Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I think this has been a great countdown this week already. But, today’s list features quite a few of my favorite bands of all time! These songs may be familiar to most of us, but it is really nice to go back to the time when these hits were new to us. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and continue the countdown.
What better way to start the day than some classic ’80s! This was the biggest hit for The Tubes, topping out at #10. The disturbing music video was directed by Kenny Ortega. Ortega was the choreographer on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing, as well as directing Michael Jackson’s This is It.
Here is an awesome ballad by an awesome band! This song came off the album Toto IV, which also provided us with “Rosanna” and “Africa“. [I’m pausing the countdown right now as I listen to “Africa”. If this countdown is late, you’ll know why. Oooh, shiny object!]
Yet another classic ’80s tune! This countdown is a great time capsule for ’80s music. This song was originally performed by Falco. Falco’s version is in German, so it wasn’t a big a hit in the U.S. as it was in Europe. However, a year later, After the Fire recorded this song in English, and made it a smash hit, topping out at #5 on the charts.
I think we would be hard-pressed to find a countdown in the early-to-mid ’80s that didn’t have at least one Hall & Oates tune. This song was written, and originally performed by Mike Oldenfield, featuring Maggie Reilly on main vocals. A year later, Hall & Oates took the song, and made it a huge hit, reaching up to #6 on the charts. I prefer the Hall & Oates version, but the original is also really good.
One of my all-time favorite bands of all-time! Incredible song off of an incredible album. Def Leppard is still going strong today, as they just released a new, self-titled, album. If you are interested in Def Leppard at all, you really need to check out that album. It’s probably their best since Hysteria, in my humble opinion.
This was a very cool ’80s song…until Weird Al ruined it for me. Now, whenever I hear this song, I can’t get Weird Al’s “I Lost On Jeopardy” out of my head, complete with Don Pardo telling Weird Al that he doesn’t win a year supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, he doesn’t get to come back tomorrow, he doesn’t even get a lousy copy of the home game. He’s a complete loser!
Another one of my favorite bands, and their second entry on the countdown this week. This is a very nice Dennis DeYoung ballad from Styx’s Kilroy Was Here album. I knew that this was a great hit, but I didn’t know that it charted as high as #6.
Yet another one of my favorite bands! Queen and Journey are my #1 and #2 bands. This song is one of Journey’s most recognizable hits. It is such a great ballad. Between Steve Perry’s incredible vocals, Jonathan Cain’s awesome keyboard riff, and Neal Schon’s classic guitar solo, this is perfection. When I saw Journey in concert in 1999 for their comeback with Steve Auggeri, they closed out the concert with this song. I had never been to a rock concert that closed out with a ballad. It was very classy.
And we have yet another classic ’80s song that is also a cover. This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. It reached up to #49 on the charts in 1964 by Lou Johnson. And just as Naked Eyes has that classic ’80s sound, Lou Johnson has that classic ’60s soft rock sound. The Naked Eyes version was a big hit in the U.S., topping out at #8.
We’ll wrap up today with some Rick Springfield! And it’s not “Jessie’s Girl”! This is an outstanding rock song. It was actually nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984. But, just like anybody else who released any songs between 1982 and 1984, he lost to Michael Jackson.
Well, that’s it for today. We’ll close out this awesome countdown on Friday. Again, feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts of any of the music we’ve covered so far.
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.