Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today’s list has a lot of songs that were not big in the U.S., so they are new to a lot of us. And these are really good songs. It is always fun to discover new old music.
Again, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s continue the countdown.
This cover of the 1962 Marvin Gaye song was a huge hit for Paul Young in the U.K. It was a breakthrough song for him, and would go on to top the U.K. charts for 3 weeks. However, it did not fare well in the U.S., only peaking at #70. A few years later, this song was on the Ruthless People soundtrack.
Imagination is one of those bands that did not cross over well to the U.S., but were huge in the U.K. The English three piece band had a huge run in the early ’80s, scoring 9 Top 40 hits between 1981 and 1984. This song was one of them, peaking at 29.
This song is a cover of the 1963 Andy Williams song. U.S. audiences know The Beat as The English Beat. This was done to avoid confusion with an American band called The Beat, which was active at the same time. This song was on The Beat’s 1980 album, I Just Can’t Stop It. It wasn’t released until 1983. This was at the same time that the band was breaking up. It was their fifth and final top ten UK hit, and their highest charting single release ever.
Mark this one under “You learn something new everyday.” I learned that The Imposter is a pseudonym that Elvis Costello used. This song was on Costello’s 1983 album, Punch the Clock which also featured “Everyday I Write the Book”.
Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO) moved back to their old-school rock roots with this song, after their progressive pop phase with Xanadu. This was another song that was a hit in both the U.S. and U.K. It peaked at #13 in the U.K. and #19 in the U.S.
There is almost no information out there about this song, and it is not available on Amazon. But, I really like this one a lot. The Truth released several singles before their debut album in 1985. And this was one of those songs. This actually sounds like a 1979/80 ELO song.
Welcome back to the Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. I hope you’ve been enjoying these songs this week. There will be quite a few familiar ones today. So let’s Returh to the week ending January 12, 1985, and see what was topping the charts in the U.K.
I had never heard this song in my life. However, it had topped the charts in the U.K. This was Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s third single, aft “Relax” and “Two Tribes”. This song is often regarded as a Christmas song, even though it doesn’t reference Christmas in the song lyrics. But, the video and the single cover are kind of Christmas themed
Paul Young had a handful of hits in the U.S>, including the #1 smash, “Every Time You Go Away”. But, he was even bigger in the U.K. This was his 5th top 10 hit there, and “Every Time You Go Away” hadn’t even been released as a single yet! I was unaware of this song, but I am liking it now.
Wow, this worldwide smash hit had staying power in the U.K. It had been the #2 song for three weeks in September the previous year, and is still in the Top 10 here! The song even re-entered the UK Top 75 on November 2, 2008, at No. 49.
And this is another children’s song from the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song. Except this isn’t a punk song. This is the early-mid 80s Paul McCartney style that sticks in your head whether you want it to or not.
We all know this power ballad by Foreigner. It was a Top 10 hit in many countries, and #1 in some of them. We’ve heard this song millions of times. But to mix things up, the YouTube link goes to the newly recorded version featuring Shriners Hospitals For Children patients. This is very cool! And the proceeds from this version, which was just released on January 1, 2019, go to Shriners Hospitals For Children. You can donate at https://showthemlove.org/.
I love this song. However, when you start hearing it in stores in September and October, it’s a little ridiculous. I know it is after Christmas now, but I can understand that it is still charted this high at this point, because it was released in December. Wham! thought they would have had the Christmas song market cornered in December 1984. And they would have too, if it wasn’t for…
I still love this song, and it was for such a great cause. It is so funny to see how young everybody looks in the video! And I just figured this out. In this song, these awesome British artists asked to “Feed the World”. Later on in the year, U.S. artists came out and proclaimed “We Are the World”. Were they expecting to get fed? Greedy bastards! I am just kidding of course. Both songs, as well as Wham!’s “Last Christmas”, raised money for the people suffering the famine in Ethiopia.
Well, that’s a wrap. The next countdown will be back in the U.S. Until next time, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed yesterday’s songs, you can always go ahead and check them out. There were some classics songs yesterday, and we get more of the same today. What were you doing this week in 1984? I was heading down the home stretch of junior high school, and getting ready for high school. Cable TV was still new in our area. I had my MTV for less than a year at this point. So, there were a lot of changes and transitions at this point in my life. And by this point, music had pretty much transitioned from the soft pop and disco sound of the late ’70s/early ’80s to the classic ’80s sound. Let’s continue the countdown, and see what was popluar this week of April 14, 1984…
We begin today’s list of songs with a pleasant surprise for me. I had never heard of Tony Carey before. It turns out that he was the keyboard player for the rock band Rainbow for a short time in the mid-to-late ’70s. After he left Rainbow, Carey embarked on a solo career. That career did not exactly take off, but he had a pretty good hit with this song.
This fun, doo-wop song was the fourth single released from Billy Joel’s classic album, An Innocent Man. A lot of his songs from that album got overplayed, but this was one that I never really grew tired of. I also enjoyed the video. It did fool me though. I had never known, until in recent years, that it is actually Billy Joel singing all the lead and backing vocals on this track.
This is classic ’80s! It was an anti-war protest song by the band from Germany. The original German version was such a huge success that an English version was also created (“99 Red Balloons“). I believe that the German version still got most of the airplay in the U.S. One thing I know for sure is that “Captain Kirk” are about the only words I understand in either version.
Dan Fogelberg is best known for his soft rock hits in the early ’80s (“Longer“, “Leader of the Band“, and “Same Old Lang Syne“). But this was my introduction to him, and it is my favorite of all his songs. I always just felt that this was a bright, upbeat tune.
This is an interesting song and video by the prog-rock band, Yes. There is nothing wrong with your screen. The video was shot upside down, and was one of the first music videos to use computer-generated imagery.
This is a classic by John Cougar Mellencamp. This is off of his 1983 album, Uh-Huh, which was the first album in which he used his real last name, going from being known as John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp.
We’ll take a break for a minute, and check out a song that debuted this week. This one is “Don’t Waste Your Time” by the R&B duo of Yarbrough & Peoples. I had never heard this song before. It’s not a bad song. But, I chose it so you could check out a V-E-R-Y young Ice-T towards the beginning of the video, driving the Mercedes.
We’ll finish up today’s list with a cool song and video. The video tells it’s story through a comic book. Alan Parsons was known as being more prog-rock, but this song has more of a pop-rock Wall of Sound style. Yet another ’80s classic.
I hope you guys are enjoying this week’s countdown. Let me know what you think so far, as we are halfway through. Tomorrow, we will be back to continue the countdown, and we will have Long Distance Dedication.
Last Song: “Everytime You Go Away” written by Daryl Hall, and performed by Hall and Oates, and then again by Paul Young. I picked this song because yesterday was 23(!) years to the day that I left for Navy Boot Camp, and this was the song that came on the radio station in the recruiter’s car as we were pulling away from my house.
This song reminds me of the first time I left home. I was leaving for the Navy. The recruiter came to my house to pick me up around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. This song came on the radio as soon as we pulled away. It was on a radio station too, so it just wasn’t the recruiter messing with me.
10. Walking on Sunshine – K.C. and the Sunshine Band
9. Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters (vetoed by Steve)
8. All I Need – Jack Wagner (vetoed by Cathy)
7. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
6. Wild Boys – Duran Duran
5. One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head
4. Some Like It Hot – Power Station (vetoed by Cathy and Steve)
3. Sea of Love – The Honeydrippers
2. We Built This City – Starship
1. We Are the World – U.S.A. For Africa
This was a tough one for me. There were so many horrible songs from 1985, and there were so many great ones. But, I was finally able to compile my list, so here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:
5. Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
This is one of the most overrated songs of the ’80s. Sure, the video was different from anything else at the time. And MTV is mentioned in the song. This was the perfect storm for the video to play in a seemingly endless loop for a long time on MTV. This would have been my #1 for most horrible song, if not for the awesome guitar lick at the beginning of the song. Once that guitar part is done, I go off in a daze, and forget that it’s on.
4. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young
I never cared much for this song at all. It was too boring for me. This song might not be on too many peoples’ lists of horrible songs, but I have a personal grudge against this song. As some longtime Return to the ’80s readers may know, I served in the military. The day I left, the recruiter picked me up at home to send me off to boot camp. I got in the car, and as we were pulling away, this song came on. Since this song mocked me, it is now on my Horrible list.
3. Solid – Ashford and Simpson
Typical song that lands on my Horrible list – boring and overplayed. I would have to turn off the radio whenever this song came on. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t like too many of this songwriting duo’s songs, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”, and “I’m Every Woman”.
2. Smooth Operator – Sade
The Stuck in the 80s guys were told to keep this song off their Horrible list. It did sound like they wanted it on there though. So, I will place it on my list. Is this even a song? It is more like slow torture! Slow, slow torture.
1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
Ecchhhh. Wham! ranks right up there with Culture Club as one of my least favorite groups. The only song I don’t mind by them is “Freedom”, so at least there’s that. I wasn’t sure if “Wake Me Up..” or “Careless Whisper” would be my #1 Horrible song. Since this song is played the most on the 80s on 8 radio station, and on all radio stations that play 80s songs, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” wins. Once you hear this crappy song, it sticks with you, whether you like it or not.
Kool and the Gang may be best known for their party anthem – “Celebration”. But, their Emergency album is incredible, and “Misled” is perhaps the best of the bunch. Great rockin’ song.
5. Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters
You can’t help but want to move to this song. “Neutron Dance” was the Pointer Sisters’ fourth top ten single in a row, which was on their album Break Out. It was also featured in Beverly Hills Cop. I love the Pointer Sisters, and this song is right up there among my favorites.
4.Crazy for You – Madonna
This was Madonna’s first ballad, which came off of the great Vision Quest soundtrack. This song was surrounded with controversy at the time. The Vision Quest soundtrack was on Geffen Records, and Warner Brothers had just released Madonna’s Like a Virgin album. Warner Brothers did not want “Crazy For You” released as a single, as it would take attention away from Like a Virgin. But Geffen producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber were able to convince Warner to greenlight the single. As a result, Madonna was able to prove that she had more talent than your typical attention-getting pop star. I believe that due to the fact that she could sing different styles of music, this song went a long way in making her an 80s icon.
3. I Can’t Hold Back – Survivor
This is one of my favorite songs by Survivor. This came off the great Vital Signs album, which was their first with lead singer Jimi Jamison. They had other hit songs from this album, such as “High On You” and “The Search Is Over”, but “I Can’t Hold Back” is my favorite. It was featured prominently in the recent movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop“, which made it the best part of the movie.
2. Summer of ’69/Heaven – Bryan Adams
I had a hard time deciding which Bryan Adams song to throw on here, so why not add both? Summer of ’69 is a great rocker. I’m sure we can all relate to looking back at the “good ole days”, or you wouldn’t be reading this. And “Heaven” is a great ballad. It is a nice slow-dance song.
Summer of ’69
1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
The ultimate ’80s song from the ultimate ’80s movie. You can’t think of one without the other. It even has staying power as this song is played while the losing American Idols are being booted. This song does gte played alot, but somehow I cannot get sick of it.