Hey Gang! We’re back with another Top 40 this week! This time, we go back to a time when MTV was coming into full swing, as cable television was coming into more and more homes. There were some acts that still did not catch on to the music video trend, and others full embraced it, and reaped the rewards. Now, let’s Return to August 27, 1983, and begin the countdown!
[If you’d like to see the YouTube video of the song, you can click on the song title. If you’d like to purchase or listen to the song on Amazon, you can click on the album cover]
This song was released just before The Fixx released their signature hit, “One Thing Leads to Another”. “Saved By Zero” was used in a 2008 Toyota campaign. OK, I just realized that when those commercials came out, I already had my current Toyota Corolla for 4 years – and I still have it to this day! Sure, you all have touch screens, and cameras in your car now. But, I bet you don’t have a cassette tape deck like I do!
The Little River Band began changing musical direction here. Meh. It’s kind of like how Saturday Night Live has a great run, then goes into a transitional phase, which sucks, before they go on another great run.
This is from MY James Bond movie. Cable TV was new in our house, and we had HBO, where I watched Octopussy several times a week. I’m not sure if this is a good song or not, but I do love it because it brings me back to that time.
I love early ’80s R&B! And it doesn’t hurt that this song is by Rhode Island’s own, Jeffrey Osbourne. He is an awesome guy who does a lot of great charity work. So, he can be forgiven for letting The Bachelor use his signature song, “On the Wings of Love” in 2010.
This is one of those songs that come to mind when you mention ’80s music. I loved this when it came out. Then got sick of it, after the constant radio and MTV airplay – even after he released the better “Romancing the Stone” single. But, I like it again now, and limit how many times I listen to it.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think? Do you have any favorites, or any “I forgot about that one!” moments. This is going to be great week, so come back tomorrow to check out the next 10 songs!
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. 1983 was an incredible year of music. The ’70s sound had pretty much disappeared, and ’80s music was building it’s own identity. At this time, I was 12 years old, and would become a teenager later in the year. I was wrapping up 7th grade, and getting ready for my final year of junior high. Now, let’s Return to the glorious week of May 28, 1983, and continue the countdown.
I did not know about INXS until later in the decade, when their Kick album came out. So I was unfamiliar with this song. It is classic INXS. I really like this one a lot. It may be 1983, but this sounds like it could have been from their incredible 1987 album.
Ahhh, the smooth sound of Al Jarreau! This definitely would not have been on my radar in 1983. But, I like it a lot now. This came off of Al Jarreau’s #1 Jazz album, Jarreau. This song was written by David Foster and Jay Graydon. It was originally supposed to be an instrumental that was to appear on David Foster’s 1983 album, The Best of Me. Jay Graydon produced many of Al Jarreau’s songs, so they gave the song to him.
There is no mistaking which decade this song is from! This was one of the biggest hits of 1983. The song’s lyrics refer to the 1981 Brixton riot, the title referring to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London.
Although I am a rocker at heart, I really love a lot of soft rock from the early ’80s. And this is one of the best. Sérgio Mendes is a bandleader, and does not sing in this one. That credit goes to Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller.
Kenny Rogers may have been the king of country cross-over music in the ’70s and ’80s, but Ronnie Milsap is no slouch either. This particular song peaked at #5 on the Country charts, #8 on the Adult Contemporary charts, and right here at #23 on the Hot 100.
I love this song, even though I can’t understand the lyrics, other than the title. This falls in the same category as “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly. This is great music, which is a lot of fun.
Another ultimate ’80s song, by an ultimate ’80s band. Duran Duran was on top of the world at this time. And with songs like this, we can see why. Girls today have their One Direction. The girls of our generation had Duran Duran. Almost 35 years later, they are still going strong, having released a new album this past September, Paper Gods. And I think they sound the same today as they did in our glorious ’80s.
Well, classic Duran Duran is a good way to wrap up the countdown for today. Are you liking this countdown so far? And as the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger. So, come on back tomorrow to check out the next 10 songs of the countdown.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. There have been some flat-out classics so far this week, and today is no different. You can go back and check out songs 40-3130-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been one of the better Top 40 weeks, so let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and finish the countdown.
Well, here’s a blast from the past. Hall & Oates were a staple of the ’80s music scene. But, this song is often overlooked. This song is actually a cover, originally done by Mike Oldfield (with Maggie Reilly on vocals) in 1982. Hall & Oates made it their own, and made it a big hit, topping out at #6 on the charts.
Just like Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield had a great hot streak in the early-to-mid ’80s. This song, Springfield’s first single from his Living in Oz album, would be his fourth top 10 hit, peaking right here at #9. It was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, but lost to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.
This synthpop song just screams ’80s! But, did you know that this was a cover? It was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. The original recorded version was released by Lou Johnson in 1964. Sandie Shaw also released a version of this song that same year, and it was a #1 hit in the U.K., Canada, and South Africa.
The 1964 versions and this ’80s version were each a product of their time. I like all the versions, but of course, I prefer Naked Eyes.
This is a nice ballad by one of my favorite bands – Styx. This song is from their divisive album, Kilroy Was Here. This was the beginning of the end of the original run of Styx, but you wouldn’t know it here.
Lionel Richie immediately proved that he could have a successful career post-Commodores, with his incredible self-titled debut album. This ballad was the third single released from that album, and was his third top 10 hit in a row. Kenny Rogers, who often collaborated with Richie, provided the backing vocals on this song.
Men At Work is just pure ’80s. They were on a hot streak at this time. The combination of Colin Hay’s voice and Greg Ham on sax, gave Men At Work a very unique sound. Everyone knows “Down Under“, but this is one of their better songs as well.
Speaking of unique sounding, this song was a worldwide smash hit. The song’s title refers to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London. You could not escape this song when it was first released, but man was it fun!
All week we have been hearing from artists who had been around for a while, but were introduced to me with the ’80s tunes in the countdown this week. This is another one. I remember first hearing this song on the radio while eating breakfast before school. This song was from the album of the same name, and was part of many of David Bowie’s reinventions. This is a great song from a great album.
Culture Club followed their world-wide smash hit debut, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, with this song. I like this one better. Culture Club was one of those bands that I didn’t care much for back then, but enjoy much more now.
Before we uncover this week’s #1 song, lets see what was topping some of the other charts this week:
What a Feeling! and what a way to end the countdown! A few years earlier, Irene Cara hit it big with the theme song for Fame. Somehow, she outdid herself with this classic from the movie, Flashdance. This song won all kinds of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This is a well deserved #1 hit.
Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. This has got to be one of the best countdowns we’ve covered so far. 1983 was such an incredible and pivotal year of music. Do you agree? We’ll be back with another countdown in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out 40-31 and 30-21.
So far, there may have been several songs that were new to you. Today, you probably have heard of one or two or all of the songs. Even though these are all instantly recognizable, it is always fun to go back and enjoy some classic ’80s music. So, let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983,and continue the countdown.
There is no denying which decade this song is from! This song made Thomas Dolby a one hit wonder, as it was his only top 40 hit in the U.S. It ranked #13 on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.”
This MTV staple was my introduction to The Kinks. It sounds like something you would hear on a cruise ship. This song is a tribute that Ray Davies did for his sister, Rene. Rene visited her family around the time of Ray Davies’ 13th birthday, and gave him a Spanish guitar that he could not persuade his parents to get for him. On that evening, Rene, who had a weak heart as a result of a childhood bout of rheumatic fever, suffered a fatal heart attack (at the age of 31) while dancing at the Lyceum ballroom. This song would tie The Kinks’ highest charting song in the U.S. with “Tired of Waiting for You“, topping out at #6.
This was yet another MTV staple. And this is another song that introduced me to an artist who had been around for a while. I would say that MTV was just a bit relevant in those early days! There were so many songs and artists who I may not have paid attention to if it wasn’t for MTV. This song and video is fun and upbeat. This is a great song for people who have overcome obstacles in their life.
Ironically, after I mention how influencial MTV was, we now have the biggest MTV singer of all time, with a song that never had a music video. This was the fourth single released from the legendary Thriller album. Even though it was on the Thriller album, it sounded more like something that would have been on his previous album, Off the Wall. This song would peak at #5 on the charts.
And now it’s time for a Long Distance Dedication. This week, the theme for me seems to be that this was a time when I was discovering music. So, this letter from Robert is so appropriate this week. Robert says:
I have had a long running feud with a friend about music. Mike and I met in junior high school. We had a few classes together and soon learned that we both loved music. Here is where the argument started. My favorite band is REO Speedwagon – Mike’s favorite band is the Police. We would go round and round, neither one of us giving an inch. REO guitarist is better – the Police experiment with different types of music – REO’s songs all sound the same – the Police are too confusing to understand. We went on and on and the argument lasted clear through the beginning of high school. Finally, we both agreed to listen to the other band’s complete catalog. I borrowed his Police albums and he borrowed my REO records. I listened to those Police albums many times over the next few days – and I made a startling discovery – they were good! I really started to enjoy most of their songs. I went out and bought my own copies and memorized all of the songs. I loved the lyrics and musical styles that the Police used. A few weeks later I went to Mike and admitted defeat. I still Loved REO, but I loved the Police, too. I do not even try to make distinctions among my favorite bands anymore – they are all great. Casey, please play “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da” by the Police for my friend Mike, who helped me open my ears to different kinds of music.
You’ve got it, Robert!
That was “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da” by the Police from their 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta.
Minus “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, it seems like the songs on today’s list were in this same rotation on MTV. I love this MTV staple. This was The Tubes’ biggest hit, topping out at #10 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts.
Kajagoogoo exploded on to the music scene with this ’80s classic! “Too Shy” was the band’s first single released from their debut album. But, that was about it, as it was the only hit in the U.S. They did have some more hits in the U.K. This song landed at #9 on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.”
This was the only #1 hit in the U.S. for The Police – and it was there for eight weeks! This song, from their classic album, Synchronicity, would go on to be a signature song for the band. I also remember, very clearly, listening to the year end countdown of 1983. This was the #1 song.
And we have an Easy Listening song making an appearance today! I remember that whenever we drove anywhere, my parents would always have the Lite rock station on in the car. This is one song that I always enjoyed. I still like it a lot.
We wrap up today’s list with a lost track you may not have heard before. Just kidding. I don’t know if there is a single person in the world who does not recognize this song. Of course, most of us know that Eddie Van Halen provided the guitar solo. His record company prevented him from appearing in the video. And thanks to Robert, we found out recently that Toto’s Steve Lukather was on guitar for this song. Eddie just did the solo.
“Beat It” received the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as two American Music Awards. It was also inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame.
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. We’ll take a day off to recover from this ’80s greatness, and just soak it in. But, we’ll finish off the countdown on Friday.