Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 3rd

On this day in 1982: The three day US Festival in San Bernardino, California took place featuring, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, The Police, The Cars, Talking Heads, The Kinks, The Ramones, The B52’s, The English Beat, Gang Of Four, The Grateful Dead, Pat Benatar, and Jackson Browne. Apple Computers founder Steven Wozniak bankrolled the festival.

Steve Wozniak believed that the 1970s was the “Me Generation” and he intended the US Festivals, to encourage the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music. The first US Festival was held Labor Day Weekend weekend in September 1982, and the second was less than nine months later, over Memorial Day Weekend weekend in May 1983.

On this day in 1983: The Eurythmics went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” ending The Police’s eight week run at #1 with “Every Breath You Take.” “Sweet Dreams” would spend one week in the top spot.

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart wrote the song after The Tourists had broken up and they formed The Eurythmics. Although the two of them also broke up as a couple, they continued to work together. They became interested in electronic music and bought new synthesizers to play around with. According to Stewart, he managed to produce the beat and riff of the song on one of their new synthesizers, and Lennox, on hearing it, said: “What the hell is that?” and started playing on another synthesizer, and beginnings of the song came out of the two dueling synths.

According to Lennox, the lyrics reflected the unhappy time after the break up of the Tourists, when she felt that they were “in a dream world” and that whatever they were chasing was never going to happen. She described the song as saying: “Look at the state of us. How can it get worse?” adding “I was feeling very vulnerable. The song was an expression of how I felt: hopeless and nihilistic.” Stewart, however, thought the lyrics too depressing and added the “hold your head up, moving on” line to make it more uplifting.

Commenting on the line “Some of them want to use you … some of them want to be abused”, Lennox said that “people think it’s about sex or S&M, and it’s not about that at all”.

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

1 2 SWEET DREAMS (Are Made Of This) –•– The Eurythmics (RCA)-17 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 3 MANIAC –•– Michael Sembello (Casablanca)-14 (2)
3 1 EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE –•– The Police (A&M)-14 (1)
4 5 PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ –•– Taco (RCA)-11 (4)
5 4 SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY –•– Donna Summer (Mercury)-15 (3)
6 11 THE SAFETY DANCE –•– Men Without Hats (Backstreet)-11 (6)
7 12 TELL HER ABOUT IT –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-6 (7)
8 6 IT’S A MISTAKE –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-10 (6)
9 9 I’LL TUMBLE 4 YA –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-10 (9)
10 13 HUMAN NATURE –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-7 (10)

11 8 (Keep Feeling) FASCINATION –•– The Human League (A&M)-15 (8)
12 10 CHINA GIRL –•– David Bowie (EMI-America)-14 (10)
13 16 DON’T CRY –•– Asia (Geffen)-6 (13)
14 14 LAWYERS IN LOVE –•– Jackson Browne (Asylum)-9 (14)
15 20 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART –•– Bonnie Tyler (Columbia)-8 (15)
16 7 STAND BACK –•– Stevie Nicks (Modern)-14 (5)
17 28 (She’s) SEXY + 17 –•– The Stray Cats (EMI-America)-5 (17)
18 26 MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL –•– Air Supply (Arista)-6 (18)
19 18 TAKE ME TO HEART –•– Quarterflash (Geffen)-12 (14)
20 21 HUMAN TOUCH –•– Rick Springfield (RCA)-9 (20)

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