Originally written September 24, 2013.
All right, y’all, let’s go back 33 years for a Top 10 flashback from this week in 1980. I was 18 and in the Army, and this was during that month of leave I took before getting shipped off to Germany for two years. Your fall of ’80 may have been different.
Here’s what the folks in Los Angeles (actually, Pasadena) who were tuned to 1110, KRLA were hearing. Survey dated September 27, 1980.
Dynamite – Stacy Lattisaw
I was a confirmed rock radio listener long before this, and I don’t remember it at all. Not even the brothas I knew in the Army were playing this. I’ll just chalk it up to being an L.A. thing.
Fame – Irene Cara
The notes on YouTube say “one of the best songs of the 80’s.” Not true.
Emotional Rescue – Rolling Stones
Desperately trying to stay relevant. Mick Jagger once said that only white people thought this sounded like the Bee Gees. Well, OK. The Stones released their last truly memorable song a year later – “Start Me Up.”
Drivin’ My Life Away – Eddie Rabbitt
Y’know, I really like this song. Country crossovers were hot in 1980, thanks to “Urban Cowboy,” and this was one of the good ones. Eddie Rabbitt was only 56 when he died in 1998.
Lookin’ For Love – Johnny Lee
This one actually was from “Urban Cowboy.” I like this one, too. Was there ever a less convincing movie redneck than John Travolta? Christ, he was a cross between Tony Manero and vinnie Barbarino in a cowboy hat.
Together – Tierra
This had to have been a SoCal thing, too. It’s good that there were still regional differences in playlists. Pretty good song.
Give Me The Night – George Benson
We recently had a discussion here about George Benson, and it was generally acknowledged that while he was a talented guitarist, he didn’t measure up to the jazz greats. This one was produced by Quincy Jones, and it has his mark all over it. Good song – you really can’t go wrong with Q at the helm.
Upside Down – Diana Ross
Say what you want, but Miss Ross was HOT in her day. Yes, she was. While this doesn’t really measure up to her work for Motown, with and without the Supremes, it’s still an OK song.
Pop quiz: Name the only classic Motown artist that’s still signed to the label. Answer at the end.
Mandolay – La Flavour
Guess disco wasn’t quite dead yet.
All right, here it is, the number one song 33 years ago this week, according to KRLA in Los Angeles, is:
You’re surprised? Black people who had never heard of Queen thought they were a black group.
Not a terrible list, surely better than last Saturday’s shitshow from 2002. Ya like? Dislike? Tell us below, and look for a T10FB that’s more, um, recent tomorrow night!
Oh, the answer to the question posed in #3: Stevie Wonder.