WLS Music Survey September 25, 1982

The first time I featured a WLS survey from my collection, I had high hopes of acquiring many more of them and doing a long-running series. Then life happened. Most recently, all the America's Top 10 episodes from YouTube user burtiscurtis09 that I've featured in 50 posts (usually including WLS charts for fun) over the past four years were unceremoniously yanked. So here we are, five months after that first WLS survey post... here's a second one all the way from September 25, 1982.
Since we had moved exactly 1744 miles away from WLS back in August 1981, this particular survey is "new" to me, though, like I've always said, 1982 was the single greatest year in music history so there's always that. (There is, however, one song from one album by one artist on the survey I have never heard of but we'll get to that in a bit.) WLS was never accused of being ahead of or even in tune with the national charts, preferring to wait and see which songs became hits elsewhere before adding them to the station playlist weeks or months after the songs have otherwise peaked. WLS also made their own unique hits: from 1960-1982, nearly 150 records made it to Number One on WLS's weekly survey without reaching the same peak on Billboard's Hot 100, including songs by The Beatles, Queen, Captain & Tennille, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Monkees. Let's see how the 1982 playlist compared that week to the Billboard and Cashbox charts:

1Jack & DianeJohn Cougar22
2Hard To Say I'm Sorry/GetawayChicago33
3AbracadabraSteve Miller Band11
4You Should Hear How She Talks About YouMelissa Manchester54
5Eye Of The TigerSurvivor45
6Hurts So GoodJohn Cougar914
7Somebody's BabyJackson Browne89
8Who Can It Be Now?Men At Work711
9I Keep Forgettin'Michael McDonald158
10VacationThe Go-Go's587
11Only Time Will TellAsia1716
12Don't Fight ItKenny Loggins with Steve Perry3421
13Love Is In ControlDonna Summer1024
14Hold MeFleetwood Mac3212
15Think I'm In LoveEddie Money1654
16Loved By YouThe Kind
17Up Where We BelongJoe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes4645
18Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)Joan Jett2035
19Even The Nights Are BetterAir Supply4241
20Let It WhipDazz Band9998
21AthenaThe Who5049
22Love Will Turn You AroundKenny Rogers1326
23Take It AwayPaul McCartney1115
24Out Of WorkGary U.S. Bonds9789
25Wasted On The WayCrosby, Stills & Nash7340
26Eye In The SkyAlan Parsons Project66
27You Can Do MagicAmerica1213
28Don't You Want MeHuman League94
29Make BelieveToto3019
30American MusicPointer Sisters9373
31Only The LonelyThe Motels10063
32I RanA Flock Of Seagulls2125
33Keep The Fire Burnin'REO Speedwagon94
34Always On My MindWillie Nelson
35No One Like YouScorpions
37Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On MeJuice Newton
38Workin' For A Livin'Huey Lewis and the News4153
39Heat Of The MomentAsia
40Going To A Go-GoRolling Stones
41What Kind Of Fool Am IRick Springfield
42PersonallyKarla Bonoff
43Caught Up In You38 Special
44Burning Down One SideRobert Plant6679
45Tainted LoveSoft Cell9883
EXTRANew World ManRush6366
EXTRAYou Keep Runnin' Away38 Special4437

There does seem to be some agreement within the Top 5 on all three charts but beyond those songs, there is little if any consensus.  The most obvious example is the song at number 10, "Vacation" by The Go-Go's: over on the Billboard chart that week, it was number 58 yet it was way up at number 7 on the Cashbox chart. I count nine songs, a full 20% of the songs listed, on the WLS survey that had already fallen off the other charts - or not charted at all. Also, this is the first time I remember seeing EXTRA songs at the bottom of a WLS survey. Still, it's a great mix of rock, pop, country, new wave and R&B. The two stations I was listening to in 1982 were rock-oriented but all these years later, this playlist is the kind of genre-blind mix I most appreciate listening to most days. It takes me back and puts a smile on my face, like meeting an old friend and picking right up where you left off as if no time had passed.
Eddie Money, who would appear in concert at the Aragon the following week, snagged the coveted backside of the survey Etcetera, Etc. and Bio spots, sponsored by custom jewelry designers Feinstein & Son, Inc. And I can't say I remember ever hearing Jock of the Week Jeff Davis during my six years of listening to WLS from 1975-1981. Maybe he was hired after I left the area?

The Spotify playlist above has 43 of the Forty-fives listed, not counting those two EXTRAs. Missing: number 18 is Joan Jett, whose first four albums have yet to appear on Spotify, and number 16 is "Loved By You" by The Kind, a local Chicago area band who also had the number 19 Thirty-three with their self-titled debut.
The Kind released Pain and Pleasure, a follow-up album, in 1983 and saw a single, "I've Got You", make the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in early 1984. I found no further releases from the band after that.


  1. The Kind's "Loved By You" sticks out like a sore thumb on that survey, doesn't it though? Like you, I'd never heard of it (or the band) before. And after listening to the YouTube clip over & over (about 10 times), I honestly can't fathom why a major label didn't pick up the distribution on that potential smash... Seriously killer '82une! (Made up a new word there! Aren't ya' proud of me?) :)

  2. The obvious omission is Haircut 100, that goes without saying. But I'll say it anyway: On September 25, 1982, Pelican West was sitting at the 102 spot on the Billboard albums chart while the single "Favourite Shirts" was at #50 on the Rock Albums chart Bubbling Under the Hot 100 at #106. Also, their song "Ski Club of Great Britain" was at #21 on the dance chart. But I digress. Greatly.

    Of the 47 singles listed above, a full 20 (43%) appeared on my countdown of the best 82 singles of 1982, including all 5 of the WLS top five. That list can be found here.

    Of the 33 albums listed above, eleven (33%) appeared on my countdown of the best 82 albums of 1982. That list can be found here.

    Overall, a killer singles listing - I only spot two tracks that would send me scrambling to change the station.

    That song by The Kind was new to me; it sounds like a bonus track from the Fast Times soundtrack. It sort of rambles on and on. Like this comment.