Way Back Wednesday: The Top Music of October 28, 1983

This Week In 1983: The Top Music of October 28, 1983

Bonnie Tyler finally drops from the top spot as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton take over with “Islands In The Stream”. It’s a song that was actually written by The BeeGees who actually wrote it as an R&B tune with Marvin Gaye in mind. How did Kenny and Dolly team up for the song? Kenny told People magazine this story:

“We had been singing this song in my studio in L.A. for four days. And I finally said, ‘I don’t even like this song anymore. My manager, Ken Kragen, said, ‘We need Dolly Parton.’ I said, ‘Well, why not, you know?’. Ken said, ‘I saw her downstairs.’ I said, ‘Well, go get her.’

“And Dolly, in her inimitable fashion, marched into the room and the song was never the same.”

Looking at the songs in the Top 20, you could package and sell a “Now That’s What I Call Music!” CD with these songs. Elsewhere on the chart, Hall & Oates’ single “Say It Isn’t So” debuts on the chart at #30, “Queen Of The Broken Hearts” from Loverboy moves up eleven spots to debut on the chart at #35, and our featured song of the week, “Cum On Feel The Noize” by Quiet Riot, breaks into the Top 20 landing at #14.

Song Story: “Cum On Feel The Noize” by Quiet Riot

The song was originally written and recorded by the band Slade and, from the beginning, Quiet Riot had zero interest in recording the song but pressure from the label and management forced them into it. Lead singer Kevin Dubrow and the band cooked up a plan to sabotage the recording, but it failed. Studio magic happened and the track sounded too good for the band to ignore. “We all kept waiting for this train wreck to happen and it just never did. Thank God!” said drummer Frankie Banali.

As with so many other videos in ’83, heavy play on MTV pushed the success of this song. it will eventually peak out at #5 in a couple of weeks and help their album Metal Health become the first heavy metal album to hit #1 on the album chart. The song’s success drew huge nationwide attention to the 1980’s Los Angeles metal scene and opened the floodgates for other metal acts to find similar success.

On a personal note, this album was my gateway drug to heavy metal. I was already listening to Def Leppard and a couple of other bands a little but this album pulled me completely under. I wore. it. out. I actually got to meet drummer Frankie Banali once. Genuine, down to earth guy. When I told him that the Quiet Riot “Metal Health” album opened the door to 80’s metal for me and changed my life (it really did) he almost started crying. He thanked me and hugged me then just kept talking like we were normal guys. Good times.

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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