|ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending July 5, 1987|
I still have every chart from July 1987 to May 1998 (when I left Australia to go backpacking), and I would've kept the collection going, but the person I'd lined up to stockpile the charts in my absence turned out to be a bit crap, and by the time I got back in 2000, ARIA had moved online, so what can you do?
My interest in the chart stemmed from years of listening to Take 40 Australia on a Sunday afternoon, often in tennis court car parks in far-flung suburbs of Sydney. My sister played, my parents watched, I listened to Barry Bissell on the car radio. But in 1987, two things happened:
- Firstly, Rage and Video Hits began. I'd never been able to wrangle control of the TV on a Sunday night to watch Countdown, so these shows and their weekend morning chart rundowns were appointment viewing for me. I'd write down the new Top 50 from Rage until I could get the official chart later in the week.
- Secondly, I started high school and began to visit record stores on the way home from school and on weekends, which made the task of chart collection - not to mention record buying - that little bit easier.
So, 25 years seemed like as good a time as any to look back on what was big in music the week my lifelong obsession with the charts kicked into gear. Which brings us back to the Top 50 for the week ending July 5, 1987. You can either check the rundown on the picture above, or journey with me from 50 to 1. Yep, I always wanted Barry Bissell's job.
(Adopts radio voice) And a new entry at number 50 for "Daughters Of Glory" by Black Sorrows. It was the debut chart appearance for the band who'd go on to score their biggest hit in 1989 with "Chained To The Wheel", but of course not the first time around the block for Joe Camilleri, who'd also enjoyed hits as Jo Jo Zep (with and without The Falcons) in the late '70s and early '80s.
At number 49: "Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram, the Grammy-winning theme to animated kids' film, An American Tail. Go on, belt it out - you know you want to.
Exiting the top 40 to land at number 48: "Leave Me" by Cattletruck. Despite the terrible band name, it was a song I liked at the time, but had completely forgotten about ever since.
At number 47, "One And One (Ain't I Good Enough)" by Wa Wa Nee, their fourth and final top 20 hit. They'd return late in 1988 with a second album, but by then, the best they could manage would be a number 31 peak for "Can't Control Myself".
Number 46 provides a little bit of controversy, in that it's "He's Gonna Step On You Again" by The Chantoozies. This new entry for the eight-piece combo (which featured Tottie Goldsmith and David Reyne among its members) fell some way short of the top 10 placing The Party Boys were enjoying with the same song (originally a 1971 hit for John Kongos). The Party Boys would go on to reach number 1 with their version. The Chantoozies only managed to limp to number 36.
At number 45: "Let It Be" by Ferry Aid, an all-star (well, some of them were) charity single to raise funds for the victims of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. Featuring the likes of Boy George, Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, Mel & Kim, Nik Kershaw, Kim Wilde and, er, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot from Curiosity Killed The Cat (OK, they were big in Britain), it was a rather plodding version of The Beatles classic. Produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, it got to number one in the UK and managed to scrape into the top 30 here.
Number 44: "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel, which boasted another impressive animated clip - but while that had worked a treat for "Sledgehammer" (a top 3 hit a year earlier), the novelty had clearly worn off, with this track only managing a number 37 peak the next week.
Arriving at its number 43 peak: "Running In The Family" by Level 42, a British band who were big back home, but never graced the Australian top 40 with their presence. It's a shame, really.
Number 42: "Nude School" by Painters & Dockers - I'd successfully blocked this video from memory... until now. Enjoy!
The number 41 song from July 5, 1987 was - after an impressive 18 weeks on the chart - "She's The One" by The Cockroaches. More from the eventual Wiggles later...
Moving on to number 40: "Male Stripper" by Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish which was one of several big Euro dance hits on the chart that week. At the time, I thought it was a bit of an odd group name, but it was actually a collaboration between Man 2 Man (brothers Miki and Paul Zone) and producer Man Parrish. I also didn't get the gay overtones, but then I missed the innuendo of "Hit That Perfect Beat" and "Relax" as well. Enjoy the porn-lite clip...
At number 39: "The Final Countdown" by Europe, which was coming to the end of its long run in the top 40 and would soon be used to flag the demise of the ABC music show of the same name. Sniff.
Moving up at number 38 was "Dominoes" by Robbie Nevil, the follow-up to "C'est La Vie". I remember being disappointed by the song's lack of success and willed it to go higher. Unfortunately, it didn't. Luckily for Robbie, he got another top 5 hit in 1991 with "Just Like You".
Number 37 was "Big Love" by Fleetwood Mac, the first hit from their Tango In The Night album and a song I liked despite it being "old people's music". But back in 1987, it didn't matter if a song was by Stacey Q or Chris Rea - so long as it was good.
Falling five spots at number 36: "Midnight Blue" by Lou Gramm, the first solo hit from the big-haired Foreigner singer. I was going to say: "the only solo hit", but it turns out he reached number 31 with "Just Between You And Me" in 1990. Will have to refresh my memory on YouTube. In the meantime, here's "Midnight Blue"...
At number 35: "Rock The Night" by Europe, itself a great song, but one which suffered due to the all-conquering success of "The Final Countdown" and could only get to number 22.
The week's highest new entry came at number 34. "Crazy" by Icehouse was the first of a stream of singles from the massive Man Of Colours album. Yes, "Electric Blue" would be bigger, but the clip to that song didn't feature a bright red calf-length coat, now did it? Incidentally, the video below is one of two made for "Crazy". A link to the second clip is in the song title above.
As promised, more from the future Wiggles at number 33. "Some Kind Of Girl" by The Cockroaches ranks as their second biggest hit (it peaked the following week at number 32) and was followed, with increasingly less success, by "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" and "Hey What Now!". Things got so desperate for the group that they played a gig at my high school's 75th anniversary celebrations in 1988.
Number 32: "With Or Without You" by U2, a band I hated at the time but all my classmates worshipped. And I wondered why they made fun of my love for Mel & Kim.
At number 31, the long-forgotten "Sonic Boom Boy" by Westworld, which deserved much better than its number 27 peak. Fun video, too.
Number 30: "Why Can't I Be You?" by The Cure, a band whose poppier output, like this and follow-up "Just Like Heaven", I always preferred to more depressing tracks like "Lullaby". The song's jump from number 46 to number 30 was enough to earn it the chart's first bullet for a big move within the top 50. It'd jump again the following week to number 16, where it would stall. The Cure's highest chart placing wouldn't come until 1992, when "High" cracked the top 5.
At number 29, another bullet performer, another single from The Joshua Tree. Yep, it's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2. I still prefer The Chimes' cover version.
Number 28 is a shocker. "Holiday Rap" by MC Miker "G" & Deejay Sven. Wow, even their names are terrible. How this travesty charted so well (it got to number 11) is beyond me. Says more about the power of Madonna (the song sampled "Holiday", as well as Cliff Richard's "Summer Holiday") than anything. Watch the clip if you dare...
At number 27 was "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson, a song that would still be hanging around in September and which, of course, dated all the way back to 1957. Apart from it being 30 years since the tune's debut, its renewed success came thanks to a cute claymation video (between this, The Firm's "Star Trekkin'" and Peter Gabriel's clips, claymation was big in '87).
Rounding out the first half of the top 50 is the song at number 26: "Let's Wait Awhile" by Janet Jackson, the penultimate hit from the Control album. "The Pleasure Principle" would creep to number 50 in August.