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Backwards Bullets: This Week In Charts 1983

Women ruled at pop and country this week in 1983, as Bonnie Tyler topped the Hot 100, and Reba McEntire continued her rise to superstardom.

‘TOTAL ECLIPSE’ OF THE CHART: This week in 1983, Bonnie Tyler ascended to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

The song’s all-star cast included E Street Band members Roy Bittan on keyboards and Max Weinberg on drums, as well as Rick Derringer, formerly of the McCoys, on guitars. Rory Dodd provided the song’s trademark “turn around …” backing vocals.

While Tyler would return to the chart’s top 40 once more, with the No. 34-peaking “Holding Out for a Hero” in 1984, the song marked the first of five trips to the top two for Jim Steinman, who wrote and produced “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” His second smash was also on its way this week in 1983: Air Supply‘s similarly grandiose “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” rose 5-4.

Here are the five Steinman-written singles, recorded by five artists, to reach the top two on the Hot 100:


No. 1 (four weeks), “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Bonnie Tyler (1983)
No. 2 (three weeks), “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” Air Supply (1983)
No. 1 (five weeks), “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meat Loaf (1993)
No. 2 (one week), “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Nicki French (1995)
No. 2 (five weeks), “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Celine Dion (1996)

According to her official website, Tyler, who is planning to release an album of all-new material by next year, will perform at the Hard Rock Cafe’s Women of Rock charity benefit at London’s Royal Albert Hall Nov. 1. Also on the bill are Joss Stone, Melanie C and fellow ’80s chart force Bananarama.

‘SCENE’ HEARD: A Billboard Album Review 26 years ago this week praised a then-new release from an artist who, earlier in 1983, had celebrated her first No. 1 on Country Songs. Reba McEntire has added 19 leaders since then.

“‘Behind the Scene’ will become a milestone career-making album for McEntire, because it’s clear evidence how far she’s come as an artist. At last, she’s got songs to live up to her potential.

“Everything works: the instrumentation, the material, and most of all, McEntire, who’s deservedly considered one of country’s premier stylists.”

The set marked McEntire’s last for the Mercury record label before she moved to MCA Nashville beginning with 1984’s “Just a Little Love.”

As previously reported in Chart Beat, McEntire boasts the most No. 1s among women on Country Albums in the chart’s 45-year history. Earlier this month, “Keep On Loving You” became her 11th leader, lifting McEntire past the legendary Loretta Lynn for the all-time crown among female artists.

POLICE REPORT: McEntire wasn’t the only star country female making news this week in 1983. On the Billboard Hot 100, Dolly Parton bounded 17-9 with the Bee Gees-penned, Kenny Rogers duet, “Islands in the Stream,” which would go on to become the last dual No. 1 on the Hot 100 and Country Songs until Lonestar‘s “Amazed” in 1999-2000.

Concurrently, the Police followed the top song of 1983, “Every Breath You Take,” with a top 10 entrance (11-6) for “King of Pain,” and Frank Stallone rocked his way into the top 10 (12-10).

Here are the top titles on the Hot 100 this week 26 years ago:

No. 1, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Bonnie Tyler
No. 2, “Tell Her About It,” Billy Joel
No. 3, “The Safety Dance,” Men Without Hats
No. 4, “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” Air Supply
No. 5, “(She’s) Sexy + 17,” Stray Cats
No. 6, “King of Pain,” The Police
No. 7, “True,” Spandau Ballet
No. 8, “Maniac,” Michael Sembello
No. 9, “Islands in the Stream,” Kenny Rogers Duet with Dolly Parton
No. 10, “Far From Over,” Frank Stallone