Listening to the Billboard Top 100 Charts (1946 - Present)

Yeah. I admit I'm an elitist and I grew up in LA so when I moved out of LA, songs that I figured had wide appeal were much less than. I was listening to cutting edge music though

The first six top songs of 1986 ("That's What Friends Are For” "Say You, Say Me" "I Miss You" "On My Own" "Broken Wings" “How Will I Know") are all what I consider soft pop songs. Kind of mellow and nothing that I would ever put on my running playlist. It's not until we get to # 7 with Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time" that we get something with some Pep. I don't think there is any remote equivalent to this song today. For one thing, I think Eddie Murphy in 1986 was a bigger movie star than anyone I can think of today in that he could single handily open a movie in a way that only fictional characters can today. And he decided he wanted to try his hand at pop music and got a huge hit! And I got to say, of all the huge stars of 1986, Eddie Murphy is pretty much the last one I can think of who would be likely to take a "too much partying" stance as displayed in this song.

I've never heard of Atlanitic Starr and when I listened to this I was ready to chalk it up as a forgotten song but chalking in at 18 million means, nope it's doing well enough for 30+ year old song. It is though, part of a surprisingly popular "Cheating on your significant other is awesome!"-niche of songs. Off the top of my head here is a list of things people genuinely approve of and feel good about when it happen to them but that don't seem to have 1% of the number of songs written about them as "Cheating on your significant other is awesome!"-does;
Getting a job you really wanted
Beating an illness
Having a really good meal with friends/and or loved ones
Teaching your kids something important

“We gonna drop this next bomb for a money making playa that ain't with us no more”
“Yea! Notorious B.I.G”
“Hell no! We talking about the gang bangin thug who never seen it coming”
“Yea Tupac Shakur!”
“Nah man in talking about mother f*cking Falco and sh*t”
“What!?!?! Falco?!?!?”

This doesn't remotely come close to my 1 million views rule for forgotten hits, but on the other hand it's Janet Jackson. It seems like there should be a separate rule for stars who have so many huge hits but I'm not sure what a good quantitative rule would be. This is her 12th most popular song according to youtube, btw.

From Wikipedia: The band wrote "If You Leave" after John Hughes decided to change the ending to Pretty in Pink after poor test audience reactions. Hughes had asked the band for a song for the new ending two days before they were due to begin a tour, and "If You Leave" was written and recorded in under 24 hours as a result.[4] The song was deliberately written at a tempo of 120 BPM, to match the speed of "Don't You (Forget About Me)", which the dancers in the scene had initially danced to

I've yet to see Pretty in Pink.

Thinking this over I think I have a good subrule for my standard of a forgotten song: If an artist has youtube views in the hundreds of millions, then any song of theirs in the mere millions of views is a forgotten song, for that artist.

In this case Wham/George Michael have hundreds of millions of views for Last Christmas, Careless Whisper, and Wake me Up Before you Go-Go. Everything She Wants and Club Tropicana are in the tens of millions. By contrast, at "mere" 7 million views, I'm Your Man should be considered one of Wham!'s forgotten hits. Fair?

On the personnel level this song isn't' really part of my mental library, although it did sound vaguely familiar.

If my sister had Wham posters on her wall, played their album constantly and had a huge crush on George Michael when I was growing up and I've got no recollection that song, then "I'm Your Man" is a forgotten song.

When I think "I'm Your Man" I think Leonard Cohen but I'm fairly confident that his song was never on any Top Billboard Lists in the US.

RE: Janet Jackson - When I Think of You
Wow, I don't think I've seen that video since the 80s. I remember really liking that one with it's "one-shot take", but it doesn't hold up too well over the years. The edits are more obvious somehow (although I knew they were there when I watched it back then) and the casting is odd- sailors from the 1920s, urban New Yorkers from the 1940/50s, 80s fashion models, circus performers. What?

That being said, I think Nasty and What Have You Done For Me Lately were bigger hits, but this song may be my favorite from the album (aside from the video).

"I'm Your Man" is catchy but derivative. I am surprised that "Everything She Wants" isn't closer to the 100 million mark as those others. Though 100 million seems like a ton of views.

I’m looking and I’m really not finding any global history on the spread of rock ‘n’ roll/pop music. And that strikes me as very odd.

In one lifetime popular Indian music from this
To this.

During the same lifetime Chinese music went from this
To this.

While Persian music went from
To this

Are they all exactly like? No they still have significant differences to each other but they are so much more like each other today then in the past. It's a HUGE level of convergence. And I thought I would’ve been able to easily find at least one book on the subject, but no luck so far.

Not an expert, but doing some quick and dirty research, and holy cow does it look like Chinese popular music went through one of the biggest/quickest changes in all of history. Again, sketchy quick and dirty skimming about something I'm not at all familiar with and that doesn't seem to be that well explored in the English language (why is there not more written about the global spread of pop music?) but as far as I can tell the alternate reality Chinese version of me (Ie, a "me" born the same year as as I was but who had an American version of the Chinese experience if the roles of the two countries were reversed) would have been born into a world with the equivalent of barbershop and Sousa marches, heard his first electric guitar around the age of ten (!), and then seen a slow but steady progression of change until the turn of the century when it appears as if the Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton, and Maria Carey took over complete control of the pop musical world and have ruled it with an iron fist to this day, save for the intense popularity of Iggy Azalea and other foreigners in genre's that alt-reality-Americans seem to love so long as they aren't done by Americans?

The internet is probably a major factor most likely.

This is not rap or hip-hop, it's clearly funk and R&B and yet.... yea... there is just something about it that makes it feel like the first song I've heard in the top 100 that is a brief stirring of things to come.

Two things on that video - first that looked like a young Lavar Burton at the end there. Second, I always thought his voice was put through a machine or something to get that sound, but watching a couple of other videos that is just his voice. Very unique!

That absolutely is a young Levar Burton at the end of that video!
Cameo definitely seems like a precursor to Bobby Brown's solo career. I even think Digital Underground took a page or two from Cameo.
I loved this song and their other song "Candy.

I've encountered veiled references to homosexuality as I've been listening to every top 100 song,
"Number forty-seven said to number three
"You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company"

but I think this 1986 song is the very first time I've heard the word "gay" used to mean homosexual;

"Did you hear the one about Michael
Some say he must be gay
I tried to argue, but they said
If he was straight he wouldn’t move that way"

I've never seen the music video before (it's super super 80's) so a 100% of my mental visuals for this song come from the Pixar animated (!) Listerine commercial

Based on youtube views this easily meet's my standard for a "forgotten song." Again, I think if it was tied to some 80's nostalgia piece it would be doing a lot better.

I never associated this song with the 80's. At all. Perhaps it's because it was played all the time on my Alternative Station (KNRK in Portland) when I was in High School. But the mixing of genres and the style definitely seems more late 90's to me then late 80's. But seeing as this is also the song/video that is widely regarded as as helping break hip hop music into mainstream pop music that shouldn't be surprising. This is definitely a "song of the future" song in a huge huge way. Not up their with Rock around the Clock but that's not fair as NOTHING beats Rock around the Clock in terms of Songs Signalling the Future of Music Songs, where it's totally in a league of it's own. But it's probably in the top three in that category. #songofthefuture

You know "King of Rock" was sort of Run DMC's bubbling on the surface of mainstream music. It too has very heavy rock guitar samples. People credit "Walk this Way" as the genre buster but it certainly was a logical progression and did not appear from thin air. (IMHO "King of Rock" is a much better song)

There are plenty of songs that reference a band's name (In a Big Country by Big Country) but this is the only time I've ever heard a band's name used as a verb. The band is on record that it doesn't really mean anything, they were just tired and through it in there so it can mean whatever you want it to.

Daphne: [singing to "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"] Everybody have sex tonight!
Crow: Ironically, no one in the band Wang Chung had sex that night.

This is the first U2 song that I've heard on this experiment so far and the first chronological hit as well ("With or Without You," was in May of 1987 while "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," would be in August). And who boy will I be hearing from them for a long long time to come. It's interesting because for many stars my mental image of them is frozen of them as young people, but with U2, when I hear this song my mind pictures an old Bono, not the young one of the music video.

U2 Joins Michael Jackson, Madonna & 'Weird Al' Yankovic With Top 40 Hot 100 Hits in '80s, '90s, '00s & '10s

I was really thinking this would qualify for my quantifiable standards for a forgotten hit (Under 1M youtube hits) because I've never heard this song, nore of the singer, but Nope! 3M hits on this one and one or two million hits on a few other of her songs.

This song is 100% totally inseparable from the film, Dirty Dancing. I would be surprised if even 1% of the people who hear this don't immediately think of the film and given that this has over a quarter of a BILLION views, I think that's true for the younger generation as well.

80's nostalgia is huge right now but I haven't seen a lot of Reagan in it, which makes perfect sense. When the 50's were big in the 80's I didn't see Ike in any of the nostalgia pieces I can think of either. Over time (and Reagan first assumed office close to four decades ago), the appearance of even the most powerful of politicians seems to fade and fade. The only possible exception to this I can think of is if you lead a big war like Lincoln or FDR.

When I was listening to most of the songs from the 40's through 60's I was listening to them for the first time. And it takes a fair amount of conscious effort to really listen to and understand a song you've never heard before instead of letting it just wash over you. But when I got into a bunch of 80's songs I encountered the opposite problem; I have been hearing these songs for my entire life and when they started up my brain's automatic reaction was to go on auto-pilot mode and let the music and lyrics wash over me instead of trying to absorb them. I had to play this song three times before I felt I truly listened to because my brain when on auto-pilot the first time, and then did it again the second time even though I had reminded myself not to do that.

"In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself."

The thing is.... he's not wrong!

"And those that were the farthest out have gone the other way
You see them on the freeway, it don't look like a lot of fun
But don't you try to fight it, an idea whose time has come
Don't tell me that I'm crazy
Don't tell me I'm nowhere
Take it from me

It's hip to be square
It's hip to be square"

Honestly as a guy who only has a few months left until I turn 40, the song really speaks to me. Unsurprisingly, it looks like Huey Lewis was roughly my same age when he wrote it.

SONG OF THE FUTURE ALERT! It looks like her other hit, Tom's Dinner, didn't make the list, but here we have another song that is a huge sign of the wave of soft alternative songs that would hit it huge in the 1990's.

As far as self referential songs, surely Bad Company from the album Bad Company by the band Bad Company from the movie Bad Company based on the book Bad Company must hold some kind of record.

Luka was a song that we used to make fun of mostly because it was easy (my name is Puka) and because we had no idea why the song was so popular. Then we found out what the song was about and that was the end of that nonsense. I credit it as being one of the first chinks in that "I am young, I am invulnerable and infallible" armor. Well and flunking my college Calculus midterm first semester freshman year solidified that too.