It’s been too long, so it’s time for a new Top 40 countdown! This week, we are going back over to the U.K. and checking out the top songs from this week in 1983. These are always a lot of fun. If you want to see the video/listen to the song on YouTube, you can click on the song title. You can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s begin this week’s countdown!
British singer-songwriter Tom Robinson is a long-time LGBT rights activist. After the break-up of his band, Section 27, Robinson had financial troubles, which sent him in a depression. He moved to Germany, and played with East German band NO 55. According to Wikipedia,
Robinson describes writing the song, whilst stoned, after a bad experience at a gay sauna, he “…wrote straight down “only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof.” And the rest of it poured out onto the page, eight, ten pages of the stuff, just hand-written, stream of consciousness stuff. And it took about a year to get those ten pages down to something that you could actually sing in four minutes.”
He returned to the UK, recorded and released the song. It would go on to peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.
This is most likely the first song on this week’s countdown that US audiences are familiar with. This power ballad barely scraped the Top 40 here in the UK. But, it was a Top 10 hit in the US. The song, from the classic Toto IV album, features the Eagles’ bass player Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals during the choruses.
One of my favorite things about doing these UK countdowns is catching a lot of R&B and Funk songs that did not get much airplay in the US in the ’80s. This mid-tempo song by the British group would peak at #8 in th eUK.
The second Heaven 17 song in a row! It is rare to see 2 songs in a row by the same artist on any countdown. This isn’t as bad as the previous song…unless the “Temptation” is about that 17 year old. And now that I’m realizing that the name of this band is Heaven 17, I’m going to assume it is about a 17 year old. This band is gross.
Another song about a girl! However, this is more acceptable since boy band New Edition was more age appropriate. This was New Edition’s debut song. The group was first discovered and mentored by manager Brooke Payne. He decided to name them New Edition to signify they were a new edition of the Jackson 5. And this song does indeed sound like a Jackson 5 song, which is a good thing.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. We will continue the countdown tomorrow. What do you think so far?
Hey Everybody! Welcome 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. We had an amazing list of songs yesterday. Will it be just as good today? Let’s Return to the week ending January 19, 1985, and continue the countdown to find out.
Welcome back as we continue this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31. My addiction to MTV was still in full force this week. There are some classics here today. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and move on with the countdown.
Sammy’s signature song. This is a classic song and classic video. In 1994, Sammy was interviewed on the show In the Studio, and said this about the song:
“I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn’t go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.’ I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt.”
Another great song! This was the theme for the film, Teachers. I really need to get back and revisit this movie. I remember enjoying it at the time. And check out this cast: Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, Richard Mulligan, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover, and Morgan Freeman.
Yet another classic song. This was one of Duran Duran’s biggest hits, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was pretty cool too. It had a post-apocalyptic feel too it, like the Mad Max movies. The video should have been good. It cost over one million British Pounds to make, which was a staggering amount for a music video at that time.
This was the fifth and final single released from the Sports album. All the previous singles from the album was severely overplayed. This song was one of my favorites from the album, and I don’t ever remember hearing it on the radio! This was Heuy Lewis and the News’ commentary on the Vietnam War.
Originally a #1 R&B hit in 1959 by Phil Phillips. The Honeydrippers were formed by former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. The band also included fellow former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and other friends and well-known studio musicians. They scored a big hit with this song, peaking at #3. The band released only one recording, an EP titled The Honeydrippers: Volume One. With the EP’s success, Plant stated that a full album would be recorded, but it never was.
This title track to New Edition’s second album, was their big breakthrough. It would peak at #4 on the Hot 100. They were trying really hard to be the new edition of The Jackson 5. They did have some pretty decent music, including this song.
I didn’t remember this song at all. It was released off of elton John’s Breaking Hearts album, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)“. This may be blasphemous on this page, but I much prefer Elton John’s ’70s music to his ’80s music. He does have some really good ’80s songs. But a lot, like this song, are just middle-of-the-road.
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think, now that we are halfway through? Any favorites? The countdown is just going to keep getting better. Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
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.
Well, as Casey used to say, the smaller the number, the bigger the hit. As we move on down the countdown, we will find more and more true ’80s classics. I hope you are enjoying this trip down memory lane as much as I am. Now, let’s Return to the week ending March 9, and continue the countdown.
Yes, we begin the countdown with one of the best duos of the ’80s giving you an earworm! This is a good song to have stuck in your head, but not when there are 9 more songs to go today!
Journey was one of my favorite bands of the ’80s, and I love this song by them. It was originally intended to be on the Frontiers album. But, it was pulled in favor of the songs “Back Talk” and “Troubled Child“. It eventually was included on the Vision Quest soundtrack, was released as a single, and cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
What happens when you put together the lead singer of Genesis with the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire? Total awesomeness!! This fun duet won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Overall Performance in a Video and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
Tina Turner had an incredible comeback in the ’80s with her Private Dancer album. This title track was the 5th single released from that album. It was written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and was actually meant to be on their album Love over Gold. However, Knopfler felt that it wasn’t suitable for a male to sing, so it was not put on the album. Tina Turner took it and ran with it.
This was the lead single from John Fogerty’s comeback album, Centerfield. It became a top 10 hit, peaking at #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was a #1 hit for three weeks on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. This song is just classic Fogerty.
This week’s selection, in honor of Ronnie DeVoe’s 43rd birthday, is “Cool it Now” by New Edition:
“Cool It Now” was released in 1984 as the first single off of New Edition’s second album, New Edition. The song was the group’s first top 10 pop single, peaking at number four on the pop chart, and their second number one R&B hit. The original members included Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell. Bobby Brown left the group in 1985 to go on to a successful solo career. New Edition continued on with four members for a while, until Johnny Gill joined them in 1988. In 1990, the group when on hiatus while the went on to their own projects. Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant had solo projects, and the remaining members formed Bell Biv Devoe, who were successful with the song and album Poison.
New Edition has reunited in 1996 for a short time, and again in 2004. There are rumors that they will reunite once again.
On December 20, 2009, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill joined New Kids on the Block onstage at a House Of Blues benefit show for Toys For Tots in Boston, performing Full Service and This One’s For The Children.
Johnny Gill confirms that New Edition will reunite once again and will sign with manager Irving Azoff. They are currently signed with Geffen Records and Interscope Records.
Artistic differences. Wear and tear from touring. Party lifestyle getting to be too much. Egos. Yoko Ono.
Those are some of the reason bands go their separate ways – sometimes permanently, sometimes temporarily (or until they need more money). Sometimes members move on to a solo career with great success. I have compiled a list of successful 80’s solo artists that came from a band that had success in the 80’s.
I have compiled a top 10 list. I have ranked these in order of how successful the artist and the band were, in my humble opinion. The qualifications are that they have had to have had a hit album or song that was released in the 80’s. Although The Jacksons had the Album Victory with the hit “State of Shock”, I left Michael Jackson off the list because his solo career had already started in the 80’s before the brothers got back together. Besides Michael is in a category all by himself.
We will begin with:
10. Bobby Brown – New Edition
New Edition released their first album, Candy Girl, in 1983, and had a hit with the title track. The band’s self-titled second album was also a big hit, which had the top-5 hit song “Cool It Now“. New Edition’s third album, All For Love, was released in 1985. It was not as big as the previous albums, but it did contain the hit “Count Me Out“.
Then in December 1985, as shocking as it may sound, the group was forced to vote Bobby Brown out of the band, due to behavioral problems.
In 1986, Bobby Brown released his first solo album, King of Stage. He had a small hit with the song “Girlfriend”. Then Brown skyrocketed to super stardom in 1988 with his album Don’t Be Cruel. The album sold 8 million copies, and produced 5 top ten hits: “Don’t Be Cruel” (#8), “Every Little Step” (#3), “Rock Wit’ Cha” (#7), “My Prerogative” (#1), and “Roni” (#3).
He has had his problems, but in the late 80’s Bobby Brown was on top of the world.