Thursday, 20 December 2012

This Week In 1987: December 20, 1987

Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2012. Updated in 2017.

Back in the '80s, the chart would take an extended break over Christmas, with as long as three weeks passing without a new top 50 being issued. This wasn't unusual - the Billboard charts routinely had a repeat week in which the charts didn't change over the holiday period. So this week in 1987, the final Australian chart for the year was printed. Don't get too excited, though - it was a pretty dull week.

Tiffany was one of the final new chart entries for 1987

Australia hasn't ever really had a race for the Christmas number 1 spot in the way the UK has, with singles chart activity petering out throughout December rather than spiking to a frenzy. Twenty five years ago, there were only two new entries in the top 50 (both of them remakes), but the week was notable for the appearance of the year's worst single (also a cover version) as a breaker.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending December 20, 1987

Things were so quiet that the weeks-old "Run To Paradise" was featured as the Single Of The Week. I guess that might have been useful for anyone still wondering exactly what the lyrics were. At number 1, there was no change as "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley stayed on top for a third week.

Off The Chart
Number 90 "Tearin' Out My Heart" by The Heroes
Peak: number 85
Newcastle band The Heroes were big in their home city but couldn't translate that into national success with this independently released single.

Number 89 "We've Done Us Proud" by Slim Dusty
Peak: number 80
Released to support compilation album The Slim Dusty Heritage album, this became the country legend's latest single to miss the top 50. He'd be back there for one final time in 1988.

Number 88 "Holding My Breath" by Mad Turks From Istanbul
Peak: number 85
Hailing from the much less exotic Adelaide, this rock band entered the top 100 for the first (and only) time with this second single from debut album Cafe Istanbul.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Bad News
Peak: number 57
I've never understood the appeal of novelty singles. Sure, the music videos that accompany them can be amusing, but when it comes to the single itself, why would I want to listen to a joke instead of a song? Apart from European singles which are unintentionally funny, the main source of comedy releases is the UK. We'd already seen "Star Trekkin'" by The Firm invade our top 10 earlier in 1987, but been spared Spitting Image's "The Chicken Song" from 1986 taking off here.
Bad News was a Spinal Tap-style spoof band consisting of most of The Young Ones (who themselves had a massively successful comedy record in 1986: "Living Doll" with Cliff Richard). The "band" had been around since 1983 as part of The Comic Strip Presents... and, in 1987, released an album produced by Brian May from Queen (is there nothing he won't do?).
This abysmal version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was released as a single and thankfully flopped in the UK and here. Listening to the track now, I can't work out how it did that well - why anyone would want to own a copy of this? Listen to the worst single of 1987 at your peril...

New Entries
Number 45 "Resurrection Shuffle" by Cattletruck
Peak: number 33
When I started this blog, I did not think I'd be talking about Cattletruck quite as often as I have these past few months. In fact, I had completely forgotten about the Aussie rock band altogether. Unfortunately for them, they never really made that big an impact on the chart, with this fourth and final single (a remake of the Ashton, Gardner & Dyke number 16 hit from 1971) proving to be their biggest success. At the time, I much preferred earlier single "Leave Me" and couldn't get into the Georgia Satellites-style blues/rock sound of "Resurrection Shuffle". Nothing's changed on that front.

Number 42 "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany
Peak: number 13
Already a massive success Stateside, teen singer and future schlock horror actress Tiffany finally debuted in Australia with her US and UK chart-topping cover of the Tommy James & The Shondells track (which also made my personal countdown for 1987, where I talked about it in more detail). It wouldn't scale quite the same heights here, but it proved to be quite persistent, sticking around on the top 100 for 35 weeks. Not bad for a song that Tiffany herself wasn't that keen on recording and one that received little support from her record company, prompting her manager to wheel her out around the shopping malls of America to generate interest.

Annual Chart

Since we've come to the end of the chart action for 1987, what better time to look at the list of the 100 biggest singles in Australia for 1987? Here they are:

1.     "Locomotion" by Kylie Minogue
2.     "La Bamba" by Los Lobos
3.     "Old Time Rock And Roll" by Bob Seger
4.     "Slice Of Heaven" by Dave Dobbyn with The Herbs
5.     "Respectable" by Mel & Kim
6.     "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Kim Wilde
7.     "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles
8.     "Electric Blue" by Icehouse
9.     "Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)" by Paul Lekakis
10.   "The Final Countdown" by Europe
11.   "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston
12.   "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship
13.   "Suddenly" by Angry Anderson
14.   "He's Gonna Step On You Again" by The Party Boys
15.   "I Wanna Wake Up With You" by Boris Gardener
16.   "Pressure Down" by John Farnham
17.   "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi
18.   "Crazy" by Icehouse
19.   "Funky Town" by Pseudo Echo
20.   "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by George Michael / Aretha Franklin
21.   "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil
22.   "Bad" by Michael Jackson
23.   "Good Times" by INXS / Jimmy Barnes
24.   "Star Trekkin'" by The Firm
25.   "What's My Scene" by Hoodoo Gurus
26.   "Need You Tonight" by INXS
27.   "Lean On Me" by Club Nouveau
28.   "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
29.   "French Kissin' In The USA" by Debbie Harry
30.   "Fall Of Rome" by James Reyne
31.   "Right On Track" by Breakfast Club
32.   "I Want Your Sex" by George Michael
33.   "When You Walk In The Room" by Paul Carrack
34.   "To Be A Lover" by Billy Idol
35.   "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" by The Angels
36.   "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
37.   "Alone" by Heart
38.   "Male Stripper" by Man To Man Meet Man Parish
39.   "Ship Of Fools" by World Party
40.   "Let's Dance" by Chris Rea
41.   "She's The One" by The Cockroaches
42.   "Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)" by Mel & Kim
43.   "C'est La Vie" by Robbie Nevil
44.   "Too Much Ain't Enough Love" by Jimmy Barnes
45.   "Run To Paradise" by Choirboys
46.   "We Connect" by Stacey Q
47.   "Wild Horses" by Gino Vanelli
48.   "Hold Me Now" by Johnny Logan
49.   "Witch Queen" by Chantoozies
50.   "It's A Sin" by Pet Shop Boys
51.   “True Faith” by New Order
52.   “Midnight Blue” by Lou Gramm
53.   "Wishing Well" by Terence Trent D’Arby
54.   "Don’t Dream It’s Over" by Crowded House
55.   "Don’t Give Up" by Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush
56.   "Love And Devotion" by Michael Bow
57.   "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung
58.   "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna
59.   "Breakout" by Swing Out Sister
60.   "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & The Beaters
61.   "Take Me Back" by Noiseworks
62.   "You’re The Voice" by John Farnham
63.   "Hymn To Her" by The Pretenders
64.   "Real Wild Child" by Iggy Pop
65.   "Causing A Commotion" by Madonna
66.   "Who’s That Girl" by Madonna
67.   "With Or Without You" by U2
68.   "Shakedown" by Bob Seger
69.   "Let’s Go" by Wang Chung
70.   "You I Know" by Jenny Morris
71.   "Hammerhead" by James Reyne
72.   "Lady In Red" by Chris de Burgh
73.   "Faith" by George Michael
74.   "You Win Again" by Bee Gees
75.   "Sweet 16" by Billy Idol
76.   "Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)" by Glass Tiger
77.   "Do To You" by Machinations
78.   "Shake You Down" by Gregory Abbott
79.   "Paper In Fire" by John Cougar Mellencamp
80.   "Two Of Hearts" by Stacey Q
81.   "Is This Love?" by Alison Moyet
82.   "Wanted Dead Or Alive" by Bon Jovi
83.   "(Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy" by Shona Laing
84.   "Everything I Own" by Boy George
85.   "Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac
86.   "Heart And Soul" by T’Pau
87.   "All I Ask Of You" by Cliff Richard / Sarah Brightman
88.   "Holiday Rap" by MC Miker G & Deejay Sven
89.   "Get Ready" by Carol Hitchcock
90.   "(I Just Died) In Your Arms" by Cutting Crew
91.   "He’s Just No Good For You" by Mental As Anything
92.   "What You Get Is What You See" by Tina Turner
93.   "Friends And Lovers" by Gloria Loring / Carl Anderson
94.   "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson
95.   "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison
96.   "Friday On My Mind" by Gary Moore
97.   "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You" by Michael Jackson / Siedah Garrett
98.   "Rhymes" by Rockmelons
99.   "Sugar Free" by Wa Wa Nee
100. "You Can Call Me" by Al Paul Simon

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1987:

Next time: the next top 50 chart was issued for the three weeks ending January 10, so we'll pick things back up then. In the meantime, I'll be counting down my favourite songs for 2012 and revisiting some more 1980s acts I haven't yet talked about in my personal yearly charts.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Charts - 1987

  Jan 18 II Jan 25 II Feb 1 II Feb 8 II Feb 15 II Feb 22 II Mar 1 II Mar 8 II Mar 15 II Mar 22 II Mar 29 II Apr 5 II Apr 12 II Apr 19 II Apr 26 II May 3 II May 10 II May 17 II May 24 II May 31 II Jun 7 II Jun 14 II Jun 21 II Jun 28 II Jul 5 II Jul 12 II Jul 19 II Jul 26 II Aug 2 II Aug 9 II Aug 16 II Aug 23 II Aug 30 II Sep 6 II Sep 13 II Sep 20 II Sep 27 II Oct 4 II Oct 11 II Oct 18 II Oct 25 II Nov 1 II Nov 8 II Nov 15 II Nov 22 II Nov 29 II Dec 6 II Dec 13 II Dec 20

Back to: Dec 13, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 10, 1988

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