Answers, Results & Commentary
Congratulations to Julie
McClelland the winner of this
edition of NMLQOTM with a near-perfect scores of 535
points. Gabriella Ziegler ran a close second,
just 2 points back with 533 points and Bunny
Zukowski followed a very close 3rd with 528
Twenty of the twenty-seven songs in this edition were Top
10, and five went all the way to #1. It took a little
sleuthing to track down the artists of songs #19 and 22,
as both are more commonly associated with other
performers; "Good Vibrations" was a #1 hit for
the Beach Boys in 1966, while The Main Ingredient visited
the Top 40 for the first of only three times with their
1972 recording of "Everybody Plays The Fool".
A few performers in the quiz had careers
that can pretty well be summed up by the songs included
here, but it's not entirely fair to call them "One
Hit Wonders". Though "O-o-h Child" was the
only Top 40 hit for The Five Stairsteps, the group
appeared in the Hot 100 seventeen other times. Free
cracked the Top 10 with "All Right Now", then
scored one more Hot 100 title, 1970's
"Stealer", which stalled at #49. The cynics
amongst us may have noticed that a single letter exchange
would turn "Men Without Hats" into "Men
Without Hits", but "The Safety Dance"
wasn't even their only Top 40 hit - anyone remember
""Pop Goes The World"?
Oddballs this time? Grand Funk dropped the
"Railroad" beginning with their 1973 album
"We're An American Band", so 1974's "Some
Kind Of Wonderful", which appeared on the "All
The Girls In The World Beware!!!" disc was a
"Grand Funk" song. This quiz also demonstrated
the freedom of choice theory of title punctuation - while
The Moody Blues got exclamatory with "Go Now!"
and Gerry and the Pacemakers inquisitive with "How
Do You Do It?", Peter Frampton came alive with a
"Do You Feel Like We Do" that lacked a question
mark. The flocking Seagulls were "A Flock of
Here are the correct titles and
artists with year of release and highest charting
position on the Billboard Hot 100:
01> Aerosmith - Dream On (1973) <59>
02> Bread - Everything I Own (1972) <5>
03> Clanton, Jimmy - Venus In Blue Jeans (1962)
04> Crosby, Stills & Nash - Just A Song Before I
Go (1977) <7>
05> Delfonics, The - Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This
Time) (1970) <10>
06> Diamond, Neil - Solitary Man (1966) <55>
07> Five Stairsteps, The - O-o-h Child (1970)
08> Flock Of Seagulls, A - I Ran (So Far Away) (1982)
09> Foreigner - Feels Like The First Time (1977)
10> Frampton, Peter - Do You Feel Like We Do (1976)
11> Free - All Right Now (1970) <4>
12> Gerry And The Pacemakers - How Do You Do It?
13> Grand Funk - Some Kind of Wonderful (1974)
14> Joel, Billy - The Entertainer (1974) <34>
15> Lennon, John - Nobody Told Me (1984) <5>
16> Lovin' Spoonful, The - Summer In The City (1966)
17> Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance (1983)
18> Moody Blues, The - Go Now! (1965) <10>
19> Neville, Aaron - Everybody Plays The Fool (1991)
20> Peterson, Ray - Tell Laura I Love Her (1960)
21> Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall Part II
22> Rundgren, Todd - Good Vibrations (1976) <34>
23> Simon & Garfunkel - You Don't Know Where Your
Interest Lies (1967) <-->
24> Small Faces - Itchycoo Park (1967) <16>
25> Starr, Ringo - Photograph (1973) <1>
26> Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense And Peppermints
27> Turtles, The - Happy Together (1967) <1>
As for the surprisingly difficult theme, I reverted to
the hidden message trick. Reading from the very last song
title in the list ("Happy Together") upwards,
you should have alternated back and forth between the
first letter in the first word and the first letter in
the second word of each song's title. "Happy
Together" offered an "H", "Incense
And Peppermints" an "A",
"Photograph" a "P", and
"Itchycoo Park" another "P". Taken in
their entirety, the letters from the 27 songs spelled out
"H-A-P-P-Y V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E-S D-A-Y F-R-O-M
D-A-V-I-D", which was fitting given the quiz'
February 11 start date.
Listed below are the points for each
Kenny Rogers And The First Edition recording of
Just this week, I was asked to write an essay about the
top two Billboard pop songs in each year of the 80s.
Given that it took a while, and offered up some
interesting trivia, I thought some of you might enjoy it.
Next time around, we'll go back to the usual practice of
including trivia about the groups and songs within the
The top two songs of 1980 on the
Billboard's Year-end (YE) Hot 100 chart were:
1. Call Me - Blondie
2. Another Brick In the Wall - Pink Floyd
"Call Me" was featured on the soundtrack of
"American Gigolo", the Richard Gere - Lauren
Hutton film of that year.
Interesting notes: John Travolta and Christopher Reeve
were each rumored to have turned down the lead (Gere)
role in the film.
"Call Me" was one of several "movie"
songs to reach #1 during the 1980s, including
"Footlose", "(I've Had) The Time Of My
Life", and both ""Flashdance...What A
Feeling" and "Maniac", from the film
Giorgio Moroder wanted Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac to
record "Call Me", but she turned down the role,
and Deborah Harry wound up writing the lyrics for the
song that became the second of four number one hits for
Despite Pink Floyd's status as critic favorites and cult
icons, "Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)"
was only their second Hot 100 charter, preceded only by
"Money", from the Dark Side Of The Moon album
that hung on the album charts for a record 741 weeks.
"Call Me" replaced "Another Brick" at
the top of the charts after its 4 week run.
The album "The Wall" reflected the band's
experiences on their lengthy "Animals" tour,
and the "wall" refers to the increasing
separation that Pink Floyd felt was growing between the
band and its fans, as Floyd was pressed to achieve
The well-known kids' chant on "Another Brick"
(...we don't need no education...) was created by an
engineer who was asked to summon "10-15 year olds
from North London, mostly boys". Although Roger
Waters and David Gilmour originally intended to use the
vocals as a backing chorus, they were so pleased with the
sound that they decided to use the voices a capella.
Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats/Live Aid) starred in a
moderately successful 1982 film "The Wall",
based on the album. Director Alan Parker didn't get along
with Roger Waters - and the band took a shot at him on
their next album, "The Final Cut".
If the top 2 songs are ranked soley on their chart
success, the top 2 songs of 1980 were Queen's
"Another One Bites The Dust" and the
aforementioned "Call Me", by Blondie.
1981: Billboard Hot 100 YE Chart:
1. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
2. Endless Love - Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
"Bette Davis Eyes" was co-written by Jackie
DeShannon (herself a performer of hits like "What
The World Needs Now Is Love" and "Put A Little
Love In Your Heart"). DeShannon had recorded the
song herself on a 1975 album that received little
attention. The Carnes version was #1 for 9 weeks between
May and July in 1981, interrupted for one week by the
Stars on 45 medley.
Bette Davis Eyes was #1 in 21 countries and won Song of
the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammy awards in
"Endless Love" was the other dominant song of
1981, also holding down the #1 spot for 9 weeks, from
August until October. At the time, Endless Love was the
most successful Motown single of all time, the most
successful duet of all time, and, here again, as featured
in the 1981 Brooke Shields film of the same name, the
best selling soundtrack single of all time.
Lionel Richie wrote the music and lyrics to the song.
Looking at just chart success, the top 2 singles of 1981
were "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John, and
"Bette Davis Eyes". "Physical", which
we'll consider again in a second, is credited on this
list as a 1981 song because it was released in October.
Billboard's Hot 100 looks at this as a 1982 song, because
it didn't hit #1 until November 21, 1981, with
(apparently) most of its sales coming in 1982.
1982: Billboard Hot 100 YE Chart:
1. Physical - Olivia Newton-John
2. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
Physical is the rare #1 song that saw some radio stations
ban it for its "suggestive" lyrics. Citing
"I took you to an intimate restaurant, then to a
suggestive movie Thereīs nothinī left to talk about,
unless itīs horizontally",
the South African Broadcasting Corporation refused to
play the song as released.
Newton-John turned the success of "Physical"
into a temporary career making fitness videos, then later
opened an unsuccesful clothing venture "Koala
Blue", meant to invoke her native Australia.
Physical was #1 for 10 weeks, at that time, the second
longest streak of all time.
"Eye of The Tiger" is yet another #1 hit with a
movie tie-in, this time, featured in the soundtrack of
Rocky III. The two previous Rocky films had both featured
"Gonna Fly Now" by Bill Conti as "Rocky's
Theme", and that song was also a #1 hit, back in
1977. Sylvester Stallone wanted a harder-rocking sound
for the third film's soundtrack, and he selected
little-known Survivor to provide the tune.
Jim Peterik of Survivor had been in Ides of March, which
had a 1970 hit with "Vehicle", and he wrote the
lyrics for "Eye of the Tiger" after seeing a
rough early cut of Rocky III. He noticed that Rocky's
trainer kept exhorting him with the claim that he had the
"eye of the tiger", so he wrote a song around
Top 2 hits of 1982, based on chart success: "Eye of
the Tiger" and "Centerfold", by the J.
1983: Billboard Hot 100 YE Chart:
1. Every Breath You Take - The Police
2. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Forget the British Invasion of the late '60s, 1983 was
the most successful year ever for British acts on the
American pop charts. Billboard's Year End chart for 1983
listed 33 songs by British acts. "Every Breath You
Take" became the fourth song by a British band to
top the Billboard chart for an entire year (Beatles,
Rolling Stones, Queen).
In "Rolling Stone", Sting was quoted as saying
"Every Breath" wasn't intended as a sweet love
song - "I consider it a fairly nasty song. It's
about surveillance and ownership and jealousy."
The other major influence on the 1983 singles charts was
Michael Jackson - six of the songs on the year end Hot
100 were his.
"Billie Jean" was from the smash album
"Thriller", which spent 37 weeks at #1 on the
Billboard album chart and featured seven top 10 singles.
When Billie Jean reached #1 in March, Jackson became the
first ever artist to top the singles and album charts in
both pop and R&B simultaneously. The song also was #1
on the dance/disco chart and #1 on the singles and album
charts in England.
1. Every Breath You Take
2. Flashdance..What A Feeling - Irene Cara
1984: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. When Doves Cry - Prince (TAFKAP?)
2. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
Prince Rogers Nelson, a self-taught musician who claims
proficiency in 27 instruments, included When Doves Cry in
his 1984 autobiographical film "Purple Rain".
Oddly, the album was written after the film was
completed. This song became the 5th ever soundtrack tune
to be the #1 song for an entire year.
"What's Love Got To Do With It" has the odd
distinction of being the #1 song with the longest gap
between its artist's first chart appearance and their
first #1 song. Tina Turner had first charted in 1960 with
her then-husband Ike, and 24 years later, here she was at
#1 for the first time.
When Turner first heard "What's Love", she
hated it. Given a little reworking (to make it
"rougher"), the song won Record of the Year,
Song of the Year, Pop Vocal of the Year, and Rock Vocal
of the Year" at the Grammys, and held the #1 spot
for 3 weeks in the fall of 1984.
The same two songs (in the same order) were the top two
songs of 1984 in chart performance.
1985: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. Careless Whisper - Wham! Featuring George Michael
2. Like A Virgin - Madonna
The charting version of Careless Whisper was released as
a solo single in England. George Michael reportedly wrote
the song as a bored 16 year-old theater usher. Although
Andrew Ridgely did not perform on the recording, the song
was released as by "Wham!" to capitalize on the
success of the 1984 hit "Wake Me Up Before You Go
Wham! became the first major Western rock act to peform
in China, when they played at the People's Gymnasium in
Peking before 12,000 on April 7, 1985. Another show at
the Opera House in Canton attracted 5000 fans, who paid
$1.60 for the concert and a cassette copy of the band's
album "Make It Big".
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was first heard
nationally singing backup vocals on the Patrick Hernandez
disco hit "Born To Be Alive". 1985 was her
breakout year, and "Like A Virgin" was her very
first of (now) eleven #1 songs.
Chart-only rankings for the year:
1. Careless Whisper
2. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
1986: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. Thats What Friends Are For - Dionne and Friends
2. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
"Thats What Friends Are For" almost
qualifies as yet another soundtrack #1, but when the Rod
Stewart-performed song appeared in 1982's "Night
Shift", it was virtually ignored. It wasnt
until Dionne Warwick and "friends" Gladys
Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John re-recorded the tune
in 1985 that it became a monster hit, #1 for four weeks
"Thats What Friends Are For" is a joint
effort of the Burt Bacharach-Carole Bayer Sager marriage.
Though Bacharach was well known for writing earlier
Dionne Warwick hits ("I Say A Little Prayer",
"This Girls In Love With You", "Walk
On By", "Ill Never Fall In Love
Again"), the "Friends" collaboration was
somewhat unexpected. In 1971, Warwick had sued Bachrach
and his partner, Hal David, alleging breach of contract,
and Bacharach had not spoken to the singer in over 10
years. By the way, Bacharach was formerly married to
Angie Dickinson, and Dionne Warwick is Whitney
When the recording was first made, only Warwick and
Wonder appeared on the tape, Gladys Knight and Elton John
added their voices later, after it was agreed that all
profits from the song would be donated to the American
Foundation for AIDS research.
"Say You, Say Me" was one of two #1 songs from
the soundtrack of 1985's Mikhail Baryshnikov-Gregory
Hines film hit "White Nights" - the other was
"Separate Lives", a duet for Phil Collins and
Marilyn Martin. Oddly, the chart performance of "Say
You, Say Me" wasnt assisted by its appearance
on the film soundtrack album; Richies recording
label, Motown, asked that their stars song not be
Chart performance rankings:
1. Thats What Friends Are For
2. Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
1987: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
2. Alone - Heart
"Walk Like An Egyptian" was originally offered
to Toni "Mickey" Basil, but when she rejected
the song, it accidentally wound up with The Bangles. The
songs publisher sent a tape of tunes to the group,
asking them to consider recording the first song.
Somehow, the order on the tape was confused, and they
wound up considering "Walk Like An Egyptian",
rather than the intended song "Rock And Roll
The Bangles had scored a #2 hit with their 1986 debut
"Manic Monday", written by Prince under the
pseudonym "Christopher", and enjoyed even more
success when "Walk Like An Egyptian" reached #1
for 4 weeks in late 1986 and early 1987. Theres
little doubt that the song was helped immeasurably by MTV
play - Susanna Hoffs eye-motions in the video were
both parodied and adored.
"Alone" was the second #1 record for Heart,
featuring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. Though most
people associate the Wilsons with Heart, they
werent original members. Ann joined the band in
1970, Nancy joined in 1974. The band was originally
"The Army", when formed way back in 1963, and
later "White Heart". By 1979, all of the
founding members had moved on.
One interesting note about Heart. The band began in
Seattle, but moved to Vancouver in 1975, so manager Mike
Fisher could avoid the Vietnam war draft. They returned
to the states after amnesty was declared for draftees.
Chart performance rankings:
1. Faith - George Michael
2. Alone - Heart
1988: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. Faith - George Michael
2. Need You Tonight - INXS
George Michael became the third artist in the rock era to
have two year-end #1 hits, joining only The Beatles and
Rod Stewart. "Faith" was the first of four
consecutive solo #1s for the artist, after disbanding his
relationship with Andrew Ridgely in 1986. Michael claimed
that "Faith" represented his feelings of
optimism at the time the song was written - by chart
performance alone, you would have to say that his
"faith" was well rewarded.
"Need You Tonight" became only the third song
by an Australian group to top the Billboard Hot 100. Air
Supply had reached #1 in 1981, and Men At Work followed
in both 1982 and 1983. Lead singer Michael Hutchence
committed suicide in 1997, but a controversy has grown up
around the incident, with many, including his girlfriend
Paula Yates, insisting that they have
"evidence" that contradicts the coroners
Chart performance rankings:
1. Need You Tonight
2. Look Away - Chicago
1989: Billboard YE Hot 100:
1. Look Away - Chicago
2. My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
Chicago had been successfully recording for 19 years
before "Look Away" became the bands
first-ever #1 song of the year in 1989. "Look
Away" was the bands 24th charting single, and
their best-selling song of all-time. The lead singer on
"Look Away" was Jason Scheff, who had replaced
original member Peter Cetera in 1985. The song was one of
three top ten hits from the album simply titled
"19", a slight change from the usual practice
of naming the bands releases "Chicago
15", "Chicago 17", etc. The lone exception
to the formula was the groups 1978 effort "Hot
"My Prerogative" was from the #1 album
"Dont Be Cruel". The album featured a
song with that title, but it wasnt the Elvis
Presley hit. Nonetheless, the albums surprise
success made Brown the youngest male artist to top the
album chart since Stevie Wonders "Little
Stevie Wonder/ The 12 Year Old Genius" in 1963.
Brown, who had appeared in the R&B boy band "New
Edition", would later become more famous for his
badboy image and his contentious marriage to fellow
singing star Whitney Houston.
Chart performance ranking:
1. Another Day In Paradise - Phil Collins
2. Miss You Much - Janet Jackson