Billboard #1s for the Week Ending April 17, 1982

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart

Song

Act

Weeks

Hot 100 I Love Rock ‘N Roll Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

5

R & B That Girl Stevie Wonder

9

Country The Clown Conway Twitty

1

Adult Contemporary Chariots of Fire – Titles Vangelis

3

Rock 867-5309/Jenny Tommy Tutone

3

Album Chariots of Fire [Soundtrack]

1

This week sees the Hot 100 debut of a post-prog AOR supergroup: ASIA. As the 70s drew to a close, most of the progressive and art rock bands that had been FM and stadium staples began to disintegrate or radically transform. Many of the now bandless performers began to discuss various collaborative activities. One of the few that took off was the formation of Asia. It featured four veterans of numerous bands of varying fame: bassist/vocalist John Wetton (Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K., and Wishbone Ash), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes and The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, and Emerson Lake & Palmer).

While the result was much more stadium power rock than progressive, the combined talents of these four men created a radio-friendly sound that dominated the airwaves for over a year. The first album, Asia, entered the charts on April 3 and eventually spent nine weeks at #1. The first single, Heat of the Moment,  entered the Hot 100 at #68 on April 17; it shot up the charts (entering the Top 40 two weeks later at an amazing #20). Faced with a very strong summer Top 10, it eased up the charts, peaking at #4 for three weeks in June and July, behind Ebony & Ivory, Don’t You Want Me, Rosanna, and Hurts So Good. (An amazing number of big singles got trapped at #4 for three-week or longer runs in 1982.)

The second single, Only Time Will Tell, was a far better song but stalled out at #17. The band quickly released a second album, Alpha, which logged two Top 40 hits. Supergroup tension began to unravel the band, and their run was basically over by late 1983. Tellingly, ten of the 19 tracks on those two albums hit the Rock charts, five Top 10s including Heat of the Moment‘s six weeks at #1. Snubbed by critics and capable of some truly execrable album filler, at their best Asia were great radio-rock craftsmen and their three big hits are still fun guilty pleasures of mine.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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