Pop top 40: 2/25/84

Peak early ’84, prior to the emergence of the year’s holy trinity of Tina/Bruce/Prince. That said, the first tentative steps of the Turner’s comeback can be seen slowly climbing into the 30s. BTW, Madonna’s “Holiday” fell out of this week’s chart; Like A Virgin was still almost 10 months away.

1 2 JUMP –•– Van Halen – (1st week at #1) – 7 (1) — Might as well.

2 1 KARMA CHAMELEON –•– Culture Club – 13 (1) — Sure, it’s catchy, and their biggest US hit, but I’ve never much cared for it.
3 4 99 LUFTBALLONS –•– Nena – 12 (3) — It’s funny how their record label felt the desperate need for an English-language version, when I pretty much always heard the German version on both my local top 40 station, and American Top 40.
4 9 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN –•– Cyndi Lauper – 11 (4) — A year later she’d win the Grammy for Best New Artist, deservedly — over Corey Hart (?!), Frankie Goes to Hollywood (!!), Sheila E (right on), and the Judds (at the time, a rarity to see a country artist up for this award, but they certainly deserved the nod). Somehow, eternal overplay has not dulled the appeal nor the sparkle of this song: it’s a great big piece of cubic zirconia, and it still looks awesome.
5 7 THRILLER –•– Michael Jackson – 3 (5) — Talk about a video-driven phenomenon: the seventh (and final) single from Thriller made it into the top 5 in just three weeks. MTV had, of course, been hammering the video hourly, literally, for weeks. The song itself is ebullient but not great, definitely second-tier Thriller. But we’ll never forget it.
6 3 JOANNA –•– Kool & The Gang – 17 (2)
7 12 NOBODY TOLD ME –•– John Lennon – 6 (7) — Unexpected and a little odd, in a good way.
8 10 LET THE MUSIC PLAY –•– Shannon – 16 (8) — Only one of the greatest singles of the 1980s, and quite likely the first signpost of freestyle, making an excruciatingly market-by-market slow rise into the top 10 months after topping the dance charts.
9 14 WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER –•– Police – 8 (9) — Best single from Synchronicity.
10 13 AN INNOCENT MAN –•– Billy Joel – 11 (10)

11 6 THAT’S ALL –•– Genesis – 14 (6)
12 26 SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME –•– Rockwell – 5 (12)
13 21 I WANT A NEW DRUG –•– Huey Lewis & The News – 7 (13) — Not even the moderately attractive Lewis in his boxer shorts could make me enjoy this.
14 5 TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP –•– The Romantics – 21 (3) — All-American new wave AOR at its finest.
15 24 HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN –•– Eurythmics – 5 (15)
16 22 NEW MOON ON MONDAY –•– Duran Duran – 7 (16) — They did like their claptrap lyrics, didn’t they?
17 11 RUNNING WITH THE NIGHT –•– Lionel Richie – 14 (7)
18 15 THINK OF LAURA –•– Christopher Cross – 12 (9)
19 8 OWNER OF A LONELY HEART –•– Yes – 17 (1) — Blame Trevor Horn. (And that’s a good thing.)
20 20 YAH MO B THERE –•– James Ingram & Michael McDonald – 12 (20) — Blame Quincy Jones. And Rod Temperton. (Both very very good things.) (Also, this song is SO WEIRD: it’s like an ode to Jesus! In the top 20! By a pair of yacht rock titans! In 1984!)

21 25 GOT A HOLD ON ME –•– Christine McVie – 5 (21)
22 32 FOOTLOOSE –•– Kenny Loggins – 5 (22) — DO NOT CUT.
23 28 THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE –•– Dan Fogelberg – 4 (23)
24 19 MIDDLE OF THE ROAD –•– Pretenders – 11 (19)
25 30 THIS WOMAN –•– Kenny Rogers – 7 (25) — The sound of the Gibb well running dry.
26 16 PINK HOUSES –•– John Cougar Mellencamp – 12 (8)
27 35 AUTOMATIC –•– The Pointer Sisters – 5 (27) — Still smokes.
28 33 GIVE IT UP –•– K.C. – 10 (28) — Oh god, I love this song so much. It’s so weird, too: KC, a couple years post-disco, attempting to re-invent himself doing — Hi-NRG, essentially? #1 in the UK in ’83, top 20 in the US in ’84.
29 17 BREAK MY STRIDE –•– Matthew Wilder – 24 (5)
30 34 ALMOST OVER YOU –•– Sheena Easton – 12 (30)

31 43 ADULT EDUCATION –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates – 2 (31) — Ridiculous and fucking awesome, as well as one of their harder rocking (or, “rocking”) singles. Top 10 bound, as it was in the midst of their Imperial Phase.
32 18 I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES –•– Elton John – 18 (4) — I can’t hate this song. I even like Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo.
33 37 THE POLITICS OF DANCING –•– Re-Flex – 14 (33) — Lightly communist-fearing, and more than a little appropriate for today’s political climate. Also a super-tough new wave cut that was justifiably huge in the clubs.
34 38 LET’S STAY TOGETHER –•– Tina Turner – 6 (34) — The backing band here is essentially Heaven 17; think about that for a minute.
35 40 BACK WHERE YOU BELONG –•– .38 Special – 4 (35) — They got softer as they got bigger.
36 39 RUNNER –•– Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – 6 (36)
37 23 SO BAD –•– Paul McCartney – 10 (23)
38 44 NEW SONG –•– Howard Jones – 6 (38)
39 49 HOLD ME NOW –•– Thompson Twins – 3 (39)
40 46 LIVIN’ IN DESPERATE TIMES –•– Olivia Newton-John – 3 (40)

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About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
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