American Top 40 PastBlast, 4/30/83: OXO, “Whirly Girl”

I spent a chunk of Saturday morning listening to the Premiere rebroadcast of the 4/30/83 AT40. What did I learn? In no special order:

–Both songs requested as Long Distance Dedications have a Jefferson Airplane/Starship connection: in hour two we hear “Be My Lady” from the Starship proper, while the final hour gives us original Airplaner Marty Balin’s “Hearts.”

–Casey plays a snippet of Falco’s original version of “Der Kommissar” leading into After the Fire’s remake, sitting at its peak of #5. Three years hence in late April 1986, Falco would be in the top 10 himself, coming off a trio of weeks at the top with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

–We hear about the time the Doobie Brothers came under severe scrutiny for the multiple unlabeled bags of vitamins discovered on their private jet right before Patrick Simmons sings “So Wrong” (#32).

–I didn’t know that Boy George had spent a bit of time in Bow Wow Wow prior to forming Culture Club. That tidbit allows Casey to talk about provocateur extraordinaire Malcolm McLaren prior to spinning “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” (#18).

–Toto wanted “Waiting for Your Love” to be the fourth single from Toto IV; Columbia ignored them and went with “I Won’t Hold You Back” (#11) instead. Score one for the suits–when “Waiting for Your Love” (which reminds me a bit of their 1988 hit “Pamela”) was released subsequently in the summer, it only climbed to #73.

–Bob Seger’s “Even Now” (#13) is the only song in the same position as the previous week (thanks for tipping us off about a brand new #1, Case). This was quite the novelty, given how constipated the charts had been for more than a year. A quick check of AT40 lists for the previous sixteen weeks (going back to the beginning of the year) yields an average of just over ten songs staying put each week (if I’m counting right, the low was five, on 3/19, and the high was twenty, on 4/2). I’m not saying this sudden shift was related to a new chart director coming on board with the 4/30 issue of Billboard, but I’m not saying it wasn’t related, either.

–My favorite story came just before OXO’s “Whirly Girl” (#36, down from a #28 peak), spilling the beans as to why OXO leader Ish Ledezma broke up his old band Foxy. The claim is that Ish became disturbed hearing kids on a playground singing the “off color” title phrase of Foxy’s late 1978 hit “Get Off,” and he decided he no longer wanted to take part in being such a bad influence. I’d give this a little more credence if “Whirly Girl” didn’t include the line, “She’s sitting in the latest styles with open legs and mysterious smiles.”

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