Tuesday, 15 December 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: December 15, 1985

It's hard enough to catch lightning in a bottle once, but to repeat the feat is nigh on impossible, as a pair of singers discovered this week in 1985.

What a pair! [insert gag to suggest I wasn't talking about Dolly and Kenny]

When they'd last released a single together two years earlier, it reached number 1 on the Australian and American charts. Thirty years ago this week, their latest collaboration barely grazed the top 50.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending December 15, 1985

Up at the other end of the singles chart this week in 1985, a battle for the number 1 spot was playing out between Midnight Oil, who'd made history by debuting there the previous week, and Jennifer Rush, who'd been ousted by the Oils in the process. "The Power Of Love" won the tussle this week, returning to the top for a second week, but the fight wasn't over...


New Entries
Number 50 "Real Love" by Dolly Parton with Kenny Rogers
Peak: number 45
Written by Bee Gees (originally for Marvin Gaye), "Islands In The Stream" was a runaway success for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in 1983. Since that chart-topping duet was included on Kenny's album, Eyes That See In The Dark, it was only fair that he repay the favour and appear on a song on Dolly's Real Love LP in 1985. 
This time around, their duet - the title track of the album - wasn't written by superstar siblings and received a very tepid reception both in Australia and on the mainstream Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 91 (although it was another number 1 on the country chart).
The pair couldn't seem to collaborate enough during the early '80s. In 1984, they recorded a Christmas album together before hitting the road for a shared concert tour early in 1985 (from which footage for the music video below was taken). The country legends have teamed up again from time to time ever since, most recently in 2013 on the song "You Can't Make Old Friends" taken from Kenny's album of the same name.




Number 48 "Body Talk" by Koo De Tah
Peak: number 27
"Watch that zoom to number 1" says Countdown announcer Gavin Wood at the end of the video below, the music show's first airing of the new clip by Australasian synthpop group Koo De Tah. Expectations were certainly high for "Body Talk" after the top 10 performance of the band's debut single, "Too Young For Promises". But despite being, in my opinion, an even better song, "Body Talk" fell 26 places short of topping the ARIA chart - its peak position certainly much lower than it deserved. I'm not sure why the track failed where Koo De Tah's previous effort had succeeded - possibly it got lost in the pre-Christmas rush? A song I still listen to today, "Body Talk" is crying out to be covered, remixed, sampled... any takers?




Next week: a much more interesting ARIA chart  - the final one for 1985 - with seven new entries (including a future number 1 and a song with "number 1" in the title) and eight top 50 misses. Plus, I'll squeeze in a look back at the year-end top 100.


Back to: Dec 8, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 22, 1985


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