Thursday, 19 July 2012

25 Years Ago This Week: July 19, 1987

Last week was all about the controversial “I Want Your Sex”, which jumped from 31 to 13 this week on the ARIA singles chart. But there was nothing raunchy about the new arrivals on the top 50 this week in 1987. 

Thanks to Tom Cruise, an eight-year-old song became a massive hit in 1987

On the one hand, a batch of golden oldies and mature artists hit the chart; on the other, two doses of squeaky clean pop from the hottest production team of the year made their debut.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending July 19, 1987

Steve’s Back In The High Life album was absolutely massive in the States, with a string of hits released from it. Only one, “Higher Love”, did anything here (reaching number 8 in 1986), and this fourth and final single could only climb to number 55. I must confess, I’m not overly familiar with the track, which starts slowly before kicking in for a rather forgettable chorus, and it probably didn’t need to go much higher.

New entries
Number 47 “Old Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Seger
Peak: number 3
Last week, we saw “Shakedown” arrive on the chart, and this week, Bob’s 1979 single cracked the Top 50 on its way to becoming the year’s third biggest-selling single. So why 1987 and not 1979? It was all down to the song’s use in the Tom Cruise movie Risky Business, which featured in the new-look music video. So why 1987 and not 1983, when that film actually came out? Well, "Old Time Rock & Roll" did make a start on its epic 55-week top 100 run in March 1984, but the renewed interest in the song in 1987 was due to Risky Business finally being shown on TV that year and probably also had a little something to do with this performance by TV alien ALF around the same time.

Here's another old track given a new lease of life: 1975's “(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop”, with the Stop And Go remix getting massive club play at the time. Like any song with a formulaic dance routine (see also: “Nutbush City Limits”, “Macarena”), “Bus Stop” was – and still is – a guaranteed floor filler. Although you’re more likely to hear it played at 50th birthday parties than the hottest clubs these days.

Number 39 “Get Ready” by Carol Hitchcock
Peak: number 18
Next up, one of two new entries this week produced by Stock Aitken Waterman – and I won’t go on about the UK hit-makers again. Suffice it to say, it would've been great to have heard more from the striking Australian singer than this top 20 hit. Carol's remake of The Temptations' "Get Ready" would be her only chart appearance.

And here’s the other SAW track. After hitting number 1 in 1986 with “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)”, Sam managed to rack (no pun intended) up a few more hits like this one before disappearing down the dumper at the end of the decade.

Number 29 “Alone” by Heart
Peak: number 6
One of the best power ballads of all time, “Alone” by Heart is now a favourite of reality show contestants worldwide, but only Carrie Underwood has come close to equalling Ann Wilson’s amazing vocal performance. I saw Heart live in concert just last year and the Wilsons' voices are still impressive. Less so was the band’s decision not to play their only Aussie number 1 hit, “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You”, because they don’t like it anymore. Selfish.

That's it for another week. I'll be counting down my favourites from 1981 next, before returning to the ARIA chart in a week's time, when a wedding favourite makes its debut.

Back to: Jul 12, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jul 26, 1987


  1. Since going through this blog (backwards), I've discovered a couple of tracks that I thought I didn't know by title, but actually did. Steve Winwood's 'The Finer Things' in this post is one of them. It was an FM radio staple in Melbourne at the time (and for probably at least a year or so later), when they were still in their easy listening/classic rock phase.

    1. I've enjoyed discovering a few songs I never knew at the time or that I'd completely forgotten about!