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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1980: March 23, 1980

It's always fun discovering that a song you like is a cover version and then going back to listen to the original. Especially when for many years you had no idea the track was performed by someone else first.

It's safe to say Laura Branigan was a big fan of Italian singer Umberto Tozzi

This week in 1980, a song that would be remade by Gloria Branigan two years later entered the Australian top 50 - and peaked at a position considerably lower than the number 1 placing Laura's cover achieved.

At number 1 this week in 1980, Queen stayed put with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" for a fourth week. 

Off The Chart

Number 99 "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar

Peak: number 95

Australia would come to embrace Pat Benatar, but we did not snap up her breakthrough American hit, which had originally been recorded by Jenny Darren.

Number 88 "Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was A Fool)" by Foghat

Peak: number 86

Seven-and-a-bit years after they reached number 31 with "I Just Want To Make Love To You", the English-born, US-based band returned to the top 100 with this single from eighth album Boogie Motel

New Entries

Number 46 "Gloria" by Umberto Tozzi

Peak: number 46

While his previous single, "Ti Amo", clung on at number 50 this week, Italian singer Umberto Tozzi scored another hit with the English version of "Gloria", a song he'd originally recorded in his mother tongue. With new lyrics written by singer (and later convicted child sex offender) Jonathan King, "Gloria" was a much smaller success than "Ti Amo", which reached number 25 and stayed on the top 100 for 34 weeks. But the situation would be reversed when both tracks were later covered by Laura Branigan, with her reworking of "Gloria", which featured new lyrics, spent seven weeks at number 1 in Australia, while her rendition of "Ti Amo" was the smaller hit, peaking at number 2. For years, I had no idea either of Laura's singles were remakes, having been slightly too young (and too Anglo, I guess) to be aware of Umberto's work.

Number 45 "Stillsane" by Carolyne Mas

Peak: number 44

Taken from her self-titled debut album, this single was the only chart entry for the American singer-songwriter, both in Australia and at home in the US. Somewhat of a cult favourite, Carolyne continued to record for decades, with her most recent album released in 2013.

Number 43 "Heaven Must Have Sent You" by Bonnie Pointer

Peak: number 31

Up until 1978, Bonnie Pointer had joined her sisters as a member of The Pointer Sisters, before deciding to go solo. Next thing you know, the three-piece version of the sibling singing group finally scored a big hit in Australia with their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire". As for Bonnie, who had signed to Motown Records, her biggest hit came with this remake of an old Holland-Dozier-Holland song originally performed by The Elgins in 1966.

Initially recorded by Bonnie in a more straightforward Motown style, "Heaven Must Have Sent You" was given a disco-tastic remix and, after entering the Australian top 100 in early November 1979, finally broke into the top 50 this week in 1980. Like many of Bonnie's singles as part of The Pointer Sisters, this was a much bigger hit in the US, where it fell short of the Billboard top 10 by one place.

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

Next week: one of the kookiest songs to ever reach the Australian top 10, plus another version of one of the worst songs to do the same.

Back to: Mar 16, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Mar 30, 1980

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