Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, April 23rd

On this day in 1983: U2 kicked off their 48-date ‘War’ North American tour at The Carolina Concert For Children benefit, Chapel Hill, Carolina.

Also on this day in 1983: Dexy’s Midnight Runners went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Come On Eileen.’

It was released in the United Kingdom almost a year earlier, on June 25 1982 as a single from their album ‘Too-Rye-Ay.’ It reached #1 in the United States, and it was their second #1 hit in the UK, following 1980’s ‘Geno.’ The song was initially claimed to be written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson and Billy Adams, and it was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, although Rowland later stated that the essence of the tune should be attributed to Kevin Archer.

“Come On Eileen” won Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards and in 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s sixth favorite 1980s #1 hit in a poll for ITV. It was ranked #18 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s” and was named as Britain’s best selling single of 1982.

Although often believed to have been inspired by a childhood friend with whom Kevin Rowland had a romantic, and later sexual, relationship in his teens, there was actually no real Eileen. In fact she was composite, to make a point about Catholic repression.

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

1 2 COME ON EILEEN Dexys Midnight Runners (Mercury)-14 (1 week at #1)
2 5 BEAT IT –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-9 (2)
3 3 MR. ROBOTO –•– Styx (A&M)-11 (3)
4 4 JEOPARDY –•– The Greg Kihn Band (Beserkley)-13 (4)
5 1 BILLIE JEAN –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-14 (1)
6 9 DER KOMMISSAR –•– After The Fire (Epic)-11 (6)
7 7 ONE ON ONE –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates (RCA)-13 (7)
8 8 SEPARATE WAYS (Worlds Apart) –•– Journey (Columbia)-12 (8)
9 15 LET’S DANCE –•– David Bowie (EMI-America)-5 (9)
10 13 SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE –•– Thomas Dolby (Capitol / Harvest)-10 (10)

11 6 HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF –•– Duran Duran (Harvest)-18 (3)
12 17 LITTLE RED CORVETTE –•– Prince (Warner Brothers)-9 (12)
13 16 EVEN NOW –•– Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (Capitol)-7 (13)
14 10 DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-21 (2)
15 19 OVERKILL –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-3 (15)
16 20 I WON’T HOLD YOU BACK –•– Toto (Columbia)-7 (16)
17 12 YOU ARE –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-15 (4)
18 22 SOLITAIRE –•– Laura Branigan (Atlantic)-6 (18)
19 11 WE’VE GOT TONIGHT –Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton (Liberty)-13 (6)
20 14 I KNOW THERE’S SOMETHING GOING ON –•– Frida (Atlantic)-25 (13)

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