“All Night Long (All Night)” is a hit single by American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie from 1983. Taken from his second solo album, Can’t Slow Down, it combined Richie’s soulful Commodores style with Caribbean influences. This new, more dance music, pop-inspired approach proved popular, as the single reached number one on three Billboard charts (pop, R&B and adult contemporary).
In the UK, the song was kept off the top spot by Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.
The song lyrics were written primarily in English, but Richie has admitted in at least one press interview that “African” lyrics in the song, such as “Tom bo li de say de moi ya,” and “Jambo jumbo,” were in fact made-up gibberish of his own invention. Richie has described these portions of the song as a “wonderful joke,” written when he discovered that he lacked the time to hire a translator to contribute the foreign language lyrics he wished to include in the song.
The song has achieved massive popularity in the Arab World, in which Richie is well known as much as if not more than in his native U.S. The Independent has referred to Richie as “a phenomenon” over the past decade or so in nations such as Iraq, with “Hello” also achieving much success.
“Islands in the Stream” is a song written by the Bee Gees and sung by American country music artists Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark.
The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, giving both Rogers and Parton their second pop number-one hit (after Rogers’ “Lady” in 1980 and Parton’s “9 to 5” in 1981). It also topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts. It has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million physical copies in the US. In 2005 the song topped CMT’s poll of the best country duets of all time; Parton and Rogers reunited to perform the song on the CMT special.
Rogers and Parton went on to record a Christmas album together, and had an additional hit with their 1985 duet “Real Love”.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. It was written and produced by Jim Steinman, and released on Tyler’s fifth studio album, Faster Than the Speed of Night (1983). The song was released as a single by Columbia Records on 11 February 1983 in the United Kingdom and on 31 May 1983 in the United States.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” became Tyler’s biggest career hit, hitting number one in several countries including the UK, where it was the fifth-best-selling single in 1983, and the US, making her the first and only Welsh singer to reach the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. It was Billboard’s number-six song of the year for 1983.
Worldwide, the single has sales in excess of 6 million copies and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for U.S. sales of more than one million copies.
“Tell Her About It” is a Gold-certified 1983 hit performed by Billy Joel, from the 7× Platinum album An Innocent Man. An apparent homage to the Motown Sound, the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for one week on September 24, 1983, replacing the Phil Ramone-produced song, “Maniac” by Michael Sembello. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for US sales of over 500,000 copies. In interviews, Joel has indicated that the song, heard out of context of the An Innocent Man album, sounds more like a Tony Orlando and Dawn record than the Motown sound he intended.
“Maniac” is a song performed by Michael Sembello. The song was used in the 1983 film Flashdance.
“Maniac” appears during an early scene in Flashdance and is used as the backing track of a montage sequence showing Alex (Jennifer Beals) training strenuously in her converted warehouse.
The song was included in Flashdance after Sembello’s wife accidentally included it on a tape sent to executives at Paramount Pictures who were looking for music to use in the film.
A dance music version was released in 2000, by Irish DJ Mark McCabe, entitled “Maniac 2000”.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a song written and performed by the British new wave music duo Eurythmics. The song is the title track of their album of the same name and was released as the fourth and final single from the album in early 1983. The song became their breakthrough hit, establishing the duo worldwide. Its music video helped to propel the song to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single released by Eurythmics in the US.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is arguably Eurythmics’ signature song. Following its success, their previous single, “Love Is a Stranger”, was re-released and also became a worldwide hit. On Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2003, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” was ranked number 356. Eurythmics have regularly performed the song in all their live sets since 1982, and it is often performed by Lennox on her solo tours.
In 1991, the song was remixed and reissued to promote Eurythmics’ Greatest Hits album. It re-charted in the UK, reaching number 48, and was also a moderate hit in dance clubs. Another remix by Steve Angello was released in France in 2006, along with the track “I’ve Got a Life” (peaking at number 10).
“Every Breath You Take” is a song by English rock band The Police from their 1983 album Synchronicity. Written by Sting, the single was the biggest hit of 1983, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks (the band’s only number-one hit on that chart), and the UK Singles Chart for four weeks. It also topped the Billboard Top Tracks chart for nine weeks.
At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards the song was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Record of the Year, winning in the first two categories. For the song, Sting received the 1983 British Academy’s Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
The song is considered to be both The Police’s and Sting’s signature song, and in 2010 was estimated to generate between a quarter and a third of Sting’s music publishing income. In the 1983 Rolling Stone critics and readers poll, it was voted “Song of the Year”. In the US, it was the best-selling single of 1983 and fifth-best-selling single of the decade. Billboard ranked it as the number-one song for 1983.
The song ranked number 84 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. It also ranked number 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. In 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” is a song from the 1983 film Flashdance, written by Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, and Irene Cara, and performed by Cara.
In addition to topping the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Cara’s only #1 song, it earned a platinum record, the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2004 it finished at #55 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. The song also kept Culture Club’s song “Time (Clock of the Heart)” off the number one spot.
The song was the #3 single of the year in 1983 on the Billboard year-end chart. In 2008, the song was ranked at #26 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100.
In the United Kingdom, the song spent one week at #2 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending date July 9, 1983.
“Let’s Dance” is the title song from English singer David Bowie’s 1983 album of the same name. It was also released as the first single from that album in 1983, and went on to become one of his biggest-selling tracks. Stevie Ray Vaughan played the guitar solo at the end of the song.
The single was one of Bowie’s fastest selling to date, entering the UK Singles Chart at number five on its first week of release, staying at the top of the charts for three weeks. Soon afterwards, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Bowie’s second and last single to reach number 1 in the U.S. In Oceania, it narrowly missed topping the Australian charts, peaking at number two, but peaked at number one for 4 consecutive weeks in New Zealand. The single became one of the best selling of the year across North America, Central Europe and Oceania.
“Beat It” is a song written and performed by American singer Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones (with co-production by Jackson). It is the third single from the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Following the successful chart performances of the Thriller singles “The Girl Is Mine” and “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” was released on February 3, 1983 as the album’s third single. The song was promoted with a short film that featured Jackson bringing two gangs together through the power of music and dance.
“Beat It” received the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as two American Music Awards. It was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. The single, along with its music video, propelled Thriller into becoming the best-selling album of all time. The single was certified platinum in the United States in 1989. Rolling Stone placed “Beat It” on the 344th spot of its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. The song was also ranked number 81 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.
In the decades since its release, “Beat It” has been covered, parodied, and sampled by numerous artists including Pierce the Veil, Fall Out Boy, Pomplamoose, Justin Bieber, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fergie, John 5, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Eminem. The song was also featured in the National Highway Safety Commission’s anti-drunk driving campaign.