Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, November 6th

On this day in 1982: Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker started a three week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with a song taken from the film ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’, ‘Up Where We Belong’.

The song was written by Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Will Jennings and recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the 1982 film ‘An Officer and A Gentleman’. Warnes was recommended to sing a song from the film because of her previous soundtrack successes, and she had the idea for the song to be a duet that she would perform with Cocker. Jennings selected various sections of the score by Nitzsche and Sainte-Marie in creating the structure of the song and added lyrics about the struggles of life and love and the obstacles in the way that we attempt to dodge. It was released in July of that year to coincide with the release of the film.

The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and topped the charts in several other countries. It also sold more than one million copies in the U.S. and was recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as one of the ‘Songs Of the Century.’ Cocker and Warnes were awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, and Nitzsche, Sainte-Marie, and Jennings won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

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

1 5 UP WHERE WE BELONG –•– Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (Island)-12 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 WHO CAN IT BE NOW –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-18 (1)
3 6 HEART ATTACK –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-10 (3)
4 4 I KEEP FORGETTIN’ (Every Time You’re Near) –•– Michael McDonald (Warner Brothers)-14 (4)
5 2 JACK & DIANE –•– John Cougar (Riva)-16 (1)
6 3 EYE IN THE SKY –•– The Alan Parsons Project (Arista)-19 (3)
7 10 HEARTLIGHT –•– Neil Diamond (Columbia)-9 (7)
8 8 YOU CAN DO MAGIC –•– America (Capitol)-15 (8)
9 13 GLORIA –•– Laura Branigan (Atlantic)-18 (9)
10 14 TRULY –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-5 (10)

11 11 BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY –•– Juice Newton (Capitol)-12 (11)
12 12 GYPSY –•– Fleetwood Mac (Warner Brothers)-10 (12)
13 7 SOMEBODY’S BABY –•– Jackson Browne (Asylum)-15 (7)
14 18 MUSCLES –•– Diana Ross (RCA)-6 (14)
15 16 THE ONE YOU LOVE –•– Glenn Frey (Asylum)-12 (15)
16 9 I RAN (So Far Away) –•– A Flock Of Seagulls (Jive)-18 (9)
17 20 LOVE COME DOWN –•– Evelyn King (RCA)-11 (17)
18 22 YOU DON’T WANT ME ANYMORE –•– Steel Breeze (RCA)-11 (18)
19 19 WHAT’S FOREVER FOR –•– Michael Martin Murphey (Liberty)-16 (19)
20 23 AMERICAN HEARTBEAT –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-7 (20)