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Name: Adam Bernard
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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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Pop Shots – Six ’80s Classics That Were #1 on New Year’s Day
Monday, December 30, 2019

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, with New Year’s Day being this Wednesday, I’ve come up with a special edition of Pop Shots that takes a look at six ‘80s classics that happened to be at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on New Year’s Day.

I was originally going to use songs from 1980 to the present, but while doing my research it became clear that the ‘80s would provide not just an ample amount of incredible hits, but some truly timeless classics. Of course, since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering, U2’s “New Year’s Day,” which was released in 1983, never reached higher than #53 on the Billboard Hot 100.


1982: Olivia Newton-John – Physical


Even though there were still 8 years left in the ‘80s when “Physical” became a hit, both the song and video are viewed as representative of the decade. You can see evidence of this every time a group of girls who weren’t alive during the ‘80s dress up for an ‘80s party – Olivia Newton-John, in this video, is one of their blueprints.


1983: Hall & Oates – Maneater


This is the second time I’ve written about “Maneater” in the past month, and their ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! Hey Hall & Oates, if you’re reading this, let’s link up for an interview!

Spoiler alert – they aren’t reading this. They’re far too busy avoiding a certain kind of woman ... one who only comes out at night. You know, the lean and hungry type.

Speaking of which …


1985: Madonna – Like a Virgin


If you’re looking for the moment when Madonna started the transition from pop star to icon, it’s “Like a Virgin.”

The first of her 12 number one songs, it’s Madonna at her best, and one of the first songs people think of when talking about the ‘80s. As a bonus, it also inspired Weird Al’s “Like a Surgeon,” which was freakin’ epic!


1987: The Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian


Admission (that some of you probably already know) – I’ve had an eternal flame for Susanna Hoffs since I first saw the video for “Walk Like an Egyptian.” The voice, the eyes, the hair … hey Susanna, if you’re reading this, let’s link up for an interview!

(In my dreams she is totally reading this. And yes, I have dreams that involve my blog)


1988: George Michael – Faith


An iconic song, and an iconic look.

One of the truly timeless songs on this list, “Faith” could easily be slipped into rotation on Top 40 radio today. Of course, there’s also the Limp Bizkit version of the song (which I also love), but I talked about that last week.

Incidentally, I’m pretty sure this video made a whole lotta girls fall in love with George Michael, which, as we’d later find out, would be just a tad bit ironic.


1989: Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn


One of the most memorable trends of the ‘80s rock scene was the monster ballad. Every rock band – no matter how much make up and hairspray – had one of these songs, and Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” was one of the best.

On a mildly related note – could 2020 please be the year VH1 brings back Rock of Love? I really miss that show!


That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.

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