Friday, July 30, 2004

Friday Top 5: Let it What?

The summer of 1982 was the first one I spent in the full-time working world, as opposed to being a student and having great chunks of the summer off. And while I was playing country records by day (Number One on the country chart on this date in 1982--"Take Me Down" by Alabama), I was listening to the Top 40 the rest of the time, like always. Here’s the Top 5 on the Billboard chart 22 years ago today:

Number 5: "Let it Whip" by the Dazz Band. I don’t remember this at all, although I’d probably recognize it if you played it and told me what it was. Clearly, the Dazz Band was not big in Dubuque.

Number 4: "Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac. Mirage was Fleetwood Mac’s last great album, and although "Gypsy" is a better tune, "Hold Me" is full of Lindsey Buckingham’s trademark quirks, and sounded like nothing else on the radio, before or since.

Number 3: "Hurts So Good" by John Cougar. And he was still "Cougar" at this point, having been given the name by a manager against his will while he was still a struggling performer in the late 1970s. (He would start shedding it with his next album.) Rarely has a performer been so miscast. For the first three or four years of his career, he was packaged as a snarling city punk, but by the mid 1980s, he became a heartland poet out of the Springsteen mold. And he’s mainstream enough now to have been invited to the Democratic Convention earlier this week.

Number 2: "Rosanna" by Toto. How many million copies of Toto 4 do you suppose are like mine--collecting dust on the CD shelf, never getting played? I can’t remember the last time I put it in, or felt like putting it in. But if you’re only going to have one Toto tune, "Rosanna" is a pretty good one to pick. Unless it's "99." Or "Stranger in Town."

Number 1: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. This started a streak of hits for Survivor, a Chicago band with no real Chicago identity in their music, but with a radio-friendly sound that fit the needs of both Top 40 and album rock stations in the mid 1980s. Essential tune: 1985’s "High on You"--provided you can't get your hands on the utterly gorgeous 1971 hit "L.A. Goodbye" by the Ides of March, which was the band from whence came Survivor.

In the summer of 1982, I lived in the crappiest apartment I ever had--a furnished one-bedroom walkup in an old building, with three floor-to-ceiling windows facing the south and no air conditioning, so I was lucky if it got down to the low 80s in the place at night. Plus I had an infestation of enormous, multi-legged centipedes, and bats roosted under the overhang down at street level. Jeez, I'd rather remember the Dazz Band.


At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your apartment in 1982 sounds like the control room of the radio station I worked at in 1982. It was WAHC in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and the place was simply a studio inside a transmitter shack. AM sister station WNAM was 7 miles away in Neenah, Wisconsin and had purchased the station 18 months previously. When the lease ran out on
the downtown Oshkosh location, they moved the studio to the transmitter site in hopes of getting the technology
ironed out to move it to WNAM's building in Neenah.

WAHC was my first full-time radio job after college. It paid me $131 per week. We did an album-rock format and, yes, we played "Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac and "Rosanna" by Toto. In addition to my weekday airshift on WAHC, I did some weekend shifts on WNAM and
played great songs like, "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" by Melissa Manchester and "Do You Believe in Love" by Huey Lewis and the News.

Also of note in the summer of 1982...another one of the jocks on WAHC was none other than John "Sly" Sylvester!
Check out his website at where he describes his time at WAHC (believe me, he greatly embellishes the story). was the summer of the '82 Milwaukee Brewers...God Bless Harvey's Wallbangers! -----Shark

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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