American Top 40: October 13, 1984

The full chart: https://weeklytop40.wordpre…

How’s the chart as a whole?

It’s packed with star power. The only true one-hit wonder on this chart is Joyce Kennedy, and even that song was a duet with Jeffrey Osborne. The filler on this chart is provided by the likes of Elton John, Lindsey Buckingham and Barry Gibb. And there aren’t a lot of songs I hate. I don’t hate this Night Ranger song, or this Bananarama song, or this Huey Lewis song, unlike some others by these artists. It’s a fairly representative week from a strong year. Even with this kind of competiton, Prince absolutely dominates this chart, with two of his own hits and two for other artists. I rate this chart a little behind the one we heard from 1983– there are a couple of duds near the top, and a few less songs that I truly love. This week gets an A-minus.

Forgotten gems

#16 – The Fixx, “Are We Ourselves?”

1984 looms so large in pop music to this day that there really aren’t that many ‘forgotten’ hits on this chart. “Are We Ourselves?” is largely overshadowed by “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Saved By Zero” these days, but it’s a fine song.

#31 – Sheena Easton, “Strut”

Another Prince composition soon to race up the charts… Wait, what? This song was written by Charlie Dore, the dork who sang “Pilot of the Airwaves?” Really, her?

Justly forgotten

#37 – Barry Gibb, “Shine Shine”

This is the end of the line for the Bee Gees on the charts– Barry leaves almost no impression at all in his only solo single to reach the Top 40. Even KC’s comeback single fared better.

#29 – Billy Idol, “Flesh For Fantasy”

Billy wins this week’s Worst Rhyme award hands down:

“Face to face/
And back to back/
You see and feel/
My sex attack”

#46 – Culture Club, “The War Song”

Alright, I’m cheating—this song wouldn’t hit the top 40 for another week– but this is my favorite act of career self-sabotage in the 1980s, and there was no way I was going to skip it. Everyone involved in its creation and promotion must have been very, very high. “War, war is stupid/And people are stupid.” This is the lead single for the follow-up to the album that contained “Karma Chameleon” and “Church of the Poison Mind?”

Is there a Rick Springfield song?


Is the #1 song worthy?

No, “I Just Called to Say I Love You” is schmaltzy and mechanical; it’s the worst #1 song of 1984.

Bubbling under

Romeo Void’s only top 40 hit, which is not “Never Say Never;” Culture Club’s bold antiwar statement; Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55;” the Honeydrippers’ “Sea of Love.”

Top five

#2 – Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”
#30 – Chaka Khan, “I Feel For You”
#35 – Cyndi Lauper, “All Through the Night”
#18 – Prince, “Purple Rain”
#31 – Sheena Easton, “Strut”

Honorable mention: “Missing You,” “Cover Me,” “Are We Ourselves?,” “On the Dark Side,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Drive”

Next week should be 1980, and then we’ll be on to the 70s!