Wednesday, 16 November 2016

This Week In 1986: November 16, 1986

I've talked before about songs that become inextricably linked to the movie scenes they play during. If ever there was a case of song and scene going hand in hand then it was the soundtrack single which was the highest entry on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1986.

Kim Basinger wasn't even wearing a hat...

It was the perfect pairing of song lyric and performance with a key scene in one of the year's most talked about movies. As a result, the combination became an iconic moment in film history.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending November 16, 1986 

An iconic moment in Australian music history was continuing to play out at the top of the ARIA chart as "You're The Voice" by John Farnham spent a second week at number 1 as "You Can Call Me Al" and "Don't Leave Me This Way" vied for the runner-up spot (and would continue to do so for the next couple of weeks).

Off The Chart
Number 96 "Something About You" by Niki Phillips
Peak: number 65
This was the only chart visit for the singer/songwriter who also hosted a Brisbane-only music show called Saturday Juke Box. He's still working as a musician, but now just goes by Nik.

Number 95 "Hold On Tight" by Samantha Fox
Peak: number 81
The model-turned-singer traded in the dance/pop sound of her first two hits for a rockabilly third single - and as a result, swapped the top 20 for the bottom 20 of the chart. 

Number 92 "All I Want" by Howard Jones
Peak: number 83
After a flawless run of singles, including six ARIA top 40 hits, Howard Jones bombed out with the first proper release from One To One. It was also his lowest-charting and final UK top 40 hit.

Number 85 "Cross The Border" by Icehouse
Peak: number 65
The Australian campaign for Measure For Measure ended with an unfortunately low placing for this under-rated single. We'd next hear from Icehouse in mid-1987, when there'd be nothing under-rated about the reception they received.

"When I Think Of You" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 53
What was Australia thinking? After awarding Michael's little sister with two big hits, we went and abandoned her as she released her best song to date. "When I Think Of You" moved away from the attitude-ridden styling of "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and "Nasty" for something more poppy and playful. The decision to mix things up worked in the US, where "When I Think Of You" became her first number 1 hit (making the Jacksons the first siblings to each top the chart there with solo releases). The song once again came with a music video choreographed by Paula Abdul, which was shot to look like one long continuous take (although it was actually made up of five shorter segments).

New Entries
Number 48 "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money
Peak: number 46
It'd been eight years since American singer Eddie Money had seen the inside of the Australian top 40, having reached number 19 with debut single "Baby Hold On" in 1978. His chart fortunes had also started to flag back home, so his record company convinced him to sing this track, even though he wasn't completely sold on it. What got him over the line was the lyric referencing "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes
Having originally asked The Motels vocalist Martha Davis to sing that line, Eddie eventually persuaded Ronnie Spector herself to re-record the hook from her former group's best known song. A top 5 hit in the US, "Take Me Home Tonight" was not only the biggest single of Eddie's career but encouraged a long retired Ronnie (who also featured in the music video) to give singing another shot.

Number 43 "You're Gonna Get Hurt" by Jenny Morris
Peak: number 24
Since I started this blog by covering the ARIA charts from mid-1987 and on, we've already seen Jenny Morris's first big hit, her first top 10 and her highest-charting single. But it was this week in 1986 that her solo chart career finally got off and running. Jenny's first solo releases had been in 1982, but neither of her two singles ("Puberty Blues" and "Little By Little") from that year reached the top 50. 
With her stint in QED behind her, Jenny resumed her solo career in late 1985, but was back where she'd started when "Get Some Humour" undeservedly flopped at the beginning of 1986. It was clearly time to call in the big guns. Written and produced by INXS's Andrew Farriss, and featuring Andrew, his band-mates Garry Gary Beers and Jon Farriss, and Ian Moss playing on it, "You're Gonna Get Hurt" gave Jenny the hit that had eluded her for so long.

Number 42 "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" by Glass Tiger
Peak: number 9
Next up, a song that reached number 1 in their native Canada earlier in the year (with a different video) and was kept from the top spot in America by "When I Think Of You". The debut single by Glass Tiger, "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" was written by the band with Bryan Adams' songwriting partner, Jim Vallance, who also produced the track and even got Bryan to sing backing vocals. It was Glass Tiger's only hit locally, but back at home they had a number of hit singles (including their other US top 10, "Someday") up until 1993 when they started what would turn out to be a decade-long hiatus.

Number 38 "Brand New Lover" by Dead Or Alive
Peak: number 21
Since they'd rocketed into the top 5 with "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)", Dead Or Alive had gradually slipped back down the chart with each successive release, narrowly missing the top 40 with "My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor)". They reversed the downward trend with this first taste of third album Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know - at least in Australia and the US. 
In the UK, "Brand New Lover" charted lower than the four singles lifted from previous album Youthquake. Like Youthquake, Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know saw Dead Or Alive continue their working relationship with producers Stock Aitken Waterman - an experience that by all accounts was fraught. As a result, the late Pete Burns forever after referred to SAW as "the sausage factory". For now, though, the musical partnership continued to pay off.

Number 23 "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker
Peak: number 23
Decades before there was Fifty Shades Of Grey, there was 9½ Weeks, the erotic film starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke when he was still hot. Joe Cocker's raunchy cover of a song written and originally recorded by Randy Newman was used in the iconic striptease scene in the movie and flew into the top 50 this week in 1986 as the highest new entry. Surprisingly, it never got any higher. It may not have cracked the top 20, but "You Can Leave Your Hat On" made enough of an impact to forever after be the go-to song for strip scenes in movies, on TV and, no doubt, by enthusiastic couples at home. Just over a decade later, another remake by Tom Jones was included on the soundtrack to blokes-turned-strippers movie The Full Monty.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1986 (updated weekly):

Next week: the debut of an apron-loving Australian group, plus the return of an all-sneering, all-strutting bleach blond rock star and a British band whose singer was last seen on the chart duetting with a reggae outfit.

Back to: Nov 9, 1986 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 23, 1986


  1. Jenny Morris' "Puberty Blues" was the theme to the 1981/2 film of the same name, and her cover of "Little by Little" was originally done by Dusty Springfield in 1966, on the b-side of her track "You Don't Have to Say You Love me" (OZ HP-2).


  2. I like all of Sam Fox's 80s singles... but 'Hold On Tight' is easily the worst. I didn't hear it until someone sent me the video in the mid 00s. It's more of a joke than third single material.

    I hadn't heard the Howard Jones track before.

    'When I Think of You' should've done much better locally. I wonder how many takes/rehearsals the video took to make.

    I only know the Eddie Money track from a Countdown repeat on rage aired in the early-mid 00s. I like it.

    I liked the Jenny Morris song, but less so the "like a teacher" lyric.

    I didn't actually know 'Brand New Lover' until about 5 years ago, when (again) someone sent me the video. It's one of their best singles, I think. Odd how they stretched the picture vertically, though, as done with 'fat' Paula in 'The Promise of a New Day'. Maybe Pete was having a 'fat' day and demanded it? Also odd: it ended up as a CD bonus track on 'Smash Hits '87'.

    Can't say I've ever been too fond of any of Joe Cocker's songs, though this one made an effective Sun Smart sunscreen ad campaign song.