Saturday, December 27, 1980

John Lennon “Just Like Starting Over” hit #1

Just Like Starting Over

John Lennon

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

Released: October 20, 1980

First Charted: October 24, 1980

Peak: 15 US, 15 CB, 14 GR, 15 HR, 12 RR, 17 AC, 1 CL, 1< sup>1 UK, 17 CN, 14 AU, 5 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.5 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 20.2 video, 27.96 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After John Lennon’s 1975 retirement from music to become a house-husband and stay-at-home dad, he triumphantly returned in 1980 with Double Fantasy. The album emerged out of a vacation to Bermuda during which he started writing again. All the songs were completed within three weeks. TB Sadly, the release of the album and lead single “Just Like Starting Over” at year’s end were tragically overshadowed when Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon on December 8, 1980 in front of Lennon’s New York City apartment.

“Starting Over” had already reached the top 10 the week of Lennon’s murder; it would go on to top the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Similarly, Double Fantasy would posthumously top the album chart for eight weeks and take home the Grammy for Album of the Year.

The “pleasantly breezy love song” SG was, as its title implies, “supposed to mark a new beginning in Lennon’s public life, not an end to it.” SG However, it took on deeper meaning in the wake of Lennon’s death. Now it was about “a happy middle-aged guy looking forward to a life that he would never get to live.” SG

“He does a hiccupy and gimmicky rockabilly-revival thing” SG with his voice while the music is built on “a rock ‘n’ roll rhythm that takes the listener back to the days when John himself was just starting out.” DT Lennon said, “It was a 1950s sound because I’d never really recorded a song that sounded like that period, although that was my period, the music I identified with.” HL Indeed, “shades of Sun rockabilly, Roy Orbison, and the Beach Boys can be heard in the arrangement.” HL He also cited Elvis Presley, Gen Vincent, and Jerry Lee Lewis as influences. SG


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First posted 4/9/2023.

Monday, December 15, 1980

Eagles “Seven Bridges Road” released

Seven Bridges Road (live)


Writer(s): Steve Young (see lyrics here)

Released: December 15, 1980

First Charted: December 20, 1980

Peak: 21 US, 27 CB, 31 HR, 18 RR, 17 AC, 55 CW, 7 CL, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 7.7 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

American musician Steve Young wrote and recorded “Seven Bridges Road” in 1969 for his Rock Salt & Nails album. It refers to Woodley Road, a rural two-lane road in Montgomery, Alabama. The road features three pairs of wooden bridges and a seventh about a mile south. Young described the area as almost like an old Disney scene or something, with these high bank dirt roads and trees hanging down, old cemeteries, and so on.” WK His friend, Jimmy Evans, said, “I thought it was the most beautiful place around Montgomery that I’d ever seen.” WK

Evans also shared that Young wrote the song one night when there was a full moon and they were driving around in Evans’ Oldsmobile. They got out and sat there a while and Young started writing down the words. WK

Young said, “I still don’t understand why it was so successful…I [just] wrote a song about a girl and a road in south Alabama” WK where he and his friends used to go “carousing around.” WK

British singer Iain Matthews recorded “Road” as a multi-part harmony song for his August 1973 album Valley Hi. Producer Michael Nesmith says the Eagles lifted their “arrangement absolutely note for note for vocal harmony” WK when they recorded it for their 1980 Eagles Live concert album. The Eagles’ Don Felder says the group would warm up before concerts by singing the song in the locker room. Then they started opening concerts with it and, as he says, the five members singing a capella into one microphone blew audiences away. WK


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First posted 6/10/2022; last updated 10/28/2022.

Saturday, December 13, 1980

AC/DC chart with “Back in Black” single

Back in Black


Writer(s): Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Malcolm Young (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 13, 1980

Peak: 37 US, 39 CB, 35 GR, 54 HR, 1 CL, 51 AR, 27 UK, 65 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.6 UK, 4.05 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 612.0 video, 1293.42 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After five successful albums in their native Australia, AC/DC were finally being embraced by an international market with 1979’s Highway to Hell, an album which went top 10 in the UK and top 20 in the U.S. Then tragedy struck. Rock singer Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980. On his death certificate, the official cause was listed as acute alcohol poisoning.

The group considered disbanding, but on the advice of their producer, Mutt Lange, brought in Brian Johnson for an audition. Scott himself had seen him perform with his former band Geordie back in 1973 and talked up the singer to the rest of the band. SF By the end of March, he had the job as the new singer for AC/DC.

Among the new songs recorded by the group was a song called “Back in Black,” which was a tribute to Scott. Guitarist Malcolm Young already had the main guitar riff down and the group already had the idea for the title before it had any words. SF Johnson recalled that the band asked him to write the lyrics, saying “it can’t be morbid – it has to be for Bon and it has to be a celebration.” WK Johnson responded with words such as “Forget the hearse, ‘cause I never die” and what he considered “mumbo jumbo” lines like “Nine lives. Cats’ eyes. Abusing every one of them and running wild.” The band, however, told Johnson “they saw Bon’s life in that lyric.” WK

While the song wasn’t a big hit from a chart standpoint, its iconic opening guitar riff made it into what The Guardian called “a classic metal anthem.” WK Metal Hammer magazine said, “There are rock songs that appeal to metal fans. And there are metal songs that appeal to rock fans. Then there is ‘Back in Black’ – a rock song and metal song that appeals to everyone…and it all hangs on that monumental, no-nonsense, three-chord monster of a riff.” WK


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First posted 10/24/2020; last updated 7/23/2023.

Wednesday, December 10, 1980

Journey’s Dream after Dream released

First posted 10/12/2008; updated 9/11/2020.

Dream After Dream


Released: December 10, 1980

Recorded: date

Charted: date

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: classic rock


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

  1. Destiny
  2. Snow Theme
  3. Sand Castles
  4. A Few Coins
  5. Moon Theme
  6. When the Love Has Gone
  7. Festival Dance
  8. The Rape
  9. Little Girl

Total Running Time: 35:22

The Players:

  • Steve Perry (vocals)
  • Neal Schon (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Gregg Rolie (keyboards, backing vocals)
  • Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals)
  • Steve Smith (drums)


3.976 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

About the Album:

Dream after Dream was a soundtrack album for the Japanese fantasy film Yume, Yume No Ato. Because the music was by Journey, who’d become a well-known rock band thanks to their three previous Steve Perry-led affairs, the soundtrack received much more attention than the movie. Still, the music was a departure from Journey’s more current sound. Instead, it was a throwback to the more progressive rock beginnings of their first three albums before Perry joined.

Most of the soundtrack consists of instrumentals, meaning Steve Perry makes minimal contributions to the album. Two songs have sparse vocals – Destiny and Sand Castles. JM The only “true vocal track” JM is on “the lovelorn ballad Little Girl, easily making it the highlight of the album.” AMG It resurfaced later as the B-side to 1982’s “Open Arms” and was featured on Journey’s box set, Time 3.

These components made this “one of the most overlooked albums in Journey’s catalog.” AMG While it certainly didn’t fit the tastes of the arena-rock fanbase the group had developed over the last three albums, it “is a fine example of Journey’s underrated musicianship, and recommended to devoted fans.” AMG The album is also noteworthy for featuring Gregg Rolie’s final work with the band.

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Monday, December 8, 1980

John Lennon was murdered.

December 8, 1980

John Lennon murdered.

On the evening of December 8, 1980, John Lennon was returning to the Dakota Apartments where he lived in New York City. Mark David Chapman, a Beatles’ fan, fired five bullets from a .38 special revolver at Lennon. The legendary musician was rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital but pronounced dead on arrival at 11:15 pm. He was 40 years old. Famed broadcaster Howard Cosell announced the news on Monday Night Football.

Chapman was a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii, with no prior criminal convictions. He had planned the killing over several months. He was reportedly enraged by Lennon’s rich lifestyle and comment in 1966 that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” Chapman was inspired by Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, who rages against hypocrisy and phonies. After shooting Lennon, Chapman remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye.

Chapman arrived at the Dakota early in the morning of December 8. He talked to the doorman and Beatles’ fans throughout the day. At around 5pm, Lennon was leaving for a recording session at the Record Plant and Chapman approached him and had him sign a copy of Double Fantasy, the latest album from Lennon and wife Yoko Ono. Chapman shot Lennon when he returned home about 10:50pm. Chapman pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 20 years-to-life. He has been denied parole twelve times since becoming eligible in 2000.

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First posted 12/6/2023.

Saturday, December 6, 1980

Alan Parsons Project “Games People Play” charted

Games People Play

The Alan Parsons Project

Writer(s): Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 6, 1980

Peak: 16 US, 18 CB, 13 HR, 12 RR, 8 CL, 9 CN, 95 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 5.3 video, 20.98 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Turn of a Friendly Card came at roughly the mid-point of the Alan Parsons Project’s career. It was their fifth of ten albums released between 1976 and 1987. An argument could be made that it was also their peak. They did have a couple of other albums which were bigger chart successes; 1977’s I, Robot and 1982’s Eye in the Sky hit the top 10 while Card peaked at #13, but all three achieved platinum status.

However, the real kicker was that Card was the only album of the Project’s career to produce two top-20 hits. In fact, the only other album to generate even two top-40 hits was 1984’s Vulture Culture. The only bigger singles for the Project were 1984’s “Don’t Answer Me” (#15) and “Eye in the Sky” (#3). As the lead single from Card, “Games People Play” their fourth top-40 hit and, more importantly, a song which has become a staple on album-rock radio. It is what calls “one of the most high tempo, rock-style songs that this progressive group recorded.” SF

The song also arguably does a better job of conveying its album’s theme than any other Project song. Each of the group’s ten albums was wrapped around a concept, but the message wasn’t always clear. However, the themes behind Card about gambling and playing with others’ emotions were readily apparent on “Games.” Parsons explained that they were living in Monte Carlo at the time and that “it’s very linked to the content of the album…which was all about gambling, gamblers, the problems of gamblers, and games people play.” SF

The song features Lenny Zakatek on vocals. He also stepped up to the mike on two of the band’s previous top-40 hits – 1977’s “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” and 1979’s “Damned if I Do.”


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First posted 7/7/2022; last updated 10/30/2022.