This Week In 1983: January 15th
After four weeks in the top spots, Hall & Oates are supplanted by Men At Work with the song “Down Under”. The song’s lyrics, full of slang and drug references, are loosely based on singer Colin Hay’s own experiences traveling the globe. While the song is often interpreted as a patriotic anthem (the band hails from Australia), Hay said of the lyrics:
“The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the over development of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It’s really about the plundering of the country by greedy people.”
The Clash move into the top ten with “Rock The Casbah”. It’ll be their only top ten hit but hangs around the top for a while. The biggest jump, however, in this week’s countdown is made by British Jamaican reggae band, Musical Youth, who jump into the top 40 with “Pass The Dutchie” landing at #31 up from #52 (we’ll talk more about this song in the coming weeks). The biggest drops this week are the Stray Cats and “Rock This Town” who drop seventeen spots to #26 and Lionel Richie with “Truly” which drops eighteen spots from #10 to #28.
Since this weekly column is about how the music of 1983 produced some of the most “iconic” songs of the 80’s, let’s look at what’s sitting in top ten right now: “Down Under”, “Maneater”, “Mickey”, “Africa”, “Rock The Casbah”. All songs that most of us sing along to every time we hear them (you probably sang a line or two of each title you just read) with more climbing the charts right behind them.