Tuesday, 24 February 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: February 24, 1985

When we looked back at the ARIA singles chart from 1985 last week, it was all about the guys, with new entries exclusively from male artists. This week, women get a look-in, with debuts from two of the decade's most recognisable female voices, Cyndi Lauper and Alison Moyet.

Despite the title of her single, Alf was far from invisible on the ARIA chart 

The two singers sounded quite different - both vocally and musically - but their careers did share one thing in common: their period of commercial success didn't extend into the '90s. As we'll see, they have one more interesting (well, to me) musical link.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending February 24, 1985

At number 1 this week 30 years ago was a band who couldn't keep the momentum going beyond the '80s. Foreigner spent a second week on top with mega-ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is".


Off The Chart
Number 99 "Hands Tied" by Scandal featuring Patty Smyth
Peak: number 83
"The Warrior" had been a big number 6 hit, but this rather pedestrian follow-up missed the top 50 here and the top 40 in the US. 

Number 95 "Goodbye Barbara Ann" by Richard Clapton
Peak: number 90
Beyond this being the lead single from Richard's first (and seemingly only) album on Mushroom Records, Solidarity, I don't know a great deal about this song, which doesn't seem to be online.

Number 73 "Believe In The Beat" by Carol Lynn Townes
Peak: number 65
How have I never heard this song before? Taken from (and performed by American singer Carol Lynn at the end of) Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, it's three-and-a-half minutes of pure joy.

Number 57 "Listen To The Man With The Golden Voice" by Time Bandits
Peak: number 53
Wedged in the middle of their two top 10 hits, Dutch synthpop band lucked out with this single, which pre-dated "I Am Only Shooting Love" and just fell short of the top 50.


New Entries
Number 50 "Invisible" by Alison Moyet
Peak: number 16
So far, Alison Moyet's solo career hadn't yielded a hit as big as either of Yazoo's top 10 singles ("Only You" and "Don't Go"), and while that didn't change with this third single from the Alf album, "Invisible" did become the powerfully voiced singer's highest charting song in Australia. The track was also the only song on her debut LP not written by the songwriting and production team of Jolley & Swain (who'd also been behind albums by Bananarama and Spandau Ballet). Instead, "Invisible" was penned by Lamont Dozier, one third of an even more successful songwriting and production unit: Motown hit factory Holland-Dozier-Holland.




Number 40 "Money Changes Everything" by Cyndi Lauper
Peak: number 19
Meanwhile, Cyndi Lauper had been a regular visitor to the Australian top 10, with one chart-topper ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun") and two number 6 singles ("Time After Time" and "She Bop"). Her fifth single, "Money Changes Everything" gave her another top 20 hit, peaking two places lower than "All Through The Night", and is by far my least favourite of the She's So Unusual singles. As a bonus, the single had a live recording on one side and the studio version on the other.
Like many of the songs on that album, "Money Changes Everything" is a remake of a song originally recorded by a man - in this case, a cover of the 1978 single by The Brains. The others? "Girls Just Wanna..." had originally been demoed by its songwriter, Robert Hazard; final single "When You Were Mine" is a Prince track; and "All Through..." was included on the debut solo album of its writer, Jules Shear
Which brings us to that other link with Alison Moyet. Alf's biggest '90s single was 1994's UK number 18 hit "Whispering Your Name" - a cover of another song on Jules Shear's debut album, Watch Dog




Number 37 "The Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley
Peak: number 3
His first solo album hadn't really turned him into the next Phil Collins (despite one big single in the US with "Dirty Laundry"), but Eagles drummer/singer Don Henley stepped up his game with his second album, Building The Perfect Beast. Boasting even more of a pop sound than his debut effort (and obviously anything released by Eagles), "The Boys Of Summer" and the accompanying album were major global hits. In Australia, Don easily outperformed anything released by his then-former band (biggest release: "Heartache Tonight", number 13 in 1979). He even won the second ever MTV Award for Video Of The Year for the stylish black and white clip. Nearly 20 years later, the song would return to the Australian chart twice - in cover versions by Eurodance act DJ Sammy (in 2002) and rock band The Ataris (in 2003).




Next week: the first solo Australian hit from the singer of another massive rock band, plus the arrival of three future top 10 hits.


Back to: Feb 17, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Mar 3, 1985


1 comment:

  1. The Carol Lynn Townes track is one of the unexpected gems I discovered late last year on a 1985 UK promo VHS compilation I picked up. I love it! It should've been a much bigger hit. She's apparently a PE teacher now. There is no justice in this world.

    Didn't know the Scandal or Time Bandits tracks. The Time Bandits one veers slightly into Jimmy Somerville falsetto territory with those vocals.

    'Invisible's one of those 80s tracks I knew, but didn't know who it was by at the time.

    'Money Changes Everything' is kind of overlooked, no doubt due to being the last single from a hit-laden album, and not having a proper (IMO) video. All of the 'She's So Unusual' singles are good, but I actually prefer this one to some of the others now, maybe due to it not being overplayed like some of the earlier singles.

    'The Boys of Summer' is one of those singles I didn't care for much/at all at the time, due to being overplayed, but like it now.

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