This week, leading up to the official start of summer, we're taking a look at the definitive summer songs of all time, based on their seasonal popularity on Billboard's Hot 100 charts. Today, we look at the summer jams of the 1980s.
But first, check out the previous installments:
The top summer songs of 1959-1969
The top summer songs of 1969-1979
1980: "Magic," Olivia Newton-John
Weeks at No. 1: Aug. 2-23
Written by: John Farrar
Interesting fact: Farrar, like Newton-John, is an Aussie — and he worked with her for nearly 20 years, penning Newton-John No. 1 songs like "You're the One That I Want" and "Have You Never Been Mellow."
Happening the summer of 1980 Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan is nominated for president; the United States-boycotted Summer Olympics are held in Moscow; AC/DC releases the album "Back in Black"; tennis champ Venus Williams is born and actor Peter Sellers dies.
1981: "Endless Love," Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
Weeks at No. 1: Aug. 15-Oct. 10
Written by: Lionel Richie
Interesting fact: "Endless Love" lost the Oscar for best original song to "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Happening in the summer of 1981: The first game of paintball is played in New Hampshire; Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court; 700 million people watch the wedding of England's Prince Charles and Diana Spencer on television; MTV is launched.
1982: "Eye of the Tiger," Survivor
Weeks at No. 1: July 24-Aug. 28
Written by: Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, Survivor bandmates
Interesting fact: You have Sylvester Stallone to thank for "Eye of the Tiger" (among other things). He reportedly asked the band to write it for the film "Rocky III," when he couldn't get permission to use Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust." The band would also write "Burning Heart" for "Rocky IV."
Happening in the summer of 1982: Prince William is born; the Equal Rights Amendment does not get the 38 states it needs to be ratified; The first of seven people in Chicago die after swallowing Tylenol pills laced with potassium cyanide; the Falklands War ends.
1983: "Every Breath You Take," The Police
Weeks at No. 1: July 9-Aug. 27
Written by: Sting
Interesting fact: "Every Breath You Take" beat both of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" for song of the year at the Grammys.
Happening in the summer of 1983: Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space; Australian Dick Smith completes a solo circumnavigation in a helicopter; Reagan announces that GPS will be available for the general public; Vanessa L. Williams becomes the first African-American crowned Miss America.
1984: "When Doves Cry," Prince
Weeks at No.1: July 7-Aug. 4
Written by: Prince
Interesting fact: "When Doves Cry" was the lead single of Prince's album "Purple Rain." By the way, this video is a cover version of the song because Prince hates YouTube.
Happening in the summer of 1984: The Soviet Union boycotts the Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles; Liechtenstein becomes the last European country to give women the right to vote; Tom Wolfe's novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities" begins serialization in Rolling Stone magazine; Cirque du Soleil is founded.
1985: "Shout," Tears For Fears
Weeks at No. 1: Aug. 3-17
Written by:Bandmates Roland Orzabal and Ian Stanley
Interesting fact: England's team used "Shout" as the basis for its unofficial anthem during the 2010 World Cup.
Happening in the summer of 1985: The film "Back to the Future" opens; the first smoking ban in U.S. restaurants is passed in Aspen, Colo.; serial killer Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, is captured; a joint American-French team locates the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic.
1986: "On My Own," Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
Weeks at No. 1: June 14-28
Written by: Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager
Interesting fact: Bacharach and Sager were married in 1982. They divorced in 1991.
Happening in the summer of 1986: The first email list management software, LISTSERV, is released; after a refurbishment, the Statue of Liberty reopens to the public; Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey; "The Oprah Winfrey Show" premieres in syndication.
1987: "Alone," Heart
Weeks at No. 1: July 11-25
Written by: Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly , who also co-wrote Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors"
Interesting fact: "Alone" wasn't just the most popular summer song of 1987 — it was the No. 2 most popular song of the entire year, according to Billboard. No. 1? "Walk Like an Egyptian," which was No. 1 during the last two weeks of December 1986 and the first two weeks of January 1987.
Happening in the summer of 1987: The world's population is estimated at 5 billion; former Nazi leader Rudolf Hess commits suicide in Spandau Prison; Michael Jackson releases the "Bad" album.
1988: "Roll With It," Steve Winwood
Weeks at No. 1: July 30-Aug. 20
Written by: Steve Winwood, Will Jennings, Holland-Dozier-Holland
Interesting fact: The song's original writing credit went to Winwood and Jennings. The legendary Motown team of Holland-Dozier-Holland were later added because the song sounds very much like the song "(I'm a) Roadrunner," released in 1966.
Happening in the summer of 1988: James Hansen, a NASA scientist, tells the Senate that man-made global warming has begun; Michael Dukakis is nominated for president of the United States at the Democratic National Convention; Osama bin Laden forms al-Qaida; Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds pitches the 12th perfect game in baseball history.
1989:"Right Here Waiting," Richard Marx
Weeks at No.1: Aug. 12-26
Written by: Richard Marx
Interesting fact: While he was on the road, Marx wrote "Right Here Waiting" as an ode to his wife, Cynthia Rhodes, who was off shooting a movie in South Africa.
Happening in the summer of 1989: France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution; the first person is indicted for releasing a computer virus; Nintendo releases the Game Boy; the Sega Genesis is released in North America.Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun