Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, October 17th

On this day in 1981: Christopher Cross started a three week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Arthur’s Theme, (Best That You Can Do)’, his second U.S. #1. This ended the NINE week run at #1 for Diana Ross & Lionel Richie’s ‘Endless Love.’

It was the main theme for the 1981 Film ‘Arthur’ starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. The song won an Oscar for Best original Song in 1982. In the U.S., it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in October 1981, remaining at the top of the Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. Overseas, it also went to number one on the VG-lista chart in Norway, and was a top ten hit in several other countries. The song became the second and last American #1 hit by Christopher Cross.

The song was written in collaboration between Cross, pop music composer Burt Bacharach, and Bacharach’s frequent writing partner and then wife Carole Bayer Sager. A fourth writing credit went to Minnelli’s ex-husband and Australian songwriter Peter Allen, also a frequent collaborator with Bayer Sager: the line “When you get caught between the moon and New York City” from the chorus was taken from an unreleased song Allen and Bayer Sager had previously written together. Allen came up with the line while his plane was in a holding pattern during a night arrival at J.F.K. airport in New York.

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1981:

1 2 ARTHUR’S THEME (Best That You Can Do) –•– Christopher Cross (Warner Brothers)-10 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 ENDLESS LOVE –•– Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (Motown)-15 (1)
3 7 START ME UP –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-9 (3)
4 5 FOR YOUR EYES ONLY –•– Sheena Easton (Liberty)-13 (4)
5 6 STEP BY STEP –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-13 (5)
6 8 PRIVATE EYES –•– Daryl Hall and John Oates (RCA)-8 (6)
7 3 STOP DRAGGIN’ MY HEART AROUND –•– Stevie Nicks (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) (Modern)-13 (3)
8 4 WHO’S CRYING NOW –•– Journey (Columbia)-14 (4)
9 13 HARD TO SAY –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-8 (9)
10 11 THE NIGHT OWLS –•– Little River Band (Capitol)-9 (10)

11 9 URGENT –•– Foreigner (Atlantic)-16 (4)
12 17 I’VE DONE EVERYTHING FOR YOU –•– Rick Springfield (RCA)-9 (12)
13 10 HOLD ON TIGHT –•– ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) (Jet)-13 (10)
14 22 TRYIN’ TO LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT YOU –•– Bob Seger (Capitol)-6 (14)
15 16 SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME –•– Kenny Rogers (Liberty)-7 (15)
16 21 WHEN SHE WAS MY GIRL –•– The Four Tops (Casablanca)-10 (16)
17 19 SUPER FREAK (Part 1) –•– Rick James (Gordy)-11 (17)
18 18 I COULD NEVER MISS YOU (More Than I Do) –•– Lulu (Alfa)-12 (18)
19 20 WE’RE IN THIS LOVE TOGETHER –•– Al Jarreau (Warner Brothers)-12 (19)
20 25 SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-6 (20)

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