FLASHBACK: America's Top 10 June 6, 1982

In June 1982, I was sixteen years old and had just finished my sophomore year of high school, probably a day or so before this countdown aired.  Didn't have my drivers license, a job or a car.  I did have my first serious girlfriend and we met at Model United Nations, of all places.  Thanks to her enthusiasm and adventurousness, I achieved many MANY firsts that Summer including my first break-up with a serious girlfriend.  Still, because 1982 was the single greatest year in pop music history, I made it through with songs like the ones on today's episode of America's Top 10.  Our benefactor burticcurtis09 had to do some sharp editing on this one to keep it from getting muted or worse - taken down - by YouTube 5-0.  Rick Springfield has ruined many a video this way.  Be forewarned that the volume of the video jumps up dramatically around the 8:45 mark as burtiscurtis09 substituted "Rain In May" by Max Werner, a top 100 hit from 1981, for Springfield's "Don't Talk To Strangers".


The sixteen year old me probably would have had as much love for the Adult Contemporary Top 10 dated June 5, 1982 (the date of the that week's issue of Billboard) as the forty-nine year old me and that is not much.  Gimme the country crossovers and you can keep the rest, thank you very much.
  • #9: "I Don't Know Where To Start" by Eddie Rabbitt.  This ballad, the third single from Step By Step, is noticeably slower than most of his hits and lacks practically any country hallmarks yet this was as high as it got on the AC chart.
  • #8: "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me" by Juice Newton. Another rather twang-free country crossover that charted better on the AC and Pop charts than it did on the Country sheet.  I was into Ms. Newton's catchy country pop for all of two albums - Juice and Quiet Lies - before we went our own ways.
  • #4: "Any Day Now" by Ronnie Milsap.  Piano based country pop cover of a Bacharach tune with lush countrypolitan string section and Ronnie's expressive voice sailing over the top of it all.  Milsap's other AC Number One (yes, this one was a #1) "Smoky Mountain Rain" is one of my favorite songs fo all time.
  • #2: "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson.  Nelson took a similar approach to Milsap's above with his own cover of "Always On My Mind", slowing it down and singing it with maximum emotion.  Not the definitive version of the song but a most welcome variation.
After proudly proclaiming my preference for the country crossovers on the AC chart, it may come as a surprise that I don't really care for the Hot Country Singles Top 10 (other than the one mentioned above at #9).  Conway Twitty's sped-up "Slow Hand" was a miss for this guy and none of the others would get any plays on the ol' Cow Talk jukebox I'm afraid.
Unlike most of the other album and singles charts within genres, there was not much in common between the Hot Country Singles and Country LPs .  Case in point, despite having two albums in the Country LPs Top 10, Alabama's highest charting song on the Hot Country Singles chart wasn't even in the Top 30.  In fact, only two of the Country LPs Top 10 albums are represented in the Hot Country Singles Top 10.  My favorite country albums on this week;s chart are the Alabama bookends - Feels So Right and Mountain Music - at #10 and #1 respectively as well as Willie's crossover smash Always On My Mind.
Back in the day, I only had two of the Jazz LPs Top 10 for the week.  Bought The George Benson Collection and The Dude not because of their jazz leanings but for the pop and soul singles each album contained.  It would take a bigger jazz fan than I am to appreciate the rest of the albums on the chart and a super jazz fan to recognize which album is missing from the countdown playlist below because it has not been listened to Spotify yet.
Over on the Australian Top 10 chart, the Land Down Under was in a much different time zone than the American chart, featuring both songs that already made the Hot 100 as well as songs that would make or miss the chart in the near future:
  • #10 "Be Good Johnny" by Men At Work. Did not make the Hot 100 though it made Rock Tracks chart in 1983.
  • #09 "Believe It Or Not" by Joey Scarbury. Peaked at #2 in August 1981.
  • #08 "Forever Now" by Cold Chisel.  Did not make Hot 100.
  • #06 "It Must Be Love" by Madness.  Would peak at #33 in August 1983.
  • #05 "Have You Ever Been In Love" by Leo Sayer. Did not make Hot 100.
  • #04 "Key Largo" by Bertie Higgins.  Had just left Hot 100 the prior week after peaking at #8.
  • #03 "Ebony And Ivory" by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.  Concurrently #1 on Hot 100 and AC charts.
  • #02 "I Love Rock N Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.  Had peaked at #1 from March through May 1982 and currently sat at #93 on Hot 100.  Would hit both #99 and #100 before leaving chart three weeks later.
  • #01 "Mickey" by Toni Basil.  Would debut at #83 on Hot 100 in September 1982 on way to top spot in December.
This week's Dance/Disco Top 10 is the finest kind of chart schizophrenia which is meant as a compliment to the diversity of the songs of the chart and not a shot at those suffering severe mental issues.  Some post-disco dance, some R&B boogie along with some pale white dance music form England in the guise of Haircut 100, The Human League and Thomspon Twins.  Plenty to recommend here.

The sixteen year old me was all about the rock.  Not to the exclusion of other genres mind you as that was not the way my brain was wired after years of AM radio, all genres of music is equally good, conditioning. But given the choice, I'd have picked any of the albums on Rock Albums Top 10 playlist below before anything else at the time.  Most of them made my Top 100 Albums of 1982 list:
  1. Asia was #30
  2. Special Forces was #96
  3. Blackout was #10
  4. American Fool was #35
  5. Diver Down was #8
  6. Hot Space was #25
  7. Toto IV was #27
  8. Vinyl Confessions did not rank 
  9. Straight Between The Eyes was #99
  10. Dare was released in 1981 though I did rank the 1982 follow-up EP Love & Dancing at #33

Three of my all-time favorite songs made their debut on the Top Tracks chart dated June 5, 1982:

The rest of the Top Tracks chart was no slouch in the music that appeals to HERC department.  The Top Tracks Top 10 has another six of my all-time favorite songs.  I'll give you a few below but you'll have to guess the rest.


  1. Summer of 1982 I was seventeen and like you dating my first serious girlfriend. We broke up by October.

  2. Sadly, Pat Metheny Group's Offramp album (the missing jazz chart album mentioned above) is currently not streaming on any freemium services, but the signature tune from said album is available.

    "Are You Going With Me"

    Today's trivia: the above selection was used in 2014 movie Wild starring the lovely Reese Witherspoon.

  3. It's comforting to see that Australians shared the same taste in crappy pop music as Americans in June of '82. I mean, I'm sure it got lonely in the outback; so what better way to while away the hours than listening to the soothing sounds of Bertie Higgins... (Love ya', Bertie!)