This Week In The 80’s: Ground Control To Major Tom.
It’s 1984. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney sat near the top of the charts (#2) at the beginning of 1983 and now they sit at the top of the charts at the start of 1984. “Say Say Say” is spending it’s sixth and final week in the top spot. It was always one of my favorite videos. At this point, MTV is really picking up steam and starting to influence the charts and there are some great videos for songs on the chart this week: “Uptown Girl” (featuring Christy Brinkley), “Love Is A Battlefield” (first video to incorporate dialog into a storyline), “Send Me An Angel” (one of the more weird videos of the early 80’s) and one of my favorite songs out of the decade, “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling.
Schilling’s is a huge David Bowie fan and “Major Tom” is his self proclaimed sequel to Bowie’s 1969 “Space Oddity”. When MTV got ahold of the video and put it in heavy rotation, it gave the song a huge boost and it peaked the previous week’s chart in’83 at #14. In 2020, during the height of the lockdown, Schilling and his band redid the song while socially distanced and, in my opinion, it’s as good if not a better version than the original. Judge for yourselves.
This Week In The 80’s is a weekly look at the Top 40 charts with Eric Vardeman. His Twitter handle is @ericvardeman.