Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, March 28th

On this day in 1981: Blondie started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Rapture’, the group’s fourth and final U.S. #1 and the first #1 song in the U.S. to feature rap lyrics, notable for name-checking hip-hop pioneers Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash. In January 1981, “Rapture” was released as the second and final single off their “Autoamerican” album.

The music video made its U.S. television debut on Solid Gold on January 31, 1981, and it not only became the first rap video ever broadcast on MTV when they launched in August of 1981, but was part of its first 90-video rotation. Set in the East Village section of Manhattan, the “Man from Mars” or “voodoo god” (dancer William Barnes in the white suit and top hat) is the introductory and central figure. Barnes also choreographed the piece. Much of the video is a one-take scene of Debbie Harry dancing down the street, passing by graffiti artists, Uncle Sam, a Native American, child ballet dancer, and a goat. Fab Five Freddy and graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Jean-Michael Basquiat make cameo appearances. Basquiat was hired when Grandmaster Flash did not show up for the filming.

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

1 6 RAPTURE –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-9 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 2 WOMAN –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-11 (2)
3 3 THE BEST OF TIMES –•– Styx (A&M)-10 (3)
4 1 KEEP ON LOVING YOU –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-18 (1)
5 5 CRYING –•– Don McLean (Millennium)-10 (5)
6 7 HELLO AGAIN –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-9 (6)
7 4 9 TO 5 –•– Dolly Parton (RCA)-18 (1)
8 23 JUST THE TWO OF US –•– Grover Washington, Jr. (with Bill Withers) (Elektra)-7 (8)
9 12 KISS ON MY LIST –•– Daryl Hall and John Oates (RCA)-10 (9)
10 10 WHAT KIND OF FOOL –•– Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb (Columbia)-9 (10)

11 14 WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE –•– Steve Winwood (Island)-8 (11)
12 8 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL –•– Abba (Atlantic)-19 (8)
13 15 DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME –•– The Police (A&M)-8 (13)
14 21 MORNING TRAIN (Nine To Five) –Sheena Easton (EMI-America)-7 (14)
15 9 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-21 (1)
16 22 I CAN’T STAND IT –•– Eric Clapton and His Band (RSO)-5 (16)
17 13 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-23 (1)
18 26 ANGEL OF THE MORNING –•– Juice Newton (Capitol)-6 (18)
19 19 HEARTS ON FIRE –•– Randy Meisner (Epic)-10 (19)
20 17 A LITTLE IN LOVE –•– Cliff Richard (EMI-America)-16 (17)

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