Thursday, 14 February 2013

This Week In 1988: February 14, 1988

Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2013. Updated in 2018.

Valentine's Day, 1988 - and there was nothing I loved more in the world than music and collecting the weekly ARIA chart. I should point out that I was only 13 in 1988 and it would be a few years before anything properly romantic came into my life.

In a matter of months, this line-up of Bananarama would be no more
This week, we have five new entries to look back at - two were songs I also loved by groups that were among my favourites at the time (and still rank highly among my all-time best acts). Another two debuts were bands I quite liked - at least at this point in their careers. And the final new entry was not only a song I didn't like but it was by an artist I'd grow to hate in the coming years.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending February 14, 1988

A song I loved consolidated its hold of the number 1 spot this week in 1988. "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes stayed on top for a second week.

Off The Chart
Number 95 "Elvis Is Everywhere" by Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
Peak: number 95
The psychobilly - it's a genre! - duo who'd go on to release 1989's "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-headed Love Child" celebrated the King in this track from the Bo-Day-Shus!!! album.

Number 94 "Be Still My Beating Heart" by Sting
Peak: number 94
"We'll Be Together" had just missed the top 10, but this dual Grammy-nominated second single from ...Nothing Like The Sun barely made the top 100.

Number 85 "Reason To Live" by KISS
Peak: number 85
Another second single that missed the mark, hard rock power ballad by numbers "Reason To Live" was co-written by lead singer Paul Stanley and Bon Jovi collaborator Desmond Child.

New Entries
Number 50 "Man Of Colours" by Icehouse
Peak: number 28
Thousands of Australians already owned the album which shared its title with this week's first new entry, but that didn't stop this fourth single from Man Of Colours reaching the top 30. "Man Of Colours" was also notable for having a music video which featured singer Iva Davies' dad as the painter the song's lyrics are about - apparently at Mr Davies' request.

Number 49 "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac
Peak: number 45
Here's another song which was the fourth single from a hit album. "Everywhere", which was written and sung by Christine McVie, followed "Big Love", "Seven Wonders" and "Little Lies" into the top 50, but didn't get much higher. A further top 100 hit was released from Tango In The Night, but "Family Man" (which came out before "Everywhere" in the UK) did even worse, peaking at number 83.

Number 41 "Touched By The Hand Of God" by New Order
Peak: number 15
Even Oscar-winning directors have to start somewhere, and although it wasn't her first work, it was still early in the career of Kathryn Bigelow when she directed the clip to this song. Like many of their singles, "Touched By The Hand Of God" wasn't taken from a New Order studio album, but instead was one of a handful of songs the group recorded for the soundtrack to film Salvation!

Number 35 "Love In The First Degree" by Bananarama
Peak: number 5
Previous single "I Heard A Rumour" hadn't been as big as it should have been, but Bananarama corrected that with the second single from WOW!, which took them into the Australian top 5 for a third time. "Love In The First Degree" was the group's equal highest-charting song in the UK, where, like "Robert De Niro's Waiting" and "Help!", it reached number 3. Unlike in Australia and the US, where "Venus" hit the top spot, the girls never reached number 1 at home.

Number 28 "Twistin' The Night Away" by Rod Stewart
Peak: number 27
This song took its sweet time to crack the Australian top 50. And, I'm not just talking about the fact that it had been two months since this re-recorded version entered the top 100 back in mid-December 1987. No, Rod first covered this Sam Cooke track in 1973 and it spent a solitary week on the chart then - at number 98. The reason for the new spin on Rod's remake? It was revamped to be included on the soundtrack to the film Innerspace. Despite such an impressive debut, "Twistin' The Night Away" would only progress one position higher. It was at this point that I developed quite an intense hatred for Rod's music. I'd previously liked the odd song of his - "Young Turks" and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", for example - but his late '80s/early '90s output, like this, "The Motown Song", "Downtown Train" and especially "Rhythm Of My Heart", really irked me.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1988:

Next week: She's ba-ack. The return of Kylie Minogue, and new songs by a few more of 1987's biggest hitmakers. Before that, I'll finish my trip through the music of 1991 by counting down my top 50 tracks from that year.

Back to: Feb 7, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 21, 1988


  1. Hi Gavin, when I used to mark my old ARIA charts with highlighters, one colour was for songs I owned (Either by Cassette, CD or Vinyl).
    The other colour was for songs I wanted to buy or had a liking too.
    I only really bought TOP 10 singles or songs I really liked back then.


    1. Ooh, I hadn't even thought about that as a possible answer. Although back in 87/88, I didn't actually buy that much music but it could have been songs I'd taped off the radio/Rage. I have a feeling it was also something to do with where the songs placed on my chart at the time.

  2. I had a similar system when I was scribing the top 40 Australia every week, except I had symbols on the edge of my page. I had three symbols though, songs I liked, songs I had and new songs. It wasn't until March 89 when I collected my first ARIA chart. I still scribed the top 40 every week all the way up to 1992 though. Finn

  3. I see one of the worst, one of the most annoying 80's song is on the charts. And it wasn't until I saw Cloverfield Lane that I found out it was a remake.
    'I Think We're Alone Now'. Just the way she emphasizes 'night' is tremendously irritating. That couple with the thin ,Casio-sounding background makes it one annoying earworm.

  4. I haven't heard that Sting song in years, and never knew what it was called.

    I know the KISS song only through rage airings. It's not bad, for them.

    'Man of Colours' is a nice song, but not really an obvious single choice. Not that I pay any attention to current charts, but I doubt artists (or rather, their labels) are making such 'bold' single decisions these days.

    'Everywhere' is a nice song, and it's surprising it didn't do better; though I guess anyone who wanted it already had the album/bought it instead.

    The concept of the 'Touched By the Hand of God' video was quite interesting - take the piss out of the big hair metal bands at the time. Decent song, though I could only remember the title when I got their '94 best of album.

    'Love In the First Degree' is classic pop. I thought they were singing "guilty as a GOAT can be" at the time, ha ha.