Don’s Top 10 From February 22, 1986
Back into time with another fun survey, this one from Saturday, February 22, 1986. Here is the national top 10:amazon.com
“That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne & Friends (Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & Elton John)
(#5 last week) First recorded by Rod Stewart for the movie “Night Shift” in 1982! I fully admit, I really got sick of this song in the 80s, but you know what? After not hearing it for many years, it’s nice to hear it again! And in the video, the chemistry of the “friends”, even though they’re lip-synching, is fun. Glad Elton lost the bolero boy outfit, though…..
“Burning Heart” by Survivor
(#3 last week) TWO songs from “Rocky IV” in the top 10 this week, “Living In America” & this one. Totally forgot this song, wow. Talk about a big hit disappearing.
“Silent Running” by Mike & The Mechanics
(#12 last week) Been a LONG time since I have heard this one. Has anyone sung lead & had hits with three different groups & a solo smash, like Paul Carrack has? 1975: “How Long” with Ace. 1981: “Tempted” with Squeeze. 1986: “Silent Running”, the first of three smashes with Mike & The Mechanics. 1987: “Don’t Shed A Tear”, as himself.
“Life In A Northern Town” by Dream Academy
(#11 last week) Not many hit songs are as evocative & atmospheric as this one, perfectly timed to peak in winter. The song is a tribute to acclaimed artist Nick Drake, who never had a hit but was hugely influential with others (he died of an antidepressant overdose at the age of 26 in 1974). He was best known for somber pieces composed on his favorite instrument, the guitar. The song, which took a year to record, also includes elements of classical music, an “African-esque” chant, and psychedelic sounds.
“The Sweetest Taboo” by Sade
(#8 last week) Bossa Nova met African rhythm met sweet soul in sultry Sade. Sade has been pronounced so many ways by people it’s hysterical. Most call her “Sha-day” or “Shar-day”. Oh, “Sade” is both the name of the GROUP & the name of the lead singer (sort of like Blondie’s situation, although Debbie Harry never called herself “Blondie”). Her full name is Helen Folasade Adu.
“Living In America” by James Brown
(#7 last week) Movie music (“Rocky IV”), this was a big comeback hit for the Godfather Of Soul on the pop chart. But, it didn’t do quite as well on the R&B chart, where James is the #1 artist of all time. Co-written by Dan (“I Can Dream About You”) Hartman.
“Sara” by Starship
(#9 last week) In the 60s they were Jefferson Airplane. In the 70s they became Jefferson Starship, and now in the 80s they were simply Starship. Many music critics argued that as their record sales & popularity continued to go up, their quality continued to go down. Hey, there were different generations of record buyers & fans with different musical tastes.
“When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” by Billy Ocean
(#2 last week) Forget a SONG disappearing. Where has Billy Ocean gone? One fun hit after another in the mid & late 80s, then….nothing. Not even nightclubs or nostalgia. At least not here. But Ocean (real name: Leslie Charles) does continue to record & tour in Europe. He lives in England with his wife of 29 years. Time for a comeback, Billy!
“Kyrie” by Mr. Mister
(#4 last week) Mr. Mister were a short-lived band, but boy, they hit big for a few months, with “Broken Wings” & then this followup. How DO you pronounce the title? “Kayree” is how they sing it, but I’ve heard it called “Kere-e-A”. Even though the single version of this hit was 4:10, 14 seconds shorter than the 4:24 album version, it ends with the a cappella phrase “Kýrie, eléison, down the road that I must travel”, while the album version simply fades out.
“How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) Last week, this knocked “That’s What Friends Are For” out of the top spot. It marked only the third time that a blood relative knocked another out out of #1. Whitney & Dionne Warwick were first cousins. Written by the husband-&-wife duo George Merrill & Shannon Rubicam, who soon would have their own hit as singers, “Waiting for A Star To Fall” (as “Boy Meets Girl”), who first offered this to another about-to-be-superhot female singer of the time, Janet Jackson. Whitney took it, with some altered lyrics by Narada Michael Walden. It was their consecutive million-selling single & first uptempo hit.