Don’s Top 10 From April 27, 1986
Back…back…back into time, to a time with a ton of catchy, mass-appeal hit music, Sunday, April 27, 1986. Here’s your local top 10 singles:
"Live To Tell" by Madonna
(#19 last week) A towering 80s classic, Madonna's best ballad, in my opinion. Absolutely haunting, & musically adventurous. Madonna co-wrote & produced it with Patrick Leonard, & it was the first single from her third album, "True Blue" (her best album, too), & featured in the soundtrack to her movie "At Close Range" (which didn't get such great reviews).
"On My Own" by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
(#14 last week) So big locally it would go on to become the #1 hit of the year 1986! Written by the great songwriters Burt Bacharach & (then) wife Carole Bayer Sager, first recorded by Dionne Warwick bu not included on her album "Friends". Too bad; she might have had two #1 hits that year. The biggest hit ever for both LaBelle & McDonald.
"I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz
(#6 last week) Nu Shooz were a husband & wife duo from Portland, Oregon, Valerie Smith & John Day. The song was recorded in 1984, but didn't catch on until it was remixed overseas independently. That's the version you hear now. Another song with the same title, by Stevie Nicks, was lower on the chart this week, a rare instance of two different songs with the same title being out at the same time. One of the catchiest dance songs of the 80s. Sticks in your brain like musical glue.
"Addicted To Love" by Robert Palmer
(#10 last week) Never knew this: According to wikipedia, the song was originally intended to be a duet with Chaka Khan, but her record company at the time wouldn't grant her a release to work on Palmer's label, Island Records. Chaka is still credited for the vocal arrangements in the album liner notes.
"Manic Monday" by The Bangles
(#4 last week) What a great week for melodic, singalong hit music! Not much better for me than this song, written by Prince, or these lovely ladies. How much did I (and still do) love the Bangles? Let me count the ways! Incredibly catchy songs, jangly guitars, easy on the eyes. What's not to love? My favorite artists of the 80s.
"West End Girls" by Pet Shop Boys
(#5 last week) One of the killer tracks of the decade. Still sounds so original, like nothing else on the radio. How iconic was this? Pet Shop Boys performed it at the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony from London.
"The Greatest Love Of All" by Whitney Houston
(#7 last week) The 4th smash hit single from Houston's debut album. This 4th hit finally propelled that album to #1 (it had been in the top 10 locally every week since the summer of '85). One of the few remakes (George Benson did it first in 1977) better than the original, in my opinion.
"What Have You Done For Me Lately" by Janet Jackson
(#3 last week) 3rd week in a row at #3 for Ms. Janet's first hit, which she had been trying to get for a long time. I can remember her "American Bandstand" appearances in the early 80s. But you couldn't deny this (Jimmy) jam (& Terry Lewis).
"Kiss" by Prince & The Revolution
(#2 last week) Knockin' on the door to the top spot, this has been stuck at #2 for 3 weeks. Prince wrote two songs in this week's top ("Manic Monday" the other). Prince at first gave the demo to a group called Mazerati, but loved their stripped-down approach so much he took the song back for himself (he left in their backing vocals) & included it on his album "Parade" at the last second. He also insisted it be released as a single over the objections of his record company. Smart move.
"Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco
(#1 last week; 5th week at #1) I'd post the video, but it doesn't have the version of the song we Americans remember. This is it. Falco's real name was Johan Holzel , the only Austrian artist to have an American #1. He also did the original version of "Der Kommissar" in 1983. Sadly, he died in a car-bus crash in the Dominican Republic in 1998, at the age of 40.