Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 30th

On this day in 1981: Lionel Richie & Diana Ross were enjoying their 7th consecutive week at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Endless Love.’ The song would go on to spend another two weeks at #1 for a total of nine consecutive weeks in the top spot. ‘Endless Love’ would be ranked the #2 song of the entire year of 1981 behind ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ by Kim Carnes which also spent nine (non consecutive) weeks at #1.

Ross and Richie recorded the song for Motown, and it was used as the theme for Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel Endless Love. (Jamie Bernstein, as the character Susan, sings the song during the course of the movie.) Produced by Richie and arranged by Gene Page, it was released as a single from the film’s soundtrack in 1981. While the film Endless Love was a modest box-office success, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year (first was “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes) in the United States and reached #1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981. It also topped the Billboard R&B chart and the Adult Contemporary chart, and reached #7 in the United Kingdom. It also became the most successful duet of the rock era, surpassing The Everly Brothers’ 1957 hit “Wake Up Little Susie” which spent four weeks at #1. Both songs spent six months on the chart, with “Endless Love” eclipsing the Everlys’ hit by one week.

The soulful composition became the biggest-selling single of Ross’ career, and her 18th and final career number-one single (including her work with The Supremes). It was also Richie’s biggest charting single, and the first of several hits for Richie during the 1980s. Ross recorded a solo version of the song for her first RCA Records album, ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’, the duet version being her last hit on Motown. Richie’s solo version was released as track ten on the ‘2003 remaster bonus’ edition of Richie’s 1982 Album. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Richie, and was the second song with which Ross was involved that was nominated for an Oscar. It also won a 1982 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.

1 1 ENDLESS LOVE –•– Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (Motown)-12 (7 weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 QUEEN OF HEARTS –•– Juice Newton (Capitol)-18 (2)
3 3 STOP DRAGGIN’ MY HEART AROUND –•– Stevie Nicks (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) (Modern)-10 (3)
4 4 URGENT –•– Foreigner (Atlantic)-13 (4)
5 5 (There’s) NO GETTIN’ OVER ME –•– Ronnie Milsap (RCA)-14 (5)
6 6 WHO’S CRYING NOW –•– Journey (Columbia)-11 (6)
7 7 ARTHUR’S THEME (Best That You Can Do) –•– Christopher Cross (Warner Brothers)-7 (7)
8 9 STEP BY STEP –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-10 (8)
9 8 LADY (You Bring Me Up) –•– The Commodores (Motown)-15 (8)
10 11 START ME UP –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-6 (10)

11 12 HOLD ON TIGHT –•– ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) (Jet)-10 (11)
12 10 SLOW HAND –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-18 (2)
13 14 THE BEACH BOYS MEDLEY –•– The Beach Boys (Capitol)-10 (13)
14 19 FOR YOUR EYES ONLY –•– Sheena Easton (Liberty)-10 (14)
15 13 JESSIE’S GIRL –•– Rick Springfield (RCA)-27 (1)
16 18 THE VOICE –•– The Moody Blues (Threshold)-8 (16)
17 20 THE NIGHT OWLS –•– Little River Band (Capitol)-6 (17)
18 27 PRIVATE EYES –•– Daryl Hall and John Oates (RCA)-5 (18)
19 25 SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME –•– Kenny Rogers (Liberty)-4 (19)
20 21 IN YOUR LETTER –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-8 (20)