Reaching for the Stars, Vol. 29

Chart Week: August 31, 1985
Song: “Invincible (Theme from The Legend of Billy Jean)” – Pat Benatar
Chart Position: #12, 15th week on the chart. Peaked at #10 the week of September 14.

I’m cheating a little for this entry. Although I’m sure if I listened to the iHeart Radio classic AT40 station long enough I’d hear a countdown from around this period, I decided to pick a week on my own.

With M off to high school tomorrow, I was thinking back to my last day before I started high school. I remember going to Oceans of Fun, the water park in Kansas City. But I have no idea who I went with, which is a little strange. My best guess is a good friend that went to the other high school in our area. But I have no concrete memory of that afternoon other than being at the park.

I also remember sitting around that night, burning off some nervous energy for the big day by playing the game Risk with my parents. Yeah, I played Risk as a 14-year-old. Yeah, I got along with my parents well enough to play board games with them. Sue me.1 And I’m roughly 95% sure that while we played games, the evening replay of American Top 40 was on in the background. Or maybe the Rick Dee’s Weekly Top 40, which was broadcast at night and I enjoyed listening to to compare/contrast with Casey’s countdown.

Regardless…I was listening to a pop radio countdown from the heart of my favorite years. So many good songs on this week’s list, but I just happened to hear this song as I was driving to pick M up from her morning orientation session, and it seemed like a sign.

You can’t really go wrong with a Pat Benatar song. Her big hits were all really, really good. For as big a part of the culture of that time she was – admittedly that is as much because of Fast Times at Ridgemont High as her music – it surprised me to see Pat only had four top ten hits. But she did have 11 other top 40 songs, which is a pretty great career.

I think this and “We Belong” are my two personal Benatar favorites.

As parents we know that the high school years can be tough. I’m hoping M has a little invincible in her for the next four years. And that she never gets herself into any legal misunderstandings like Helen Slater did in the summer of ’85.


  1. I was a terrible loser when it came to games. So I’m sure I got pissed off at some point that night and stopped talking while I tried to battle back from my tiny foothold on the map.