Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Hot 100 Countdown #83

Great 83 songs were thin on the ground, and about the only one I could find in my own record collection was this...

John Mayer - 83

I did quite like that back in 2001 - enough to swipe it from the chuck-out box, anyway - but listening back it all seems very polished and I don't particularly take to Mayer's voice anymore. Plus, Mayer appears to be a bit of a dick, having given some supremely dodgy interviews in his day. And obviously, I will not stand behind any artist who says stupid, inflammatory things in interviews.

The Swede dropped by to offer Magdalena 83 by Alan Vega - which I'm sure is pretty good since I do like a bit of Suicide every now and then... but as I couldn't find it anywhere on t'internet, and it doesn't (yet) feature in my record collection, I had to give it a pass.

Martin suggested Wafia - 83 Days, which to be fair he caveated with "don't like very much" (alongside John Mayer... which made me question the darker crevices of Martin's record collection as much as I sometimes do my own) but then he redeemed himself slightly by offering Major Tom (Coming Home) by German Bowie obsessive Peter Schilling. That doesn't actually mention 83 at all in title or lyrics, but Martin offered the following defence: "(a) it was used as the theme for the excellent Deutschland 83 and (b) is actually quite good", which would generally be enough for me... although I haven't seen the show myself.

The only other song I'm aware of with 83 in the title comes from the soundtrack of Flashdance... but it's hardly What A Feeling!

Irene Cara - Romance '83

All of which led me to search for lyrical references to the number 83, most of which revolved around the year... but rules are meant to be broken in times of desperation. So, here's My Top Ten 83 Songs... leading up to this week's winner:

10. Over The Rhine - Ohio

It was summertime in '83
We were burnin' out at the rubber tree
Wonderin' what in the world
Would make all this worthwhile
And if I knew then I was older then
Would I see regret to the last mile?

9. Ace Frehley & Frehley´s Comet - Rock Soldiers

They don't make 'em this Ace anymore.

It was back in the summer of '83
There's a reason I remember it well
I was slipping and sliding, drinkin' and drivin'
Bringin' me closer to Hell
And the Devil sat in the passenger's side
Of Delorean's automobile
He said, "Hey Frehley, Frehley let's not be silly
There's a life out there to steal!"

8. Hefner - Lee Remick

(Not the Go-Betweens song... in case you were wondering.)

I think it was in '83 my father left the family
But came back three weeks later
For a love both firm and stable

7. Marah - The Catfisherman
I got a couple of rods; they got tape where they broke
I got a bobber, some sinkers and two packs of smokes
I got the sun goin' down and the moon comin' out
And it's 83 degrees and I'm pissin' in the river

6. REM & Patti Smith - E-Bow The Letter

Will you live to 83?
Will you ever welcome me?
Will you show me something that nobody else has seen?

5. Guy Clark - A Nickel For The Fiddler

Well, it's a fiddler from Kentucky
Who swears he's 83
And he's fiddled every contest
From here to Cripple Creek
And it's old ones and it's young ones
And it's plain they half agreed
That it's country music in the park
As far as they can see

4. Dexys Midnight Runners - I Love You (Listen To This)

You were standing next to me,
In '82 and '83,
In all that time I barely proved I love you
Well there's nothing wrong but the wrong in me
You were everything you were meant to be

3. Drive-By Truckers - A World Of Hurt

And my good friend Paul was 83
When he told me that, "To love is to feel pain"
I thought about that a lot back then
I think about that again and again

2. Pulp - Last Days Of The Miner's Strike

Well my body sank below the ground
It became as black as night,
Overhead the sounds of horses hooves,
People fighting for their lives.
Some joker in a headband was still
Getting chicks for free.
And Big Brother was still watching you
Back in the days of '83.

1. Amy Rigby - The Summer of My Wasted Youth

Summertime in '83
I didn't need a j-o-b
Cause unemployment kept me free
To study country harmony
And find somebody with a car
Drink cheap beer in the Polish bar
Take photos in the photo booth
The summer of my wasted youth

So, lyrics will be allowed for 82... as will years. Unless you have an amazing title suggestion. These are the toughest numbers. They will get easier.


  1. I really recommend Deutschland '83. As I blogged at the time, "I don't know if it's the fine blend of light and dark that gets me, or the Eighties nostalgia, or both. Whatever, it's terrific."

  2. Predictably, I'll offer 'Magdalena 82' by Alan Vega. Fear not, there are no more Magdalenas to come.

    1. Shame. I was looking forward to Magdalena 51.

  3. Excellent track from Amy Rigby

  4. That Pulp song is great. Id forgotten about it. Ta for the reminder

    1. It was kind of thrown away as a bonus on their Greatest Hits, but yes, it's great.

  5. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
    I'm not giving up!

    Lyrically 82 offering:

    Asia - Heat Of The Moment

    And now you find yourself in 82
    The disco hot spots hold no charm for you
    You can't concern yourself with bigger things
    You catch the pearl and ride the dragon's wings

    1. Still, only a couple more weeks of SM to go. You'll have more luck with Asia.


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