Don’s Top 10 For September 15, 1981
“The Time Machine” flies in to Tuesday, September 15, 1981, with the national hit survey. And away we go…….
“Hold On Tight” by Electric Light Orchestra
(#14 last week) ELO kept gradually getting poppier & poppier through the years, as if they were the Beatles in reverse. This was their most blatant play for top 40 radio yet. I loved it! Still do.
“Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones
(#19 last week) Mick Jagger doing calesthenics. Skinniest man in history. And he has all this energy. Must be something to that starvation diet……
“Slow Hand” by The Pointer Sisters
(#2 last week) One of the steamiest songs EVER. This continued the sisters hot streak, which started with another sexy smash, “Fire”, in 1979.
“Lady (You Bring Me Up)” by The Commodores
(#8 last week) Oh, those embarrassing early 80s gym shorts! But the song is enduring.
“Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross
(#9 last week) Cross got some major-league songwriting help here: Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager. The movie was a smash with Dudley Moore. Why was it remade with Russell Brand? Yuck.
“Who’s Crying Now” by Journey
(#7 last week) They've been charting for years, but stunningly, this is Journey's first top 10 hit single. Some of their previous singles, however, have endured more.
“Urgent” by Foreigner
(#4 last week) Honking hit with a honking sax solo from the great Jr. Walker. Synth is by then-unknown Thomas Dolby. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, later better known for being Mr. Shania Twain (& cheating on her with her friend!).
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
(#3 last week) Even though this was officially a Nicks single, it was Petty's biggest hit to date. It was the first single from her debut solo album “Bella Donna”, the album's only song that was neither written nor co-written by Nicks, it was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell as a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers song, but Jimmy Iovine, who was also working for Stevie Nicks at the time, arranged for her to sing on it.
“Queen Of Hearts” by Juice Newton
(#6 last week) I loved this one from the first time I heard it! Sounds like it was a country smash, but it actually started at top 40, then crossed over to country radio, only peaking at #14. Go figure. Juice (real name: Judy Kay Newton) was born in Lakehurst, NJ, but did most of her growing up in Virginia.
“Endless Love” by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
(#1 last week; 6th week at #1) This song just DOMINATED the summer of '81. Movie sucked, though. It would be Diana's last hit for Motown. She moved to RCA with her next release, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love”.