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Don’s Top 10 From June 22, 1988

Back…back…back into time once again, to Wednesday, June 22, 1988! Here are the local top 10 singles:


“The Flame” by Cheap Trick



(#18 last week) Even though this was the band’s first commercial success in more than a few years, they reportedly did not like it, but felt pressured to release it by the label. Label knew best.



“Mercedes Boy” by Pebbles



(#12 last week) Perri A. Reid is the current name for “Pebbles”, a childhood nickname she used for her initial success here in 1988. Ms. Reid also sang backup vocals on Paula Abdul’s smash album “Forever Your Girl”.



“Piano In The Dark” by Brenda Russell



(#14 last week) Brenda first hit the chart back in 1979 with the moderate success “So Good, So Right”, but took her nine years to return. Backup vocals on this distinctive ballad are by Joe Esposito, former lead singer of Brooklyn Dreams (he duetted with Donna Summer on “Heaven Knows”).



“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson



(#10 last week) Considering this was a national #1 hit, & the record-setting fifth charttopper from the album “Bad”, boy, has this song disappeared from radio. That may be because it rocked harder than MJ’s other hits, & R&B radio shies away now. Guitar by Steve Stevens.



“Together Forever” by Rick Astley



(#2 last week) The followup to “Never Gonna Give You Up”, & yes, it really sounded just like it. But undeniably catchy. Astley is in The Guinness Record book, as he became the first male solo artist to have his first eight singles all chart in the UK Top 10. Surprisingly, he quit singing for almost a decade, beginning in 1993, except for backup vocals on “The Lion King” soundtrack.



“Make It Real” by The Jets



(#5 last week) Fifth & final pop chart hit for the brother-and-sister act known as The Jets. Typical late-80s ballad.



“Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp



(#4 last week) bigger locally than nationally, where it peaked at #10, Kemp originally was brought in by Keith Sweat to write the lyrics for a-then instrumental track. Sweat decided against recording it, leaving it to Kemp.



“Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard



(#6 last week) Their biggest single. This video remained at #1 on the request show Dial MTV for 85 days, tying the longest run ever on Dial MTV.



“Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson



(#3 last week) Debbie was sort of the Taylor Swift of the late 80s, a teenage prodigy & “regular” suburban girl who wrote her own material. “Regular”? She performed from the age of 5, & at 8 was onstage at the Metropolitan Opera House.



“One More Try” by George Michael



(#1 last week; 6th week at #1) How could a song be this big & yet be almost completely forgotten? Part of the answer is radio’s reluctance to play old ballads. Interestingly, by this time Michael’s chart success was much greater in the U.S., where four of the six “Faith” singles made it to #1, while none did so in the U.K.


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