Don’s Top 10 For October 20, 1988
“The Time Machine” is jumping into space, taking you back to another election year, Thursday, October 20, 1988. It was a sunny & cool day in New Brunswick, high 57, low 35. At the movies, #1 was Jodie Foster in “The Accused”. On primetime TV this Thursday night, NBC's powerhouse lineup of “The Cosby Show”, “A Different World”, “Cheers”, “Dear John” & “L.A. Law” was preempted due to NBC's coverage of the World Series, as the Los Angeles Dodgers capped an improbable season by defeating the Oakland A's in Game 5 to win the world championship. Later that night, Johnny Carson welcomed guests Michael Caine & Steve And Eydie to “The Tonight Show”. In the headlines this past week, Vice President George H.W. Bush & Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis faced off in their final Presidential debate. These were the local top 10 singles:
“What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” by Information Society
(#13 last week) Techno-dance pop band from Minneapolis. The “Pure Energy” subtitle derives from a sample of Leonard Nimoy's voice from the Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy”. There is also a sample of DeForest Kelley's voice from the episode “I, Mudd”. The critics liked this synth-laden hit that crossed over from college radio to clubs. John Leland of Spin magazine called it a “pretty potent dance record”.
“One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston
(#15 last week) A rare Houston single that did NOT make it to #1 during her “peak” chart period. The song's melody was inspired by Elvis Presley, with co-songwriter Albert Hammond Sr. imagining it as being sung by Presley at the opening of the Olympics. The song is an anthem for believing in yourself against all odds as Houston asks for “One moment in time/when I'm racing with destiny/Then, in that one moment of time, I will feel eternity”. The video for the song does not show Houston performing the song but is a basic collage of clips from previous Olympic ceremonies.
“The Loco-Motion” by Kylie Minogue
(#11 last week) Carole King & Gerry Goffin's dance classic is back in the top 10 for a THIRD time, following Little Eva in the 60s & Grand Funk in the 70s. The Australian Minogue released a cover version of the song in July 1987 as her debut single for her musical beginnings. After an impromptu performance of the song at an Australian rules football charity event with the cast of the Australian soap opera “Neighbours”, Minogue was signed to a record deal by Mushroom Records to release the song as a single, released under the title “Locomotion”. In 1988, a re-recorded version was released worldwide with the title “The Loco-Motion”. This release again was a major success, reaching the top five in the U.K., the U.S., and Canada. Minogue's version of the track appeared in the 1988 film “Arthur 2: On the Rocks”, with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. Minogue's version of “The Loco-Motion” substitutes the Australian term railway for the American usage of railroad in the song's lyrics.
“Please Don’t Go Girl” by New Kids On The Block
(#9 last week) Debut hit for the teenybopper group from Boston. The first available music video was shot at Coney Island, Brooklyn. Currently, the official website of the band promotes another video that seems to have been recorded around the same time the other video was.
“Love Bites” by Def Leppard
(#4 last week) “Love Bitwes” really means, “Love Stinks”. “Love Bites” was originally slated as the title for a different song, but that track was later re-titled “I Wanna Be Your Hero.” From the band's biggest album, “Hysteria”. Someone told me this was one of their wedding songs. Hmm….
“Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
(#2 last week) Boy, did this hit stand out from every other song on the radio. A very polarizing song; most either love it or hate it. Won multiple Grammys, went gold, but has been voted several times to “Worst Song Of All Time” lists. Of course, it was sung a cappella (without instruments). McFerrin recorded it using only his body to make all the sounds. From the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”.
“Kokomo” by The Beach Boys
(#7 last week) Back to back hits on the survey from the film “Cocktail”. Big comeback for the Beach Boys, but of course no Brian Wilson, who was just beginning his journey out of his sandbox. Written by two guys who knew how to craft a hit song, fellow 60s veterans Papa John Phillips & Scott McKenzie.
“Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi
(#5 last week) This single moves up, while their album “New Jersey” drop to #2. Written by Jon, Richie & Desmond Child. Child's first songwriting success was Kiss's 1979 million-seller “I Was Made For Lovin' You”. For the song's music video, Bon Jovi wanted to do a live video but for it to be done differently, so 250 fans were given hand held cameras and film & told to shoot the band in concert the way they saw them. The video was groundbreaking at the time for using such a fan-inclusive approach to making a music promo, and captured live shots not often captured by regular video crews. Bon Jovi's youngter brother Matt can be seen in the video alongside comedian Sam Kinison (Matt's wearing the blue cut off t-shirt).
“A Groovy Kind Of Love” by Phil Collins
(#3 last week) Remake of a 1966 smash from the Mindbenders. Written by the legendary songwriters Carole Bayer Sager & Toni Wine. Their famous credits are too numerous to mention, but included Wine's singing the female part of the Archies “Sugar, Sugar” & one of the female voices on Dawn's debut hit “Candida”. From the movie “Buster”, which Collins also starred in.
“Red Red Wine” by UB40
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) So many 60s connections this week. Remake of a 1967 album track sung & written by Neil Diamond, who stayed with the wine theme three years later with “Cracklin' Rosie”. This cover version by British interracial reggae band UB40 first hit the chart in early 1984, & was resurrected here in '88 by then-Phoenix radio programmer Guy Zapoleon. In the I-did-not-know-that department, the band's name comes from the letters and numbers of the form issued to unemployed people in Britain so that they may receive benefits (Unemployment Benefits form 40).