Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Best Of 1988 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


I don't think you could find a boppier collection of songs than my 25 favourites for 1988. With only one ballad among them, it's a pretty good indication of not only what I was listening to that year, but also the kind of stranglehold pop had on the charts at that point in time.

After such a big hit, the only way was down for Yazz

I've avoided going over the same artists and songs repeatedly in this series of posts, and one artist I've completely skipped over is Kylie Minogue, since I've dealt with her releases extensively elsewhere on this blog. But, she and producers Stock Aitken Waterman dominate my top 25 - just as they dominated the UK top 40 all year.

Teen pop from the likes of Kylie, Debbie Gibson, Bros and Rick Astley enjoyed its peak in 1988, but by the end of 1989, dance music had taken over, with grunge only a few years away. Such a proliferation of pop acts would not be seen again for another decade.


Number 25 "Together Forever" by Rick Astley
After an impressive start the previous year, Rick Astley went supernova in 1988. The hits from Whenever You Need Somebody continued with this single, which gave him a second number 1 in the US, as well as (in some countries) "It Would Take A Strong, Strong Man" and "Don't Say Goodbye", which both feature in my top 200 for the year. By the end of 1988, Rick had released his second album, Hold Me In Your Arms, which contained his first self-penned single, "She Wants To Dance With Me" (number 64 on this list) and my favourite single of his, "Take Me To Your Heart" (number 4 on this list). Phew!
Writing his own songs and moving slowly away from releasing singles produced by SAW could have spelt the beginning of the end (as it had for many other artists who found that the hits dried up when they left the Hit Factory), but Rick continued to be successful into the '90s - and is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance at the moment. In fact, I'm seeing him play in Sydney this weekend. I'm interested to see just how faithfully he'll perform these old pop tracks.




Number 24 "Out Of The Blue" by Debbie Gibson
I was obsessed with Debbie in 1988 - just slightly less than I was with Kylie. She only really had the one hit in Australia that year (1987's "Shake Your Love"), but my sister brought me back the Out Of The Blue cassette when she went to the States that year and I loved every track on it. "Out Of The Blue" was another US and UK hit for Debbie, but it was with "Foolish Beat" (number 90 on this list) that she really broke records, becoming the youngest artist to write, produce and perform a US chart-topper. Listening to the album now, it hasn't aged as well as some other pop from the era - but it's still pretty fun.




Number 23 "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne
Mentioned below

Number 22 "I Can't Help It" by Bananarama
Mentioned below

Number 21 "You Are The One" by a-ha
Ask most people and they would be quite surprised to know a-ha were still making records three years after "Take On Me". Not only did they release some of my favourite singles of theirs that year, including this track, "Touchy!" (number 43 on this list) and "The Blood That Moves The Body" (number 79 on this list), but they actually kept on recording (with a few breaks) right up until their farewell record in 2010. Unfairly branded as one-hit wonders, the Norwegian trio rank as one of my favourite groups of all time.




Number 20 "Got To Be Certain" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 19 "Love, Truth And Honesty" by Bananarama
If you've been following my year-by-year journey through the '80s, you'll have seen these girls pop up time and time again. Actually, not quite these girls, since 1988 was the year Siobhan Fahey left Bananarama (her last single with the group was "I Can't Help It", which is back at number 22) and Jacquie O'Sullivan joined the trio.
"Love, Truth And Honesty" was the first all-new song released by the new-look group, although Jacquie had already added her vocals to a revamped "I Want You Back" (number 3 on this list and my favourite Bananarama track of all time) and would go on to sing on a reworked version of "Nathan Jones" (number 44 on this list).
Truth be told, the switcheroo didn't make much of a musical difference, since you couldn't really say that Bananarama had very distinctive vocals in the first place, but the change was noticeable in a visual sense, since Jacquie lacked the same spark Siobhan had - and when she, too, departed the group in 1991, I can't say I was that bothered.




Number 18 "Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi/Made In Heaven" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 17 "He Ain't No Competition" by Brother Beyond
So resounding a success had this struggling pop group's union with SAW been that all parties concerned thought it was a good idea to repeat the collaboration, and, voila, "He Ain't No Competition" came to pass. Not quite as good as "The Harder I Try" (which is at number 13 below), but another storming pop classic.




Number 16 "When Will I Be Famous" by Bros
Brother Beyond's rivals for the hearts and minds of teen girls across the UK were this trio, who also struggled with their first couple of releases. Unlike Brother Beyond, Bros didn't team up with hit producers, but just re-released this track and "I Owe You Nothing" (which is at number 8 below) until the public bought them - and buy them they eventually did.
In Australia, Bros' five singles from Push all hit the chart in 1988 and a visit down under caused all sorts of mayhem. I distinctly remember buying the album at my local record shop - in fact, I bought it the same day I bought Kylie. And although I liked "Drop The Boy" (number 82 on this list), "I Quit" (number 148 on this list) and "Cat Among The Pigeons" (number 176 on this list), they weren't a patch on this song or "I Owe You Nothing", a song for which the Smash Hits songwords phrase "ad lib to fade" was invented. 




Number 15 "Prove Your Love" by Taylor Dayne
The New York native born Leslie Wunderman became a bit of a chart juggernaut in the late '80s, especially in the US, where she enjoyed seven consecutive top 10 hits, including number 7 placings for both this second single and her debut, "Tell It To My Heart" (number 23 on this list). With a shock of bright red hair, huge equally bright red lips and a voice that blasted away most of her contemporaries, Taylor was a force to be reckoned with and carried on being successful well into the 1990s. These days, she occasionally pops down to Australia to tour and still releases the odd record here and there.




Number 14 "First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)" by Scritti Politti
Their 1988 album Provision was nowhere near as successful as 1985's Cupid & Psyche 85, but it's one of my top 10 albums of all time - and it contained this pop gem as well as "Boom! There She Was" (number 113 on this list) and "Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)" (number 119 on this list). There could have been any number of other singles taken from Provision but the public clearly wasn't very receptive to the new music by Green and co., and the band spluttered to an end in 1991 with a couple of reggae-fied cover versions. Green returned many years later, but Scritti Politti never recaptured the highs of their mid-'80s success.




Number 13 "The Harder I Try" by Brother Beyond
Mentioned above and previously featured here and here

Number 12 "Who's Leaving Who" by Hazell Dean
After years of trying to follow up her 1984 success, SAW's original hitmaker finally cracked the UK top 10 again with this song, a cover of an Anne Murray track from 1986. I always feel like poor Hazell is a forgotten part of the SAW legacy. Out-glamoured by Sinitta and Kylie, out-camped by Dead Or Alive and Divine, out-sold by Rick Astley and Bananarama, she did, however, have a better voice than most of the artists the producers worked with. Thanks to the top 5 performance of this song in the UK chart, Hazell enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence, with other singles "Maybe (We Should Call It A Day)" (number 31 on this list) and her version of the Kylie track "Turn It Into Love" (number 85 on this list) performing moderately well.




Number 11 "I Should Be So Lucky" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 10 "Waiting For A Star To Fall" by Boy Meets Girl
Boy (George Merrill) met girl (Shannon Rubicam) 13 years earlier and together they'd written two of Whitney Houston's biggest hits ("How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)") but when this track was turned down by Clive Davis for Whitney's third album, the duo decided to record it themselves and released it as the lead single from their second album, Reel Life. The song was a smash around the world (although it only got to number 35 in Australia) - and was one of my 7" purchases that year. 17 years later, three songs based on "Waiting For A Star To Fall" emerged - "Star2Fall" by Cabin Crew (which featured re-recorded vocals by George), "Falling Stars" by Sunset Strippers and Mylo's "In My Arms", a mash-up with "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes.




Number 9 "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin
The guitarist for The Go-Go's had attempted a solo career in 1985 with her self-titled album, but in 1988, this track by Jane made a big splash, hitting the US and UK chart. An awesomely catchy song, it would be her one and only hit - later covered by British rock act Joyrider.




Number 8 "I Owe You Nothing" by Bros
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 7 "The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz & The Plastic Population
Born Yasmin Evans, Yazz had previously appeared on the Coldcut track "Doctorin' The House" before this song, a cover of an Otis Clay record, took her straight to the top of the UK chart, where she stayed for five weeks. The Plastic Population were never heard of again, since her follow-up track, "Stand Up For Your Love Rights" (number 53 on this list) was credited solely to Yazz. The hits dwindled, but as late as 1994, she released "Have Mercy", a song I liked and which had moderate UK success - but there was never going to be any topping this joyous pop classic. There's a link to the music video in the song title above and a Top Of The Pops performance below.




Number 6 "Especially For You" by Kylie Minogue / Jason Donovan
Previously featured here and here

Number 5 Crackers International EP by Erasure
Mentioned below

Number 4 "Take Me To Your Heart" by Rick Astley
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 3 "I Want You Back" by Bananarama
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 2 "You Came" by Kim Wilde
Like Bananarama, Kim is an artist I'd long been a fan of, and although her fortunes had gone up and down over the previous seven years, I thought she'd always released quality pop singles. In 1988, she not only unleashed a string of great singles (including "Never Trust A Stranger", which is at number 49 on this list), but the album they were all taken from, Close, was also her best LP to date (and still is, actually).
"You Came" was the second single from Close and quickly became a huge favourite of mine. After starting to buy 7" singles in 1987, I bought them a little more frequently in 1988, and this was one I snapped up as soon as I heard it. The best single she's ever released and a song that I could still listen to every day all these years later. Kim re-recorded the song in 2006, giving it more of a pop/rock feel - and I liked that version, too.




Number 1 "Chains Of Love" by Erasure
I've discussed previously how Erasure had a slow start to their career with first album Wonderland, but by 1988, they were unstoppable in the UK. Their third album, The Innocents, became the first of five straight chart-topping albums and their singles all shot towards the upper reaches of the chart as well.
As it turned out, my favourite song of theirs from 1988 (and of all time), "Chains Of Love", was actually their least successful UK release that year, only reaching number 11. In the US, however, it became their first hit, reaching number 12. More successful in the UK were "Ship Of Fools" (number 121 on this list), "A Little Respect" (number 32 on this list) and the Crackers International EP (number 5 on this list), which contained four songs (including lead track "Stop!") and came agonisingly close to giving the duo their first number 1, stalling a place behind. "Chains Of Love" is my favourite song from the 1980s and remains my second favourite song of all time.




My top 200 for 1988 in full:

1        CHAINS OF LOVE Erasure
2        YOU CAME Kim Wilde
3        I WANT YOU BACK Bananarama
4        TAKE ME TO YOUR HEART Rick Astley
5        CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL (EP) Erasure
6        ESPECIALLY FOR YOU Kylie Minogue / Jason Donovan
7        THE ONLY WAY IS UP Yazz & The Plastic Population
8        I OWE YOU NOTHING Bros
9        RUSH HOUR Jane Wiedlin
10       WAITING FOR A STAR TO FALL Boy Meets Girl
11       I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY Kylie Minogue
12       WHO'S LEAVING WHO Hazell Dean
13       THE HARDER I TRY Brother Beyond
14       FIRST BOY IN THIS TOWN (LOVESICK) Scritti Politti
15       PROVE YOUR LOVE Taylor Dayne
16       WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS Bros
17       HE AIN'T NO COMPETITION Brother Beyond
18       JE NE SAIS PAS POURQUOI / MADE IN HEAVEN Kylie Minogue
19       LOVE, TRUTH AND HONESTY Bananarama
20       GOT TO BE CERTAIN Kylie Minogue
21       YOU ARE THE ONE a-ha
22       I CAN'T HELP IT Bananarama
23       TELL IT TO MY HEART Taylor Dayne
24       OUT OF THE BLUE Debbie Gibson
25       TOGETHER FOREVER Rick Astley
26       HEART Pet Shop Boys
27       FREEMASON (YOU BROKE THE PROMISE) Boxcar
28       LOVE CHANGES (EVERYTHING) Climie Fisher
29       ONE MOMENT IN TIME Whitney Houston
30       MAN IN THE MIRROR Michael Jackson
31       MAYBE (WE SHOULD CALL IT A DAY) Hazell Dean
32       A LITTLE RESPECT Erasure
33       TURN IT INTO LOVE Kylie Minogue
34       CROSS MY HEART Eighth Wonder
35       BIG FUN Inner City
36       MOST OF ALL Jody Watley
37       DOMINO DANCING Pet Shop Boys
38       BOYS AND GIRLS Mandy
39       EVERLASTING LOVE Sandra
40       HAZY SHADE OF WINTER Bangles
41       THEME FROM S-EXPRESS S-Express
42       GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR Billy Ocean
43       TOUCHY! a-ha
44       NATHAN JONES Bananarama
45       SOMEWHERE IN MY HEART Aztec Camera
46       GOT A NEW LOVE Good Question
47       I'M NOT SCARED Eighth Wonder
48       BLUE MONDAY 1988 New Order
49       NEVER TRUST A STRANGER Kim Wilde
50       IM NIN'ALU Ofra Haza
51       I WANT YOUR LOVE Transvision Vamp
52       BUFFALO STANCE Neneh Cherry
53       STAND UP FOR YOUR LOVE RIGHTS Yazz
54       TWO HEARTS Phil Collins
55       YES Merry Clayton
56       INTIMACY Machinations
57       MYSTIFY INXS
58       SMOOTH CRIMINAL Michael Jackson
59       NOTHING CAN DIVIDE US Jason Donovan
60       GOOD LIFE Inner City
61       UNDERNEATH THE RADAR Underworld
62       LOVE WILL SAVE THE DAY Whitney Houston
63       GIRL YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE Milli Vanilli
64       SHE WANTS TO DANCE WITH ME Rick Astley
65       I DON'T BELIEVE IN MIRACLES Sinitta
66       NEW SENSATION INXS
67       I DON'T WANT YOUR LOVE Duran Duran
68       WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO Whitney Houston
69       BROKEN LAND The Adventures
70       MEGABLAST / DON'T MAKE ME WAIT Bomb The Bass
71       LEFT TO MY OWN DEVICES Pet Shop Boys
72       ONE GOOD WOMAN Peter Cetera
73       BETTER BE HOME SOON Crowded House
74       THAT'S THE WAY IT IS Mel & Kim
75       I SAY NOTHING Voice Of The Beehive
76       SUCCESS Sigue Sigue Sputnik
77       DREAMING OMD
78       I GET WEAK Belinda Carlisle
79       THE BLOOD THAT MOVES THE BODY a-ha
80       SIGN YOUR NAME Terence Trent D'Arby
81       MERCEDES BOY Pebbles
82       DROP THE BOY Bros
83       HEART OF GOLD Johnny Hates Jazz
84       WEEKEND Todd Terry Project featuring Class Action
85       TURN IT INTO LOVE Hazell Dean
86       TEARDROPS Womack & Womack
87       WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND (PURE ENERGY) Information Society
88       ALL OF ME (BOY OH BOY) Sabrina
89       ALPHABET ST. Prince
90       FOOLISH BEAT Debbie Gibson
91       BABY BABY Eighth Wonder
92       SEXY GIRL Sabrina
93       TEARS RUN RINGS Marc Almond
94       BOYS (SUMMERTIME LOVE) Sabrina
95       THERE’S A BRAND NEW WORLD Five Star
96       HUNGRY EYES Eric Carmen
97       TURN AROUND AND COUNT 2 TEN Dead Or Alive
98       AMAZING WORLD Venetians
99       IF I COULD 1927
100     UNDER THE MILKY WAY The Church
101     CROSS MY BROKEN HEART Sinitta
102     WHEN IT’S LOVE Van Halen
103     GROOVE Eurogliders
104     LOVE BITES Def Leppard
105     PERFECT Fairground Attraction
106     GIRLFRIEND Pebbles
107     NAUGHTY GIRLS (NEED LOVE TOO) Samantha Fox
108     STAYING TOGETHER Debbie Gibson
109     MAKE ME LOSE CONTROL Eric Carmen
110     STOP LOVING YOU Toto
111     VICTIM OF PLEASURE Mandy
112     SOME KIND OF LOVER Jody Watley
113     BOOM! THERE SHE WAS Scritti Politti
114     DON'T SAY GOODBYE Rick Astley
115     PERFECT DAY Fischer Z
116     IN YOUR ROOM The Bangles
117     JUST A MIRAGE Jellybean featuring Adele Bertei
118     SUPERFLY GUY S-Express
119     OH PATTI (DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR LOVERBOY) Scritti Politti
120     DON’T WALK AWAY Toni Childs
121     SHIP OF FOOLS Erasure
122     SHE MAKES MY DAY Robert Palmer
123     DON'T GO CHANGING The Sparklers
124     KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE Freiheit
125     FATHER FIGURE George Michael
126     WILD, WILD WEST The Escape Club
127     BOMBSHELL Boom Crash Opera
128     ONE GOOD REASON Paul Carrack
129     PAMELA Toto
130     EVERY GIRL AND BOY Spagna
131     DIVINE EMOTIONS Narada
132     BURN IT UP Beatmasters with PP Arnold
133     MONKEY George Michael
134     HEY LITTLE BOY Divinyls
135     ARMAGEDDON IT Def Leppard
136     BEAT DIS Bomb The Bass
137     LET'S ALL CHANT Pat & Mick
138     AGE OF REASON John Farnham
139     PIANO IN THE DARK Brenda Russell
140     NOBODY’S PERFECT Mike & The Mechanics
141     I'M THE ONE WHO REALLY LOVES YOU / CLIVILLES & COLE MIX Mel & Kim
142     SHE'S LIKE THE WIND Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser
143     KISSING A FOOL George Michael
144     IT WOULD TAKE A STRONG, STRONG MAN Rick Astley
145     BURNING FEELING Noiseworks
146     IF IT ISN’T LOVE New Edition
147     FOUR LETTER WORD Kim Wilde
148     I QUIT Bros
149     GLAM SLAM Prince
150     DON'T SAY IT'S LOVE Johnny Hates Jazz
151     LOVE IN THE NATURAL WAY Kim Wilde
152     THAT’S WHEN I THINK OF YOU 1927
153     SYMPTOMS OF TRUE LOVE Tracie Spencer
154     HEAVEN IN MY HANDS Level 42
155     HOW SHE THREW IT ALL AWAY Style Council
156     THE RUMOUR Olivia Newton-John
157     JACKIE Blue Zone
158     STOP THAT GIRL 2 Brave
159     I KNOW HIM SO WELL Whitney Houston / Cissy Houston
160     AS THE DAYS GO BY Daryl Braithwaite
161     K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Siedah Garrett
162     SAYIN’ SORRY (DON’T MAKE IT RIGHT) Denise Lopez
163     JUST GOT PAID Johnny Kemp
164     NEVER KNEW LOVE LIKE THIS Alexander O’Neal featuring Cherrelle
165     I DON’T WANNA GO ON WITH YOU LIKE THAT Elton John
166     ROSES ARE RED The Mac Band
167     DON'T YOU WANT ME Jody Watley
168     NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME Poison
169     DON'T CALL ME BABY Voice Of The Beehive
170     A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE Phil Collins
171     CIRCLE IN THE SAND Belinda Carlisle
172     FINE TIME New Order
173     ANYTHING FOR YOU Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
174     I DON’T WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU Foreigner
175     REVOLUTION BABY Transvision Vamp
176     CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS / SILENT NIGHT Bros
177     MY PREROGATIVE Bobby Brown
178     PUSH IT Salt 'n' Pepa
179     IT'S NO SECRET Kylie Minogue
180     ANOTHER PART OF ME Michael Jackson
181     HEAVEN KNOWS Robert Plant
182     KISS 'N' TELL Chantoozies
183     BEHIND THE WHEEL / ROUTE 66 Depeche Mode
184     INSIDE A DREAM Jane Wiedlin
185     I KNOW HOW (TO MAKE YOU LOVE ME) Nia Peeples
186     HEY MR HEARTACHE Kim Wilde
187     LOVELY DAY (REMIX) Bill Withers
188     WHERE DID I GO WRONG UB40
189     WHAT'S IT GONNA BE Rockmelons
190     GIVING UP ON LOVE Rick Astley
191     TAKE A LOOK Level 42
192     MY LOVE Julio Iglesias / Stevie Wonder
193     DOCTORIN’ THE TARDIS The Timelords
194     LIBERIAN GIRL Michael Jackson
195     HALLELUIAH MAN Love And Money
196     NEVER TEAR US APART INXS
197     GIVING YOU THE BEST THAT I GOT Anita Baker
198     JUST LIKE PARADISE David Lee Roth
199     ANGEL OF HARLEM U2
200     KISS AND TELL Bryan Ferry


There's only one year of the 1980s left for me to recap, and I'll get to that before Christmas. On Thursday, a big week on the ARIA chart from 25 years ago, with seven new entries from exclusively male performers.


MY YEAR-END CHARTS

1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016


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