In the early 1980s the disco sound was dying while hip-hop was beginning its ascension and in between, the sounds of rock, new wave and R&B were topping the charts. So for this week’s edition of The 80s, SoulTrain.com takes a look back at the top ten tunes of 1982.
At number ten was the hit song “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” by Chicago, marking the band’s first number one hit since their 1976 single “If You Leave Me Now.” The Steve Miller Band came in at number nine with “Abracadabra,” a tune inspired by Miller’s memories of meeting and working with singer Diana Ross and the Supremes. Rocker John Cougar occupied both the number eight and number seven spots with the tunes “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane” respectively, while The Human League held it down at number six with their new wave/pop hit, “Don’t You Want Me.”
The J. Geils Band took the number five spot with “Centerfold,” the first single from their album Freeze Frame. At number four, the duo of Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney teamed up for “Ebony & Ivory,” a tune which spent close to two months at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has since been the source for humorous parodies from everyone including Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo on Saturday Night Live to Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards in the feature film Undercover Brother. At the number three spot is the rock anthem “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” recorded by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts but originally recorded by the London, England-based band The Arrows in 1975. The number two song was specifically written at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone. The tune “Eye Of The Tiger” by the band Survivor became the theme for the feature film Rocky III and, thanks to the film and heavy MTV airplay, spent six weeks at number one.
At the number one spot was the song “Physical” by singer Olivia Newton John, who was no stranger to the charts but this track was arguably the biggest hit of her career. The music video, inspired by the 80s aerobics craze, was considered pretty steamy for the times, and the song went on to spend a whopping ten weeks at the top of the charts.
Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.