Welcome back to another week of Top 40 music! I am so worn down by this election season. And now it’s time to celebrate the end of this disgusting chapter in U.S. politcs. And what better way to celebrate than to take a shower, and listen to some great music. And this is going to be a great week of music! We are Returning to the week ending November 10, 1984. This week we had just elected Ronald Reagan to his second term as president. I was only 14 at the time, but I don’t remember the campaign being so dirty back then. So let’s go there, and Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and begin the countdown.
[Reminder: If you want to hear the song/watch the music video, you can click on the song title]
This was John Waite’s follow-up to “Missing You“, and was overshadowed. That is a shame because this is a pretty good song. It kind of sounds like a song Bryan Adams would do. A good mid-tempo rocker. Not a bad way to begin the countdown.
This song was the second single released from Bruce’s classic Born in the U.S.A. album. It was originally written for Donna Summer, but Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager, thought the song was a potential hit. So he kept it for the upcoming Springsteen album.
It didn’t take long for The Cars to make another appearance on this countdown! This was the third single released from Heartbeat City. This is a little different sounding Cars song. Not only is it a ballad, but instead of Ric Ocasek singing lead, the band’s bassist, Benjamin Orr sang lead. The music video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton. It is mainly known for featuring model Paulina Porizkova, who would later become Ric Ocasek’s wife.
What a great way to end today’s list of songs! This is one of my favorite Benatar tunes. This was the lead single off of her 1984 album Tropico. The song earned Benatar a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance alongside Linda Ronstadt, Tina Turner, Madonna, and Whitney Houston (won by Whitney).
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. Not a bad way to start the week, right? Is everybody else ready for this election season to end too? We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown.
Welcome back to a new week of the Top 40! In preparation for the upcoming new Star Wars movie, last week we covered the Top 40 from the weekend that Return of the Jedi was released – May 1983. Now, we’re working our way back through more Star Wars movies. This week, we will check out the Top 40 from the weekend that The Empire Strikes Back opened. The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980. So, we will see what was topping the charts the week ending May 24, 1980. As is the case with most people, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite of the series. I normally march to the beat of my own drum, and don’t go along with the masses. But, that is not the case here. I was 9 years old when this was released (I would turn 10 in September), so I was still collecting Star Wars figures and playsets. At this time, I was also really into collecting baseball cards. When The Empire Strikes Back came out, I also collected all the trading cards for the movie. I read all the Star Wars books I could get my hands on. The movie was also showing at a local movie theater, which only cost $1. So, I saw this movie many, many times in the theater. I had written about my Star Wars story in previous articles and will be reposting them during Star Wars week. So, let’s get to the music. I did not get my hopes up with the quality of songs at this time in the ’80s. But man, there was no need for concern! There are several songs that I never heard of until today. But, there is going to be some really great stuff too! So, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1980, and begin the countdown!
Not a bad way to start a countdown! This is the anthem for anybody that has had their heart broken. Instead of a slow song that makes you cry, this is a great rocker that makes you stand up and pump your fist in the air. A year from now, The J. Geils Band would be releasing their classic Freeze Frame album. This song has the same style as the songs from that album.
This is a song I had never heard before. This is the total opposite from the previous song. This is a quiet storm ballad perfect for some sexy time. If you play this song in the bedroom, then you won’t need to worry about what the J. Geils Band says about love.
Oh yeah! There’s nothing like some classic Billy Joel! This is one of those songs that you think, “Do I really need to listen to this again for the bazillionth time?” Then the song starts, and the answer is “Yes”. And as I get older, I can relate to this song more and more.
My parents were Barry Manilow fans, so I grew up listening to his music. They had an 8-track of a concert of his. I would get bored, but there was a part of the show, that I enjoyed, where he sings all the commercial jingles that he had written. I had never heard of this song before. After listening to this, I’m thinking that maybe I had heard it, but just zoned out. What am I writing about, now? Oh yeah, “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”. This song was published in 1941, and became a #1 hit for Harry James and his orchestra in 1942. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, whenever I hear there is a song by somebody “and his orchestra”, I fall asleep instantly, only to wake up from nightmares of seeing Lawrence Welk on my grandparents’ TV. The only good thing about this song is that after it was over, the much better “Could it Be Magic” autoplayed.
Here is another song I had never heard before. It’s not bad, but not great either. I haven’t been missing anything all these years. This band does have that classic late ’70s/early ’80s rock band sound. It’s a little bit of a slow rocker, but the guitar work in this song is really good.
It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but this is one of those songs that did not look familiar to me. But, as soon as it hit the chorus, I remembered it. This may have been on a previous countdown I covered. That is Vince Gill on lead vocals. Not a bad song at all by this country rock group.
Bernadette Peters can do it all! In a career that has spanned 5 decades so far, she has starred in musical theater, films and television, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings. I think I may have first seen her on the original Muppet Show. I believe she is mainly known for being a Broadway star. This song sounds like it could be a ballad from a Broadway Show. She has a really good voice. I kind of like this one.
And we go back to an R&B ballad. This song could have just as easily been released in the ’60s or ’70s. It appeared on Smoky Robinson’s 1980 album Warm Thoughts. This is another song on this countdown that’s not great, but not too bad either.
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think. And let me know if you have any fond memories of The Empire Strikes Back. I think the countdown may continue on Wednesday. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. So, it will be posted either tomorrow night or sometime Wednesday.
Hi Everybody! We are long overdue for a new Top 40 Countdown. I am so excited for the NEW STAR WARS MOVIE, The Force Awakens, which will be released in a few weeks. New freakin’ Star Wars! As we count down the days of the release, I figure we can count down the top 40 hits from the week that the last Star Wars movie, of the original trilogy, was released. Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983. This is going to be an incredible week of music. I snuck a peek at the list of songs, and I will go out on a limb and say that this may be the best Top 40 we’ve covered so far! So let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and begin the countdown! And as with most of the music posts, you can click on the song title to listen to the song/watch the video.
This song totally brings me back to the early ’80s. It was in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV when we first got cable TV in “our house” (on the corner – not in the middle of our street). This was the lead single off of Madness’ fourth studio album, The Rise & Fall. It would be their biggest hit in the U.S., reaching up to #7.
The Queen of Rock is back in the countdown once again, with a little known hit. This song is off of Benatar’s Get Nervous album, which also had the hits “Shadows of the Night” and “Little Too Late“. “Looking for a Stranger” is a fun little rock song, which would fit in well for Robert’s new “Obscure hits” series if he covers Pat Benatar. She has a lot of hits that get a lot of airplay, but this is one does not get as much attention.
Not too many people were as big a star as Kenny Rogers in the late ’70s/early ’80s. This is another obscure hit that I love. My parents owned the We’ve Got Tonight album, which this song came off of. If I was in the mood for a good ballad, I would throw this album on the record player.
This is another classic ’80s song that got heavy airplay in the early days of MTV. At the time it was released, I didn’t care for the song too much. But, since it was on MTV, my eyes were glued to the TV watching this video anyway. I do appreciate it a little more now. This song was also my introduction to The Kinks.
Before I started doing these countdowns, the only Christopher Cross songs I knew were all the songs from his legendary debut album as well as “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)“. But, he did have quite a few other hit songs, although I don’t believe many of them hit the top 10. This is a very good song I had not heard before. The very beginning reminds me of something that would be on a mid-’80s Sylvester Stallone movie soundtrack, until Cross starts singing. Then it is classic Christopher Cross (which is a good thing).
The only song I thought I knew by DeBarge was “Rhythm of the Night” and El Debarge’s “Who’s Johnny“. But, I remembered this song as soon as it started. I didn’t know it was DeBarge. This is an outstanding R&B ballad.
This was the biggest U.S. hit by British singer/songwriter Jim Capaldi, topping out at #28. That sounds about right. This song is ok. It’s not horrible, but not great either. Steve Winwood keyboards kick in in the second half of the song, which is cool. But, if I want to hear that, I may as well throw on some Steve Winwood.
I love the Bee Gees! This is a pretty good upbeat song. In the ’80s, the Bee Gees did not perform too many songs. They mainly wrote hits for other singers. But, they did record this song for the movie Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Staying Alive was one of those movies where the soundtrack was way better than the movie itself.
I enjoy a lot of songs by The Little River Band. This is a good one from the John Farnham years as lead singer. This song was from their seventh studio album, The Net. It topped out at #22 in the U.S. If you want to hear an outstanding John Farham solo tune, check out “You’re the Voice“.
This huge iconic Styx hit was the beginning of the end of the band’s initial run. Styx was changing musical direction, which caused a divide in the band. I still really enjoy this song to this day. And it’s a great place to finish today’s list of songs.
Well, that wraps it up for today. Are you liking this so far? It’s just going to keep on getting better. Is anybody else looking forward to The Force Awakens? I’m one of the rare original Star Wars fans that never hopped on the prequel-hate bandwagon. I love the prequels! But, they tell a different story and have a different style. I have a feeling that JJ Abrams is going to capture the same spirit as the original. And it doesn’t hurt that the main characters, that we grew up with, are returning.
So, let’s talk Star Wars and music. And we’ll be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.