Pop top 40, 1/22/83

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Now a regular feature!

1 1 DOWN UNDER –•– Men At Work – 12 (2 weeks at #1) (1) — Of all the songs in this top 10, the one I never want to hear again. Cloying then, worse now.
2 2 THE GIRL IS MINE –•– Michael Jackson / Paul McCartney – 12 (2) — I suppose I can understand why you’d lead off Thriller with your McCartney duet, but really: this was the lead single from Thriller??
3 3 DIRTY LAUNDRY –•– Don Henley – 13 (3)
4 5 SEXUAL HEALING –•– Marvin Gaye – 13 (4) — Perfection.
5 7 AFRICA –•– Toto – 13 (5) — Perfection of a yacht rock sort.
6 4 MANEATER –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates – 15 (1) — Not perfection, not even the best song on H2O (hell, not even the best single), but still pretty great.
7 8 BABY, COME TO ME –•– Patti Austin with James Ingram – 19 (7) — Perfection of a Rod Temperton (songwriter)/Quincy Jones (producer) sort.
8 9 ROCK THE CASBAH –•– The Clash – 17 (8)
9 6 MICKEY –•– Toni Basil – 21 (1) — Sounded good at the time, but sounds even better today. I love how iconic, how ’80s this single has become over time.
10 10 HEARTBREAKER –•– Dionne Warwick – 16 (10) — The musical equivalent of a warm bath, and few knew how to draw them better than the brothers Gibb.

11 12 YOU AND I –•– Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle – 16 (11) — The early ’80s were a great time for one-off duets, weren’t they? Rabbitt and Gayle’s voices mesh so finely on this song, and Rabbitt’s usual producer, David Malloy, knew just what to do with both of them. If I have to pick, I’ll take this over “Baby, Come to Me,” but I’d rather have them both.
12 16 SHAME ON THE MOON –•– Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – 6 (12) — Written by Rodney Crowell, but sadly, still not very good.
13 15 YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE –•– Phil Collins – 12 (13)
14 14 THE OTHER GUY –•– The Little River Band – 10 (14)
15 11 GLORIA –•– Laura Branigan – 29 (2) — Before there was Italo-house, there was Italo-pop, and its greatest ambassador was Ms. Branigan. She! Could! Punch! Those! Lyrics!
16 17 HEART TO HEART –•– Kenny Loggins – 9 (16) — The yachtiest yacht rock that ever sailed. In case you didn’t know, no one knows yacht rock better than, natch, the guys who created the term along with the “Yacht Rock” video series and now the “Beyond Yacht Rock” podcast. On their 50th episode, “Our Favorite Yacht Rock,” the guys go deep on the crème de la crème of the yacht, and starting at 12:18 in the show, they break down the glorious “Heart to Heart.” There’s that amazing David Sanborn sax solo, the classic “Doobie bounce,” Michael McDonald on Rhodes, David Foster on piano (and those two co-writing with Loggins), Paulinho da Costa on percussion, Pages on backing vocals… apart from “a severe lack of Toto,” this nails pretty much every single classic yacht “requirement.” This also features one of Loggins’s smoothest vocals ever — and it’s in service of a song about divorce. When have you ever heard a song about divorce that’s so fucking upbeat?!  This record is in my all-time can’t-live-without-it top 50, and it is perfect.
17 19 GOODY TWO SHOES –•– Adam Ant – 11 (17) — Pop Adam > post-punk Adam, but really, can we admit that he wasn’t all that talented? Duran get grief for being style over substance, but Adam really was.
18 18 THE LOOK OF LOVE (Part 1) –•– ABC – 20 (18) — Then, speaking, of style v substance, there’s this lot, who had both in spades. Martin Fry was Bryan Ferry’s spiritual (and style-wise) son, and was somehow able to get over in the U.S. in a way that Ferry never quite could. ABC’s The Lexicon of Love, helmed by Trevor Horn, is one of my top 5 albums of all-time, for its blissful, perfect marriage of said style and substance. The production is astounding, and Fry, both lyrically and vocally, is the crooner the ’80s generation needed, whether we knew it or not, our Rudy Vallee, our Bobby Darin.
19 20 HAND TO HOLD ON TO –•– John Cougar – 12 (19) — Third singles were not his metièr.
20 23 ALLENTOWN –•– Billy Joel – 9 (20) — One of his least objectionable hits.

21 21 YOU GOT LUCKY –•– Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – 11 (21) — I’ve always loved the sound of this one. It’s typically Petty-nasty, but thanks to Jimmy Iovine, it sounds great.
22 22 LOVE IN STORE –•– Fleetwood Mac – 9 (22)
23 25 STRAY CAT STRUT –•– The Stray Cats – 5 (23) — Brian Setzer brought two crappy genres back into U.S. prominence, rockabilly and swing, and for that should’ve long ago been prosecuted against the Geneva Convention.
24 24 I DO –•– The J. Geils Band – 10 (24)
25 27 YOUR LOVE IS DRIVING ME CRAZY –•– Sammy Hagar – 7 (25)
26 29 HEART OF THE NIGHT –•– Juice Newton – 9 (26) — She did have a knack for driving country-pop. Better singer than you likely remember, too.
27 31 PASS THE DUTCHIE –•– Musical Youth – 7 (27)
28 13 STEPPIN’ OUT –•– Joe Jackson – 23 (6) — Few could genre-jump with such aplomb.
29 — ALL RIGHT –•– Christopher Cross – 1 (29) — Think about this: there was such excitement for Christopher Cross’s sophomore album, after the massive success of his Grammy-sweeping debut (plus the theme from Arthur), that its first single entered the entire Hot 100 at #29. Debuting at #47 that same week? “Billie Jean.”
30 32 SHOCK THE MONKEY –•– Peter Gabriel – 14 (30) — This is how you balance art-rock and pop-rock.

31 35 DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME –•– Culture Club – 8 (31) — British invasion ahoy! Seeing Culture Club, Flock of Seagulls (already following up “I Ran”) and Duran Duran bunched so closely together is something. This one’s never gotten old: Boy George at his least cynical and most tender, which is when he’s at his most successful.
32 34 WHAT ABOUT ME –•– Moving Pictures – 19 (32) — What about you? I’ve always detested this piece of simultaneously treacly and bombastic pop from down under.
33 37 SPACE AGE LOVE SONG –•– A Flock Of Seagulls – 11 (33) — Better than “I Ran.” Much better.
34 53 HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF –•– Duran Duran – 5 (34)
35 49 YOU ARE –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-2 (35)
36 43 TWILIGHT ZONE –•– Golden Earring – 9 (36)
37 40 BAD BOY –•– Ray Parker Jr. – 8 (37)
38 38 TWO LESS LONELY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply – 11 (38)
39 39 MEMORY –•– Barry Manilow – 10 (39) — I’d rather forget.
40 42 PUT IT IN A MAGAZINE –•– Sonny Charles – 11 (40) — THIS SONG THO! On the last Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast of 2016, Mike and I discussed the #2 R&B singles of 1983, and of the 11, this was the one that neither of us was previously familiar with. But what fucking magic this record is! Sonny Charles had previously fronted a Phil Spector-produced soul group in the ’60s and ’70s (the Checkmates Ltd.), and then basically kicked around the Chitlin Circuit until cutting his album The Son Still Shines in 1982. Somehow, inexplicably, this throwback kinda record on a teeny little indie label sent a 43-year-old new-ish solo artist all the way up to #2 on the R&B chart (and to #40 pop for 2 weeks) in early ’83. There’s a charm and innocence to this record which help make it nearly perfect to my ears. I love the contrast of the string section with the handclap percussion on the chorus, the old-soul-ism of the punctuating horns, and how Charles will show you that “his specialty is loving all night long.” Also, he’s a fellow former Hoosier, and is still on the road at age 76, currently singing with the Steve Miller Band.”Put It In A Magazine” makes me seriously, deliriously happy. Here, have a listen.

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About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
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