Don’s Top 10 For December 29, 1980
After being in storage for the holidays, “The Time Machine” is ready to take off again! Back into time to Monday, December 29, 1980, with the local survey. Here are the top 10 singles.
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
(#10 two weeks ago) One of the most enduring songs of its era. It sounds like a woman wrote it, but no,Canadian singer/songwriter Eddie Schwartz (he had a mid-chart hit with “all My tomorrows”) penned it. Ms. Benatar turns 60 on January 10.
“Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen
(#8 two weeks ago) Bruce wrote this for the Ramones, but producer/manager Jon Landau convinced him to keep it for himself. Jon felt Springsteen was giving his catchiest melodies away, & this was a surefire top 40 radio hit. Correct! Springsteen's voice was slightly sped-up on the recording, producing a higher-pitched vocal. Dog whistle for top 40 fans?
“More Than I Can Say” by Leo Sayer
(#11 two weeks ago) If this sounds more like a song from the pre-Beatles era, you'd be right. It was written & first recorded by Sonny Curtis & Jerry Allison of Buddy Holly's Crickets, just a short time after their leader died in that tragic plane crash. Bobby Vee first charted (barely) with this in 1961, but it was a bigger hit in the U.K., & Leo Sayer remembered it when coming up with songs for his latest album.
“Master Blaster (Jammin’)” by Stevie Wonder
(#5 two weeks ago) Stevie's homage/salute to the late Bob Marley, whose most well-known song was….”Jammin”, of course. This was the first single from the LP “Hotter Than July”, but ironically, a hit in December! The words “hotter than July” are in the lyrics here, too.
“Love On The Rocks” by Neil Diamond
(#7 two weeks ago) First single from the “Jazz Singer” soundtrack. Diamond starred in the movie (Laurence Olivier played his father!), which was critically roasted, especially for Neil's acting, but was a box-office hit, duplicating the recption given the original version in 1927.
“Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen
(#4 two weeks ago) Queen got R&B & disco play for the first time with this smash from their album “The Game”. The song was written by Queen's John Deacon, If it sounds more than a little like Chic's 1979 #1 hit “Good Times”, there's good reason. Deacon's bass line was inspired by it. In an interview, Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards said, “that Queen record came about because that Queen bass player spent some time hanging out with us in the studio”.
“Whip It” by Devo
(#3 two weeks ago) I can't show you the original video for this some here because it's just too controversial, but you can easily find it if you want to. Devo funded that video with $15,000 of their own money.
“Woman In Love” by Barbra Streisand
(#2 two weeks ago) This hit could have set a Guinness world re4cord, believe it or not, for holding a note the longest! According to Casey on AT40, this was the longest unaltered note held by a soloist in a #1 song, though it would later be surpassed by Whitney Houston in “I Will Always Love You”.
“(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon
(#6 two weeks ago) The original title for this song was to be simply “Starting Over”, but “(Just Like)” was added at the last minute because a country song with the same title had just been released by Tammy Wynette. The length is usually about 3:54, but a promo version on vinyl was released to radio then which was a bit longer, about 4:17. This is now VERY valuable on the collector's market.
“Lady” by Kenny Rogers
(#1 two weeks ago; 5th week at #1) “Lady” would prove to be an important record for both Kenny & songwriter Lionel Richie It certainly has the same feel as Richie's 80s ballads, doesn't it? It became the first single of the 80s to chart on the Hot 100 pop chart, country, AC & R&B.