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.
Now…on with the countdown.
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.
Journey was still at the height of their popularity when Frontiers came out. This power ballad from that album, written by Jonathan Cain, is one of Journey’s most recognizable songs.
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.