Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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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 32 years ago this week.
Stepping out of my time machine I hear … some of my favorite songs of all-time!
These are songs I still sing along to, rock out to, and crank up on a regular basis. So let’s get into this exploration of Billboard Hot 100 chart history! Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. Heart – Alone
Heart was one of only a handful of bands to successfully make the transition from ‘70s rock stardom to ‘80s rock stardom, thanks in no small part to their ability to make epic rock ballads like “Alone.”
This is a song that you have to crank up every time it’s on, and if you hear it in a store you have to rock out to it. It’s required. I don’t care if you’re on line at the drug store, in the freezer section of your grocery store, or waiting at the mechanic while your car’s oil is getting changed, when “Alone” comes on you won’t be alone in your love of it.
5. George Michael – I Want Your Sex
A musical genius at his least subtle, “I Want Your Sex” was a sexual freedom anthem for an entire generation. It was also a song that only the most bold of individuals would put on a mixtape for someone they’re interested in.
Fun fact – as I was writing this column a telemarketer called while I was playing this song. I picked up the phone and said nothing, I just let the song play.
8. T’Pau – Heart and Soul
I know I can’t be the only person who thinks “Heart and Soul” doesn’t get enough play on ‘80s stations, or during ‘80s parties. It has a chorus everyone remembers as soon as they hear it, and it’s just a damned cool song.
“Heart and Soul” would be the only song of T’Pau’s that charted in the U.S., topping out at #4, but the British pop group had a litany of hits in their native UK, and Ireland.
10. Exposé – Point of No Return
Of all the great genres of music the ‘80s gave us, the most fun one was probably freestyle. Damned near every song could spark a dance party.
It could be argued that Exposé were the queens of freestyle, and “Point of No Return” was the group at their absolute best.
I’d still love to see them live today, as I’m sure every concert is a party.
21. Debbie Gibson – Only In My Dreams
Back when teen pop meant mall tours and jean jackets, Debbie Gibson was the teen queen who ruled them all.
“Only In My Dreams” was the lead single off her debut album, Out of the Blue. Five other singles would follow as the album made its way to triple platinum status.
I saw Debbie live a few years ago, and I’m happy to report she can still perform the heck out of her classics!
31. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Head to Toe
You know how earlier I said it could be argued that Exposé were the queens of freestyle? Another artist who could lay claim the throne is Lisa Lisa, as Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam had HITS, one of their biggest being the joyous dance classic “Head to Toe.”
Lisa Lisa also has quite the interesting note at the end of her Wikipedia page – “She bid against Michael Jackson for the remains of Joseph Merrick (who was known as The Elephant Man), saying she wanted the public to be able to access them.”
That is officially one of my favorite pieces of ‘80s music trivia.
51. Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
One of the greatest rock songs of all-time AND you get Tawny Kitaen writhing on cars. What more could you possibly ask for?!?!
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.