Summer Songs of the Early 1980s!
Never mind the underground, here's the pop chart.
Cogent commentators can make sense out of this stuff, but I don't think anything means anything. It's all crap. Music happens and money and power and people's tastes mix together until a bizarre consensus is reached and everyone can go home.
Sure, college radio rose up during these years and bands not listed here came to prominence with their albums, but this list is what you heard everywhere. Black Flag were known to a small circle of friends, while the rest of the world was still sucking up the Air Supply. But grab your legwarmers, baby, the night's getting cold.
25) Funkytown -- Lipps Inc (1980): This was a novelty hit for the kids in my neighborhood, who were all sworn in denim rockers! But dang if they didn't gravitate towards the hook. We all want to be brainwashed! We just don't know it!
24) Coming Up -- Paul McCartney (1980): The video is one for the ages and made before there was an MTV to show it on. I likely saw it on Casey Kasem's TV show, America's Top Ten, which was the only reason to get out of bed before noon. Nice shout-out to Sparks, too.
23) It's Still Rock and Roll To Me -- Billy Joel (1980): Even a non-Billy Joel fan such as myself has to give him this one. I spent half the summer thinking this must be what Joe Jackson sounded like. Then I heard Joe Jackson and I still thought this was his. Ah, youth. Honey, where's my bright orange pair of pants?
22) Magic -- Olivia Newton John (1980): Young kids thought Olivia was new, so imagine the surprise when they raided mommy's album chest and found Have You Never Been Mellow? You mean there was life before I got here? Freaky!