The Number One Hits Of 1982
|November 21, 1981 – January 29, 1982
Physical holds the record for the longest consecutive run at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the 1980s. It spent a remarkable 10 consecutive weeks at the top of the chart, making it one of the most successful and enduring hits of the decade.
|January 30, 1982 – February 5, 1982
Daryl Hall and John Oates
I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
Since its release in 1981 as a single from Hall & Oates’ album “Private Eyes,” I Can’t Go for That has been sampled by numerous artists across different musical styles. Its iconic bassline and infectious rhythm have been incorporated into hip-hop, R&B, and dance tracks by artists such as De La Soul, Simply Red, and Heavy D.
The song’s versatility and timeless groove have made it a go-to source for creating new music. The distinctive “I Can’t Go for That” elements have been reimagined, reworked, and recontextualized in ways that pay homage to the original while adding new dimensions to the sampled tracks.
|February 6, 1982 – March 19, 1982
The J. Geils Band
The J. Geils Band was an American rock band formed in 1967, with its core members being John Geils, Peter Wolf, and Seth Justman.
Centerfold is about the shock of discovering a high school crush posing in an adult magazine.
|March 20, 1982 – May 7, 1982
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll
Joan Jett is an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and the Blackhearts is her backing band.
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll is a cover of the 1975 song by the British band The Arrows.
|May 8, 1982 – May 14, 1982
Chariots of Fire
Vangelis is a Greek composer and musician known for his pioneering work in electronic music.
Chariots of Fire is the theme song for the 1981 film of the same name and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
|May 15, 1982 – July 2, 1982
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
Ebony and Ivory
Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder is inspired by a piano given to McCartney by comedian and musician Spike Milligan. Milligan gifted McCartney a piano designed to look like a “piano for two” with black and white keys painted on the same level, symbolizing racial harmony.
The concept of the piano sparked McCartney’s creativity, and he began writing a song around the idea of black and white keys symbolizing unity and equality. McCartney envisioned collaborating with a prominent African-American artist, and Stevie Wonder was the perfect choice.
Collaborating through long-distance communication due to their busy schedules, McCartney and Wonder recorded their respective parts separately. They exchanged their contributions and ideas, ultimately resulting in the creation of “Ebony and Ivory.”
|July 3, 1982 – July 23, 1982
The Human League
Don’t You Want Me
The Human League is an English synth-pop band formed in Sheffield in 1977.
Don’t You Want Me features a male and female vocal exchange, illustrating a failing relationship.
|July 24, 1982 – September 3, 1982
Eye of the Tiger
Survivor is an American rock band formed in Chicago in 1978.
Eye of the Tiger was written as the theme song for the film “Rocky III” at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone.
|September 4, 1982 – September 10, 1982
Steve Miller Band
Steve Miller Band is an American rock band led by guitarist and vocalist Steve Miller.
Abracadabra is known for its catchy, repetitive chorus and magical theme.
|September 11, 1982 – October 1, 1982
Hard to Say I’m Sorry
Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967, known for incorporating brass and woodwind instruments into their music.
Hard to Say I’m Sorry is a heartfelt ballad about apologizing and mending a broken relationship.
|October 2, 1982 – October 29, 1982
Jack and Diane
John Cougar, now known as John Mellencamp, is an American singer-songwriter and musician known for his rootsy, heartland rock sound.
Jack and Diane tells the story of two young lovers growing up in a small American town.
|October 30, 1982 – November 5, 1982
Men at Work
Who Can It Be Now
Men at Work is an Australian rock band formed in 1979, with its core members being Colin Hay and Ron Strykert.
Who Can It Be Now is about paranoia and the desire for privacy.
|November 6, 1982 – November 26, 1982
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
Up Where We Belong
Joe Cocker was an English rock and blues singer, and Jennifer Warnes was an American singer-songwriter.
Up Where We Belong is the theme song for the 1982 film “An Officer and a Gentleman” and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
|November 27, 1982 – December 10, 1982
The song’s lyrics express genuine affection and gratitude, conveying the depth of love Richie felt for his father. However, after realizing the song’s universal message of love and devotion, Richie released it as a single to share its sentiment with a broader audience.
Truly was released as the lead single from Lionel Richie’s self-titled debut solo album. The song became a massive hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and solidifying Richie’s successful transition into a solo career following his departure from the Commodores. By sharing this personal tribute to his father with the world, Richie expressed his love for his dad and touched countless listeners’ hearts. “Truly” remains one of Lionel Richie’s most beloved and enduring songs, serving as a testament to the power of love and the bond between father and son.
|December 11, 1982 – December 17, 1982
Toni Basil is an American singer, actress, choreographer, and dancer.
Mickey is a cheerleader-themed song with a catchy, chant-like chorus that became an iconic 80s hit.
|December 18, 1982 – January 14, 1983
Daryl Hall and John Oates
The lyrics of “Maneater” were written after Daryl Hall and John Oates observed the predatory nature of certain women they encountered while frequenting nightclubs in the city. During the 1980s, Hall & Oates were at the height of their career, and New York City’s vibrant nightlife provided ample inspiration for their music. The duo wanted to capture the essence of the club scene and the allure of certain women with a reputation for using their charm to manipulate men. The song’s lyrics, with lines such as “The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar,” convey the seductive and dangerous nature of the character portrayed in the song. It became one of Hall & Oates’ biggest hits, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982.
While “Maneater” has a catchy and upbeat sound, its underlying theme explores the idea of manipulation and the cautionary tale of falling for someone with ulterior motives. The song’s success highlights the ability of Hall & Oates to craft pop songs with memorable hooks and lyrics that resonate with listeners.
|The Biggest Pop Artists of 1982 include:
Air Supply, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Dan Fogelberg, Dazz Band, Deniece Williams, Donna Summer, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, The Gap Band, J. Geils Band, The Go-Gos, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, John Cougar (Mellencamp), Journey, Juice Newton, Lionel Richie, Men at Work, Micheal Jackson, Neil Diamond, Patrice Rushen, Paul Davis, Paul McCartney, Ray Parker Jr, Prince, Quarterflash, Queen, Sheena Easton, Skyy, Steve Miller Band, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Survivor, Toto (HPS music data is compiled from charts, including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)