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'80s Survivor: 1981


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Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers

"Just The Two of Us"

Winelight (Elektra)

Writer(s): Bill Withers, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter

Producer(s): Grover Washington, Jr., Ralph MacDonald

Hot 100 Peak: 2

 

The R&B classic Just The Two of Us touches down in seventh place for 1981. The collaboration between Grover Washington and Bill Withers came about through Withers' friendship with songwriter Ralph MacDonald, a writer and producer who wrote with his partner Bill Salter. Says Withers, "I'm a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said 'We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?' I said, 'Yeah, if you'll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit. Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The 'Just The Two Of Us' thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn't like what was said leading up to 'Just The Two Of Us.' When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he'd written - an instrumental version of Ain't No Sunshine that appeared on his first album. Since then, hundreds of artists have covered Withers' songs. Many will be familiar with Just The Two of Us thanks to Will Smith who released a rap version in 1998, turning it into a song about a father and son. This version was the basis for the "Dr. Evil Mix" in the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, where Dr. Evil sings to Mini Me.

 

List of songs (in alphabetical order):

Morning Train (Nine To Five) - Sheena Easton
Rapture - Blondie
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
The Tide Is High - Blondie
Who's Crying Now - Journey
Young Turks - Rod Stewart

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Who's Crying Now - Journey

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That doesn't mean you have to vote against my choices. :rolleyes: I'm sure there are other songs you don't want in the finals on this list that you could pick. :P

LOL Ok for YOU I'll take that into consideration, you never went against a song that I stan for/loves, so I'll consider changing my vote lol

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Journey

"Who's Crying Now"

Escape (Columbia)

Writer(s): Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry

Producer(s): Kevin Elson, Mike Stone

Hot 100 Peak: 4

 

Legendary rockers Journey make their exit in sixth place for 1981. The lead single from their seventh studio album Escape, Who's Crying Now was the first to feature new keyboardist Jonathan Cain, a former member of British group The Babys. According to the liner notes of Journey's Time3 compilation, Steve Perry wrote the chorus of the song driving from Bakersfield to San Francisco, singing into a cassette recorder. He went to Cain's house, rain pouring down in sheets outside, with the whole song in his head. He hummed the song to Cain and guided him through the piano part. Cain suggested the tune sounded like "A somebody done somebody wrong song" and came up with the line, "Who's crying now?" They finished the song that afternoon. Remarkably, Escape was Journey's only No. 1 album. Who's Crying Now reached No. 46 in the UK and No. 65 in Australia.

 

List of songs (in alphabetical order):

Morning Train (Nine To Five) - Sheena Easton
Rapture - Blondie
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
The Tide Is High - Blondie
Young Turks - Rod Stewart

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Young Turks - Rod Stewart

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