Don’s Top 10 From January 5, 1983
“The Time Machine” lands on Wednesday, January 5, 1983. It was a dry day in New Jersey, high temp 42, low 28. On primetime TV, the top show this Wednesday night was ABC's “Dynasty” at 10. Opposite on NBC, Jack Klugman starred as “Quincy, M.E.”. On “The Tonight Show” this evening, Johnny Carson's guest was Teri Garr (I miss her on talk shows), & music from B.B. King. At 12:30, David Letterman welcomed Siskel & Ebert to “Late Night”. Let's check out this week's local top 10 singles:
“Heartbreaker” by Dionne Warwick
(#9 last week) Written by the Bee Gees, who of course sing backup here as well. They were at a point in their careers where radio accepted them producing & writing for other artists, but not themselves. Robin Gibb came close with a couple of solo songs, notably “Boys Do Fall In Love”.
“Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson
(#10 last week) Jackson's a guy who usually doesn't try for top 40 hits, but this one couldn't be denied. Insanely catchy. Grammy Record Of The Year nominee.
“Rock This Town” by The Stray Cats
(#11 last week) The song has been listed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock & Roll. This was hit in the U.K. more than year before it's U.S. success. Definitely has that retro feel.
“Muscles” by Diana Ross
(#7 last week) Totally lost hit. Written & produced by Diana's friend Michael Jackson. “Muscles” was the name of one of Jacko's pet snakes!
“Gloria” by Laura Branigan
(#4 last week) A lovely lady who passed on way too young. I was lucky enough to meet Laura at a radio station event in the Hyatt Regency Princeton. Happy to say she couldn't have been nicer. Surprising fact: even though this peaked at #2, the song lasted so long on the local chart it is the #1 hit of the 80s, by point total.
“Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye
(#6 last week) Spent an incredible 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, the longest run in 20 years. Interesting battle of the songwriting of this steamy makeout jam. “Rolling Stone” Magazine reporter David Ritz, who had gone to Belgium to interview the reclusive Mr. Gaye, alleged in a lawsuit that he had come up with the title “Sexual Healing” in a conversation with Gaye after seeing some weird sexually explicit material in his apartment. The suit wasn't settled until after Marvin's death, with Ritz being give a partial credit.
“The Girl Is Mine” by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
(#5 last week) Michael never performed this song live. Maybe that was due to McCartney's not being available, don't know. A year after this was a hit, Michael guested on Paul's “Say Say Say”, although, actually, “Say…” was recorded a year before “The Girl Is Mine”, which was done in L.A. in April '82.
“Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
(#3 last week) The duo's Motown homage, but this started while being written as a harder rock-groove kind of thing. I wonder if anyone with Motown thought of suing for songwriting credits. Ironically, many years later, Hall & Oates initiated legal action against their music publisher (Warner/Chappell Music). An unidentified artist was alleged to have used “Maneater” in a 2006 recording, infringing copyright, & by failing to sue for copyright infringement, Warner Chappell Music were alleged to have breached their contract with Hall and Oates.
“Truly” by Lionel Richie
(#2 last week) Isw it just me, or does this song sound more than a little like Lionel's previous ballad smashes “Still” & “Endless Love” (&, for that matter the Richie-penned/produced Kenny Rogers hit “Lady”)? Whatever, the formula worked, again. The song won a Grammy Award for Richie in the category “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance”.
“Mickey” by Toni Basil
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) Hard to believe that Toni was 39 when this hit #1, which makes her…gulp…almost 70 now! Impressive: the cheerleading outfit she wears in the video was her high school cheerleading outfit from over 20 years earlier. Toni's worked with almost everyone in music as a choreographer in movies & TV. you can see her singing with Davy Jones in the 1968 weird Monkees movie, “Head”.