Tuesday, 8 September 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: September 8, 1985

I've been in one-hit wonder mode again for the past week as I finally prepare to tackle the 1HWs from the 2000s (you can check out that post here) - so it's only appropriate that this week's look back at the ARIA singles chart from 1985 should feature a couple of acts that are wrongly considered to be one-hit wonders. Thirty years ago this week, a band and a male artist reached the top 50 with songs other than their best-known hit. 

Katrina & The Waves: breaking the one-hit wonder curse

In one case, the follow-up release was only a minor top 40 single, but in the other, the single went on to peak just four places lower than the song everyone remembers. Speaking of overlooked hits, all the other top 50 entries this week are singles by acts that had much more memorable chart appearances.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending September 8, 1985

Still at number 1 was a female singer who's anything but a one-hit wonder, scoring chart hits in the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. This week in 1985, Tina Turner spent her third and final week on top with "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)".


Off The Chart
Number 100 "Forever" by Kenny Loggins
Peak: number 94
Charting in between film soundtrack hits, this Vox Humana power ballad actually appeared in The Young And The Restless, back when daytime soaps had a budget to play new songs.

Number 96 "Fight For Love" by Deckchairs Overboard
Peak: number 78
This would turn out to be the final - and best performing - single for the short-lived Australian band, who'd provided music and vocals for the pretend group in TV series Sweet And Sour

Number 92 "Home For My Heart" by Tim Finn
Peak: number 87
Released between his first two solo albums, Escapade and Big Canoe, this jaunty track was taken from the soundtrack to Australian film The Coca-Cola Kid, starring Eric Roberts and Greta Scacchi.

Number 83 "Don Quixote" by Nik Kershaw
Peak: number 83
In the UK, this single inspired by the title character of Miguel de Cervantes' novel was Nik's final top 20 hit. Australia had already turned its back on him, with "Don Quixote" becoming the first of three minor top 100 appearances.

Number 79 "Mystery Lady" by Billy Ocean
Peak: number 79
Like Nik, Billy was also struggling after a string of hits as "Mystery Lady" fell way short of the chart achievements of his previous three singles - despite not being so bad.


New Entries
Number 50 "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
Peak: number 20
We saw back in February that smouldering Canadian heartthrob Corey Hart had already broken the one-hit wonder curse by reaching the ARIA top 50 with the follow-up to "Sunglasses At Night". But, while "It Ain't Enough" peaked at a lowly number 37, this lead single from second album Boy In The Box was almost as big in Australia as the track that launched him internationally. As it turns out, in his home country and the States, power ballad "Never Surrender" was actually more successful than "Sunglasses At Night", giving Corey his first chart-topper in Canada and peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. For me, there's no beating the synthpop goodness of "Sunglasses..." - a song and a title that have lived on in popular consciousness, but I do quite like "Never Surrender" as well.




Number 45 "Dare Me" by The Pointer Sisters
Peak: number 10
Even though it became another top 10 hit for Anita, June and Ruth Pointer in Australia, I'd wager that if you asked most people to name a song by The Pointer Sisters, "Dare Me" wouldn't get as much of a look in as "Neutron Dance", "I'm So Excited" or "Jump (For My Love)". "Dare Me" saw the Pointers finally moving on to a new album after the extended lifespan of previous LP Break Out, but unlike their hit-laden previous effort, Contact would only yield this one major hit single. The song came complete with a video that featured the sisters dressed as sharp-suited boxing scouts before shedding their male attire for some of the most hideous outfits known to womankind. The sports theme of the "Dare Me" clip was mirrored in the video for Junior Jack's "Stupidisco", which was based around the hook of The Pointer Sisters' song.




Number 43 "Still Waiting" by Uncanny X-Men
Peak: number 43
After their career-best peak with ballad "50 Years", Uncanny X-Men registered their worst performance since 1983's "Time Goes So Fast" with "Still Waiting". Granted, it was the third single from the successful 'Cos Life Hurts LP (this week's number 21 album), but it was a catchy enough pop/rock track that probably deserved better than this. The song also deserved a more coherent music video, with the final version a mess of ideas (Slipknot meets The Walking Dead, with random live footage thrown in for good measure) and some introductory "acting" that makes the start of Kylie Minogue's "It's No Secret" clip look like Oscar-winning stuff. 




Number 40 "Boy Who Cried Wolf" by The Style Council
Peak: number 38
Coming from the same album that boasted hits like "Walls Come Tumbling Down" and, on the Australian version of the LP, "Shout To The Top!", it's little wonder this Our Favourite Shop track, which wasn't issued as a single in the UK, has become a long-forgotten part of The Style Council's chart legacy. Closer in style to the band's first Australian top 20 hit, "You're The Best Thing" than either "Walls..." or "Shout...", "Boy Who Cried Wolf" was another smooth slice of sophisti-pop. Never going to be massive, but nice enough all the same.




Number 38 "Do You Want Crying?" by Katrina & The Waves
Peak: number 38
Here's our other chart entry by an act usually assumed to be a one-hit wonder. And while "Do You Want Crying?" didn't get any further than this debut position, a top 40 hit is a top 40 hit. Another energetic pop/rock track from Katrina Leskanich and pals, the song's problem isn't its chorus - which, although not in the same league as "Walking On Sunshine", is still kinda catchy - it's the clunky title. This would be the band's final appearance in the top 50 despite last-ditch efforts to land another hit in 1990 (by appearing on China Beach) and in 1997 (by representing the UK - and winning! - at Eurovision).




Number 36 "Life In One Day" by Howard Jones
Peak: number 33
Not even a creative video concept - which made it seem like the viewer's TV was playing up - could prevent this latest single by Howard Jones from becoming his least successful since debut release "New Song" missed the top 50. The third single from Dream Into Action, "Life In One Day" was also Howard's worst performing track in the UK up until that point - but, in a sign of things to come, the song became his second highest chart hit in the States. For me, "Life In One Day" was the latest in a flawless run of singles - so what was it going to take for Howard to finally score a big hit in Australia? A remix of a track from Dream Into Action in 1986, that's what.




Next week: it's an all-Australian batch of new entries, including the return of the country's biggest band and the lead single from a classic album by one of our most popular male singers. 


Back to: Sep 1, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Sep 15, 1985


3 comments:

  1. I only knew 2 of this week's entries, and one of those ('Don Quixote') I heard for the first time about 5 years ago. Quite a shame Nik Kershaw didn't have continued chart success.

    I've never heard 'Never Surrender' before, which seems odd given it was a top 20 hit.

    I knew 'Dare Me', but didn't realise what it was called until about 10 years ago. I agree that its memorability was overshadowed by their earlier hits.

    Strange that we got a Style Council single that the UK didn't get.

    I like the song title for 'Do You Want Crying' (which I hadn't heard before). It oozes attitude!

    I didn't know the Howard Jones song. What a strange idea for a video! I like it, but I could see how it could be annoying watching it on a TV if you didn't realise what was going on... and why TV stations might have refused to play it (if that was the case). The effects distract from the song though. Directed by Terence Donovan... Jason's dad?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I made a playlist based on The Top 40 around this date - although it's the 3XY Top 40 of 6 September, not the ARIA chart. Used to collect the 3XY, ARIA and EON-FM charts as a kid, have most of the 3XY charts from 1985-1986. https://open.spotify.com/user/zielwolf/playlist/2HeinsaEC3uD8L3QtRuaZO

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thought I was the only one who had all these old ARIA charts collected from the mid 80s.. Had to check and see if this was one of my scans that made it's way here, but gladly it's not.. Well done...

    ReplyDelete