Song 1980-33: Crystal Gayle, “Half the Way”

Crystal Gayle’s influence alone could put Super Cuts, Great Clips and Fantastic Sams out of business, if only today’s youth decided to mimic her trademark hair style. The almost floor-length hair country singer known mostly for her ’70s ballad “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” actual appeared on the HOT 100 chart seven times in the ’80s. However, her only top 40 hits were “Half the Way” and a duet with fellow country artist Eddie Rabbitt (song 1982-347 is yet to come).

Released in 1979, “Half the Way” peaked at #15 that year, but if we focus only on the ’80’s this song peaked at #33 because it was descending the HOT 100 the first week of the decade.

Memorable lyric: “So fill me up to the top. Don’t you stop till I’m over-flowing. Love is the seed and babe I need you to keep it growing stronger every day.

Song 1980-32: M, “Pop Muzik”

M is Robin Scott. There, now you know what the letter stands for.

A staple on MTV in the early ’80’s (after the cable channel went on the air in August 1981), “Pop Muzik” is another #1 hit from 1979 that was making its way down the chart when 1980 rolled around. So technically, the song only reached #32 in the ’80s.

To this day, the song is often confused with The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” (song 1980-84). Both songs were released and peaked in late 1979, have very odd accompanying music videos and were recorded by one-hit wonders. However, whereas “Video Killed…” only reached #40 on the HOT 100, “Pop Muzik” was much more successful, and ended up becoming the #40 song of 1980.

Just a reminder that I am attempting in this 198x blog to not post the official promotional videos but rather more obscure live performances. The video below is not the official, but nonetheless just as interesting.

Memorable lyric: “New York, London, Paris, Munich. Everybody talk about pop music.”

Song 1980-31: Teri DeSario & K.C., “Yes, I’m Ready”

K.C. is one of several artists that holds the unique distinction of appearing on the HOT 100 in the ’80s as a solo artist, as part of a duo, and as a member of a group. As a member of a group K.C. reached #1 with “Please Don’t Go” (Song 1980-1) as K.C and The Sunshine Band. As a solo artist, his “Give it Up” is still to come later in this blog (Song 1983-439). Other artists that share this feat include Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Peter Cetera, Stevie Nicks, Phil Collins, Michael McDonald… the list goes on an on and on.

As part of a duo, K.C. joined forces with his fellow Floridian Teri Desario and almost made it #1 again. “Yes, I’m Ready,” their cover of the Barbara Mason top 10 song from 1965, had to settle for #2 in 1980. The song ended up #24 for the year.

Memorable lyric: “Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready. To kiss you, love you, and hug you. Baby, I’m ready.”

Song 1980-30: ABBA, “Chiquitita”

I’ve been spending the last 20 minutes trying to decide whether of not to type the first “B” in the Swedish group ABBA’s name as a normal letter or as the official stylized backwards “B” (as in ᗺ). I mean, I want to be official and all but at the same time I don’t want to come across as geeky.

Hmmm… too late?

Even though ABBA (or AᗺBA) is known primarily as a ’70s band, they actually had six songs appear on the HOT 100 chart in the ’80s. “Chiquitita” is one of those songs. It made it to #29 in 1980.

Maybe, just maybe, when this group rolls around again in this blog I’ll use the backwards “B” in the title and see if anyone remembers today’s conversation…

Memorable lyric: “So the walls came tumbling down and your love’s a blown out candle. All is gone and it seems too hard to handle.”

Song 1980-29: Dionne Warwick, “Déjà Vu”

Some people remember Dionne Warwick for her hit songs such as “Then Came You” (with the Spinners in the ’70s) and “That’s What Friends are For” (song 1985-350). Some remember her for several TV acting guest roles. Yet others remember her as cousin to the late Whitney Houston.

However, I remember Dionne most as the first host of the ULTIMATE ’80s pop music and dance show Solid Gold. She left after the first season, came back some years later, and left again. Solid Gold was one of the few network shows out at the time where you could see current pop singers singing their latest hits, albeit 99% of the time it was lip synched- which made for cheesy looking end-of-song fade outs as the singers would back off their microphones and the studio audience was cued to clap. I always wondered how in the world the show’s producers thought they were fooling anyone as the instrumentalists just kept playing through the fade…

But I digress.

“Déjà Vu” reached #15 in 1980 and ended up the #84 song of that year.

Memorable lyric: “How can it be? We’re a different space in time. Come to me. Feel like I’m home in a place I used to know long ago.”

Song 1980-28: Foghat, “Third Time Lucky”

Fought’s only top 40 single in the ’80s, “Third Time Lucky” (also known as “First Time I Was a Fool”) reached #23 in 1980. Of their entire career, this one is second best only to their 1975 classic “Slow Ride.” It was released off their 1979 album Boogie Motel.

Memorable lyric: “First love I had I was seventeen and I was younger. Love to us was some kind of game and all my letters said I would never forget her. Now I can’t recall her name.”

Song 1980-27: Alan Parsons Project, “Damned If I Do”

Okay, remember 198x fans: there will be many songs that appeared on the HOT 100 chart in the ’80s that you know and love, and probably just as many that you have never heard of before reading this blog. So consider today’s blog your complimentary ’80s music education for the day!

The Alan Parsons Project, fronted by musicians Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, started releasing albums and singles in the mid ’70s but found their mainstream pop success in the early ’80s. Not one of their more popular songs, “Damed If I Do’ reached #27 in 1980.

Memorable lyric: “I ain’t got a heart of stone. I’m hurtin’ more now than I’ve ever known. If you mean the things you said I’m gonna wind up outa my head.”