Friday, December 31, 1982

Dave's Faves: My Top Songs of 1982

Updated 12/1/2018.

I was 15 in the summer of 1982 and was pretty enthralled with the popular music of the day. When my local top 40 radio station did a countdown of their all-time songs, I decided to emulate the list and make my own. It turned into my own weekly countdown list which I maintained all through high school, college, and even into my young adult years. I consider it ground zero for my fascination with charts. At the end of 1982, based on those charts, here were my biggest songs of the year:

1. Styx “Babe” (1979)
2. Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
3. Olivia Newton-John “Heart Attack” (1982)
4. Journey “Open Arms” (1981)
5. Styx “The Best of Times” (1981)
6. Climax Blues Band “I Love You” (1980)
7. Asia “Only Time Will Tell” (1982)
8. Toto “Rosanna” (1982)
9. The Alan Parsons Project “Eye in the Sy” (1982)
10. Journey “Who’s Crying Now” (1981)

11. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (1981)
12. Olivia Newton-John “Make a Move on Me” (1981)
13. Journey “Still They Ride” (1981)
14. Styx “Reneage” (1978)
15. Chicago “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (1982)
16. Steve Miller Band “Abracadabra” (1982)
17. Air Supply “Here I Am” (1981)
19. Air Supply “Sweet Dreams” (1980)
20. Billy Joel “Pressure” (1982)

21. Olivia Newton-John “Magic” (1980)
22. Joe Jackson “Steppin’ Out” (1982)
23. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981)
24. John Cougar Mellencamp “Jack and Diane” (1982)
25. Queen “Body Language” (1982)
26. Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard “Suddenly” (1980)
27. J. Geils Band “Freeze Frame” (1981)
28. Vangelis “Chariots of Fire” (1981)
29. The Beatles “Fixing a Hole” (1967)
30. Steel Breeze “You Don’t Want Me Anymore” (1982)

31. Olivia Newton-John “Suspended in Time” (1980)
32. Air Supply “The One That You Love” (1981)
33. Toto “Africa” (1982)
34. Charlene “I’ve Never Been to Me” (1977)
35. Daryl Hall & John Oates “Maneater” (1982)
36. Neil Diamond “America” (1981)
37. Neil Diamond “Love on the Rocks” (1980)
38. America “You Can Do Magic” (1982)
39. Electric Light Orchestra “The Fall” (1980)
40. Kenny Rogers “Coward of the County” (1979)

41. Kenny Rogers “Lady” (1980)
42. Electric Light Orchestra “I’m Alive” (1980)
43. Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra “Xanadu” (1980)
44. REO Speedwagon “Keep on Loving You” (1980)
45. Foreigner “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (1981)
46. Air Supply “Don’t Turn Me Away” (1981)
47. Air Supply “Young Love” (1982)
48. Kansas “Play the Game Tonight” (1982)
49. Neil Diamond “Hello Again” (1981)
50. Paul McCartney “Take It Away” (1982)


Friday, December 24, 1982

Fred Astaire hit #1 with Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” for first of 10 weeks, 50 years ago today (12/24/1932)

First posted 12/24/2011; updated 4/12/2020.

Night and Day

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra

Writer(s): Cole Porter (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 17, 1932


Peak: 110 US, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.36 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

When it comes to standards, “Night and Day” stands second only to “Star Dust”. MM Cole Porter, whose name is “almost a generic term for witty show songs,” LW wrote what has been called “one of the greatest love ballads ever written” NPR for the Broadway musical Gay Divorce. The song builds the melody by repeating the first note 32 times, followed by another 16 notes repeated at a half tone higher, followed by a return to the original note for another 16 beats. LW Porter has claimed the song was inspired by Moroccan Muslim calls to prayer; TY supposedly while visiting North Africa, he heard a priest wailing to his followers from the local mosque. LW

Fred Astaire and Claire Luce sang it in the show and then for the 1934 film version Astaire reprised the number, singing and dancing with Ginger Rogers. JA Astaire’s recording of the song with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra was the first and most successful of seven charting versions between 1932 and 1946. PM It was the biggest hit of 1932. WHC

Astaire was a popular choice for Tin Pan Alley songs, not just because he could deliver the box office goods, but because he sang songs as they were written. LW The song has also “held a strong position across the board in jazz” MM with wildly versatile versions by Benny Goodman (big band), Dave Brubeck (piano), Stan Getz (saxophone), and Django Reinhardt (guitar). MM Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, and Sammy Davis, Jr. have also recorded vocal versions. MM One of the most interesting covers, though, was the version U2 did for the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue. Nearly sixty years after the song first charted, this Irish rock band took the Tin Pan Alley classic to #2 on the modern rock tracks chart and #34 on the album rock tracks chart.


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Monday, November 29, 1982

A Foreigner Retrospective

First posted 9/20/2020.

Records

Foreigner


Released: November 29, 1982


Recorded: 1977-1982


Peak: 10 US, 58 UK, -- CN, 26 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.06 UK, 11.4 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks: (1) Cold As Ice (2) Double Vision (3) Head Games (4) Waiting for a Girl Like You (5) Feels Like the First Time (6) Urgent (7) Dirty White Boy (8) Juke Box Hero (9) Long, Long Way from Home (10) Hot Blooded (live)


Total Running Time: 39:23


Rating:

4.157 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


Awards:

The Players:

  • Lou Gramm (vocals, percussion): 1977-82
  • Mick Jones (guitar, keyboards, vocals): 1977-82
  • Ian McDonald (guitar, backing vocals, saxophone, keyboards): 1977-79
  • Al Greenwood (keyboards): 1977-79
  • Ed Gagliardi (bass): 1977-78
  • Dennis Elliott (drums): 1977-82
  • Rick Wills (bass): 1979-82

A Brief History:

English musician Mick Jones, formerly of Spooky Tooth, formed Foreigner in 1976 with Ian McDonald (formerly of King Crimson) and American singer Lou Gramm. He suggested the name “Foreigner” after the group had blossomed into a six-piece with three Brits and three Americans. In the short five years covered on this page, they lost three founding members and by 1981 were working as a four-piece unit.

From 1977 to 1981 the band released four studio albums, all of which hit the top 5 on the Billboard album charts and sold at least five million each. Their most successful album was 4, which spent 10 weeks on top. They hit the top 40 eleven times in that same span with their biggest hit being “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” a #2 hit for 10 weeks.

Here are the four studio albums covered by the Records compilation. Each has a link to a separate DMDB page, but snapshots of each album are offered on this page.

The Studio Albums:

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the anthologies below are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.


Foreigner (1977):

The debut album from Foreigner was an immediate success, spawning three top-10 hits and a third top-20 hit. The album sold more than five million copies and hit the top 5 on the Billboard album chart.

  • Feels Like the First Time (3/26/77, 4 US, 2 CL, 39 UK, 7 CN, 41 AU)
  • Cold As Ice (7/23/77, 6 US, 1 CL, 24 UK, 9 CN, 32 AU)
  • Long, Long Way from Home (12/10/77, 20 US, 7 CL, 22 CN, 70 AU)


Double Vision (1978):

With two top-five hits, Foreigner wasn’t suffering from a sophomore slump. Not only did the album chart a notch higher (#3) than its predecessor, but it outsold it with more than ten million copies worldwide. A third song, “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” was a top-20 hit, but isn’t included on the Records compilation.

  • Hot Blooded (live version) (7/1/78: studio version, 3 US, 2 CL, 42 UK, 3 CN, 24 AU)
  • Double Vision (9/22/78, 2 US, 2 CL, 7 CN, 97 AU)


Head Games (1979):

While Head Games still put two songs in the top 20 on the U.S. pop chart, it wasn’t quite the same lofty heights as the Double Vision album. Still, the album was a top-five hit with sales over five million.

  • Head Games (11/10/79, 14 US, 6 CL, 14 CN)
  • Dirty White Boy (9/8/79, 12 US, 6 CL, 14 CN)


4 (1981):

This was Foreigner’s most successful outing. The album spent a whopping ten weeks atop the Billboard album chart and gave them their biggest hit to date with the power ballad “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which spent ten weeks in the runner-up spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Urgent (7/4/81, 4 US, 1 AR, 45 UK, 1 CN, 24 AU)
  • Juke Box Hero (7/25/81, 26 US, 3 AR, 48 UK, 39 CN, 53 AU)
  • Waiting for a Girl Like You (10/10/81, 2 US, 1 AR, 5 AC, 8 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU, sales: ½ million)


About Records:

After four top-10 albums and 11 top-40 singles in five years, Foreigner took a break, offering fans their first compilation. It was a multi-platinum, top-10 hit just like its predecessors despite offering nothing new, save a live version of “Hot Blooded.” In fact, this wasn’t just a multi-platinum seller; it was Foreigner’s third album (after Double Vision and 4) to top ten million in sales worldwide.

As packed as this is with hits, it still misses a few, most notably the #15 hit “Blue Morning, Blue Day” and the #41 hit “Women.” They could have easily been added, considering the album’s sub-40-minute running length. Still, there’s no arguing with what is here. There would be many compilations to follow over the years, but this was the first and most successful.

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Saturday, November 13, 1982

Men at Work’s Business As Usual hit #1 for 1st of 15 weeks

First posted 4/19/2012; updated 9/20/2020.

Business As Usual

Men at Work


Released: November 9, 1981


Peak: 115 US, 15 UK, 110 CN, 19 AU


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop rock/new wave


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Who Can It Be Now? (6/6/81, 1 US, 46 AR, 45 UK, 2 AU, 8 CN)
  2. I Can See It in Your Eyes
  3. Down Under (10/23/81, 1 US, 1 AR, 13 AC, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 1.6 million, airplay: 2 million)
  4. Underground (3/5/83, 20 AR)
  5. Helpless Automation
  6. People Just Love to Play with Words
  7. Be Good Johnny (4/82, 3 AR, 78 UK, 19 CN, 8 AU)
  8. Touching the Untouchables
  9. Catch a Star
  10. Down by the Sea


Total Running Time: 38:11


The Players:

  • Colin Hay (vocals, guitar)
  • Greg Ham (flute, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)
  • Ron Strykert (guitar, vocals)
  • John Rees (bass, backing vocals)
  • Jerry Speiser (drums, backing vocals)

Rating:

3.994 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Business as Usual was the debut album for the Australian new wave band Men at Work. It was released in their home country in November 1981 and saw U.S. release five months later in April 1982. They became “the most unlikely success story of 1982,” AZ spending 15 weeks atop the Billboard album chart and winning the Grammy for Best New Artist.

Their success came primarily on the basis of “two excellent singles that merged straight-ahead pop/rock hooks with a quirky new wave production and an offbeat sense of humor. Colin Hay’s keening vocals uncannily recall Sting, and the band’s rhythmic pulse and phased guitars also bring to mind a bar band version of the Police.” AMG “Like Sting, Colin Hay’s vocal inflections were more suited to reggae than to white guitar-pop; the band, meanwhile, seemed to aim for much the same kind of earnest, slightly arch tone as early XTC.” AZ

The lead single, Who Can It Be Now?, was released in Australia in June 1981, where it became a #1 hit. More than a year later, it made its U.S. chart debut, eventually soaring to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

While that song played up paranoia in its video, the follow-up hit, Down Under, showcased Men at Work’s goofier side. The almost-novelty song celebrated their native country with a campy and popular video. The song was an even bigger hit on the U.S. charts. “For a time, Australians abroad seemed destined to have ‘Down Under’ sung at them – often by whole groups of strangers – as if it were a sunny gesture of greeting or camaraderie, instead of what it actually was: a tacit reinforcement of cultural stereotypes.” AZ “For the record: to ‘chunder’ means to vomit. And a Vegemite sandwich is nothing you’d want to eat.” AZ

The song met with more controversy in 2010 when it was determined it had been plagiarized from a 1934 Australian song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” written by Marion Sinclair. The band were ordered to pay a portion of royalties to the company holding the copyright on “Kookaburra.”

“There’s a fair amount of filler on the record, but Be Good Johnny, I Can See It in Your Eyes, and Down by the Sea are all fine new wave pop songs, making Business as Usual one of the more enjoyable mainstream-oriented efforts of the era.” AMG


Notes: A 2003 rerelease adds non-LP B-side, “Crazy,” the non-U.S. single track, “F-19,” and live versions of “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Underground.”

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Friday, November 5, 1982

Phil Collins’ Hello, I Must Be Going! released

First posted 9/15/2020.

Hello, I Must Be Going!

Phil Collins


Released: November 5, 1982


Peak: 8 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 15 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.9 UK, 13.8 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream pop-rock


Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. I Don’t Care Anymore (12/4/82, 39 US, 47 CB, 3 AR)
  2. I Cannot Believe It’s True (5/7/83, 79 US, 80 CB)
  3. Like China (12/4/82, 17 AR)
  4. Do You Know, Do You Care? (11/6/82, 41 AR)
  5. You Can’t Hurry Love (11/6/82, 10 US, 10 CB, 9 AC, 24 AR, 1 UK, 9 CN, 3 AU)
  6. It Don’t Matter to Me
  7. Thru These Walls (10/23/82, 56 UK, 34 AR)
  8. Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away (3/19/83, 45 UK)
  9. The West Side
  10. Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning (5/83, 89 UK)


Total Running Time: 45:03

Rating:

3.475 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards:

About the Album:

After Genesis released their 1980 Duke album, Phil Collins decided it was time to release a solo album. One would understandably think the success of that album, Face Value, would mean he was moving on from the group he’d been with for ten years. Instead, he went back to work with Genesis and released Abacab later that year. Then he went right back to his solo career, releasing Hello, I Must Be Going! in 1982.

“The album wasn't a huge departure from the formula established on Face Value, built as it was on introspective, gut-spilling ballads, horn-driven R&B jams, arty rockers, and dramatic breakup songs. In fact, the first track, the vitriolic I Don’t Care Anymore, sounds like a very close relative of ‘In the Air Tonight,’ only less mysterious and more in your face. Still effective though, and with the same magical drum sound Collins got on that earlier song.” AMG

“The R&B-based tracks are well served by Earth, Wind & Fire horns, and if nothing is quite on par with ‘I Missed Again,’ there’s not a huge drop-off in quality.” AMG He does, however, offer up “the almost note-perfect take on the Supremes’ You Can't Hurry Love, which sounds less like a pastiche and more like a loving tribute.” AMG

There are a few less ballads, with Collins only slowing down on the lovely Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away and the lush Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning, which foreshadows his career as a singer for hire on many a movie soundtrack.” AMG

“There are a couple of surprises on Hello, notably the uptempo pop tune Like China, which features some blistering guitar work from Daryl Stuermer.” AMG “Another departure from Face Value comes on the song Thru These Walls, where Collins is playing a character instead of writing from a place of pain and frustration, which was one of the things that made that album so devastating.” AMG

Despite the change in tone from intensely personal and dark to slightly detached and even lighthearted in spots, the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.” AMG


Notes: A 2016 deluxe edition of the album included nine live songs from different years and demos for “Do You Know, Do You Care” and “Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away.”

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Friday, October 29, 1982

Pat Benatar’s Get Nervous released

First posted 9/20/2020.

Get Nervous

Pat Benatar


Released: October 29, 1982


Peak: 4 US, 73 UK, 16 CN, 15 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.2 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Shadows of the Night (D.L. Byron) [4:20] (9/21/82, 13 US, 3 AR, 50 UK, 12 CN, 32 AU)
  2. Looking for a Stranger (Franne Golde, Peter McIan) [3:24] (4/23/83, 39 US, 4 AR)
  3. Anxiety (Get Nervous) (Neil Giraldo, Billy Steinberg) [3:42]
  4. Fight It Out (Giraldo, Steinberg) [3:56]
  5. The Victim (Giraldo, Steinberg) [4:43]
  6. Little Too Late (Alex Call) [4:06] (1/19/83, 20 US, 38 AR)
  7. I’ll Do It (Giraldo, Benatar) [4:09]
  8. I Want Out (Giraldo, Steinberg) [3:43]
  9. Tell It to Her (Roger Bruno, Ellen Schwartz) [3:44]
  10. Silent Partner (Giraldo, Myron Grombacher) [3:45]


Total Running Time: 39:07

Rating:

3.966 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Benatar’s fourth album was her third to reach the top 5 of the Billboard album chart. Like its predecessors, it was supported by two top-40 singles and sold a million copies. Something was different, however.

Benatar was tired of being stereotyped as a hard rocker, often saying interviews that she “preferred new wave's melodic keyboards over hard rock and metal's crunching guitars.” AMG It didn’t mean she abandoned rock. Indeed, “songs like like Anxiety (Get Nervous), The Victim, and Silent Partners are intense, forceful jewels that rock aggressively.” AMG

However, Get Nervous was overall “the most melodic album she’d done since In the Heat of the Night.” AMG “The album’s pop elements and strong emphasis on melody leave no doubt that the last thing on Benatar’s mind was recording another Crimes of Passion.” AMG

To that end, lead single Shadows of the Night showcased a more pop-oriented, new wave sound than previous guitar-driven songs. The song was written by D.L. Byron for the 1980 film Times Square, but rejected for lack of commercialism. Helen Schneider released it as a single in 1981 and Rachel Sweet recorded it that same year for her …And Then He Kissed Me album. Benatar’s version was a top 20 hit which won her a third Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

The album’s second single, Little Too Late, was also a top-20 hit with a more new-wave feel. The song was penned by Alex Call, who’d previously co-written Tommy Tutone’s 1981 top-5 hit “867-5309/Jenny.” He also wrote the 1988 song “Perfect World,” a #3 song for Huey Lewis & the News.

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