If the gripes about disco's destruction of rhythm and blues seemed silly during the late '70s and the '80s, they're unequivocally wacky in 2014, considering the harmful industry developments that followed and the passing of time. In 1980, Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart featured a whopping 520 R&B singles -- as well as a handful of rap cuts. Bountiful is the first word that comes to mind. After narrowing the favorites down to 40, it was obvious that far too much brilliance was left out, so monthly charts were made. They appear beneath the playlist link. It was tough to eliminate several selections, such as Pointer Sisters' "He's So Shy" (an August debut), from those countdowns. Classics came from many corners, both stylistically and geographically, including chunky synth-funk, sophisticated roller-skating jams, weightless ballads, Italian disco, and Japanese electro-pop. Young Prince got dirty, while Luther Vandross, front and center in number 14, emerged from extensive session work and a fledgling solo career. We also got the final album from Minnie Riperton, whose life was taken the previous July by cancer, as well as two great albums from Teena Marie -- the first of which was made with Riperton's grieving widower, Richard Rudolph.

The year's most progressive music was put together by Leon Sylvers III, who had recently graduated from writing and producing for his own group -- the Sylvers -- to being the in-house producer for Dick Griffey's Solar label. His slick, sparkling sound is epitomized by the Whispers' "And the Beat Goes On" and Shalamar's "Right in the Socket." Sylvers also took on work for other labels, such as Chocolate City, whose 7th Wonder appears in the September chart. That man's presence and aftershocks will be felt in the next several R&B 40s.

Forty favorite R&B singles that touched Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in 1980 -- artist name first, followed by title, label of release, and date of chart entry:

1. Yarbrough & Peoples - "Don't Stop the Music" [Mercury, 11/22]
2. Teena Marie - "I Need Your Lovin'" [Gordy, 8/30]
3. Zapp - "More Bounce to the Ounce" [Warner, 8/23]
4. George Benson - "Give Me the Night" [Warner, 6/28]
5. Michael Jackson - "Off the Wall" [Epic, 2/23]
6. Slave - "Watching You" [Cotillion, 12/13]
7. The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On" [Solar, 1/19]
8. Diana Ross - "Upside Down" [Motown, 7/12]
9. George Benson - "Love X Love" [Warner, 10/11]
10. Twennynine f/ Lenny White - "Best of Friends" [Elektra, 3/1]

11. Mtume - "So You Wanna Be a Star" [Epic, 12/6]
12. Rick James - "Big Time" [Gordy, 7/12]
13. The Invisible Man's Band - "All Night Thing" [Mango, 3/15]*
14. Change - "The Glow of Love" [RFC, 10/25]
15. The Brothers Johnson - "Stomp!" [A&M, 2/16]
16. Mtume - "Give It on Up (If You Want To)" [Epic, 8/23]
17. Zingara - "Love's Calling" [Wheel, 12/27]*
18. Prince - "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" [Warner, 2/9]
19. Kleeer - "Open Your Mind" [Atlantic, 8/9]
20. Maze f/ Frankie Beverly - "Southern Girl" [Capitol, 7/19]

21. Shalamar - "Right in the Socket" [Solar, 3/29]
22. Teena Marie - "Behind the Groove" [Gordy, 5/3]
23. Chaka Khan - "Clouds" [Warner, 4/26]
24. Teddy Pendergrass - "Love TKO" [Philadelphia Int'l, 10/18]
25. Jermaine Jackson - "Let's Get Serious" [Motown, 3/22]
26. The Gap Band - "Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)" [Mercury, 12/6]
27. Patrice Rushen - "Look Up!" [Elektra, 10/25]
28. The Isley Brothers - "Don't Say Goodnight (It's Time for Love)" [T-Neck, 3/8]
29. Kano - "I'm Ready" [Emergency, 11/20]
30. Vaughan Mason & Crew - "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" [Brunswick, 1/19]

31. Delegation - "Heartache No. 9" [Mercury, 8/30]*
32. Prince - "Uptown" [Warner, 10/4]
33. The S.O.S. Band - "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" [Tabu, 4/19]
34. The Isley Brothers - "Here We Go Again" [T-Neck, 6/14]
35. Brenda Russell - "Way Back When" [A&M, 2/2]
36. Minnie Riperton - "Here We Go" [Capitol, 8/23]
37. Herbie Hancock - "Stars in Your Eyes" [Columbia, 4/12]
38. Sister Sledge - "Reach Your Peak" [Cotillion, 3/29]
39. Curtis Mayfield - "Love Me, Love Me Now" [Curtom, 6/28]
40. Brides of Funkenstein - "Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy" [Atlantic, 1/12]

*These songs are not available on Spotify in the U.S. Favorites 41-43 appear in their place, at the end of the playlist.



Monthly top tens (based on entry dates):

January
The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"
Vaughan Mason & Crew - "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll"
Brides of Funkenstein - "Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy"
Trussel - "Love Injection"
Donna Summer - "On the Radio"
Sister Sledge - "Got to Love Somebody"
Roberta Flack f/ Donny Hathaway - "You Are My Heaven"
Parliament - "Theme from the Black Hole"
Yellow Magic Orchestra - "Computer Game"
Kool & the Gang - "Too Hot"

February
Michael Jackson - "Off the Wall"
The Brothers Johnson - "Stomp!"
Prince - "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?"
Brenda Russell - "Way Back When"
Pressure - "Can You Feel It"
Rick James - "Come into My Life"
Leon Haywood - "Don't Push It Don't Force It"
Skyy - "High"
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - "Shut 'um Down"
GQ - "Standing Ovation"

March
Twennynine f/ Lenny White - "Best of Friends"
The Invisible Man's Band - "All Night Thing"
Shalamar - "Right in the Socket"
Jermaine Jackson - "Let's Get Serious"
The Isley Brothers - "Don't Say Goodnight (It's Time for Love)"
Sister Sledge - "Reach Your Peak"
Grey & Hanks - "Now I'm Fine"
Phyllis Hyman - "Under Your Spell"
Rufus f/ Chaka Khan - "Any Love"
Al Johnson - "Back for More"

April
Chaka Khan - "Clouds"
The S.O.S. Band - "Take Your Time (Do It Right)"
Herbie Hancock - "Stars in Your Eyes"
Stephanie Mills - "Sweet Sensation"
Change - "A Lover's Holiday"
Jerry Knight - "Overnight Sensation"
Parliament - "The Big Bang Theory"
Kleeer - "Winners"
Rockie Robbins - "You and Me"
Rodney Franklin - "The Groove"

May
Teena Marie - "Behind the Groove"
Stacy Lattisaw - "Dynamite!"
Odyssey - "Don't Tell Me, Tell Her"
Cameo - "We're Goin' Out Tonight"
The Brothers Johnson - "Light Up the Night"
Sheila & B. Devotion - "Spacer"
Angela Bofill - "Angel of the Night"
Roberta Flack f/ Donny Hathaway - "Back Together Again"
Rufus f/ Chaka Khan - "I'm Dancing for Your Love"
Switch - "Don't Take My Love Away"

June
George Benson - "Give Me the Night"
The Isley Brothers - "Here We Go Again"
Curtis Mayfield - "Love Me, Love Me Now"
Fatback - "Backstrokin'"
Patti Austin - "Body Language"
René & Angela - "Do You Really Love Me"
Collins & Collins - "Top of the Stairs"
Fred Wesley - "House Party"
Rhyze - "Just How Sweet Is Your Love"
Gary Bartz - "Music"

July
Diana Ross - "Upside Down"
Rick James - "Big Time"
Maze - "Southern Girl"
Trussel - "I Love It"
Chic - "Rebels Are We"
A Taste of Honey - "Rescue Me"
Michael Henderson - "Wide Receiver"
Cameo - "Shake Your Pants"
Starpoint - "I Just Wanna Dance with You"
Ashford & Simpson - "Love Don't Make It Right"

August
Teena Marie - "I Need Your Lovin'"
Zapp - "More Bounce to the Ounce"
Mtume - "Give It on Up (If You Want To)"
Kleeer - "Open Your Mind"
Delegation - "Heartache No. 9"
Minnie Riperton - "Here We Go"
Gladys Knight & the Pips - "Taste of Bitter Love"
Tom Browne - "Funkin' for Jamaica"
Stephanie Mills - "Never Knew Love Like This Before"
Queen - "Another One Bites the Dust"

September
Earth, Wind & Fire - "Let Me Talk"
Diana Ross - "I'm Coming Out"
Norman Connors - "Take It to the Limit"
The S.O.S. Band - "S.O.S. (Dit Dit Dit Dash Dash Dash Dit Dit Dit)"
The Stylistics - "Hurry Up This Way Again"
Commodores - "Heroes"
Curtis Mayfield - "Tripping Out"
Evelyn "Champagne" King - "Let's Get Funky Tonight"
Stevie Wonder - "Master Blaster (Jammin')"
7th Wonder - "The Tilt"

October
George Benson - "Love X Love"
Change - "The Glow of Love"
Teddy Pendergrass - "Love TKO"
Patrice Rushen - "Look Up!"
Prince - "Uptown"
The Jacksons - "Lovely One"
Geraldine Hunt - "Can't Fake the Feeling"
Cameo - "Keep It Hot"
Chic - "Real People"
René & Angela - "Everything We Do"

November
Yarbrough & Peoples - "Don't Stop the Music"
Kano - "I'm Ready"
Wilton Felder - "Inherit the Wind"
Switch - "Love Over and Over Again"
One Way - "Something in the Past"
Con Funk Shun - "Too Tight"
Lakeside - "Fantastic Voyage"
Tierra - "Together"
Earth, Wind & Fire - "You"
Heatwave - "Gangsters of the Groove"

December
Slave - "Watching You"
Mtume - "So You Wanna Be a Star"
Zingara - "Love's Calling"
The Gap Band - "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)"
Skyy - "Here's to You"
The Jacksons - "Heartbreak Hotel"
T.S. Monk - "Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life)"
Norman Connors - "Melancholy Fire"
Robert Winters & Fall - "Magic Man"
Rockie Robbins - "After Loving You"