Welcome back to the Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, and 30-21. Once again, this has been a great week of discovering music, for me. Today is another great mix of songs. So, let’s Return to the week ending January 12, 1985, and move on with the countdown.
This is a cover of George and Ira Gershwin’s popular song from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. It has been covered many times, including this version, from Bronski Beat’s debut album, which reached up to #16 on this chart.
Sal Solo had been the lead vocalist of Classix Nouveaux, as part of the New Romantic movement. He embraced the Roman Catholic faith after a pilgrimage to San Damiano, a small village in Italy near Piacenza. He began a solo career, scoring a hit with this song, which would peak at #15. After 1987, Solo stopped recording music commercially, and became active in youth ministry in the Catholic Church in the UK.
Here is the song from Chess that I did know about already, and love! Murray Head raps the verses and the chorus is sung by Anders Glenmark, a Swedish singer, songwriter and producer. For fans of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, Murray Head is the brother of Anthony Stewart Head, who played Giles.
Smiley Culture was a reggae rapper. We did not hear this style music in the U.S. at this point. This was the supposedly autobiographical tale of how Smiley Culture was arrested for the possession of cannabis, but then let off in return for an autograph when the policeman recognized him as a famous reggae artist. In a cruel twist of irony, Smiley Culture died at the age of 48 in 2011 during a police raid on his home.
This was the first song released from the album Here’s to Future Days. It peaked right here at #13 in the U.K., and reached #14 on the U.S. charts. This song and “King for a Day” are my favorite songs by The Thompson Twins. And both songs are from the same album.
Great song from the Emergency album! I owned the cassette, and the whole first side is flawless, in my opinion. I love the funky R&B sound of this song. It peaked at #11 here, and cracked the Top 10 in the U.S., peaking at #9 there.
My long-time readers and podcast listeners know of my love of rap, and how I loved to break out the cardboard and boom box, throw on my parachute pants, and throw down some break dance moves. Well, this is right in my wheelhouse! I love how the Chaka Khan/I Feel For You rap got mixed in here too.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. I think this is the best list so far! Come back Friday as we see what the Top 10 songs were this week in the U.K. in 1985.
Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. The hits are getting bigger and bigger. However, there are still two songs on today’s list that I was unfamiliar with. That’s always exciting for me. Now, let’s Return to the week ending and move on with the countdown. And as usual, if you’d like to listen to the song on YouTube, click on the song title. And if you want to listen or buy this song on Amazon, you can click on the album cover.
Well, here we are. The Top 10 songs in the U.K. this week in 1983. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. There will be some very familiar songs on here for us in the U.S. However, there may still be some pleasant surprises. You can click on the song title to get to the song on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s Return to the week of March 6, 1983, and wrap up the countdown.
While this British Jamaican reggae band had only 1 hit in the U.S. (“Pass the Dutchie”), they had several hits in the U.K. between 1982 and 1984. This was their second biggest hit, peaking at #6 on this U.K. chart.
Unlike Musical Youth, the Thompson Twins had several big hits in the U.S. But, this was not one of them. It did come close, peaking at #45. However, this was a top 10 hit in several other countries, including here in the U.K. where it peaked right here at #9.
Here is another group that did not make it big in the U.S., with only two Top 40 hits. In the U.K., Madness was huge! And so was the group Madness. (my Brit friends get it) I wish this song made it over here in the U.S. I love it! “Our House” can really get stuck in your head, and this could have done the same.
We should all know this song, at least from the original version by Steam. And any sports fan knows this song when their team is about to beat their opponent at home. This is a girl band version of it. I love everything Bananarama does. This was yet another song that did not hit big in the U.S., peaking at #101. But, it was a top 10 hit here, peaking at #5. This was the fifth single released from Bananarama’s debut album, Deep Sea Skiving.
Forrest is not known in the States. But we all know this song from the 1974 original by The Hues Corporation. Forrest does a great job with this. I wish it would have made it in the U.S. so I could hear it more often on 80s stations and shows.
Maybe it’s possible that some of you may know this song. It was only a top 10 hit in every country in the world that has music charts, and was #1 in almost all of them. Not only was this a worldwide smash in 1983, but it became a huge hit all over the world once again when Jackson died in 2009. It wasn’t reaching the top spot again in most places. But, it was a top 10 hit just about everywhere.
And here we are at the #1 spot! This song was written by Jim Steinman, who is best known for being Meat Loaf’s producer. This was Bonnie Tyler’s biggest hit, topping the charts in several countries. I love this song, and most Steinman produced songs.
This was not planned, but it is definitely fitting that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is the #1 song. I got the idea of doing the Top 40 this week from the U.K., from a conversation I had with my best friend, who happens to be from Wales, which is where Bonnie Tyler is from. Bestie and I were talking about music. I had already known that there are a lot of songs that were huge in the U.K, but never made it here. But, this got brought to the forefront of my mind from our conversation, as I did not know some bands Bestie brought up. And there were singers I heard of, but didn’t know they were in a band. So, I thought it would be great to discover great new music.
I hope you all thought this was a good idea. Please let me know if you’d like to see more of these. I’ll be back with a new countdown in the near future. Maybe it will be from the U.S. or from the U.K.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been a great week of classic ’80s music. And as you will see, there are going to be no surprises in this top 10 today. They are all songs and artists that helped define the decade. So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and finish the Countdown.
Van Halen had been known for their hard driving guitar rock, led by Eddie Van Halen. But, it was this synthesizer based song that really brought Van Halen into the mainstream and gave them their only #1 single. “Jump” dominated the airwaves for a very long time, and the video was an MTV staple,
Here is another song that there could be no mistake as to which decade this was from. I do have to admit that The Thompson Twins did drive me and my minor OCD slightly insane in that they were not only NOT related, but there were THREE of them! Ugh!! But, that does not take away from the greatness of this song.
This was a time when Boy George and Culture Club were among the top artists of the music landscape. This was their third single released from the classic Colour by Numbers album. This is another song and video that could come from no other decade than the ’80s.
Well, this is not one of my favorite Lionel Richie songs at all. But, it is good to hear once in a while. And now I can say that I’m not as creeped out at seeing this Lionel Richie sculpture from the video:
as I was after I saw this recent I Love Lucy sculpture:
Let’s dance!!! The king of ’80s soundtracks scored big time with this smash hit song. It is one of Kenny Loggins’ most identifiable songs, and won a Grammy for Song of the Year. Great way to end a countdown!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Countdown. I feel like I used the workd “classic” quite a bit. But, it was a appropriate. There were so many signature ’80s songs this week. What a great year of music! We’ll be back with a new countdown soon. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.