Originally written September 11, 2013.
It’s Saturday night, loyal readers, and you know what that means! No, not another night of fucking supermodels on your yacht as you count your stacks of cash, I’m talking about Top 10 Flashback, Saturday edition! Our Saturday flashbacks, which are from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s, have mostly, well, sucked unwiped ass. Let’s try to change that this week.
Many old fucks like me peg the year 1985 as the last year Top 40 radio was really worth hearing. So tonight we will flash back to this week in 1985 and look at the top ten songs from one of the few music stations left on the AM band – 1400, WJET in Erie, PA. Aside from having some really cool call letters, WJET was featured in my favorite Tom Hanks movie, “That Thing You Do!” It’s hard to imagine hearing these songs on an AM station, but there they were. Let’s listen to them in digital stereo and see the music videos! Survey dated September 17, 1985.
Oh Sheila – Ready For The World
I never said every song on this list wouldn’t suck!
Saving All My Love For You – Whitney Houston
There, that’s better. Forget Whitney’s tragic last years and focus on what made her a superstar in the first place. This song is excellent, and nobody produces ballads like Clive Davis. A true classic.
Lonely Ol’ Night – John Cougar Mellencamp
It’s refreshing to hear a Mellencamp song that isn’t “Hurt So Good” or “Jack and Diane.” Man, can you believe this was 28 years ago?
Dress You Up – Madonna
Well, I can believe THIS was 28 years ago. Madonna has done a lot of songs that have become dance floor classics, but this one was very much a product of its time. A girly-girl song to be sure.
Cry – Godley & Creme
I do not remember this one. According to the notes on YouTube, this is an English duo that was once part of 10cc. Some songs are best left in the past.
Freedom – Wham!
All right, dammit, I liked Wham! George Michael, despite his pronounced lightness in the loafers, was/is a damn fine pop singer, and while this is no “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” it’s still pretty enjoyable.
Take On Me – a-ha
It’s possible for a song to be both dated and a classic. Here’s your proof.
Cherish – Kool & The Gang
Y’know, I really dug Kool & The Gang in the 70’s-early 80’s. Who could resist blistering funk like “Jungle Boogie,” “Hollywood Swinging,” or even “Ladies’ Night,” not to mention the immortal “Celebration”? Well, that same group did this. It’s kinda like hearing Aerosmith doing “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” The song’s OK, but I think I’d like it better if it were by someone else.
Don’t Lose My Number – Phil Collins
You know adult contemporary stations? The ones that play all your favorite songs that everyone can agree on? At home, at work, or in your car? If not for Phil Collins, those stations wouldn’t have had anything to play. Nothing really wrong with this song, but enough people got turned on by it to make it #2? Really?
All right, for both of you people in Erie, PA that were still listening to music on AM in 1985, here is this week’s number one song from the WJET survey:
I want my MTV!
See, that wasn’t bad at all. A few clinkers, but most of these lists have at least one or two.
All right, now it’s your turn. Let ‘er rip!