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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1980: January 20, 1980

OK, let's get this 1980 party started for real. I wrote about the first new chart for the decade in 2018 and updated my post last week - now, let's continue our journey through the Australian top 50 singles from 40 years ago.


Colleen Hewett's days of dreaming of another hit single were over

And it's the Australian singles chart and not the ARIA singles chart, since the industry body wouldn't be established until 1983. Featuring this week, is an Australian actress and singer who returned with a big hit that would almost take her all the way to number 1 (again).



At number 1 this week in 1980, The Buggles remained on top with "Video Killed The Radio Star" for what would be their seventh and final week.

Off The Chart

Number 100 "Fins" by Jimmy Buffett

Peak: number 100

This lead single from the American singer's ninth album was a top 40 hit in the US, but did not return him to the same portion of the Australian chart - somewhere he hadn't visited since 1974 with "Come Monday".

Number 99 "$60 Duck" by Lewie Wickham

Peak: number 99

One thing I didn't factor into my decision to recap the charts from 1980 was the prospect of having to listen to songs like this jaunty little tune which combines two of my least favourite genres: country and comedy.

Number 98 "Making Plans For Nigel" by XTC

Peak: number 94

On the upside, I get to rediscover tracks like this lead single from the British band's third album. It was their third top 50 miss in Australia - something they would rectify later in the year.

Number 93 "Judas" by Voyager

Peak: number 93

Another British band now, but one that'd already had a hit in 1979 with "Halfway Hotel" from the album of the same name. This follow-up, though catchy enough, didn't follow suit.

Number 92 "Lay Down Beside Me" by Don Williams

Peak: number 88

More country now - I always forget that it was reasonably popular at the start of the '80s. This track was taken from the American singler's Expressions album.


Number 90 "When The Money Runs Out" by Leo Sayer

Peak: number 90

He'd been having hits since 1974 and reached number 1 with a best of collection in 1979, but things weren't looking so good for the next stage of Leo Sayer's career with this single, co-written by Ray Parker Jr, flopping. Leo would be back on form before long, however.

New Entries

Number 42 "Dreaming My Dreams With You" by Colleen Hewett

Peak: number 2

I grew up being aware of Colleen Hewett without ever really knowing why. I wasn't born when she enjoyed her original trio of hits in the early 1970s - "Superstar" (made famous by Carpenters), "Day By Day" (from Godspell) and a cover of The Beatles' "Carry That Weight". And I don't recall seeing any of her acting work on stage or TV, which includes playing three different characters in Homicide and a stint on Prisoner later in the '80s. But she was always around, and back on the charts with this comeback single which also didn't make an impression on five-year-old me at the time, despite it matching the number 2 peak of "Day By Day". Another remake, "Dreaming My Dreams With You" was originally recorded by country star (yep, another one) Waylon Jennings in 1975, and Colleen gave a pretty faithful rendition - sluggish pace and all. 

Number 41 "Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love" by Lobo

Peak: number 41

Between 1971 and 1973, American singer Lobo (real name: Kent LaVoie) had reached the Australian top 10 on three occasions, hitting number 1 with "I'd Love You To Want Me" for two weeks in early 1973. But it had been a while between hits for the man born Kent LaVoie - even in the US, where he'd had a four-year gap between top 40 appearances. This breezy disco-meets-soft rock number turned things around for him, and although it didn't progress any higher on the chart, it did register 21 weeks in the top 100.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: hits from another couple of local double threats, plus another patriotic jingle reached the top 50 - this time representing multicultural Australia.


Back to: Jan 13, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 27, 1980


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