Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, January 30th

On this day in 1982: Hall & Oates went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).’ It would spend one week in the top spot. It was released as the second single from their tenth studio album ‘Private Eyes’. The song became the fourth number #1 single of their career on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Oates has stated that while many listeners may assume the lyrics are about a relationship, in reality, the song, “is about the music business. That song is really about not being pushed around by big labels, managers and agents, and being told what to do, and being true to yourself creatively.” This was done intentionally, he explained, to universalize the topic of the song into something everyone could relate to and ascribe personal meaning to in their own way.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart on from this day back in 1982:

1 4 I CAN’T GO FOR THAT (No Can Do) –•– Daryl Hall and John Oates (RCA)-12 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 2 WAITING FOR A GIRL LIKE YOU –•– Foreigner (Atlantic)-17 (2)
3 3 CENTERFOLD –•– The J. Geils Band (EMI-America)-13 (3)
4 1 PHYSICAL –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-18 (1)
5 5 HARDEN MY HEART –•– Quarterflash (Geffen)-16 (5)
6 6 LEATHER AND LACE –•– Stevie Nicks (with Don Henley) (Modern)-15 (6)
7 7 TURN YOUR LOVE AROUND –•– George Benson (Warner Brothers)-15 (7)
8 8 LET’S GROOVE –•– Earth, Wind and Fire (ARC)-18 (3)
9 10 THE SWEETEST THING (I’ve Ever Known) –•– Juice Newton (Capitol)-16 (9)
10 11 HOOKED ON CLASSICS (Medley) –•– Louis Clark Conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RCA)-14 (10)

11 12 COMIN’ IN AND OUT OF YOUR LIFE –•– Barbra Streisand (Columbia)-12 (11)
12 13 COOL NIGHT –•– Paul Davis (Arista)-13 (12)
13 14 SHAKE IT UP –•– The Cars (Elektra)-11 (13)
14 16 WAITING ON A FRIEND –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-9 (14)
15 15 SOMEONE COULD LOSE A HEART TONIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-12 (15)
16 17 LEADER OF THE BAND –•– Dan Fogelberg (Full Moon / Epic)-10 (16)
17 18 TAKE IT EASY ON ME –•– Little River Band (Capitol)-9 (17)
18 19 COME GO WITH ME –•– The Beach Boys (Caribou)-11 (18)
19 22 SWEET DREAMS –•– Air Supply (Arista)-8 (19)
20 21 YOU COULD HAVE BEEN WITH ME –•– Sheena Easton (EMI-America)-10 (20)

On this day in 1988: INXS went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Need You Tonight.’ It would spent one week in the top spot.

“Need You Tonight” was the first single released worldwide from Australian rock band INXS’ 1987 album, ‘Kick’, as well as the fourth song on the album. It is the only INXS single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also achieved their highest charting position in the United Kingdom, where the song reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart; however, this peak was only reached after a re-release of the single in November 1988. On its first run on the UK charts in October 1987, it stalled at #58. It was one of the last songs recorded for the album, yet it would arguably become the band’s signature song.

INXS writer, keyboardist, and backing vocalist Andrew Farriss said that the famous riff to the song appeared suddenly in his head while waiting for a cab to go to the airport to fly to Hong Kong. He asked the cab driver to wait a couple of minutes while he grabbed something from his motel room. In fact, he went up to record the riff and came back down an hour later with a tape to a very annoyed driver.

The song is a much more electronic track than most of the band’s material before or after, combining sequencers with regular drum tracks and a number of tracks of layered guitars. To approximate the sound on the recorded track, the band often utilizes click tracks for a frequent synthesizer chord as well as rim shots heard throughout the song.

On the ‘Kick’ album, the song is linked to the next song, which is entitled either ‘Mediate’ or “Meditate”, depending on the pressing of the album. On some compilations, the two tunes appear together and on others, only “Need You Tonight” appears (rarely, if ever, has “Mediate” appeared on its own).

The music video combined live action and different kinds of animation. Directed by Richard Lowenstein, the video was actually “Need You Tonight / Mediate”, as it combined two songs from the album. Lowenstein claimed that the particular visual effects in “Need You Tonight” were created by cutting up 35mm film and photocopying the individual frames, before re-layering those images over the original footage.

For “Mediate”, it segues into a tribute to Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. The members flip cue cards with words from the song; the last one displays the words “Sax Solo,” at which point Kirk Pengilly starts a saxophone solo. Beneath the lyric “a special date” in the “Mediate” portion of the video, the cue card shown reads “9-8-1945” which in Australian date format is 9 August 1945, the date which the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

The video won five MTV Video Music Awards including the 1988 Video Of the Year and was ranked at number twenty-one on MTV’s countdown of the 100 greatest videos of all time.

Here’s the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1988:

1 2 NEED YOU TONIGHT –•– INXS – 15 (1)
2 3 COULD’VE BEEN –•– Tiffany – 10 (2)
3 5 HAZY SHADE OF WINTER –•– The Bangles – 12 (3)
4 1 THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL –•– Michael Jackson – 11 (1)
5 8 SEASONS CHANGE –•– Expose – 10 (5)
6 10 I WANT TO BE YOUR MAN –•– Roger – 12 (6)
7 4 GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU –•– George Harrison – 15 (1)
8 11 HUNGRY EYES –•– Eric Carmen – 13 (8)
9 6 CANDLE IN THE WIND –•– Elton John – 13 (6)
10 7 TELL IT TO MY HEART –•– Taylor Dayne – 17 (7)

11 13 I COULD NEVER TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR MAN –•– Prince – 12 (11)
12 18 WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? –•– Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield – 8 (12)
13 17 SAY YOU WILL –•– Foreigner – 9 (13)
14 15 TUNNEL OF LOVE –•– Bruce Springsteen – 9 (14)
15 21 DON’T SHED A TEAR –•– Paul Carrack – 12 (15)
16 14 CRAZY –•– Icehouse – 16 (14)
17 20 I LIVE FOR YOUR LOVE –•– Natalie Cole – 13 (17)
18 23 EVERYWHERE –•– Fleetwood Mac – 10 (18)
19 12 THERE’S THE GIRL –•– Heart – 13 (12)
20 9 SO EMOTIONAL –•– Whitney Houston – 14 (1)


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