This Week In 1987: December 13, 1987
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2012. Updated in 2017.
I don't know what was happening this week in 1987, but after mostly excellent charts all year, things really died down coming in to Christmas. Not only were there not many new entries, but those songs that were debuting weren't songs that would really set the charts ablaze.
That said, the rest of the top 50 was chock full of memorable tracks - so maybe it was a case of there being no room at the inn for latecomers.
There was no room at number 1 for anyone other than Rick Astley - and there wouldn't be for some time as "Never Gonna Give You Up" stayed on top for a second week.
Off The Chart
Number 92 "Victim Of Love" by Bryan Adams
Peak: number 92
Another single from Into The Fire, another lousy chart position for Bryan Adams. He'd more than make up for it when we next saw him on the top 100 in 1991.
Peak: number 85
It would finally crack the top 50 five years later when the Spanish city's turn as Olympics host came to pass, but in 1987, few Australians were interested in this pop/opera mash-up.
Number 81 "Rent" by Pet Shop Boys
Peak: number 81
Yet another top 10 hit for the synthpop duo at home in the UK, "Rent" didn't live up to earlier single from Please locally. The song would later be covered by Liza Minnelli on her PBS-produced album, Results.
Single Of The Week
Another week, another Whitesnake single. With "Is This Love" and "Here I Go Again" both earning themselves bullets for jumping up seven places each this week, EMI added another track from the band's self-titled album into the mix. Seems Australia only had so much interest in Whitesnake songs, though, with this track missing the top 100 entirely - and listening to it now, it's easy to see why. Compared to the other two radio-friendly singles, this song had a harder, less commercial sound - and was even a bit '70s-inspired. Plus, at well over six minutes, it kind of went on a bit. The video is worth checking out to see another appearance by token babe Tawny Kitaen (not her real name), who ended up marrying singer David Coverdale.
Peak: number 65
By 1987, rap music hadn't produced many major hits in Australia - and it was more likely for a novelty record like the horrendous "Holiday Rap" to gain attention than landmark tracks of the time like LL Cool J's "I Need Love" or Run-DMC's "It's Tricky". Another song that was on the comedy end of the rap spectrum was this remake of the 1963 hit by The Surfaris, which added the hip-hop trio's rap over the surf rock instrumental - and even featured The Beach Boys on backing vocals. "Wipeout" was a decent-sized hit overseas, but not in Australia. Bigger things (no pun intended) were to come for The Fat Boys with another classic cover, this time of "The Twist", in 1988.
Peak: number 41
As much as I loved singles "Wishing Well" and "If You Let Me Stay" from Terence in 1987, I never quite warmed to this follow-up. It appears that the Australian public felt the same way, since "Dance Little Sister" didn't get much higher than this debut position. Thankfully, it wasn't over for the singer just yet, since "Sign Your Name" was still to be lifted from his debut album.
Number 45 "Cherry Bomb" by John Cougar Mellencamp
Peak: number 20
Single number two from The Lonesome Jubillee was another top 20 success for JCM - but only just. Whereas "Paper In Fire" had been a good time rock track, "Cherry Bomb" was a more sedate affair, with a real country feel to it. Surprisingly, I liked it - and it still sounds pretty good today.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1987:
Next week, we'll take a look at the final weekly ARIA chart for 1987 and what were Australia's biggest sellers for the year. Before then, I'll conclude my countdown of my favourite tracks from 1989.