mirror – Michael Jackson
Great, inspiring song from the “King of Pop”. It proves that he could pull of a beautiful song just as well as a dance or pop song.
5. Could’ve Been – Tiffany
Tiffany is probably best known for her remakes of “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Saw Him Standing There”. But, “Could’ve Been” was a great ballad that reached #1 on the U.S. charts. She showed great emotional depth in this song. Especially considering it was on her debut album.
4. Shake Your Love – Debbie Gibson
Even though my taste in music leaned more towards rock music, I really liked Debbie Gibson. Not only was she cute, but she was extremely talented. She could play piano, write her own songs, and had a great voice. This was a fun song.
3. Hold On to the Nights – Richard Marx
Richard Marx had some really good uptempo songs from his debut album.
But his first ballad from that album was a knockout. I still like it.
2. One Moment In Time – Whitney Houston
I wish Whitney could have this one moment in time back. An incredible song, and perfect for the 1988 Olympics, for which it was written for.
And kids this is what drugs do to you. You go from that incredible song to this:
1. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
A perfect rock anthem. This is a fun song, that really rocks, and is still popular today. With all the great smash hits that Def Leppard has, this is one of the best.