Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, February 14th

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! We hope you enjoy it!

On this day in 1981: Kool & The Gang started their second and final week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Celebration,” It remains the only Kool & The Gang song to ever reach #1 on the Hot 100. It would be ranked the #6 song for the entire year of 1981 by Billboard Magazine.

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

1 1 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-17 (2 weeks at #1) (1)
2 4 9 TO 5 –•– Dolly Parton (RCA)-12 (2)
3 3 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-15 (3)
4 2 THE TIDE IS HIGH –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-14 (1)
5 5 PASSION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-13 (5)
6 8 WOMAN –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-5 (6)
7 6 (Just Like) STARTING OVER –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-16 (1)
8 13 KEEP ON LOVING YOU –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-12 (8)
9 10 GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE –•Delbert McClinton (Capitol/MSS)-11 (9)
10 11 HEY NINETEEN –•– Steely Dan (MCA)-12 (10)

11 12 SAME OLD LANG SYNE –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-10 (11)
12 17 THE BEST OF TIMES –•– Styx (A&M)-4 (12)
13 7 EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply (Arista)-17 (5)
14 14 MISS SUN –•– Boz Scaggs (with Lisa Dal Bello) (Columbia)-12 (14)
15 16 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL –•– Abba (Atlantic)-13 (15)
16 18 I AIN’T GONNA STAND FOR IT –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-10 (16)
17 20 CRYING –•– Don McLean (Millennium)-4 (17)
18 9 IT’S MY TURN –•– Diana Ross (Motown)-17 (9)
19 19 TOGETHER –•– Tierra (Boardwalk)-15 (19)
20 25 HELLO AGAIN –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-3 (20)

On this day in 1987: Bon Jovi started a four week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, the group’s second U.S. #1.

It was released in late 1986, and was well received on both rock and pop radio stations and its music video was given heavy rotation on MTV, giving the band their first #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and their second consecutive #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording of this song, which can be found as a hidden track on 100,000,000 ‘Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.’ Lead guitarist Richie Sambora, however, convinced him the song was good, and they reworked it with a new bassline (recorded by Hugh McDonald who is uncredited), different drum fills and the use of a talk box to include it on ‘Slippery When Wet.’

The song reveals two characters, Tommy and Gina, a working-class couple who struggle to make ends meet. Tommy loses his job as a dockworker due to a strike while Gina works as a diner waitress. The storyline was inspired by real-life events that Jon Bon Jovi and songwriter Desmond Child experienced in the 1970s. Jon Bon Jovi had an acquaintance who was a star baseball player in his school and wanted to be a professional baseball player only for his girlfriend to inform him of her pregnancy wherein he gave up the ambition and took up a job in a factory. Desmond Child was a taxi driver in New York while his then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter Maria Vidal, worked as a waitress in a diner named “Once Upon A Stove”, similar to Gina in the song. The owner, manager, and other employees of the diner called Vidal, Gina due to her slight physical resemblance to Italian actress and photographer Gina Lollobrigida.

“It deals with the way that two kids – Tommy and Gina – face life’s struggles,” noted Bon Jovi, “and how their love and ambitions get them through the hard times. It’s working class and it’s real… I wanted to incorporate the movie element, and tell a story about people I knew. So instead of doing what I did on ‘Runaway’, where the girl didn’t have a name, I gave them names, which gave them an identity… Tommy and Gina aren’t two specific people; they represent a lifestyle.”

Bon Jovi explained that he “wrote that song during the Reagan era and that trickle-down economics are really inspirational to writing songs.”

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

1 3 LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER –•– Bon Jovi (Mercury)-10 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 1 OPEN YOUR HEART –•– Madonna (Sire)-11 (1)
3 4 CHANGE OF HEART –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-12 (3)
4 5 TOUCH ME (I Want Your Body) –•– Samantha Fox (Jive)-16 (4)
5 7 KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF –•– Georgia Satellites (Elektra)-13 (5)
6 9 WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? –•– Chicago (Full Moon / Warner Brothers)-14 (6)
7 2 AT THIS MOMENT –•– Billy Vera & The Beaters (Rhino)-18 (1)
8 15 JACOB’S LADDER –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-5 (8)
9 10 WE’RE READY –•– Boston (MCA)-11 (9)
10 12 BALLERINA GIRL –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-11 (10)

11 17 YOU GOT IT ALL –•– The Jets (MCA)-14 (11)
12 14 LOVE YOU DOWN –•– Ready For The World (MCA)-12 (12)
13 18 NOBODY’S FOOL –•– Cinderella (Mercury)-15 (13)
14 21 SOMEWHERE OUT THERE –•– Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram (MCA)-9 (14)
15 19 STOP TO LOVE –•– Luther Vandross (Epic)-14 (15)
16 22 BIG TIME –•– Peter Gabriel (Geffen)-12 (16)
17 24 (You Gotta) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT (To Party!) –•– Beastie Boys (Def Jam)-9 (17)
18 26 RESPECT YOURSELF –•– Bruce Willis (Motown)-5 (18)
19 8 SOMEDAY –•– Glass Tiger (Manhattan)-16 (7)
20 6 LAND OF CONFUSION –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-16 (4)

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