Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Best Of 1988 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1

I don't think you could find a boppier collection of songs than my 25 favourites for 1988. With only one ballad among them, it's a pretty good indication of not only what I was listening to that year, but also the kind of stranglehold pop had on the charts at that point in time.

After such a big hit, the only way was down for Yazz

I've avoided going over the same artists and songs repeatedly in this series of posts, and one artist I've completely skipped over is Kylie Minogue, since I've dealt with her releases extensively elsewhere on this blog. But, she and producers Stock Aitken Waterman dominate my top 25 - just as they dominated the UK top 40 all year.

Teen pop from the likes of Kylie, Debbie Gibson, Bros and Rick Astley enjoyed its peak in 1988, but by the end of 1989, dance music had taken over, with grunge only a few years away. Such a proliferation of pop acts would not be seen again for another decade.

Number 25 "Together Forever" by Rick Astley
After an impressive start the previous year, Rick Astley went supernova in 1988. The hits from Whenever You Need Somebody continued with this single, which gave him a second number 1 in the US, as well as (in some countries) "It Would Take A Strong, Strong Man" and "Don't Say Goodbye", which both feature in my top 200 for the year. By the end of 1988, Rick had released his second album, Hold Me In Your Arms, which contained his first self-penned single, "She Wants To Dance With Me" (number 64 on this list) and my favourite single of his, "Take Me To Your Heart" (number 4 on this list). Phew!
Writing his own songs and moving slowly away from releasing singles produced by SAW could have spelt the beginning of the end (as it had for many other artists who found that the hits dried up when they left the Hit Factory), but Rick continued to be successful into the '90s - and is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance at the moment. In fact, I'm seeing him play in Sydney this weekend. I'm interested to see just how faithfully he'll perform these old pop tracks.

Number 24 "Out Of The Blue" by Debbie Gibson
I was obsessed with Debbie in 1988 - just slightly less than I was with Kylie. She only really had the one hit in Australia that year (1987's "Shake Your Love"), but my sister brought me back the Out Of The Blue cassette when she went to the States that year and I loved every track on it. "Out Of The Blue" was another US and UK hit for Debbie, but it was with "Foolish Beat" (number 90 on this list) that she really broke records, becoming the youngest artist to write, produce and perform a US chart-topper. Listening to the album now, it hasn't aged as well as some other pop from the era - but it's still pretty fun.

Number 23 "Got To Be Certain" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 22 "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne
Mentioned below

Number 21 "I Can't Help It" by Bananarama
Mentioned below

Number 20 "You Are The One" by a-ha
Ask most people and they would be quite surprised to know a-ha were still making records three years after "Take On Me". Not only did they release some of my favourite singles of theirs that year, including this track, "Touchy!" (number 43 on this list) and "The Blood That Moves The Body" (number 79 on this list), but they actually kept on recording (with a few breaks) right up until their farewell record in 2010. Unfairly branded as one-hit wonders, the Norwegian trio rank as one of my favourite groups of all time.

Number 19 "Love, Truth And Honesty" by Bananarama
If you've been following my year-by-year journey through the '80s, you'll have seen these girls pop up time and time again. Actually, not quite these girls, since 1988 was the year Siobhan Fahey left Bananarama (her last single with the group was "I Can't Help It", which is back at number 22) and Jacquie O'Sullivan joined the trio.
"Love, Truth And Honesty" was the first all-new song released by the new-look group, although Jacquie had already added her vocals to a revamped "I Want You Back" (number 3 on this list and my favourite Bananarama track of all time) and would go on to sing on a reworked version of "Nathan Jones" (number 44 on this list).
Truth be told, the switcheroo didn't make much of a musical difference, since you couldn't really say that Bananarama had very distinctive vocals in the first place, but the change was noticeable in a visual sense, since Jacquie lacked the same spark Siobhan had - and when she, too, departed the group in 1991, I can't say I was that bothered.

Number 18 "Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi/Made In Heaven" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 17 "He Ain't No Competition" by Brother Beyond
So resounding a success had this struggling pop group's union with SAW been that all parties concerned thought it was a good idea to repeat the collaboration, and, voila, "He Ain't No Competition" came to pass. Not quite as good as "The Harder I Try" (which is at number 13 below), but another storming pop classic.

Number 16 "When Will I Be Famous" by Bros
Brother Beyond's rivals for the hearts and minds of teen girls across the UK were this trio, who also struggled with their first couple of releases. Unlike Brother Beyond, Bros didn't team up with hit producers, but just re-released this track and "I Owe You Nothing" (which is at number 8 below) until the public bought them - and buy them they eventually did.
In Australia, Bros' five singles from Push all hit the chart in 1988 and a visit down under caused all sorts of mayhem. I distinctly remember buying the album at my local record shop - in fact, I bought it the same day I bought Kylie. And although I liked "Drop The Boy" (number 82 on this list), "I Quit" (number 148 on this list) and "Cat Among The Pigeons" (number 176 on this list), they weren't a patch on this song or "I Owe You Nothing", a song for which the Smash Hits songwords phrase "ad lib to fade" was invented. 

Number 15 "First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)" by Scritti Politti
Their 1988 album Provision was nowhere near as successful as 1985's Cupid & Psyche 85, but it's one of my top 10 albums of all time - and it contained this pop gem as well as "Boom! There She Was" (number 113 on this list) and "Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)" (number 119 on this list). There could have been any number of other singles taken from Provision but the public clearly wasn't very receptive to the new music by Green and co., and the band spluttered to an end in 1991 with a couple of reggae-fied cover versions. Green returned many years later, but Scritti Politti never recaptured the highs of their mid-'80s success.

Number 14 "Prove Your Love" by Taylor Dayne
The New York native born Leslie Wunderman became a bit of a chart juggernaut in the late '80s, especially in the US, where she enjoyed seven consecutive top 10 hits, including number 7 placings for both this second single and her debut, "Tell It To My Heart" (number 23 on this list). With a shock of bright red hair, huge equally bright red lips and a voice that blasted away most of her contemporaries, Taylor was a force to be reckoned with and carried on being successful well into the 1990s. These days, she occasionally pops down to Australia to tour and still releases the odd record here and there.

Number 13 "The Harder I Try" by Brother Beyond
Mentioned above and previously featured here and here

Number 12 "Who's Leaving Who" by Hazell Dean
After years of trying to follow up her 1984 success, SAW's original hitmaker finally cracked the UK top 10 again with this song, a cover of an Anne Murray track from 1986. I always feel like poor Hazell is a forgotten part of the SAW legacy. Out-glamoured by Sinitta and Kylie, out-camped by Dead Or Alive and Divine, out-sold by Rick Astley and Bananarama, she did, however, have a better voice than most of the artists the producers worked with. Thanks to the top 5 performance of this song in the UK chart, Hazell enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence, with other singles "Maybe (We Should Call It A Day)" (number 31 on this list) and her version of the Kylie track "Turn It Into Love" (number 85 on this list) performing moderately well.

Number 11 "I Should Be So Lucky" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 10 "Waiting For A Star To Fall" by Boy Meets Girl
Boy (George Merrill) met girl (Shannon Rubicam) 13 years earlier and together they'd written two of Whitney Houston's biggest hits ("How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)") but when this track was turned down by Clive Davis for Whitney's third album, the duo decided to record it themselves and released it as the lead single from their second album, Reel Life. The song was a smash around the world (although it only got to number 35 in Australia) - and was one of my 7" purchases that year. 17 years later, three songs based on "Waiting For A Star To Fall" emerged - "Star2Fall" by Cabin Crew (which featured re-recorded vocals by George), "Falling Stars" by Sunset Strippers and Mylo's "In My Arms", a mash-up with "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes.

Number 9 "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin
The guitarist for The Go-Go's had attempted a solo career in 1985 with her self-titled album, but in 1988, this track by Jane made a big splash, hitting the US and UK chart. An awesomely catchy song, it would be her one and only hit - later covered by British rock act Joyrider.

Number 8 "I Owe You Nothing" by Bros
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 7 "The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz & The Plastic Population
Born Yasmin Evans, Yazz had previously appeared on the Coldcut track "Doctorin' The House" before this song, a cover of an Otis Clay record, took her straight to the top of the UK chart, where she stayed for five weeks. The Plastic Population were never heard of again, since her follow-up track, "Stand Up For Your Love Rights" (number 53 on this list) was credited solely to Yazz. The hits dwindled, but as late as 1994, she released "Have Mercy", a song I liked and which had moderate UK success - but there was never going to be any topping this joyous pop classic. There's a link to the music video in the song title above and a Top Of The Pops performance below.

Number 6 "Especially For You" by Kylie Minogue / Jason Donovan
Previously featured here and here

Number 5 Crackers International EP by Erasure
Mentioned below

Number 4 "Take Me To Your Heart" by Rick Astley
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 3 "I Want You Back" by Bananarama
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 2 "You Came" by Kim Wilde
Like Bananarama, Kim is an artist I'd long been a fan of, and although her fortunes had gone up and down over the previous seven years, I thought she'd always released quality pop singles. In 1988, she not only unleashed a string of great singles (including "Never Trust A Stranger", which is at number 49 on this list), but the album they were all taken from, Close, was also her best LP to date (and still is, actually).
"You Came" was the second single from Close and quickly became a huge favourite of mine. After starting to buy 7" singles in 1987, I bought them a little more frequently in 1988, and this was one I snapped up as soon as I heard it. The best single she's ever released and a song that I could still listen to every day all these years later. Kim re-recorded the song in 2006, giving it more of a pop/rock feel - and I liked that version, too.

Number 1 "Chains Of Love" by Erasure
I've discussed previously how Erasure had a slow start to their career with first album Wonderland, but by 1988, they were unstoppable in the UK. Their third album, The Innocents, became the first of five straight chart-topping albums and their singles all shot towards the upper reaches of the chart as well.
As it turned out, my favourite song of theirs from 1988 (and of all time), "Chains Of Love", was actually their least successful UK release that year, only reaching number 11. In the US, however, it became their first hit, reaching number 12. More successful in the UK were "Ship Of Fools" (number 121 on this list), "A Little Respect" (number 32 on this list) and the Crackers International EP (number 5 on this list), which contained four songs (including lead track "Stop!") and came agonisingly close to giving the duo their first number 1, stalling a place behind. "Chains Of Love" is my favourite song from the 1980s and remains my second favourite song of all time.

My top 200 for 1988 in full:

1          CHAINS OF LOVE Erasure
2          YOU CAME Kim Wilde
3          I WANT YOU BACK Bananarama
4          TAKE ME TO YOUR HEART Rick Astley
6          ESPECIALLY FOR YOU Kylie Minogue / Jason Donovan
7          THE ONLY WAY IS UP Yazz & The Plastic Population
8          I OWE YOU NOTHING Bros
9          RUSH HOUR Jane Wiedlin
10        WAITING FOR A STAR TO FALL Boy Meets Girl
11        I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY Kylie Minogue
12        WHO'S LEAVING WHO Hazell Dean
13        THE HARDER I TRY Brother Beyond
14        PROVE YOUR LOVE Taylor Dayne
15        FIRST BOY IN THIS TOWN (LOVESICK) Scritti Politti
16        WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS Bros
17        HE AIN'T NO COMPETITION Brother Beyond
19        LOVE, TRUTH AND HONESTY Bananarama
20        YOU ARE THE ONE a-ha
21        I CAN'T HELP IT Bananarama
22        TELL IT TO MY HEART Taylor Dayne
23        GOT TO BE CERTAIN Kylie Minogue
24        OUT OF THE BLUE Debbie Gibson
25        TOGETHER FOREVER Rick Astley
26        HEART Pet Shop Boys
28        LOVE CHANGES (EVERYTHING) Climie Fisher
29        ONE MOMENT IN TIME Whitney Houston
30        MAN IN THE MIRROR Michael Jackson
31        MAYBE (WE SHOULD CALL IT A DAY) Hazell Dean
32        TURN IT INTO LOVE Kylie Minogue
33        CROSS MY HEART Eighth Wonder
34        A LITTLE RESPECT Erasure
35        BIG FUN Inner City
36        MOST OF ALL Jody Watley
37        DOMINO DANCING Pet Shop Boys
38        BOYS AND GIRLS Mandy
39        EVERLASTING LOVE Sandra
40        HAZY SHADE OF WINTER Bangles
41        THEME FROM S-EXPRESS S-Express
43        TOUCHY! a-ha
44        SOMEWHERE IN MY HEART Aztec Camera
45        GOT A NEW LOVE Good Question
46        NEVER TRUST A STRANGER Kim Wilde
48        TWO HEARTS Phil Collins
49        YES Merry Clayton
50        INTIMACY Machinations
51        UNDERNEATH THE RADAR Underworld
52        BUFFALO STANCE Neneh Cherry
53        I'M NOT SCARED Eighth Wonder
54        IM NIN'ALU Ofra Haza
55        I WANT YOUR LOVE Transvision Vamp
56        SMOOTH CRIMINAL Michael Jackson
57        GOOD LIFE Inner City
58        LOVE WILL SAVE THE DAY Whitney Houston
59        NATHAN JONES Bananarama
60        GIRL YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE Milli Vanilli
61        SHE WANTS TO DANCE WITH ME Rick Astley
63        BROKEN LAND The Adventures
64        MEGABLAST / DON'T MAKE ME WAIT Bomb The Bass
65        LEFT TO MY OWN DEVICES Pet Shop Boys
66        ONE GOOD WOMAN Peter Cetera
67        BLUE MONDAY 88 New Order
68        MYSTIFY INXS
69        BETTER BE HOME SOON Crowded House
70        I GET WEAK Belinda Carlisle
71        WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND (PURE ENERGY) Information Society
72        AMAZING WORLD Venetians
73        STOP LOVING YOU Toto
74        DREAMING OMD
75        THAT'S THE WAY IT IS Mel & Kim
76        I SAY NOTHING Voice Of The Beehive
79        MAKE ME LOSE CONTROL Eric Carmen
80        MERCEDES BOY Pebbles
81        WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO Whitney Houston
82        I DON'T WANT YOUR LOVE Duran Duran
83        SEXY GIRL Sabrina
84        SUCCESS Sigue Sigue Sputnik
85        DROP THE BOY Bros
86        WEEKEND Todd Terry Project featuring Class Action
87        HEART OF GOLD Johnny Hates Jazz
88        TEARDROPS Womack & Womack
89        BOYS (SUMMERTIME LOVE) Sabrina
90        THERE’S A BRAND NEW WORLD Five Star
91        NOTHING CAN DIVIDE US Jason Donovan
92        TURN IT INTO LOVE Hazell Dean
93        ALPHABET ST. Prince
94        BABY BABY Eighth Wonder
95        TEARS RUN RINGS Marc Almond
96        IF I COULD 1927
97        SIGN YOUR NAME Terence Trent D'Arby
98        FOOLISH BEAT Debbie Gibson
99        TURN AROUND AND COUNT 2 TEN Dead Or Alive
100      GROOVE Eurogliders
101      HUNGRY EYES Eric Carmen
102      WHEN IT’S LOVE Van Halen
103      LOVE BITES Def Leppard
104      UNDER THE MILKY WAY The Church
105      PERFECT Fairground Attraction
106      STAYING TOGETHER Debbie Gibson
107      NAUGHTY GIRLS (NEED LOVE TOO) Samantha Fox
108      SOME KIND OF LOVER Jody Watley
109      BOOM! THERE SHE WAS Scritti Politti
110      JUST A MIRAGE Jellybean featuring Adele Bertei
111      GIRLFRIEND Pebbles
113      SUPERFLY GUY S-Express
115      DON’T WALK AWAY Toni Childs
116      ONE GOOD REASON Paul Carrack
117      PAMELA Toto
118      EVERY GIRL AND BOY Spagna
119      ALL OF ME (BOY OH BOY) Sabrina
120      CROSS MY BROKEN HEART Sinitta
121      IN YOUR ROOM The Bangles
122      BURN IT UP Beatmasters with PP Arnold
123      PIANO IN THE DARK Brenda Russell
124      AGE OF REASON John Farnham
125      DIVINE EMOTIONS Narada
126      DON'T SAY GOODBYE Rick Astley
127      THE PERFECT DAY Fischer Z
128      DON'T GO CHANGING Sparklers
129      SHIP OF FOOLS Erasure
130      FATHER FIGURE George Michael
131      LOVE ME TO DEATH / BOMBSHELL Boom Crash Opera
132      MONKEY George Michael
133      NOBODY’S PERFECT Mike & The Mechanics
134      KISSING A FOOL George Michael
135      LOVE IN THE NATURAL WAY Kim Wilde
136      THAT’S WHEN I THINK OF YOU 1927
137      JACKIE Blue Zone
138      STOP THAT GIRL 2 Brave
139      ARMAGEDDON IT Def Leppard
140      SHE MAKES MY DAY Robert Palmer
142      WILD, WILD WEST The Escape Club
143      LET'S ALL CHANT Pat & Mick
146      BURNING FEELING Noiseworks
147      HEY LITTLE BOY Divinyls
148      SHE'S LIKE THE WIND Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser
149      IF IT ISN’T LOVE New Edition
150      GLAM SLAM Prince
151      SYMPTOMS OF TRUE LOVE Tracie Spencer
152      DON'T SAY IT'S LOVE Johnny Hates Jazz
153      HEAVEN IN MY HANDS Level 42
154      BEAT DIS Bomb The Bass
155      I QUIT Bros
156      HOW SHE THREW IT ALL AWAY Style Council
157      FOUR LETTER WORD Kim Wilde
158      THE RUMOUR Olivia Newton-John
159      I KNOW HIM SO WELL Whitney Houston / Cissy Houston
160      AS THE DAYS GO BY Daryl Braithwaite
161      K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Siedah Garrett
162      SAYIN’ SORRY (DON’T MAKE IT RIGHT) Denise Lopez
163      JUST GOT PAID Johnny Kemp
164      NEVER KNEW LOVE LIKE THIS Alexander O’Neal featuring Cherrelle
166      ROSES ARE RED The Mac Band
167      DON'T YOU WANT ME Jody Watley
168      NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME Poison
169      DON'T CALL ME BABY Voice Of The Beehive
170      A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE Phil Collins
171      CIRCLE IN THE SAND Belinda Carlisle
172      FINE TIME New Order
173      ANYTHING FOR YOU Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
176      MY PREROGATIVE Bobby Brown
177      KISS 'N' TELL Chantoozies
178      JUST LIKE PARADISE David Lee Roth
179      REVOLUTION BABY Transvision Vamp
180      PUSH IT Salt 'n' Pepa
181      ANOTHER PART OF ME Michael Jackson
182      HEAVEN KNOWS Robert Plant
183      BEHIND THE WHEEL / ROUTE 66 Depeche Mode
184      LOVELY DAY (REMIX) Bill Withers
185      GIVING UP ON LOVE Rick Astley
186      INSIDE A DREAM Jane Wiedlin
187      TAKE A LOOK Level 42
188      MY LOVE Julio Iglesias / Stevie Wonder
189      WHAT'S IT GONNA BE Rockmelons
190      IT'S NO SECRET Kylie Minogue
191      HEY MR HEARTACHE Kim Wilde
192      LIBERIAN GIRL Michael Jackson
195      I KNOW HOW (TO MAKE YOU LOVE ME) Nia Peeples
196      DOCTORIN’ THE TARDIS The Timelords
199      HALLELUIAH MAN Love And Money
200      KISS AND TELL Bryan Ferry

There's only one year of the 1980s left for me to recap, and I'll get to that before Christmas. On Thursday, a big week on the ARIA chart from 25 years ago, with seven new entries from exclusively male performers.


1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019

No comments:

Post a comment