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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z OtherTop 1000

Top R&B Songs of 1981

1980 <-1981-> 1982


  

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Endless Love
1.
07/1981
377

✫1
US
✫1
AC


✫1
R&B


7
UK
[Motown 1519]
written by Lionel Richie
Physical
2.
10/1981
353

✫1
US
29
AC
22
dance
28
R&B


7
UK
[MCA 51182]
written by Steve Kipner & Terry Shaddick
Being with You
3.
02/1981
347

2
US
4
AC


✫1
R&B


✫1
UK
[Tamla 54321]
written by Smokey Robinson
I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
4.
11/1981
320

✫1
US
12
AC
✫1
dance
✫1
R&B
28
rock
8
UK
[RCA 12357]
written by Daryl Hall, John Oates & Sara Allen
Rapture
5.
01/1981
311

✫1
US


✫1
dance
33
R&B
35
rock
5
UK
charted as Rapture / The Tide Is High in US dance charts
[Chrysalis 2485]
written by Debbie Harry & Chris Stein
Let's Groove
6.
10/1981
292

3
US


3
dance
✫1
R&B


3
UK
charted as Let's Groove/I've Had Enough in US dance charts
[Columbia 02536]
written by Wayne Vaughn & Maurice White
Slow Hand
7.
05/1981
259

2
US
6
AC


7
R&B


10
UK
[Planet 47929]
written by John Bettis & Michael Clark
Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
8.
10/1981
242

7
US
2
AC


6
R&B


4
UK
written by Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago (uncredited), George Goldner (uncredited) & Morris Levy
Just the Two of Us
9.
02/1981
239

2
US
2
AC


3
R&B


34
UK
Get Down on It
10.
12/1981
220

10
US


16
dance
4
R&B


3
UK
B side to Steppin' Out ; charted as Take My Heart / Steppin' Out / Get Down on It in US dance charts
written by Ronald Bell (as Khalis Bayyan), Kool & the Gang & James "J.T." Taylor
Sukiyaki
11.
03/1981
215

3
US
✫1
AC


✫1
R&B




[Capitol 4953]
written by Rokusuke Ei, Hachidai Nakamura, Abraham Quintanilla III (as Abraham Quintanilla Jr.) & Pete Astudillo
Turn Your Love Around
12.
10/1981
202

5
US


32
dance
✫1
R&B


29
UK
[Warner 49846]
written by Bill Champlin, Jay Graydon & Steve Lukather
13.
09/1981
198

4
US
5
AC


5
R&B


44
UK
[Motown 1527]
written by Lionel Richie
14.
03/1981
197

4
US
11
AC


✫1
R&B




as Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
[Arista 0592]
written by Ray Parker Jr
Freeze-Frame
15.
11/1981
194

4
US




25
R&B
8
rock
27
UK
charted as Flamethrower / Freeze-Frame in US R&B charts
[EMI America 8108]
written by Seth Justman & Peter Wolf
When She Was My Girl
16.
08/1981
192

11
US
9
AC


✫1
R&B


3
UK
[Casablanca 2338]
written by Marc Blatte & Larry Gottlieb
How 'Bout Us
17.
02/1981
184

12
US
✫1
AC


4
R&B


5
UK
[Columbia 11433]
written by Dana Walden
Lady (You Bring Me Up)
18.
06/1981
165

8
US
13
AC
53
dance
5
R&B


56
UK
charted as Lady (You Bring Me Up)/Keep On Taking Me Higher in US dance charts
[Motown 1514]
written by Harold Hudson, Shirley King & William King
19.
03/1981
149

6
US
5
AC


45
R&B




[Arista 0588]
written by Gino Vannelli
One Day in Your Life
20.
04/1981
136

55
US
37
AC


42
R&B


✫1
UK
[Motown 1512]
written by Sam Brown & Renée Armand
21.
02/1981
121

28
US


4
dance
2
R&B


9
UK
charted as It's a Love Thing / Up on Soul Train / I Can Make It Better in US dance charts
[Solar 12154]
written by William Shelby & Dana Meyers
Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)
22.
10/1981
108

17
US


16
dance
✫1
R&B


29
UK
charted as Take My Heart / Steppin' Out / Get Down on It in US dance charts
[De-Lite 815]
written by George Brown, Kool & the Gang, Claydes Charles Smith & James "J.T." Taylor
23.
07/1981
107

16
US


✫1
dance
3
R&B




[Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs #477]
charted as Give It to Me Baby / Super Freak / Ghetto Life in US dance charts
[Gordy 7205]
written by Rick James & Alonzo Miller
24.
08/1981
104

15
US
6
AC


6
R&B


55
UK
[Warner]
written by Roger Murrah & Keith Stegall
Lately
25.
03/1981
98

64
US
33
AC


29
R&B


3
UK
[Tamla 54323]
written by Stevie Wonder
Ai No Corrida (I-No-Ko-ree-da)
26.
04/1981
95

28
US


3
dance
10
R&B


14
UK
featuring Dune
charted as Ai No Corrida (I-No-Ko-ree-da) / Razzamatazz / Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me in US dance charts
[A&M 2309]
written by Chas Jankel & Kenny Young
27.
12/1981
93

14
US
5
AC


10
R&B




She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked)
28.
06/1981
92

22
US


20
dance
2
R&B


34
UK
[20th Century 2488]
written by Leon Haywood
29.
08/1981
88

17
US
7
AC


11
R&B


76
UK
featuring James Ingram
[A&M 2357]
written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
Genius of Love
30.
10/1981
87

31
US


✫1
dance
2
R&B
24
rock
65
UK
charted as Wordy Rappinghood / Genius of Love in US dance charts
[Sire 49882]
written by Adrian Belew, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Monte Browne, Tyrone Downie & Uziah "Sticky" Thompson
31.
07/1981
86

13
US
14
AC


78
R&B
23
rock


[A&M 2349]
written by David Jenkins, Cory Lerios & John Pierce
I'm in Love
32.
06/1981
85

40
US


✫1
dance
✫1
R&B


27
UK
written by Kashif
33.
04/1981
79

19
US
16
AC


6
R&B




[Epic 01052]
written by George Duke
34.
10/1981
78

33
US


4
dance
✫1
R&B


44
UK
[Epic 02409]
written by Luther Vandross
35.
04/1981
77

15
US
15
AC


27
R&B




vocals by Eric Tagg
[Elektra 47124]
written by Lee Ritenour, Eric Tagg & Eric Champlin
36.
05/1981
76





55
dance
68
R&B


4
UK
[RCA 12240]
written by Lamont Dozier
Stars on 45 III (A Tribute to Stevie Wonder)
37.
09/1981
71

28
US




44
R&B


17
UK
[uptight everything's alright, my cherie amour, yesterme yesteryou yesterday, master blaster, you are the sunshine of my life, isn't she lovely, sir duke, i wish, i was made to love her, superstition, fingertips]
[Radio 4019]
written by Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Henry Cosby, Ronald Miller [Ronald Norman Miller] (as Ron Miller), Bryan Wells, Jaap Eggermont, Martin Duiser, Lula Mae Hardaway, Orlando Murden & Clarence Paul
Give It to Me Baby
38.
05/1981
69

40
US


✫1
dance
✫1
R&B




charted as Give It to Me Baby / Super Freak / Ghetto Life in US dance charts
[Gordy 7197]
written by Rick James
39.
06/1981
69

26
US
19
AC


2
R&B




[Cotillion 46015]
written by Burt Keyes & Sylvia Robinson
40.
07/1981
66

21
US
7
AC


26
R&B




as Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
[Arista 0616]
written by Ray Parker Jr
Double Dutch Bus
41.
05/1981
64

30
US


51
dance
✫1
R&B





[Wmot 5356]
written by Frankie Smith & Bill Bloom
42.
06/1981
64





3
dance
17
R&B


11
UK
featuring Patti Austin
charted as Ai No Corrida (I-No-Ko-ree-da) / Razzamatazz / Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me in US dance charts
[A&M 2334]
written by Rod Temperton
43.
02/1981
59

39
US




33
R&B


17
UK
Jones v Jones / Summer Madness was released as a double a-side in the UK
[De-lite 813]
written by George Brown & Kool & the Gang
44.
09/1981
58

25
US
14
AC


36
R&B




[Cotillion 46016]
written by Bill Bowersock, Trevor Veitch & Matt Vernon
45.
10/1981
58

88
US


16
dance
12
R&B


12
UK
charted as Take My Heart / Steppin' Out / Get Down on It in US dance charts
written by Robert Bell (as Robert "Kool" Bell), Kool & the Gang & James "J.T." Taylor
Controversy
46.
10/1981
51

70
US


✫1
dance
3
R&B




charted as Controversy / Let's Work in US dance charts
[Warner 49808]
written by Prince
Square Biz
47.
07/1981
47

50
US


12
dance
3
R&B


76
UK
charted as Square Biz / It Must Be Magic in US dance charts
[Gordy 7202]
written by Teena Marie
48.
02/1981
46

79
US


6
dance
3
R&B


41
UK
charted as All American Girls / He's Just a Runaway in US dance charts
[Cotillion 46007]
written by Narada Michael Walden (as Narada Walden), Lisa Walden, Allee Willis & Joni Sledge
49.
01/1981
44

55
US


12
dance
✫1
R&B




charted as Fantastic Voyage / Can't Get You Out of My Head in US dance charts
[Solar 12129]
written by Fred Alexander, Norman Beavers, Marvin Craig, Tiemeyer McCain, Thomas Shelby, Stephen Shockley, Otis Stokes & Mark Wood
50.
06/1981
43







88
R&B


10
UK
[Columbia 02170]
written by Bunny Clarke
What Cha' Gonna Do for Me
51.
05/1981
42

53
US


22
dance
✫1
R&B




charted as What Cha' Gonna Do for Me / I Know You, I Like You / We Can Work It Out in US dance charts
[Warner 49692]
written by Ned Doheny & Hamish Stuart
Pull Up to the Bumper
52.
06/1981
42

101
US


2
dance
5
R&B


53
UK
[Island 49697]
written by Koo Koo Baya, Grace Jones & Dana Mano
Shake It Up Tonight
53.
08/1981
42

70
US


5
dance
5
R&B


76
UK
[Columbia 02103]
written by Mike Sutton & Brenda Sutton
54.
03/1981
42

60
US




6
R&B


30
UK
[Solar 12193]
written by William Shelby, Ricky Smith & Kevin Spencer
55.
05/1981
41

40
US


82
dance
3
R&B




featuring Teddy Pendergrass
[20th Century]
written by James Mtume & Reggie Lucas
56.
07/1981
40

33
US




23
R&B




[novelty]
[parody of TV's General Hospital]
[MCA 51148]
written by Harry King & Lisa Tedesco
57.
04/1981

Paradise by Change

from Miracles   
40

80
US


✫1
dance
7
R&B




charted as Paradise / Hold Tight / Heaven of My Live in US dance charts
[RFC/Atlantic 3809]
written by Davide Romani (as David Romani) & Tanyayette Willoughby
Backfired
58.
08/1981
38

43
US


29
dance
71
R&B


32
UK
produced by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers
[Chrysalis 2526]
written by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers
59.
08/1981
38

46
US




6
R&B


49
UK
[Arista 0624]
written by Sam Dees
60.
06/1981
37





19
dance
20
R&B


20
UK
charted as Wikka Wrap / All Wrapped Up in US dance charts [novelty]
[SAM 5020]
written by Adrian Sear
61.
11/1981
36

79
US


25
dance
✫1
R&B




charted as I Heard It Through the Grapevine / So Ruff So Tuff in US dance charts
written by Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong
62.
07/1981
34





3
dance
8
R&B


41
UK
[Capitol 4993]
written by Mauro Malavasi & Paul Slade
Yearning for Your Love
63.
05/1981
34

60
US




5
R&B


47
UK
[Mercury 76101]
written by Oliver Scott & Ronnie Wilson
64.
10/1981
33

42
US




6
R&B




[Capitol 5065]
written by Peabo Bryson
Let's Work
65.
11/1981
33

104
US


✫1
dance
9
R&B




charted as Controversy / Let's Work in US dance charts
[Warner 50002]
written by Prince
66.
04/1981
33

50
US




13
R&B


41
UK
[Motown 1503]
written by Jermaine Jackson
67.
02/1981
32





5
dance
57
R&B


31
UK
charted as Can You Handle It / You Got My Love in US dance charts
[Prelude 8024]
written by Willie Lester & Rodney Brown
68.
08/1981
29





✫1
dance
24
R&B


76
UK
charted as Do You Love Me? / The Genie in US dance charts
[Qwest 49754]
written by Rod Temperton
69.
10/1981
29

84
US


5
dance
14
R&B




charted as Walking Into Sunshine / Don't Tell Me / I Need Your Love in US dance charts
[Mercury 76126]
written by Linton Beckles, Lipson Francis & Roy Carter
70.
05/1981
29

103
US


✫1
dance
22
R&B




charted as Try It Out / Hold Tight in US dance charts
[RFC/Atlantic 3813]
written by Gino Soccio
71.
01/1981
29

102
US


2
dance
13
R&B




charted as Look Up / Never Gonna Give You Up in US dance charts
[Elektra 47067]
written by Patrice Rushen, Charles Mims (as Charles Mims Jr.) & Sheree Brown
72.
05/1981
29

89
US


✫1
dance
40
R&B




charted as Paradise / Hold Tight / Heaven of My Live in US dance charts
[RFC/Atlantic 3832]
written by Davide Romani (as David Romani) & Paul Slade
Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life)
73.
02/1981
28

63
US


13
dance
11
R&B




charted as Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life) / Candidate for Love in US dance charts
[Mirage 3780]
written by Sandy Linzer & L. Russell Brown
74.
05/1981
27

105
US


4
dance
40
R&B


44
UK
charted as It's a Love Thing / Up on Soul Train / I Can Make It Better in US dance charts
[Solar 12232]
written by Dana Meyers, Stephen Shockley & William Shelby
75.
01/1981
27

104
US


✫1
dance
28
R&B




[Pavillion ZS6 6407]
written by Tony Valor
76.
01/1981
27

78
US


23
dance
6
R&B




charted as Watching You / Feel My Love in US dance charts
[Cotillion 46006]
written by Mark Adams, Steve Arrington, Raye Turner (as Ray Turner), Steve Washington & Danny Webster
77.
06/1981
26

67
US




11
R&B


50
UK
[A&M 2343]
written by George Johnson & Louis Johnson
78.
01/1981
26





2
dance
30
R&B


66
UK
charted as Look Up / Never Gonna Give You Up in US dance charts
written by Patrice Rushen & Freddie Washington
79.
12/1981
26

71
US


35
dance
6
R&B




[Salsoul 7017]
written by Steve Washington (as Stephen C. Washington), Curt Jones & Starleana Young
80.
10/1981
26

91
US


21
dance
6
R&B




charted as Snap Shot / Party Lites / Wait for Me in US dance charts
[Cotillion 46022]
written by Mark Adams, Steve Arrington, Charles Carter, Jimmy Douglass & Floyd Miller
81.
07/1981
26

102
US


✫1
dance
38
R&B




charted as Give It to Me Baby / Super Freak / Ghetto Life in US dance charts
[Gordy 7215]
written by Rick James
82.
09/1981
25

67
US




4
R&B




[Warner 49744]
written by Larry Graham
83.
12/1981
25

43
US
30
AC


25
R&B




[Warner]
written by Tom Canning, Jay Graydon & Al Jarreau
84.
08/1981
25

53
US




11
R&B




[Columbia 02406]
written by Fritz Baskett, Clarence McDonald & Deniece Williams
85.
02/1981
24

52
US
45
AC
22
dance
32
R&B




86.
09/1981
24





✫1
dance
35
R&B




[Prelude 8034]
written by Andy Gierus & Nicholas Bailey
87.
02/1981
23





4
dance
47
R&B


49
UK
charted as Don't Stop / Do It Again in US dance charts
[SAM 5018]
written by K.I.D. (as Geoff Bastow)
88.
09/1981
22





5
dance
41
R&B


49
UK
as Bohannon featuring Dr. Perri Johnson
[Phase II 02573]
written by Hamilton Bohannon & Perri Johnson
89.
10/1981
22





✫1
dance
60
R&B




[Pavillion 02455]
written by Colin Campsie & George McFarlane
90.
02/1981
22

54
US
25
AC


34
R&B




[Arista 0587]
written by Melissa Manchester & Leon Ware
91.
06/1981
22





6
dance
35
R&B


48
UK
[RCA 12216]
written by Ronald Brown & John Scroggins
And Love Goes On
92.
02/1981
21

59
US


57
dance
15
R&B




93.
08/1981
21





4
dance
15
R&B




as Donald Byrd & 125th Street, N.Y.C.
[Elektra 47168]
written by William Duckett
94.
05/1981
21

102
US


45
dance
3
R&B




[Chocolate City 3225]
written by Larry Blackmon & Tomi Jenkins
95.
20





6
dance
10
R&B




[West End 1232]
written by Kenton Nix
96.
02/1981
20

82
US


38
dance
15
R&B




97.
09/1981
20

60
US




19
R&B




[Liberty 1424]
written by Ronnie Laws
98.
20





7
dance
9
R&B




99.
06/1981
20

59
US




31
R&B


76
UK
[Tamla 54327]
written by Smokey Robinson
100.
20





5
dance
15
R&B




charted as Get Tough / License to Dream / De Kleeer Ting in US dance charts
written by Norman Durham & Woody Cunningham

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