It’s the last bonus Sunday of the month, and I wanted to feature a song that did make it big. Issued in January 1981 by the Dutch pop group Stars on 45, the song is called “Stars on 45 Medley” and was a medley of hits (you’ll see). It reached #1 in the Netherlands in February, #2 in the UK in April, and #1 in the US in June 1981.
The song kind of kicked off a craze of various medleys. Copyright issues? I have no idea.
Another Sunday bonus, and today I’m featuring James Taylor.
1981 wasn’t his best year, as “Her Town Too” is (supposedly) about the breakup of Taylor’s marriage to Carly Simon. JT has stated that no, it was about “the ex-wife of a mutual friend.” Okay, maybe. His manager Peter Asher was going through a divorce at the time, and Taylor and Simon’s divorce wasn’t official until 1983, but the signs were all there, and James Taylor rarely writes except from the heart. It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful song. Here Taylor sings it with JD Souther.
There was so much great music in 1981 that I decided to do some bonus posts for the four Sundays in April that don’t feature a letter.
Some of you might say, ‘How can you do a 1981 theme and not include Prince, one of the greatest musicians ever?’ I agree! That’s why he’s here on Sunday, with his hit “Controversy.”
It was the lead single and title track to his 1981 album, with lyrics that addressed speculation about Prince (at the time, he created buzz wherever he went, although androgynous singers weren’t anything that unusual – think Boy George, David Bowie). Here’s a bit of the lyrics:
I just can’t believe all the things people say – Controversy Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay? – Controversy Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me? – Yeah, uh, uh, controversy Controversy Controversy I can’t understand human curiosity Controversy
Prince, who died six years ago this month, remains one of the best. Here he is: