Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Best Of 1985 - part 3

JUMP TO: 40-31 II 30-21 II 20-11 II 10-1

As Doc Brown once kind of said: "We have to go back... back to 1985." That's right, we're midway through my countdown of my favourite songs from 1985 - and Back To The Future will play a part in this batch of songs. In fact, half of the songs in this post featured in movies at the time.

Madonna was everywhere in 1985 - especially on film soundtracks

Movie soundtracks had been providing the charts with massive hits for many years, and 1985 was no different, with songs from films like The Jewel Of The Nile, White Nights, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Desperately Seeking Susan and A View To A Kill all selling by the truckload.

The age of the soundtrack hit would continue into the 1990s and early 2000s, but hit songs from movies are few and far between these days. Funnily enough, it's the ubiquitous Pitbull who's had the biggest hit from a film in recent months - and his song, "Back In Time" (from Men In Black 3), shares a title with a song from... Back To The Future. Spooky.

Before we get to our first movie songs, at number 20 is "Don't Go" by Pseudo Echo, which became another hit for the Aussie synthpop exponents. In fact, its number 4 peak matched the position achieved by their debut single, "Listening". "Don't Go" was the first single from the group's second album, Love An Adventure - an era which saw the band undergoing a major transformation, with the Leigh brothers (Vince and James) replacing former members Tony Lugton and Anthony Argiro.

At number 19 is "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston, the second in her record-breaking string of seven consecutive number 1 hits in the US, following her first chart-topper, "Saving All My Love For You". Her debut single, at least in the US, was "You Give Good Love", which had "only" managed a position of number 3. In other parts of the world, different tracks ("All At Once" and "Thinking About You") from her self-titled album had been chosen to be the lead single. Although, just to confuse matters, the first single on which Whitney received a credit was "Hold Me", a duet with soul star Teddy Pendergrass in 1984 - and that track prevented her from being eligible for the Best New Artist Grammy for 1985.

Next up at number 18 is "Dare Me" by The Pointer Sisters, who had a soundtrack hit of their own earlier in 1985 with "Neutron Dance" from Beverly Hills Cop. "Dare Me" was the first single from the sisters' Contact album and would be their last significant hit. Nearly two decades later, the hook from the song was used in Junior Jack's "Stupidisco" single in 2004.

Here it is - the song from Back To The Future: at number 17 is "The Power Of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News. The track would reach number 1 in Australia for two weeks in 1985 - as would an identically named song by Jennifer Rush later in the year. In fact, the two singles ended up as the 23rd and 24th biggest selling releases for the year (with Jennifer taking the higher position). In Australia, the song would also appear on the band's next album, Fore!, which would be phenomenonally successful around the world and feature prominently in the Bret Easton Ellis novel, American Psycho, a few years later.

Another song from a film is at number 16 - it's "Rhythm Of The Night" by DeBarge, which featured on the soundtrack to The Last Dragon, a long-forgotten martial arts film starring Vanity 6 lead singer Vanity. The movie was produced by Motown and DeBarge was a group of siblings signed to the legendary record label. Until "Rhythm Of The Night", DeBarge had only had midling success, but this track gave them a top 10 hit around the world, including in Australia, where it reached number 5. It's also one of the earliest hits written by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, who's been responsible for one or two big soundtrack hits you might have heard of.

Speaking of things that are long-forgotten - at number 15 is "Gambler" by Madonna, which was taken from the film, Vision Quest, and reached number 10 in Australia, but is rarely remembered these days. 1985 was an incredibly busy year for Madonna. Besides the slew of singles from Like A Virgin, she also released singles from two movies, Vision Quest and Desperately Seeking Susan, and in some parts of the world, re-released tracks from Madonna also charted. In Australia, Madonna had six top 10 singles in 1985, including "Like A Virgin" which started the year at number 1. "Gambler" was my third favourite track of hers that year and was one she wrote without any of her regular co-writers.

Making their debut in 1985 was this British duo - at number 14 is "Don't Look Down" by Go West. Comprised of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie, Go West had a handful of big UK and Australian hits (and much more modest US hits) from 1985 to 1987 before things petered out. Then, out of nowhere, they returned in 1990 to enjoy renewed success in the UK and Australia (and, this time, considerable success in the States) thanks to their inclusion on, you guessed it, a movie soundtrack (Pretty Woman). "Don't Look Down" was the final single released from the group's self-titled debut album, which featured another song we'll see in Part 4.

Rivalling Madonna for the amount of hits achieved in 1985, at number 13 is "Don't Lose My Number" by Phil Collins, one of many singles from the No Jacket Required album. As well as this track and the likes of "One More Night", "Take Me Home" and "Sussudio", the Genesis singer/drummer also appeared on "Easy Lover" with Philip Bailey (surprisingly a flop in Australia) and soundtrack hit "Separate Lives" with Marilyn Martin (from White Nights) - meaning he was all but inescapable for the entire year. "Don't Lose My Number" reached number 10 in Australia and featured a video which showed that at least Phil didn't take himself too seriously.

Here she is again - at number 12 it's "Crazy For You" by Madonna, which was the first single released from Vision Quest. In some countries, Australia included, the film's title was changed to Crazy For You in an attempt to cash in on the runaway success of this single, but the movie, which starred Matthew Modine, was still a box office failure. "Crazy For You" was Madonna's third Australian number 1 for 1985, spending four weeks at the top of the chart and ending the year as the third highest selling single.

At number 11"Out Of Mind Out Of Sight" by Models, who had a massive year in 1985. They reached number 2 earlier in the year with "Barbados" before going all the way to number 1 for two weeks with this track. It wasn't to last, however, with the group never scoring a top 20 hit again, despite releasing the likes of "Let's Kiss" and "Hold On". "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight", which features backing vocals from I'm Talking's Zan and Kate Ceberano, also became an American top 40 hit, reaching number 37 there.

In Part 4, we'll find my favourite soundtrack songs for the year, as well as a couple of landmark number 1s.

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