So I'm forty songs in, fully committed yet having some doubts about my choices. Gonna stick with it though and reach the top, maybe make it an annual January thing here at The Hideaway, a new and revised list of my favorite songs from 1982. Maybe not. While I am very appreciative of all the comments I have been receiving, I feel I can put an end to 99% of them with this simple statement:
I do not own all of the picture sleeves included on my posts nor do I own the all of the actual singles contained within though I do have all the songs on vinyl or CD.
The sleeves are chosen solely at my discretion, mostly from my fellow contributors on discogs. So we have numbers 60-41 for you this time around and in case you missed the first two parts of my personal countdown of my 100 favorite singles from 1982 you can click the links below:
It is difficult to say where I heard "Through Being Cool" first except that it was not on any radio station. It was either October 9, 1981 when Devo performed it on Fridays or in the film Heavy Metal which I conned my Mom into taking me at the base theater to around that same time. Here's what I do know, I bought Devo's New Traditionalists album shortly after the Fridays viewing and picked up the Heavy Metal soundtrack album a little later but that is of no consequence because "Through Being Cool" does not appear on the soundtrack album. And my copy of New Traditionalists came with a bonus 45 of "Workin' In The Coal Mine", also from Heavy Metal, though the song did appear on the soundtrack album. Love this song and much of the album. Later picked up a promo twelve inch single labeled New Traditionalists that featured "Jerkin' Back 'N' Forth" on one side and "Going Under" and "Through Being Cool" on the flip. All album versions but still. "Going Under" was later memorably used in an episode of Miami Vice.
"Save It For Later" is great in many ways: the rhythm, the lyrics, the instrumentation, the vibe. It just fires on all cylinders. This is another one of those songs that was in my world without radio airplay and I am thankful it found its way to me. Though I cannot explain it, "Save It For Later" is forever linked with Modern English's "I Melt With You" in my memory. That song however just missed my list of favorite singles of 1982.
Though my love of Quarterflash's self-titled 1981 album burned white hot for a few weeks back in early 1982 after I taped it off KLPX during one of their Sunday Six Packs (where they played six albums back to back in their entirety, single-handedly killing music) and played that cassette until I had saved enough allowance to buy the album itself. Though her voice doesn't have quite the range of Benatar's, I've always thought "Find Another Fool" was a sax-laden take on "Heartbreaker" from a few years prior. I enjoy the high energy driving beats of both songs and the Rindy's wounded, vengeful vocals especially on "Find Another Fool". Honestly surprised this one didn't rank higher on the list. Got no one to blame but myself.
This new to me ska sound out of the UK was very fun. "House Of Fun" was particularly bouncy and yet again I cannot credit someone or something for the hookup. Maybe it was our cable company which offered a local community channel that showed a music video program both before and after school. (MTV wasn't added until late 1982, if I recall.) First heard The Blasters, Joe "King" Carrasco and maybe Madness on that community channel. Maybe. I like the the cartoonishness of this song and by that I mean how it chugs along and then at the chorus seems like it went off the cliff like Wil E Coyote used to before falling to the canyon floor and then it starts chugging along again.
The most depressing part of my memories regarding this song is finding out that Toni Basil was older than both of my folks which put me off her and her music for sometime because ick and oooh. She was 38 or 39 when she filmed the music video which although it featured real-life cheerleaders, wasn't as hot as it could have been for this lifelong cheerleader aficionado, having had serious crushes in junior high, high school and college on cheerleaders, dance squad members and color guard. Something about a girl in a uniform. (Mrs. HERC is a former color guard member, thank you very much.) Slowly but surely, "Mickey" has stomped and clapped its way back into my good graces however and though Ms. Basil was 2.4375 times as old as I was in 1982, she's only 1.46 times as old as I am in 2016 and still kicking it at 72.
|rank||song title||artist||Hot 100||debut on Hot 100|
|060||Through Being Cool||Devo||107|
|059||Save It For Later||The Beat|
|058||Find Another Fool||Quarterflash||16||2/13/1982|
|057||House Of Fun||Madness|
Don't think I ever caught this one on the radio as it missed the Top 40 by a bunch but it was a favorite from the first time I heard it. In that weird pairing thing I do with songs, this one's twin is "Never Say Never" by Romeo Void. Maybe its the saxophone. The song is the sixth one heard in The Last American Virgin and actually appears on the soundtrack album. The Waitresses appear in the premiere episode of Square Pegs from September 1982 performing this song and the show's theme song.
In 1982, 38 Special was rewarded with their second Top 30 single "Caught Up In You" which followed a similar formula to their breakthrough "Hold On Loosely" from the year before. The band can rock and powerhouse vocalist Donnie Van Zant brings the pipes though the band's secret is their unique combination of southern rock muscle and arena rock polish which gave them at least one Top 5 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart from 1981-1989. I jumped on their bandwagon with 1980's "Rockin' Into The Night" then hopped off after 1989's "Second Chance" but it was one hell of a ride in between with each album giving me two to three favorites. To my regret, I never caught them live in their Eighties prime and today there is but one original member left in the band.
Just over a thousand days passed between her Totally Hot and Physical albums but it didn't seem that long as our heroine was extremely busy and never far from view. Then she had the biggest hit of her career, eventually becoming the biggest Billboard charted hit of the Eighties, with the title track of her ninth album Physical. In that song's 20th week on the chart, when it fell from number 7 to number 8, "Make A Move On Me" was the highest debuting song, coming in at number 69. Two weeks later, it debuted in the Top 40 as "Physical" fell to number 17. On April 3rd, "Make A Move On Me" peaked at number 5 while "Physical" dropped off the Hot 100 after a twenty-six week run. As hot as the lyrics of "Physical" were for 15 year old me, the ones for "Make A Move On Me" were even hotter. And though I've always maintained that she's an awkward dancer at best, I loved seeing her live performances on the American Music Awards and Solid Gold in her sexy pirate outfits. And can you believe how much leg we got on the 45 picture sleeve above? Imma go see what Mrs. HERC is doing right now.
My busted memory tells me I first heard "Genius Of Love" at the Record Bar in El Con Mall just after New Year's Day 1982, most likely during my first week back to school. I had figured out a bus route that would take me home from school via Broadway Boulevard where I discovered Bookman's Used Books and Records, Loco Records and both the El Con Mall and Park Mall. Walking in the front door of El Con, Record Bar was the second store you saw and the first store you heard in the mall. It was at that same store where many of my future twelve inch singles were purchased including my first record of 1985 and also the store where I picked up a unique cassette titled Portable Music in October 1982. I think I finally got around to buying the Tom Tom Club album used in March of 1982 for $3. It was 180 degrees and a million miles away from everything I was listening to and thus became a mixtape favorite. The four bonus songs from the 1990 CD release are still in heavily rhythmic rotation here at the Hideaway as pool music as well as headphone fireworks which is when I put the headphones on, turn out the lights, close my eyes and enjoy the fireworks the music makes in my head. "Genius Of Love" in particular sounds best on loud stereo systems - none of this single speaker Bluetooth nonsense. Still love that random opening lyric "What you gonna do when you get out of jail?"
It's no secret that I tend to obsess over songs and "Maneater" was a big obsession (but not a possession obsession) in the late Fall and early Winter of 1982, playing it over and over. (LISTEN) Had no idea how big H2O would become but you had to wonder when the boys would take a breath and release a greatest hits album. Well, you wondered that until October 1983 when Rock 'n Soul Part 1 was released and featured half of the songs I put on that tape.
|I Know What Boys Like||The Waitresses||62||5/8/1982|
|054||Caught Up In You||38 Special||10||5/1/1982|
|053||Make A Move On Me||Olivia Newton-John||5||2/13/1982|
|052||Genius Of Love||Tom Tom Club||31||1/23/1982|
|051||Maneater||Hall & Oates||1||10/16/1982|
Malcolm McLaren had played a pivotal role in the birth of the Sex Pistols, Adam & the Ants and Bow Wow Wow among others. I was a big Ants fan and disliked the man for "stealing" Adam's original Ants and forming Bow Wow Wow. For this influential single, the first hip-hop single to find success on the British charts, McLaren and producer Trevor Horn filtered McLaren's eyewitness impressions of authentic New York City hip-hop and scratching through state of the art recording techniques and equipment like the Fairlight CMI. I bought the Duck Rock album which contained "Buffalo Gals" and more songs like it in 1983 and then McLaren's weirdly beautiful opera experiment Fans in 1984. The 1985 contractual obligation album Swamp Thing was my last dalliance with album length McLaren.
Marshall Crenshaw registered with his unadorned music and earnest lyrics. No gimmicks, no affectations just straight ahead power pop. "Someday, Someway" was a breath of fresh air and I picked up his self-titled debut album as soon as I could, probably in May 1982, just after the birthday cash influx. As an artist, Crenshaw has become a barometer of sorts to gauge new acquaintances and their music collections. No Crenshaw albums on the shelf or hard-drive is more often than not a deal-breaker. Now you know.
While my friends were going gaga over Dale Bozzio's "modern" look and lack of clothing, I was grooving on the music Missing Persons made. It is new wave synth rock with interesting lyrics sung in odd, quirky ways by Mrs. Bozzio, whose husband, Terry, set behind the drum kit. My Missing Persons case began when I scored their re-released four song EP in the Summer of 1982 at Al Bum's, a used record store located next door to a Circle K directly across the street from University of Arizona Stadium. My high school was a mile west on that same road so I spent a lot of time at Al Bum's where the DJs and radio stations seemed to dump off their promo only vinyl and lots of deals were to be had. Plus the guy behind the counter, always in an Hawaiian shirt, smoking something and playing early Bowie, Who or Alice Cooper through the crappy store sound system, sometimes gave me free records. He also tried renting records for awhile and I took advantage of that a few times. Basically, you bought a record and then brought it back the next day and he'd give you all your money back except a buck - the rental fee. I think if you kept it two days, it cost you two bucks. I think the practice was legally challenged by the recording industry plus it still doesn't make much business sense to me. In the Fall of 1982, after junior year started, the Missing Persons album Spring Session M was released with two of the EP's four songs. "Words" is still my favorite song of the bunch though there are days when "Walking In L.A." challenges it. And still others when alll I wanna do is play "Mental Hopscotch".
Love this generic throwback foreign (Germany?) picture sleeve for "Abracadabra", the song my Tucson friends recently voted "the one song from the Eighties they hope to never hear again". (I voted for "Kokomo".) This was disappointing to me because although it sounds like nothing else newly inducted Hall Of Famer Steve Miller has ever done, I like the song quite a bit and always think back to the Summer of 1982 whenever I hear it though, like Timothy B. Schmidt sang, I can't tell you why. There are no specific memories attached to the song other than that warm comforting feeling I get each time I hear it.
As I alluded to above, Malcolm McLaren convinced Adam's first group of Ants that they would be better off without Adam so they followed that guidance and ended up as Bow Wow Wow with 14 year old Annabella Lwin as their lead singer in 1980. They released a few singles with Annabella squeal-singing atop their similar to the early Ants sound before their cover of "I Want Candy" got them noticed on American shores in 1982. Since then, the song appears on every other Eighties New Wave music compilation and has been used in countless movies, TV shows and commercials. The album of the same name has a very special place in my life alongside Men At Work's Business As Usual album so it is impossible for me not to like the song though I am a little taken aback it finished as high as 46 this time around.
|050||Buffalo Gals||Malcolm McLaren|
|049||Someday, Someway||Marshall Crenshaw||36||7/10/1982|
|047||Abracadabra||Steve Miller Band||1||5/29/1982|
|046||I Want Candy||Bow Wow Wow||62||5/29/1982|
Freeze-Frame is a favorite album of mine for both the hits (title track, "Centerfold") and the misses ("Rage In The Cage" and the entirety of the album's Side 2). The top of that second side and the b-side to the "Freeze-Frame" single is "Flamethrower", an aptly named speaker melter and high-powered rocker which throws everything but the kitchen sink at unsuspecting listeners. Sure it was the b-side on the single but the edgy, rhythmic "Flamethrower" got airplay on urban stations and became a Top 20 on the Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart while also charting on the Top (ROCK) Tracks and Dance/Disco charts. For whatever reason, the rock station I listened to back then played "Flamethrower" nearly as much as "Centerfold" and "Freeze-Frame" and for that I am ever grateful. If I had been a stripper in the early Eighties and I'm not saying I wasn't, this song would have soundtracked my show-stopping routine.
This one was another one of the finds from Sunday night radio via Virgin Vinyl or The New Music Test Department. The first Vanity 6 track they played was "If A Girl Answers (Don't Hang Up)" but a couple of weeks later they played "Nasty Girl". This all occurred shortly after my introduction to Prince's 1999 so I picked up the Vanity 6 album and was surprised how good it actually is. Sure it was teasing and titillating but even as a 16 year old horndog, I sensed Vanity was coming from a place of power even though she was just spitting out Prince's words and I dig powerful women. Not only did she sound fierce, look at her on the pic sleeve above. Brenda (in pink) and Susan (in white) look a little uncomfortable in what we're led to believe is their normal daywear while Vanity is just owning it. I was a little disappointed when I read Vanity had bailed on the Purple Rain movie and even more disappointed with her solo stuff. Glad she found her calling eventually as a born again minister. If I had been a female stripper in the early Eighties, "Nasty Girl" would have been my finale for sure.
Power Pop is alive and well in the rockin' hookfest of "867-5309/Jenny" which got ample airplay here in these parts. From the spiraling guitar intro through the call and response vocals of "I got it" and the endless repeating of the phone number no one wanted at the time, the song holds up well like a lesser version of "The Breakup Song" by the Greg Kihn Band from the year before. And that is high praise my friends.
The parade of power pop continues with Commander Rick Springfield, a veteran of the rock wars since 1968(!) and a solo artist since 1972. After a couple false starts here in the States, where he fell into an acting career, he exploded in 1981 with the polished power pop a seasoned veteran like him made look effortless as he reeled off four consecutive Top 20 platinum selling albums in as many years on the back of eight Top 20 singles. I saw the man live twice during this period and he is the real deal. For me in 1982, it came down to "Don't Talk To Strangers" and "I Get Excited" in a heated race and I had to give it to the one I enjoy singing along with the most. Though if air guitaribility is the primary factor, then "I Get Excited" gets the nod.
Eternally sunny and effervescent, "Love Plus One" deserved a better fate on the Hot 100 than four weeks in the Top 40 with a peak at number 37. I've checked and there were not 36 better songs than "Love Plus One" during the week of August 7, 1982 - there were only only 31! The beachy islandy vibe this song gives off makes it an easy pick for Summer listening out by the pool and yet it is chill enough that it gets play year round here at The Hideaway. Still, if this list was compiled during the Summer, there is no doubt "Love Plus One" would be in Top 20.
|045||Flamethrower||J. Geils Band||4||2/20/1982|
|044||Nasty Girl||Vanity 6||101|
|042||Don't Talk To Strangers||Rick Springfield||2||3/6/1982|
|041||Love Plus One||Haircut 100||37||5/15/1982|