Billboard #1s for the Week Ending June 9, 1984

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper 1
R & B Let’s Hear It For the Boy Deniece Williams 2
Country Someday When Things Are Good Merle Haggard 1
Adult Contemporary Time After Time Cyndi Lauper 2
Rock Dancing In the Dark Bruce Springsteen 1
Album Footloose Soundtrack 8

BossDancingThis week sees an established and acclaimed rock star begin the most commercially successful phase of his career. Bruce Springsteen burst onto the scene in 1973, quickly garnering critical praise and significant media coverage. As he prepared his seminal third album, Born to Run in 1975, Columbia re-promoted his first two discs, nudging them onto the album charts for the first time. Since then, no original Springsteen album has missed the Top 10. He had his first #1 album with 1980’s The River, which also spawned his first Top 10 single, Hungry Heart [#5]. He followed that up with the acclaimed, meditative Nebraska, which made #3 but had no singles. After two years of work, he finally had his seventh album ready to go. Producer and manager Jon Landau felt like it needed a sure-fire hit single and goaded Springsteen into writing one last song. That song would become his biggest hit.

Dancing In the Dark was his first significant foray into incoprortating synthesizers and dance beats into his music. That musical approach — combined with his trademark powerful lyrics — caught fire on the charts. It debuted on the Hot 100 [at #36!] and the Rock chart on May 26, 1984. In its third week, it blasted to the top of the latter chart where it stayed for six weeks, his biggest Rock chart success overall. This same week it moved from #18 to #14 on the Hot 100. It continued a quick rise, moving 9-4-2, grabbing the runner-up spot behind Duran Duran’s The Reflex. The Boss was denied the top spot, however. Prince’s When Doves Cry had entered the chart one week after Dancing In the Dark and chased it into the Top 3. On July 7, Prince leapfrogged Springsteen and blocked #1 for five weeks; Dancing In the Dark sat at #2 for three of those. With four weeks in second place, it remains his biggest Hot 100 hit as well.

Springsteen can’t have been too disappointed. His album, Born In the U.S.A., came out as the single was rising and hit #1 the very week Prince denied him the top of the Pop chart. With seven weeks at #1 (ironically battling it out with Prince’s Purple Rain), it also became his most chart successful album. Born In the U.S.A. also became only the second of three albums to log seven Top 10 hits, sandwiched between siblings Michael Jackson with Thriller and Janet Jackson with Rhythm Nation 1814. Over the subsequent 30 years, Springsteen has maintained his steady chart presence, especially on the album side, while continuing to impress critics and satisfy his legions of dedicated fans.

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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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