Don’s Top 10 for this week in 1985
Back…back…back into time, as “The Time Machine” stops right smack dab in the middle of the “Me Decade”, with the local hit survey from Monday, January 14, 1985, playing all the songs on the radio in order starting just after midnight Friday night on New Jersey 101.5!
"Strut" by Sheena Easton
(#9 last week) Many female artists have made the transformation from sweet & innocent to smokin' sexy, starting with Olivia Newton-John & then this Scottish lass. Her next single, "Sugar Walls", even got her banned from some stations. Sheena was born Sheena Orr. She married a man named Sandi Easton in 1979. They divorced after only 8 months (the first of her four husbands), but she deecided to keep the name Easton.
"I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan
(#4 last week) Anyone who didn't know the former Rufus lead singer KNEW after hearing the opening of this smash. That's Melle Mel rapping her name (as in Grandmaster Flash...) & Stevie Wonder playing the harmonica. Oh, the song was originally performed & written by Prince (he won a Grammy for Best R&B Song for this). Not bad! The name being rapped over & over was actually a mistake on Melle Mel's part, which famed producer Arif Mardin decide to leave on the record. Good instincts!
"All I Need" by Jack Wagner
(#7 last week) Remember when soaps were king? Jack Wagner was superstud Frisco Jones on "General Hospital' in the 80s & parlayed that success into a short-lived career as a crooner. I preferred him paired with Heather Locklear on "Melrose Place" in the 90s as creepy Dr. Peter Burns. In the soap opera-imitating-life department, Wagner & Locklear were engaged in real life, but recently broke up, & sadly, Heather's life seems to be headed downhill, with her hospitalization just this week. Maybe all she needs is Frisco Jones....
"We Belong" by Pat Benetar
(#13 last week) Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised Pat Benetar celebrated her 32nd birthday this week (January 10) with her 11th top 40 hit moving into the top 10. Strangely, this was her very first U.K. hit. Nobody wore the tight black leather pants better than Pat, but I don't think she was too thrilled with it.
"Careless Whisper" by Wham! Featuring George Michael
(#29 last week) Already superstars in the U.K., George Michael & Andrew Ridgeley cemented their U.S. hit status with a quick followup to their first #1, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". This turned out to be an even bigger hit. Michael wrote the melody while riding the bus home from his job as a movie usher at the age of 16.
"The Wild Boys" by Duran Duran
(#2 last week) Ah, the "Durannies" dominated the request lines in 1983-84-85, asking for songs like this one. Scary to think those tweenyboppers are probably soccer moms now, in their late 30's/early 40's. Fans know the band was named after the villain in the campy 1968 sexploitation movie "Barbarella", "Dr. Durand Durand". Why'd they drop that last "d"?
"I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner
(#20 last week) There's a New Jersey connection on this soaring classic! Backup vocals are provided not only by "Dreamgirl" Jennifer Holliday but also by the New Jersey Mass Choir. Foreigner celebrated when this finally hit #1, because it was their first (and only) chart-topper. "Waiting for A Girl Like You" was especially frustrating, as it spent a record 10 weeks stuck at #2 in 1981-82.
"Easy Lover" by Philip Bailey & Phil Collins
Poor Philip Bailey. A million hits part of Earth, Wind & Fire, a smash debut apart from them, & everyone remembers this as a Phil Collins record, because it came in the middle of Phil's super-hot streak at top 40 radio. This is just an absolute killer, one of my personal favorites from the 80s, & it still sounds just as fresh today.
"Solid" by Ashford & Simpson
(#5 last week) After 20 years of success as songwriters ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "I'm Every Woman") it must have been a thrill for married couple Nick & Valerie to finally break through as artists.
"Like A Virgin" by Madonna
(#1 last week; 6th week at #1) Madonna's third hit, but the one that cemented her as a superstar. And wow, did her MTV Music Awards performance stir the pot! Now, it's tame. But then, the morality police went nuts.