Don’s Top 10 From May 3, 1986
Man, what a great week of hit music! One of the best weeks of the 80s, fer sure. Here’s the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz
(#8 last week) Very catchy lite-dance pop. 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.
“Why Can’t This Be Love” by Van Halen
(#12 last week) Sure seemed weird to have Sammy Hagar instead of David Lee Roth fronting Van Halen. Never got used to it, but this first single was undeniably catchy.
“Live To Tell” by Madonna
(#10 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).
“Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco
(#1 last week; was #1 for 5 weeks) I’d post the original 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.
“Addicted To Love” by Robert Palmer
(#7 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.
“What Have You Done For Me Lately” by Janet Jackson
(#3 last week) After years of trying & failing, Janet Jackson finally exploded into stardom with this kickin’ dance number. Sticks in your brain, doesn’t it? Nominated for two Grammys. #341 on Blender’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs Since you Were Born”.
“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
(#4 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.
“On My Own” by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
(#9 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.
“Kiss” by Prince & The Revolution
(#2 last week; 1st week at #1) Pretty good week for the Purple One: he wrote “Manic Monday”, this week’s #11 hit, & after being stuck at #2 for four weeks, he moves to the #1 slot for the first time since “Let’s Go Crazy”. … Flash forward to 2014: you can’t find any Prince songs on youtube, because Prince has blocked all of them, not just the original videos, but any homemade video with his original hits as well. This is the best I could do. So self-defeating by a misguided artist, who doesn’t understand it HELPS sales to be available.