This Week In 1983: The Top Music of December 2, 1983
We’re in the home stretch people! Only three chart weeks left in this year-long exercise. This is Lionel Richie’s last week in the top spot. As he sits atop the chart, his new single, “Running With The Night”, jumps twenty spots to land on the countdown at #35. The other notable debut on the countdown this week is “Talking In Your Sleep” by The Romantics all the way up at #29. This is the band’s biggest hit (it’ll peak out in early ’84 at #3) and only Top 40 single – no matter how many times you’ve heard “What I Like About You” which only reached #49. Two ridiculous songs that also debuted in the Hot 100 this week but won’t go anywhere before the end of the year (if at all) are “The Curly Shuffle” (#84) and “Rappin’ Rodney” (#96) by the late great Rodney Dangerfield. YouTube links provided free of charge.
Other songs making big leaps into the Top 20: “Owner of A Lonely Heart” by Yes, “In A Big Country” from…yep you guessed it, and “Undercover of The Night” by The Rolling Stones and this week’s featured song from Peter Schilling, “Major Tom (Coming Home)”.
Song Story: “Major Tom (Coming Home)” by Peter Schilling
Schilling was a huge fan of David Bowie and specifically of his song “Space Oddity” from the 1969 album by the same name. Bowie’s song was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and is about the launch of a fictional astronaut, Major Tom, into space. Schilling was so enamored with the song that he wrote his song as an unofficial sequel. Schilling’s song tells the story of an astronaut (Major Tom) who stops communicating with Earth in order to live in space. It was originally written in German and released only in Germany but after it’s achieving a good deal of success Schilling re-recorded the song in English and released it to a wider audience.
Much like Saga’s “On The Loose” that we talked about earlier in the year, this is one of my absolute favorite songs not only from ’83 but the 80’s in general. Earlier this summer, I discovered that he re-recorded a social distanced “pandemic” version of the song with his band. It’s absolutely fabulous and I’ve had to sit on it till now so I could share it with this post. I think I might enjoy the newer version more than I do the original. Check it out and let me know what you think!