87: “Let Me Hear Your Body Talk” – #1 Pop Singles Of The 80s

In the days before YouTube and Spotify, most people discovered new music through a little device called the radio, and tracking the popularity of hit songs was much simpler. Back in the 80s, Billboard determined which songs charted through sales of physical singles on cassette tapes or CDs, and of course, airplay on the radio — which is how singles by artists like Blondie and Prince became inescapable at that moment in time.

In this episode, your When We Were Young co-hosts take Billboard’s #1 charting pop single from every year of the 80s out for a spin — and the results are mixed! If “80s music” makes you think of Madonna, Billy Joel, Van Halen, or even A-ha, you’re not alone — but none of these popular artists actually dominated the charts in any given year of the decade. (Believe it or not, neither did the King of Pop himself!)

While some tracks, like 1983’s chart-topper “Every Breath You Take,” are no-brainers, there are a few head-scratchers in the mix, too. The 80s were surprisingly big on ditties about Oscar-winning divas and the gaits of ancient peoples. So put on your best aerobics attire and join us as we whisper carelessly about the #1 Pop Singles of the 1980s —the ones we still have plenty of “Faith” in, those we’re desperate to “Look Away” from, and everything in between.

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