Tag Archives: The Four Tops

Top 40 Songs This Week – October 17, 1981: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. This has been a great week of music so far. And there are some classics here today. And don’t forget, you can click on the song title to get to the YouTube video to listen to the song. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and wrap up this week’s countdown.


10. “The Night Owls” by The Little River Band

We begin the top 10 with a decent rock song. This is off of The Little River Band’s Time Exposure album. The album was produced by George Martin. This was the band’s last album with Glen Shorrock on lead vocals until 1988, and with lead guitarist David Briggs.

9. “Hard To Say” by Dan Fogelberg

This was Dan Fogelberg’s third Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This song is notable for featuring the late (I still can’t believe I’m saying that) Glenn Frey.

8. “Who’s Crying Now” by Journey

download-1This was the first single released from the legendary Escape album. This began the hugely successful commercial run of Journey, 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees. Do hear more about Journey, check out the first episode of the Return to the ’80s Podcast:

7. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

This was the first single from Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album, Bella Donna. It was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell, inteneded to be a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song. However, Jimmy Iovine, who was also working for Stevie Nicks at the time, arranged for her to sing on it. This was a good call, because these two unique voices sound great together.

6. “Private Eyes” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

How could a song with a handclap in the chorus be bad? This classic Hall & Oates tune was a staple on MTV. It would go on to be a #1 hit, holding that top position for 2 weeks.

5. “Step by Step” by Eddie Rabbitt

This country-crossover hit was also the #1 song on the country chart this week, and would peak right here at #5 on the Billboard 100.

4. “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton

This was the theme song of the 12th James Bond movie of the same name. Easton is the only artist (to date) to be seen singing the theme song to a Bond movie during its opening titles. This song was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1982.

3. “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones

This song was my introduction to The Rolling Stones. I didn’t have MTV yet, but I did see the song on the television show, Solid Gold. The basic track of this song was written during the 1978 sessions for the Rolling Stones’ album Some Girls. It was at first cut as a reggae-rock track named ‘Never Stop’, but after dozens of takes the band stopped recording it and it was shelved. In 1981, with the band looking to tour, engineer Chris Kimsey proposed to Mick Jagger that archived songs could be put in the set. It was re-worked to the classic that we now know, and was recorded for the Tattoo You album.

2. “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

This is Lionel Richie’s third entry on this countdown. This was recorded as the title track of the film adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel Endless Love. The song ended up being a bigger hit than the movie, reaching number 1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981.


Before we reveal the #1 song, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week.

The #1 R&B song this week was “When She Was My Girl” by The Four Tops.

Topping the Dance charts was “Do You Love Me” by Patti Austin.

The #1 album this week was Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones

And the #1 Adult Contemporary tune is also the #1 song on the top of the pop charts this week…

1. “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross

And we have another movie soundtrack song. Coming off his mega-successful self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross followed up with this smash hit. This would be a #1 hit for 3 weeks. The song also won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Although his music was still great, Christopher Cross’ popularity faded away quickly once everybody started getting their MTV. This was definitely his high point.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Let me know your thoughts on this list, and on any part of the countdown. We’ll count down a different year in the near future. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – October 17, 1981: Songs 20-11

Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. At this point in time, MTV was still in its infancy, as it just debuted 2 1/2 months ago. Some artists already threw their hat in the ring, and filmed music videos. Others were not yet ready to embrace this medium. So, this is a very interesting and transitional time. Now, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and continue the countdown.


20. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Billy Joel

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with Billy Joel. This song was originally released in 1976 on his Turnstiles album. But, it didn’t have success until it was released on Joel’s live album, Songs in the Attic.
Another fun fact: Billy Joel confirmed that he wrote the song with Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes song “Be My Baby” in mind. Because of this, Ronnie Spector recorded her own cover version of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in 1977 with the E Street Band, soon after Joel released his first recording of the song on Turnstiles.

19. “We’re In This Love Together” by Al Jarreau

downloadDuring this part of the decade, there were a lot of country-crossover hits. But, now we have a jazz-crossover hit! This is a song I would never have listened to back when it was released, but absolutely love it now. This song came off of Al Jarreau’s Breakin’ Away album, which was his most popular album, spending two years on the Billboard 200. it also won Jarreau the Grammy Award in 1982 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

18. “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)” by Lulu

This was the fourth and final US Top 40 hit for the Scottish songstress. Lulu is best known for her title track songs for the movies To Sir With Love, and The Man with the Golden Gun.

17. “Super Freak (Part 1)” by Rick James

U can’t touch this Rick James smash hit (unless you’re M.C. Hammer), which topped the pop, R&B and dance charts in the US.

16. “When She Was My Girl” by The Four Tops

This was the Mowtown legends’ return to the Top 40. It was the first song released from their new record label Casablanca Records. The song also became an international hit.

15. “Share Your Love With Me” by Kenny Rogers

This isn’t exactly one of Kenny Rogers’ most well known songs. But, it did reach number 14 on the Hot 100 and 5 in the US Country charts. It was off of his album Share Your Love, which was produced by Lionel Richie.

14. “Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You” by Bob Seger

This song was originally performed by Otis Clay in 1973. Bob Seger’s cover of this song is the most successful version of the song, reaching number five on the pop singles charts.

13. “Hold On Tight” by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

This was the first single released off of ELO’s 1981 album, Time, and became an international hit. I’m not sure if I would have heard of this song if it wasn’t featured in The Coffee Achievers TV commercials….

12. “I’ve Done Everything For You” BY Rick Springfield

Well, if you’re gonna follow-up “Jessie’s Girl”, this is the way to do it. Rick Springfield proved he was here to stay with this Sammy Hagar penned tune. Just like “Jessie’s Girl”, this rocker came off of Rick Springfield’s 1981 international breakout album Working Class Dog, and would reach up to #9 on the charts.

11. “Urgent” by Foreigner

I’m not sure what the U.S. presidential debate fact-checkers would say, but I believe that this is where the rage of the ’80s sax solo began. This was the first single released from Foreigner’s classic 4 album. The album was produced by “Mutt” Lange. The then-unknown Thomas Dolby played synthesizer on some tracks on the album, including this song. And the aforementioned sax solo was performed by by Motown great Junior Walker.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. So far, this has been a pretty solid week. And the best is yet to come! So come back Friday to see what the Top 10 was this week in 1981. And as usual, I would love to hear your thoughts on this countdown. See ya Friday!

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