Top Ten Tuesday: 1981, The Next 10

Here are #11 thru 20 on Billboard‘s Yearend Hot 100 for 1981.

20 – Climax Blues Band, "I Love You": Climax Blues Band had been around since the late ’60’s, making jazz and blues oriented rock to a small audience, but didn’t go for the larger audience until 1976 with "Couldn’t Get It Right." "I Love You" was a minor hit, reaching #12 in the US and #14 in Canada.

19 – The Pointer Sisters, "Slow Hand": From their eighth studio album, 1981’s Black And White, "Slow Hand" was written by Michael Clark and John Bettis, who weren’t thinking of The Pointer Sisters when they wrote it. Their producer, Richard Perry, believed this would be a good follow-up to 1976’s "Fire." And it was, reaching #2 in the US and Canada, #5 in Australia, and #10 in the UK.

18 – Grover Washington Jr. with Bill Withers, "Just The Two Of Us": Written by Withers, William Salter and Ralph MacDonald, Grover recorded it for his 1981 album Winelight. It reached #2 behind Sheena Easton’s "Morning Train (9 to 5)" and Kim Carnes’s "Bette Davis Eyes."

17 – Blondie, "The Tide Is High": Originally written in 1967 for the Jamaican group The Paragons, Blondie released this in late 1980 from their album Autoamerican and reached #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK.

16 – Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio, "A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)": From Raydio’s last album before Ray Parker Jr. went solo, this was their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the Hot 100.

15 – Blondie, "Rapture": Written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, it was the second single from Autoamerican, their last #1, and the first song to feature rapping.

14 – Juice Newton, "Queen Of Hearts": Song waws written by Hank DeVito, pedal steel player in Emmylou Harris’s band. Juice Newton’s 1981 cover reached #2 in the US and reached the Top Ten in Canada, Australia, Denmark, and New Zealand.

13 – Smokey Robinson, "Being With You": Title track from his 1981 album, written by Smokey. It spent 5 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart and was the last #1 song before "Bette Davis Eyes."

12 – Sheena Easton, "Morning Train (9 to 5)": I talked about this a week ago with my Workin’ playlist.

11 – Joey Scarbury, "Believe It Or Not (Theme From The Greatest American Hero)": The show with William Katt (son of Barbara Hale, who was Della Street on Perry Mason) lasted less than two full seasons, but this seems to be a perennial soft-rock favorite. It was Joey Scarbury’s only Top 10 hit, reaching #2.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for September 21, 2021.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 1981, The Next 10

  1. Last week, Tuesday, was the last time I listened to your top 10 while I was working. Strange how I think about that. Anyway, I enjoyed these all and loved Rapture and memorized the “Rap” part when it came out. I loved Greatest American Hero and watched all the episodes.


    1. Sad that the show only lasted a season. I never saw it, and it’ll probably never go into syndication. Maybe Decades will have it as the weekend binge one week.


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