Thursday, 6 December 2012

25 Years Ago This Week: December 6, 1987

Obviously I've stored my weekly ARIA charts away safely all these years - otherwise, there'd be no blog. Although I've taken care not to lose or damage them, I did get a bit carried away with the highlighter at this point 25 years ago (as you can see from the chart below).

Icehouse were as unstoppable as Iva Davies' mullet was 25 years ago

I'm not entirely sure what the orange marks mean - given the vast majority of songs are marked, it probably indicates the songs I liked. Although, there are a few songs unhighlighted that should be marked, and some songs highlighted I never would have liked. So, it's all a bit of a mystery.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending December 6, 1987

It could be the songs that were also on my personal chart for that week, since by this stage I'd already begun compiling my own weekly list of favourite songs. Anyway, enough about me - on with this week's new songs.

EDIT: I've since got my hands on a clean version of the chart for this week. Here it is:

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending December 6, 1987

"I'm Beggin' You" by Supertramp
Peak: number 70
If it was wrong for a 12-year-old kid to like Fleetwood Mac, then it was even more wrong for me to be into Supertramp at that age (although there's no denying "It's Raining Again" is a great song). Since "I'm Beggin' You" is highlighted, I can only assume I did enjoy it. Listening to it now for the first time in decades, it sounds like a cross between "I Go To Rio" and "Love Is In The Air", but unlike those big hits, it didn't set the chart alight. Perhaps disappointed by the lack of success of this song and the Free As A Bird album, Supertramp didn't record another studio album for a decade.

New Entries
Number 45 "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston
Peak: number 26
The chart peak of this song was a slight improvement over Whitney's previous single, ballad "Didn't We Almost Have It All", but still a long way short of the big hits she'd been used to scoring. With next single "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" barely scraping into the top 50, Whitney had clearly become an albums artist in Australia, with both her first two LPs hitting the top spot and staying on the chart for dozens of weeks.

Number 43 "Come On, Let's Go" by Los Lobos
Peak: number 22
"La Bamba" was one of the biggest hits of 1987, so it made sense for another Ritchie Valens cover from the soundtrack to be released, again recorded by the Latino rock band. "Come On Let's Go" was actually Ritchie's debut chart appearance (it got to number 42) in the States back in 1958. His breakthough hit would be "Donna" - and the Los Lobos version of that song would be their final single taken from La Bamba (and would spend a solitary week at number 98 in January). Interestingly, Ritchie's version of "La Bamba" was originally the B-side to "Donna" until it became a hit in its own right.

Number 41 "Back In The USSR" by Billy Joel
Peak: number 33
I've never understood the appeal of live albums. It's one thing to be at a concert, but if I'm listening to music at home, I want to hear the nice studio version of a song. Still, throughout the '70s and '80s, concert albums could be big business for rock bands between studio sets. Billy's Концерт album at least had the novelty of being recorded in the Soviet Union (a place Western artists didn't often visit in 1987) - thus his inclusion of "Back In The USSR" in his set, which was lifted as a single. This release of Billy's cover version of The Beatles track marked the first time he'd released a single he hadn't written himself.

Number 24 "My Obsession" by Icehouse
Peak: number 12
There really was no stopping Icehouse in the second half of 1987. Man Of Colours was coming towards the end of its 11-week run atop the albums chart, and even so, enough people still went out and bought third single "My Obsession". And, from memory, this was all without a music video for the song. Obviously, there's a clip for the track below - but I have a feeling this came some time after the single's success in Australia. Either that, or Rage just didn't play the clip.

That's it for another week. Next week, the highlighter action gets really out of control - and there are a couple of new entries to talk about. For anyone following my personal 1989 countdown, I'll wrap that up before Christmas, too.

Back to: Nov 29, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 13, 1987


  1. If my memory serves me correctly, the video for 'My Obsession' was filmed for its US release, which came after its release in Oz.

    1. Yeah, I thought it must have been something like that. Although I do recall that Rage did take it upon themselves to not play clips from time to time - but not in this case.