Thursday, 26 July 2012

25 Years Ago This Week: July 26, 1987

Twenty-five years ago this week, one of TV's most watched episodes provided an Aussie rock legend with a smash hit pop single - but, as we'll discover, there was a twist to the song's success.

Charlene and Scott's wedding was marked by the arrival
of this week's highest new entry

Before that, something we haven't talked about in relation to the ARIA charts yet is the space alongside the breakers where the record companies took it in turns to spruik one of their big new releases by way of an ad or, in the case of this week's chart, the song lyrics.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending July 26, 1987

Single Of The Week
"I Want To Hear It From You" by Go West
Peak: number 80
In the past few weeks, there have been plugs for tracks by Lime Spiders, Geisha and Mental As Anything (who rate a mention as a breaker this week). This week, it's British duo Go West with a song that, to be honest, wasn't a patch on their 1985 classics, "We Close Our Eyes" and "Call Me".

"Head To Toe" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Peak: number 52
1987 was a big year for New York's Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, with this song and the follow-up, "Lost In Emotion", both reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Australia, "Head To Toe" was their best performance here. However, a cover of their 1986 single, "All Cried Out", would reach number 11 for Allure and 112 in 1997, while the melody of their debut single, "I Wonder If I Take You Home", would be used in The Black Eyed Peas' "Don't Phunk With My Heart", so at least that's something.

New Entries
Number 50 "Wild Horses" by Gino Vannelli
Peak: number 9
It creeps into the top 50 this week, but easy listening classic "Wild Horses" would quickly leap into the top 10 and give Gino the hit he'd been trying to have since the mid-'70s - at least in Australia. In his home country of Canada as well as in the States, he had more success prior to this track from his Big Dreamers Never Sleep album. In 1987, I still followed the charts slavishly enough to lap this song up, but two years later, I'd turn my nose up at the similarly middle-of-the-road "Talk It Over" by Grayson Hugh.

Number 49 "Luka" by Suzanne Vega
Peak: number 21
Here's another song I liked by default at the time, but in this case I'm impressed at my 12-year-old self's taste - although I'm sure I didn't pick up on the child abuse subject matter of the song (I know, I know, it's not like the songwords are cryptic or anything). Despite the dark lyrical content, "Luka" would end up giving Suzanne her biggest chart hit of the '80s, after the rather disappointing performances of "Marlene On The Wall" (number 39) and "Left Of Centre" (number 35). She'd score a top 10 hit in 1990 with "Tom's Diner" but that would all be down to the input of dance producers DNA.

Number 43 "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Mötley Crüe
Peak: number 43
This would be the highest position achieved by the first single from the Crüe's fourth album, and although they'd score a couple of bigger hits in the years to follow, they'd never be as big as Bon Jovi, Poison, Skid Row or Warrant in Australia. While I'm quite partial to a good bit of hair metal, I never really got into Mötley Crüe's music. Their autobiography, The Dirt, however, made for a fascinating read.

Number 36 "Suddenly" by Angry Anderson
Peak: number 2
It was the most unlikely of pairings - the bald-headed lead singer from Aussie rock band Rose Tattoo providing the wedding theme for Neighbours' teen lovebirds, Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue). "Suddenly" was nothing like the sort of thing Angry normally sang, and as an '80s rock ballad, there are few better. There are a couple of different videos for the song, one below and one in the song title. It would have been a huge number 1 hit in Australia, too... if it weren't for the track which kept it off the top spot for three weeks in a row.

Next week: the song which denied Angry a number 1 hit. I'll also devote a separate post to mark the 25th anniversary of that tune's release, something its singer has been doing all this year.

Back to: Jul 19, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 2, 1987

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