Hey, did you know that in the video for Dancing in the Dark, future mega-star Courtney Cox goes from enjoying Bruce Springsteen’s song in the crowd to being invited on stage to dance with him? Oh, you did? Yes, because the entire world knows it.
I love Dancing in the Dark and don’t give a shit about Cox being in the video. To this day it drives me bat shit crazy when people overshadow this brilliant ditty by always mentioning Cox appearing in the video. I barely liked watching her in Friends several years later. Who cares!
When I was 13 I enjoyed the song because of its eccentric synthesizer sounds, drum beats and plus I simply liked Springsteen’s voice. What’s not to like about the Boss’s singing capacity? The dude’s vocals are piercing, rasping and coarse—which fits like a glove on this song.
As I got older I gained a better appreciation for the song’s lyrics. While Dancing in the Dark has a catchy beat and the accompanying video (heavy in MTV’s airplay rotation) suggests it’s just a fun ole’ party, Springsteen actually writes about having a hard time trying to pen a hit single and the frustration that comes with trying to make a song that’ll please everybody.
It’s also worth mentioning that some hits from this decade hold a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons. Such as I’d written five entries ago with Born in the USA, Springsteen was one of my dad’s favorite singers, and enjoying some of his songs together was extra special. None more so than Dancing in the Dark—my favorite Bruce song of em all.
Chart Success: Dancing in the Dark peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the very top of the rock charts. It stayed on the charts for 21 weeks and finished 1984 ranked 14th on the year-end Billboard Hot 100. It was the biggest hit in Australia that year.
Great Lyrics: There’s also an unconfirmed theory that the Boss is simply talking about hooking up and getting him some.
“Stay on the streets of this town
And they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
Hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on now baby gimme just one look”
Fun Facts: This was the last song Springsteen wrote for his Born in the USA album. He wrote the song in just one night after being prodded by his manager, Jon Landau to write a hit single for the album. It ended up being the first single off the album and the biggest hit of his career.
100. Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can D0)
99. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgetting
97. The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Does Is Magic
96. Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach
94. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
93. Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone
92. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
89. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
87. Debbie Gibson – Foolish Beat
86. Glen Mederios – Nothing’s Going To Change My Love For You
85. John Cougar – Jack and Diane
81. Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You
79. Shelia E. – The Glamorous Life
77. Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All
76. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – Say Say Say
75. Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)
74. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
73. Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie
72. The Police – Every Breathe You Take
71. Survivor – The Search Is Over
70. REO Speedwagon – Keep On Loving You
68. Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel
67. Kenny Loggins – Meet Me Halfway
66. Irene Cara – Flashdance…What A Feeling
65. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
64. Phil Collins – One More Night
63. Europe – The Final Countdown
62. Patrick Swazye – She’s Like The Wind
61. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride
60. Men Without Hats – Safety Dance
59. Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
58. Huey Lewis & The News – Power Of Love
55. Styx – Too Much Time On My Hands
53. Olivia Newton John – Physical
49. Marvin Gaye- Sexual Healing
48. Huey Lewis & The News – Do You Believe In Love
44. New Edition – Mr. Telephone Man
43. Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
42. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
41. Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody