Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown!!! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. We are down to our top 10 songs. We have some true classic songs coming up, so let’s get to it. Let’s Return to the week ending November 27, 1982, and wrap up this week’s countdown.
Speaking of Michael Jackson, this was the first single released from his up and coming album, Thriller. At least he got the worst song out of the way! It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for all that yapping at the end.
Love this song by Joe Jackson! It peaked at #4, and was Jackson’s highest charting hit in the U.S. This song received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year in 1983 but lost to “Rosanna” by Toto, which is fine by me.
Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with this song. My mom is the biggest Neil Diamond fan, so this was my life. I do like his early stuff a lot. But, I didn’t care much for his easy listening music. This song was written by Diamond, Carole Bayer Sager and her then-husband Burt Bacharach. They were inspired by the blockbuster movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which Diamond, Bayer Sager and Bacharach had all seen together.
This classic duet is from the film, An Officer and a Gentleman (which I have yet to see). The movie’s producer, Don Simpson, demanded “Up Where We Belong” be cut from An Officer and a Gentleman, saying, “The song is no good. It isn’t a hit.” (Sounds like a Trump tweet. Oh shit, here come the comments and emails!). It’s a good thing Simpson was a movie producer, and not a music producer. The song was a #1 hit in the US for three weeks, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also won the BAFTA Film Awards for Best Original Song in 1984. Cocker and Warnes also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1983.
This is one of those new songs that was placed on a Greatest Hits album. And this song definitely belongs there! I love this ONJ song! It was the first single released off of Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
I have always loved Laura Branigan’s voice, and I had a huge crush on her. I was devastated when she died in 2004 from a brain aneurysm. This was Branigan’s signature song. It peaked right here at #2, and remained her for three weeks.
“Hello” seems to get all the love out of Lionel Richie’s ballads. But, this one is my favorite. This was also Richie’s debut solo single. It was the first single released off of his self-titled debut album. The song won a Grammy Award for Richie in the category Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Not a shabby start for a solo career.
That wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it. Did you have any favorite songs this week? Are there any that you got sick of hearing? I’d love to hear from you. Until next time, Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
10. Physical – Olivia Newton John
9. The Breakup Song – Greg Kihn Band
8. Someone’s Knockin’ – Terri Gibbs
7. Urgent – Foreigner
6. Every Woman in the World – Air Supply
5. Hearts – Marty Balin
4. Elvira – The Oak Ridge Boys
3. Morning Train (Nine to Five) – Sheena Easton
2. Boy from New York City – Manhattan Transfer
1. Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes
Although Journey is one of my favorite groups of all time, this is probably my least favorite of their hits. It doesn’t have enough energy, and it’s not a powerful enough ballad like “Faithfully” or “Open Arms”.
This song is annoying. It’s almost like they are trying to go for an old World War II USO tour swing sound – but fail miserably. There are many other New York theme songs that are a lot better – most recently, “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys.
It’s hard to believe that somebody from Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship would come out with something so crappy! This sounds like one of those horrible “lite” music of the ’70s. It still would have been bad for that time period as well.
I love Neil Diamond’s early music as well as his recent music that he has released with producer Rick Rubin. But, this song is too slow moving and a disappointment for me. This sounds a lot like “September Morn'”, which is another boring song. But he redeems himself as you will find in my list of:
Great hits from 1981
5. America – Neil Diamond
This is one of Neil Diamond’s greatest songs. It can still be heard playing today – especially around the 4th of July. It is very patriotic and powerful.
4. The Best of Times – Styx
This is a great power ballad, sung by Dennis DeYoung. It was the first single release from Styx’s classic Paradise Theater album. There was great vocals and guitar in this song.
3. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
This is my favorite Hall & Oates song. You can’t help but tap your hands or feet to this song. It has had a resurgence lately. It was in the movie The Wedding Singer, and more recently in the movie (500) Days of Summer.
2. Lady (You Bring Me Up) – Commodores
This is one of my favorite songs by the Commodores. This was just before Lionel Ritchie went solo. This is a very upbeat and fun song.
9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton wrote and performed this song for the move Nine to Five, in which she starred in along with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman. Parton has stated in a number of interviews through the years that when she wrote the song, she devised the clacking typewriter rhythm running her acrylic fingernails back and forth against one another.
A few months after Parton released this song, Sheena Easton had also released a song “9 to 5”, which became a world wide hit. But in the U.S., Easton’s song had to be renamed “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” to avoid confusion.
Here are some songs from the top 100 that did not make my list because they already appear on my list of 1980’s greatest hits:
Another One Bites the Dust, Queen
Whip It, Devo
(Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon
And here are some honorable mentions that do jump in my top 5 for that year:
Jessie’s Girl, by Rick Springfield
Celebration, by Kool and The Gang
I Love a Rainy Night, by Eddie Rabbitt
Does anybody have their own list of favorites and least favorites? Let us know.