Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 25th

On this day in 1980: John Bonham drummer with Led Zeppelin, died at age 32 after a heavy drinking session. ‘Bonzo’ was found dead at guitarists Jimmy Page’s house of what was described as asphyxiation, after inhaling his own vomit after excessive vodka consumption, (40 shots in 4 hours). 

On this day in 1982: Queen made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, where they performed ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Under Pressure.’

Also on this day in 1982: After giving up the #1 spot on the U.S. singles chart to Chicago’s “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” for two weeks, The Steve Miller Band returned to #1 with “Abracadabra.”

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.

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

1 2 ABRACADABRA –•– The Steve Miller Band (Capitol)-18 (2 weeks at #1) (1)
2 4 JACK & DIANE –•– John Cougar (Riva)-10 (2)
3 1 HARD TO SAY I’M SORRY –•– Chicago (Full Moon)-17 (1)
4 3 EYE OF THE TIGER –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-17 (1)
5 5 YOU SHOULD HEAR HOW SHE TALKS ABOUT YOU –•– Melissa Manchester (Arista)-19 (5)
6 9 EYE IN THE SKY –•– The Alan Parsons Project (Arista)-13 (6)
7 12 WHO CAN IT BE NOW –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-12 (7)
8 18 SOMEBODY’S BABY –•– Jackson Browne (Asylum)-9 (8)
9 8 HURTS SO GOOD –•– John Cougar (Riva)-23 (2)
10 11 LOVE IS IN CONTROL (Finger On the Trigger) –•– Donna Summer (Geffen)-14 (10)

11 10 TAKE IT AWAY –•– Paul McCartney (Columbia)-12 (10)
12 14 YOU CAN DO MAGIC –•– America (Capitol)-9 (12)
13 13 LOVE WILL TURN YOU AROUND –•– Kenny Rogers (Liberty)-13 (13)
14 15 BLUE EYES –•– Elton John (Geffen)-12 (14)
15 21 I KEEP FORGETTIN’ (Every Time You’re Near) –•– Michael McDonald (Warner Brothers)-8 (15)
16 16 THINK I’M IN LOVE –•– Eddie Money (Columbia)-13 (16)
17 17 ONLY TIME WILL TELL –•– Asia (Geffen)-10 (17)
18 20 LET ME TICKLE YOUR FANCY –•– Jermaine Jackson (Motown)-10 (18)
19 22 HOLD ON –•– Santana (Columbia)-7 (19)
20 25 DO YOU WANNA TOUCH ME (Oh Yeah) –•– Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Boardwalk)-9 (20)