Monday, April 19, 1982

Queen “Body Language” released

Body Language


Writer(s): Freddie Mercury (see lyrics here)

Released: April 19, 1982

First Charted: May 1, 1982

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 15 RR, 30 RB, 19 AR, 25 UK, 3 CN, 23 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.6 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

With their 1980 album The Game, Queen landed two #1 hits in the United States with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” The latter “inspired Queen to temporarily abandon their glam roots in the early 1980s, and experiment with disco, funk and soul music.” WK

1982’s Hot Space reflected that change. “Body Language” “is notable for its near lack of guitar…[and] a ‘slinky’ synth bass” WK supplied by John Deacon. It was “a source of contentions within the band.” SF Drummer Roger Taylor said singer Freddie Mercury “wanted our music to sound like you had just walked into a gay club. And I didn’t!” SF He probably wasn’t thrilled that most of the instrumentation was recorded by Mercury with drum machines. SF

The song is “blatantly about sex” SF with “suggestive lyrics…and writer Freddie Mercury’s moans and groans.” WK The video was banned from MTV for “its erotic undertones plus plentifiul skin and sweat.” WK

On a personal note, the song was in my top ten on the first chart I ever did on September 18, 1982. I put together that first list after hearing a local radio station’s countdown of the best songs of all time. The original intent was my own best-of-all-time list, but it became a weekly endeavor which I maintained for more than a decade.


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First posted 9/7/2022.

Monday, April 12, 1982

John Cougar American Fool

First posted 6/10/2010; updated 9/20/2020.

American Fool

John Cougar

Released: April 12, 1982

Peak: 19 US, 37 UK, 13 CN, 18 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.75 US, -- UK, 5.75 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic heartland rock


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

  1. Hurts So Good (4/24/82, 2 US, 1 AR, 3 CN, 5 AU, sales: ½ million)
  2. Jack and Diane (6/26/82, 1 US, 3 AR, 25 UK, 1 CN, 7 AU, sales: ½ million)
  3. Hand to Hold Onto (11/6/82, 19 US, 89 UK, 97 AU)
  4. Danger List
  5. Can You Take It
  6. Thundering Hearts (9/25/82, 36 AR)
  7. China Girl
  8. Close Enough
  9. Weakest Moments

Total Running Time: 34:26


3.554 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)


About the Album:

American Fool was the sixth, and last, album released by John Cougar. Saddled with the nickname against his will at the onset of his career, he would finally have the musical clout after this album to go back to his given name (although it would take a few more albums before “Cougar” was dropped from his name altogether).

And what was it about this album that gave him such clout? His previous albums hadn’t really hinted at what was to come. Mellencamp’s “first albums were so bereaved of strong material that the lean swagger of American Fool came as a shock. The difference is evident from the opening song, Hurts So Good, a hard, Stonesy rocker with an irresistibly sleazy hook.” STE He’d “never wrote anything as catchy as this before;” STE it “was destined to be a huge hit – ludicrous, powerful, and utterly unforgettable – and has long since gone on to be something of a rock & roll standard.” PK

“But the real revelation on this record was Jack and Diane, a poignant slice of life” PK and “remarkably affecting sketch of dead-end romance” STE Never before “had his romantic vision of small-town America resonated like it did” STE here; this became “a topical vein he would mine with even greater success on later recordings (especially on The Lonesome Jubilee).” PK

Those songs made him a superstar and landed American Fool atop the Billboard album chart for two months and sold 5 million copies. “These two songs are the only true keepers on American Fool, but the rest of the record works better than his previous material because his band is tighter than ever before, making his weaker moments convincing.” STE “Backed by a crisp, powerful, spot-on band that gave a needed sense of urgency to the material, Cougar deservedly wore the mantle of Mainstream Rock King while this record ruled the airwaves.” PK “Besides, songs like Hand to Hold On To and China Girl, for all their faults, do indicate that his sense of craft is improving considerably.” STE

“According to a 1983 article in the Toledo Blade, the song Danger List originated when Mellencamp heard his guitarist Larry Crane playing some chords in a basement rehearsal room. ‘I turned on the tape recorder and sang 30 verses,’ Mellencamp explained. ‘I just made them up. Then I went and weeded out the ones I didn’t like.’” WK

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Saturday, April 10, 1982

Hit Records: Songs of the Year, 1954-1981

First posted 3/8/2021; updated 3/16/2021.

Hit Records (Music Vendor/Record World):

Songs of the Year, 1954-1981

Hit Records was the name of the book from Record Research which covered the music charts from Music Vendor and Record World from October 4, 1954 to April 10, 1982. Based on a top 100 list from that book, these are the songs of the year from 1954 to 1981. In a few cases, a year wasn’t represented on the top 100 list. Then the song with the most weeks at #1 from that year was named song of the year with ties broken by overall Dave’s Music Database points.

Check out other “songs of the year” lists here.

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The Top 100 Songs According to Hit Records 1954-1982

First posted 9/25/2012; updated 3/16/2021.

Hit Records (Music Vendor/Record World):

Top 100 Songs, 1954-1982

This list is from a book published by Record Research, the company Joel Whitburn founded which packages books based on music chart data. As Whitburn says in the introduction, this is his “first research work that is entirely outside the covers of Billboard magazine.” This covers charts from Music Vendor and Record World from October 4, 1954 to April 10, 1982. It is, While the charts are very similar, there are some differences of interest to chart aficionados. Here’s the list of the top 100 songs according to the book (pages 403-4).

See other chart-based lists here.

  1. Debby Boone “You Light Up My Life” (1977)
  2. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (1981)
  3. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
  4. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
  5. Perez “Prez” Prado “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (1955)
  6. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956)
  7. Andy Gibb “Shadow Dancing” (1978)
  8. Gogi Grant “The Wayward Wind” (1956)
  9. Bee Gees “Night Fever” (1977)
  10. Chic “Le Freak” (1978)

  11. Guy Mitchell “Singing the Blues” (1956)
  12. Tennessee Ernie Ford “Sixteen Tons” (1955)
  13. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
  14. Pat Boone “Love Letters in the Sand” (1957)
  15. Mitch Miller “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (1955)
  16. Sonny James “Young Love” (1956)
  17. Queen “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980)
  18. Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
  19. Fontane Sisters “Hearts of Stone” (1954)
  20. Blondie “Call Me” (1980)

  21. Johnny Horton “The Battle of New Orleans” (1959)
  22. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)
  23. Tommy Edwards “It’s All in the Game” (1951/1958)
  24. Domenico Modugno “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blue)” (1958)
  25. Elvis Presley “All Shook Up” (1957)
  26. Jimmy Dean “Big Bad John” (1961)
  27. Rod Stewart “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (1976)
  28. Danny & The Juniors “At the Hop” (1957)
  29. The Four Seasons “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (1962)
  30. Lawrence Welk “Calcutta” (1960)

  31. Andy Gibb “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” (1977)
  32. Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981)
  33. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (1979)
  34. Donna Summer “Hot Stuff” (1979)
  35. Kenny Rogers “Lady” (1980)
  36. J. Geils Band “Centerfold” (1981)
  37. Dolly Parton “9 to 5” (1980)
  38. Commodores “Three Times a Lady” (1978)
  39. The McGuire Sisters “Sincerely” (1954)
  40. Elton John & Kiki Dee “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (1976)

  41. John Lennon “Just Like Starting Over” (1980)
  42. Dean Martin “Memories Are Made of This” (1955)
  43. Percy Faith “Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” (1960)
  44. The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (1966)
  45. Rod Stewart “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1978)
  46. The Knack “My Sharona” (1979)
  47. Bobby Vinton “Roses Are Red My Love” (1962)
  48. Don McLean “American Pie” (1971)
  49. Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962)
  50. Three Dog Night “Joy to the World” (1971)

  51. Robert John “Sad Eyes” (1979)
  52. The Browns “The Three Bells” (1959)
  53. Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs “Sugar Shack” (1963)
  54. Roberta Flack “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1969)
  55. The Four Seasons “Sherry” (1962)
  56. The Everly Brothers “Wake Up Little Susie” (1957)
  57. The Drifters “Save the Last Dance for Me” (1960)
  58. Gene Chandler “Duke of Earl” (1962)
  59. Bobby Goldsboro “Honey” (1968)
  60. Paul McCartney & Wings “My Love” (1973)

  61. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)
  62. Johnnie Ray “Just Walkin’ in the Rain” (1956)
  63. Alan O’Day “Undercover Angel” (1977)
  64. Perez “Prez” Prado “Patricia” (1958)
  65. Lipps Inc. “Funky Town” (1980)
  66. Bill Haley & the Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
  67. Les Baxter “The Poor People of Paris” (1956)
  68. Donna Summer “Bad Girls” (1979)
  69. The Platters “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1958)
  70. Nick Gilder “Hot Child in the City” (1978)

  71. Mary MacGregor “Torn Between Two Lovers” (1976)
  72. Paul McCartney & Wings “Silly Love Songs” (1976)
  73. Billy Joel “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (1980)
  74. Peaches & Herb “Reunited” (1979)
  75. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
  76. Sam Cooke “You Send Me” (1957)
  77. Rupert Holmes “Escape (The Pina Coloda Song)” (1979)
  78. Elvis Presley “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear” (1957)
  79. Bobby Lewis “Tossin’ and Turnin’” (1961)
  80. Ricky Nelson “Travelin’ Man” (1961)

  81. The Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)
  82. Frankie Avalon “Venus” (1959)
  83. Tony Orlando & Dawn “Knock Three Times” (1970)
  84. Connie Francis “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own” (1960)
  85. The Highwaymen “Michael” (1961)
  86. The Box Tops “The Letter” (1967)
  87. Gilbert O’Sullivan “Alone Again Naturally” (1972)
  88. The Singing Nun “Dominique” (1963)
  89. Elvis Presley “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (1960)
  90. The Champs “Tequila” (1958)

  91. The Everly Brothers “Cathy’s Clown” (1960)
  92. Bobbie Gentry “Ode to Billie Joe” (1967)
  93. Del Shannon “Runaway” (1961)
  94. The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
  95. The Tokens “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)” (1961)
  96. The Dixie Cups “Chapel of Love” (1964)
  97. Mary Hopkin “Those Were the Days” (1968)
  98. The Fifth Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (1969)
  99. Paul & Paula “Hey Paula” (1962)
  100. Sonny & Cher “I Got You Babe” (1965)

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Friday, April 9, 1982

Squeeze “Black Coffee in Bed” released

Black Coffee in Bed


Writer(s): Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook (see lyrics here)

Released: April 9, 1982

First Charted: April 24, 1982

Peak: 26 AR, 6 CO, 51 UK, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3.1 video, 5.31 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Squeeze are one of the most criminally overlooked bands when it comes to commercial success in the United States, not reaching the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart until 1987. Their self-titled debut came out in 1978 and over the course of the next few years they released a slew of new wave classics – “Take Me I’m Yours” (#19 UK, 1978), “Cool for Cats” (#2 UK, 1979). “Up the Junction” (#2 UK, 1979), “Pulling Mussels from the Shell” #44 UK, 1980), and “Tempted” (#41 UK, 1981). The latter was the group’s first foray into the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #49.

Even in the UK, the band’s fortunes were slipping by the release of 1982’s Sweets from a Stranger. While lead single “Black Coffee in Bed” was as catchy as anything the band had ever done but they still stalled at #51 on the UK charts and missed the Billboard Hot 100 yet again. They did get some airplay on MTV with “a rather bizarre video…showing the band looking moody and artful in perms and leather jackets.” SF

The first line of the song, “There’s a stain on my notebook / Where your coffee cup was” was inspired by a real situation. Lyricist Chris Difford said when he noticed a coffee stain on his notebook, it “was a very vivid image for me and inspired the song of loss and regret.” SF

Although Difford typically handled lyrics in the band, it was Glenn Tilbrook who more often sang the songs – as he did on “Black Coffee in Bed.” He also usually handled the musical composition. Difford said “the fact that Glenn put a soul melody to it shows the unique quality of our writing.” WK Elvis Costello and Paul Young (later of Mike + the Mechanics) provide backing vocals.

Tilbrook said the song “had the opportunity to be slightly perkier. My vocal is mannered and not very good at all, and I can’t stand to listen to it now. It was influenced by what Paul Carrack had brought to the table [he was the keyboardist on the previous album and sang lead on ‘Tempted’] but without Paul’s voice it didn’t sound right…This is one of the few Squeeze songs I'd happily re-record because I think I could do a better version.” SF


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First posted 3/11/2023.

Saturday, April 3, 1982

Asia “Heat of the Moment” charted

Heat of the Moment


Writer(s): John Wetton, Geoff Downes (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 3, 1982

Peak: 4 US, 6 CB, 4 GR, 4 RR, 16 AR, 46 UK, 4 CN, 26 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 17.7 video, 102.04 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The rock supergroup Asia formed in London in 1981. Singer and bassist John Wetton had been in King Crimson; Steve Howe was the guitarist with Yes; keyboardist Geoff Downes had been in Yes and the Buggles; Carl Palmer was the drummer with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Even with the hype of the members’ pedigrees, their self-titled debut album performed better than anyone expected, spending nine weeks atop the Billboard album chart and going multi-platinum.

Much of the group’s out-of-the-gate success was due to the surprise reception of lead single, “Heat of the Moment.” A video directed by the team of Godley & Crème, from the band 10cc, did well at MTV. It used a grid look with constantly changing boxes which “was a great way to show fleeting, memorable images.” SF It propelled the song to the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the album rock chart.

It was the last song recorded for the album. Geffen Records executive John Kalodner told the band they needed a single. Wetton an idea for the song as early as 1980 when he was in Wishbone Ash. SF He explained, “The chorus began its life as a 6/8 country song, but when Geoff and I started writing together, we moved the time signatures around and ‘Heat of the Moment’ emerged.” WK The two wrote the song in an afternoon. The line “You catch a pearl and ride the dragon’s wing” was inspired by the album cover artwork created by Roger Dean. WK

Wetton sings, “I never meant to be so bad to you.” He explained, “I got it wrong. I never meant to be like that…And so I’m sorry.” SF The song was specifically written for his girlfriend Jill, who he would later marry. At the time it wasn’t common for rockers to apologize; it was considered wimpy. SF However, he wasn’t concerned about “macho posturing…he was trying to bare his soul in the manner of one of his songwriting idols: Joni Mitchell.” SF


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First posted 7/13/2022; last updated 12/26/2022.