Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21.
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.
20. “We Came to Dance” by Ultravox
The Midge Ure-led New Wave band never charted high in the U.S. However, this is a different story in the U.K. where they scored seven Top 10 albums and seventeen Top 40 singles. This song, from their 6th album Quartet, would peak at #18.
19. “Moonlight Shadow” by Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist and composer. Scottish vocalist Maggie Reilly, who had collaborated with Mike Oldfield since 1980, performed the vocals on this song. While it did not chart in the U.S., this song was a smash hit all over the rest of the world, topping the charts in many countries. It would peak at #4 here. In the U.S., Mike Oldfield may be best known for his 1973 song, “Tubular Bells“. Don’t recognize that name? Well it is best known here as the theme for the film, The Exorcist.
18. “Hang On Now” by Kajagoogoo
Kajagoogoo was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. with their smash, “Too Shy”. But, they had a few more hits in the U.K., including this one. This was the third single released from their debut album White Feathers. It would peak at #13 here.
17. “I Dream to Sleep” by H2O
This is the first of two Top 40 hits for the Scottish band H2O. It was released just ahead of their debut album, Faith. It would peak right here at #17. Their follow-up single “Just Outside of Heaven” reached No. 38 later the same year. They had no more hits after that, which led to their break-up in 1985.
16. “Garden Party (The Great Cucumber Massacre)” by Marillion
Marillion is a very cool Prog-Rock band from England. Unfortunately, they were never able to get a break in the States. But, they did have many hits in the U.K.
15. “Dark is the Night” by Shakatak
Long before Shaquille O’Neal came out with his Shaq Attaq sneaker line (which you would need to take out a second mortgage in order to afford), this jazz-funk band, Shakatak, went on a string of hits in the U.K. This song would peak right here at #15.
14. “Buffalo Soldier” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
The legendary Bob Marley recorded this song in 1978. It was released on his posthumous 1983 album Confrontation. According to Wikipedia, the title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as “Buffalo Soldiers”, that fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. Marley linked their fight to a fight for survival, and recasts it as a symbol of black resistance.
Oddly, this song was covered by Vanilla Ice in 2008.
13. “Love Town” by Booker Newbury III
The soulful Youngstown, Ohio native didn’t score very big in his home country. But, he had a big hit with this song in the U.K., where it peaked at #6. I like this song a lot. It has a “Turn Your Love Around” vibe to it.
12. “Dead Giveaway” by Shalamar
Shalamar had limited success in the States, unfortunately. They should have been way bigger. But, our friends in the U.K. appreciated them! This song did do pretty well in the U.S., peaking at #22. But, it landed all the way up to #8 in the U.K. This was off of Shalamar’s album, The Look, which would be the final album with Jody Watley as part of the group as she would embark on a successful solo career.
11. “Lady Love Me (One More Time)” by George Benson
Here is another song that was moderately successful in the States (charting at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, #21 on the Soul singles chart and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart), but shot up the charts in the U.K., peaking right here at #11.
What a great list today! I think this was my favourite of the week so far. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. We’ll take a day to take this all in, and wrap up the countdown on Friday.