Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 18th

On this day in 1982: The seven-minute epic by Dire Straits, ‘Private Investigations’ went to #2 on the U.K. singles chart, held out of the #1 spot by ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ by Survivor.

On this day in 1983: Kiss appeared without their ‘make-up’ for the first time during an interview on MTV promoting the release of their newest album, ‘Lick It Up.’

Up until that night, the ‘80s had not been kind to KISS. Within the decade’s first two years, original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss had left the group. A previous attempt to change with the times, with the ambitious but laughably misguided 1981 concept album Music From “The Elder,” was a commercial disaster. Ten years after their formation, KISS had fallen out of favor, replaced by MTV darlings who wore makeup in an entirely different way, like Boy George and Duran Duran. Perhaps that is why MTV executives stuck KISS’s press conference in the graveyard timeslot of 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, or why the event transpired with such a surprising lack of on-camera fanfare.

Looking back at the footage now, this “really big moment” in KISStory, as host J.J. Jackson somewhat unconvincingly worded it, seems anticlimactic, even downright awkward. There were no splashy graphics, no screaming in-studio audience, no background music. As glamour shots of the band members’ previously painted faces dissolved into closeups of their new looks, their dragon-boots, leather linebacker shoulders, and superhero visages now replaced by standard-issue Sunset Strip attire. The set was eerily silent, save for the faint hum of the studio’s electricity and Jackson’s calm, resonant voiceover.

Here’s what the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart looked like on the day Kiss revealed themselves back in 1983:

1 1 MANIAC –•– Michael Sembello (Casablanca)-16 (2 weeks at #1) (1)
2 5 TELL HER ABOUT IT –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-8 (2)
3 3 THE SAFETY DANCE –•– Men Without Hats (Backstreet)-13 (3)
4 8 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART –•– Bonnie Tyler (Columbia)-10 (4)
5 2 SWEET DREAMS (Are Made Of This) –•– The Eurythmics (RCA)-19 (1)
6 6 EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE –•– The Police (A&M)-16 (1)
7 9 HUMAN NATURE –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-9 (7)
8 4 PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ –•– Taco (RCA)-13 (4)
9 15 MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL –•– Air Supply (Arista)-8 (9)
10 11 DON’T CRY –•– Asia (Geffen)-8 (10)

11 7 SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY – Donna Summer (Mercury)-17 (3)
12 14 (She’s) SEXY + 17 –•– The Stray Cats (EMI-America)-7 (12)
13 13 LAWYERS IN LOVE –•– Jackson Browne (Asylum)-11 (13)
14 17 FAR FROM OVER –•– Frank Stallone (RSO)-8 (14)
15 19 PROMISES, PROMISES –•– Naked Eyes (EMI-America)-10 (15)
16 21 KING OF PAIN –•– The Police (A&M)-4 (16)
17 22 TRUE –•– Spandau Ballet (Chrysalis)-7 (17)
18 10 I’LL TUMBLE 4 YA –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-12 (9)
19 20 HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU –•– Laura Branigan (Atlantic)-12 (19)
20 12 (Keep Feeling) FASCINATION –•– The Human League (A&M)-17 (8)