Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. If you are in the U.S., I hope this countdown has provided a little escape from the election day craziness. This has been a great week of music. For those of us who grew up around the time of this countdown, we were so lucky to enjoy some great music. Now let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and wrap up this countdown.
Earlier in the countdown, we had a song by Tommy Shaw in the wake of the band Styx falling apart. Now we have the former Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung with his solo effort. This is an outstanding song, that would peak right here at #10.
Thanks to producer, David Foster, we were right in the middle of Chicago’s renaissance. I do get slightly annoyed that most people only know of Chicago from their power ballads, even though they have some incredible rock songs. But, with a song like this, I can totally see why. This is one of my favorites by them. I love that both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sing on this. I love both of their voices. Great combination!
David Bowie (still can’t believe he is gone) was still making an impact on the music world at this point. This song was off of his Tonight album, which was his follow-up to the mega-successful Let’s Dance album. This song was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which would be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career. He was nominated for several, but this was his only win, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
This song is from Tina Turner’s huge comeback album, Private Dancer. This song was originally recorded and released in 1981 by Spider, a band from New York City with one of the co-writers, Holly Knight, as a member. Of course Tina had the most successful version. The song won Tina Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, one of four Grammys awarded to Turner in that ceremony.
There weren’t too many acts as big in the ’80s as Hall & Oates.This was their lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It would be their last #1 hit. The song was also their 14th straight top 40 hit since 1980.
Before we continue, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week in 1984:
While Prince was a megastar performer himself, he also wrote music covered by other artists. This was one of them. Prince wrote this song, and it was on his debut album. It was also covered by The Pointer Sisters on their 1982 album, So Excited!.
Then Chaka Kahn took over, and this song would start a big comeback for her. Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) did the rapping. And Stevie Wonder is on the harmonica.
This was Wham!’s big breakthrough hit. It became their first American and UK number-one hit. To be honest, I really hated this song when it first came out. I like it now because of its nostalgic value. It should also be noted that while it was at the top of the charts for two weeks, it prevented the next song from becoming a #1 hit…
Yes, perhaps Prince’s signature song, this never hit #1 (still can’t believe he is gone). That doesn’t change anything though. This is an iconic song of the decade. For a lot of people, when you mention the ’80s, one of the first images that come to mind is the cover of the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie poster. And if you listened to our Prince episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, you would know that there is a Journey connection here. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain from Journey asking him to hear it, worried it might be too similar to “Faithfully“, a Journey single composed by Cain which had recently been in the charts. Cain reassured Prince telling him the songs only shared the same four chords. Prince was extremely sensitive to Copyright infringement. It’s good to see he put his money where his mouth was, and was careful himself.
This was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful hits. It was featured in the Gene Wilder (still can’t believe he’s gone) movie The Woman in Red. The ballad won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards.
I always loved Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a good one. It won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.
Well that wraps up this week’s Countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Did you have any favorites or least favorites? Let’s do another one of these in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
If you were alive 30 years ago today, then you were glued to MTV right now. This was our generation’s Woodstock. Or was Woodstock the hippie generation’s bong-watered down version of Live Aid? In any case, just about every great artist from ’80s, for all genres, performed today in either England or Philadelphia. There was also somebody who played live in both places. Here are some great quotes from that day, that I found on imdb. And we will close out with one of the greatest performances of all-time. I’m sure you already know what it is before you even scroll down.
Richard Skinner: It’s 12 noon in London, 7am in Philadelphia, and around the world it’s time for Live Aid. Wembley welcomes their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Adam Ant: There are many of my heroes here. People I’ve worshiped from afar.
Ozzy Osbourne: I came here to play music, and I didn’t really realize the full extent and magnitude of what it is all about. Now I’m here, it’s the greatest event ever.
Tina Turner: It was the most electrifying feeling, being there – no other reason than the cause. I wish I could do even more.
Mike Jagger: I came to play in Philadelphia because of the cause, because of Live Aid, of course. But I also came to have myself a good time. And I’ve sure as hell done that.
Dionne Warwick: They say the entertainment industry can never get together. Fooled them again, didn’t we?
Sting: This is what rock and roll is all about. It’s an event as much as its music.
Bryan Adams: I’m just proud to be here. I’m a Canadian and tears are not enough. Let’s all do what we can for Live Aid.
Tom Petty: Two minutes before we came on stage, we decided to play “American Girl”, since this is, after all, JFK stadium.
Phil Collins: I was in England this afternoon… funny old world, innit?
Bob Geldof: I’ve just realized that today is the best day of my life. Now I’m going home to sleep.
And we’ll close out with one of the best performances by one of the best bands ever. There is no current artist alive today that can hold the world in the palm of his or her hand like Freddie did that day. Here is the full performance. Enjoy!
Welcome back to this week’s Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21.
Well, as Casey used to say, the smaller the number, the bigger the hit. As we move on down the countdown, we will find more and more true ’80s classics. I hope you are enjoying this trip down memory lane as much as I am. Now, let’s Return to the week ending March 9, and continue the countdown.
Yes, we begin the countdown with one of the best duos of the ’80s giving you an earworm! This is a good song to have stuck in your head, but not when there are 9 more songs to go today!
Journey was one of my favorite bands of the ’80s, and I love this song by them. It was originally intended to be on the Frontiers album. But, it was pulled in favor of the songs “Back Talk” and “Troubled Child“. It eventually was included on the Vision Quest soundtrack, was released as a single, and cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
What happens when you put together the lead singer of Genesis with the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire? Total awesomeness!! This fun duet won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Overall Performance in a Video and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
Tina Turner had an incredible comeback in the ’80s with her Private Dancer album. This title track was the 5th single released from that album. It was written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and was actually meant to be on their album Love over Gold. However, Knopfler felt that it wasn’t suitable for a male to sing, so it was not put on the album. Tina Turner took it and ran with it.
This was the lead single from John Fogerty’s comeback album, Centerfield. It became a top 10 hit, peaking at #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was a #1 hit for three weeks on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. This song is just classic Fogerty.