FLASHBACK: America's Top 10 January 16, 1983

In this week's episode of America's Top 10, based on charts from the January 15, 1983 issue of Billboard.  Casey counts down the Top 10 on the Pop chart as well as highlighting the Top 10 on the Album and Soul charts.  Casey shares an Elton John Christmas concert gift to fans and answers a trivia question: "Who has the most Top 10 Pop hits after reaching the age of 40?"  In fact, the video as posted on YouTube is dedicated to the man who originally wrote in and asked the Trivia Question.  Matt Kotefka received an air popper, a portable radio, London Nails decals and an AKAI stereo system for writing in and having his question used on the air but hadn't seen the episode since it originally aired in 1983. Thanks, as always, to YouTube user burtiscurtis09.

Top 10 Pop Singles

Top 10 Albums

Top 10 Soul Singles


Here a couple of links to videos containing audio snippets of the Top 50 Billboard Country Singles and Top 50 Billboard Black Singles for the week of January 15, 1983.

The Midline LPs chart is always useful as a glimpse into what bargain-priced records from the past people are buying and this week's Top 10 features three albums by The Doors and two each by The Who and Dan Fogelberg.  Each album carries a suggested retail price of $5.98, a full $3 discount from albums on the Top 200.  After more than thirty years, let's see how many of the Top 10 Midline LPs from January 15, 1983 made Rolling Stone's embattled Top 500 Albums Of All Time list.
The answer is two: Carole King's seminal Tapestry was the second best selling midline priced LP this week and comes in at number 36 on the Rolling Stone 500 while this week's Number One LP, The Doors, comes in at number 42.  The modern day descendant of the Midline LPs chart is Billboard's Catalog Albums chart which features the "week's top-selling albums across all genres that are at least 18-months old and have fallen below No, 100 on the Billboard 200 or are re-issues of older albums. Titles are ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music."  While being discount priced is not a requisite for the chart, most of the albums carry lower MSRPs.  On The January 16, 2016 Catalog Albums chart, Tapestry comes in at number 20 after 249 cumulative weeks on the Top 200 and Catalog Albums charts.

The Dance/Disco chart for the week was the usual hot mess of entire albums,seven inch 45s, album cuts and twelve inch singles.  Hi-NRG albums from Patrick Cowley and Sylvester held down the mid spots in the Top 10 while Prince's single edit of "1999" was still getting more time on deck than the much longer album cut.  Madonna's debut single had "Everybody" dancing.  Holding down the top spot with their second Number One "Lies", we have the Thompson Twins.  My favorite tune in the Top 10 is The Weather Girls and their freaky forecast "It's Raining Men" - such infectious joy and unbridled jubilation make it heard not to sing, even for the nearly fifty year old happy hetero typing these words.

Four songs on this week's AC chart crossed-over to the Pop chart.  Or is it the other way around?  The Manilow took the haunting melody from Broadway smash Cats onto the chart while Kenny Loggins serenaded us with "Heart To Heart" and Little River Band tried to talk us out of "The Other Guy".  My favorite song in this soft rock Top 10 has to be Toto's "Africa" with its gentle rhythm, nonsensical lyrics and soothing vocals.

Lest you think ol' HERC has gone bonkers, the Contemporary Adult chart is from Canada's RPM magazine and has just three songs in common with its chart cousin south of the border.  Were they ahead of the soft rock tide or behind it?  Compared to Billboard's AC chart, it would appear Canada was a bit behind as five of their Top 10 songs were already sliding down the AC chart.  To their credit though, ABBA's final recording as a group, the ominously sweet "The Day Before You Came" made the RPM Contemporary Adult chart.  It is my favorite song in the CA Top 10.


The Cash Box Top 10 Singles chart has three songs not on Billboard's similar chart for the week and the seven songs on both charts find themselves in wildly differing positions. Well, as wild as can be in a set of 10 positions.  The first unique single is "Truly", the debut solo single from Lionel Richie from his self-titled debut solo album.  The second unique single is Supertramp's woeful "It's Raining Again" and the third and final unique single is also my favorite on the Cash Box Top 10:  "The Look Of Love" by ABC, which was down at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sliding south.  The sunny, blue-eyed funk of "The Look Of Love" brightens even the brightest days and Martin Fry's hopelessly romantic optimist coaxes those of us who are less hopeful into at least three and a half minutes of pop heaven bliss.

New Musical Express Singles [UK]

Fans of the UK charts are used to the utter nuttiness that makes up the chart week after week and year after year.  Take this week's chart for example: there's a song about a puppet by a puppet, a world music song, a Christmas holdover, a Motown remake, two love ballads, the UK's first taste of hip-hop and three of them there new wave songs.  I'm all in one of the new wavy songs, a tender little ditty by Culture Club called "Time (Clock of the Heart)" with a pulsing bassline and lush backing vocals.  It just may be Culture Club's best aged song.

Official Charts Company Singles [UK]

With just four songs in common with the NME chart above, there is more to explore on this other UK chart though it should be noted that both charts have the same song at the top: "You Can't Hurry Love" by Phil Collins.  Two more nostalgic sounding throwback tunes on this chart are "The Story Of The Blues" by the Mighty Wah! and "Heartache Avenue" by The Maisonettes - both were new to me and not half bad.  And making an appearance a full three months before its American chart debut is "Electric Avenue" from Eddy Grant which would have been my favorite song in the Top 10 had "Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson not stepped in at the last minute, setting my toes to tapping with its relentless rhythm.  Why does he want me to lean to the right?

Kent Music Report [AUS]

This Top 10 from Australia has no songs in common with either UK chart and only one song shared with the US chart: Dionne's Gibb-infused "Heartbreaker".  Counting Ms. Warwick, there are just three American acts in the Top 10 with two Australian artists and five acts from the UK including chart-toppers Culture Club with their "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" which was resting at number 35 on Billboard's Hot 100 on its way to number 2 in another two months.  My favorite track in the Top 10 would not even debut on the US charts until the following week but "Come On Eileen", one of the most unlikely pop songs ever, would eventually rise to the top in ten countries, including America.

RPM Singles [CAN]

Heading back up to Canada to sample their Pop Top 10 singles, there are some noticeable differences.  "Eileen" is here and she brought her sister "Gloria" while Sylvia sang about "Nobody" but the one that wins the prize, my favorite song on the Top 10 is "Rock This Town" by the Stray Cats.  Down in the US, the song was at number 26 after spending a few weeks in the Top 10 though it would off the chart by Valentine's Day.

RPM Albums [CAN]

Since we already have our parka on, let's look at the Top 10 Albums in Canada this week. Very similar to the US Albums chart, though it is worth noting that Michael Jackson's Thriller had not exploded on either chart yet though the primary catalyst, the incendiary single "Billie Jean" would be released the very next week.  One of my favorite albums of 1982, ABC's The Lexicon of Love made the Canadian Top 10 Albums chart this week - it would stall at number 24 back home in the US.

Tunecaster Pop

With three exceptions, the Tunecaster Pop Top 10 singles are a decidedly soft rock affair. two of my favorite songs are among those three: "Dirty Laundry" by former Eagle Don Henley and The Clash's "Rock The Casbah".  Both songs were favorites of mine in late 1982 and early 1983 and they remain favorites to this day.  If I had to choose right here right now, I'd go with Henley's throbbing indictment of the evening news, paparazzi and people who don't wash their clothes.

Tunecaster Rock

Tunecaster's Rock Top 10 singles definitely has some rockers.  And Billy Joel's "Allentown" next to Bob Seger's less than rockin' "Roll Me Away".  Two Hagar songs, a pounding Phil Collins tune and a 1978 Zeppelin boogie rocker rescued from the cutting room floor five years after the fact.  But my heart goes to the Fab Five, Duran Duran and their drums up remix of "Hungry Like The Wolf".

Top Tracks

The Top Tracks Top 10 shares a full 70% of its DNA with the chart above so I'll focus on the minority.  The Fixx's "Stand Or Fall" is one of my favorite singles of 1982 and as 1983 dawned, it was still being added to radio station playlists.  Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" was ruling the Top Tracks chart that week as was his album, Long After Dark, on the Rock Albums chart.  Saga's "On The Loose" was still rising 15 weeks into its run on the Top Tracks chart though its parent album Worlds Apart was beginning to slip in its sixteenth week.  A second single ("Wind Him Up") from the album had stalled at number 24 on the Top Tracks chart and would slowly race "On The Loose" to the bottom of the Top Tracks chart after each song had spent nearly half a year on the chart.  Though I can find no evidence to support my memory, I recall the two songs being played back to back on the local rock station KLPX and the songs are tracks one and two on the US version of the album.  So that is my pick of the litter, a segue of "On The Loose" and "Wind Him Up".

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