When I commenced this countdown several weeks ago, I knew there’d be at least a handful of selections readers glance to and immediately question my musical taste if not my sanity or manhood all together. To those critics I say— tough shit.
This is a daily rundown of my favorite 80s songs, not necessarily its biggest chart toppers or most critically applauded hits.
Corny perception or not, I was unapologetically a huge fan of Loverboy in the 80s and still love re-living their records today. Loverboy was the first rock concert I ever attended as a kid and several years later (1999 to be exactly) a Loverboy show (along with Pat Benatar) became my first date with my future wife (who’s not nearly as big a fan).
Loverboy never enjoyed the commercial success as early to mid-80s rock band colleagues like Styx, REO Speedwagon and Foreigner (some may question labeling these groups and Loverboy together as colleagues), but hate on, haters—- I liked Loverboy just as much. The group had plenty of solid rock songs to my liking, including “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”, “Working for the Weekend”, “Turn me Loose”, “Lucky Ones” and “Loving Every Minute Of It.”
For me their best was “When It’s Over”, which depended mightily on synthesizers. Like most their work, the lyrics are pretty much nonsense if not garbage, but all that counted for me were the vocals of frontman Mike Reno—one of the most gifted and enigmatic songsters of the era, not to mention the pioneer of sporting corny red headbands when performing.
Call this tune one of my favorite guilty pleasures. My guess is you’re calling it something far less flattering.
Chart Success: “When It’s Over” wasn’t one of Loverboy’s more popular songs, only reaching No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It did manage to stay on the charts for 15 weeks but didn’t finish in 1982’s year-end Top 100.
Uhhh, Lyrics: Normally this section is titled “Great Lyrics” but I can’t even lie—the lyrics sound like they were written by some kid who barely had hit puberty. It’s just terrible. However, it matters not when the great Mike Reno is belting them.
“Sometimes you think you’re playing the fool
He’s running around breaking all the rules
Somehow that don’t seem fair
There’s got to be a better way
You know what I’m trying to say
‘Cause deep, deep down inside
You’re living in a life in total lies”
Fun Fact: While Loverboy was a well-known band in the 80s they weren’t exactly chart stompers. The group never had a single reach higher than ninth. In total they had eight Top 40 hits, led by “Lovin’ Every Minute Of It” it’s highest at nine.
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
91. Night Ranger – Sister Christian
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
80. Debbie Gibson – Only In My Dreams
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
69. Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams
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