Last one for this year! At the end, I'll list my 10 least liked songs of the year, and reveal the next year on the list.
#5: "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
I know this artist, but only for this song.
This is probably the most "rock" song I've done for this year. It has a solid guitar line, and the music sounds good. The singing is decent, but Rick doesn't show a ton of range, mostly singing in a lower register, and he doesn't really have any big notes.
The lyrics are about, well, Jessie's girl. Basically, Jessie is his friend, and Rick wants his girl. The entire song is about how much he wants her, and how it is affecting his friendship.
I like the music of this song, but I am not fond of the lyrics. The singer comes off as just...unlikeable. Not only for his jealousy, but he is also a bit of an egotist, judging from lines like "I look at her in the mirror all the time, wondering what she don't see in me". Lines like that make it sound less like he is merely jealous of his friend, and insulted that Jessie's girl didn't choose him, the clearly superior partner. I don't mind the song, but in order to listen to it, you have to ignore the lyrics to avoid disliking the singer.
#4: "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon
Music is pretty nice. It mostly focuses on the piano, and is quite simplistic, until the music kicks in big time on the chorus. With a bad singer, that approach wouldn't work, but John Lennon is far from a bad singer.
As for the lyrics, this is another love song. Basically, he and his woman are going through some issues in their love life. His suggestion is that they just act like they did when they first fell in love, saying it'll be, well, see the title.
I really like this song, a lot more than the last one. He seems genuine in his love, leaving the fact that they are going through troubles implied rather than stating it. That makes his love seem a lot more genuine. This is also the most "rock" of John Lennon's music this year, and it works really well with his style. This is probably the best of his work this year, and it deserves its high placing.
#3: "Lady" by Kenny Rogers
Music is very piano driven, sounding nothing like a country song. Singing is the same. He sounds more like a pop singer, and in a good way.
The lyrics are about what you'd guess from the title. He is singing about a lady he has fallen in love with, singing about how much he loves her. You know the drill.
This song is definitely out of the normal zone for Kenny Rogers, and he does do well in it. It does sound like a pop song. It's pretty generic, though. Plenty of artists before and since 1981 have sung about the woman that stole their hearts. Is this a good song? Yes, it is. He seems genuine in his words. But it is not that great. It didn't really do enough different from every other love song to warrant being such a huge hit. I applaud him for working outside the country zone, though. Like I said, he does fine in that area.
#2: "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
Double repeat artists!
Piano music is beautiful, as it should be for a love song. Both the singers do a great job as well, playing off of each other quite well. Not a surprise, since they both are Motown singers, and have similar styles to begin with.
The lyrics, well, see the title. It is them singing about how much they love each other, and how their partner will always be their "endless love".
This song...I love it. It is just such a well-done love song. Like I said earlier, they do a really good job of playing off of each other. The lyrics may be a bit generic as far as love songs go, but they sell it well. You really believe that they do love the other person as much as they claim. The music is also a huge help in that regard. This is one of the most overplayed love songs of the era, but there is a reason for it. It's a damn good love song. These two should work together more often. And yes, I have seen the "Happy Gilmore" scene with this song. That didn't bias me, even though I do think that scene was remarkably well done.
#1: "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
Who? *research* Ah, a singer-songwriter. Apparently, due to her raspy voice, she's been called the female Rod Stewart. That's promising.
Music is different than I expected. It's like most love songs, but with a synth beat. Kim Carnes definitely earns her title as the female Rod Stewart, and in a decent way. She does seem to have issues with high notes, though.
Ah, this song...Lyrics are a bit different. Basically, they are tearing down another woman, saying she is a user, and tends towards the one-night stands. I have no idea what Bette Davis eyes are, though.
This song...doesn't deserve number one to me. It's not a pleasant song at all. I don't know what this girl did to Kim Carnes, but she is downright vicious in the lyrics. Her voice definitely doesn't help, lending itself well to the viciousness of the lyrics. I mean, she calls the girl a tease, then a slut, saying that she knows "how to make a pro blush". If I had to pick a song to replace this as number one, I could easily see "Endless Love" as number one, as it is the ultimate example of what people listened to this year. But this song? It's just not fun to listen to, but apparently people back then disagreed.
Well, that's the end of 1981. My ultimate impression? Eh...There were some great songs, and hidden gems. Overall, though, the list was just dull, but in a different way than 2004. That one was dull because of overplayed genres. Here, I just got bored of the love songs. I'm not exaggerating when I say that more than half the songs were love songs. That is way too much love to go around. But hey, maybe next year will be better.
That list was harder to put together than I thought. Mostly because there weren't many songs I hated. Most of them were just dull.
Next: 1997 Top 100, #100-96