Wednesday, March 31, 1982

Toto “Rosanna” released

Rosanna

Toto

Writer(s): David Paich (see lyrics here)


Released: March 31, 1982


First Charted: April 17, 1982


Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 13 GR, 14 RR, 17 AC, 8 AR, 12 UK, 4 CN, 16 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK, 1.29 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 129.1 video, 196.14 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

There has been confusion over the inspiration for this song. David Paich wrote the song about, as he said, “a high school love, one of my first loves.” SF However, bandmate Steve Porcaro was dating actress Rosanna Arquette at the time, leading many to believe the song was about her. Paich said, “he had just met her and was looking to title a song with her name and it just fit perfectly for that song.” SF

To confuse matters more, Bobby Kimball sings lead on the song, which caused many listeners to assume that it was Kimball who was dating Arquette. SF Arquette played along with the public’s perception that the song was about her, even saying in an interview it was about “my showing up at 4 a.m., bringing them juice and beer at their sessions.” WK Arquette and Porcaro broke up not long after the song was released.

The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks. First it was stuck behind the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” but after it slipped from the top, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” leap-frogged over “Rosanna.” The song would go on to win the Grammy for Record of the Year and its parent album, Toto IV, won the Grammy for Album of the Year. The album generated two more top-10 hits with the #1 hit “Africa” and the ballad “I Won’t Hold You Back.”

The video for the song was directed by Steve Barron, who went on to direct some of the most celebrated videos of all time, including Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” and aha’s “Take on Me.” The video is shot in an urban-street setting, inspired by the classic musical West Side Story. Paich got the idea for the video because their was some finger-snapping in the song, reminding him of the classic finger snaps in West Side Story. SF


Resources:


Related Links:


First posted 7/6/2022; last updated 12/6/2022.

Saturday, March 20, 1982

Joan Jett hit #1 for the first of 7 weeks with "I Love Rock and Roll"

I Love Rock and Roll

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Writer(s): Jake Hooker, Alan Merrill (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 12, 1981


Peak: 17 US, 15 CB, 15 HR, 1 AR, 4 UK, 18 CN, 15 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 86.64 video, 229.59 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

When the Rolling Stones sang “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” the lesser known Arrows felt obligated to respond with their more celebratory message of “I Love Rock and Roll.” FB The American trio went unnoticed stateside, but garnered enough attention in England to warrant their own TV show. Still, they only recorded one album and this 1975 song didn’t even make it on; it was originally relegated to a mere B-side of a single. SF

The Arrows’ message eventually reached a mass audience, though. While Joan Jett was touring England as a member of the teenage girl group the Runaways, SF she saw the Arrows performing “I Love Rock and Roll” on a TV show. She wanted to cover the song, but was outvoted by her band members. SF After the Runaways’ demise, Jett cut the song herself. She shopped it to twenty-three record labels before finally getting the attention of Boardwalk Records, RS500 a new label formed by Neil Bogart, the “emperor of disco at Casablanca” MA and “king of bubble gum at Buddah and Cameo/Parkway.” MA

Even then, the song only surfaced in Holland as the flip side of a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” FB Jett still believed enough in the song to buy the radio rights for $2500. RS500 She made a decent investment: today, the song that became the biggest pop hit of 1982, WHC is worth close to $20 million. RS500

In the Arrows’ hands, the song’s message about a guy picking up a girl and taking her home made for a fairly clich├ęd topic in a rock song. SF In Jett’s hands, though, the song became an empowering anthem about the woman aggressively pursuing the guy SF and shaped Jett’s image “as a tough, confident” SF “girl-rock icon.” RS500


Resources:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Joan Jett
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 553.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Page 300-1.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/04). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SF Songfacts
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 11.


Last updated 10/27/2022.

Thursday, March 18, 1982

Asia released its debut album

Asia

Asia


Released: March 18, 1982


Charted: April 3, 1982


Peak: 19 US, 11 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.1 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream progressive rock


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Heat of the Moment [3:50] (4/3/82, #4 US, #46 UK, #1 AR)
  2. Only Time Will Tell [4:44] (5/1/82, #17 US, #54 UK, #8 AR)
  3. Sole Survivor [4:48] (4/3/82, #10 AR)
  4. One Step Closer(Wetton, Howe) [4:16]
  5. Time Again (Downes, Howe, Palmer, Wettton) [4:45] (7/31/82, #43 AR)
  6. Wildest Dreams [5:10] (4/10/82, #28 AR)
  7. Without You(Wettton, Howe) [5:04]
  8. Cutting It Fine (Wetton, Howe, Downes) [5:35]
  9. Here Comes the Feeling (Wetton, Howe) [5:42] (7/3/82, #40 AR)

Songs by John Wettton and Geoff Downes unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 44:22


The Players:

  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • Steve Howe (guitar)
  • Carl Palmer (drums)
  • John Wetton (vocals/ bass)

Rating:

3.655 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The debut album from Asia was “the success story of 1982” TD logging 9 weeks atop the Billboard chart and being named the magazine’s album of the year. The album has sold an estimated 10 million copies worldwide.

Produced by Mike Stone, Asia’s strengths were the powerful vocals of John Wetton, the nimble, classically tinged guitar work of Steve Howe, Geoffrey Downes’ majestic keyboard playing, and anchoring the band, Carl Palmer’s propulsive drumming.” TD They made for a supergroup “with impressive pedigrees” TDJohn Wetton had been with King Crimson; Carl Palmer with Emerson, Lake & Palmer; and Steve Howe and Geoff Downes had just worked together on the 1980 Yes album Drama.

With backgrounds in progressive rock, they were definitely “going against the grain of the new wave styling of the day,” TD but they also adopted a more commercially savvy pop-rock sound. The group’s formula was “a precarious balance between arty rock ambition and bombastic pop appeal.” GG They definitely had their detractors: “the lyrics are overwrought at moments” TD and, as critic Robert Christgau said, the album is “pompous – schlock in the grand manner.” RC

Still, “there’s no denying the epic grandeur of the music, which provided some much-needed muscle to radio at the time, and did so with style.” TD Billboard magazine said “the caliber of the [band’s] playing is superb and the music sounds fresh and perfect fare for AOR.” WK

The lead single, Heat of the Moment, was a perfect introduction to the band. It was a #1 song on album rock and a top five pop hit. The follow-up, “the sweeping Only Time Will Tell,” TD was a top ten album rock hit and top-twenty pop song. Sole Survivor also hit the top ten on the album rock chart.


Notes: The B-side “Ride Easy” was added to later editions of the album.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Yes
  • RC Robert Christgau (1990). Christgau’s Record Guide: The ‘80s.
  • TD Tom Demalon, All Music Guide
  • GG Gary Graff et al (1999). Music Hound – Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press: Farmington Hills, MI.
  • WK Wikipedia


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 2/14/2008; updated 8/6/2021.