Don’s Top 10 From November 22, 1980
An interesting mix of R&B, Soft Pop & New Wave Rock on this week's survey from Saturday, November 22, 1980. Let's go.....
(#10 last week) As a teenager, Stacy had a series of R&B hits, a few of which, like this one, crossed over to the pop chart. All were produced by Narada Michael Walden. She also opened for the Jacksons on their 1981 tour. Since the 90s, she's been in the Gospel field.
(#15 last week) Followup to the #1 hit "Upside Down". In 1979, Diana commissioned Chic founders Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards to create material for a new album after taking her daughters to see the band in concert, following the success of Ross's final Ashford & Simpson-composed and produced LP, "The Boss". Rodgers got the idea for "I'm Coming Out" after noticing three different drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a New York club called the GG Barnum Room. The lyrics hold an additional meaning to Ross, as she was about to leave Motown Records & "coming out" from under Berry Gordy's thumb.
(#6 last week) Diana Ross connection: Mills starred in "The Wiz" on Broadway, while Diana took the role in the screen version (wasn't Ross a tad old for the part?). this was co-written and produced by James Mtume, who had his own hit with 1983's "Juicy Fruit" (as "Mtume"). The song won two R&B Grammys.
(#7 last week) Stevie's homage/salute to the late Bob Marley, whose best-known song was "Jammin", of course. This was the first single from the LP "Hotter Than July", but ironically, a hit in December & January! The words "hotter than July" are in the lyrics here, too. Strangely, this doesn't get a lot of airplay today. Don't know why.
(#5 last week) Summer's much-hyped debut on the new label, Geffen Records, after leaving Casablanca. The song, while danceable to a degree, was a much-debated move away from disco toward the new wave direction (surprisingly, Giorgio Moroder remained her producer). Certainly, the non-stop hits stopped after this one, but Donna still charted over a half-dozen more times in the 80s.
(#4 last week) The words to this 60s-girl group homage were by Cynthia Weil, who actually wrote many of those oldies classics. The song was first offered to Leo Sayer, but producer Richard Perry felt a girl group should do it.
(#8 last week) Devo funded this controversial video with $15,000 of their own money. Sexy or S&M? You be the judge.
(#2 last week) "The idea was that Lionel would come from R&B and I'd come from country, and we'd meet somewhere in pop".. Sure did,. This would be Kenny's all-time biggest hit, and it boosted songwriter Lionel Richie's soon-to-be solo career. It peaked at #1 on three Billboard charts: The Hot 100, AC and country charts.
(#3 last week) The famous bass line in this song was "inspired" by Chic's hit from the year before, "Good Times". Hope Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards got a songwriting credit! And credit none other than Michael Jackson for suggesting to the band that this be released as a single!
(#1 last week; 3rd week at #1) A very underplayed hit, considering how big it was. This hit could have set a Guinness world record, believe it or not, for holding a note the longest! According to Casey on AT40, this was the longest unaltered note held by a soloist in a #1 song, though it would later be surpassed by Whitney Houston in "I Will Always Love You". BTW, the video made for this first single from the "Guilty" album was old film clips from Barbra's previous movies.