80s Song of the Day: Nightshift by the Commodores

Nightshift by the Commodores was released on January 31, 1985, with I Keep Running as the B side. It was a single from the band’s eleventh album of the same name. The song was a tribute to singers Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye, who had both died in 1984. The lyrics reference the singers’ respective hits, (Your Love Is Lifting Me) Higher and Higher and What’s Going On. Continue reading

80s Song of the Day: Fresh by Kool and the Gang

Fresh by Kool and the Gang was released November 24, 1984, with In the Heart as the B side. It was a single from the band’s sixteenth studio album Emergency, which would become their biggest selling album.

fresh-kool-and-the-gangAlthough it wasn’t released until 1984, Fresh dates back to 1978. According to Wikipedia and Songfacts.com, the song is credited for coining the slang “fresh” to mean “cool.”

The song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a No. 1 hit on the R&B and dance charts. In the United Kingdom, it reached No. 11 on the UK Singles chart.

80s Song of the Day: Private Dancer by Tina Turner

Private Dancer by Tina Turner was released on October 28, 1984, with Keep Your Hands Off My Baby as the B side. It was the fifth single from Turner’s album of the same name.

The song was written by Dire Straits’ lead singer Mark Knopfler for the band’s album Love Over Gold. The track was cut from the album when Knopfler decided the vocals were not suitable for a male to sing. Dire Straits remade the track for Turner, with Jeff Beck replacing Knopfler on lead guitar. Continue reading

80s Song of the Day: Control by Janet Jackson

To quote Ms. Jackson herself, this is a story about Control. The fourth single from her third platinum-selling album of the same name, Control was released on October 21, 1986, with Fast Girls as the B side.

The song peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Janet’s fourth consecutive Top 5 hit. The accompanying music video was choreographed by Paula Abdul and starred Janet’s Good Times costar Ja’net Dubois as her mother.

80s Song of the Day: My Prerogative by Bobby Brown

My Prerogative by Bobby Brown was released October 11, 1988, with My Prerogative (Instrumental) as the B side. It was the second single from Brown’s second studio album Don’t Be Cruel.

The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. An international success, it reached the Top 10 in several other countries, including Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Urban Contemporary Single.