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. One thing I love about the countdowns in the early ’80s is the wide variety of music. There was still variety later on in the decade too, but nothing like this. Today, we have some rock, country, pop, R&B, and even an instrumental thrown in here. So, let’s Return to the week ending October 17, 1981, and move on with the countdown…
At this point, I had still not heard of The Moody Blues. My introduction to them would not come until 1986 with “Your Wildest Dreams“. This song started off promising. But when Styx didn’t chime in with Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, I was disappointed. This isn’t a bad song. I can see how it got by me, though. I appreciate it more now then I would have back then.
Marty Balin was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship. He left the band in 1978. Since the only songs I know by that band from that era are the ones Grace Slick sung, I was not familiar with Marty Balin. This is another middle-of-the-road song for me. Not horrible, but not that good. But, now we will be leaving my uncharted territory, and start getting to more familiar songs.
I know a lot of people love Sting’s solo career. But, I really love these days when he was teamed up with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. This is a classic Police tune from their album Ghost in the Machine.
This was The Commodores’ last hit single with Lionel Richie in the band. This is another favorite of mine. It is just as good, if not better, than some of Richie’s other ballads. This song was also featured in the 1982 movie The Last American Virgin.
This country-crossover hit was written by written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ backing group The Hot Band. Juice Newton made this a smash hit, reaching up to #2 for two weeks, being kept out of the top spot by “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.Juice Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist in the C&W category.
This is another smash hit which peaked at #2 on the charts. This power ballad from Foreigner’s classic 4 album, was in the number 2 position in the week of November 28, where it was held off the number 1 spot by Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” for nine consecutive weeks, and then by Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” for a tenth week on January 30, 1982.
Time to get funky! This classic R&B hit earned Carl Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. If you are friends with a Bruno Mars fan, point them to this song to see what it’s all about.
To prevent confusion, this song was originally released as “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” so as not to be confused with the group’s No. 1 hit song “The One That You Love” which contains the lyrics: “Here I am, the one that you love.” It didn’t work with me because I still got confused.
When I was in junior high school, I was in a Catholic school. When we had dances, we had them in one of the classrooms, and moved the desks off to the sides of the room. One of the mothers would “dj” by playing tapes and albums on a stereo that somebody brought in. Whenever they wanted to play a slow song, it was always an Air Supply song. So these Air Supply songs bring me back to that time.
In addition to this smash hit that earned Mike Post a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, you may know this legendary music producer’s other work in television shows such as Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The A-Team, NYPD Blue, Renegade, The Rockford Files, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap, and Magnum, P.I.
As we drive off in tears at the end of the countdown for the day, let’s listen to the awesome, but sad, ballad by Quincy Jones and James Ingram. This song was featured in The Last American Virgin as Diane Franklin broke Gary’s and our hearts.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. I hope you are enjoying this. Let me know what you think so far. We are already halfway done. Come back tomorrow to see what other awesome songs were topping the charts this week in 1981.
Hi Everybody! Robert is back again to continue the ‘Going Solo’ series! We have an interesting one today. I do like most of the songs The Police did. But, I was never a big fan of his solo stuff. There are only a few songs that I like from his solo years. So, I was looking forward to Robert’s take on these songs, and he does not disappoint! He got me thinking about, and listening to these songs differently. There are even a couple of songs on here that I had never heard before, and enjoyed. Maybe the same will happen to you. Enjoy!
Sting – English Teacher, Famous Band, Solo Superstar
When I was in eighth grade, a family friend, who was also a DJ for Armed Forces Radio (AFN) gave me an album. This was not an unusual occurrence because he knew I loved music and had brought albums to me before. This one was different – it started my love for an amazing songwriter and a group of supremely talented musicians. The album was Synchronicity by the Police. I was to learn later that this would be their last studio album together and that the vocalist, Sting, was about to launch an impressive solo career that is still going today.
As the main lyricist and vocalist, Sting with the Police had a very successful, albeit short lived career. The Police were formed by Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner (vocals and bass), Stewart Copeland (drums), and Andy Summers (guitar) in 1977 and recorded their first album in 1978, Outlandos D’Amour. This album spawned no hit singles in the United States, but does contain the now famous song “Roxanne” that was beautifully performed by Eddie Murphy in his first film 48 Hours. The Police would soon become staples on the American charts. Their second album Reggatta de Blanc did not have any hit singles in the States either, but the album did reach #25 on Billboard’s album charts. In 1980 they released Zenyatta Mondatta which reached #5 on the album charts and had the hits singles “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.” They followed this with The Ghost in the Machine (1981) and the iconic Synchronicity (1983). The hits singles “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, “King of Pain”, “Wrapped Around Your Finger”, and the mega-smash hit “Every Breath You Take” all come from these two albums. The Police have sold over 100 million albums worldwide – 22 million in the United States alone.
Despite this, the band and lead singer Sting seemed less than content. After a failed attempt at a follow up to Synchronicity, Sting decided to part ways with the band and embark on a solo career. Sting, who began his adult life as an English teacher, was always the main lyricist for the Police. He was never short on ideas and continued to write songs. In 1985 Sting released his first solo album Dream of the Blue Turtles. This album reached #2 on Billboard’s album charts and sold 3 million copies – not a bad debut. In addition to receiving several Grammy nominations, the album contained four top 40 hits: “If You Love Someone Set Them Free” #3, “Love is the Seventh Wave” #17 “Fortress Around Your Heart” #8, and “Russians” #16. It is safe to say that with this album, Sting was able to maintain the success that he achieved with the Police.
After Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting continued to produce quality music as a solo artist and not as a member of the Police. Before his second solo album, Sting made appearances with Phil Collins the song “Long Long Way to Go” and with Dire Straits with the opening line,“I want my MTV” from “Money for Nothing.” Sting released his second album Nothing Like the Sun in 1987. This album increased Sting’s worldwide popularity with four more charting singles and being certified double platinum. Personally I love this album because the title is an allusion to a famous Shakespearean sonnet. Sting will continue to produce quality solo albums as well as write music for films and, most recently, a successful Broadway musical The Last Ship.
Sting has produced such an eclectic blend of music that some people find him hard to listen to on a regular basis. His first solo effort, Dream of the Blue Turtles, is a must for any fan of ‘80s music. He combines rock and reggae from his days with the Police, but he does not stop there; he writes meaningful lyrics and combines them with jazz, rock, reggae- you name it. Sting is a true artist and this album puts his talents on full display. I will do my best to not sound too much like an English teacher, but Sting is such a good writer that I am not sure I can avoid it.
The clearest memory I have of this song, other than liking it, is how much my girlfriend (now wife) hated this song. When I asked her why, her response was always, “It is just so stupid. You can’t just let go of someone you love. That’s dumb.” Clearly I disagree. Sting’s sentiment in this song is not original, he is just restating the idea that to see if you truly love someone, let them go; if they come back the love is true. Already in this first track, Sting’s way with words shows, “You can’t control an independent heart / Can’t tear the one you love apart / Forever conditioned to believe that we can’t live / We can’t live here and be happy with less / So many riches, so many souls / With everything we see we want to possess.” Sting is able to take an idea that is usually stated as a cliche and give it an original, well written slant. This is a great way to begin the first solo album.
Here is the first (of many) songs by Sting that needs a little explanation. A strange part of me has always liked to do research – I think this is part of why I became an English major. The title and chorus of this song refers to a sailor’s belief that, in a series of waves, the seventh one was always the strongest and would wash away anything in its path. Sting is being unusually optimistic when he writes, “Feel it rising in the cities / Feel it sweeping overland / Over border, over frontiers / Nothing will its power withstand.” Love is the force that will defeat all of the bad in the world. Sting experiments with musical styles throughout this album; this song has a clear reggae element to it.
I have very fond memories of the time I spent looking up all of the references in this song (and remember, these were pre-internet days). This song was all too real for a teenaged boy living on an army base in Germany only a few thousand miles away from our enemy (at the time) the Soviet Union. This song is another example from the ‘80s of our fear of nuclear war. This song, like the movie The Day After, captured American and European fears of Russia using nuclear weapons aggressively, placing all civilization at risk. The deep musical tone of the music (Sting credits Sergei Prokofiev) gives this song a haunting feel and the lyrics serve only to emphasize the fear of an impending nuclear holocaust, “How can I save my little boy / From Oppenheimer’s deadly toy / There is no monopoly of common sense / On either side of the political fence.” Our only hope lies in the chorus of the song, “ Believe me when I say to you, I hope the Russians love their children, too.”
Sting is not one to shy away from controversy and in this song, like “Russians”, Sting is very clear about his message. Most of the verses in this song are about the English soldiers who fought in World War I. England copied most countries and sent young men into battle. The poppies mentioned a number of times in this song are traditional symbols of death and are used today as a form of remembrance of any soldiers who have died in war. Sting does not hold back in criticizing the, “Corpulent generals safe behind lines / History’s lessons drowned in red wine” – typical Sting. The last verse makes a sudden change and draws on the idea of poppies being the source of opium and all of the young lives that are hurt by it. This is a powerful song that may polarize listeners.
This song is a cover of a song that Sting first recorded in 1980 as a member of the Police from the album Zenyatta Mondatta. The Police version is a slow, bass heavy, reggae influenced song. As a solo artist, Sting reinterprets this song and it becomes a jazz composition. He changes none of the lyrics, just the tempo and instrumentation, but it is a completely different song.
Here is another song where Sting speaks for the voiceless. This song captures the hardships of those who worked in coal mines for a living. The setting of this song is unclear, but that does not matter; the outcome for the workers is very clear, “Our blood has stained the coal / We tunneled deep inside the nation’s soul / We matter more than pound and pence / Your economic theory makes no sense.” This is not the last song in which Sting will defend the people that the mainstream media ignores. He draws our attention to a deserving situation, making us more aware of a group of people who have gone unnoticed for generations.
As the title suggests, this song has the simple appearance of a break up song. In typical Sting fashion, he does so with good writing that does not always make an appearance in contemporary music. To describe the break up, Sting uses this imagery, “Roses have thorns / Shining water’s mud / And cancer lurks deep / In the sweetest bud / Clouds and eclipses / Stain the moon and sun / And history reeks / Of the wrongs we have done.” Once again – just great writing.
I do not listen to instrumentals on a regular basis. In fact, off the top of my head I can name only a handful, but this is one of them. This track is an upbeat jazz composition that highlights the expert musicians that Sting surrounded himself with featuring the likes of Omar Hakim on drums, Kenny Kirkland on keyboards, and Branford Marsalis on the saxophone. This is a cool little song that will help listeners experience a little more jazz than normal.
This is another fascinating song whose lyrics I pored over and became fascinated with. With this song, Sting may have been a bit ahead of his time by beating the vampire craze by a few decades. As the title suggests, the setting of the song is New Orleans. The first person narrator is a vampire who is struggling with the curse laid upon him. His frustration lies in the isolation that life has forced upon him. He is in pursuit of a woman, but “I must love what I destroy and destroy the thing I love.” I have always liked this song and now when I listen to it I hear the haunting qualities that it possesses. The video is a live performance with the Berlin Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Here is my favorite song from this album. This is a beautifully written love song that uses war imagery – not your typical romantic ballad. It seems as if the speaker in this song has spent some significant time in protecting his love – perhaps too much. He has been so concerned with ‘protecting’ her that he has lost sight of why she is important. He is now coming to terms with this and realizing that he may not be able to hold on to her. Sting writes, “I had to stop in my tracks for fear / Of walking on the mines I’ve laid.” The chorus continues, “If I’ve built this fortress around your heart / Encircled you with trenches and barbed wire / Then let me build a bridge / For I cannot fill the chasm / Let me set the battlements on fire.” He is hoping that it is not too late to save the relationship. I am not sure that there are many better written hits from the ‘80s.
The Police, soundtracks, pop, jazz, rock, reggae, Broadway, acting, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – you name it and Sting has done it. It is rare that such a talented individual comes along. Even rarer that one is able to sustain a musical career over so many years. Sting is a unique artist who uses his music to entertain and draw attention to problems in the world. For some, this makes him unappealing. Your thoughts on Sting as a person or artist aside, Dream of the Blue Turtles is an excellent album from a decade of excellent albums. Sting’s solo work belongs on every ‘80s fan list of must haves.
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.
I can see your face still shining through the window on the other side
Last Songs: “Synchronicity II” by the Police, “You Are My Lady” by Freddie Jackson, and “Feelings of Forever” by Tiffany. All three celebrated a birthday yesterday – Sting (62), Freddie Jackson (57), and Tiffany (42).
Great job Cooly, who got all three!!
Daddy only stares into the distance
There’s only so.much heartache he can take
Just say that you’ll stay with me
‘Cause our love was meant to be
I promise to love you
More each day
Far beneath the silver skies
there’s no one around
to chase this night away
10. Mickey – Toni Basil
9. She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
8. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
7. Mr. Roboto – Styx
6. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel
5. Never Gonna Let You Go – Sergio Mendes
4. Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Air Supply
3. What About Me – Moving Pictures
2. Puttin’ On the Ritz – Taco
1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
Even though I love ’80s Music, I definitely prefer David Bowie’s ’70s music. No, David Bowie, I don’t want to dance! I’d much rather be Major Tom a “Space Oddity“! “Let’s Dance” is bad enough as it is. What makes it worse is that it is an “earworm” song. In other words, it gets stuck in your head. As I write this, I have not heard the song in years. But, just mentioning the title gave me earwormage (is that a even a word?) big time!
Well, that’s why I start with the ‘Horrible’ list, and end with the ‘Great’ list.
Yes, this was the Eurythmics breakthrough hit, but I’m not a big Eurythmics fan. This song just drones on and on. Instead of ‘Sweet Dreams’, this song was more like a recurring nightmare when it came out. It was always on the radio and on MTV.
I do like the Eurythmics “Missionary Man” a lot. But, I just can’t take this song or “Here Comes the Rain Again“.
Ah, Ah-Ah-ah. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:
Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?
I like The Police a lot. But, this song is one of my least favorites, and one of the most overrated songs of all time. I remember listening to the American Top 40 countdown of the top songs of the whole year, and this was number 1!! Really?!? “Synchronicity II” was my favorite song on the Synchronicity album by far – even though I don’t understand the lyrics too much.
Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The doggon song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.
Here is my top songs from that year: Runners up:
10. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle: These legends made a song that was perfect for a wedding
9. Little Red Corvette – Prince: Probably my favorite Prince song. Not as overplayed as “1999”
8. Truly – Lionel Richie – My favorite Lionel Richie ballad
7. Africa – Toto: Great song by Toto. I love the music, and the lead singer Bobby Kimball has an incredible voice.
6. Mr. Roboto – Styx: A lot of people make fun of Styx because of this song, and how it made them more theatrical. But, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with music. There have been worse concept albums than Kilroy Was Here.
And Jeffster did a great cover of this in the TV show Chuck:
5. Photograph – Def Leppard
A great song by one of my favorite bands. Although Def Leppard had a couple of good albums before Pyromania (On Through the Night and High and Dry), “Photograph” became their first hit, and helped spur on the success of Pyromania. The video showed a lot of photos of Marilyn Monroe, so people incorrectly thought the song was about her. This is still a great song. Def Leppard has stood the test of time for over 30 years now.
4. Solitaire – Laura Branigan
Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and “How Am I Suppose to Live Without You” were overplayed. But I think this song was way better than both of them. It rocks, and Branigan had a great voice. It sounds like she put a lot of passion into this song. This song also launched songwriter Diane Warren’s career.
3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.
2. Down Under – Men At Work
This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!
1. Separate Ways – Journey
Silly video aside, this song rocks. As soon as you hear Jonathan Cain’s keyboard, you know what song is playing. It has a lot of energy and gets you pumped. After Journey had a very long hiatus, they went on tour with a new lead singer – Steve Augeri. Of course I went, and this was the song they came out playing first. What a way to come back! While I need to turn some songs off as soon as I hear them, I have to listen to this one all the way through when it comes on.