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 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 Countdown. If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. 1983 was an incredible year of music. The ’70s sound had pretty much disappeared, and ’80s music was building it’s own identity. At this time, I was 12 years old, and would become a teenager later in the year. I was wrapping up 7th grade, and getting ready for my final year of junior high. Now, let’s Return to the glorious week of May 28, 1983, and continue the countdown.
I did not know about INXS until later in the decade, when their Kick album came out. So I was unfamiliar with this song. It is classic INXS. I really like this one a lot. It may be 1983, but this sounds like it could have been from their incredible 1987 album.
Ahhh, the smooth sound of Al Jarreau! This definitely would not have been on my radar in 1983. But, I like it a lot now. This came off of Al Jarreau’s #1 Jazz album, Jarreau. This song was written by David Foster and Jay Graydon. It was originally supposed to be an instrumental that was to appear on David Foster’s 1983 album, The Best of Me. Jay Graydon produced many of Al Jarreau’s songs, so they gave the song to him.
There is no mistaking which decade this song is from! This was one of the biggest hits of 1983. The song’s lyrics refer to the 1981 Brixton riot, the title referring to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London.
Although I am a rocker at heart, I really love a lot of soft rock from the early ’80s. And this is one of the best. Sérgio Mendes is a bandleader, and does not sing in this one. That credit goes to Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller.
Kenny Rogers may have been the king of country cross-over music in the ’70s and ’80s, but Ronnie Milsap is no slouch either. This particular song peaked at #5 on the Country charts, #8 on the Adult Contemporary charts, and right here at #23 on the Hot 100.
I love this song, even though I can’t understand the lyrics, other than the title. This falls in the same category as “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly. This is great music, which is a lot of fun.
Another ultimate ’80s song, by an ultimate ’80s band. Duran Duran was on top of the world at this time. And with songs like this, we can see why. Girls today have their One Direction. The girls of our generation had Duran Duran. Almost 35 years later, they are still going strong, having released a new album this past September, Paper Gods. And I think they sound the same today as they did in our glorious ’80s.
Well, classic Duran Duran is a good way to wrap up the countdown for today. Are you liking this countdown so far? And as the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger. So, come on back tomorrow to check out the next 10 songs of the countdown.
Hi Everybody! We are long overdue for a new Top 40 Countdown. I am so excited for the NEW STAR WARS MOVIE, The Force Awakens, which will be released in a few weeks. New freakin’ Star Wars! As we count down the days of the release, I figure we can count down the top 40 hits from the week that the last Star Wars movie, of the original trilogy, was released. Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983. This is going to be an incredible week of music. I snuck a peek at the list of songs, and I will go out on a limb and say that this may be the best Top 40 we’ve covered so far! So let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and begin the countdown! And as with most of the music posts, you can click on the song title to listen to the song/watch the video.
This song totally brings me back to the early ’80s. It was in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV when we first got cable TV in “our house” (on the corner – not in the middle of our street). This was the lead single off of Madness’ fourth studio album, The Rise & Fall. It would be their biggest hit in the U.S., reaching up to #7.
The Queen of Rock is back in the countdown once again, with a little known hit. This song is off of Benatar’s Get Nervous album, which also had the hits “Shadows of the Night” and “Little Too Late“. “Looking for a Stranger” is a fun little rock song, which would fit in well for Robert’s new “Obscure hits” series if he covers Pat Benatar. She has a lot of hits that get a lot of airplay, but this is one does not get as much attention.
Not too many people were as big a star as Kenny Rogers in the late ’70s/early ’80s. This is another obscure hit that I love. My parents owned the We’ve Got Tonight album, which this song came off of. If I was in the mood for a good ballad, I would throw this album on the record player.
This is another classic ’80s song that got heavy airplay in the early days of MTV. At the time it was released, I didn’t care for the song too much. But, since it was on MTV, my eyes were glued to the TV watching this video anyway. I do appreciate it a little more now. This song was also my introduction to The Kinks.
Before I started doing these countdowns, the only Christopher Cross songs I knew were all the songs from his legendary debut album as well as “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)“. But, he did have quite a few other hit songs, although I don’t believe many of them hit the top 10. This is a very good song I had not heard before. The very beginning reminds me of something that would be on a mid-’80s Sylvester Stallone movie soundtrack, until Cross starts singing. Then it is classic Christopher Cross (which is a good thing).
The only song I thought I knew by DeBarge was “Rhythm of the Night” and El Debarge’s “Who’s Johnny“. But, I remembered this song as soon as it started. I didn’t know it was DeBarge. This is an outstanding R&B ballad.
This was the biggest U.S. hit by British singer/songwriter Jim Capaldi, topping out at #28. That sounds about right. This song is ok. It’s not horrible, but not great either. Steve Winwood keyboards kick in in the second half of the song, which is cool. But, if I want to hear that, I may as well throw on some Steve Winwood.
I love the Bee Gees! This is a pretty good upbeat song. In the ’80s, the Bee Gees did not perform too many songs. They mainly wrote hits for other singers. But, they did record this song for the movie Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Staying Alive was one of those movies where the soundtrack was way better than the movie itself.
I enjoy a lot of songs by The Little River Band. This is a good one from the John Farnham years as lead singer. This song was from their seventh studio album, The Net. It topped out at #22 in the U.S. If you want to hear an outstanding John Farham solo tune, check out “You’re the Voice“.
This huge iconic Styx hit was the beginning of the end of the band’s initial run. Styx was changing musical direction, which caused a divide in the band. I still really enjoy this song to this day. And it’s a great place to finish today’s list of songs.
Well, that wraps it up for today. Are you liking this so far? It’s just going to keep on getting better. Is anybody else looking forward to The Force Awakens? I’m one of the rare original Star Wars fans that never hopped on the prequel-hate bandwagon. I love the prequels! But, they tell a different story and have a different style. I have a feeling that JJ Abrams is going to capture the same spirit as the original. And it doesn’t hurt that the main characters, that we grew up with, are returning.
So, let’s talk Star Wars and music. And we’ll be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.
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.
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today we have a good mix of classic ’80s music and songs that are rarely, if ever, heard today on the ’80s stations. Let’s jump right into it now, Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and continue the countdown.
We’ll begin today with some synth-pop New Wave music. I was not a fan back in the day. I do like A Flock of Seagulls more now. This isn’t one of their better songs, but it’s ok. I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to it. But, if I heard it come on the radio, I would enjoy my trip back to the ’80s.
This was the lead single from Bryan Adams’ third studio album, Cuts Like a Knife. It was his big breakthrough song in the U.S. I have always loved this song. It is so great, and it takes me back. Bryan wrote this song in the late ’70s. Before he released it himself, it was covered by several people including Ian Lloyd and Rosetta Stone. And one month before Adams released it, Bonnie Tyler released it, and was featured on her album Faster Than the Speed of Night.
This is a pretty generic soft rock tune. However, one thing that stands out with this song is that Steve and Nicole Winwood performed the backing vocals, and Steve also played all the synthesizers, including the solo.
I love me some classic Rod Stewart! I can’t stand that big band crap he’s been doing for the past couple of decades. Geez, has it been that long since he’s done anything good? Man, time flies! This was Stewart’s final #1 hit in the UK. That kind of surprises me because he had some great songs throughout the ’80s, and into the early ’90s.
Here is an extra song that I would like to share. I came across it on the most recent episode of The Classic Rock and Metal Podcast. When you see the title, you’ll know why I’m sharing it (and the song lives up to it’s name:
“Another 80’s Rock Song (The Party Never Ends!)” by Madam X
In the ’80s, the Bee Gees were mainly either doing solo projects or writing songs for other people. But, they
did get together to record five songs for Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Their music was about as successful as the movie. I actually didn’t even know they recorded songs for that soundtrack. I was guessing that “Stayin’ Alive” was on there (it was). Other than that, all I knew was “Far From Over” by Frank Stallone.
Here is another R&B ballad. I like this one more than the DeBarge song. Before I started doing these countdowns, I never even heard of Champaign. After their 1991 album Champaign IV, they did not release another album until 2008. Since then, they’ve released 4 albums, with the most recent being last year – Eyes of the Spirit (2014).
The Little River Band was big in the late ’70s. This was one of the band’s last singles to reach the top 40. This was a transitional time for the band. This is from their seventh studio album, The Net. This album featured a new lead vocalist and new guitarist. This song isn’t too bad. It’s kind of middle-of-the-road. It’s not bad at all, but nothing really stands out either.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back as we conclude this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and songs 20-11. This is an interesting top 10, as there is quite the variety of music. Now, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1988, and wrap up the countdown.
We kick off the top 10 with an R&B ballad. I had never heard of The Deele until recently. There were a couple of music moguls as part of this group – Babyface and L.A. Reid. I remembered this song when I heard it. I like it.
We are back with another rock song. I loved White Lion. The rocked, and had a little different sound than some bands at the time. Mike Tramp has an interesting voice, and Vito Bratta is an awesome guitarist. This song was White Lion’s big breakthrough hit.
Icehouse, not to be confused by the early ’90s hair band Firehouse, was an Australian synthpop band. This is another song that I recognized as soon as I heard it. This song was written by Icehouse lead singer Iva Davies (who happens to turn 60 today) and John Oates. I really enjoy this song.
The ’80s were a good time for George Michael. He had some huge hits as a member of Wham!, and he had an even bigger solo career. This was a #1 hit off of his classic Faith album. This is one of those songs that I didn’t care for much back then, but love it now.
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine already had a handful of big hits in the U.S. by this point. But, this was their big breakthrough hit throughout the rest of the world. Just about every hit for Estefan this point forward was an adult contemporary song.
Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. Thanks so much for checking it out. I hope you enjoyed it. There will be more to come in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check them out. Today we have quite the variety of music we come to expect from the mid-to-late ’80s. Let’s just jump right into it today, and Return to the week ending May 21, 1988, and continue the countdown.
What a great way to kick things off! Lita Ford just flat out rocks! This would be Lita’s signature hit. Before this song, I was unaware of The Runaways, so I had no idea that she was such a pioneer for women in rock, along with Joan Jett. Lita’s still rockin’ it today. Her 2012 album, Living Like a Runaway is awesome.
Being a rock fan, this is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs. This was the fifth single released from the Bad album, and would go on to be a number 1 hit. Jackson scored Eddie Van Halen for “Beat It” from the Thriller album. This time, he got Billy Idol’s guitarist Steve Stevens to play on this song. So good!
Wow, Prince’s handlers must be slacking off. Last year when I started these countdowns, it was almost impossible to find a Prince video. He’s still not on YouTube, but it is way easier to find his videos now.
I’m not really a post-Revolution Prince fan. I do like his music if I’m in the mood for it. Right now, I’m not in the mood for it.
Taylor Dayne’s follow-up single to her hit “Tell It to My Heart” was a success. This is another high energy freestyle song, just like it’s predecessor. “Prove Your Love” would peak at #7 on the Hot 100.
This is a typical Bruce Hornsby song. I do tolerate this one a little more than “The Way It Is” and “Mandolin Rain“. But, this is another song that I really need to be in the mood for in order to make it through the song. I made it to around a minute today.
Some of the younger crowd may know this song pretty well. Mariah Carey made this song a big hit in 1998. But, this song was originally done 10 years earlier by Brenda K. Starr. Mariah Carey actually sang backup on this original version. It would be Brenda K. Starr’s only top 20 hit. Mariah Carey did her version as a tribute to Starr because Starr had helped jump-start Carey’s career by handing a demo tape to CBS Records executive Tommy Mottola, who then signed Carey to her first recording contract.
This song often gets overlooked by radio. This was a good song in the middle of one of Cher’s many comebacks. This song was produced by David Geffen and written by Jon Bon Jovi, Desmond Child and Richie Sambora
This song is from Times Two’s 1988 debut album,X2. It would be their only hit song. It peaked at #20 on the Hot 100. This same year, Times Two was Debbie Gibson’s opening act for her Out of the Blue tour.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. It was kind of a mixed bag for me today. I hope you enjoyed it. We will be back tomorrow with some awesome songs. As always, please let me know what you think of the countdown so far, and if you have any memories from 1988 that you’d like to share..