This Week In 1983: The Top Music of September 23, 1983
Billy Joel moves into the top spot with “Tell Her About It”. This weeks big movers include Stevie Nicks’ new single, “If Anyone Falls” debuting at #39, Prince and “Delirious” moving up seven spots, The Fixx continue their move up the charts moving eight spots to #21, and “Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton climb nine spots to #17.
After spending the summer at #1, The Police continue their descent falling nine spots while Men At Work and “It’s A Mistake” plummet sixteen spots to #38. Peaking out at #3 for a couple of weeks is this week’s featured song, “The Safety Dance” from Men Without Hats.
Song Story: “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats
MTV had been on the air for a couple of years when they started playing this video in 1983. The channel was on it’s way to becoming a voice of youth culture, playing lots of videos by superstars, but also introducing some wacky lesser-known (usually foreign) artists with outlandish videos. This song and video fit the later category quite well. The music video established a look for the band, which formed in Montreal as a punk band but joined the new wave movement, embracing the synthesizer sound heard on this track.
While most people thought the song was anti nuclear war or championing safe sex, lead singer Ivan Doroschuk told this story in an interview: “The song was really written about me after I got kicked out of a bar in Ottawa. I got kicked out for pogo dancing to The B-52s, “Rock Lobster.” It was the dying days of disco. I got kicked out of the bar and went home and wrote this. I think it’s a message that kids still want to hear today: yeah, it is safe to dance.”