Tuesday, June 20, 1978

Foreigner released Double Vision

First posted 9/20/2020; updated 10/17/2020.

Double Vision


Released: June 20, 1978

Peak: 3 US, 32 UK, 3 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


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

  1. Hot Blooded (7/1/78, 3 US, 2 CL, 42 UK, 3 CN, 24 AU)
  2. Blue Morning, Blue Day (12/23/78, 15 US, 6 CL, 45 UK, 21 CN)
  3. You’re All I Am
  4. Back Where You Belong
  5. Love Has Taken Its Toll (26 CL)
  6. Double Vision (9/22/78, 2 US, 2 CL, 7 CN, 97 AU)
  7. Tramontane (instrumental)
  8. I Have Waited So Long
  9. Lonely Children
  10. Spellbinder

Total Running Time: 37:55

The Players:

  • Lou Gramm (vocals, percussion)
  • Mick Jones (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
  • Ian McDonald (guitar, saxophone, keyboards)
  • Al Greenwood (keyboards)
  • Ed Gagliardi (bass)
  • Dennis Elliott (drums)


3.449 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

Quotable: “Hard rock at its best” – Ace Adams, New York Daily News


About the Album:

With their debut album, Foreigner immediately became players on the rock scene, sending two songs from the album into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 while the album was a top-five smash which sold five million copies. As high as they’d set the bar on their first outing, Foreigner managed to reach even greater heights on their sophomore outing.

Double Vision reached #3 on the album charts and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The lead single, Hot Blooded, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the title cut went an even notch higher and peaked at #2. A third single, Blue Morning, Blue Day, reached the top 20.

The group had its detractors. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the album as “slickly produced, commercially powerful, but artistically vapid.” WK Rick Atkinson of The Record attacked the album for using the same formula as the debut. WK

Van West of Murfreesboro Press agreed that the album had similarities to Foreigner, but noted that Double Vision had “more individualistic interpretations” and “heavy metal tonal structure” instead of some of the debut’s “careful harmonies.” WK Ace Adams of the New York Daily News went as far as to call the album “hard rock at its best.” WK

Notes: The 2002 reissue added live versions of “Hot Blooded” and “Love Maker.”

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, June 17, 1978

Andy Gibb hit #1 with “Shadow Dancing”

First posted 10/24/2020; last updated 3/11/2021.

Shadow Dancing

Andy Gibb

Writer(s): Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Andy Gibb (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 15, 1978

Peak: 17 US, 16 CB, 18 HR, 14 RR, 8 AC, 11 RB, 42 UK, 13 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, -- UK, 2.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 12.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The Gibb brothers (Barry, Maurice, Robin, and Andy) dominated the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. Their run began when the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” the first single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, ascended to #1 on December 24, 1977. “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever” followed in early 1978. Their runs at the pinnacle were only separated by younger brother Andy’s two-week stint with “Love Is Thicker Than Water.” In May, Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You,” another song penned by the Bee Gees and featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, went to #1.

Five weeks after that, Andy Gibb was back on top with “Shadow Dancing,” the lead single from his sophomore album of the same name. Its seven weeks on top meant the Gibb brothers spent 25 weeks at #1 from December 24, 1977 to July 29, 1978 as performers and/or writers. Barry Gibb notched another week on top as the songwriter for “Grease” before year’s end, making him personally responsible for half of the year’s #1 songs.

“Shadow Dancing” was written by all four Gibbs while Andy’s older brothers were working on the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was time to start getting tracks together for Andy’s second solo album. He recalled the four of them relaxing one night and they started singing the chorus, sketching out the song in about ten minutes. WK

This was Andy’s third chart-topper, making him the first solo artist in the U.S. pop chart history to have his first three releases hit #1. WK “Shadow Dancing” was also named the biggest song of the year by Billboard magazine. The song also marked the first time all four brothers performed live in concert together when the Bee Gees joined Andy on stage in July in Miami to sing the song. WK

Resources and Related Links:

Thursday, June 15, 1978

The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” released

Teenage Kicks

The Undertones

Writer(s): John O'Neill (see lyrics here)

Released: June 15, 1978

First Charted: October 21, 1978

Peak: 9 CL, 2 CO, 31 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.4 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 14.9 video, 47.65 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Undertones were a punk rock band which formed in 1975. There wasn’t much of a music scene in their hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland, but they managed to produce a record, thanks to Terri Hooley, the owner of a Belfast record shop. He financed the recording of the Teenage Kicks EP and released it on his label, Good Vibrations.

The Undertones sent the song to BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. As lead singer Feargal Sharkey said, “Our only hope was John Peel, and we sent him a copy – that was the only copy we sent anyone.” SF Peel championed the song, even playing it twice (something he’d never done before) on his September 25 show. On a scale of five stars, he rated it 28. WK In October, the band were signed to Sire Records, who then re-released “Teenage Kicks” as a single.

Peel said it was his all-time favorite song and even said in a 2001 interview with The Guardian that he wanted the opening line of the song, “Teenage dreams so hard to beat” engraved on his tombstone. WK The song was played at his funeral in 2004. SF In February 2008, a headstone with the lyric was placed on his grave. WK

The song is “a short blast of punk-pop with no filler, no indulgence; Sharkey’s singalong vocals over a summer shot of simple and catchy chords, fizzing and popping through two-and-a-half minutes.” XFM Songwriter John O’Neill told Q magazine, “I still don’t think the song’s that good. We were just the right age at the right time.” XFM

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Undertones
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia
  • XFM Mike Walsh (editor) (2010). The XFM Top 1000 Songs of All Time. Elliott & Thompson Limited: London, England. Pages 442-3.

First posted 10/14/2021.

Saturday, June 10, 1978

Barry Manilow “Copacabana” charted

Copacabana (At the Copa)

Barry Manilow

Writer(s): Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, Bruce Sussman (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 10, 1978

Peak: 8 US, 10 CB, 6 HR, 7 RR, 6 AC, 22 UK, 7 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 16.2 video, 62.35 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter Barry Manilow was born as Barry Alan Pincus in New York City in 1943. He rose to fame in the 1970s and while he was never a critics’ favorite, he landed 13 songs atop the adult contemporary chart, released thirteen platinum albums, and has sold more than 85 million records worldwide.

He built his career mostly on the strength of easy listening ballads such as “Mandy” and “I Write the Songs.” However, “Copacabana,” the third single from his fifth album, Even Now, was an uptempo disco song. It was inspired by a conversation between Manilow and Bruce Sussman, one of the song’s lyricists. They were at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro and wondered if there had ever been a song called Copacabana. Once back in the United States, Manilow suggested to Sussman and fellow lyricist Jack Feldman, who was known for writing music for the stage, that they write a story song to which Manilow supplied the music.

The lyrics refer to the nightclub as “the hottest spot north of Havana,” and tell the story of a showgirl named Lola and a bartender named Tony who worked at the club. He is shot in a confrontation and still grieves for him thirty years later when the club has become a discotheque. Now middle-aged, she still dresses in her showgirl attire, but is now a customer who “drinks herself half blind.” WK

While the song takes place in the Copacabana district in Rio de Janeiro, there was also a famous nightclub in New York City named after it which did become a disco in the 1970s. SF Manilow had been a regular visitor to the New York City nightclub WK which also had high-profile entertainers such as Frank Sinatra. A 1947 film called Copacabana starred Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda. SF

The song earned Manilow his only Grammy – for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. It also became the basis for a full-length, made-for-TV musical in 1985. In the 1990s, it was expanded into a two-act stage musical which has seen more than 200 productions worldwide.


Related Links:

First posted 9/7/2022.

“You’re the One That I Want” hit #1

Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta

Writer(s): John Farrar (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 1, 1978

Peak: 11 US, 3 CB, 11 HR, 3, 23 AC, 19 UK, 2 CN, 19 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 2.15 UK, 15.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 463.0 video, 365.81 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The 1972 Broadway show Grease about American high schoolers in the ‘50s was such a success that it was brought to the big screen in 1978. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were cast as the stars. Despite being years removed from high school and Travolta being primarily an actor and Olivia primarily a singer, they brought charisma and chemistry to their roles and turned the movie and its soundtrack into blockbusters.

John Farrar, who’d worked with Olivia since 1971, wrote some new songs exclusively for the movie, including Olivia’s ballad “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want,” a raucous duet between the leads. The movie’s director, Randal Kleiser, was not a fan because he felt it didn’t fit with the songs written by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs for the original show. WK

However, “You’re the One That I Want” was a huge hit with fans across the world, reaching #1 in the U.S., UK, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and Sweden. Within two weeks of charting, it was certified gold for selling a million copies. WK It reached #1 in the U.S. before the movie was even released. SF In the UK, it became the fifth biggest-selling single of all time. SF In Olivia’s native Australia, the song spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top, interrupted by a six-week run at #1 by Boney M’s “Rivers of Babylon.” “You’re the One That I Want” spent those six weeks hovering right behind “Babylon” at #2. WK

As the movie’s closer, it showcased the transformation of Olivia’s character Sandy from good girl to greaser queen to win back Danny, played by Travolta. Meanwhile, Danny has made his own change to win Sandy back. To the surprise of his greaser friends, he now sports a sweater with a letter he received in cross country. Originally the movie closed with “All Choked Up,” which was sort of a send up of Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up.” However, it was one of two songs from the original score which was removed completely from the movie and soundtrack. WK


Related Links:

First posted 10/23/2020; last updated 8/6/2022.