Way Back Wednesday: The Top Music of July 15th, 1983

This Week In 1983: The Top Music of July 15th, 1983

Our top four songs remain the same this week. Lots of little moves being made all across the chart. The biggest move is the debut of Culture Club’s third single “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” in the Top 40 at #35. When this song moves into the top 10, it’ll make Culture Club the first band since The Beatles to have three top 10 hits from their debut album. The biggest drop of the week belongs to Hall & Oates and their cover of Mike Oldfield’s “Family Man” after peaking at #6. Released just a year earlier, Oldfield’s version never saw any success but, after hearing it, Daryl Hall said he knew the song had potential and that he had to record it. Peaking at #6 this week is a personal favorite of mine (especially the horns at the end), The Kinks and “Come Dancing”. Also peaking this week at #2 is Eddy Grant and “Electric Avenue”. It’ll sit at #2 for three weeks unable to move The Police out of the top spot. It’s also our featured song of the week.

Song Story: “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant

While he’s had other singles achieve chart success in the UK and other countries, this is the biggest hit of Grant’s career in the US and it’s one of the highest-charting reggae-influenced pop songs ever. It made #2 in the UK in January 1983, but didn’t reach that position in the US until July. The difference was MTV, which popularized the song when they put the video into heavy rotation not long after Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” made the network much more accepting of black artists. The song title comes from a shopping area in the Brixton section of London, named because is was the first street in the area to get electric lights. Brixton was also the setting for riots between police and protesters in 1981, which Grant refers to in the opening line, “Down in the street there is violence.” On a personal note, this song was the first 45 rpm record I ever bought when I was a kid. I had just gotten a record player and it was the only record available the day I was at the store and I had money burning a hole in my pocket (the same type of situation happened when I got my first CD player, but I digress.) I played the mess out of that record, though. 🙂

About Eric Vardeman 115 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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