Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, February 25th

On this day in 1981: Winners at this year’s Grammy Awards included Bob Seger who won Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for ‘Against The Wind’, Pat Benatar won Best Rock Vocal Performance Female for ‘Crimes Of Passion’, Billy Joel won Best Rock Vocal Performance Male for ‘Glass Houses’, and Christopher Cross won Album of the Year and Best New Artist. He also won for Song of the Year AND Record of the Year for the song ‘Sailing.’

On this day in 1984: ‘Jump’, by Van Halen started a five-week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart, (a #7 hit in the U.K.). It would be ranked the #6 song for the entire year of 1984.

“Jump” was released in December 1983 as the lead single from their album ‘1984’. It is Van Halen’s most successful single, reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song differs from earlier Van Halen songs in that it is driven by a keyboard line (played on an Oberheim OB-Xa), although the song does contain a guitar solo, which was spliced together from multiple takes. David Lee Roth dedicated the song to martial artist Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, of whom he was a student.

The synth line was written circa 1981 by Eddie Van Halen but it was rejected by the other members of the band. In 1983, producer Ted Templeman asked Roth to take a listen to the unused song idea. Riding around in the back of his 1951 Mercury, with band roadie Larry Hostler driving, Roth listened repeatedly to the tune. To come up with a lyric for it, he remembered seeing a TV news report the night before about a suicidal jumper. Roth thought that one of the onlookers of such an event would inevitably yell “go ahead and jump”. Roth bounced this suggestion off Hostler who agreed it was good, however instead of describing a potential suicide, the lyrics were written as an invitation to action, life and love. Roth later told Musician magazine that Hostler was “probably the most responsible for how it came out.”

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1984:

1 2 JUMP –•– Van Halen (Warner Brothers)-7 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 1 KARMA CHAMELEON –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-13 (1)
3 4 99 LUFTBALLONS –•– Nena (Epic)-12 (3)
4 9 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-11 (4)
5 7 THRILLER –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-3 (5)
6 3 JOANNA –•– Kool & The Gang (De-Lite)-17 (2)
7 12 NOBODY TOLD ME –•– John Lennon (Polydor)-6 (7)
8 10 LET THE MUSIC PLAY –•– Shannon (Mirage)-16 (8)
9 14 WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER –•– The Police (A&M)-8 (9)
10 13 AN INNOCENT MAN –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-11 (10)

11 6 THAT’S ALL –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-14 (6)
12 26 SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME –•– Rockwell (Motown)-5 (12)
13 21 I WANT A NEW DRUG –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-7 (13)
14 5 TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP –•– The Romantics (Nemperor)-21 (3)
15 24 HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN –•– Eurythmics (RCA)-5 (15)
16 22 NEW MOON ON MONDAY –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-7 (16)
17 11 RUNNING WITH THE NIGHT –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-14 (7)
18 15 THINK OF LAURA –•– Christopher Cross (Warner Brothers)-12 (9)
19 8 OWNER OF A LONELY HEART –•– Yes (Atco)-17 (1)
20 20 YAH MO B THERE –•– James Ingram (with Michael McDonald) (Qwest)-12 (20)

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