Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1981

Our survey now brings us to 1981. Surprisingly, I only had to go to #41 for the 25 songs on this list, even though I had to go all the way to #11 before finding a song that hadn’t been a #1.

What’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980

Best #1 single polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All-time

Yeesh. What a terrible year for the Top 40.

I’m sure a lot of people are going to pick the Lennon tune, but let’s be honest with ourselves: if John Lennon hadn’t been tragically killed, Double Fantasy would have sunk like a stone.

Weird how many of these I did not recognize since I was in high school back then.

ABBA was an easy choice. Great song.

Oh, come now. The 1980 list was much worse.

For me, this was a three-way dance between “Urgent”, “Take It On the Run”, and “Believe It Or Not”.

I went with the theme from The Greatest American Hero, even though I’ve never seen a single episode of the show in my life, because;

  1. It’s a darn catchy song

  2. I’m fairly sure one of the other two is going to win

  3. Nothing says “80s music” more than the TV theme songs of Mike Post, and I’m tickled pink that one of those songs was actually the biggest hit to not reach #1 in this particular year.

Nah, the 1980 list had at least two great songs on it. This one? I can’t even vote for one, but I also don’t recognize about 80% of these songs.

I take every opportunity to vote for Bill Withers.

You said it. Maybe 2 songs on this list that I can even stand to listen to.

Went with Juice Newton. Love me some “Angel of the Morning.”

Meh, I went with “Just The Two of Us”. Maybe in second and third place John Lennon and Climax Blues Band, or Raydio. Most I am not familiar.

My wife’s aunt passed away a couple of weeks ago and her favorite song was “Guilty”, so Aunt Dorothy, this vote’s for you. Otherwise, I would’ve voted for the Commodores and “Lady”.

The American Hero song was OK, but I detested the TV show and remember exactly when I decided to give up watching it - it was the scene in the pilot where the hero gets the suit, starts walking away, and then drops the instruction manual. I’m not a big fan of incompetence in any form, and I didn’t want to waste my time with a TV show where a large part of the plot derived from the guys inability to control his powers. :rolleyes:

However, it’s prevented from being the worst song on this list by the presence of Elvira, a song that would give me pain every time I heard it. :eek:

No vote from me for this year = they all suck.

Who are these people?

Elvira: some of my grade school classmates did a lip-synced “performance” of that song for the school talent show. That’s my main memory of the song now.

I chose “Take it on the Run” over “The Best of Times”… I believe Paradise Theater was the last 8-track my parents bought. The stereo with the 8-track player got moved to the basement where my Legos were kept and I listened to that a lot through the rest of the 80’s.

Yeesh…I’ll have the Crab Juice.

I’ll go with Styx on this one. Really, this is a dreadful list and probably why I was so in to punk and heavy metal at the time instead.

That’s one of ABBA’s most intense songs, so that. “Being With You” and “Guilty” are nice too.

Joey Scarbury…? Oh, “George Isn’t at Home”

I voted for Take It On The Run because I LOVE REO Speedwagon’s earlier stuff and haven’t gotten to vote for them yet. So a vote for TIOTR is actually a vote for Back On The Road Again, 157 Riverside Avenue, Golden Country, etc. Gary Richrath, OMG.

“Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who…” does makes me cringe.

Out of that awful list I picked REO.

My mother loved “Elvira” and played the grooves off that record. Any time I went over to the house she’d be playing it.

If I never hear that freaking song again it’ll be too soon!:mad:

I had to vote for “Every Woman in the World.” I know, Air Supply, ha ha. But I have fond memories of couple-skating to that song when I was 15.

Juice Newton almost got my vote, but in the end I decided to give it to Marty, for old times sake.