Let’s Hear It For The Boys: The All 80s All Memorial Day Weekend
Previously it was the 'Ladies of the 80s'. Now let us turn to the men.
This top 10 list turned out to be much more difficult than I imagined. I thought I was going wiz right through it. I did until the bottom five. Then I came to a screeching halt. This does not make me look forward to the next list — Bands/Duos.
Again, this top 10 based on radio hits, influence, popularity, and 'that's just my opinion, man.' Next up:
Let's Hear it For The Boys.
#10) You Pick: Springsteen, Idol, Henley, Money, Adams, Springfield, Wonder
Seriously, I could not decide. So I thought I would leave that one up to you. You could call it a cop-out. I call it, giving you a voice.
#9) Elton John
Do you think he should be higher? I can't argue that you're wrong. For me, Elton more big hits in the 70s than he did in the 80s. He had zero #1 songs during the entire 1980s.
#8) Steve Winwood
Yeah, I know you might be surprised by this one. I'll admit this choice is more personal for me. I was a big fan of Steve Winwood. Except back then, I had no idea of his history with the Spencer Davis Group/Clapton/Traffic -- or how talented he was at such a young age. You might think somebody with all that longevity, would've died off by the 1980s - he did not — just the opposite. Steve Winwood went on to have nine Top 10 records, with three of them #1. And some of those songs still get radio play to this day.
#7) George Michael
He didn't have a lot of hits, but the ones he did have were massive. And this is with only ONE solo album released in the 80s. And it was a big one. 'Faith' produced four #1 songs, and 'I Want Your Sex' just missed at #2. I thought he was worthy of being on the list. I remember the controversy with 'I Want Your Sex.' Some radio stations played an edited version for awhile.
#6) John Cougar Mellencamp
Can you believe this guy has only had one #1 song? On the other hand, he's had multiple Top 10 hits. I don't think he would trade the longevity that his songs have had over the years, just to have a couple more # 1's under his belt. Whether it's John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, or just John Mellencamp -- one thing is for sure -- John is Americana.
#5) Lionel Richie
All the success with the Commodores was just the tip of the iceberg for Lionel Richie. He owned the first half of the 80s with multiple Top 10 songs, including five # 1's. His ballads were huge.
#4) Billy Joel
Think about Billy's songs for a moment. So much of his catalog is still on the radio today. Just off the top of my head, I can think of about a dozen songs. That is insane. It's like he was planning for the future when he wrote them. Genius!
#3) Phil Collins
When he wasn't putting out Top 5 records with Genesis, Phil Collins was piling up his solo hits with seven #1 songs in the 80s. With Phil becoming the fourth drummer for Genesis in the mid-'70s and Peter Gabriel quitting the group, the groundwork was laid for the rise of Phil Collins — 80s Hit Machine. And another artist with many songs still getting played on radio stations to this day.
Minnesota's very own Prince lands in the number two spot on this list, and I'm not playing hometown favorites here. He was a great showman and a musical genius. Thirteen Top 10 hits with four #1 songs. Plus, there are the songs he wrote that others made into hits. Prince is also rumored to have thousands of unreleased songs. When it comes to the two most significant male pop stars of the 80s, You were either talking about Prince or the King (of Pop).
#1) Michael Jackson
When it comes to the 80s, there's absolutely no doubt that Michael Jackson was the biggest. When it came to performing, there's little doubt he was the best. His dancing left people mesmerized. He has the best-selling album of all time with 'Thriller.' And his follow up, 'Bad,' didn't do that - bad - either￼.
And then there are hits. The number of hit songs was mind-blowing. And keep this in mind -- it all came from only two albums released during that decade. To put that in perspective, Prince released almost ten.