Welcome to a brand new week of the Top 40 Countdown! It’s been too long since the last one. It is always fun to go back and reminisce with songs from the ’80s, and rediscover songs we may have forgotten about, or discover new old songs we may have missed the first time around. This week, we will Return to 1986. This was right in the middle of high school for me. I had just begun my junior year. This was an ancient time when we actually celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving, and didn’t just jump from Labor Day to Christmas. Right now, we are between Halloween and Thanksgiving. In high school, we were beginning to wrap up our Fall sports. I did Cross Country, so it was starting to get a little too cold to run in tank tops and those pre-Michael Jordan ’80s shorts. Soccer and Field Hockey were wrapping up, and we were ramping up for the big Thanksgiving Day football game.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending November 8, 1986, and listen to what was on the radio back then. You can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to check out the song on Amazon.
We begin the countdown with Gregory Abbott’s debut into the Top 40. This lead single from Abbott’s debut album Shake You Down was his biggest hit, and would go on to hit the top of the charts. Gregory Abbott is still out there releasing music – most recently, 2019’s “My Heart Has Found a Home“.
This is one of my all-time favorite Talking Heads songs. Released as the lead single from their seventh studio album True Stories, it would peak at #25. The video is also a lot of fun, and won “Best Group Video” at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987.
This song would eventually peak at #10. The Pretenders were in a major transitional period at this point. This was the first single off of the Get Close album. A few years earlier, original members James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon died of drug overdoses. During the recording of this album, Chrissie Hynde found that Martin Chambers’ drumming had deteriorated, still struggling after losing his 2 best friends. So Hynde let him go, leaving her as the only original Pretenders member. The album turned out to be a success. Chambers reunited with The Pretenders for their 1994 album Last of the Independents (which produced the smash single “I’ll Stand By You“), and has been there ever since. I saw them open for Journey and Def Leppard in the summer of 2018, and they still rocked. Look for them touring with Journey in the summer of 2020!
This is easily my favorite Peter Gabriel tune. It would only peak at #26 on this chart, but was a #1 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart. This came of Gabriel’s smash album So. However, it will forever be linked with the iconic scene in the 1989 movie, Say Anything…, as John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler is holding a boombox, over his head, with this song blaring outside of Diane Court’s (Ione Skye) bedroom.
This classic by the Canadian rock group, Glass Tiger, was starting to drop out of the countdown, falling from 28 to 35. But, it was a smash hit in Canada and in the U.S., hitting #1 and #2, respectively. And yes, that is fellow Canadian Bryan Adams on backing vocals.
Yes, ‘Til Tuesday had other songs besides “Voices Carry“. And somebody else besides Heart did a song called “What About Love“. This song isn’t as good as either. But Aimee Mann has a great voice, and this song isn’t too bad.
Here is another song on the way out of the countdown, dropping from 23 to 32 this week. But not before becoming a huge hit, peaking at #3, and becoming one of the highest selling singles of 1986. The song was ranked number twenty-seven in VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s.
This 1961 Ben E. King hit song was re-released to coincide with the classic 1986 movie of the same name. It peaked at #4 in 1961 and peaked at #9 in 1986. In the ’80s, there was a lot of ’50s and ’60s nostalgia in movies, television, and music. There were many ’60s covers in the ’80s. And there were several re-releases, including this one.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think so far. What were you doing this week in 1986? Any favorite memories you’d like to share? We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown.
Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. This has been a great week of music so far, and it continues today. It was so good, that we will be coming back with another countdown next week, with a twist! We will Return to the top 40 countdown for the week of March 6-12, from the UK! I know there is a huge following here of folks from the U.K. So they will get to relive their past, and 80s fans from the U.S. may discover music that did not make it over here for one reason or another. But first thing’s first. Let’s Return to the week ending February 28, 1987, and check out the top 10 songs of this week.
Peter Gabriel had some groundbreaking videos in the late ’80s. Which means that they were on MTV every other song. Which also means that I couldn’t stand it! I was dreading listening to this again, but now I’m liking it a little more.
Between this, and Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile” earlier in the countdown, all we need to do is substitute Samantha Fox’s “Touch Me” with Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, and we would have a perfect countdown for a Catholic school dance.
Bon Jovi had a huge hit with “You Give Love a Bad Name”. But, this ’80s anthem is the one that changed them forever. When you say the words “’80s music” to somebody, this is one of a handful of songs that would immediately come to mind. This is totally deserving of the #1 spot, and a great way to end the countdown.
That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this countdown. Please let me know your thoughts. And as I mentioned earlier, we will be coming right back next week with the UK Top 40 from 1983. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
10. We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewart
9. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News
8. Spies Like Us – Paul McCartney
7. All Cried Out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
6. Sleeping Bag – ZZ Top
5. Love Touch – Rod Stewart
4. Crush On You – The Jets
3. Holding Back the Years – Simply Red
2. Broken Wings – Mr. Mister
1. That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick and Friends
This was another tough one for me. I didn’t have too much of a problem with the Horrible songs. But there were so many songs that I liked, I had a hard time narrowing it down. If I compiled a list again for this year next week, there could be 10 totally different songs on the list. But, this is what I have right now.
First, the Horrible:
5. Kiss – Prince and The Revolution
I think that only dogs can hear Prince singing this song. It is waaaay to high pitched for me, and gives me quite the headache. I much prefer his Purple Rain songs, and a few others. But this song just goes right through me.
4. Take My Breath Away – Berlin/h3>
The Top Gun soundtrack had some great songs, such as Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, “Playing With the Boys” (despite the association with that horrific volleyball scene in the movie), and Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes”. This Berlin song just ruins the whole thing. It’s long, boring, droning song. “Heaven In Your Eyes” should have been the only ballad on this soundtrack – unless they got Soundtrack King Kenny Loggins to record one.
3. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News:
This song spent 3 weeks at number 1! Are you kidding me!?! I think they were still be rewarded for their Sports album. This song was off of the Fore album. For me, “Stuck With You” feels like “If This Is It, Part 2”. And if you look at my list of 1984 Horrible Hits, you will notice that I didn’t think too much of that song either.
2. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
Much like Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”, this song was probably a huge hit because of it’s innovative video. This song was way too overrated. I love Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, but I could never change the station fast enough when this crappy song came on.
1. Nikita – Elton John
I love a lot of Elton John’s songs. But, he also has many horrible songs. And this clunker is the bottom of the barrel for me. I like some of Elton’s 80s songs. But it’s songs like “Nikita” that make me prefer his songs from the ’70s.
And here are the Great hits of 1986:
10. Burning Heart – Survivor: This song was on the Rocky IV Soundtrack. It wasn’t as big a hit as “Eye of the Tiger”, but it’s still a really good song. Great for working out or running to at the time.
8. Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen: This was the first Van Halen song with Sammy Hagar as the lead singer. They proved that they could be successful without David Lee Roth. There was not a bad song on the 5150 album. And “Why Can’t This Be Love” proved that they could perform great ballads as well as rockers.
6. Your Love – The Outfield: The Outfield’s popularity exploded in the U.S. with the release of this song. This is a fun song that I enjoy a lot.
5. All I Need Is A Miracle – Mike + The Mechanics
This Supergroup was formed by Mike Rutherford of Genesis, and featured Paul Carrack and Paul Young (not to be confused with the Paul Young who sang “Every Time You Go Away”) on vocals. This is a really good, upbeat song. “The Living Years” is probably my favorite song from the ’80s, but this song isn’t too bad itself.
4. Amanda – Boston
After having a string of great songs in the late ’70s, Boston hadn’t had anything new for 7 years. Then they finally came back in 1986 with their Third Stage album, and “Amanda” was the lead single. The song went number one for 2 weeks in a row. Boston was consistenly great, and this is no exception.
“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” was the theme song for the Romancing the Stone sequel, Jewel of the Nile. Billy Ocean has a great voice, and this was a fun song.
2. You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi was a pretty good rock band, with two albums under their belt, when they released Slippery When Wet. When “You Give Love a Bad Name” was released as the first single, the band’s popularity went through the stratosphere. This was a great song as people that were into rock liked it, and people that were more into pop were still drawn to this.
1. Glory of Love – Peter Cetera
I was always a Chicago fan, so I was sad when Cetera left the band. But the band went on to continue being successful, and Peter Cetera didn’t do to shabby himself. “Glory of Love” was Cetera’s first solo song, and it was a smash hit. It was on his album Solitude/Solitaire, and was the theme song for The Karate Kid Part II. I could not get enough of this song when it came out.
Other than the trivia over the next two days, this will be my last post for at least a week. On Monday, I will be undergoing surgery on both of my eyes. This isn’t lasik surgery. I have to get muscles tightened in both eyes. Yuck! So I figured that I would have some fun with this situation. I got Elton John’s crappy song “Blue Eyes” in my head, then I thought of “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates, and Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. So I found myself on a mission: Find as many 80s songs as possible that have “Eye” or “Eyes” in the song title. I couldn’t believe how many I had on my iPod alone! Here are some of my favorites:
“Bluest Eyes in Texas” – Restless Heart
In the early ’80s I loved Country music by Johnny Cash, Alabama, Kenny Rogers, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Then I got away from it for a while. Then, friends of mine told me that I should give Restless Heart a shot. They said that the band was similar to Alabama. I ended up loving this band, and got back into Country, and have not stopped. This song was a number 1 hit off of Restless Heart’s third album, Big Dreams in a Small Town:
“For Your Eyes Only” – Sheena Easton
This was from the James Bond movie of the same name during the great Roger Moore years:
“The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” – Asia
This song from the supergroup Asia gets stuck in my head for a while after I hear it:
“Close My Eyes Forever” – Lita Ford and Ozzy Osborne
A duet by two of the most bad-ass people at the time – former guitarist of The Runaways, Lita Ford, and the Legendary Ozzy:
“Private Eyes” – Hall & Oates
This was a number one song for Hall & Oates at the height of the career:
“Heaven In Your Eyes” – Loverboy
Great power ballad by Loverboy from the Top Gun soundtrack:
“When You Close Your Eyes” – Night Ranger
This is one of my favorite songs by Night Ranger. “Sister Christian” may have gotten all the attention from the Midnight Madness album, but “When You Close Your Eyes” more than holds its own:
“Lost In Your Eyes” – Debbie Gibson
I still love this song – Guilty pleasure or not.
“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
I could not get enough of this song when it came out. Would Rocky III have been as good without the association with this song? I have been a huge Survivor fan since I first heard this song:
“In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel
I’m not a Peter Gabriel fan at all. But this is one of my all time favorite songs. And who can forget that iconic scene with this song in the movie Say Anything… as John Cusak is holding the radio over his head:
Here is the song itself:
Here is a list of other songs that I did not include due to time constraints, and so this post would not be too long:
Angel Eyes – The Jeff Healey Band
Electric Eye – Judas Priest
Eyes of a Stranger – Queensrÿche
Eye in the Sky – The Alan Parsons Project
I Can See It in Your Eyes – Men At Work
Blue Eyes – Elton John
Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen (from Dirty Dancing)
Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
Wild Eyed Southern Boys – .38 Special
Spanish Eyes – Tiffany
Somebody’s Eyes – Karla Bonoff (from Footloose)
Eyes Without a Face – Billy Idol
Don’t Close Your Eyes – Kix
Does anybody know of any songs I’m missing? Do you have a list of favorites?
Since I may not be able to see too well for a while, my entertainment may need to come in the form of music. What songs do you listen to when you want to feel better? Although this is an ’80s page, don’t feel limited to ’80s songs.