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Don’s Top 10 From January 26, 1984

Back…back…back into time, as I count ’em down from Thursday, January 26, 1984. These were the local top 10 songs:


(#13 last week) Much bigger locally than nationally, where it only peaked at #46 pop. Not many artists have had Ms. LaBelle’s longevity: she debuted on the charts way back in 1962 (with “I Sold My Heart To The Junkman”).



“All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie



(#4 last week) This song seemed to last FOREVER on the charts. In fact, if it had been entirely in 1983, it would have been the local #1 hit of the year!



“Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder



(#10 last week) Was there ever a hit song more perfect for future advertising campaigns? The song was used in TV advertisements for National Car Rental, & once for a JP Morgan Chase bank commercial, & again in a cover version for a wireless internet advertisement. Wilder was a true one-hit wonder.



“Talking In Your Sleep” by The Romantics



(#9 last week) ***WARNING: R-RATED VIDEO*****  The only top 10 hit locally & nationally for this new wave band from Detroit. They should have had another one, 1980’s “What I Like About You”, but, surprisingly, that was NOT a big hit upon release, peaking only at #49 (it WAS a big hit in some cities, mainly on the west coast). It’s only become popular in retrospect, as a “classic hit”.  The reason it stiffed in ’80? Top 40 radio was afraid, believe it or not, to play new wave-type sounds in that pre-MTV era, preferring softer “adult contemporary”-type records. Big mistake.



“Love Is A Battlefield” by Pat Benatar



(#6 last week) Interesting watching then then-30 year old Benatar playing a teenage runaway in this video, quite plausably! Kudos to the 30+-year partnership in music & in life of Pat with guitarist & husband Neil Giraldo.



“Time Will Reveal” by DeBarge



(#5 last week) Another hit that was bigger here than nationally, where it only got to #18 (although it did hit #1 on the R&B chart). DeBarge recorded for the Motown-family label Gordy. Berry Gordy Jr. hoped this family act would be the 80s-Jackson 5.



“Owner Of A Lonely Heart” by Yes



(#7 last week) How many hit songs can say they were sampled by both Michael Jackson & Frank Zappa? “Owner Of a Lonely Heart” was originally written as a ballad, not as the rock song that became famous. Jon Anderson had allegedly convinced producer Trevor Horn to speed it up and add some guitar riffs to make it stand out and be more “upbeat”. Few songs have a more exciting opening “intro” than this one.



“Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club



(#3 last week) So…what the heck does this song mean” Boy George explains: “The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It’s about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.” Oh……



“Joanna” by Kool & The Gang



(#2 last week) How many same-named vocalists have there been in music? Not many. I can think of two Jimmie Rodgers, several John/Jon Andersons & two James Taylors, although THIS James Taylor changed his professional name to J.T.



“Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson



(#1 last week; 3rd week at #1) The second pairing of the two biggest superstars of pop music. Surprisingly, the other one, “The Girl KIs Mine”, the 1st single from “Thriller”, only peaked at #2, while this one, from Paul’s album “Pipes Of Peace”, rocketed to the top. I’d argue, though, that “The Girl Is Mine” is the more enduring of the two.


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