Monday has arrived once again – we’re finally going to see some relief from the heat today – it’s been sweltering since last Wednesday. Owning a house that is 91 years old means no air conditioning. For that matter, many of the houses built here in the Pacific Northwest don’t have A/C, since we never used to actually need it. This summer so far? Boy, I sure wish we had it!
At least Monday means music, so there’s some comfort in that! For the month of August, our Spotlight Dancer is our very own friend and co-conductor, Alana from Ramblin’ with AM! The theme selected for this week is “Build a playlist from one decade (that one was so much fun let’s do it again!)” That was a fun theme – let’s get this decade party started!
Most of you know that the 80s and 90s are typically my favorite decades of music – this week I’m going to focus on the 80s in honor of my late best friend Peggy, who hands down loved the 80s tunes best.
Let’s start with a song from an English rock band from their 1983 album which is considered their ‘signature song’. Written by the lead singer, the single was the biggest US and Canadian hit of 1983, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks (the band’s only No. 1 hit on that chart), and the Canadian RPM Chart for four weeks, while spending an additional six weeks at No. 2. It also topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks and the Billboard US Top Tracks chart for nine weeks, while reaching the Top 10 in numerous other countries.
At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards, the song was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Record of the Year, winning in the first two categories. In the 1983 Rolling Stone critics’ and readers’ poll, it was voted “Song of the Year”. In the US, it was the best-selling single of 1983 and fifth-best-selling single of the decade.
Here’s The Police with “Every Breath You Take”:
Next up is a song from an American new wave band, and the theme to the 1980 film American Gigolo. The song appeared in the film and was released in the United States in early 1980 as a single, which was No. 1 for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it became the band’s biggest single and second No. 1.
It also hit No. 1 in the UK and Canada, where it became their fourth and second chart-topper, respectively.
Give a listen to Blondie with “Call Me”:
Next up is a favorite song from the 80s that was recorded for the soundtrack of a favorite movie whose title was the same name of this song. It’s a power ballad in which its protagonist implores an ex-lover to “take a look at me now”, knowing that reconciliation is “against all odds” while considering it worth trying.
The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, the first of seven US No. 1’s for this artist in his solo career. The song has been covered by several singers, some versions of which have been successful in both the US and UK markets.
Here’s Phil Collins with “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”:
Last, but certainly not least, is an 80s song from one of my all-time favorite movies from 1983. Music composer Giorgio Moroder was asked to score the film, so he wrote the music while the artist paired with another writer and wrote the lyrics. They wrote most of the lyrics after they were shown the last scene from the film in which the main character dances at an audition for a group of judges. They felt that the dancer’s ambition to succeed could act as a metaphor for achieving any dream a person has and wrote lyrics that described what it feels like when music inspires someone to dance. The song wound up being used for the scene they watched as well as during the opening credits as the main character is shown working as a welder.
Their collaboration was the first single to be released from the soundtrack album and received positive reviews. Because the movie was going to be released in mid-April of that year, Casablanca Records made the single available in March as a way of marketing the film to the target audience. The unexpected success at the box office resulted in stores across the US selling out of both the single and its parent album just days after the movie was in theaters.
Get ready to dance, here’s Irene Cara with “Flashdance… What a Feeling”:
That’s a wrap for this week – see you on the dance floor!
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
Alana from Ramblin’ with AM