Here’s the second half of what I wrote down on the weekend of 12/29/84.
Only three peak position errors on this part of the show, and two involved Lionel Richie: #48 only reached 7, #40 made it to just 5, and #31 got to 3.
Even if I wasn’t right all the time about how high songs got, one thing that really stood out to me writing this chart down was how well year-end rank correlated overall with peak position, and how few non-Top 10 tunes even made the show. This was so different from what I’d seen in the late 70s, when songs that didn’t even crack the top 20 in real time could sneak onto the year’s Top 100, due to their longevity on the charts. According to this thread at one of the AT40 Fun & Games message boards, Casey’s staff had started using a ‘power point’ system in 1982, based only on top 50 performance (historically, Billboard used all of a song’s Hot 100 life–one need only also listen to the 1971 year-ender that Premiere provided to 70s affiliates this year to see that in action), awarding bonuses for weeks in the top 10 and big points for multiple weeks at the top. I also learned there that AT40 went back to using Billboard‘s rankings in 1985, which may explain in part why “Out of Touch,” “I Feel for You,” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” were so high at year’s end in both 1984 and 1985.