Often, there have been #1 songs, even in my lifetime, that I have never even heard of. Then there’s 1981 when I was in my late twenties, and I’ve heard every single track that reached the top of the Billboard pop charts.
All of them went gold. Four of them, as noted below, went platinum. I own at least half of them in a physical form; some you’ll even guess.
Physical – Olivia Newton-John, ten weeks at #1, platinum. #28 RB. As startling as transformation as the one Sandy went through in the movie Grease.
Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes, nine non-consecutive weeks at #1. As I may have noted, Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon wrote this in 1974, and Jackie recorded it.
Endless Love – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, nine weeks at #1, platinum. #1 RB for seven weeks. The title song from a Brooke Shields movie I had never heard of.
Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) – Christopher Cross, three weeks at #1. He was HUGE for a very short time.
Kiss On My List – Daryl Hall and John Oates, three weeks at #1. I can’t resist singing the harmony vocals of this song.
Two weeks at #1
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield. I never even watched General Hospital, yet I knew he was on it.
I Love A Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbit. #1 on the country charts for a week.
9 to 5 – Dolly Parton. Also #1 on the country charts for a week. I enjoyed the movie with Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman.
Private Eyes – Daryl Hall and John Oates. Love the handclaps.
Rapture – Blondie. Also #33 RB.
Celebration – Kool and the Gang, platinum. Also #1 for six weeks RB. The #1 song in my short-lived disco dancing phase.
Morning Train (Nine to Five) – Sheena Easton. Another 9 to 5 song!
A single week at the top
The Tide Is High – Blondie.
Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon, platinum. Friends of mine referred to them as REO Spudwagon.
Medley: Intro “Venus”/Sugar, Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want to Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You’re Going to Lose That Girl – Stars on 45. “This single with its 41-word title continues to hold the record for a #1 single with the longest name on the Billboard charts, due to the legalities requiring each song title be listed.”
the One That You Love – Air Supply.