Don’s Top 10 From April 6, 1984
Back…back…back into time, as my “Time Machine” lands on Friday, April 6, 1984! Here are the local top 10 singles.
“Automatic” by The Pointer Sisters
(#10 last week) One of four top 10 singles from their multiplatinum LP “Break Out”. It features Ruth Pointer’s deep voiced lead vocals. Certainly stood out from their other hits.
“Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurthymics
(#9 last week) Speaking of distinctive songs, this one really stands out, too. It sounds like nothing else, & that’s a good thing! It’s worn very well, in my opinion. It was the British duo’s 2nd American top 10 hit & 5th in the U.K. The orchestral parts are played by the British Philharmonic Orchestra. The full five minute track was only released to radio originally (the LP version on “Touch” was edited to 4:23 & the single even shorter), with the full version finally coming out on a hits collection in 1991.
“I Want A New Drug” by Huey Lewis & The News
(#7 last week) Months after this left the survey, Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism due to the alleged similarity between “I Want A New Drug” & “Ghostbusters”. Lewis had been asked to compose that, but declined, because of the group’s work on another movie soundtrack, “Back To The Future”. They settled out of court, with Lewis apparently winning.
“Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovic
(#6 last week) Where does one begin about Mr. Al? He basically created his own genre of music, the musical parody. He’s sold more than 12 million albums & recorded over 150 songs since 1976 (“My Bologna”, anyone?). On “Eat It”, weird Al arguably topped Michael Jackson’s use of Eddie Van Halen on “Beat It” by having the legendary Rick Derringer (“Hang On Sloopy”) play guitar.
“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell (with Michael Jackson)
(#4 last week) Rockwell’s real name is Kennedy Gordy. Yes, he’s the son of Motown’s founder Berry Gordy Jr. (one of Berry’s 8 children). Rockwell’s half-brother is Redfoo (real first name: Stefan), one-half of the currently popular duo LMFAO (“Party Rock Anthem”, “Sexy & I Know It”). This could be an answer song to “Every Breath You Take”, a hit just months earlier.
“Hello” by Lionel Richie
(#13 last week) Remember when music videos were mini-movies? This one should have provided popcorn. And is it just me, but is the young lady not very convincing in her sightlessness? Flash forward to 2012: On his new album, Lionel revisited “Hello” by duetting on it with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.
“Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
(#5 last week) Watching the scene from the movie of the same name, I have to say: they should have left the handclaps & yelps on the record!
“Jump” by Van Halen
(#3 last week) By far, the biggest hit of their career. Eddie Van Halen wrote the music two years before David Lee Roth wrote the words. Even before those were written, everyone knew the song would be a smash, just from the groove.
“99 Red Balloons” by Nena
(#2 last week) The “B” side of this leftfield hit was the original German version (“99 Luftballoons”), & it got almost as much airplay as the English “A” side. “Nena” was a group named after the nickname of the lead singer, Gabriele “Nena” Kerner.
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) Surprisingly, this classic did NOT make it to #1 nationally (Van Halen kept it out of the top spot), but it DID make it to the top locally, and for four weeks!. Ironically, a man wrote it, the late Robert Hazard (“Escalator Of Life”).