Thursday, 2 August 2012

25 Years Ago This Week: August 2, 1987

The festival of "Locomotion" is about to come to an end, with the arrival of Kylie Minogue's debut single on the top 50 ARIA chart 25 years ago this week. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending August 2, 1987

We'll get to where it debuted later (or you can cheat and look at the chart above), but let's start with some of the week's breakers.

And, in case you were wondering, there is logic behind which breakers I talk about. Each week, I look at any breakers making their first appearance that don't go on to reach the top 50 (since, obviously, we'll get to the songs that do in due course). Right, housekeeping out of the way, let's get on with it...

"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Peak: number 54
I was actually surprised to look back and discover this song didn't make the top 50. Gloria and pals had charted previously as just Miami Sound Machine with songs like "Conga" (number 37) and "Dr Beat" (number 11) - but, in a move which would've made Diana Ross proud, "Rhythm..." was the first track credited to Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine, before the MSM bit would be dropped altogether in 1989.

"See You Later Alligator" by Dr Feelgood
Peak: number 59
Now here is a song I have absolutely no recollection of - at least, not this version of the Bill Haley rock'n'roll classic, anyway. A quick bit of internet searching reveals that Dr Feelgood is a British group with one of those constantly changing line-ups (and apparently they're still around today). Not being a fan of this style of music, I'll move swiftly on.

New entries
Number 47 "Seven Wonders" by Fleetwood Mac
Peak: number 23
After the Lindsay Buckingham-fronted "Big Love", Stevie Nicks took the lead for Tango In The Night's second release, "Seven Wonders", which would inevitably end up as a tourism jingle years later. It'd be Christine McVie's turn in the spotlight next, with the Mac's other female member singing lead on subsequent single "Little Lies". Guess they always did like to share the love around.

Number 46 "When You Walk In The Room" by Paul Carrack
Peak: number 7
It was a big week for cover versions. In fact, the late '80s were positively awash with remakes - and it's something I miss about music today: there's nothing better than a timely and inspired cover. The original was released in 1963 by an artist I've never heard of called Jackie DeShannon but was a hit shortly after for The Searchers. This version by Paul (who'd sung with Ace, Squeeze and Mike + The Mechanics) would end up being a much bigger hit in Australia than in the US or UK. The clip I remember is below, but you can watch an alternate video by clicking on the song title.

Number 44 "Sally" by Carmel
Peak: number 39
I was a big fan of this song - and the wacky wake video - in 1987, and finally tracked it down online many years later since I didn't buy it at the time. In fact, I didn't buy that much music in 1987, especially not 7" singles, which my mother assured me I wouldn't listen to after a few months. If only she knew! Anyway, turns out Carmel was not only the name of the blonde singer of this track, but also the name of the band she fronted. "Sally" was their sole chart appearance.

Number 40 "He's Just No Good For You" by Mental As Anything
Peak: number 15
I have a love/hate relationship with Mental As Anything. For every "You're So Strong" that I like, there's a "Live It Up" which gets on my nerves. "If You Leave Me Can I Come Too": tick. "Working For The Man": cross. And the thing that annoyed me most about the band was their zany antics and constant clowning around like it was all some big joke. This single from the Mouth To Mouth album was one I wasn't so keen on, but what do I know, since it did quite well.

Number 10 "Locomotion" by Kylie Minogue
Peak: number 1
Here she is, debuting in the top 10, which was a much rarer feat that it is these days. In fact, only one song would debut higher - "Bad" by Michael Jackson at number 9 in October - for the remainder of 1987. In two weeks, "Locomotion" would be firmly entrenched in the top spot, where it would stay for seven weeks. It would end up as the year's - and decade's - biggest seller, and also my top song for the year. The original Australian video (with the right audio) is surprisingly tricky to find on YouTube, but this Young Talent Time performance should make up for that!

In next Thursday's ARIA chart recap, two of my all-time favourite artists hit the top 50 with their latest singles and we'll take a look at what was happening over on the albums chart in August 1987. Before that, I'll carry on counting down my own personal charts with my favourites from 1982.

Back to: Jul 26, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 9, 1987


  1. Paul Carrack!!!! I've been hoping we hadn't missed that song. Still love it. And the video is awesome - with the cast of

    1. Which video, though? The schoolboy one?

  2. Great work as usual Gavin; these songs brought back memories ... as soon as 'Sally' started to play I was singing along to it in my head it's been 25 years.

    Funny story with 'He's just no good for you' ... watching 'Rage' one night they played (accidentally?) the video about 8 times in a row ... gives new meaning to 'don't you get the feeling you've done this kind of thing before'.

    Prior to your post coming out I added Paul Carrack song to my engagement party mix. I should have got you to do my engagement party mix for me!

    Looking forward to the next instalment.


    1. "He's Just No Good..." 8 times in a row is surely a form a torture?

      And "When You Walk..." is a great engagement party song. Thanks for reading!

    2. I have a *vague* memory of seeing 'He's Gonna Step On You Again' playing in repeat on Rage, but I'm not 100% certain, as I wasn't even aware of Rage until 1988, and didn't watch it religiously until early 1989. If my memory is correct, it was before the top 50 started one week, probably in 1989. I think I remember seeing it randomly one week before the top 50 started.