Tuesday, 1 September 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: September 1, 1985

From "Xanadu" to "On Our Own", the '80s were packed with outstanding soundtrack hits - and 30 years ago this week, one of the all-time best debuted on the ARIA singles chart.

Huey Lewis And The News provided the finishing touch to Back To The Future

Like all good soundtrack songs, it appeared in the actual film (and not just on an album "inspired by" it) - and I still can't hear the song without picturing myself at the cinema seeing the movie for the first of many times.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending September 1, 1985

A movie I've only ever seen once (and don't feel the need to ever see again) was responsible for the song at number 1 this week in 1985. "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" by Tina Turner spent its second week on top.


Off The Chart
Number 99 "Tired Of Being Blonde" by Carly Simon
Peak: number 95
She'd last charted with 1980's number 4 hit, "Jesse", but not even a new (and short-lived) record deal) with Epic could restore her chart fortunes as this lead single from Spoiled Girl flopped.

Number 90 "Angel" by Spaniards
Peak: number 59
This Aussie group featured members from two bands whose biggest hit was released in 1977: The Ferrets ("Don't Fall In Love", number 2) and Stars (biggest hit: "Look After Yourself", number 30).

Number 85 "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order
Peak: number 85
The band's ninth single (including Belgium-only release "Murder") was also their first to be included on one of their studio albums, Low-life. Even so, the wait for a follow-up top 50 hit to "Blue Monday" continued.

Number 72 "You Give Good Love" by Whitney Houston
Peak: number 58
Although preceded by an early release of "How Will I Know" in Australia and other tracks overseas, "You Give Good Love" was Whitney's first single to receive a full promotional push, resulting in it reaching number 3 in the US. Here, it spent 17 weeks bouncing around between a low of number 76 and its peak.


New Entries
Number 49 "Move Closer" by Phyllis Nelson
Peak: number 15
While Whitney Houston struggled with her seductive soul ballad, Phyllis Nelson had no such trouble - at least in Australia and the UK - with her similarly smooth single, "Move Closer". Unlike Whitney, Phyllis didn't usually tackle ballads, with the title track from her 1984 album a complete departure from the dance and disco tunes she'd normally recorded. 
Originally released the previous year, "Move Closer" was something of a sleeper hit - taking three months to hit the number 1 spot in the UK and not reaching its Australian peak until mid-November and remaining on the ARIA top 100 until March 1986. The US remained immune to the charms of "Move Closer", with Phyllis' only Hot 100 appearance coming in 1986 with the more typical (for her) upbeat track "I Like You"




Number 45 "Haunting Me" by V Capri
Peak: number 45
A ballad of the rock variety now - and it's a song that owes its top 50 placing almost exclusively to the band's home state of Western Australia, where "Haunting Me" shot straight to number 1 and stayed there for five weeks. But for whatever reason, V Capri couldn't turn that local acclaim into national success. Sure, the song's a little boring, but it's no worse than plenty of other '80s rock ballad hits. Four years later, the song received a belated UK release thanks to its appearance in Neighbours around the time Kylie Minogue left the show - but unlike Angry Anderson's "Suddenly", it didn't set the British charts alight.




Number 40 "The Power Of Love" by Huey Lewis And The News
Peak: number 1
One of three singles released in a 12-month period with the title "The Power Of Love", the song by Huey Lewis & The News was, of course, the theme to the original Back To The Future film. A stand-alone single between the Sports and Fore! albums (although included on the latter outside the US), it became far and away the band's biggest hit to date in Australia, where Huey and pals had never gotten higher than number 18 with 1982's "Do You Believe In Love".
As well as featuring in the first Back To The Future - in the scene where Marty (and his skateboard) hitch a ride to school, the scene where Marty's band auditions for a panel of judges including Huey himself and another scene I can't find on YouTube  - the song also makes some form of appearance in the two sequels. "The Power Of Love" was only added to Back To The Future two days before the finished cut was complete - before that, the band's "I Want A New Drug" was used. A classic power pop/rock anthem, the song solidified Huey Lewis & The News' position as one of America's biggest bands, giving them their first of three US number 1s.




Number 39 "Shame" by The Motels
Peak: number 18
Since their debut self-titled album in 1979, the band fronted by singer Martha Davis had managed one top 50 hit per album - even registering two ("Only The Lonely" and "Take The L") from third album All Four One. But none of those chart appearances had been anywhere near as big as breakthrough hit "Total Control", which reached number 7 in 1980 and broke the band in Australia years ahead of the US. 
The Motels remained true to form with fifth album Shook, as lead single "Shame" became the LP's solitary hit, as well as their second highest peaking single locally. The band moved on to album number six after it became apparent Shook had run its course, but that LP never eventuated. Instead, Martha moved on to a solo career which yielded - yep, you guess it - one hit: 1988's "Don't Tell Me The Time"




Next week: a couple of acts known for one big single break the one-hit wonder curse by charting another song, plus new entries from The Pointer Sisters, The Style Council and Howard Jones.


Back to: Aug 25, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Sep 8, 1985


1 comment:

  1. Not being overly familiar with Carly Simon's Oz chart history, I'm surprised 'Why' didn't chart here (and didn't realise it didn't until now). Never heard, or even heard of, 'Tired of Being Blonde' before. Nice pink hair - albeit a wig - in the video.

    The Spaniards song, which I'd never heard of before, isn't bad for its genre. Pity there's no video on youtube.

    I didn't realise that no pre-'The Perfect Kiss' single had appeared on a New Order album. Quite a strange tactic from a commercial point of view. I don't mind the song, but don't find it interesting enough to justify sitting through the whole 10+ minutes very often. An edit was sorely needed. The non-verbal behaviour between the group in the video is interesting.

    The 'Whitney Houston' album was a staple on my parents' car cassette deck for a year or so. I'm surprised that 'All At Once' didn't get a wider single release.

    I didn't know 'Move Closer' until a few years ago, but it's a good song. I believe she was the first black woman to top the UK singles chart with a self-penned track. Pity she died in the late 90's. She was also the mother of an original-member of Boyz II Men.

    I never knew there was such variation in the state charts at the time, with a W.A. #1 only peaking at #45 nationally. I can't imagine that happening now.

    It confused me in retrospect that there were 3 different top 10 songs called 'The Power of Love' in the space of a year.

    I hadn't heard 'Shame' in years, and don't think I was even aware that it was a Motels track (though it's obvious listening to it now).

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