Friday, October 24, 1980

Bruce Springsteen “Hungry Heart” charted

Hungry Heart

Bruce Springsteen

Writer(s): Bruce Springsteen (see lyrics here)

Released: October 21, 1980

First Charted: October 24, 1980

Peak: 5 BB, 6 CB, 11 GR, 10 HR, 5 RR, 3 CL, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.2 UK, 0.77 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 26.0 video, 204.57 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After two albums in 1973, Bruce Springsteen had earned a reputation as a fantastic live act but wasn’t doing much in the sales department. His third album, 1975’s Born to Run, was a make-or-break moment – and he delivered big. The anthemic title track became one of rock’s most important songs, capturing the restless spirit of the genre combined with a Wall of Sound even Phil Spector would envy.

1978’s follow-up album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was another success but didn’t deliver a blockbuster single. It took “Springsteen five years after ‘Born to Run’ to figure out the mechanics of making a good single.” DM “Hungry Heart” managed to pull off what even “Born to Run” couldn’t – it reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

Springsteen originally wrote the song for the Ramones but decided to keep it. His songs “Blinded by the Light,” “Because the Night,” and “Fire” all became hits in others’ hands and Jon Landau, Springsteen’s producer and manager, didn’t want to see another hit slip away. The title of the song comes from the poem “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. WK

The song is marked by “fevered brightness, all splashy drums and keyboards, underpinned by baritone sax and topped off by soaring…harmonies and a Springsteen vocal sped up to the limits of pitch control.” DM “The production is as kitchen-sink as ‘Born to Run,’ but that doesn’t make it gimmicky…just lush and elaboroate, less angular and hard, more resilient and pop.” DM

Lyrically, the song features “one of the more disruptive opening couplets of the eighties: ‘Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / Went out for a ride and I never came back.’” DM It uses the familiar trope of a deadbeat dad who goes out for cigarettes and disappears for twenty years, but Springsteen also taps the protagonist’s “vulnerability and desire” for reconciliation with an “unsual frankness.” DM


Related Links:

First posted 2/14/2024.

Friday, October 10, 1980

Bruce Springsteen The River released

The River

Bruce Springsteen

Released: October 10, 1980

Peak: 14 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 8 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.3 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection

Bruce Springsteen

Released: December 4, 2015

Recorded: 1979-80, 2015

Peak: 31 US, 49 UK

Sales (in millions): 0.06 UK

Genre: classic rock

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Tracks, Disc 1 (The River):

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

  1. The Ties That Bind [3:34] (17 CL)
  2. Sherry Darling [4:03] (21 CL)
  3. Jackson Cage [3:04]
  4. Two Hearts [2:45]
  5. Independence Day [4:50]
  6. Hungry Heart [3:19] (10/21/80, 5 US, 6 CB, 10 HR, 5 RR, 3 CL, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU)
  7. Out in the Street [4:17] (15 CL)
  8. Crush on You [3:10]
  9. You Can Look But You Better Not Touch [2:37]
  10. I Wanna Marry You [3:30]
  11. The River [5:01] (6/13/81, 19 CL, 35 UK)

Tracks, Disc 2 (The River):

  1. Point Blank [6:06] (4/4/81, 20 AR)
  2. Cadillac Ranch [3:03] (3/28/81, 48 AR)
  3. I’m a Rocker [3:36] (3/21/81, 42 AR)
  4. Fade Away [4:46] (1/22/81, 20 US, 20 CB, 22 HR, 20 RR, 14 AR, 19 CN)
  5. Stolen Car [3:54]
  6. Ramrod [4:05] (4/11/81, 30 AR)
  7. The Price You Pay [5:29]
  8. Drive All Night [8:33]
  9. Wreck on the Highway [3:54]

Total Running Time (The River): 82:58

Tracks, Disc 3 (The Ties That Bind):
  1. The Ties That Bind [3:34] (17 CL)
  2. Cindy * [2:26]
  3. Hungry Heart [3:19] (10/21/80, 5 US, 6 CB, 10 HR, 5 RR, 3 CL, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU)
  4. Stolen Car (Vs. 1) ** [4:31]
  5. Be True * [3:54] (recorded 7/18/79, released 1/22/81 as B-side of “Fade Away,” 42 AR)
  6. The River [5:01] (6/13/81, 19 CL, 35 UK)
  7. You Can Look But You Better Not Touch (Vs. 1) **
  8. The Price You Pay [5:29]
  9. I Wanna Marry You [3:30]
  10. Loose Ends * ^ [4:07] (recorded 7/18/79)

* These songs were not on The River.
** Different versions of these songs were featured on The River.

Total Running Time (The Ties That Bind): 38:26

Tracks, Disc 4 (The River: Outtakes):
  1. Meet Me in the City [3:36] (recorded 1980, released 10/16/15)
  2. The Man Who Got Away [3:31] (rec. 1980)
  3. Little White Lies [2:29] (rec. 1980)
  4. The Time That Never Was [3:39] (rec. 1980)
  5. Night Fire [4:44] (rec. 1979)
  6. Whitetown [3:23] (rec. 1980)
  7. Chain Lightning [2:50] (rec. 1979)
  8. Party Lights [3:10] (rec. 1980, released 11/23/15)
  9. Paradise by the “C” [3:11] (rec. live 7/7/78, in studio 1980, released 11/10/86 on Live 1975/1985)
  10. Stray Bullet [6:10] (rec. 1980)
  11. Mr. Outside [2:16] (rec. 1980)
  12. Roulette [3:54] (recorded 4/3/79, released 2/27/88 as B-side of “One Step Up,” 45 AR)
  13. Restless Nights ^ [3:46] (recorded 4/11/80)
  14. Where the Bands Are ^ [3:46] (recorded 10/9/79)
  15. Dollhouse ^ [3:33] (recorded 8/21/79)
  16. Living on the Edge of the World ^ [4:19] (recorded 12/7/79)
  17. Take ‘Em As They Come ^ [4:31] (recorded 4/10/80)
  18. Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own ^ [2:47] (recorded 7/16/79)
  19. I Wanna Be with You ^ [3:24] (recorded 5/31/79, charted 12/5/98, 33 AR)
  20. Mary Lou ^ [3:23] (recorded 5/30/79)
  21. Held Up Without a Gun [1:19] (released 10/21/80 as B-side of “Hungry Heart”)
  22. From Small Things Big Things One Day Come [2:42] (rec. 1979, released 11/11/03 on The Essential Bruce Springsteen)

^ Released on the Tracks box set.

Total Running Time (The River: Outtakes): 76:23

The Players:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion, producer, piano on “Drive All Night”)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, organ, backing vocals)
  • Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Danny Federici (organ, glockenspiel)
  • Garry Tallent (bass)
  • Steven Van Zandt (guitar, backing vocals, producer)
  • Max Weinberg (drums, percussion)

Rating (The River):

4.232 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Awards (The River): (Click on award to learn more).

Rating (The Ties That Bind: The River Collection):

4.238 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

About The River:

“Imbedded within the double-disc running time of The River is a single-disc album that follows up on the themes and sound of Darkness on the Edge of Town – wide-screen, mid-tempo rock and stories of the disillusionment of working-class life and the conflicts within families. In these songs, which include the title track, Independence Day, and Point Blank, Bruce Springsteen’s world view is just as dire as it had become on Darkness, but less judgmental. ‘Independence Day,’ for example, is a father-and-son ballad that has little of the anger of its hard rock counterpart on Darkness, Adam Raised a Cain.” AMG

“Springsteen’s heroes again seek to overcome their crushing troubles through defiance and by driving around, and though The River repeats the soured love theme of ‘Racing in the Street,’ he also posits romance as a possible escape, sometimes combining it with one of the other solutions, as on the eight-plus-minute Drive All Night.” AMG

“But there is also another album lurking within The River, and it is a more lighthearted pop/rock collection of short, sometimes humorous songs like Sherry Darling and I'm a Rocker. At times Springsteen combines elements of the two, as on Out in the Street, perhaps the album’s quintessential song, a catchy, up-tempo number that sounds like something from the early '60s and echoes the theme of the Vogues’ 1966 hit ‘Five O' Clock World.’” AMG

Hungry Heart, which became Springsteen’s first Top Ten hit, combines a rollicking musical track with a more sober lyrical theme that emphasizes longing over disappointment.” AMG

“But a better guide to Springsteen’s development are the songs Stolen Car and the album-closing Wreck on the Highway, gentle, moody ballads imbued with a sense of hopelessness that anticipate his next record, Nebraska.” AMG

About The Ties That Bind: The River Collection:

In 2015, a reissue of the album added two more CDs. The first was The Ties That Bind, the original single-disc album Springsteen planned. The second disc is outtakes from the era. The collection also included DVDs of a documentary and a live show from 1980.

Most of the songs featured on the two additional CDs had been released in some form before (see track listing above). The biggest chunk came from Springsteen’s archival box set Tracks which he released in 1998. However, there were also songs initially featured as B-sides on singles and one from The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003. The latter was a 2-disc compilation with a third bonus disc of archival material on the limited edition. Finally, alternate versions of Stolen Car and You Can Look But You Better Not Touch were released on the single disc The Ties That Bind. The original versions were on The River.

Even with all this material, there were still songs from this era not featured on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection. Many of these can be found on the Lost Masters bootleg collection which was released in the 1990s. WK

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 9/1/2021.

Wednesday, October 8, 1980

Talking Heads released Remain in Light: October 8, 1980

First posted 10/8/2013; updated 12/13/2020.

Remain in Light

Talking Heads

Released: October 8, 1980

Peak: 19 US, 21 UK, 6 CN, 25 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 0.83 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock/Afropop


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

  1. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
  2. Crosseyed and Painless (36 CL, 27 CO)
  3. The Great Curve
  4. Once in a Lifetime (2/2/81, 91 US, 82 CB, 1 CL, 14 UK, 28 CN, 23 AU)
  5. Houses in Motion (5/9/81, 30 CO, 50 UK)
  6. Seen and Not Seen
  7. Listening Wind (16 CO)
  8. The Overload

Total Running Time: 40:10

The Players:

  • David Byrne (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion)
  • Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Tina Weymouth (bass, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Chris Frantz (drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals)


4.249 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Quotable: A “New Wave watershed” – Rolling Stone and “a quintessential snapshot of world music” – Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“David Byrne might be the last true genius in music experimentation…Even if you don’t understand the Talking Heads, which you will (it just…hits you), you can’t help but appreciate it. Why? Because you appreciate something that’s unique, original, and, above all, bizarre.” CS This may be “the best art-rock album ever.” ZG

“New Wave had far more to it than just being those few years after punk when everyone danced a little better. And from that era” SL Remain in Light “serves as a timeless signpost of a period when artists were not only unafraid to experiment within the idiom of the pop song, they were practically expected to.” SL Talking Heads “took what was being increasingly regardes as a generally cerebral extension of punk and turned it into something far more global in musical and lyrical scope.” SL This was “head music…with an unexpected warmth, and deep, deep soul.” VH1

PopMatters’ Eric Klinger asserts that the album is “100% impossible to dislike.” PM His cohort, Jason Mendelsohn says “there are quite a few ‘music fans’ who might find the obtuse lyrical content and incessant, droning, poly-rhythmic nature of this album to be baffling. But then these people are morons.” PM

In 1980, “Talking Heads fans were pleasantly stunned to hear Remain in Light,” AZ “a fuller, funkier sound nobody imagined they had in them.” AZ “Who knew that geeky former art student had this much soul?” BL Byrne and “Talking Heads were always bursting with nervous energy and interesting ideas,” BL but their fourth album offered an adventurous leap forward. They “made it to the intersection of rock and electronic dance nearly twenty years before anyone else could come close to matching it.” PM

“The album can be genuinely disorienting; there are so many layers of sound, insistent percussion…and the juxtopsotion between Byrne’s voice and Nona Hendryx’s.” PM The “animated David Byrne” CL “chanted and sang his typically disconnected lyrics” AMG which took the listener “out of your standard pop expectations” PM and suggested “just enough to create a definite image and occasionally even an interesting sociological point, but never annoying or heavy-handed.” JA Meanwhile the group was “held together musically by a mathematically precise rhythm section of Tina Weymouth (bass) and Chris Frantz (drums).” CL

Division Amongst the Band/The Recording Process

Things were not idyllic as the band prepped for recording. Frantz and Weymouth considered leaving because of Byrne’s controlling ways. CS Byrne had openly considered firing Weymouth RS and Byrne wasn’t that interested in recording with the band again.

However, Frantz and Weymouth had made a trip to Jamaica and their discovery of “new avenues of percussion” CS provided some revitalization. When they started jamming together, “songs started materializing before their eyes.” RS By “adding horns and guest performers to their intellectually based muse” CL the group “married their new-wave idiosyncrasies” BL of “what they already did well – those sharp guitar spikes and pummeling up-and-down backbeats – ” TM “to Afro-funk beats and grooves that drew on everything from James Brown to Fela Kuti to disco.” BL

Frantz said, “We were interested in creating sounds that would take us deeper and far beyond what people had come to expect from us.” RS Byrne said they were listening to “African pop music…like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé…But we didn’t set out to imitate those…We didn’t get it quite right, but in missing, we ended up with something new.” RS Because the album “takes its cues from African music, the steady groove that keeps winding along becomes something hypnotic.” PM Suddenly “the avant-punk avatars became polyrhythmic pop magicians.” RS500

“The recording behind this album reads like a James Bond film gone overbudget.” CS The band started recording in July 1980 at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, TB then went to New York City, and eventually Los Angeles. Byrne headed to Africa at one point to confront “a case of writer’s block with a portable tape player and some nonsensical phonetics.” CS

Brian Eno

They also owed their newly developed sound to “state of the art equipment, some of which created new sonic environments and platforms to explore in.” CS Credit also goes to “the studied adventurousness” RS500 of Brian Eno as producer, performer, and co-writer of all eight tracks on the album. He had worked earlier on some of David Bowie’s records, but the Talking Heads “are an even better foil for him” JA as they go for “full-blown sound collages.” JA

The songs “started life as lengthy, percussive, full-band jams; the tapes of these performances were manually sliced up and reconfigured as looped grooves and then padded out with additional instrumentation and Byrne’s expansive vocal melodies.” TB “Eno’s formula includes choppy funk bass, weird synth noises, dense layers of polyrhythmic percussion, and repetitive song structures that after a while lull the listener into a near trance.” JA His work “nudges this record from straight, upbeat rock, to the borderlands of electronica.” PM

Guest performers were brought in as well, including Nona Hendryx as a backing vocalist, Jon Hassell on trumpet, and guitarist Brian Eno, who’d worked with Frank Zappa and David Bowie.

“Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)”

“From the mystical, opening notes of Born Under Punches, it’s clear that virtually everything about the Talking Heads’ enterprise is different. Less spastic. More streamlined. Reborn as a groove machine with libido-enhancing powers, the rhythm section…kicks out a cryptic code that’s reinforced by the overlapping rhythm guitar circuits of Jerry Harrison and…Belew.” TM His “Stratocaster sounds more like a malfunctioning computer on the Starship Enterprise than any stringed instrument.” SL

“The pulse becomes so strong, it sweeps even the congenitally uptight Byrne into the dance.” TM The song “percolates along nicely, but what draws you into its world is the carnival barker/ranting street preacher persona that seems to take Byrne over.” PM

“Crosseyed and Painless”

“Born Under Punches” and the next two songs “are long, layered, full-body dance parties, with incessantly repeated phrases (musical and lyrical), and increasingly catchy melodic hooks that won’t let go for days.” AZ On “the dreamy, energetic Crosseyed and Painless,” Byrne even raps, showing how the band “truly had their fingers on the metronomic pulse of modern culture.” SL

“The Great Curve”

Belew’s wacky guitar solo on The Great Curve “swoops, careens, and glides like a thrill-seeking pilot at an air show.” SL This was a “Hendrix-on-the-moon guitar solo. Fractured, half-chanted lyrics. David Byrne had ditched his early, mannerist quirkiness for something evern stranger, a radical alienation that might’ve appearled to any adolescent.” VH1

“Once in a Lifetime”

“The exquisite Once in a LifetimeCL is “the greatest song Byrne will ever write.” RC The single flopped initially, but “a striking video” AMG featuring the “sweaty, nervous David Byrne twitching and jerking against that stark white background” PM “introduced Talking Heads to a generation of MTV viewers.” RS

Lyrics like “You may ask yourself” and “How did I get here?” “resmembes more an evangelist’s rant than a pop lyric.” SL Byrne said they “struck a nerve with people and became very memorable.” RS The song did scrape the bottom of the charts after a live version was released in support of their 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense.

Musically, it is “framed by the simplest of grooves (Weymouth’s two-note bass line and Frantz’s fairly funky drum loop) as well as layer upon layer of Harrison’s burbling keyboard, skitch-skitch rhythm guitar, and odd, random noises.” SL It “suggests a pan-international sound without expressing it aurally. Post-modern alienation was never so danceable.” CL

“Houses in Motion”/“Seen and Not Seen”

Then there are “the bizarre horn arrangement” JA and “angular shuffle of Houses in MotionVH1 followed by “the crrepy, Inscrutable recitative Seen and Not Seen.” VH1

“Listening Wind”

“On Listening Wind, trademark ’80s tones coagulate with what sounds like spirits and animals in a far off jungle, all while Byrne croons, ‘He has the knowledge of the wind to guide him…on.’ It’s obscure on paper, but within the world they create, it makes absolute sense.” CS “Socio-political streams of consciousness seem to exist within the lyrics…depicting the efforts of a mail bomber, driven to his actions by ‘The wind in my heart/The dust in my head.’” SL

“The Overload”

And who can ignore album closer The Overload? With its ominous beat and foreboding lyrics,” CS the “spooked crawl” VH1 of the “Eno-like droner” AZ “resonates well these days, in a time where we all complain about how ‘the center is missing.’” CS


The album was a “New Wave watershed” RS500 and “what many critics justly consider to be a quintessential snapshot of world music.” CS It offered evidence that “Talking Heads were connecting with an audience ready to follow their musical evolution” AMG which was “clear-eyed, detached, almost mystically optimistic.” RC

Notes: A CD reissue added the unfinished outtakes “Fela’s Riff,” “Unison,” “Double Groove,” and “Right Start.”

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, October 4, 1980

Queen hit #1 with “Another One Bites the Dust”

Another One Bites the Dust


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

First Charted: August 16, 1980

Peak: 13 US, 14 CB, 12 GR, 16 HR, 2 RR, 2 RB, 1 CL, 7 UK, 14 CN, 5 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.16 US, 0.6 UK, 7.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 558.3 video, 1568.70 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” the lead single from Queen’s eighth album The Game, took the band to #1 in the United States for the first time. The next single, “Play the Game,” stalled at #42. However, as the third single, “Another One Bites the Dust” took Queen back to #1 and gave them the biggest chart U.S. hit of their career. The song was the longest running top-10 on Billboard in 1980 with 15 weeks, 13 of which were in the top 5. It also spent more weeks total on the chart (31) than any other song that year. It won an American Music Award for Favorite Rock Single and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Most of the band’s material was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury or guitarist Brian May. However, bassist John Deacon composed “Dust.” The only other charted song by Queen written by him was “You’re My Best Friend” in 1976. The heavy bass line, inspired by Good Times” by the disco group Chic, gave the song appeal beyond pop radio. DJ’s at clubs and black radio stations took to the song. FB According to May, Queen had to put it out as a single because so many stations in New York were playing it. WK It got all the way to #2 on the R&B chart.

Michael Jackson, who was friends with Mercury, had advocated for “Dust” as a single from the first time he heard The Game, FB although other accounts say it was after Jackson saw Queen in concert and he came back stage. SF According to Mercury, Jackson had told him “You need a song the cats can dance to.” WK When Jackson heard “Dust,” he said, “That’s it, that’s the gravy. Release it and it will top the charts.” WK

Deacon said, “I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school…I’d been wanting to do a track like ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ for a while, but originally all I had was the line and the bass riff. Gradually, I filled it in and the band added ideas. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did.” WK

With its bassline of roughly 110 beats per minute, the song served as a perfect tool for training medical professionals on the correct amount of chest compressions per minute when performing CPR. WK


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Queen
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 531.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

First posted 2/11/2021; last updated 7/14/2023.