Monday, 25 May 2020

This Week In 1980: May 25, 1980

It had to happen eventually. After weeks of seeing loads of classic tracks debut on the Australian singles top 50 from 1980, we've reached a dud chart week.

You know it's a slow week when I've got to lead with a Dr Hook picture

Although in my house, one of the acts arriving on the top 50 was actually quite popular... with my parents. And they'd been responsible for two number 1 singles in their time.

Australian Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending May 25, 1980

At number 1 this week in 1980, Split Enz made it six weeks on top with the seemingly unshiftable "I Got You".

Off The Chart
Number 99 "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" by Festival
Peak: number 99
Julie Covington had been first to record the most famous song from Evita and took her version all the way to number 1 for seven weeks in 1977, ending up as the year's biggest single. This disco remake had the opposite effect.

Number 88 "Save Me" by Queen
Peak: number 76
Another song failing to live up to an earlier record is this follow-up to chart-topper "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". The more typical Queen ballad was the second single from The Game.  

New Entries
Number 49 "Sexy Eyes" by Dr Hook
Peak: number 41
I think I've written elsewhere on this blog about my parents' record collection (Neil Diamond, ABBA, Frank Sinatra). It wasn't very extensive - they weren't big album buyers - but it did include Dr Hook's Greatest Hits, which knocked AC/DC's Back In Black off the number 1 spot in 1981 and stayed there for four weeks. For me, nothing says 1970s more than the gentle soft rock stylings of Dr Hook. Songs like "Sexy Eyes" also don't sound that far removed from a bow chicka bow wow soft porn soundtrack - or is that just me? 
Anyway, Dr Hook (who used to be known as Dr Hook & The Medicine Show) had once been regulars in the higher reaches of the Australian chart, with two number 1s ("Sylvia's Mother" in 1972 and "Walk Right In" five years later) under their belts. But they seemed to be out of favour at this point, and although "Sexy Eyes" was a US and UK top 5 hit, it took nine weeks to crack the Australian top 50 and then didn't progress much further from this position.

Number 43 "Captain Beaky" by Keith Michell
Peak: number 36
WTAF. I'm not completely adverse to children's records clogging up the chart, so long as those children's records are by Kermit the Frog. Or, at a stretch, The Smurfs. And as long as there's a song in there somewhere. But this recitation by Keith Michell of poetry written by Jeremy Lloyd is as out of place as the Australian-born, England-based actor's appearance on Top Of The Pops below. Taken from an album that featured the likes of Petula Clark, Penelope Keith and Harry Secombe also reading Lloyd's poems set to music, "Captain Beaky" was massive in the UK, peaking at number 5. At least Australian parents were more restrained.

Listen to this week's new entries (well, Dr Hook. Mercifully, "Captain Beaky" is missing) on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: the top 50 debut of a band who would go onto have two big hits in the early '80s and another dreadful one-hit wonder.

Back to: May 18, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jun 1, 1980


  1. Very quiet week

    'Save Me' was an ok song from Queen which I thought could have finished higher than #76. I thought the filmclip was quite good for its time. I think this is the first time Freddie sported his iconic moustache, which the fans weren't too keen on to begin with.

    Dr Hook seemed to be inordinately popular in Australia, and still had some more hits up their sleeve in the coming year or two.

  2. Slightly on topic referring to Dr Hook, i remember a radio sketch in the 90's parodying 'The Island Of Dr Moereau' where the two hosts washed up on 'The Island Of Dr Hook' . I might still have it on a cassette somewhere.

  3. What I absolutely LOVE about these older charts you've been posting, and this is one of the best examples yet, is the sheer variety of music on it. A kids song at 31, a country classic at 21, an excerpt from a concept album at 5, neo-classical synth muzak at 25, singalong English folk at 29, lots of local acts, disco at 20, and everyone who thinks of 1980 as a time when new wave and pop-punk dominated the charts are still absolutely right. Thanks so much for posting these by the way. Absolutely love your work.

    1. I agree with you entirely. Music is abysmal now. Very little quality being released now. Quite shocking really

    2. I think there are a lot of great bands and albums and songs out there, they're just much less likely to be in the Top 50 now, and harder to find. Part of the fun is hearing how people reinterpret music from charts like this.

  4. There's a lot more aussie related songs that are reaching the upper section of the chart in the years 1980-1983. I took a look at the EOY chart for 1980 and to someone who wasn't australian they'd find a lot of the music unfamiliar as opposed to an EOY chart for 1987-1989. Starting slowly in 1985 and more so in 1986 there was quite a change in the music charts