Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, February 26th

On this day in 1980: After seeing U2 play at Dublin’s National Boxing Stadium in front of 2,400 people; Rob Partridge and Bill Stewart from Island Records in the UK offered the band a recording contract.

On this day in 1983: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ went to #1 on the U.S. album chart. ‘Thriller’ broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson’s appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs ‘Thriller’, ‘Billie Jean’, and ‘Beat It’ all received regular rotation on MTV. ‘Thriller’ became the most successful album of all time with sales over 65 million copies.

The singles: “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Human Nature”, “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)”, and “Thriller”, all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, setting the record for the most top 10 singles from an album, with “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” reaching #1. Following Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” in Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, where he debuted his signature moonwalk dance, the sales of the album significantly increased, selling one million copies worldwide per week. 

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1983:

1 1 BABY, COME TO ME –•– Patti Austin with James Ingram (Qwest)-24 (2 weeks at #1) (1)
2 3 SHAME ON THE MOON –•– Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (Capitol)-11 (2)
3 4 STRAY CAT STRUT –•– The Stray Cats (EMI-America)-10 (3)
4 6 BILLIE JEAN –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-6 (4)
5 8 DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-13 (5)
6 9 HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF –•– Duran Duran (Harvest)-10 (6)
7 7 YOU AND I –•– Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle (Elektra)-21 (7)
8 2 DOWN UNDER –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-17 (1)
9 21 WE’VE GOT TONIGHT –•– Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton (Liberty)-5 (9)
10 13 PASS THE DUTCHIE –•– Musical Youth (MCA)-12 (10)

11 19 BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG –•– The Pretenders (Sire)-12 (11)
12 12 GOODY TWO SHOES –•– Adam Ant (Epic)-16 (12)
13 14 YOUR LOVE IS DRIVING ME CRAZY –•– Sammy Hagar (Geffen)-12 (13)
14 18 YOU ARE –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-7 (14)
15 15 HEART TO HEART –•– Kenny Loggins (Columbia)-14 (15)
16 16 ALL RIGHT –•– Christopher Cross (Warner Brothers)-6 (16)
17 17 ALLENTOWN –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-14 (17)
18 20 TWILIGHT ZONE –•– Golden Earring (21 Records)-14 (18)
19 5 AFRICA –•– Toto (Columbia)-18 (1)
20 22 SEPARATE WAYS (Worlds Apart) –•– Journey (Columbia)-4 (20)

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