Way Back Wednesday: The Top Music of August 12, 1983

This Week In 1983: The Top Music of August 12, 1983

There are so many great songs on this week chart. The main reason for these weekly walks through the charts is to bring attention to the shear volume of seminal 80’s songs that were churned out in 1983 so take a minute and scroll down the list. Every week, it seems like a iconic 80’s song debuts in the Top 40 and this week is no different. Bonnie Tyler jumps seven spots to land “Total Eclipse of The Heart” (an eventual #1 song) at #40. Another song making a big jump is one hit wonder Taco and “Puttin’ On The Ritz” which climbs ten spots to #12. A personal favorite, “Come Dancing” by The Kinks, drops fifteen spots while Bryan Adams drops fourteen spots after peaking last week with “Cuts Like A Knife”. Peaking this week with their highest chart success to date is Def Leppard and “Rock of Ages”. It’s also our featured song of the week.

Song Story: “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard

After the boys in the band heard “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett, they were inspired to write a similar, anthemic song. One that would excite a stadium sized crowd. Lead singer, Joe Elliot, refers to this song as a “call to arms.” It didn’t take long for the band to come up with music but were having trouble coming up with lyrics. One night, there was a church group recording in the studio where Def Leppard was recording. The next day, Elliot found a bible opened up to the hym “Rock Of Ages.” As he started singing it, producer Mutt Lange thought it would be perfect for the chorus and song title.

The song begins with “Gunter glieben glauten globen“, a nonsense phrase introduced by Mutt Lange. According to the official Def Leppard FAQ:

The four words that you hear at the start of “Rock of Ages”, mean nothing, though the band sometimes jokingly claims it means “running through the forest silently”. It’s actually just gibberish, said by producer Mutt Lange during one of the later takes of the song. Lange was a perfectionist and would often do dozens & dozens of takes, and after repeatedly beginning so many with the standard count, “One, two, three, four” he simply started saying nonsense words instead, the band liking this one so much that they included it on the album.

During the guitar solo, several spoken phrases were backmasked. When played forward they say “f*ck the Russians” and “Brezhnev’s got herpes”.

About Eric Vardeman 114 Articles
80's lover. Screenwriter. Cohost of The Greatest Lists podcast. Christmas enthusiast. Tulsa Curling Club founder. Cherokee. Guitar player. Boomer Sooner. Curator of 80's playlists (https://open.spotify.com/user/127168733)

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