Tuesday, 22 December 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: December 22, 1985

Regular readers will be aware of my obsession with one-hit wonders and that extends to two-hit wonders as well - those acts that score two massive hits then don't venture into the top 50 again. If you fancy a bit of light reading, I've compiled lists of two-hit wonders for the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s

Two hits from two two-hit wonders

Already in 1985, we'd seen three two-hit wonders - Time Bandits, The Hooters and The Power Station - on the ARIA singles chart. On the final chart of the year, two more artists who'd join that group each debuted with the first of two big singles.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending December 22, 1985

For the final top 50 of 1985, Midnight Oil regained the number 1 spot with Species Deceases after surrendering it to Jennifer Rush's "The Power Of Love" the week before. Could they hold on to the top spot?


Off the chart
Number 99 "Stay" by Flying Fonzarellis
Peak: number 96
The second of two minor top 100 appearances by the Perth band. Despite the credit at the start of the video, it was filmed at Rottnest Island.

Number 98 "No Fear Of Flying" by Perfect Strangers
Peak: number 82
Here's the first of two minor top 100 appearance by another Perth band. "No Fear Of Flying" was the second release from Perfect Strangers.

Number 97 "Drumming Man" by Topper Headon
Peak: number 97
You wouldn't guess it to listen to this sophisti-pop cover of the Gene Krupa instrumental, but Topper had been a drummer in The Clash before being kicked out due to his drug addiction.

Number 96 "Communication" by The Power Station
Peak: number 95
Here's the single that broke The Power Station's hit streak - a return to an original song after their cover of "Get It On (Bang A Gong)".

Number 95 "Christmas Time" by Bryan Adams
Peak: number 64
He still had a couple of singles to come from Reckless - including one that would arrive on the next top 100 - but Bryan Adams marked the festive season with this Christmas release.

Number 82 "Take Me Home" by Phil Collins
Peak: number 64
A couple of weeks earlier, he debuted on the top 50 with White Nights duet "Separate Lives", but there were less takers for the fourth and final single from No Jacket Required

Number 81 "Worlds Away" by Mark Edwards
Peak: number 70
He'd been the singer of short-lived early '80s band Runners (only top 50 appearance: "Sure Fire Thing", number 43 in 1982), but despite what looked like an expensive video, Mark Edwards' solo career did no better.

Number 77 "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits
Peak: number 57
They'd been dominating the albums chart for months with the LP of the same name, which was knocked off the top this week by the arrival of For The Working Class Man. But even though this subdued single had another visually interesting music video, it failed to live up to the chart success of "Money For Nothing". 


New entries
Number 50 "Close To Me" by The Cure
Peak: number 7
Proving the top 10 placement of "The Love Cats" was no fluke, The Cure returned to that section of the chart with the second single from The Head On The Door (a title that's taken from the lyrics of "Close To Me"). Remixed from the album version - the brass line was new - the track also came with a simple but effective music video that saw the band crammed into a closet that fell of a cliff and started filling with water. This era of the '80s was arguably The Cure's commercial peak in Australia. Although The Head On The Door was just the first of several top 10 albums, they wouldn't return to the top 10 of the singles chart until 1992 - and then only briefly.




Number 48 "Broken Wings" by Mr Mister
Peak: number 4
Here's our first of the week's two-hit wonders - an American band that just fell short of achieving two top 10 hits in Australia, with the follow-up to "Broken Wings" stalling at number 11. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. "Broken Wings" was actually the lead single from Mr Mister's second album, Welcome To The Real World - the band's first, I Wear The Face, having done just about nothing when released in 1984. All moody synths and earnest vocals, "Broken Wings" had hit written all over it and was also the first of two US number 1 singles for Mr Mister.




Number 46 "Say I'm Your Number One" by Princess
Peak: number 8
As I seem to remember someone pointing out at the time - we had King, Queen and Prince, so why not a musical act named Princess? Born with the much less pop star-like moniker Desiree Heslop, Princess recorded her debut album with songwriters/producers Stock Aitken Waterman - and was one of the artists who received a more soul/R&B sound from the Hit Factory than the hi-NRG production heard on the bulk of their hits. Despite its hopeful title, "Say I'm Your Number One" didn't reach that position, but did peak in the top 10 in both Australia and the UK. More singles would follow from her self-titled album, but none reached the top 50 in Australia, making Princess a one-hit wonder locally.




Number 43 "We Wish You A MMMerry Christmas" by The Tremble M's
Peak: number 24
0:53 seconds. That's how far I got into this festive release from radio station 2MMM before having to turn it off. A shambolic rock take on some Christmas favourites, "We Wish You A MMMerry Christmas" benefitted from the huge popularity of the station, especially breakfast host Doug Mulray, in Sydney to make a decent showing on the national chart. In New South Wales, it peaked at number 2 before disappearing as quickly as it had arrived when clearer heads prevailed in the new year.




Number 41 "My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor)" by Dead Or Alive
Peak: number 41
While Princess was a new act to receive the Stock Aitken Waterman magic, Dead Or Alive were up to their fourth single helmed by the team that was quickly becoming Britain's hottest producers. Falling agonisingly short of giving Dead Or Alive their fourth top 40 hit of the year in Australia, "My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor)" was a return to the frenetic pace of "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" and "Lover Come Back To Me" after the more sedate "In Too Deep"




Number 35 "This Time" by INXS
Peak: number 19
Last week, we saw on the final chart for 1990 that "Disappear" was somewhat of a chart disappointment after the number 2 peak of "Suicide Blonde" - and I mentioned the fact that the same had happened in 1985 when "This Time" failed to follow "What You Need" into the upper reaches of the top 50. Also like "Disappear", "This Time" was catchy enough - even if those dragged out vocals on "tiiiiiiime" got a bit annoying by the end - but perhaps not the most dynamic track from Listen Like Thieves to release as second single. One of the less remembered singles by INXS, it no doubt helped keep the album in the top 10 over the summer.




Number 17 "A Good Heart" by Feargal Sharkey
Peak: number 1
Here's the man who always comes to mind when I think of two-hit wonders - and that's despite the fact that I actually own a third song by the former vocalist for The Undertones. Having missed the mark with his two previous singles, "Listen To Your Father" (the other track I own) and "Loving You", Feargal Sharkey more than made up for it with international chart-topper "A Good Heart". 
Written by Maria McKee about her relationship with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench and produced by Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, "A Good Heart" has it all: two drummers, three foxy backing singers and giant gears turning in the background - and that's just the music video. Lyrically, it's a step up from your run-of-the-mill love song, with Feargal utilising a more plaintive, lilting vocal style in the verses before getting stuck in to the so-catchy-it-hurts chorus.
"A Good Heart" was the first single released from Feargal's debut, self-titled solo album - and took pride of place as the LP's first track. It was followed on the tracklist by the song that'd become his other big hit - a song written by Benmont Tench that gave the other side to the story. We'll see that hit the ARIA chart next year.




The annual chart

As far as I know, there were no year-end charts available in-store until 1988, and so you'll have to make do with my typed-in list of the top 100 for 1985:

1.      "We Are The World" by USA For Africa
2.      "Angel / Into The Groove" by Madonna
3.      "Crazy For You" by Madonna
4.      "Live It Up" by Mental As Anything
5.      "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner
6.      "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight" by Models
7.      "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits
8.      "I Got You Babe" by UB40 (guest vocals by Chrissie Hynde)
9.      "I Should Have Known Better" by Jim Diamond
10.    "Would I Lie To You" by Eurythmics
11.    "Dancing In the Street" by David Bowie / Mick Jagger
12.    "Take On Me" by a-ha
13.    "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive
14.    "Shout" by Tears For Fears
15.    "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head
16.    "Born In The U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen
17.    "Neutron Dance" by The Pointer Sisters
18.    "What You Need" by INXS
19.    "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid
20.    "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" by Tina Turner
21.    "Walking On Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves
22.    "The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey
23.    "The Power Of Love" by Jennifer Rush
24.    "The Power Of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News
25.    "Like A Virgin" by Madonna
26.    "I'd Die To Be With You Tonight" by Jimmy Barnes
27.    "50 Years" by Uncanny X-men
28.    "Too Young For Promises" by Koo De Tah
29.    "Part Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder
30.    "Ti Amo" by Laura Branigan
31.    "Last Christmas" by Wham!
32.    "Loverboy" by Billy Ocean
33.    "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon
34.    "Endless Road" by Time Bandits
35.    "Barbados" by Models
36.    "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears
37.    "The Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley
38.    "Life In A Northern Town" by The Dream Academy
39.    "There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)" by Eurythmics
40.    "Some Like It Hot" by The Power Station
41.    "Together In Electric Dreams" by Phil Oakey / Giorgio Moroder
42.    "Man Overboard" by Do-Re-Mi
43.    "And We Danced" by The Hooters
44.    "Rhythm Of The Night" by DeBarge
45.    "Heaven" by Bryan Adams
46.    "One More Night" by Phil Collins
47.    "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds
48.    "Material Girl" by Madonna
49.    "The NeverEnding Story" by Limahl
50.    "Don't Go" by Pseudo Echo
51.    "Sexcrime (1984)" by Eurythmics
52.    "We Will Together" by Eurogliders
53.    "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer
54.    "We Close Our Eyes" by Go West
55.    "Move Closer" by Phyllis Nelson
56.    "Cherish" by Kool & The Gang
57.    "St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" by John Parr
58.    "The Power Of Love" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
59.    "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" by Billy Joel
60.    "Sussudio" by Phil Collins
61.    "Strut" by Sheena Easton
62.    "Sea Of Love" by The Honeydrippers
63.    "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder
64.    "A View To A Kill' by Duran Duran
65.    "Freeway Of Love" by Aretha Franklin
66.    "Shout To The Top!" by The Style Council
67.    "Nightshift" by Commodores
68.    "We Belong" by Pat Benatar
69.    "All You Zombies" by The Hooters
70.    "Pleasure And Pain" by Divinyls
71.    "Nikita" by Elton John
72.    "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush
73.    "Trust Me" by I'm Talking
74.    "Dancing In The Dark / Pink Cadillac" by Bruce Springsteen
75.    Species Deceases by Midnight Oil
76.    "Dress You Up" by Madonna
77.    "Obsession" by Animotion
78.    "Summer Of '69" by Bryan Adams
79.    "California Girls" by David Lee Roth
80.    "Love And Pride" by King
81.    "Frankie" by Sister Sledge
82.    "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr
83.    "Dr. Beat" by Miami Sound Machine
84.    "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper
85.    "The Riddle" by Nik Kershaw
86.    "I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen
87.    "(Billy) Don't Lose My Number" by Phil Collins
88.    "I Know Him So Well" by Elaine Paige / Barbara Dickson
89.    "Call Me" by Go West
90.    "The Belle Of St Mark" by Sheila E
91.    "I Feel For You' by Chaka Khan
92.    "You're So Strong" by Mental As Anything
93.    "19" by Paul Hardcastle
94.    "Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody" by David Lee Roth
95.    "Wide Boy" by Nik Kershaw
96.    "Dare Me" by The Pointer Sisters
97.    "Skin Deep" by The Stranglers
98.    "Current Stand" by Kids In The Kitchen
99.    "Just Another Night" by Mick Jagger
100.  "The Old Man Down The Road" by John Fogerty

Next time: We hit 1986 - a year when the ARIA chart went through some big changes (pun intended). We'll look back at the first chart for the year on January 12, when two Christmas releases make their appearance as does the best single by a duo whose days were numbered.

Before that, I'll be counting down my favourite 100 songs from 2015 - or if you prefer to stay in the '80s, my personal chart for 1985 starts here.


ARIA Top 50 Singles Charts - 1985

Jan 13 II Jan 20 II Jan 27 II Feb 3 II Feb 10 II Feb 17 II Feb 24 II Mar 3 II Mar 10 II Mar 17 II Mar 24 II Mar 31 II Apr 7 II Apr 14 II Apr 21 II Apr 28 II May 5 II May 12 II May 19 II May 26 II Jun 2 II Jun 9 II Jun 16 II Jun 23 II Jun 30 II Jul 7 II Jul 14 II Jul 21 II Jul 28 II Aug 4 II Aug 11 II Aug 18 II Aug 25 II Sep 1 II Sep 8 II Sep 15 II Sep 22 II Sep 29 II Oct 6 II Oct 13 II Oct 20 II Oct 27 II Nov 3 II Nov 10 II Nov 17 II Nov 24 II Dec 1 II Dec 8 II Dec 15 II Dec 22


Back to: Dec 15, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 12, 1986


3 comments:

  1. I have all of Bryan Adam's albums up to the late 90s but had no idea he had a Xmas song! I'm listening to it now, it's pretty dreary lol.

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  2. Not sure whether I've heard the Power Station track before. Have to love a song that mentions cassettes in the lyrics.

    I didn't know Bryan Adams had a Christmas song until recently.

    Surprising that 'Take Me Home' peaked so low. It received a lot of airplay.

    I don't recall hearing 'Brothers In Arms' on the radio - rather unusual for a Dire Straits song from this era, but I guess it's not as radio-friendly.

    'Close To Me' is another great Cure single. Playing the synth line on a comb in the video seemed so fitting.

    'Broken Wings' was the perfect soundtrack for a cloudy grey Sunday afternoon drive.

    The 'someone' pointing out the missing 'princess' from pop might have been Princess herself, as I've seen interview footage (from the 'Baby One More Time' series, I think) where she mentions that. Her brother/manager suggested the name, which she was adamantly against at first. But then he pointed out to her that she'd said it 4-5 times in disbelief as the reaction (i.e. that it was a name that 'sticks', changing her mind).

    What a blight on the NSW state chart that the 2MMM single peaked at #2 there.

    I don't think I was aware of 'My Heart Goes Bang...' until it became a semi-regular track on a Melbourne radio station's Saturday night 'party mix' circa '97.

    I didn't realise 'A Good Heart' debuted here so late in the year. The 'You Little Thief' video was premiered on the first episode of Countdown for '86, so they clearly wasted no time following it up here, even though 'A Good Heart' was a smash. The wikipedia page for the song states that Boy George sings the 'a good heart these days is hard to find' lyric (citation needed), which I find hard to believe. I've always thought it was a black woman/women. Great song.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I saw that mention of Boy George's involvement but decided against including it without further confirmation. Of course it wouldn't be the first time the backing singers in the music video didn't actually perform on the track.

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