Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, this has been an incredible week of music – especially the previous 10 songs. And now we have reached the top 10, which has some more classic music I think you’ll enjoy. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and find out what were the biggest hits that week.
Next up is another song from a debut album of an ’80s powerhouse. This song was the second single released from Culture Club’s Kissing to Be Clever album (after “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me“). This song is one of my favorite Culture Club songs.
Easily my favorite Branigan tune! I love all her music, but this is #1 for me. What an incredible talent she was. I was so upset when she died on August 26, 2004. This song was the lead single from the Branigan 2 album. This debuted on the charts the same week her breakthrough hit, “Gloria“, dropped off the charts.
I think everybody here may have possibly heard of this song, maybe. We all know that Eddie Van Halen famously plays the guitar solo here. But, you may not know this fun fact: there were a few members of Toto who played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar, bass guitar), Steve Porcaro (synthesizer), and Jeff Porcaro (drums).
Now it’s the part of the countdown where we see what was topping the other charts this week:
This song was my introduction to David Bowie. Bowie has always reinvented himself. This was during his pop period. I liked this song a lot, and there are so many great songs on the Let’s Dance album, that I like even more.
We have now arrived at the #1 song this week. And what a way to end! My big ’80s crush – Irene Cara. This is her signature song, but she has so many other great ones that get overlooked. I love her voice and music. Even though this song gets all the airplay, I still love it.
Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I’m going to try to keep this going next week by Returning to the year that The Empire Strikes Back came out. Then the following week – the week the new Star Wars movie is coming out – we are going to Return to (yes we’re going there) 1977! So, that’s something to look forward to. 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.
“She Blinded Me With Science” was a smash hit off of British musician, Thomas Dolby’s debut album The Golden Age of Wireless. It peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard charts on May 14, 1983. In 2006, VH1 placed it at #76 on their list of “Greatest Songs of the ’80s.” Then, in 2009, it ranked #13 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.
Although the song was a hit in the U.S. and Canada, it did not chart as high in the U.K. However, his song “Hyperactive”, from Dolby’s second album, The Flat Earth, peaked at #17 in the U.K., but did not chart in the U.S. Dolby did not have another hit song in the U.S.
However, Dolby continued recording music for several years. In October 2011, Dolby released his first album since 1992 – A Map of the Floating City. It is a unique project. The album’s concept, set in an alternate history, is accompanied by a web-based social networking game.
“I marvel at the new landscape of the music business – distribution via the Internet and recording technologies I barely dreamed of when I started out,” he continues. “But this album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. The Net has made a music career approachable for thousands of bands – but I hear too few single-minded voices among them. What I do best is write songs, tell stories.” “The new songs are organic and very personal,” says Dolby. “This album is a travelogue across three imaginary continents. In Amerikana I’m reflecting with affection on the years I spent living in the USA, and my fascination with its roots music. Urbanoia is a dark place, a little unsettling…I’m not a city person. And in Oceanea I return to my natural home on the windswept coastline.
Thomas Dolby has always been slightly ahead of his time, as is evident with his hit song, “She Blinded Me With Science”: