Pop Shots – A Look At The Charts … From 34 Years Ago

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 34 years ago this week. Stepping out I see a 1984 that is, thankfully, completely different from the novel of the same name. Lionel Richie is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hello,” and the chart is filled with a bevy of classics we still crank up and sing along to today.

So let’s get into this exploration in chart history! Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

6. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time

Although “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – which was also on this chart at #65 – became the hit Cyndi Lauper would forever be known for (and that Weird Al would parody with “Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch”), “Time After Time” is actually a more … timeless … song. There’s a reason it’s been covered so many … times … and it’s time people realized this.

16. Night Ranger – Sister Christian

“You’re motoring / what’s your price for flight.”

It was one of the more epic lyrics, from one of the more epic rock songs of the era, and the slow build to it each time it comes around makes it ridiculously fun to sing along to. I’m not saying that I’ve done it, or friends of mine have done it, while in the aisles of various stores when the song has come on, but I am highly recommending everyone give it a try at least once in their life.

64. ZZ Top – Legs

The band that gave us the song “Tush” in 1975 continued to work anatomical music magic with their 1984 hit “Legs.” An undeniably great song that stands as a reminder of how fun the ‘80s were, “Legs” would likely be the source of controversy, and internet thinkpieces, were it to be released today … which is why we’re all glad it was released in a far less reactionary time.

69. Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

One of two Eurythmics song on this chart – they were also at #38 with “Who’s That Girl” – Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart combined bucketloads of talent, with an equal amount epic weirdness, to carve out a unique place in the music world that they, and only they, could inhabit, and thrive in.

There was no other band like the Eurythmics, and there never will be. They were true originals.

88. Huey Lewis & The News – I Want A New Drug

Just like Cyndi Lauper had two songs on this chart, one parodied by Weird Al, Huey Lewis & The News had two songs on this chart, and their hit “I Want A New Drug,” which came in at #88, was parodied by Weird Al (with “I Want A New Duck”).

“The Heart of Rock & Roll” was Huey Lewis & The News’ other song on this week’s Billboard Hot 100, coming in at #21, and we’d ask Patrick Bateman his thoughts on the chart success of the band, but we wouldn’t want the American Psycho to get all murder-y on us.

98. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax

Frankie Goes To Hollywood had some fun making up stories about the meaning of this song until they finally revealed what pretty much everyone already knew – it’s about sex. Duh!

The phrase “Frankie Says Relax” forever became a part of ‘80s pop culture, and is still seen on t-shirts to this day.

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.


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