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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Friday, August 26, 2005
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Here's a silly change of pace. This is a list of the Top 100 pop songs in the U.S. the year I graduated from high school, 1984. There are a lot of bad songs on this list, yet who would argue that 2005 is a better year for pop?

1. When Doves Cry, Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
3. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. Footloose, Kenny Loggins
5. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Phil Collins
6. Jump, Van Halen
7. Hello, Lionel Richie
8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Yes
9. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
10. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
11. Missing You, John Waite
12. All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie
13. Let's Hear It For The Boy, Deniece Williams
14. Dancing In The Dark, Bruce Springsteen
15. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
16. The Reflex, Duran Duran
17. Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
18. Jump (For My Love), Pointer Sisters
19. Talking In Your Sleep, Romantics
20. Self Control, Laura Branigan
21. Let's Go Crazy, Prince and The Revolution
22. Say It Isn't So, Daryl Hall and John Oates
23. Hold Me Now, Thompson Twins
24. Joanna, Kool and The Gang
25. I Just Called To Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
26. Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell
27. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
28. 99 Luftballons, Nena
29. I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman
30. The Glamorous Life, Sheila E.
31. Oh Sherrie, Steve Perry
32. Stuck On You, Lionel Richie
33. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John
34. She Bop, Cyndi Lauper
35. Borderline, Madonna
36. Sunglasses At Night, Corey Hart
37. Eyes Without A Face, Billy Idol
38. Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics
39. Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
40. Sister Christian, Night Ranger
41. Drive, Cars
42. Twist Of Fate, Olivia Newton-John
43. Union Of The Snake, Duran Duran
44. The Heart Of Rock 'N' Roll, Huey Lewis and The News
45. Hard Habit To Break, Chicago
46. The Warrior, Scandal
47. If Ever You're In My Arms Again, Peabo Bryson
48. Automatic, Pointer Sisters
49. Let The Music Play, Shannon
50. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
51. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
52. That's All, Genesis
53. Running With The Night, Lionel Richie
54. Sad Songs (Say So Much), Elton John
55. I Want A New Drug, Huey Lewis and The News
56. Islands In The Stream, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
57. Love Is A Battlefield, Pat Benatar
58. Infatuation, Rod Stewart
59. Almost Paradise, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
60. Legs, ZZ Top
61. State Of Shock, Jacksons
62. Love Somebody, Rick Springfield
63. Miss Me Blind, Culture Club
64. If This Is It, Huey Lewis and The News
65. You Might Think, Cars
66. Lucky Star, Madonna
67. Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen
68. Cum On Feel The Noize, Quiet Riot
69. Breakdance, Irene Cara
70. Adult Education, Daryl Hall and John Oates
71. They Don't Know, Tracy Ullman
72. An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
73. Cruel Summer, Bananarama
74. Dance Hall Days, Wang Chung
75. Give It Up, K.C.
76. I'm So Excited, Pointer Sisters
77. I Still Can't Get Over Loving You, Ray Parker Jr.
78. Thriller, Michael Jackson
79. Holiday, Madonna
80. Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us, Ollie And Jerry
81. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
82. Church Of The Poison Mind, Culture Club
83. Think Of Laura, Christopher Cross
84. Time Will Reveal, Debarge
85. Wrapped Around Your Finger, Police
86. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. Round And Round, Ratt
88. Head Over Heels, Go-Go's
89. The Longest Time, Billy Joel
90. Tonight, Kool and The Gang
91. Got A Hold On Me, Christine McVie
92. Dancing In The Sheets, Shalamar
93. Undercover Of The Night, Rolling Stones
94. On The Dark Side, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band
95. New Moon On Monday, Duran Duran
96. Major Tom (Coming Home), Peter Schilling
97. Magic, Cars
98. When You Close Your Eyes, Night Ranger
99. Rock Me Tonite, Billy Squier
100. Yah Mo B There, James Ingram and Michael McDonald

The shittiest song on that list has to be "State of Shock", which was on a Jacksons album, but is really a "duet" between Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger. I doubt the two were ever within 1500 miles of each other. I'm a Jagger fan, but, holy crap, this song sucks. Come to think of it, so does that other Michael Jackson duet, "Say Say Say", which was on Paul McCartney's PIPES OF PEACE LP. At least it's catchy and amiable. The one thing I remember about Michael Jackson back then is getting in arguments with people who swore up and down that he wasn't gay. I don't think anybody today would be so certain of Michael's heterosexuality, but I remember seeing this guy romping with Paul in that "Say Say Say" video...remember when Paul plops a playful smoodge of shaving cream on Michael's face? Michael reacts in a manner that makes Jm J. Bullock look like Victor Mature on Viagra.

I was not really into contemporary pop music then, although I listened to a lot of it on WLRW, and I still have some of these original 45s that I bought at one of Market Place Mall's two record stores. I was mostly listening to "oldies"--Beatles, Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stones. Also a lot of movie soundtracks; THE ROAD WARRIOR was a big favorite...STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, CAPRICORN ONE, STAR WARS, BLUE THUNDER. Yeah, I was real popular with the ladies.

I'd say there're probably 15-20 songs on that list that I don't even recognize. And that's after years of working as a radio disc jockey. Who the fuck are Ollie & Jerry?

Posted by Marty at 11:30 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 5:22 AM CDT

Name: Robert

I'm sure people were asking "who the fuck are Ollie & Jerry?" even when their song "Breakin'" was in relatively heavy rotation thanks to that surprise hit Cannon film. Maybe they worked for Cannon, doing things like sorting mail, helping with sound editing, or staging impromptu break dance competitions in the parking lot.

Being the same age as yourself all of those songs (well, most of 'em) are seriously familiar. Even if I haven't heard them in years, just reading through the list and seeing a particular title is enough for a melody to jump back into my head. That was also an era when music video was in its infancy, so some of those videos also haunt my memory for various reasons. The oddly erotic "Self Control" video with the lovely, late Laura Branigan is one. Nena, her armpit hair, and her 99 Luftballons is another. I think the top 100 may have differed somewhat in Canada but most of the same artists & songs would still be there.

It's funny to look through the top 100 and realize how many of them I actually saw in concert. Prince (and he had Sheila E. with him, so does that count as two?), John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Duran Duran (opening for David Bowie), and while I missed Van Halen I later caught David Lee Roth, with Steve Vai on guitar.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 9:03 PM CDT

Name: Jables

Kenny Loggins kicks ass. Don't be jealous just because you can't hang in the "Danger Zone."

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 12:01 AM CDT

Name: Tolemite

no, Kenny Loggins does not kick ass.

i went through the list, and out of the 100 songs, the only three i have in my collection are the two Springsteen songs and the Peter Schilling "Major Tom" song (which i downloaded by accident while looking for the Bowie "Major Tom" song, but found that i kinda liked).

this may seem like a small percentage until you consider that it's 300% more pop songs from 1984 in my collection than from 2004.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 7:16 PM CDT

Name: Lauren
Home Page:

Wow, this list reads like a soft rock/adult contemporary playlist. Neat!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 8:11 PM CDT

Name: Marty McKee

Well, look who's reading my blog! I thought you'd never stop by.

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