Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, February 7th

On this day in 1981: Kool & The Gang started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Celebration’ the group’s first (and only) #1 and their 8th top 40 hit at the time.

Co-founder Ronald Bell, the group’s saxophonist and musical arranger, explained the origins of the song:

“The initial idea came from the Quran. I was reading the passage, where God was creating Adam, and the angels were celebrating and singing praises. That inspired me to write the basic chords, the line, ‘Everyone around the world, come on, celebration”

“Celebration” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 7, 1981, and held that position for two weeks before being ousted by Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”. It remains the band’s only #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

By late 1980, the song had also reached #1 on both the Billboard Dance and R&B charts. The song was featured heavily on the radio throughout the year and is still heard today at weddings and parties, and is a popular anthem at sporting events.

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

1 3 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-16 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 THE TIDE IS HIGH –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-13 (1)
3 4 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-14 (3)
4 8 9 TO 5 –•– Dolly Parton (RCA)-11 (4)
5 6 PASSION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-12 (5)
6 2 (Just Like) STARTING OVER –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-15 (1)
7 5 EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply (Arista)-16 (5)
8 17 WOMAN –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-4 (8)
9 9 IT’S MY TURN –•– Diana Ross (Motown)-16 (9)
10 11 GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE Delbert McClinton (Capitol/MSS)-10

11 12 HEY NINETEEN –•– Steely Dan (MCA)-11 (11)
12 14 SAME OLD LANG SYNE –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-9 (12)
13 19 KEEP ON LOVING YOU –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-11 (13)
14 16 MISS SUN –•– Boz Scaggs (with Lisa Dal Bello) (Columbia)-11 (14)
15 7 LOVE ON THE ROCKS –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-15 (2)
16 18 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL –•– Abba (Atlantic)-12 (16)
17 22 THE BEST OF TIMES –•– Styx (A&M)-3 (17)
18 21 I AIN’T GONNA STAND FOR IT –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-9 (18)
19 20 TOGETHER –•– Tierra (Boardwalk)-14 (19)
20 27 CRYING –•– Don McLean (Millennium)-3 (20)

On this day in 1987: Madonna went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Open Your Heart.” It would spend one week in the top spot.

“Open Your Heart” was released as the 4th single off her 1986 True Blue album on November 19, 1986. Originally a rock and roll song titled “Follow Your Heart”, it was written for singer Cyndi Lauper by songwriters Gardner Cole and Peter Rafelson. Looking for new songs for ‘True Blue’, Madonna accepted it. She and Patrick Leonard transformed it into a dance-pop song. “Open Your Heart” is an innuendo-laden love song where Madonna expresses her sexual desire.

The song was well received by critics, who commended its simplicity. It was also successful commercially, reaching the top-ten of the charts in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, thus making it Madonna’s fifth #1 single in the U.S. The music video for “Open Your Heart” features a story line completely different from that of the song. In it, Madonna plays an exotic dancer in a peep-show club who befriends a little boy and subsequently escapes. It was critically acclaimed for subverting the male gaze, but the plot point of a child entering a strip club was criticized. The video is an homage to actresses Liza Minnelli and Marlene Dietrich.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1987:

1 2 OPEN YOUR HEART –•– Madonna (Sire)-10 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 1 AT THIS MOMENT –•– Billy Vera & The Beaters (Rhino)-17 (1)
3 9 LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER –•– Bon Jovi (Mercury)-9 (3)
4 5 CHANGE OF HEART –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-11 (4)
5 10 TOUCH ME (I Want Your Body) –•– Samantha Fox (Jive)-15 (5)
6 4 LAND OF CONFUSION –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-15 (4)
7 11 KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF –•– Georgia Satellites (Elektra)-12 (7)
8 7 SOMEDAY –•– Glass Tiger (Manhattan)-15 (7)
9 13 WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? –•– Chicago (Full Moon / Warner Brothers)-13 (9)
10 12 WE’RE READY –•– Boston (MCA)-10 (10)

11 3 C’EST LA VIE –•– Robbie Nevil (EMI-America)-18 (2)
12 14 BALLERINA GIRL –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-10 (12)
13 8 SHAKE YOU DOWN –•– Gregory Abbott (Columbia)-17 (1)
14 17 LOVE YOU DOWN –•– Ready For The World (MCA)-11 (14)
15 23 JACOB’S LADDER –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-4 (15)
16 6 CONTROL –•– Janet Jackson (A&M)-15 (5)
17 20 YOU GOT IT ALL –•– The Jets (MCA)-13 (17)
18 22 NOBODY’S FOOL –•– Cinderella (Mercury)-14 (18)
19 21 STOP TO LOVE –•– Luther Vandross (Epic)-13 (19)
20 18 THIS IS THE TIME –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-13 (18)

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