1980-56: Anne Murray, “Daydream Believer”

A few songs back we discussed John Stewart (see song 1980-51), the composer of the Monkees’ 1967 classic “Daydream Believer.” On the HOT 100 chart dated January 5, 1980, Stewart was charting himself with “Lost Her in the Sun” at #51.

At #56 that same week, Canadian Anne Murray was charting on the HOT 100 with her cover of “Daydream.” It would eventually reach #12 a few months later, and wind up as the #61 song of the entire year.


Memorable lyric: “Oh when our good times started then not a dollar one to spend, but how much baby do we really need?”

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Song 1980-55: The Flying Lizards, “Money (That’s What I Want)”

Covering Barrett Strong’s 1966 Motown classic, British band Flying Lizards took “Money (That’s What I Want)” to #50 in 1980. Their punk-rock cover version hardly sounds like the original, or even The Beatles’ 1963 take on the song. In their homeland, the song reached the top 10, as it did also in Canada and New Zealand.


Memorable lyric: “The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees.”

Song 1980-54: Neil Diamond, “September Morn”

“September Morn” was the first of Diamond’s thirteen songs to appear on the HOT 100 in the ’80s. It peaked at #17 in early 1980, but made it all the way to #2 on the adult contemporary (soft rock) chart that same year. The B-side of the single was a cover of The Monkees’ 1966 #1 smash “I’m a Believer” which, by chance, Mr. Diamond wrote himself.

The song ended up the #90 song for the entire year.


Memorable lyric: “And look how far we’ve come: so far from where we used to be but not so far that we’ve forgotten how it was before.”

 

1980-53: Electric Light Orchestra, “Last Train to London”

Electric Light Orchestra, or “ELO” as the cool people call them, appear numerous times on the HOT 100 in the ’80s. The first of their nine, “Last Train to London,” reached #39 in 1980. Hard to believe lead singer Jeff Lynne is the same guy who would go on to form and sing in the late ’80s more folk-sounding Traveling Wilburys.


Memorable lyric: “Underneath a starry sky time was still, but hours must really have rushed by.”

Song 1980-52: Joyce Cobb, “Dig the Gold”

This one made it to #42 on the HOT 100. Really?

Some will call this song country. Other’s will call it r&b. Others yet will label it funk or disco. Maybe even reggae or samba? After listening to it twice today (and for the first time in years) I call it catchy. Oddly catchy.

This is Joyce Cobb’s only appearance on the HOT 100 in the ’80s.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’d like to listen to this song yet again.


Memorable lyric: “My father digs gold in South Africa in the rain and the cold and he’s old.”

Song 1980-51: John Stewart, “Lost Her in the Sun”

No. You’re thinking of Jon Stewart. This is John Stewart. John is a musician. Jon is a comedian who has reportedly said he’s moving to Canada if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States of America in November 2016. By the time the 198x blog is completed we will all know where Jon is living.

“Lost Her in the Sun” is JOHN Stewart’s only solo appearance in the ’80s. This one made it to #34. We’ll be talking more about him in a little bit (see songs 1980-56 and 1980-413). A member of the Kingston Trio in the ’60s, he wrote The Monkees 1967 #1 smash “Daydream Believer.”


Memorable lyric: “You carry that scar when you know what lonesome is. Lookin for a home like a bird in flight.”

Song 1980-50: Robert John, “Lonely Eyes”

After four songs with “Love” in the title, we come to a song by Robert John about a woman with no love. How sad…

I recently created a word cloud using the titles of every song to appear on the HOT 100 in the ’80s. You know what word clouds are, right? It’s those computer generated images containing whatever words you input. The more  a word appears, the larger the font. Anyhow, guess what word was the biggest.

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“Lonely Eyes” is another one of those songs that just missed cracking the top 40. It stalled at #41. But try not to be too disappointed in Mr. John. He had already gone all the way to #1 a year earlier with a similar titled song (“Sad Eyes”).

I’ve always been amazed that this song was not written by The Bee Gees. It sounds like their songs. Spot on. Listen to it and think of their “Nights on Broadway.” Instead, it was written by Mike Piccirillo.


Memorable lyric: “But they both know she’s lying. It’s not coming from the heart.”