“Private Eyes” is a 1981 single by Hall & Oates and the title track from their album of that year. The song was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two weeks, from November 7 through November 20, 1981. This single was the band’s third of six number one hits (the first two being “Rich Girl” and “Kiss on My List”), and their second number one hit of the 1980s. It was succeeded in the number one position by Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical,” which was in turn succeeded by another single from Hall and Oates, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
“Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” is a song performed and co-written by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, which was the main theme for the 1981 film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981.  In the US, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts during October 1981, remaining at the top on the Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. Overseas, it also went to number one on the VG-lista chart in Norway, and was a top ten hit all around the world. The song became the second and last American number one hit by Christopher Cross. It was included as a bonus track only on the CD & Cassette versions of his second album Another Page, released in 1983.
Indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums recorded a cover of this song for the soundtrack to the 2011 remake of the film.
“Endless Love” is a song written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow soul singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their “endless love” for one another. It was covered by soul singer Luther Vandross with R&B singer Mariah Carey and also by country music singer Shania Twain. Richie’s friend (and sometimes co-worker) Kenny Rogers has also recorded the song. Billboard has named the original version as the greatest song duet of all-time.
“Jessie’s Girl” is a song written and performed by Australian singer Rick Springfield. It was released on the album Working Class Dog. The song is about unrequited love, and centers on a young man in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.
Upon its release in the United States in 1981, the song was slow to break out. It debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on 28 March but took 19 weeks to hit No. 1 reaching that position on 1 August, one of the slowest climbs to number one at that time. It remained at No. 1 for two weeks and would be Springfield’s only No. 1 hit. The song was at No. 1 when MTV launched on 1 August 1981. Billboard ranked it as the No. 5 song for all of 1981.
The song also peaked at No. 1 in Springfield’s native Australia and later won Springfield a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
The song was released in the United Kingdom in March 1984 and peaked at number 43 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1984.
Springfield recorded an acoustic version of the song for his 1999 album, Karma.
“The One That You Love” is a popular song written by Graham Russell and sung by Australian soft rock band Air Supply that reached number one in the United States in 1981. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart on July 25, 1981, and remained there for one week, becoming the band’s only number one hit. In Canada, it knocked the Stars on 45 medley off the top spot and stayed there for five weeks.
“The One That You Love” also peaked at number two for five weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart.
“Stars on 45” is a song issued in January 1981 by the studio group Stars on 45. In some countries, including the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the band was credited as ‘Starsound’ and the medley itself was named “Stars on 45”. Its official title in the US (as on the record and in Billboard) where it was credited to ‘Stars on 45’ was “Medley: Intro ‘Venus’ / Sugar Sugar / No Reply / I’ll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want to Know a Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You’re Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45”. It is (to date) the longest titled song to ever chart in Billboard, and is conveniently shortened to “Stars on 45 Medley”, or “‘Medley’ by Stars on 45”. The reason for the long title was copyright requirements for the use of The Beatles’ songs.
It reached number 1 in the Netherlands in February 21, 1981; number 2 in the UK in April 1981; and number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 20, 1981. In the US, the single also peaked at number 18 on the dance chart. In the US, the song’s one-week stay at the top of the Hot 100 interrupted the Kim Carnes single “Bette Davis Eyes” run as the number 1 single at five weeks. The next week, Carnes’ song regained its number 1 status for an additional four weeks.
The origin of the single was the Netherlands where numerous bootleg disco singles were floating around. Willem van Kooten, the owner of one of the copyrights, decided to make a similar, legitimate record of a 12″ single titled “Let’s Do It in the 80s Great Hits” credited to a group called Passion (though the snippets of songs were taken from the original recordings). He found singers who sounded similar to John Lennon and Paul McCartney and decided to make the single focus on The Beatles. The original version was a 9-minute, 45-second 12″ mix, then a 45 version was also released, and the Beatles medley was later extended to a full 16-minute album side. It appeared on the Stars on 45’s first full-length release, Long Play Album (US title: Stars on Long Play; UK title: Stars on 45 – The Album).
The album version of the song moved “Venus” and “Sugar Sugar” to Side Two into a different medley, and added several more Beatles songs as well as a 32-second instrumental extract from George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” and even a fleeting reference to new wave band Sparks’ “Beat the Clock,” for a total length of about 15 minutes. The album version was released as Long Play Album in the Netherlands, and retitled Stars on Long Play in the US and Stars on 45 — The Album in the UK. A detailed listing of the source material can be found in the Long Play Album article.
The song became also a huge success in the UK where it kicked off a craze for medleys, with a large number of records in the Stars on 45 mold reaching the UK Top 40 in 1981. Likewise, in the US the song started a medley craze that lasted for about a year and introduced not only other medleys by Stars on 45, but medleys by The Beach Boys, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra, as well as others.
“Bette Davis Eyes” is a song written and composed by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, and made popular by American singer Kim Carnes. DeShannon recorded it in 1974; Carnes’s 1981 version spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard’s biggest hit of the entire year for 1981. It was also her only Top 40 hit on the UK Singles Chart, getting to No. 10. The 1981 recording won the 1982 Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
“9 to 5” or “Morning Train” is the title of a popular song written by British songwriter Florrie Palmer and recorded by Sheena Easton in 1980, becoming her biggest hit. It peaked at number three in the United Kingdom in August 1980 and was certified gold. It was released in the United States in February 1981, where it reached number one.
Easton had released one single prior to “9 to 5”: “Modern Girl”. This had failed to chart highly, but after exposure on the BBC documentary, The Big Time, Pop Singer, both “9 to 5” and “Modern Girl” were propelled into the top ten at the same time, making her the second female artist (after Ruby Murray) to achieve this feat.  “9 to 5” became a top three hit and was one of the best-selling singles of the year.
Early in 1981, EMI Records decided to launch Easton in the US and released “9 to 5” as her debut single. The title of the song was changed to “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” to avoid confusion with the Dolly Parton song of the same name, which charted nearly simultaneously with Easton’s record. Easton’s song went to #1 on both the U.S. pop and adult contemporary charts; it remained at the top for two weeks on Billboard’s pop chart. On Billboard’s 1981 year-end charts, it came in as the twelfth-biggest pop and thirteenth-biggest AC hit of the year 1981. It also topped the RPM magazine pop and AC charts in Canada, reigning over the former for two weeks in May 1981.
The song is about a woman who waits at home all day for her man to come home from work. The music video was filmed on the Bluebell Railway, a heritage line running between East and West Sussex in England. The video stars London and South Western Railway No. 488, a preserved LSWR 0415 Class locomotive.
“Kiss on My List” is a song by the American duo Hall & Oates. It was written by Daryl Hall and Janna Allen, and produced by the duo. It was the third single release from their ninth studio album, Voices (1980), and became their second U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (after “Rich Girl” in 1977). It spent three weeks at the top spot.
The song was written with the intention of Janna Allen, sister of Hall’s longtime girlfriend Sara Allen, singing it, as she was interested in starting a music career. Hall cut a demo version as a guide for her, but later when his manager found the tape lying around the studio, he insisted that Hall and Oates cut the song themselves. In fact, the production team liked the demo so much that they didn’t do a second take, instead adding background vocals and instrumentation to the demo and mixing them together. Hall recalled that’s why the drums sounded so “dinky.”
The song was one of the music videos that aired on MTV’s first day of broadcast.
The 45 version of the song appears on the compilation albums Rock ‘n Soul Part 1 (1983) and Playlist: The Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates (2008).
While two other songs from the album had returned the duo to chart activity, it was the success of “Kiss on My List” that confirmed the start of the duo’s sustained run as one of American pop’s top-selling acts, a run that lasted into 1990.
“Rapture” is a song by the American pop rock band Blondie from their fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980).
In January 1981, “Rapture” was released as the second and final single from the album. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for two weeks. It was the first No. 1 song in the U.S. to feature rap. The song peaked at No. 4 in Australia and No. 5 in the United Kingdom.
“Rapture” is a combination of disco, funk, and hip hop with the rap section forming an extended coda. The song title “Rapture” served to indicate this element. While it was not the first single featuring rapping to be commercially successful, it was the first to top the charts. Its lyrics were especially notable for namechecking hip-hop pioneers Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash.
“Keep On Loving You” is a soft rock power ballad written by Kevin Cronin and performed by American rock band REO Speedwagon. It features the lead guitar work of Gary Richrath. The song first appeared on REO Speedwagon’s 1980 album Hi Infidelity. It was the first REO Speedwagon single to break the top 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching the number-one spot for one week in March 1981. The single was certified Platinum for U.S. sales of over one million copies. It peaked at number seven in the UK Singles Chart. “Keep On Loving You” has been described as “a mainstay on most ’80s soft rock compilations” and has appeared on dozens of ‘various artists’ compilation albums, as well as several REO Speedwagon greatest hits albums.
“I Love a Rainy Night” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Eddie Rabbitt. It was released in November 1980 as the second single from his album Horizon. It reached number one on the Hot Country Singles, Billboard Hot 100, and Adult Contemporary Singles  charts in 1981. The song succeeded Dolly Parton’s song “9 to 5” at the number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart – the last time, to date, that the pop chart featured back-to-back country singles in the number one position. It was written by Rabbitt, Even Stevens and David Malloy.
The song is featured on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the K-Rose radio station, and on the TV show Family Guy in the episode “Padre de Familia” when Glenn Quagmire listens to music in his head. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for both the original 1981 and 1993 releases of Urban Chipmunk. In the 1993 remake, Alvin sings this song for the rain to flood the house and wash away his homework.
“9 to 5” is a song written and originally performed by American country music singer Dolly Parton for the 1980 comedy film of the same name. In addition to appearing on the film soundtrack, the song was the centerpiece of Parton’s 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, released in late 1980. The song was released as a single in November 1980.
The song garnered Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Vocal Performance, Female”. For a time, the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton’s song ranked number seventy-eight on American Film Institute’s “100 years, 100 songs”.
The song was accompanied by a music video that featured footage of Parton and her band performing, intercut with clips from the film.
“Celebration” is a song released in 1980 by Kool & the Gang from their album Celebrate!.
“Celebration” is in the key A♭ major and was written by Kool & the Gang.
Celebration reached no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 7, 1981, and held that position for two weeks before being ousted by Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”. It’s the band’s only no. 1 hit. By late 1980, the song had also reached no. 1 on both the Billboard Dance and R&B charts. The song featured heavily on the radio for nearly the entire year and is still heard today at weddings and parties, and is a popular anthem for sporting events, especially at the end of a championship win. It was also an international hit, reaching no. 7 in the United Kingdom on November 29, 1980, overall spending 13 weeks in the chart.
“The Tide Is High” is a 1966 song written by John Holt, originally produced by Duke Reid and performed by the Jamaican group the Paragons, with John Holt as lead singer. The song gained international attention in 1980, when a version by the American band Blondie became a US/UK number one hit. The British girl group Atomic Kitten also had a number one hit with their version of the song in 2002, and a version of the song was a minor hit for Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall in 2008.
“(Just Like) Starting Over” is a song written and performed by John Lennon for his album, Double Fantasy. The B-side was Yoko Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss”. It was released as a single on 24 October 1980 in the United Kingdom and three days later in the United States, and it reached number one in both the US and UK after Lennon was murdered. In 2013, Billboard Magazine ranked it as the 62nd biggest song of all-time on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.