Don’s Top 10 From February 23, 1986
Back…back…back into time I go, counting down the national singles survey from Sunday, February 23, 1986. Spring training is starting, & the Mets are heavily favored to win it all……..
“These Dreams” by Heart
(#14 last week) Co-written by the legendary songwriter Bernie Taupin, “These Dreams” was recorded by the band while Nancy Wilson had a cold. The results were so good that when they went back in to finish the song, they were upset that Nancy Wilson’s raspiness was gone. They asked her to please get sick again.
“Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr
(#11 last week) The two “secret lovers” in this song try to justify the affair by trying to convince themselves that maybe their spouses have their own “secret lovers” as well. Good luck on that one.
“Silent Running” by Mike & The Mechanics
(#8 last week) 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
(#7 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.
“When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)” by Billy Ocean
(#3 last week) Co-written by the former Mr. Shania Twain (Robert John “Mutt” Lange), this soundtrack single (“The Jewel Of The Nile”) weas hugelt aided by a funny video with the stars of the movie, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner & Danny DeVito, lipsynching the song. Unfortunately, that original video is no longer on the internet (legally).
“The Sweetest Taboo” by Sade
(#6 last week) Sade is a group, featuring lead singer Sade, similar to the group Alice cooper. This surprisingly was a stiff in the U.K., peaking only at #31, but did great here.
“Living In America” by James Brown
(#5 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
(#4 last week) Jefferson Starship dropped the “Jefferson” from their name & immediately had back to back #1 hits for the first time in the almost 20 years on the charts, first “We Built This City” & now this pretty ballad, named for lead singer Mickey Thomas’s (then) wife.
“How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
(#1 last week) 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.
“Kyrie” by Mr. Mister
(#2 last week) 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.