Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, March 17th

On this day in 1984: Van Halen were starting their fourth of five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Jump.” It would go on to be ranked the #6 song for the entire year of 1984 and would be ranked the #42 song of the entire 1980s decade by Billboard Magazine.

“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper would be blocked from the #1 position for the second consecutive week. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” would spend eight weeks in the Top 10, peaking at #2. It would be ranked the #15 song for the year of 1984 and would become one of the most iconic songs of the decade.

It was the first major single released by Lauper as a solo artist and the lead single from her debut Studio album ‘She’s So Unusual’. It gained recognition as a feminist anthem and was promoted by a Grammy-winning music video. It has been covered, either as a studio recording or in a live performance, by over 30 other artists.

The single was Lauper’s breakthrough hit, reaching #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming a worldwide hit throughout late 1983 and early 1984. It remains one of Lauper’s signature songs.

The release of the single was accompanied by a quirky music video. It cost less than $35,000, largely due to a volunteer cast and the free loan of the most sophisticated video equipment available at the time. The cast included Dan Aykroyd in character as Beldar Conehead, professional wrestling manager “Captain” Lou Albano in the role of Lauper’s father while her real mother, Catrine, played herself. Lauper later appeared in World Wrestling Federation storylines opposite Albano and guest-starred in an episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, in which Albano portrayed Mario (Albano also played himself in the episode). This collaboration was the catalyst for the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” connection that lasted for the following two years. Lauper’s attorney, Elliot Hoffman, appeared as her uptight dancing partner. Also in the cast were Lauper’s manager, David Wolf, her brother, Butch Lauper, fellow musician Steve Forbert, and a bevy of secretaries borrowed from Portrait/CBS, Lauper’s record label.

Lorne Michaels (Broadway Video, SNL), another of Hoffman’s clients, agreed to give Lauper free run of his brand new million-dollar digital editing equipment, with which she and her producer created several first-time-ever computer-generated images of Lauper dancing with her buttoned-up lawyer, leading the entire cast in a snake-dance through New York streets and ending up in Lauper’s bedroom in her home.

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

1 1 JUMP –•– Van Halen (Warner Brothers)-10 (4 Weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-14 (2)
3 5 SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME –•– Rockwell (Motown)-8 (3)
4 3 99 LUFTBALLONS –•– Nena (Epic)-15 (2)
5 9 FOOTLOOSE –•– Kenny Loggins (Columbia)-8 (5)
6 4 THRILLER –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-6 (4)
7 7 I WANT A NEW DRUG –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-10 (7)
8 8 HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN –•– Eurythmics (RCA)-8 (8)
9 6 NOBODY TOLD ME –•– John Lennon (Polydor)-9 (5)
10 12 NEW MOON ON MONDAY –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-10 (10)

11 14 GOT A HOLD ON ME –•– Christine McVie (Warner Brothers)-8 (11)
12 15 AUTOMATIC –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-8 (12)
13 17 ADULT EDUCATION –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates (RCA)-5 (13)
14 16 THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE –•– Dan Fogelberg (Full Moon / Epic)-7 (14)
15 11 WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER –•– The Police (A&M)-11 (8)
16 10 KARMA CHAMELEON –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-16 (1)
17 13 LET THE MUSIC PLAY –•– Shannon (Mirage)-19 (8)
18 20 GIVE IT UP –•– K.C. (Meca)-13 (18)
19 24 HOLD ME NOW –•– Thompson Twins (Arista)-6 (19)
20 34 AGAINST ALL ODDS (Take A Look At Me Now) –•– Phil Collins (Atlantic)-4 (20)

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