Music Article

1983: Chart Flashback

Hop into our 29-years-ago time machine and revisit a wondrous week of ''Flashdance'' maniacs, men without hats, total eclipses, and puttin' on Ritzes

1. Michael Sembello, ''Maniac''

You're a steel-town girl on a Saturday night, looking for the fight of your life! You're a maniac, maaaaaniac on the floor! And yet all the French-cut leotards, toe tape, and spiral perm kits in the world could not make you Jennifer Beals. Sigh. A

2. Eurythmics, ''Sweet Dreams''

Sweet dreams are made of this: Godzilla-stomp synths, drum-machine snap-claps, and androgyny goddess Annie Lennox howling like a pumpkin-buzzcut banshee from another planet. Who are you to disagree? A+

3. Men Without Hats, ''The Safety Dance''

Sure, the lyrics sort of seemed like something your homeroom teacher wrote to make sex ed more relatable, but at least it sounded less euphemistically pervy than that song about wang chunging that came out a few years later. B+

4. Taco, ''Puttin' On the Ritz''

Because nothing says ''I was born to wear a top hat'' like naming yourself after a Mexican street snack. B

5. Billy Joel, ''Tell Her About It''

Of course Billy got to dole out relationship advice! He was a garden gnome from Long Island who married a supermodel. B+

6. The Police, ''Every Breath You Take''

It's actually smart that they called themselves the Police. That way they could just go ahead and arrest Sting whenever he finished breathe-singing each ''You belong to me'' couplet like a total deranged stalker. A-

7. Donna Summer, ''She Works Hard for the Money''

Donna may have already had her own disco millions, but she worked hard — so hard, honey — to give every exhausted lady with her eyes on the prize and her Easy Spirit pumps tucked in her purse the anthem she deserved. A

8. Bonnie Tyler, ''Total Eclipse of the Heart''

When power ballads get together to talk about old times, they always pour an extra glass of pinot for ''Total Eclipse,'' because it is so power and so ballad that it does in fact block out the sun. Of the heart. A

9. Michael Jackson, ''Human Nature''

Calling a top 10 MJ hit ''underappreciated'' may be silly — but this feathery R&B dream is; it's a falsetto-unicorn wonder. A+

10. Culture Club. ''I'll Tumble 4 Ya''

Calypso somersaults? Boy George running guns for love? Sold! A-

Originally posted Sep 07, 2012 Published in issue #1224-1225 Sep 21, 2012 Order article reprints
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