Wednesday, 2 November 2016

30 Years Ago This Week: November 2, 1986

Hear that sound? A perfectly formed pop nugget that is never equalled? Yep, it's one-hit wonder time on this week's look back at the ARIA singles chart from 1986.

Five singers, five hits between them.

Of this week's five new entries, three are by one-hit wonders, one is the first single from a two-hit wonder, and the other has to go and spoil things for everyone.


ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending November 2, 1986

Also 30 years ago this week, it was the final week at number 1 for "Venus" by Bananarama, which spent its seventh week as Australia's highest-selling single. 


Off The Chart
Number 82 "Love Is Such A Lonely Song" by V-Capri
Peak: number 81
Judging by this career-low position, it seemed even Western Australia was deserting Perth's V-Capri. The band's album, In My World, also debuted this week at its peak of number 52.


New Entries
Number 50 "Friends And Lovers" by Carl Anderson / Gloria Loring
Peak: number 13
A couple of weeks ago on my 1983 flashback, we saw a song that became linked with daytime soap opera Days Of Our Lives. Here's another - although this time, the song's use on the show from September 1985 onwards predated its release as a single by about a year. The theme for supercouple Shane and Kimberly, "Friends And Lovers" was performed by Days cast member Gloria Loring (who played singer Liz Chandler Curtis) with soul singer and musical theatre star Carl Anderson. At first, no record label in America would release the song, but once it started to take off in France, it was snapped up (following some legal wrangling) for US release and went to number 2 there. 
The syrupy ballad, which is so '80s it hurts - down to Gloria's huge earrings and Glomesh jacket in the video below - was also a huge success in Australia, spending 30 weeks in the top 100 (nine of them in the top 20). I'm not sure, however, whether the episodes of Days featuring the song would even have aired locally by November 1986 since Australia was always notoriously way behind the US, meaning the song probably succeeded on its own merits here. "Friends And Lovers" was the only ARIA top 100 appearance by either Carl or Gloria (aka Mrs Alan Thicke, mother of Robin), making them both one-hit wonders.




Number 49 "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" by Cutting Crew
Peak: number 8
Here's our next one-hit wonder - and it's a band that qualifies for my strict definition of the term since they reached the top 10 with debut single "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" and never ventured into the top 50 again. A top 5 hit in the UK in September, the power-pop track actually has more of an American sound (which is why I always thought Cutting Crew were from the US) and would end up topping the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1987. 
The band, who filmed a different video of "(I Just)..." for America, would have a second US top 10 hit with follow-up "I've Been In Love Before", which also seems to have a second video. That track, however, didn't make the ARIA top 100. I've heard "(I Just)..." a couple of times live in the past year - once when Cutting Crew were part of one of those '80s revival concert line-ups and the other time when singer Nick Van Eede fronted Wang Chung for another of those gigs. Both times, it's still sounded brilliant.




Number 42 "Eye Of The Zombie" by John Fogerty
Peak: number 30
Ruining what would've been a clean sweep of one- and two-hit wonders is this single from the Creedence Clearwater Revival singer's fourth studio album of the same name. "Eye Of The Zombie" followed 1985's "The Old Man Down The Road" and "Rock And Roll Girls" into the top 50, but the new single and album would under-perform compared to those tracks and the Centerfield album. In time, John himself would turn his back on Eye Of The Zombie and refused to play any tracks from the album for two decades, eventually relenting and performing second single "Change In The Weather", probably because it sounds like a CCR song. We'll see where that placed on the ARIA chart towards the end of the year.




Number 40 "Two Of Hearts" by Stacey Q
Peak: number 7
I should've seen Stacey Q perform her two top 10 hits earlier this year at another of those '80s revival shows (yep, I go to a lot of them). But, the dancer, actress and former member of synthpop band SSQ was a no-show the night I attended Totally 80s, which also featured Martika, Berlin, Limahl, Katrina (of The Waves), Men Without Hats and, er, Paul Lekakis. I was actually curious to hear how Stacy did singing live since I think it's fair to say her appeal was never down to the strength of her vocals. 
That's not intended as an insult, since her thin, little girl-like voice suited Hi-NRG classic "Two Of Hearts" perfectly, but it was also clearly given some in-studio assistance, most obviously on the "I-I-I-I-I-I need" bits. The US number 3 hit was the lead single from Better Than Heaven, the first album released under Stacey's (stage) name, although her SSQ band-mates were still involved musically. In Australia, "Two Of Hearts" initially made the chart on the strength of 12" single sales, before it crossed over from the clubs to the mainstream and became one of the hits of summer, spending nine weeks inside the top 10.




Number 36 "Emotion In Motion" by Ric Ocasek
Peak: number 8
The release of The Cars' Greatest Hits in late 1985 provided the perfect opportunity for the band to all go off and do their own thing for a while. And they did! Three band members released solo albums, but only one reached the ARIA chart with their side-project. While fellow Cars singer Benjamin Orr (who'd fronted top 10 hits "Drive" and "Let's Go") and guitarist Elliot Easton missed the mark, Ric Ocasek reached the top 10 with this dreamy single, which was accompanied by a music video that looked like half the fantasy films released in the '80s. "Emotion In Motion" was taken from Ric's second solo album, This Side Of Paradise, and featured guitar work from Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal - and yes, it would be his only hit away from The Cars in Australia, with the follow-up grazing the very bottom of the top 100 in early 1987.




Want more one-hit wonders? You can find a full list of bona fide one-hit wonders from the '80s, '90s and '00s by following the links.

Next week: new entries from three bands that couldn't be more different. One, an Australian pub rock band; the second, a British synthpop act and the third, a piano-led soft group from the US.


Back to: Oct 26, 1986 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 9, 1986


4 comments:

  1. I didn't think I knew 'Friends and Lovers', but it's familiar. I started watching 'Days' in mid '97, getting hooked on it while spending over a week in bed with chicken pox, and at that point it was over 3 years behind the US. If I remember correctly, Carl's daughter was Carleen Anderson, who released an album circa 1994, though nothing from it troubled the top 100 here.

    I too assumed that Cutting Crew were American until finding out otherwise. Before viewing that American version of the video, I just knew it would be a 'performance'-based one (as nearly all US version videos from this era are), and it was.

    I loved (and still love) the Stacey Q song. I don't think I heard it until listening to it on my sister's 'Summer '87' cassette, though. I assume this was the start of the I-I-I vocal locs thing, though Dead or Alive's 'Something In My House' was out not long after. It's a shame she didn't have more than 2 hits here. The SSQ stuff also deserved chart success.

    I didn't know, or at least didn't remember, the Ric Ocasek track until a few years ago. It's a nice song.

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  2. I just checked, and Carleen is not Carl's daughter. Whoops.

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  3. What was Stacey's other hit and where did it chart?

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    1. I'll be covering it in early 1987. Until then, follow the link where it says "two top 10 hits" and it'll take you to a page on two-hit wonders that will reveal all!

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