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  • Gavin Scott

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.

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

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