Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 4th

On this day in 1982: The Steve Miller Band started a non-consecutive two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Abracadabra’ the group’s third U.S. #1, a #2 hit in the U.K. The song is said to have been inspired by Diana Ross with whom Miller had met while performing together on Hullabaloo in the 1960s. The lyrics “Round and round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows” are a reference to the spinning wheel segment from The Original Amateur Hour.

Miller said that at first his record company, Capitol Records, did not see the potential hit it would become. “Capitol didn’t believe in it and didn’t want to release it. I had a different deal with Phonogram Europe. When it came out in Europe, I cancelled my American tour because it was #1 everywhere in the world, except the States.” After seeing its success overseas, Capitol released it in the U.S. and it also climbed to #1.

The song became a worldwide hit, charting in ten countries and topping the charts in six countries, and has become one of the band’s biggest hits, along with ‘the Joker’ and Rock’n Me’.

In the U.S., the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks. It was knocked out of the top spot by Chicago’s ‘Hard To Say I’m Sorry’, only to return to #1 two weeks later. A similar occurrence happened in 1976, when Miller’s ‘Rock’n Me’ knocked Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ out of the #1 spot. The song also showed substantial longevity, spending fourteen weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100 chart. “Abracadabra” is listed at #90 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of all time.

Let’s take a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day in 1982:

1 3 ABRACADABRA –•– The Steve Miller Band (Capitol)-15 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 EYE OF THE TIGER –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-14 (1)
3 5 HARD TO SAY I’M SORRY –•– Chicago (Full Moon)-14 (3)
4 4 HOLD ME –•– Fleetwood Mac (Warner Brothers)-12 (4)
5 6 EVEN THE NIGHTS ARE BETTER –•– Air Supply (Arista)-13 (5)
6 11 YOU SHOULD HEAR HOW SHE TALKS ABOUT YOU –•– Melissa Manchester (Arista)-16 (6)
7 2 HURTS SO GOOD –•– John Cougar (Riva)-20 (2)
8 8 VACATION –•– The Go-Go’s (I.R.S.)-10 (8)
9 9 WASTED ON THE WAY –•– Crosby, Stills and Nash (Atlantic)-11 (9)
10 10 TAKE IT AWAY –•– Paul McCartney (Columbia)-9 (10)

11 14 JACK & DIANE –•– John Cougar (Riva)-7 (11)
12 12 LOVE IS IN CONTROL (Finger On the Trigger) –•– Donna Summer (Geffen)-11 (12)
13 13 LOVE WILL TURN YOU AROUND –•– Kenny Rogers (Liberty)-10 (13)
14 15 EYE IN THE SKY –•– The Alan Parsons Project (Arista)-10 (14)
15 18 WHO CAN IT BE NOW –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-9 (15)
16 16 AMERICAN MUSIC –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-11 (16)
17 17 THINK I’M IN LOVE –•– Eddie Money (Columbia)-10 (17)
18 7 KEEP THE FIRE BURNIN’ –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-13 (7)
19 19 ONLY THE LONELY –•– The Motels (Capitol)-20 (9)
20 23 YOU CAN DO MAGIC –•– America (Capitol)-6 (20)

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