Tag Archives: Top 40

Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – 19 June 1983: Songs 30-21

Logo: Tops of the popsWelcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today’s list has a lot of songs that were not big in the U.S., so they are new to a lot of us. And these are really good songs. It is always fun to discover new old music.
Again, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s continue the countdown.


30. “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” by Paul Young

This cover of the 1962 Marvin Gaye song was a huge hit for Paul Young in the U.K. It was a breakthrough song for him, and would go on to top the U.K. charts for 3 weeks. However, it did not fare well in the U.S., only peaking at #70. A few years later, this song was on the Ruthless People soundtrack.

29. “Looking At Midnight” by Imagination

Imagination is one of those bands that did not cross over well to the U.S., but were huge in the U.K. The English three piece band had a huge run in the early ’80s, scoring 9 Top 40 hits between 1981 and 1984. This song was one of them, peaking at 29.

28. “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” by The Beat

This song is a cover of the 1963 Andy Williams song. U.S. audiences know The Beat as The English Beat. This was done to avoid confusion with an American band called The Beat, which was active at the same time. This song was on The Beat’s 1980 album, I Just Can’t Stop It. It wasn’t released until 1983. This was at the same time that the band was breaking up. It was their fifth and final top ten UK hit, and their highest charting single release ever.

27. “Pills and Soap” by The Imposter

Mark this one under “You learn something new everyday.” I learned that The Imposter is a pseudonym that Elvis Costello used. This song was on Costello’s 1983 album, Punch the Clock which also featured “Everyday I Write the Book”.

26. “In a Big Country” by Big Country

The U.K. and the U.S. were on the same page with this one. The Scottish band would peak at #17, with this song, in both the U.K. and U.S. This song received heavy airplay in the early days of MTV.

25. “Rock ‘n’ Roll is King” by Electric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO) moved back to their old-school rock roots with this song, after their progressive pop phase with Xanadu. This was another song that was a hit in both the U.S. and U.K. It peaked at #13 in the U.K. and #19 in the U.S.

24. “Confusion (Hits Us Every Time)” by Truth

the-truth-confusion-hits-us-every-time-wea-sThere is almost no information out there about this song, and it is not available on Amazon. But, I really like this one a lot. The Truth released several singles before their debut album in 1985. And this was one of those songs. This actually sounds like a 1979/80 ELO song.

 

 

23. “I.O.U.” by Freeez

This synthpop dance song was the biggest hit for Freeez. It would land at #2 on the U.K. charts. It did not chart on the mainstream chart in the U.S., but it did top the U.S. Club chart.

22. “Just Got Lucky” by JoBoxers

I had never heard of this song or band before. But, they did crack the Top 40 in the U.S. with this song, landing at #36. It would be a Top 10 hit in the U.K. peaking at #7.

21. “Take That Situation” by Nick Heyward

This is a fun little song by the Haircut 100 frontman. This song was on Heyward’s debut solo album, and was his biggest non-Haircut 100 song, peaking at #11 here.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. We are halfway through this week’s countdown. What do you think so far? We will be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.

Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – 19 June 1983: Songs 40-31

It’s been too long, so it’s time for a new Top 40 countdown! This week, we are going back over to the U.K. and checking out the top songs from this week in 1983. These are always a lot of fun. If you want to see the video/listen to the song on YouTube, you can click on the song title. You can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon. Now, let’s begin this week’s countdown!


40. “Juicy Fruit” by Mtume

This title track from the funk and sould group Mtume’s (pronounced em-tu-may) third album was their most successful single. It had moderate success, but did not crack the top 40 pop charts in the U.S.

39. “War Baby” by Tom Robinson

British singer-songwriter Tom Robinson is a long-time LGBT rights activist. After the break-up of his band, Section 27, Robinson had financial troubles, which sent him in a depression. He moved to Germany, and played with East German band NO 55. According to Wikipedia,

Robinson describes writing the song, whilst stoned, after a bad experience at a gay sauna, he “…wrote straight down “only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof.” And the rest of it poured out onto the page, eight, ten pages of the stuff, just hand-written, stream of consciousness stuff. And it took about a year to get those ten pages down to something that you could actually sing in four minutes.”

He returned to the UK, recorded and released the song. It would go on to peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.

38. “What Kinda Boy You Looking For (Girl)” by Hot Chocolate

Best known for their 1975 smash hit “You Sexy Thing“, the British soul group, Hot Choclate, had a Top 10 UK hit with this song, peaking at #10.

37. “I Won’t Hold You Back” by Toto

This is most likely the first song on this week’s countdown that US audiences are familiar with. This power ballad barely scraped the Top 40 here in the UK. But, it was a Top 10 hit in the US. The song, from the classic Toto IV album, features the Eagles’ bass player Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals during the choruses.

36. “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer

This worldwide hit is one of Donna Summer’s signature songs. Summer performed the song live as the opening of the 1984 Grammy Awards.

35. “True” by Spandau Ballet

This song was a worldwide smash hit, landing in the Top 10 in many countries. It was #1 here in the UK for 4 weeks. It is Spandau Ballet’s biggest hit and their only major hit in the US.

34. “It’s Over” by Funk Masters

One of my favorite things about doing these UK countdowns is catching a lot of R&B and Funk songs that did not get much airplay in the US in the ’80s. This mid-tempo song by the British group would peak at #8 in th eUK.

33. “Come Live With Me” by Heaven 17

Oh boy! This sounds like it is going to be a classic ’80s sounding synth-pop song. Turns out that it is a statutory rapey song.

It starts off with these lyrics:

I was thirty-seven
You were seventeen
You were half my age
The youth I’d never seen
Unlikely people meeting in a dream
Heaven only knows the way it should have been

And only gets worse from there! I think somebody needs to look into these songwriters (Glenn Gregory, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware).

32. “Temptation” by Heaven 17

The second Heaven 17 song in a row! It is rare to see 2 songs in a row by the same artist on any countdown. This isn’t as bad as the previous song…unless the “Temptation” is about that 17 year old. And now that I’m realizing that the name of this band is Heaven 17, I’m going to assume it is about a 17 year old. This band is gross.

31. “Candy Girl” by New Edition

Another song about a girl! However, this is more acceptable since boy band New Edition was more age appropriate. This was New Edition’s debut song. The group was first discovered and mentored by manager Brooke Payne. He decided to name them New Edition to signify they were a new edition of the Jackson 5. And this song does indeed sound like a Jackson 5 song, which is a good thing.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. We will continue the countdown tomorrow. What do you think so far?

Top 40 Songs This Week – February 11, 1989: Songs 10-1

Welcome back to the conclusion of this week’s countdown! If you’d like to go back too check out the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. It has been fun going back to this transitional part of my life. We may have been heading into the ’90s, but there are definitely some classic ’80s songs here. So, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and wrap up this week’s countdown.


10. “Walking Away” by Information Society

The synth-pop group followed up their smash hit, “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” with another Top 10 hit. In that previous song, they had sampled Leonard Nimoy’s voice from the Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy”. In this song, they sampled William Shatner as James T. Kirk saying “It is useless to resist us” from the Star Trek episode, “Mirror, Mirror”, and James Doohan as Scotty saying “Let’s Go See!” from the Star Trek episode, “Wolf in the Fold”. They did not have any other top 10 hits after this song. Maybe they needed to sample Doctor McCoy saying “I’m a doctor, not a ____”.

9. “She Wants to Dance With Me” by Rick Astley

Yes, Rick Astley had other songs besides “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever”. Somebody better inform the ’80s radio stations and shows that are out there.

 

8. “I Wanna Have Some Fun” by Samantha Fox

My second ’80s crush of this countdown! This was the first song released from Samantha’s third album, I Wanna Have Some Fun. I always loved her music. And 16-18 year old me really appreciated that every one of her songs at that time were about sex or love…but mostly sex. Pretty much the pop version of the band Kiss.

7. “The Lover in Me” by Sheena Easton

This was one of Sheena Easton’s biggest hits in the U.S., peaking at #2. After having a strong run throughout the early ’80s, this would be her final Top 10 hit. This song was written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Daryl Simmons, who were quite the powerhouse at that time.

6. “All This Time” by Tiffany

This awesome ballad would be Tiffany’s final Top 10 hit. I personally think she is very underrated. She has a very cool and unique voice, and puts a lot of emotion into her songs. And she is another ’80s artist who is still out there recording new music….most recently, 2018’s Pieces of Me.

5. “When the Children Cry” by White Lion

Speaking of unique voices, here is another awesome power ballad. White Lion had a really good run in the late ’80s/early ’90s before they called it quits.

 

 

4. “Born to Be My Baby” by Bon Jovi

2-3-4!!! Bon Jovi was not slowing down one bit at this time. This was the 2nd single released from the New Jersey album, and was the 2nd of 5 Top 10 songs from that album alone. That was the most top 10 hits for any hard rock album.

 

3. “Wild Thing” by Tone Lōc

Thanks Wikipedia for letting us know that the title is a reference to the phrase “doin’ the wild thing,” a euphemism for sex. Duh!!!! This song would peak at #2. It is a lot of fun. I do like rap with guitar and heavy drums. As usual, if a rap song has a great rock sound to it, that means it was stolen. In this case, it used an uncredited sample of Van Halen’s “Jamie’s Cryin'”. There was a lawsuit that was settled out of court.

2. “When I’m With You” by Sheriff


Great power ballad by the Canadian rock group, Sheriff. This song was released in 1983 with minor success. Then in November 1988, Brian Philips, Program Director at KDWB in Minneapolis, and WKTI in Milwaukee began playing the song, and eventually other radio stations nationally followed suit. The song shot up to number 1, which was four years after the band separated in 1985. Freddy Curci held the final note of the song for 19.4 seconds, making it the longest-held note for a male pop singer. Curci went on to form the supergroup Alias, and is still with them to this day.

1. “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul

This was the third song released from Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl album (after “Knocked Out” and “The Way That You Love Me”), but this is the one that shot her up to superstardom. This was the first week the song topped the charts, and would stay here for 3 weeks. She had a long string of hits in a short time after this. And the former Laker Girl already had a huge career as a choreographer in many, many music videos and blockbuster movies.


Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. We’ll be heading back to the U.K. next time. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – February 11, 1989: Songs 20-11

Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you still need to see what the previous songs were, you can check out songs 40-31, and 30-21. I would also like to point out that T.G. Monahan and I started a new Return to the ’80s series called, Return to 1989. This will be a monthly series, going through all the news events, movies, and music from 30 years ago. So, if you’d like to Return to the glory days of 1989, you can check out our inaugural episode about January 1989.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and continue this week’s countdown.

And don’t forget, you can click on the song title to listen to/watch the video on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon.


20. “A Little Respect” by Erasure

We’ll start off today’s songs with a little synth-pop action. There is no mistaking that this is an 80s song. Erasure had some awesome hits in the U.S. in the late 80s. And they were even bigger in the U.K., as they had 24 straight Top 40 hits there. And by 2009, 34 of their 37 chart-eligible singles and EPs had made the UK Top 40, with 17 climbing into the Top 10. They are still very active, and are constantly releasing new albums. The latest was 2018’s World Beyond.

19. “Don’t Rush Me” by Taylor Dayne

This was the fourth single released from Taylor Dayne’s awesome debut album, Tell It to My Heart. This joins a list of songs about not rushing, such as this, “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, and “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”.

 

18. “Armageddon It” by Def Leppard

2 years after the release of the legendary Hysteria album, Def Leppard was still dominating the charts. This was the sixth single released off of the album, and had landed at #3.

 

17. “Dial My Heart” by The Boys

This is one of those songs that did not look familiar to me at all. But once I heard the chorus, it all came back to me. This is a cute, fun R&B song. It would peak at #13 on this chart, and it was a #1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart.

 

16. “Surrender to Me” by Ann Wilson & Robin Zander

In a decade full of incredible duets, this was one of my favorites. It doesn’t hurt that it is Ann Wilson from Heart and Robin Zander from Cheap Trick that are singing it. Also, it was written by Richard Marx, who knows his way around a power ballad. This was featured on the soundtrack to the 1988 film Tequila Sunrise starring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kurt Russell.

15. “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by New Kids On The Block

The second boy band entry on today’s list. I hate to admit it, but this song is kind of catchy. And the New Kids are local to me, so I won’t trash them. You can’t argue with their success. But, I’d rather watch an episode of Blue Bloods, starring Donnie, instead. They have been touring in recent years, and it sounds like they have been very successful tours. If anybody is willing to admit that they have seen them, please let me know how they are singing these songs. I don’t know if it would be cool and fun, or just weird.

14. “Angel of Harlem” by U2

Off of the Rattle and Hum album, this is not one of my favorite U2 songs.

 

 

 

13. “The Way You Love Me” by Karyn White

This was the lead single from Karyn White’s debut, self-titled album. Even though I was definitely more into rock in these days, I still liked Karyn White a lot for some reason. This song was written and produced by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Daryl Simmons, and it was the first of four Top 10 singles from Karyn White.

12. “Lost in Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson

80s CRUSH ALERT!!!! This would be Debbie’s biggest hit, staying at the top of the charts for 3 straight weeks. This was the first single released from her Electric Youth album, ensuring that there would be no sophomore slump. And this was the third song on today’s list for the teen crowd.

11. “What I Am” by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians

This was the debut single for Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. This was the beginning of the end of the ’80s. It could have easily blended in with the ’90s and the singer/songwriters from that period.

 


That wraps up today’s songs. I’d love to hear what you think so far. We will wrap up the top 10 songs of the week, on Friday.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – February 11, 1989: Songs 30-21

Welcome back as we continue this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. As I look at this countdown, one thing that really stands out to me is the variety of the different genres of music in one countdown. And it was like this throughout the entire decade. It is something you would never hear today. Now, let’s go back to that glorious time, and Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and continue the countdown.

And don’t forget, you can click on the song title to listen to/watch the video on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon.


30. “Girl You Know It’s True” by Milli Vanilli

This is the song that will live in music-world infamy, as it was the song that was playing when Milli Vanilli were exposed as lip synchers. Up to that point, they were wildly popular, and even won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist (which they had to return). The sin wasn’t just that they were lip synching, but they were lip synching to somebody else’s vocals. Milli Vanilli get all the attention for the scandal. But, what I want to know is, what ever happened to the real singers, and how ugly could they have been in order to not be allowed to be seen?! They had a lot of great hits, so you would think they would have come out of the shadows, and performed for real.

29. “Don’t Tell Me Lies” by Breathe

This song did not sound familiar at all to me. It was actually Breathe’s debut single. It was released in the UK in early 1986. However, it did not chart very high at all, peaking at #77. But, after Breathe’s international success with “Hands to Heaven” and “How Can I Fall?”, “Don’t Tell Me Lies” was reissued, and became much more successful the second time around. It would become their third top 10 hit in the U.S., peaking at #10.

28. “Shake for the Sheik” by Escape Club

This is a song that I had forgotten about, but remembered when I just started playing it. It sounds very similar to “Wild Wild West”. It would peak right here at #28.

 

27. “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” by Rod Stewart

This was the highest charting single of Rod Stewart’s awesome Out of Control album, peaking at #4. It had originally been written for Barbara Mandrell to cover, but Rod Stewart took it instead. This song also features Duran Duran and Power Station guitarist, Andy Taylor.

 

26. “All She Wants Is” by Duran Duran

As the decade was coming to a close, Duran Duran’s sound started changing a bit. Some of it may be due to the musical climate, and some of it may also be that they were now without Andy Taylor. This was Warren Cuccurullo’s first full album with Duran Duran after Andy Taylor’s departure.

25. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses

This is my favorite Guns N’ Roses tune. “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” rocked. But, they got way overplayed for me. But, I never got sick of this song at all. Each band member really stands out in this song.

 

24. “Holding On” by Steve Winwood

Here is another song that I had forgotten about. I wish this got more airplay. It would be Steve Winwood’s fourth and final #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, and would peak at #11 on this chart. The music video was directed by famed director, David Fincher.

 

23. “Roni” by Bobby Brown

This is the second time we see Bobby Brown this week. This is a slower tempo song. It would reach all the way up to #3. The song was written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

 

22. “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins

I bought the 45 of this song as soon as it was released. There was no need of that. You could not turn on the radio, or put on MTV, without hearing this song. I got so sick of this. This is another one that I like more now after I haven’t listened to it in a while. It was featured on the Buster soundtrack. Between this song, and “A Groovy Kind of Love” from that movie, I would have thought the movie would have been a smash hit. I don’t know a single person who has seen it, and I’m not even sure if it was released in the U.S.

21. “The Living Years” by Mike + The Mechanics

This world-wide smash hit would top the U.S. charts next month. This is a very moving song, with Paul Carrack on vocals, as it addresses a son’s regret over unresolved conflict with his now-deceased father. It would be nominated for four Grammy awards in 1990, including Record and Song of the Year, as well as Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Video.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. We are halfway through the countdown. What do you think so far? Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – February 11, 1989: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody! Time for a new Top 40 countdown! This week, we are Returning to 1989. This is one of the last countdowns that I would have heard before I left for Navy Boot Camp, and be cut off from all pop culture for a couple of months. This should be an interesting week. Some of these songs were new to the countdown, and they would be big hits as I was graduating boot camp. Other songs had been out for a bit, so I knew them very well. And of course there are songs that were new to the countdown, but would not last long, and would be gone by the time I left boot camp. So, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and begin the countdown!

Also, you can click on the song title to listen to/watch the video on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon.


40. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles

This Bangles smash hit broke into the Top 40 right here. This ballad would eventually top the charts. After topping the charts with “Walk Like an Egyptian”, this song helped the Bangles be only the third all-female group to score multiple number-ones in the United States, after the Supremes and the Shirelles.

39. “Little Liar” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

This was the second single released from the Up Your Alley album (after “I Hate Myself for Loving You”). This is one of those awesome songs that I had forgotten about. It has that classic late ’80s/early ’90s rock sound. It had peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

38. “The Love in Your Eyes” by Eddie Money

This is the second song in a row that I love, and had forgotten about! This came off of Money’s Nothing to Lose album, which had the big hit, “Walk on Water”.

 

 

37. It’s No Secret” by Kylie Minogue

Time to sound like a broken record…this is another one I vaguely remember. This was not as a big a smash as Minogue’s cover of “Locomotion”, but it is still a decent throwback to late ’80s pop. Kylie Minogue is still releasing new music to this day. She just released her 14th studio album, Golden, last year. Her single, “Dancing“, was a #1 hit on the U.S. Dance charts.

36. “Dreamin'” by Vanessa Williams

I remember this song, but didn’t realize it was from the ’80s. This was released from Vanessa Williams’ debut album, The Right Stuff, and was her first top 40 and first number-one hit on the Billboard R&B chart, where it stayed at the top of the chart for two weeks.

35. “Just Because” by Anita Baker

And now we have the second awesome R&B ballad in a row. This was off of Anita Baker’s #1 smash hit album, Giving You the Best That I Got.

 

 

34. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison

Unless you lived under a rock in the late ’80s, you know this song. It was Poison’s biggest hit, staying at the top of the chart for 3 straight weeks. I loved it when it was first released. But, it got exhausting hearing it everywhere all the time. Of course, some of that was self-inflicted, as I had the 45 of this song. After keeping my distance for a while, I do enjoy going back to this.

33. “You’re Not Alone” by Chicago

I always loved this song, from the great Chicago 19 album. I don’t remember the version from this video. There seems to be a lot of electric guitar in it, which is pretty cool. From September ’88 through this time of February ’89, I had a job working for the newspaper The Providence Journal. I would deliver papers for paper routes that did not have any paperboys. After that, I would go back to the office, and go back out and bring newspapers to people that called in, saying that they didn’t get their paper. So, while I was driving around delivering papers, Chicago 19 would be in heavy rotation in my car. Any of those songs immediately bring me back to that time.

32. “I Beg Your Pardon” by Kon Kan

I had totally forgotten about this song! It was the debut single of the Canadian synthpop band Kon Kan. I love this as it has that classic ’80s sound. It would be Kon Kan’s only top 40 hit inthe U.S.

 

31. “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown

Sadly, Bobby Brown is known more for his problems, including the train wreck involving the relationship between him and Whitney Houston. We forget how huge a star he was at this time in the late ’80s though. This song was a #1 hit. The album from which it came, Don’t Be Cruel, topped the Billboard 200 album charts, and spawned 5 top 10 hits. It was the best selling album of 1989.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think so far? What were you doing at this time in 1989? Also, feel free to email me a long distance dedication to Returnto80s@gmail.com. We’ll be back tomorrow, to continue the countdown.

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Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – January 12, 1985: Songs 10-1

Welcome back to the Top 40 Countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. I hope you’ve been enjoying these songs this week. There will be quite a few familiar ones today. So let’s Returh to the week ending January 12, 1985, and see what was topping the charts in the U.K.


10. “The Power of Love” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

I had never heard this song in my life. However, it had topped the charts in the U.K. This was Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s third single, aft “Relax” and “Two Tribes”. This song is often regarded as a Christmas song, even though it doesn’t reference Christmas in the song lyrics. But, the video and the single cover are kind of Christmas themed

9. “Everything Must Change” by Paul Young

Paul Young had a handful of hits in the U.S>, including the #1 smash, “Every Time You Go Away”. But, he was even bigger in the U.K. This was his 5th top 10 hit there, and “Every Time You Go Away” hadn’t even been released as a single yet! I was unaware of this song, but I am liking it now.

8. “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

Wow, this worldwide smash hit had staying power in the U.K. It had been the #2 song for three weeks in September the previous year, and is still in the Top 10 here! The song even re-entered the UK Top 75 on November 2, 2008, at No. 49.

 

7. “Shout” by Tears for Fears

This is one of the most recognizable songs of the mid-80s, and was a worldwide smash hit, hitting the top 10 in 25 countries.

 

 

6. “Nellie the Elephant” by Toy Dolls

You Brits are mad! I love this! This 1956 children’s song was made into a punk rock song by Toy Dolls. It became a #4 hit.

 

 

5. “We All Stand Together” by Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus

And this is another children’s song from the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song. Except this isn’t a punk song. This is the early-mid 80s Paul McCartney style that sticks in your head whether you want it to or not.

 

4. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

We all know this power ballad by Foreigner. It was a Top 10 hit in many countries, and #1 in some of them. We’ve heard this song millions of times. But to mix things up, the YouTube link goes to the newly recorded version featuring Shriners Hospitals For Children patients. This is very cool! And the proceeds from this version, which was just released on January 1, 2019, go to Shriners Hospitals For Children. You can donate at https://showthemlove.org/.

3. “Like a Virgin” by Madonna

Here is yet another worldwide smash. This was the lead single from the Like a Virgin album.

 

 

2. “Last Christmas” by Wham!

I love this song. However, when you start hearing it in stores in September and October, it’s a little ridiculous. I know it is after Christmas now, but I can understand that it is still charted this high at this point, because it was released in December. Wham! thought they would have had the Christmas song market cornered in December 1984. And they would have too, if it wasn’t for…

1. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid

I still love this song, and it was for such a great cause. It is so funny to see how young everybody looks in the video! And I just figured this out. In this song, these awesome British artists asked to “Feed the World”. Later on in the year, U.S. artists came out and proclaimed “We Are the World”. Were they expecting to get fed? Greedy bastards! I am just kidding of course. Both songs, as well as Wham!’s “Last Christmas”, raised money for the people suffering the famine in Ethiopia.


Well, that’s a wrap. The next countdown will be back in the U.S. Until next time, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

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Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – January 12, 1985: Songs 20-11

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.


20. “Round and Round” by Spandau Ballet

Wow, Spandau Ballet did songs other than “True”?! I actually like this one better.

 

 

19. “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by Bronski Beat

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.

 

18. “Do the Conga” by Black Lace

The novelty act, Black Lace, is back with another hit! This is similar to Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot“. I guess Black Lace was really trying to get the Wedding Reception circuit.

 

17. “San Damiano (Heart and Soul)” by Sal Solo

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.

16. “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head

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.

15. “Police Officer” by Smiley Culture

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.

14. “The Riddle” by Nik Kershaw

Nik Kershaw was huge in the U.K. through the mid-80s. He did not break through in the U.S. Most likely, U.S. audiences would mainly have seen him from his Live Aid performance in Wembley.

 

13. “Lay Your Hands On Me” by The Thompson Twins

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.

12. “Fresh” by Kool and the Gang

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.

 

11. “Step Off (Part 1)” by Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five

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.

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Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – January 12, 1985: Songs 30-21

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to the countdown! If you missed yesterday’s list of songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Where were you at this time in 1985? I was 14 and midway through my first year of high school. The beginning of the school year was exciting. I went to a catholic school from 2nd through 8th grade. Then I went to a good size public school for high school. The change was exciting. I got to go to a different classroom for every class, and I didn’t have to wear a uniform! However by this point, the newness wore off, and I wasn’t liking school too much, and didn’t do to well. Even though I wasn’t enjoying school at all, this was still a great time for music, movies, and TV. There will be a few familiar songs on today’s list of songs that bring us back to that great time of music. For my good friends in the U.K., there may be even more songs that bring you back to that time. Now let’s Return to the week ending January 12, 1985, and either relive, or discover the great music of that time.

[Also, I should point out that you can click on the song title to listen/watch the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon]


30. “I Won’t Run Away” by Alvin Stardust

Before this artist became known as Alvin Stardust, he was known as Shane Fenton. He had success in the pre-Beatles era, hitting the UK top 40 with four singles in 1961–62. However, he became better known in the 70s and 80s with his Alvin Stardust persona. This song had reached up to #7 on the U.K. charts.

29. “Agadoo” by Black Lace

Love this! This is a novelty song that was a huge hit in the UK, peaking at #2, and spending 30 weeks in the Top 75. I am reading up on these songs before I listen to them, just so I can know the background. In a survey for dotmusic in 2000, this song was rated the 4th most annoying song of all time. That really got my attention! I just had to listen to it. This is from Wikipedia:

In a poll for Q magazine in 2003, a panel of music writers voted “Agadoo” as the worst song of all time, saying: “It sounded like the school disco you were forced to attend, your middle-aged relatives forming a conga at a wedding party, a travelling DJ act based in Wolverhampton, every party cliche you ever heard.” The panel also described it as “magnificently dreadful”.

No wonder I like this so much! I’d be one of those middle-aged relatives forming a conga, to this train wreck of a song, at a wedding reception.

28. “I Should Have Known Better” by Jim Diamond

When I first saw the song title, I thought this was going to be a Beatles cover. Instead, this is a very good power ballad.

 

 

27. “Teardrops” by Shakin’ Stevens

Here is a throwback song by the Welsh singer. This sounds like it came right out of the ’50s. It makes sense that this was a hit, as there was a lot of nostalgia for the 50s and 60s in the 80s.

 

26. “Soul Deep (Part 1)” by Council Collective

Very cool funk/R&B song. Council Collective was a collaborative effort put together by The Style Council. It was put together to raise money for striking miners. The proceeds also went to the family of David Wilkie, a Welsh taxi driver who was killed during the miners’ strike.

25. “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan

This song was my introduction to Chaka Khan, and was a big comeback hit for her. It has an iconic introduction by Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Oh by the way, this was written and originally performed by Prince. But, Chaka Khan made it her own, and was a smash hit in the U.S. and U.K. It also won Prince the 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, as the songwriter.

24. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder

To say that this was a smash hit, is just putting it mildly. This was Stevie Wonder’s biggest hit, topping a record 19 charts. This was one of those cases where the song was much bigger than the movie that it was featured in. In this case, it came from the 1984 soundtrack album The Woman in Red. This was actually Wonder’s only #1 hit in the U.K. He made it count though, as it topped the charts for 6 weeks, and it became Motown Records’ biggest-selling single in the UK, a distinction it still holds today.

23. “The Wild Boys” by Duran Duran

This is the third song in a row that we all know. This was the first cassingle I ever owned. Whenever I hear this song, the Mad Max type video of this song comes to mind.

 

22. “Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)” by Eurythmics

Well, I learned something new, which I probably should have known. This song is from the album 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother), which was the soundtrack from the film Nineteen Eighty-Four. I never knew there was a soundtrack for that movie. I’m pretty sure I saw the movie, but I don’t remember it. There’s no need to go back and watch it, seeing that we are living it now.

21. “Invisible” by Alison Moyet

Great soulful song by the awesome Yazoo singer. In my opinion, she is very underrated (at least in the States).

 

 

 


Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. They seem to be getting better and better! What do you think so far? Also, feel free to email me at returntothe80s@gmail.com if you would like to make a long distance dedication. We’ll continue the countdown tomorrow.

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Top 40 Songs This Week (UK Edition) – January 12, 1985: Songs 40-31

Welcome back to a new Top 40 countdown! This week we will jump back over to the UK, and see what was charting over there at this time in 1985. There will be some familiar songs for the US audience, but there are also many songs that we may not have heard over here. Now, let’s Return to the week ending January 12, 1985, and begin the countdown!


<h3>40. “Atmosphere” by Russ Abbot

Well there is no denying which decade this song came from! This is definitely a song that will get stuck in your head. I had never heard of Russ Abbot, but it sounds like he was very popular in the U.K. Not only was he a musician, but he also had his own variety show that aired for 16 years. It started as Russ Abbot’s Madhouse in 1980 on ITV, then was renamed The Russ Abbot Show when it moved over to the BBC.

39. “Friends” by Amii Stewart

Next up, we get a good R&B song from Amii Stewart. Stewart is mainly known in the U.S. from her 1979 disco smash “Knock On Wood“. She did not have any other major hits in the U.S., but she had several in the U.K., including this one, which peaked at #12.

38. “Let It All Blow” by The Dazz Band

Oh yeah! Get your funk on! This is yet another act that had only 1 Top 40 hit on the US Hot 100, “Let It Whip”. I do love how we already have a variety of music in this countdown – Pop, R&B, and Funk.

 

37. “Say Yeah” by The Limit

Now, this sounds like a fusion of all three genres that I had just mentioned. There is not much information on The Limit, other than that they were composed of Dutch producers Bernard Oattes and Rob van Schaik. This song peaked at #17 here, and peaked at #7 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play chart.

36. “Louise” by The Human League

This song did not chart in the US, but it peaked at #13 on the UK charts.

 

 

 

35. “Thank You My Love” by Imagination

Imagination was an English three piece band. They formed in the ’80s, but if you told me this song was released in the early ’70s, I’d believe you.

 

 

34. “I Know Him So Well” by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson

Wow, I did not know this was a cover song when Whitney Houston recorded it with Cissy Houston for Whitney’s second album, Whitney! This original song was written by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus for the album and musical, Chess. This version definitely sounds like a Tim Rice/Abba joint. I have heard several covers of this song, and I’ve loved every one – including the version by Melanie C and Emma Bunton of the Spice Girls. (Don’t judge!)

33. “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top

Oh hell yeah!! The second video of the Eliminator video trilogy, this may be my favorite one. This is a great song, even without the video. But, you can’t really separate the two anymore. Awesome car, great rockin’ tune, and hot girls. What else could you ask for?!

32. “Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade

I had never heard of this song or band before. The band name sounds like something you would come up with after drinking a few rounds with your friends, and saying 2 random words in a sentence, and exclaim, “That would make a great band name!” So, I was expecting a punk rock sound. Instead, it’s a light synth-pop song. Strawberry Switchblade is a Scottish female duo, and this was their only major hit.

31. “Another Rock and Roll Christmas” by Gary Glitter

Here is a layover from the Christmas season. And this will be far from the last of them. This would be a fun song if it wasn’t sung by an evil pig, who has been convicted several times of sex crimes involving children.

 

Well, I don’t want to end today’s countdown on a sour note, so here is a more wholesome Christmas song for us to enjoy:


That wraps up today’s list of songs. I hope you are enjoying these so far. Let me know what you think. Do you have any favorites so far? Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.

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